It’s highly likely that you need a pension plan AND general savings – not just one or the other – and this doesn’t exclusively apply to global nomads, this applies to pretty much everyone. Whilst of course it’s possible to use a general savings product for your retirement planning, and even possible to use a pension plan for your general savings, the important thing to note is that they are different things, each designed for a specific purpose. And as with anything else, if you use the right tool for the task, you will get a better result. You can still succeed in your main objectives even if your financial plan isn’t fully optimised, but if you put in the time and effort to research your options, plan properly, and optimise your finances, you’ll be maximising the value of every single dollar you save, and be wealthier as a result.
Here is our summary of what the best-case scenario should be for both types – note how they differ:
The purpose of a pension plan is to focus on your medium-long term financial needs (depending on how old you are when you start, and/or how early you want to retire). It’s a commitment to Future You, and makes sure that you are financially secure (or at least not in poverty) at a time in life where not only do you not want to work, but also in many cases you simply cannot work, even if you wanted to. To succeed at retirement planning, you need to be disciplined, so it’s better to have a strategy that gives you something big to gain by sticking to the plan, and something big to lose by not sticking to the plan – it really helps to keep you on track whenever the temptations to spend the money on something else pop up from time to time. You need it to be safe and secure, and you need to be able to plan your future life without having to guess about how much money you will have to spend when you’re retired.
The purpose of a general savings plan is to make sure that you have got money put aside to cover a wide variety of short-term, medium-term, and long-term financial needs. It’s a way to make sure that your money is invested well and growing as much as possible, whilst also being available for you to spend on ad-hoc larger purchases or expenses as you make your way through life. To succeed at this, your plan for your general savings needs to be flexible enough for you to change your plan whenever your circumstances change, as well as being able to add one-off amounts when you need to, and withdraw one-off amounts when you need to, whilst still being invested in a way which makes you money, unlike keeping it in a bank account. You’ll want incentives to get into – and stay in – good savings habits, but you don’t want to lose anything big when your circumstances change and you need to change the amount you save, stop paying in for a while, or make a withdrawal. You need it to be safe and secure, and you need it to be flexible so you can fit your year-to-year financial arrangements around your life, not fit your life around your financial arrangements.
Can you see the difference? Despite having many similarities, the function that each one provides, and the purpose that each one serves, is actually quite different. Whilst many financial products could be used to serve both purposes, if you start combining different objectives into one solution, you’ll find that you’re compromising on some areas, for both objectives – which means that you are not optimising your finances, you are compromising your finances. That is not intelligent financial planning, and that is not maximising the value of every dollar you save.
To fully optimise your finances, you will need to segregate your different needs and objectives, and find an ideal solution for each one of them – and you may well have more than two different needs or objectives by the way, we’re just covering two of the major ones here which apply to everyone – so don’t look for a one-size-kind-of-fits-all, half-baked solution; look for the best way to achieve each specific objective in the most effective way possible.
That’s why, in addition to the pension plan highlighted at www.PensionsForNomads.com – which we think is the best solution for retirement planning for global nomads – our team also operates www.SavingsForNomads.com, which has what we think is the best solution for general savings for global nomads. Have a look at them both – what do you think?
In summary: A pension plan is better for retirement planning, and a savings plan is better for your general savings. When implemented properly, they don’t compete with each other – they compliment each other, and make it easier for you to achieve all your objectives, maximise the value of every dollar you save, and truly optimise your finances as a nomad.