I had my retirement all planned by the time I was 35. At that time I was the manager of a Wal-Mart store making a decent salary, Wal-Mart stock was splitting every two years and the company had a nice profit-sharing plan. If the company stock growth continued at anywhere near the same rate, I calculated that I could retire by age 55 with over a million dollars in my profit sharing account. Then I planed to buy a RV and travel the country with my wife, bugging friends and relatives and taking our future grand kids on trips. When we weren’t traveling I could read, write, play music and work at whatever interested me at the time.
Things didn’t work out according to plan. I’m 55 and I don’t have a million dollar profit sharing account or own an RV. Years ago I revised my plan to working until 60 before I retire. Then the age went to 65 and finally to 70. I scrapped the whole idea of getting an RV. Last year when I read some stories about Charlie Terry, Wal-Mart’s second oldest worker at age 93, I joked with my wife that I would probably have to work longer than that before I would be able to retire.
Recently I discovered that the problem wasn’t with my retirement plan, the problem was that I thought I needed to wait until retirement to travel the country, take the grand kids on trips, and work doing what I like to do. Like most people, I believed that I needed to work 40+ years for companies with 401k plans. I believed I needed to wait until my financial planner and tax adviser determined I had saved enough money to retire comfortably. We all believe this because it is what we are taught from the beginning of our careers. Even teenagers have the company 401k plan explained to them during orientation. Google search retirement planning and you will find thousands of websites offering tools to help you calculate how much money you will need to retire, how much money you need to save each month to reach your retirement goal, and how to invest your money in retirement accounts.
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving money for the future. I’m just saying that there is a way to live the life you dream of now even while you are saving for the future. The internet holds the resources you need to escape the conventional way of thinking about work and retirement. In future postings I will share my experiences with you and show you the resources I have used to start transforming my life. I will show you how to:
- simplify your life and unclutter your home
- rediscover your interests and your passion for life
- rearrange your finances and reduce your expenses to make a career change possible
- use the internet to turn your interests and passions into a means of supporting yourself and your family
If you have any interest at all in living your dreams of the future now, then please take the time to investigate the resources that will be discussed in the near future. Please take the time to leave comments or to ask any questions and share the link to my blog with anyone you think may be interested.