Poverty, scarcity, minority, lack of… there are all kinds of ways to emphasise the not being enough of something. And most of the times, that is considered as a problem; There shouldn’t be poverty of this something. And this something has even more variations. If we look at world issues you can see poverty of food, money, fresh water, resources, love, understanding. All of them are big issues and millions of smart and not so smart people have been thinking about solutions to get rid of this poverty of whatsoever.
Problem is, most of the people who are thinking about solutions do not experience the poverty themselves. They are not the victim, and even worse, they consider the person is impoverished as the victim. I could and would like to say a million things about that, but at least, they are talking about it, while there are even more people who are not thinking about that at all. They have given up, are cynical, resigned and bored to death because “it will never work, go away, make a difference or solve anything.”
But if you think about it: deep down inside, don’t we all want peace for everybody? That every child could go to school? That every mother could deliver her baby in an environment with clean and fresh water? That nobody needs to worry whether he will have some food by the end of the day?
Then how come these issues are still there. How come we, being the powerful human beings that we are, want something so badly and so numerously and yet not be successful in that. Now, many of you might say or think, that that is because people still want to save their own butt first. Or people in general are greedy, controlled by fear. And yes, we are still run by our instincts and survival techniques, we want to have as many powers as possible. But coming from there, it is impossible to come up with solutions that would make an end to the poverty of somebody else.
In order to solve the poverty of somebody else, we need to look at our own poverty. In the civilized world there hardly is a lack of fresh water, food or education. But instead, there is poverty of imagination, people chasing their tails and credit abundantly available for those eligible. A lack of trust in our own possibilities. A scarcity in daring to believe that we can still be happy with half of our assets. Poverty of thoughts and creativity in how to share our wealth.
In our society lots of people are surviving day-to-day on credit, with credit card, banks and loan companies very eager to give customers’ just that.
While most money lenders have limits on the amounts you can borrow, consumers’ need to consider how much money they can comfortably pay back. There are often penalties for not paying back loans or credit on time. Indeed you will lose your home if you don’t keep up your mortgage payments.
Some cash lenders such as SimplePayday have shorter terms than others, and some loans may be paid back over the course of years or months while others must be paid back in just a few days.
While you will always pay interest on loans, there are other fees that can make the money more expensive. This includes admin costs and penalties for late repayment.
In this day and age can you imagine a life without credit? No mortgages, no loans and no credit cards.
Where did your imagination go?
Funny thing is that we all had our imagination at some point but lost it. Every human being is born with a healthy dose of imagination. As a child we imagined the whole world being one happy place, while we could not imagine anybody would do any harm to somebody else, let out starting a war. Imagination is the start of creating new ideas, revolutionary solutions, new mindsets and new ways of sharing life, goods and means.
A year ago, I asked my students to come up with goals that would inspire them, goals that would go way beyond they thought would be possible. One of my students came up to me and said: First I thought of making myself immortal. But that was too easy. I only have to write a best-seller or make a blockbuster movie and people will remember me for centuries. But what would really inspire me, is to make peace immortal! That is something worth getting out of bed for.
I tell you, only if we have this kind of imagination, we will have a chance in getting rid of any other kind of unwanted poverty.
We are living longer, why not be immortal?
Thanks to modern medicine, and an overall increased quality of life, people are living longer and longer. Indeed, the current life expectancy for someone in the United States is 81 years for women and 76 years for men (that’s from birth).
That’s quite an increase from 1950, when the average life expectancy at birth was 68.2. We’ve even seen increases since 1980, when average life expectance was 73.7. And, of course, if you live to 65 or 75, the chances that you will live to reach 80 years old — and beyond — goes up.
While it’s nice to think that you could live into your 90s fairly easily, the reality is that longevity brings with it some other issues, especially when it comes to retirement planning.
Retirement Planning and Increased Longevity
“The average person must now plan for a retirement that could last 20 to 30 years,” says Rich Winer, retirement planning expert and president of Winer Wealth Management.
Back in 1950, if you retired between the ages of 60 and 65, you only had to rely on retirement income for a few years. Now, you need to plan for decades. And if you are interested in early retirement, at age 40, you could be looking at 40 years — or more — of retirement.
From needing to cover your daily expenses on a long-term basis, to dealing with the realities that come with failing health as you get older (and linger on in ill health), it’s vital that you put together a plan that can address the issues that are cropping up as a result of increased longevity.
“Establish a plan to accumulate what you need for retirement,” Winer suggests. “This involves considering how much you currently have saved for retirement, how much you will need to save, and investing on a regular basis to meet your retirement goals.”
It’s important to consider what rate of return is required in order to reach your retirement needs. Bob Richards, a retired financial advisor and CPA, and the publisher of a retirement blog, points out that when planning for a long retirement it’s vital that you consider equities as well. “Longevity means that more of a retirement portfolio must be equity investments that tend to appreciate over time, and also supply an increasing income over time,” he says. “If one were to simply buy some fixed income investments such as CDs and bonds, they will never keep up through a long retirement.”
On top of planned wealth accumulation and judicious investing, Winer also recommends long-term care insurance. “As health care costs continue to rise, they will become the biggest threat to people’s retirement security,” he points out. “Those without long-term care insurance run the risk of depleting their retirement savings to meet their medical costs.”
As you plan your retirement, don’t forget to think about the consequences of a decades-long retirement. Building up income streams, and protecting yourself with the right insurance policies, can go a long way toward making sure that your dream retirement doesn’t turn into a nightmare the longer you live.