19 March 2013

On Aging and Retirement

I recently had a meeting with my bank. The thing is, a few weeks before, they called me and said that they have a few recommendations about my financial health, and so they asked if I could come in for a meeting to discuss these options. Basically, they were telling me how my money isn't earning interest and they were suggesting some options so that it would.

Of course, I went to the meeting. I learned about plenty of things, about options I have in order to have my money productive. I learned about time deposits and what not, about percentages, I learned about the 2008 financial crisis, I learned about retirement funds, I learned about German banking systems and retirement benefits, and so the meeting consisted of me discussing my future, especially my future after I am 67, when I would be retiring.

See, I never actually thought about this topic before. Up until last summer, I was a student. I never thought further until graduation, and the immediate life after that. I thought about getting a job, about my future plans, but not until when I would be 67. Heck, that would be 2049.

So my bank explained to me what my options are. That is, if I set aside X amount of money from my monthly paycheck, how it would earn interest, and later on, I could use it to live further after I am done working. So I saw graphs, and whatnot. And yes, I do acknowledge that I should start thinking about this. So I am. It's just that somehow, I had a feeling that I am just starting things (yes, this is my first actual job after getting out of school, and to some degree, the novelty hasn't worn out yet), but I already need to think about things at the end.

One thought I had while I was in the meeting, was how more concrete this was. I saw exact figures pertaining to the money the German government would be giving me if I continue on paying German taxes and retire here later in life. Basically, it's some sort of paying it forward. I think I like that, and it is more concrete than say, religion. Where they want you to be pious for this life, so that you'll have a good afterlife. When no one is sure there's an afterlife in the first place.

(Staircase Detail, from my Cleveland Old Arcade Series)


  1. I don't really think about retirement, but I know for sure I won't be able to rely on a traditional pension funds, being a freelancer and all. Plus, really, I don't trust employers to make the best financial decision. So I'm saving money whenever I can, and it goes into a tax-free saving account. My own little piggy bank.

    1. Zhu,

      That's good. I think the important thing is that we have something set in place for the future, instead of using all of our resources in the here and znow. I have to admit that while I am not a lavish spender, I've never thought about this aspect of life until now.

  2. Retirement usually is part of our talk with colleagues at lunch especially since we're part of a worker's union. We don't pin our future on just Social Security benefits anymore (wonder where money would come from if the US government is having fiscal problems at this time?); rather we look at pension plans and things just like your bank has advised you on. It is wise investment NOW.

    1. TNP,

      Very true. I am just glad that there are services like the bank advisement that I received making people aware of these other options in life.