Good morning, and welcome to Money HQ from The Herald.

This newsletter has just turned 1! To celebrate, I’m going to share some of my favourite pieces from the early days, as you may not have read many of them.

The below was originally published 22nd May 2023.

I’ve been reading a book called Outlive by Peter Attia recently.

Peter is a doctor in the US who specialises in longevity and focuses his work on two things; lifespan (how long you are alive for) and healthspan (the quality of your life). He explores the research and history of discovery and treatment in the most common fatal diseases and how we might take action to reduce our risk of these events, increasing the length of our lives, and the quality of them.

He defines healthspan effectively as the quality of one’s life; can they still move well, enjoying the things they enjoy, in the last decade of their life?

Read more:

Money HQRetirement has changed radically in the last decade... how?

He writes about how taking preventative action when you are young can mean that we may not develop these conditions until much later in life, if at all. Taking proactive early action can bring about better outcomes in later life. That speaks to me professionally. I vividly remember my dad talking to me at 16, telling me to save some of my meagre wages. I’m certain many of you will either remember this talk or have given it recently to your own young person. Your young person might be a little older now, in their 30s, perhaps with children. You might be the 30-something-year-old reading this.

The demise of final salary pensions, and the difficulty of getting on the property ladder means that the millennial generation will be the first to be worse off than their parents. Even if they want to take proactive early action, they are likely unable to. Rising mortgage rates, and costs of energy, childcare, and food means that often the very time they need to take action, they’re unable to.

This can have significant impact in later life, making it harder to achieve the financial goals they’ve set themselves, and the financial freedom we might equate with Attia’s ‘healthspan.’ Clearly someone can only enjoy the things they love in their final decade if they have the financial resources to do so. There are enormous challenges to this for those under the age of 40 just now.

Read more:

Money HQWhy do we find it hard to save for our future self?

This is where a conversation within the family might help. The bank of mum and dad is already one of the UK’s largest lenders. Parents and family members are often willing to support their children with getting on the property ladder but, if resources allow, there is so much more they could do. Branches of the family tree with more money than they need might consider gifting or lending some of that to those with less than they need, for example funding long term savings for a younger generation or meeting the cost of care for an older one. In my experience, those families who are open to working together have great individual and collective outcomes and are all better off as a result.

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A quick story. In July 2016, the game Pokemon Go was released. The stock price of Nintendo rocketed as the game took off and received worldwide publicity. The only problem with the share price rocketing is that Nintendo didn’t make the game; they didn’t expect to profit much from it and had already included the money they did expect in their forecasts. They had to release a statement to tell investors this, such was the excitement about their stock. It promptly fell off a cliff as investors realised their mistake. It didn’t stop millions of people around the world downloading the game and attempting to ‘catch ‘em all’ though.

Given the continuing volatility in markets, this is a useful reminder that things aren’t always as they seem.