In an ideal world, everyone would have money that could be invested on their behalf at birth to take maximum advantage of the Time Value of Money.
In an ideal world, everyone could plan their lives knowing for sure that they would be around for a good long (ideally very healthy!) run… The example in my graph being 105+ years following on Impact Investing Tribute #3 to my inspiring relative, Alf.
Knowing the number of years we have to live with certainty would facilitate better (not necessarily easier!) tactical and strategic planning for individuals and governments. If you were to shorten the x-axis to focus on usual working years and average life expectancy, you would still see the negative correlation between the Time Value of Money and the Value of Time (assumed, based on the Law of Scarcity in this example). Of course a secure financial retirement is extremely important for individuals and living out our dreams is partially tied to our financial means. But as people age, in addition to relying on the luck of their genes and their lifestyle habits; a sense of purpose, friendships and a sense of humour tend to be at the top of the list of factors that support longevity and overall contentment.
So what does this have to do with Impact Investing? Impact Investments are based on intentionality. By definition, there is a purpose driving the targeted social and/or environmental returns (outcomes) delivered together with the financial return in every strategy. Retirees, especially later in retirement, are not usually looking for jobs but are looking for meaning. They have a lifetime of experience and - reflecting on the Value of TIME - they potentially have every incentive to share their voices when given the opportunity and invest in ways to make our world a better place for future generations aided through the widest toolkit possible of available solutions through Impact Investing.
Addressing the major social and environmental challenges of our TIME ideally calls for all hands on deck. Inclusion of as many people as possible, and actioning the best ideas across the private sector, government and civil society organizations. Wherever optimal, also through collaboration across these silos. We cannot afford “stranded assets” of human capital, and at every point of our lives at the very least our dignity and unique combined experiences allows everyone to potentially contribute something of value.
No matter what financial metrics you want to analyze and value, also periodically keeping in mind the Value of TIME as we move through TIME can sharpen our minds and the determination we have to make a difference.
Reflecting occasionally on the bigger picture of TIME can allow us to put into broader perspective the short-term battles and which ones are really necessary and worth fighting for and investing in, versus the longer term picture which will “win the war” AND allow us to laugh as Alf does at the age of 105 (or any age) for a life well lived including our contributions to the next generation.