My mother told me that a bowl of laksa noodles used to cost $0.10 during her childhood in 1964. Today in 2018, it can cost between $2.50 to $7.50. I realised that the price has increased by at least 25 times during 54 years (6.26% inflation per year). Hence, I took out my calculator and showed her the following:
If the past repeats itself in the future, then it bodes ill for most of us. Our savings or insurance policy of $1 million in 2072 dollars is only worth $40,000 in 2018 dollars. People who rely on an annuity that pays them $1,500 a month will only be getting $60 in 2018 dollars.
Caregivers who wish to plan for the long-term welfare of their wards are advised to think of all the financial, social and technological changes for the past 50 years, before thinking ahead about what the next 50 years will hold. Most of the jobs we have today would have become obsolete, the fate of entire nations would have shifted drastically, the way people relate to each other would no longer be recognisable, the financial markets would be operating under drastically different conditions, and the skills required to be able to make a comfortable living would have increased tremendously.
Perhaps instead of just investing in financial instruments, it may be wise to also buy a plot of good land and teach their wards to farm so that they can feed themselves.