An Alternative Retirement Plan (Part One) for the Brave, Daring, Purpose-Driven Souls
From time to time, we like to break conventions and rattle the cages. This is one of those times. For this blog, let's disturb the general understanding of retirement.
Ah, yes, retirement -- that elusive, long stretch of a goal come your senior years. In terms of our career life, retirement is the time to push up daisies. To depart from your workplace. To cease working. The big break. The big vacation. The check-out counter. The start of a happy reading time. The long movie binge...
The task here is that we should supposedly save our money for as early as possible to enjoy our later life.
Ultimately, retirement involves cashing in your chips--that is, hoping that your said chips would last you the remainder of your lifetime.
For financial planners, retirement planning is a must. So much so that following our recommendations for emergency funds, protection, and healthcare, retirement funding comes next inevitably. Oftentimes, financial consultants pitch retirement planning in the form of guilt-tripping.
But here's the kicker. Sure, retirement may be necessary.
Still, it shouldn't be understood as the be-all-end-all.
As always, there are options.
One is what should be called the "Purpose-Driven Financial Planning"
A disclaimer, however, is that this form of retirement planning is for those brave, daring, tireless, purpose-driven souls!
In other words, your mission in life is to make a difference in the world, and not just fall in line where the queue is.
Purpose-Driven Financial Planning involves a higher risk of an investment than conventional tips for retirement planning.
So proceed with caution.
First of all, let's clear the rubble of what retirement means.
Retirement simply means quitting the job you hate. Or at least tired of doing.
As such, quitting the job you hate by the age of 60 can be equated to some sort of an emergency. Because retirement entails losing your income and you have no means of supporting yourself and paying the bills.
Therefore, the situation calls for funding, which the retiree should have come up with during his working years.
The common mistake is that, oftentimes, retirement is understood as a goal. It shouldn't. If anything, retirement is a tragedy. An emergency situation.
In the book titled "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferris, retirement planning is described as no different from life insurance. You buy insurance to give you a hedge against worst-case scenarios.
If you retire because you're tired, or you hate the job, then that, my friend, is tragic. Even if you retire because you've reached the age of retirement, and then after that, you're languishing at home doing nothing. That's a tragedy.
Or, you're not doing the thing that you love by the time you retire... Tragedy.
So from this point on, don't look at retirement in your senior years as a goal or a dream. Do not get sold too much with retirement planning talk.
Because most of the time retirement planning is insufficient.
Funding your retirement planning may just be simple arithmetic. But it's a kind of arithmetic that involves the hardest real math you would ever have to deal with. In retirement years, you are up against the constant rise of inflation and monthly expenses. Either you will need to save as early as you can and work for it, or invest and diversify a ridiculous amount of money to keep up with the high cost of living.
Again, to quote, Timothy Ferriss, "most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living".
In a retirement that could span 10, 20, or 30 years, your purchasing power dwindles every year.
Ironically, if you want the math to work for you, you have to be one cold, calculated, hardworking machine focused only on retirement. Nothing else.
In all honesty, if you save too much for your retirement, you would be working too hard just for it. That goes with the saying, you’re not here on this earth to just pay the bills. You’re here to live life to the fullest—that means to live it with fulfillment.
So from this point on, let me just say, straight to your face that retirement planning has become nearly obsolete. It isn’t a fantastic idea—if anything, it is masochistic, sadistic, and prone to make you look 50 when you're just 40.
If you ask me as a financial planner, I believe in Purpose-Driven Financial Planning three times more than retirement planning.
Because I believe in people who still aim to pursue their passion and make a difference despite their age.
There, I said it.
What is Purpose-Driven Financial Planning all about?
Retirement should mean quitting your present work because you hate it. It doesn’t make you happy. It doesn’t make you fulfilled. So it is time to stop.
In other words, an alternative to retirement is transitioning to a work you love--a work you can transition to as early as possible--a work that you don' have to stop when you reach 60 (why stop doing what you love doing?).
My personal and professional theory is to transform retirement planning into something else. It should mean the pursuit of what you are passionate about. If you have to save money to fund your dream business or start funding its initial capitalization, then, by all means, do it.
Thus, purpose-driven financial planning comes after you have funded your emergency funds, protection needs, and paying your debts.
The goal of purpose-driven financial planning is to help you do what you love to do. If you need to quit the job you hate, if you want to stop working, your reason should be going after the thing that will find you meaning in your life. This could be doing a more fulfilling job. Or you're running a well-oiled business that you have a lot more time with your family than your desk.
Loving what you do could mean a myriad of things, but our plan proposes that you should become inspired entrepreneurs in the long run.
The only requirement in a Purpose-Driven Financial Planning is your passion? What do you think is your purpose in your life and in your society? What is your dream business plan?
In the next blog, we would discuss the power of purpose-driven financial planning.