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This Week I Helped

My childhood friend recently took up a new role in my town. I helped to roll over his 401K. Yes, my friend trusted my judgment in an important decision in his life. Most importantly I know this is the right thing for my friend. This is the best ever help I can offer to my friend. For him, it was just like moving from one account to another. But for me, I know that my friend will have a secured retirement. He might thank me. But he will remember me to his sunset. That is a great satisfaction for me.

As an entrepreneur, I had pitched to thousands of people about my startup. Everyone would ask me what is your value proposition. I would say 10X of this and that. Some of them we impressed, some were not. When I was planning for retirement, I was blown away by the sheer numbers and money that we need to match for our retirement. It is very likely that both husband and wife would survive beyond 85 and one of them will live to see 91st birthday. If we retire at 65 we would live more than 20 years after that. All the money that you can save would last for only 10 years. What will happen after 75? That question bothered me! Heck with the value proposition. If I can help solve this problem I would have added tremendous value to my community.

When pitching to VCs I learned a few things about risk management. VCs first priority is to manage long-term risk. The second is to manage short-term risk. For long-term risk, they throw money at the problem. For short-term risk, they entice skillful people to solve it. (Now you know why Silicon Valley is what it is?) We all throw away our money in 401K to solve our retirement problem. Now ask yourself what you are doing in the short-term? Can you do anything better than that with your money? I was asking the same question for the last 15 years. Finally, I could arrive at a few right solutions. Now you can have that knowledge at the tip of your finger.

Bill Gates uses a similar approach when he tries to solve climate change, energy, pandemics, and malnutrition. Yes, it is true that malnutrition has a big impact when the population grows up. What malnutrition is for kids is what lack-of-money for self-esteem in retirement. The good thing is it is a very solvable problem. Everyone can solve their retirement puzzle if you can plan properly. Take help. You would not regret it.

You might be asking, it such a big problem that I should spend my effort to think about it. Yes, it is a big problem. Our previous generations did not experience it. It is #1 trends to watch in Megatrends for 2030 published by MIT. If you allow me to anticipate it will still be #1 problem in 2030’s list for 2040 as well. This demographic shift of more than a billion people over the age of 65 is pretty huge. This problem is many times bigger than the jobs that AI would replace. Allow yourself to sink in for a minute.

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