I’m 25 and I could live to 100?

Yes, that’s right. In their book “The 100-year life”, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott write about living and working with a new normal as does an article in the Financial Times dated August 11, 2018, titled

“Adapting to the world of the 100-year lifespan”.

With enough evidence to support the trend towards longevity, one should be asking this question: can I afford to live to 100?

For a quick drive to a neighbourhood store, even the fuel in reserve may suffice. In stark contrast, if you are filling up your car for a return trip from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, a full tank may take you there but not back. Likewise, before you set out on life’s journey, don’t plan for a short drive, the journey is going to be a lot longer than you expect and it would appeal to common sense that not only would you have to store up and conserve fuel, you might need to re-fuel halfway.

More Evidence Closer to Home

In a recent survey by Manulife Singapore, titled “2 in 3 Singaporean retirees regret not planning earlier for retirement”, the survey found that “ the current average retirement savings among pre-retirees is S$423,000. When asked about the ideal savings needed to retire comfortably, most respondents indicated S$1.1 million, revealing an average retirement savings gap of S$677,000.”

The Millennial Advantage

Where saving and investing is concerned, there’s a difference between timing the market and time in the market. Starting early means you have time. Setting goals early means you would have time to learn from experience, to recover from possible mistakes from losses, and a whole range of advantages. Richard Hartung in Today Online wrote an article titled “Tip for millennials: Start early to accumulate your ‘first pot of gold’ where he gives a simple illustration “If you invest S$100 a month starting at age 25 and it earns 5 per cent interest a year, for example, you’ll have S$81,869 by the time you’re 55. Wait until you’re 35 and you’ll end up with just S$40,745.”

A 10-year head start in this case, essentially doubles your pot of gold. No one knows whether you can afford to live to 100. Medically, the probability is increasing. Whether you can afford to, get good advice and plan well, and you can live without regrets.

David Choo

Originally Published June 8, 2021 by David Choo Founder of PromiseLand Independent

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