Retirement = 65. Why? Let's rethink retirement.
When will we retire? How will we retire? Can we retire? After all, retirement is decades down the road, so why do we need to think about it right now? I mean, the rule is we gotta wait until we're 65. It's been drilled into our brains. Social Security even pushed it back to 67. Sweet.
As we are spinning on our hamster wheel, we need to concentrate on what to make for dinner, how to meet a deadline, or what Netflix series to binge-watch next. If there's any time, maybe we think about doing some laundry. Now you're living the sweet life.
Retirement haunts us. Instead of looking forward to it, we worry about it. We always see a photo of some elderly couple smiling with their grandkids. Maybe if their joints are working well enough, they are out on a golf range.
Since it is so far off in the future, most don't plan for it, including the people who have 401k's. On their first day on the job, they met with human resources, signed up for the company 401k, and checked that box. They never take control of it, and for that reason, they will be lucky to retire at age 65.
I've mentioned it before. We think we have to build up this nest egg, and once it is built, we have to guard it like Fort Knox. Remember, this nest egg is finite, so what if we live until we're 95, but you only planned to have enough for 85. That is not only dying broke, but that is also dying less than broke. We want to give our kids a bump, not saddle them with a burden.
Instead of worrying about retirement, or ignoring it, how about we embrace it. Even better, how about we completely rethink it. Retirement = 65 - Not!
Let's forget about storing our nuts and have the nuts spit out like an infinite Pez dispenser. Let's get ourselves set up and have that retirement running on autopilot.
With all due respect to that elderly couple in the photos with their grandkids, let's not put it off until our joints ache. Instead of looking at retirement like it is many years off, let's make retirement next year. Why not? Too aggressive for you, then let's make it 3 - 5 years.
And retirement looks different for everyone. It doesn't have to be on a beach sipping margaritas (though that would be nice), or a couple on a golf course (though that would be nice), or some guy surfing a sweet point break, in nothing but his trunks (though that would be really nice). Maybe it is just you getting up with some personal goals on your daily schedule. Perhaps you are starting a business, learning the piano, learning a new language, planning a year-long trip around the world.
And you don't have to worry about your nuts because you have your auto Pez dispenser, reproducing your income - even building on your wealth. It is no longer you on that hamster wheel; it is your money. You are no longer working for money; your money is working for you.
Excited? Inspired? One thing to mention. Money still doesn't grow on trees. Not to fret, though. We can make this happen, but you have to do more than just fill out the 401k plan in the human resource department because the 401k plan puts you on the 65-year-old program (if you're lucky). I should mention here that you can do more with your 401k than just invest it in that paltry mutual fund.
This retirement reimagined we are talking about allows you to systematically replace your earned income with passive income. It builds an engine that continues to produce income, even after your gone—no threat of negative income and the burden on your children. Now you are firmly net positive and once again enhancing your family's future.
So how damn it? How are you going to become financially free sooner than later? Start by working backward from the amount of money you need to live off each month.
Then, think of ways to generate passive income. It is all I discuss and inform about here on the blog and website. Generating income while we are sleeping, or riding a wave, or hiking a trail. Whatever it is, it can be done. These income streams can be generated by writing a book, creating an online business, or doing what we talk about here - investing in commercial real estate.
One note on the "freedom number" to retire. Let's say it is $10,000 to cover all your expenses. Think of it in increments. You will be surprised at how weight begins to unload once you reach, say, $4000. So give yourself milestones, and feel great about it when you reach those milestones. Once you get the passive income Pez dispenser rolling, you will see to start to see that income build, and life takes a nice turn.