The idea (Part 1)
Retirement can be such a touchy subject for so many people. Nobody feels confident in their own investments, which is why they seek help from a financial advisor. Often people make the mistake of waiting until their 30’s or later to start investing. Heck, some people wait until an age that others have already retired.
The truth is time doesn’t lie, the older we get the closer we are to needing a less strenuous job. And that is true retirement! It isn’t about saying “that’s it I quit,” rather it is about doing something you enjoy every day. If tomorrow I was told I could start as a college professor teaching 3-5 days a week for two semesters a year, I’d start telling everyone I retired! I’d even be willing to take a cut in pay for it.
This is to say that retirement is what you make it to be, it isn’t the cliché quit working at 62 years old and do whatever you want until you die. In fact, who at 62 can really do whatever they want? By that point you might have illnesses keeping you back, grandkids to help care for, or just so scared you don’t have enough “money” that you do nothing all day.
Thus, you need a plan! Let’s say you want to retire at 62, and have a life expectancy of 95…so how are you going to spend these 33 years? If you’re like most people you’ll say, “I’m going to travel, work on hobbies, perhaps learn a new language, and spend more time with family”. Well…cool, you just nailed what you should be doing throughout your entire life!
Yes, I realize that might have been a bit harsh to say in big bold letters, but what makes that retirement? All those things previously mentioned are desires throughout life. Seriously, if you aren’t doing that today then you aren’t truly enjoying life at the moment. Those aren’t things to hold off until retirement for, it is what you SHOULD be doing now, ENJOYING LIFE!
Now I’m not saying you should only be putting in 3% to retirement and spend 12% on vacations just to enjoy life. Afterall we still need to be financially responsible. I’m just saying that for some people it is better to put in 10% to retirement, spend 5% on vacations and life, then maybe plan to freelance work from 62 to 72, then officially say, “that’s it I quit”.
It is okay to spread some of your retirement desires throughout your entire life. That’s what you should be doing, engaging in the moments as they come because they won’t be there when you actually do retire. However, you just need to plan for this, and that might mean working, in some capacity, longer than you expect.
The point is, enjoy your life because waiting for the last 30 years isn’t going to be the same. You can’t hold off cuddling your kid, watching them read a poem at school, or being there for their CIF game. Today will pass you by and you won’t ever get these opportunities again. Experience everything life has to offer, you only have one opportunity to enjoy each moment…
Stay tuned for the next post when we get into the numbers! Yes, how much should you be saving? What happens if you start at age 35 instead of 25? Should I be investing in a 401k, an IRA, or a Roth IRA? Heck, what is an IRA?!