The economics of risk versus age


I'm pretty risk-adverse. I tend not to take big financial chances. This becomes a habit, a way of life really. It makes sense if you are, like me, working in an industry with an uncertain future. Lowering one's exposure to the unforeseen creates a measure of stability.


However there is something to take into account here. Age. Saving makes sense, but not at the expense of experience. At a certain point, we have less time than money. One day from our expiry date, whatever excess we have in our savings account becomes worthless to us. I'm not speaking here of a legacy to offspring, which is a different set of problems to consider.


If one day before our deaths we have more money than we can use, those resources devalue to zero for us. One week before, the capital we've accumulated isn't quite at a zero value but close to it. There is probably an equation here we could follow, but the principle is simple: consider your own dissolution when you look at a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet doesn't include the word "death". It makes sense not to waste resources as a young person, and it makes sense to use those resources to facilitate experiences as you mature. It also makes sense to plan to have those experiences while you are still mobile and energetic.


Denial of death robs us of the ability to plan for a realistic future that includes the fullest appreciation of the beauty to be found in the world, and is an ignoble example to others.





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