What do you think of when you hear the word “retirement?” Do you think of traveling? Hobbies? Helping others around the community? Everyone’s retirement is going to look different, and it is how you define retirement that matters.
My wife and I started investing into the employer sponsored 401k / 403b accounts as soon as we started working our first full-time jobs. We didn’t know it at the time (since we hadn’t met yet), but we (separately) were intentionally working toward changing our financial future. Now we get to do this together. We have always taken the company match and at times have increased the contributions slightly. I once had an employer who matched 8% to my 3%! Even though it was above and beyond what I was contributing, they needed to use the term “match.”
We are not going to rely on the government to bail us out down the road. Yes, Social Security is a thing, but it may not be there in 20-30 years. In fact, it may not even exist when Baby Boomers begin to retire in the next several years! We stay allergic to debt because we know that debt is robbing us of our future. Plus, we want to ensure that our children grow up knowing that they were raised on the foundation that: debt hinders wealth.
Most people don’t want to get rich/wealthy slowly. People are out for the “get-rich-quick schemes” and playing the lottery hoping to win big. The lottery is a retirement plan for people who don’t know math! I hate to break the news to you, but the government takes 25% of your winnings. On top of that, most people that win the lottery have no plan for their money; once they win the huge lump sum, they end up becoming broke within a few years by spending it all.
Dream big. Retirement doesn’t have to be the end of your story. It can be a celebration of the hard work you put in for decades and the patience you endured to get to this point. It should be a culmination of multiple choices/sacrifices made along the way and you should be able to look back with no regrets. Plus, retirement does not mean you have to stop working. Perhaps you have a hobby that you want to bring some income on the side while you reap the benefits of compound interest.
**Retirement is a number.** Read that again. There is a new trend happening in today’s day and age. F.I.R.E. = Financially Independent, Retiring Early. People are waking up to the fact that they need to start their retirement as early as possible. Also, they don’t want to work 40 years just to enjoy 14-15 of them. They want to retire early so they can enjoy closer to 20-30 years of retirement. Since they know that they have to hit a particular dollar amount to retire, they are choosing to work extremely hard now (with 2-3 side hustles or part time jobs), investing more of their paycheck now, in order to live a better life later.
Our number is $1.8M. If we follow the rule of 72, we should be into the millionaire net worth before the age of 50. Your number can be completely different. I’ll leave you with this: work the plan. Put in the time. Avoid debt. Build wealth. Enjoy retirement!!