An Epic Retirement

An Epic Retirement

In 2017 I completed the Cape Epic. My partner and I both got our finishers’ medals and I am even more pleased to say that my fundraising project for my nephew Eduan yielded the superb amount of  R 70 400.00. To those of you who donated anonymously,  I thank you very much.

The Parallels

My experience of completing the Cape Epic has highlighted a number of parallels between the journey to complete the Epic and the journey to retire comfortably. The first similarity is that both endeavours require a detailed plan. When planning the Epic we had to plan training programs, nutrition programs, assess our goals, hire support for the race and plan our strategy. When planning your retirement it is imperative that both Husband and Wife have the same goals and expectations regarding retirement. Lifestyle risk is probably one of the most important risks that we face at retirement. Lifestyle risk is the risk that we will not be able to start at or maintain the lifestyle that we are accustomed to when we reach retirement. Unfortunately Lifestyle risk is affected by a number of factors some people start saving too late, some people don’t save enough and sometimes people don’t have high enough investment returns. All of these factors have an influence in how comfortably we can retire.

Retirement like the Epic also can have a longevity risk in the Epic if you take too long, you run out of time and they cut off your number board, in Retirement, whilst less dramatic, out-living your capital can have disastrous consequences, this risk has been exacerbated by the number of people taking early retirement and a general increase in life expectancy.

One of the biggest risks in the Epic was the effect of accumulated exhaustion forcing you to abandon or make a stupid mistake. In Retirement the enemy is inflation and the accumulative effects of inflation over a long time (Remember a number of people are in retirement in excess of 30 years).

In life like in the Epic, unexpected things happen and we need to prepare as much as possible but sometimes we just need to ride the punches, if you have prepared properly you can overcome a number of unexpected problems. As we see with epic events such as cabinet reshuffling in our country,  life will throw us many curve balls, we need to have a plan that will roll with these punches and have the best possible chance of reaching our goal of a comfortable retirement.

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