This Is The Really Unusual Way I Build My Pension
A lot of people talk to me about their fear of taking risks, and think that I take a risky approach to living my life . They say, “I wish I could live the way you do, but I have a mortgage and school fees to think about. I have to save for a rainy day and make sure I have enough money for retirement.”
You see, what’s funny is that I consider their so-called ‘safe’ approach to be far riskier than the way I live. Apart from the fact that I am unemployable and couldn’t live like that even if I wanted to, there are actually huge systemic risks that society never seems to see.
You only have to look at the credit crunch in 2008 to see this dynamic at play. Much of our pension money these days relies on assumptions that most of us take for granted. These are beliefs that you need to knock yourself out to acquire material possessions and money – to gain financial security, a pension and savings. To have money in the bank or other financial investments.
As a provocation, I ask you the following two questions:
How much would your pension be worth if the traditional currency system collapsed?
How would you be looked after if our current Governmental system collapsed?
To convince me to take the traditional route, the world financial and governmental systems would have to be built on the same platform for the next 30 years and have steady increases. Given the unsustainable state of the US Dollar and Euro, I personally doubt that they will last 10 years! Since many governments are, to all intents and purposes, broke – I struggle to see how we can sustain our current structures in the long term. The numbers just don’t add up.
Then, on top of all this, add the unstoppable progress of technological innovation and you see that it is a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ these systems collapse. Look at how the internet has changed our lives. Look at how mobile technologies transform our experience still further. We take it for granted these days, but each new wave of technology comes faster and faster. And each new wave of technology is causing disruption.
This disruption might have started with things like the music industry, but the impact of technological change is spreading wider. From the Arab Spring to Bitcoin, there are patterns emerging that may seem trivial and solitary today, but are set to be powerful dynamics in the machinery of the future. Neither the mobile phone nor the internet were expected to be so significant in their early days, remember!
At the moment, we live in a system built on blind confidence in ‘what usually happens’ or ‘the way of the world’. Confidence in banks, and pensions and property providing security for the future. But such confidence can disappear very quickly. If that happens, the value of what we have and what we own can disappear just as quickly.
As a result of such awareness, I don’t really focus on building short term income for possessions I don’t need, nor on increasing financial investments for the future. Provided that there’s food on the table, that my family and I are happy, and I can say yes to most things I want to do, then everything else is fine.
I create sufficient personal space to invest my time in doing two vital activities that go hand in hand together. And the wonderful thing is that I really enjoy them! They are:
1. Building and Developing Strong Relationships
For the last few years, I have spent most of my time doing these things and the results speak for themselves. My knowledge and my network are both increasing exponentially. My life is just what I want it to be. I am happier than I have ever been. I would like to think that I achieved this by design, but I would be lying. I stumbled upon it through experience
These days, I get to hang out with some of the most incredible minds on the planet, either in person or through their work. The more I learn from them, the more I realise that I am building one of the strongest pensions there is. My future is increasingly more secure through taking what others consider to be risks! And I get to really enjoy myself doing it.
You see, statistically, most wealth is created by people in their late 40s and 50s and doesn’t actually come from the savings they accumulate. It comes from the relationships and knowledge they have built up in their lives.
So, in this case, why spend your time earning money for pensions or property at return rates of 5% and 10% with potentially huge systemic risks, when you can increase your knowledge and networks with much, much higher rates of return?
Rather than acquiring money and saving in your 30s, why not spend every day networking and learning? You will make much more in your 50s than if you had starved yourself of networking and knowledge by working hard for every penny. And if you’re older than 30, start learning and networking now to build up your own alternative investment in the future.
What good is money rotting in accounts? Look at how you can invest your time, energy and money into experiences that will revolutionise your thinking, your attitude, and your life.
I use my ever-increasing knowledge to help people in ever-increasing ways and through this, I develop social capital. I have a huge, feel-good pension pot of social capital. And believe me, social capital is a much more robust investment than traditional capital!
Let me explain. Thanks to my heavy investment in social capital, whenever I need help, someone is there. Whatever I need, I know someone who will give it to me. Whatever has to be done, someone will do it for me. Wherever I want to go, I know someone nearby, to visit and spend time with.
You, too, can find an alternative to the traditional, risky, ‘risk-averse’ way of doing things. You can find a better way by thinking out of the box. Do not constrain yourself!
This Is The Really Unusual Way I Build My Pension
So I challenge you:
- to think differently about your future.
- to question what’s taken for granted as ‘the way things are done’.
- to invest in yourself – it gives one of the best returns in the market!