The Fear of Getting Older
By Candice Elliott, 23 November 2017 10605
All of us have fears and a big one for many is getting older. In fact, there is a clinical term for this, gerascophobia. But what is it about getting older that we fear? That our health will decline to the point that we become a burden to our family and can no longer do the things we enjoy, getting wrinkles and no longer being attractive, that we will outlive our money, that we will feel we no longer have a purpose?
While these are all legitimate fears, we can take steps to minimize them. None of these are inevitabilities. You can live a long, healthy, happy, prosperous, and productive life for the whole of your life.
Fit Has No Age Limit
Too many people just accept that with aging comes a decline in health and attractiveness but that doesn't have to be the case. If you eat healthfully, move your body daily, and avoid detrimental habits like smoking and drinking to excess, you can preserve your health and your looks.
We all want to know how to look younger but a big part of that is simply keeping your weight under control. Weight gain is very aging. One of the best ways to avoid age related weight gain is to preserve muscle mass. The more muscle we have, the more calories our bodies burn even at rest.
As we age, our bodies need more protein to avoid muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. Resistance exercise like walking, biking, and body weight exercises help to maintain muscle mass as well.
Incorporate gentle stretching into your routine by pursuing yoga or tai chi as a way of keeping joints flexible and improving balance. Because falls account for so many injuries and even deaths in older people, maintaining balance is one of the most important anti-aging secrets.
Making our Money Last
As our life expectancy increases, outliving our money is a very real fear. There are so many different formulas that are supposed to help us determine how much we will need to retire and some are so complicated that you would need a PhD in some obscure branch of mathematics to know how to apply them to your own life.
But there is a very simple formula you can use to determine how much you need to have saved for retirement, the 4% rule. Here is how it works. You can withdraw 4% of the money you have saved for retirement every year for at least 30 years without running out of money. The 4% is the money you live on each year.
If you can live on $60,000 per year, you need to save $1.5 million for retirement, since $60,000 is 4% of $1.5 million. There is one other factor you need to account for in this calculation: inflation. You want to preserve the buying power of your money.
Over the past 55 years, the average rate of inflation in Singapore has been 2.64%. Because of inflation, the newspaper that cost $1 now will cost $1.03 in one year. Inflation means your Sing this year doesn't go as far as it did last year.
To illustrate this, in your first year of retirement, you may need $60,000 to meet your expenses. The following year you need a little more, $61,584. The extra $1,584 is to account for the 2.54% rate of inflation. The third year, you need an extra $1,625. You won’t run out of money even with the additional spend each year just to keep up with inflation, because the average market return outpaces inflation.
If you’re worried about your financial health, RevoRetire is a flexible regular premium savings plan that can be purchased online to help you craft your desired retirement lifestyle with monthly cash payouts. If you have some spare cash on hand and would like to opt for a single premium plan, you can check out Income’s VivoWealth Solitaire. It provides you with lifetime insurance coverage and monthly cash payouts to help sustain your retirement plan. It’s never too late to get your financial health on track.
It's Not About the Money
Many of us chose our careers and made career decisions based on monetary considerations. Perhaps we would love to be a teacher or to work for a non-profit, but we knew those careers wouldn't pay the bills.
So we worked for decades in our chosen careers, did well and for the most part, enjoyed our work. But it was never our first choice, never our passion; we did it for the money. Now we can work for pleasure, for fulfillment, and to help others. Because we planned for retirement, we can work or even volunteer for the love and enjoyment of what we do rather than worry about the size of our paycheck.
You can go back to school and become a teacher, you can volunteer with an organization like Animal Lovers League, a no-kill shelter, or you can pursue a creative endeavor like painting or writing. All of the good things that work gives us, a purpose, routine, social interaction, can still be yours even after you've retired from your career.
Planning Equals Freedom
Getting older doesn't have to be a frightening time in our lives. When we take the right steps to look after our health and our finances, we can enjoy freedom that wasn’t always possible when we were in our 20's.
We can live, laugh, and love as we enjoy the rewards of the second half of our lives.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.