I for one am not enthused about the idea of retiring. I have seen what happens to these folks. Going from being productive and needed to sedentary and ignored is not good for the soul or the body.
Of course, I love what I do. Not everyone does. If I were still driving for UPS, I would probably crave the peace and quiet of retirement to the mayhem of high-pressure package delivery. In that dismal scenario, I would be facing at least two or three decades of life without a job. What would I do?
What would YOU do?
Let’s assume you are confident that you have a good retirement plan, and then please allow me to screw that all up for you. You have worked a long time to build up enough wealth to live reasonably well without working. Love your job or hate it, you look forward to not having to show up.
As you start to pull money out of your retirement fund, a funny thing happens. Everyone else does too. In fact, at age seventy-and-one-half, all of us are required to start withdrawing. The government wants all those taxes you wisely avoided in earlier years. Somewhere around the year 2017, the numbers get screwy. We baby boomers (I am in my Year of the Bicycle–same as the number of playing cards in a deck) will be retiring in droves.
What does this portend? Nothing good, as far as I can tell. Our current woes will look like a fender-bender compared to the spin, crash, and burn of the not-so-distant future. Hang on, though. There is a solution.
First, let’s figure out what the real problem is. We work now to have money now and also to have money later. Having money later assumes that there is a place we can put it. Were we to put cash in a safe for thirty years, we would withdraw it to find it has much less purchasing power than when we put it in. In fact, at only 2% inflation, it would lose half of its purchasing power during that time.
If we were to put it in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, the usual instruments of employment-based plans, we might beat inflation by a little. Then again, maybe not. Last year saw millions of people clobbered by the drop in the stock market. If millions of people start selling stocks in a few years, the price of stocks will go down–a lot.
So, back to what you are going to do when you retire. How about running your own business? Having a business will do two things. First, it will keep you out of the bars and pool halls. Second, it may just be the answer to your financial security.
Be smart, though. If you wait until you retire to start thinking about your business, it will take way too long to realize a significant income. Start now. My online course on New Business Fundamentals (entrescape.com) takes you through all the steps you need to take to start a part-time or full-time business.
Remember, we all need something meaningful to do no matter how old we are. Having a business you love to do will not only bolster your standard of living in your retirement years–it may just make them golden instead of rusty.