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Plan for Early Retirement and Life - Part 7 Long Term Planning

By The Contender @The__Contender

Plan for Early Retirement and Life - Part 7 Long Term Planning

Blue sky thinking (Chamonix France)

PLAN.AHEAD: "MUFF I'm old and tired, my hell raising days are behind me but I am not finished yet! The years have provided wisdom, I want to pass my knowledge on to you before my time on this world comes to an end" (cough, cough, cough) "You can win the title but you have to be beware of THE.FUTURE. He is young, strong and very imaginative. He has all the surprises in the book, you cannot anticipate his next move but you can be prepared"

MUFF: "I can change, please mentor me, I can learn how to master THE.FUTURE!"

PLAN.AHEAD: "You are eager, that is good, but lack wisdom. Wisdom takes time but work at it, day and night, focus, listen, learn and you will become worldly wise faster than you think. Now to THE.FUTURE; he cannot be mastered merely controlled and manipulated to your advantage. You must use that mush between your ears! Anticipate his moves. Plan ten, twenty, one hundred moves ahead, be always prepared to change plan. 
Then what about the next fight and the fight after that? They are all going to have different challenges. What are your going to do as your powers wane, what is your plan for after THE.FUTURE?
“Start with the end in mind. ”
Stephen Covey
Last time on PERL we looked at Medium Term Planning (next 3-5 years). In particular we had a look at Investment Portfolio Management and Personal Development. In this penultimate post in the PERL planning toolkit series let's have a look at the long term (5 - 30 years). 
The PERL Series So Far:

Project MUFFLER (My Unconventional Freedom Fight For Life and Early Retirement) to create PERL (Planning For Early Retirement and Life) Tool kit

MUFF - What does Early Retirement, Lean and Maslow have in common? - Introduction to the PERL Model

Part 1 - The Budget MUFF Tribe Spending 2012 and a look at the decision to rent – Top Post!

Part 2 - The Investments - MUFF Investment Strategy (Active Investor) and some of the investments

Part 3 - 18 Life Rules & Future Planning - Key Rules for the PERL planning tool

Part 4 – Building a Strategy - The PERL Strategy sheets (Goal setting and calculations) and Guide

Part 5 – Short Term Planning - PERL Tools for planning the week / month (using a Spreadsheet, Whiteboard, Pen and Pad)

Part 6 – Medium Term Planning – PERL Financial Planning Sheets - Financial Planning Sheets and Personal Development Checklists

