Five ways to screw up your retirement: a lifelong project
Step One: Spend money you don’t have
First of all, you probably want to spend lots of money. More money, in fact, than you’ve got in the bank.
Let’s say you’ve got a good job and you’ve found a place to rent in the Sydney or Melbourne market and you’re happy with your lifestyle. Why not crank it up to the next level by moving out of your flat, buying a bigger car on HP and maybe going on that overseas’ holiday. You know, the one you can’t afford. It’s OK because that’s what credit cards are for, right? Get some new luggage, and hit the road for the highlife. Don’t worry about paying off the card, get another card and use that to sort out the first card and you’ll be away laughing. Sure you’ll be paying for it later, but that’s what Tomorrow You has to worry about, right? Live for the moment.
Step Two: Spend money on things you don’t need
Have a think about buying some more stuff while it’s on sale. If you’re going on holiday, don’t forget to buy lots of things you just can’t get back home. OMG did I tell you the trick about taking a suitcase inside a bigger suitcase so you’ve got two for the return trip? Guaranteed winner every time.
Also, if you have more stuff than you’ve got space, get yourself a lock-up container to store your extra couches, beds, dressers, dining room tables and exercise gear in because one day you might need that extra furniture and hey, it’s only money, right?
Step Three: Join the gym
And get a wine club membership and subscribe to some online services that automatically renew every month or year and which you hardly use and get pay TV and never check your mobile phone bill or your electricity bill to see if you could get a better deal. Just don’t worry about that stuff. You’ll be happier not paying attention.
Step Four: It’s all too hard
Remember, you’ve probably got 20 or 30 years to go before you retire so you’ve got heaps of time left to sort that out. Or if you’re already in your 40s and saddled with a mortgage and car repayments and those credit card interest rates it’s still OK. You can just say it’s all too late and there’s no point starting now. After all, a little bit goes a long way when you’re old and surely the government won’t let you starve, right?
Step Five: I don’t really need to retire anyway
And let’s not forget, you probably won’t get to retire anyway, the government won’t let you. It’s all ages away so you’re sure they’ll have it all figured out by then and besides, your great uncle told you once that he hated retirement and missed going to work every day so y’know, this is the perfect excuse not to retire. Instead, you can always get a second job and deliver pizza or something like that in the evenings. Yeah, that’ll be fun.
Anyway, retirement planning is boring and it’s a long way away and I’m having far too much fun spending money now so let’s not look too closely at that bank statement, OK?
Paul Brislen is a former editor and tech junky who regularly pops up the telly talking rubbish about gadgets and the internet. Quite often, he says sensible things online, so it’s a good idea to follow him on Twitter @paulbrislen.All stories by: Paul Brislen