The Game of Life


One of my favourite games when I was a kid was the Game of Life, don’t know if you ever played it? After sticking little pegs in a plastic car to represent partner and kids and landing on a square that determined your job, there came a point in the game, a day of reckoning, where you could either retire to the millionaire’s mansion or the country cottage. Anyway it got me thinking about how I might play that moment in my real life.

To tell the truth I didn’t really get how to weigh up the different annuity options at the end of the game. As a kid I would often opt for the country cottage just because it seemed like a cosier place to be. But I’m pretty sure there was another reason, I think you got more security there? I need to buy this game to play with my own children, but I googled the rules and found that:

If you retire at Countryside Acres,
collect 1 LIFE Tile. Your LIFE tiles
are safe! If the draw pile has run out,
players cannot take tiles from you
when they land on LIFE spaces.

So there was definitely more security and less risk in that cottage.The different retirement options baffled me, so the cottage seemed like an easy option.

Anyway fast forward to real life, just like in the Game of Life, I prefer low risks with my finances, but I married someone who is hell bent on the millionaire’s mansion. That day of retirement reckoning is getting closer, but I am not sure I am any closer to understanding pensions and how to calculate annuity.

I read recently you can get them with a fixed and a variable portion which sounds like a middle ground between the country cottage and the millionaires mansion to me. I need to put aside a day for a real day of reckoning. I still feel like that ten year old retiring to a country cottage, but twenty five years on and it is high time I made a plan to make that a reality!

What was your Game of Life strategy and has it played out in real life?

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