Earning is the first of the Four Autonomies to give you a Second Bite of the Cherry
We’ve looked at Enlightened Thrift – how all the important things in life are free, and how you can survive – and thrive – on less than you think.
Now it’s time to look at the first of the Four Autonomies – which will set you up to have a great next ten, twenty, thirty, forty or even fifty years of your life.
The Autonomies are about mindset. Mindset requires effort. If you don’t charge your smartphone, it won’t work too well. Similarly we need a source of electricity running through us to make sure we are in optimum condition to perform and take advantage of the second bite of the cherry, and not just trundle on trying to survive on a meagre pension, on a grey slide towards death.
Keeping Earning, even for a few hours a week, is important for 3 reasons:
1) It keeps you plugged into society
Earning doesn’t necessarily mean getting a job, but it does mean having work of some kind. It needn’t be full time – just something that brings in some money, and keeps you plugged into society.
You’ve got skin in the game. You’re not a retired spectator. You know what you are talking about.
2) It brings in some money if you need it (and many do)
A recent Old Mutual Wealth survey showed 21% of people retiring in the UK were still paying off their mortgages. And 30% were still in debt
However well off you may or may not be, having a source of income you generate yourself, gives some resilience against the unexpected. Every month something breaks down. It needs repairing or renewing. There is no end to the expensive unexpected things that Sod’s Law can throw at you.
Earning towards your Bucket List
And a few days holiday – or a trip to somewhere that’s been on your bucket list for too long – needs financing.
And don’t even think about medical or care home expenses that might be waiting for you down the road.
3) If you are retired you no longer have a job title.
In a world where you no longer have a job title, self worth replaces identity.
Retiring and losing the ability to say you are a “teacher” or a “government worker” when someone asks what you do, can leave you feeling wobbly. And it’s a feeling echoed by those working in the gig economy too – as fewer and fewer people have jobs with job titles that define them.
If we don’t have a reassuring job title to confirm our status and importance, self-confidence and a well founded self-regard need to come from elsewhere.
The same of course is true if you are unlucky enough to be made redundant. Not only may you not have a job title, it’s possible you don’t have a lot of money either.
Either way, an independent source of income will mean you will feel better about yourself. You will know you can hack it the modern work market. You will have value.
Keep Earning – It’s a Win/Win!
I’ll talk more about this – especially in relation to the gig economy (one potential source of income) – in my next blog. For now, let’s agree that income that you are creating, and are in control of, is a good thing to have.
Practising Enlightened Thrift is important, but having money coming in to protect savings and cope with the unexpected is hugely helpful in creating peace of mind.