How often do you think about how you're going to live life in your 60s? Here are alternative outcomes.
Living Off The Kiddies
Some will reach the age of 60 without a single saving. You will depend on your kids for money, for food and perhaps even need them to house you somehow. For many this will not be because life has been unkind to you, it will be the result of a series of bad choices such as having more children than you can afford to support.
Be in no doubt that if you find yourself in this situation you will be a burden to your children.
Could this be you?
Oh, This Isn't My House?
Some will reach retirement age and realise that the company they work for owns "their" house and "their" car. It is easy to forget these things when you are enjoying life but at this point you will be forced to either live off your children or invest your savings in a business.
If you're lucky you'll find positions on boards that provide an income whilst you make up for lost time on the investment front.
Living Off The Rentals
Some will reach the age of 60 with a tidy property portfolio. You will own the house you live in outright and you will have at least two rental properties.
Your rental properties will produce enough money to cover all necessities, bills (including the internet) and wants such as holidays at the lake or abroad. When your children come to visit you, they will come with pride. Pride that they have forward thinking parents that had the wisdom to cover their own retirement. You will have no unnecessary worries and will be safe in the knowledge that you never have to go to bed hungry or cold.
The Art of Visualisation
Visualising is like fantasising. You visualise a specific event in the future in very specific and detailed terms and think about how much you will enjoy it. Scientists have confirmed that visualising can lead to the achievement of real results.
In a well-known study on creative visualisation in sports, Russian scientists compared three groups of Olympic athletes:
Group 3 had the best performance results. This indicates that some types of mental training, such as consciously invoking specific subjective states, can have significant measurable effects on biological performance.
Further to this, some celebrities have argued that they have achieved certain results in their life by visualising them first. These include Oprah, Will Smith and Jim Carrey.
Visualising helps you to focus on a goal. If you can find just ten minutes a day to meditate and visualise the things you want to achieve you will increase your chances of achieving them.
Most people don't think too far beyond the next couple of years. Those that do are at an advantage. Of course you shouldn't live so far in the future that you cannot enjoy the present. That said, thinking about and planning for the future is enjoyable in itself – Just do it!
"Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible." Cherie Carter-Scott
For 2 years until early 2014 I wrote a weekly personal finance and business column for Malawi's leading media house, The Times Group. The target is middle-class, working African women.
This is a reproduction of the articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Malawi News.