Like most people, I don’t like to dwell on growing old. But two recent events in my life have forced me to think about it — clearing out my parents’ home and caring for my elderly mum, who sadly has Alzheimer’s. In fact I’ve found that simply getting my thoughts together on this difficult subject is proving a valuable exercise. As a new book by the journalist, broadcaster and Labour peer Joan Bakewell explains, old age is an important stage of life that needs planning for just like any other.
There was a song made popular by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians in 1949 with a chorus that goes like this:
“The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think”
Herb Magidson, who wrote the lyrics, had it right. We humans like to kid ourselves we’re younger than we are. The truth is, however fresh-faced we like to think we look, most of us over the age of 45 are closer to the end of our lives than we are to the beginning.
That should be all the reason we need to take Magidson’s advice and enjoy life to the full, seize the moment and treat each new day as if it were our last.
But there’s another lesson to learn here, and it’s this: if we keep pretending we’re still in our mid-30s, the danger is we never confront the reality that one day we’ll be old. As a result, we fail to plan, and by the time we realise what we should have done to prepare, it’s far too late.
How refreshing, then, it was to read Joan Bakewell’s new book, The Tick of Two Clocks. Bakewell, you may recall, was a distinguished BBC television journalist and presenter. A Labour peer, she’s now aged 88.
Her latest book is essentially a sequel to her memoir Stop the Clocks, published in 2016. It’s all about a journey she’s been on — the process of confronting the fact that she’s entered old age and that her health is likely to deteriorate in the years ahead.
ROBIN POWELL is the founding editor of The Evidence-Based Investor. He works as a journalist and consultant specialising in finance and investing, and as a campaigner for a fairer, more transparent asset management industry. He is the founder of Ember Television and Regis Media, and is Head of Client Education for RockWealth and Evidence-Based Advisers.
ALSO BY ROBIN POWELL
PREVIOUSLY ON TEBI
CONTENT FOR ADVICE FIRMS
Through our partners at Regis Media, TEBI provides a wide range of high-quality content for financial advice and planning firms. The material is designed to help educate clients and to engage with prospects.
As well as exclusive content, we also offer pre-produced videos, eGuides and articles which explain how investing works and the valuable role that a good financial adviser can play.
© The Evidence-Based Investor MMXXI