Weekly Thoughts 17 November 2017

I suppose at a simple level my job comes down to three things: Protecting people against dying too soon, dying too late, or being disabled while they still need to earn an income. Everything else is in between.

Dying too soon is easy to cover: life insurance. Disability the same, insure against it. But dying too late can be a problem, we cannot insure against it. We have to either accumulate enough wealth, win the lotto, or get our children to support us. There is a fourth option however… but better not spoken about.

For the dying too late thing…. there are two ways to deal with ‘retirement’, whatever we wish to call it – the event when our employment contract tells us to go, or when we’re not healthy enough to work, or when clients want to talk to someone younger. The first way is to live on what you have. The second would be to have worked until you have accumulated enough to live how you want to live.

For many, they won’t have the earnings capacity, or the time, to achieve the second. For the first – to live on what you have, it might mean living in a small cottage, with no car, but you might have your TV, your medical aid, a bicycle, a couple of dogs, and a cat, and the ability and opportunity to walk in a forest daily where elusive duiker move and where eagles soar. To this person, this could be peace and happiness, and all that is required.

Often peace and contentment are better achieved by the simple things of life.