I picked a guy up in my cab today. He was maybe 70 years old. He skipped up into the seat next to me.
‘You going to the clinic mate?’ I asked.
‘Yes that’s right son’ he replied.
‘Nothing serious I hope ‘ I continued.
‘Just blood cancer son. They’ve given me 18 months’ he said with no emotion.
I struggled to find the next words to say. Finally I said ‘you seem to be taking it well’.
‘Well, all of us die son, I just know when’.
We continued talking and he told me how he’d lost his wife to cancer 7 years ago, and his daughter to drink more recently.
We pulled up to the clinic. He said thanks and went to get out of the cab. I couldn’t let him go without shaking his hand, so I said ‘Morris’. He paused, and seeing my outstretched hand he shook it. ‘See you the other side mate’ I said. I don’t mind telling you I choked a bit. ‘He looked at me for a second and said ‘thanks son’.
Most of us believe we’ll live forever and live our lives accordingly. Not Morris. He had 18 months – tops.
I sometimes lie on my left side when getting ready to sleep, and I can feel my heart beating. It’s like a clock. A clock that will stop some day. It’s a comforting sound, but often I’ll quickly turn on my right side, scared that I may hear the clock stop.
It’s easy, especially when we’re young, to believe we’re immortal. In denial of the fact that we’ll all eventually die. It’s also easy to believe that retirement, when one’s income from work ends, is years away and we’ll have plenty of time to invest for that eventuality.
The reality is that the ‘work’ clock is ticking, and like your heart, will eventually stop. The sooner you begin investing for your retirement, the wealthy and happier that retirement will be.