Recently, we stumbled across Black Mirror on Netflix. For those who haven’t watched it, it is a little like Tales of the Unexpected, crossed with The Twilight Zone, and a sneak preview into the secret rooms (if they exist) of Google and Facebook. It takes what technology / values / elements of society we already have, and moves it on just one step further – very thought provoking.
From basing your ability to do various activities or be admittred to places based on your ‘popularity rating’, to having sufficient credits, being able to blank people and be blanked out, and even pause and rewind what you have seen – Black Mirror has it all. Be warned though – there are some slightly more bizarre episodes (the one with the Prime Minister for example), but all are thought provoking.
It set me thinking the other morning, isn’t financial planning done right just like an episode of Black Mirror – and here is why…
Once we know how many of one credit we have (money), and how much of that we actually need (and plan for it) both now and in the future, surely we could trade the excess to buy us more of the other great commodity (time).
We are familiar with buying extra years in pension schemes, but what about buying extra years in life?
There is a saying that the wise man uses his money to save time, and the fool uses his time to save money, and that may well ring true.
What, if you could, at the end of your life, use some of your spare wealth to buy an extra five years (ok, that sounds space age, futuristic and fanciful)?
What if you could rewind, and go back to the years when you were fit and able enough to do things, but chose instead to work (accumulating more of the stuff you already had enough of)?
What, if you did some proper planning and modelling of your life and money, and you could do all this, by stopping work sooner – just at the time when you still had the money and health and time, enabling you to do all those most important things you ever wanted (but adult life and responsibility got in the way)?
It may sound like an episode of Black Mirror – trading money for time, but actually, we just call it Financial Life Planning – aligning what is important to you, with the ability to do it, not leaving it too late and having regrets which you can no longer do anything about.
The key, is to start doing this while you can, and never be left looking back saying ‘if only’.