At my age, money is ….
This is the 3rd in the weekly Series called Retirement Happiness. In this Series we discuss the issues and concerns about money, and how its various components are so inter-twined that sometimes we cannot see a solution to our constant fear of running out of money as we get older.
Part 1 – Emotional impact
Before we get into the details of how much money we need, how we get more money because we are running short, how to invest our money, how to best spend it and so forth, it might be an idea to verify that the feelings YOU have about money are shared by EVERY other person on the planet (with a few exceptions of course).
The reality is that the concerns you have about the shortage of money are typically found across the world. You are not alone.
Moreover, it is sometimes hard for us to admit to being concerned about our financial condition. Perhaps through embarrassment or vanity, or lack of knowledge or some other emotional obstacle we can sometimes simply not discuss it – but far worse, not be able to open up and discuss and get help. So, we end up bottling up our fears inside and cause ourselves sleepless nights and daytime stress.
The impact on our daily lives from our money woes is, in many cases, the difference between life and deteriorating health. That may sound melodramatic. It is not. It is a serious, very serious, concern for millions of people. Face up to it, do not hide it, do not submerge it, do not, above all else, ignore it. You will damage your health. Simple as that.
It is not the intention to scare you. Chances are you’re scared enough as it is.
The intention is to make you aware that the fear of money is, apart from health, THE most worrisome part of our lives. Having said that, the comparison to health worries should be put into perspective.
Thankfully in today’s age of medicine and health care, many of the problems of older age can be alleviated to a great extent, and thus, for many of us, our health, while always a consideration, may not be a daily concern. We can think about other things.
But it may be reasonable to say that greater numbers of people ARE concerned, one way or another, about their financial health. Whether you are healthy or not, if you have money problems then you have a heavy burden to carry. A burden which may affect your medical health, over time. No-one is immune.
The daily stress of scrimping on food or shelter or utilities or prescriptions or transportation takes its toll on your well-being. The fact that you may not be able to take that vacation in Hawaii in your retirement, is such a far distant thought, if you can’t buy essential foodstuffs each day. The vacation dreams you had when working, may be nightmares now.
Perhaps the greatest emotional concern however is whether the money you do have will last as long as you do. “What if I run out, yet I’m still alive and kicking..?”
“If I have no family to care for me, or if I have no more money to buy nursing home care, or buy increased health care services, or there are no national social services … what do I do?”
Are these (and others) real questions and real worries for people..?
Say “No” and you are fooling yourself. Say “Yes” and stick around, as we’ll try to offer some guidance over the next few weeks of this Series.