When Neil Armstrong touched down on the lunar surface and said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, his words reverberated around the world and touched lives across borders and generations.
The space race saw our species turn its attention to the stars and seek to travel beyond the confines of our planet. It’s a remarkable feat considering human civilisation is still in its infancy after only a few thousand years.
Recently NASA, and several billionaire entrepreneurs, have begun to explore the next stage of human space exploration — putting a man on Mars.
As far back as 2010, Elon Musk was quoted as saying: “I’m planning to retire to Mars”.
So, as the aeronautics industry begins to innovate once more, and commercial space travel becomes increasingly viable, might it be possible to retire to a Martian colony one day in the near future?
Read on to discover what you need to know about the modern space race before packing your bags for your retirement on the red planet.
The modern space race has seen multibillionaires reignite plans to land humans on Mars
For purists, who might have grown up watching astronauts and cosmonauts push themselves to the limit in a race between two superpowers competing for supremacy in the space industry, a modern race heavily featuring the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos might seem tainted.
However, money helps drive innovation and there aren’t many wallets as large as theirs. Besides, money has always played a part in human exploration. When vast ships circumnavigated the globe and discovered new nations, they did so with the hope of profiting from new resources, treasures, and land acquisitions uncovered.
Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’s Blue Origin have joined NASA in making concrete steps towards landing human beings on Mars after decades of mooted plans.
After successful launches of their new generation of rockets, attention has been turned to the next natural steps towards reaching Mars. This has involved:
- Revisiting the Moon to establish a base, which NASA’s Artemis missions intend to do
- Potentially mining asteroids for fuel and other resources
- Developing vessels capable of safely and (relatively) quickly transporting humans to the red planet
- Producing heat shields and other forms of cosmic PPE to protect future space travellers
- Expanding on current laser technology to produce long range planet-to-planet communications
- Developing sustainable habitats for the Martian surface — think 2015’s The Martian.
According to Nasa, these are realistic objectives that they are actively working towards with the agency currently planning a manned mission for the early to late 2030s.
As the race continues to progress, the commercial ventures have begun to consider how civilians might be able to travel to the red planet one day.
Commercial space travel is here and will only become more prevalent in the future
Until recently, space travel was confined to heavily trained individuals with years of knowledge and experience. However, commercial space travel intends to open up the doors to average people to venture out beyond our planet’s atmosphere.
Firms like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic intend to take passengers into Earth’s orbit, and potentially down the line to the Moon or beyond. Blue Origin has already taken everyday people, albeit very wealthy and connected ones, into space with Star Trek’s William Shatner taking one such voyage.
Elon Musk intends for SpaceX to eventually ferry human passengers back and forth between the Earth and Mars as human beings settle the planet and populate rudimentary Martian colonies.
Currently it is a trip with a lengthy and limited waiting list and a price tag that, according to the New York Times starts somewhere around $450,000. It is likely that the first few commercial colonists on Mars will need to pay far in excess of that for the privilege.
It is quite a potential financial obstacle to overcome, but there are a few vital steps you can take to ensure you are as well prepared as possible if the opportunity should arise.
A smart financial plan can help you to meet your long-term goals and unlock your desired lifestyle
If you want to retire to Mars, you’ll need the necessary funds in place, that much is assured.
The way you go about generating the amount of wealth needed to reach your long-term goals and unlock that Martian lifestyle can involve various “tools” that financial planners like to utilise.
Perhaps the main provider of retirement savings is your pension pot. It is vital that you don’t simply rely on the State Pension to provide your retirement income as it will fall short of the £31,000 a year needed to support a luxury retirement here in the UK, back on Earth, let alone what Martian outgoings might end up being.
Regularly contributing to a private pension scheme can not only save a sizeable figure for your retirement but can also have the added benefit of the “free money” that is your employer’s contributions, the tax relief associated with pension schemes, and the “compound interest” that is generated over time.
You can add further to your pot if you happen to have misplaced a pension scheme over the course of your career. Tracking it down could unlock an unexpected windfall.
After accounting for any emergency savings requirements, moving surplus funds into a portfolio of diversified investments could be beneficial. Over periods of 5, 10, or 20 years, stock market investments tend to deliver positive returns for investors.
Read more: Why the stock market is not the economy
Finally, it’s likely that any voyage across the solar system will have its high levels of associated risk. So, making sure to carefully consider your estate, complete your will, and take out some valuable insurance will probably give you some added peace of mind on your journey.
According to the Independent, Elon Musk’s current timeline for a manned mission expects to reach the red planet in 2029. Let’s just hope that whoever gets their first, there first words resonate as much as Armstrong’s, and aren’t along the lines of “Subscribe to Amazon Prime” or “This mission was in collaboration with Tesla”.
Get in touch
Life is richer when it builds towards achieving your dreams. If you have any wild aspirations such as retiring to Mars, the best first step is assembling a carefully structured plan aimed at helping you meet your long-term goals and unlocking your desired lifestyle.
For more information on how we can help you get there, please contact us at email@example.com or call us on 0345 505 3500.
This article is no substitute for financial advice and should not be treated as such. To determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances, please contact us.