Part 7 – Long Term Planning

Part 8 – PERL

Long term Planning for the Tribe
We have a long term plan for the next 20 years.
SPEND.IT.NOW says: "Why look so far out? You can't plan that far! Live in THE.PRESENT! Have lots of fun. The proverbial bus could be around the next corner waiting for you - LIVE FOR TODAY. Really though can you live thinking your days are numbered? Living only in the NOW is at the EXPENSE of THE.FUTURE."
As covered in THE.PRESENT post there is a lot to be said of living your life but not to the detriment of future prosperity.
But doesn't spending money you don't have today mean it has to be paid tomorrow with interest. What are you actually spending? TIME, YOUR TIME. Debt is a call on your time to re-pay it and this is typically through your own labor.
Same can be said of health enjoying too much wine (lovely stuff) today can have implications later in life.
So what can we do to make the long term easier? What is not required now? What can be saved and invested for the long term? What sort of things can you consider so far out 5-30 years? Here are our thoughts:
The Children's Education
The children are only 1 and 4 years old we have a long term responsibility to them. Time spent in education has extended considerably as has the children's reliance on the parents' financial support. Education to the age of 16 is actually a fairly new phenomenon in the world. Now it is NORMAL to add (do you need?) 2 years of college before 3 years or more in University.
That is twenty years for starters! What do they need to learn over these important development years of their lives? What sort of help parents ought to give?
"Historically, the family has played the primary role in educating children for life, with the school providing supplemental scaffolding to the family."
Stephen Covey
MUFF spent years in education, this had some good and not so good impacts. Overall MUFF found the education experience one of the best of his life. My decisions in THE.PAST - "Were the best decisions at the time" there is no time for regret :) What about the kids...
Children Challenges 
What sort of things are we planning to make sure the kids learn for them to succeed (how can we help them before they insist we leave them alone)?
  • Focus at a young age on gaining a real world career (engineer, doctor, judge, politics (local), researcher, artist (see the film wasteland), writer. This requires a higher level of study so University needs to be paid for - how do you minimize the costs for them?
  • Help them set up a small "kids" business. How to bring out the entrepreneur in them?
  • Where to live when they are young, teenage and university age?
  • Keep them out of debt, give them a financial independence education.
  • Introduce them to philosophy, debate with them, talk about the real world and shelter them from the consumerist nonsense noise that surrounds it
  • ........lots and lots to add here
It is easy to see from this short list that the MUFF Tribe needs to look further than THE.PRESENT!
"When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home's potential for positive influence."
Stephen Covey
There will be a whole series of posts on our view on educating the kids in THE.FUTURE
The Parents
With kids it is easy to become overly focused on them. We have real needs as well. An unfortunate fact in modern society is that many marriages break down. So what about mommy and daddy time?
For a strong marriage we need to ensure we have quality time together, just the two of us! We need to be challenged in our own unique ways, we need to exercise and look after ourselves, we need to enjoy ourselves.
MUFF is certainly no marriage expert. It has all been made up so far. We have worked hard on our relationship, both making choices with our careers to prioritize us and our family. We make sure we have time for some fun.
What is very important to us is quality time to just talk. Somewhere where there are not no distractions such as a hike in the countryside.
Other Considerations
What about the Grandparents? They are a wealth of knowledge and the kids love them. 
What about finances, where we will live in the future? 
We want to continuously learn, contribute to society and visit some of the amazing places which are on our doorstep. These are just a few areas to consider in the long term. Everyone has a unique list aligned to their own personal needs, desires and circumstances
A bit of long term planning should help us achieve our goals and aspirations.
Long term planning with PERL
Plan for Early Retirement and Life - Part 7 Long Term PlanningIn PERL there are currently two worksheets.
Worksheet one looks at exceptional costs, inheritance planning and a few check sums. It also includes a bucket list
  1. Kids, college, clothes, university.....£200,000 is the estimate to raise a child in the UK!
  2. Pensions: will you have enough or too much in retirement?
  3. Large purchases/ costs (cars and home repairs, that nice holiday?)
  4. Inheritance planning: do you have too much - can you give some away to the kids or charity?
  5. Bucket list - Fun time as we only live once (on this planet at least) - what do you "want" to do and see.
Worksheet two continues the theme of rules and checklists that lead to the long term habits. What habits are desirable?
Frugality, listening, automatic saving, continuous learning, exercise, healthy eating. You could argue that it is the achievement list - you have developed your own autopilot for your financially independent lifestyle and pursuit of your own personal happiness. So why consider developing habits at all?
Long term habits need a lot of practice and perseverance. Working backwards, from your end goals, helps to define the rules you want to follow and the stuff you want to learn (a checklist) to develop and master habits for life.
Frugality example
End goal to develop the habit - do not waste significant money on cheap frills / non essentials
Rules (short term)
  1. I will always wait several days before purchasing something above $200
  2. I will always shop around for the best deals
  3. I will always have a shopping list and stick to it
  4. I will drive efficiently
  5. ......and so on
Checklist (medium term skill building)
  1. I will learn how to cook from scratch / grow some of my own food
  2. I will learn how to budget effectively and adjust my living arrangements to be considerably less than my outgoings.
  3. I will learn how to save energy around the home and DIY insulation work I can do myself
  4. .........
Planning for our future?
Plan for Early Retirement and Life - Part 7 Long Term PlanningIt is human nature to fret about the unknown future. We live in more uncertain times than ever..... After 40 prosperous years, cracks are appearing in the grow at all costs model. THE.FUTURE and THE.PLANET are fighting back: 
Our money system is no longer a solid asset backed paper but merely digits typed into a computer. This is nothing new MUFF might add as there are many examples from history of monetary de-basement. In the past growth in the economy dug us out of the whole can it again?
The world population has exploded due to the abundant supplies of cheap energy and fertilisers. We need more and more food, water, clothes and housing on a finite amount of PLANET.
Now more than ever we need to plan ahead for a world that using up its resources at an alarming rate. Our population cannot continue to waste these valuable resources at a rapid rate.
We can help by getting our own house in order. Financial freedom combined with simple, happy living  reduces each individuals burden on the resources of THE.PLANET (such as no daily commute to work, eat locally grown healthy food). You are not reliant on "Aid" from the state to support your family.
Even if financial independence is not the end goal (MUFF understands that meaningful work is an important part of living) a better work/life balance (say 3 days work per week) will improve general happiness (more time to do what you want) whist saving resources.
MUFF believes the next generation will have a better lifestyle than ours. The caveat is that it will be very different than the consumer society we have today.
MINI.MINI.ME age 10 (in 2050) "My parents and grandparents were so wasteful. Why did they buy all that plastic junk and get into so much debt? They had to work so hard all their lives to pay for it? 5 days work a week for 40 years - they were mad! Why did they become so obese, chaining themselves to all of those gadgets?" discussing life whilst camping on a rocky outcrop with his mates. "Let's make sure we get home early tomorrow to watch the Mars colonization landing and I have got to get on with my teleportation project"
Here is to peace and prosperity in THE.FUTURE
Welcome New MUFF Readers! Take a look around. Find out who MUFF is or Start at the first article, browse the all posts or just go for a Random Post. Please feel free to play with the FREE planning tools and checklists.
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