Depending on your life stage, this is a question you will have answered or at least considered before, just in a different context. No-one I have ever met believes it’s not important to think about creating a nest egg ready for the years in your life when you no longer want or need to work.
When you’re young, it’s easy to ignore advice from the financial experts who would suggest you ‘start investing early’ and instead tell them you have lots of years left to save. Maybe that’s true, but they would still prompt you to think about the kind of retirement you want to have because the number of years saving that you rack up, will have a significant impact on your over 65 years old quality of life.
The same principle applies to your physical pension. By this I mean the investment you are making on a weekly and monthly basis to stop your human body from deteriorating every time you take another lap around the sun.
Depending on your desired lifestyle, financially you might need somewhere in the (very broad) region of £500,000 to £1,000,000 to retire and maintain the standard of living you enjoy.
But what does the physical pension equivalent look like? In the same way you need to determine the kind of financial retirement you want, you also need to decide what physical capabilities you want in the latter years of your life. Do you want to be 70 and chair-bound or 70 and still out there living life to the full?
Let me tell you what my physical pension plan is.
I turned 40 in November. I have a nearly 4-year-old and my wife and I are expecting baby number 2 in March. Karen and I have been married 13 years and we waited a long time to start a family. That means that when I think of the things that are important to me and what I want our family life to be like, I have got to be very clear about what my physical pension investment strategy consists of. For example:
I’m now crystal clear on my training ‘why’ and as such the type and style of the training I choose is now largely directed towards these things. That doesn’t mean it becomes boring and unchallenging. It just means that it becomes more generalist and less specialist.
Like putting some cash in a separate account on a regular basis, investing in your physical pension is not difficult, it just requires some discipline and direction.
You need to train in a way that:
These are some of the first principles of any well-functioning human movement system. It’s not complicated but so many forms of training don’t tick all the boxes. If you want to participate in all the things that you love about life for the rest of your life, aim to get all of these things into your training programme on a regular and consistent basis.
Just as with finances, there is always an opportunity cost and how you invest your training time is exactly the same. I could name any number of difficult physical things to pursue and achieve. A marathon time, a deadlift PB, a high-level calisthenics skill. There is nothing wrong with working to achieve these things now and in themselves, they will help with your physical pension investment. But always be aware of the opportunity cost. What are you sacrificing? The truth is, it is rarely possible for most people to have it all.
Despite the fitness industry’s seeming desire to promote the ‘more is better approach’, believe me, there is no long-term glory in beating your body up and excessively grinding it down over and over again. Don’t award yourself with a worthless badge of honour because you’re in pain all the time but ‘at least you still turn up and get the work done’.
This would be akin to spending all your cash on material possessions now and leaving nothing for your older years. No financial advisor will tell you that this is a good idea, and as your physical advisor, I’m echoing that sentiment.
I’ve been down the road of pushing relentlessly towards a goal. Yes, there is satisfaction and joy at the end of it but it comes at the cost of something else. My calisthenics performance improved but my life performance, my ability to be free of pain, to move well, to say yes to movement and physical opportunities with confidence diminished.
At the start of 2021, I want you to spend some time thinking about your physical investment strategy like you do your financial one. Understand your ‘why’. Why do you train and what is important to you in the long-term?
For me, it’s simple.
I want to be old and awesome.
So for that to become my reality, I’ve decided to double down on my physical pension investment plan now.
If you want to make a commitment and start investing in yourself now, we have made our annual memberships even better value with a 25% discount!
That means for a standard package you get access to loads of training programmes that will help you to move better, get strong and have more fun for only £74.25 (was £99) for 12 months.
Don’t wait, start playing the long game now and be that absolute hero your friends, family and everyone else who sees you smashing life after 70 will look at and say ‘when I get old, I want to be that guy/girl’.
Get yourself set up with all the training programmes and support you need to move better, get strong and have more fun in the year ahead with a great discount on an annual membership.
Standard Annual Membership now only £74.25 a year (was £99) + V.I.P Annual Membership now only £187.50 (was £250). Offer ends 31 January 2021.