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.
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.
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.
What is Purpose-Driven Financial Planning all about?
Let us replace retirement planning with another plan—long-term, purpose-driven planning.
This might be controversial to some, or it might challenge conventional wisdom, but I believe that every person needs to pursue entrepreneurship—or at least make money for something he/she believes in, find it meaningful, passionate about, fulfilling, and is excited about every day.
Doing what you love to do cancels out negativity and the hard work that comes from trying to reach your retirement goals.
More importantly, doing what you love to do, fuels success for every other thing. Most people in business who really succeed are the ones who are most passionate about their work. They have a competitive edge (if you can call it that). By empowering what you already love doing, you are in fact creating wealth within you, so everything that comes out of you can multiply with ease and grace.
Financial planning when done in isolation or by a set of pre-conditioned goals—like saving for retirement, education, protection, etc. is like asking the client to save just for the sake of saving. Yes, you will also hear that financial planning needs goals. But what are goals without putting
You should be putting money where you should be excited. This is where we flip the script. Oftentimes, we distinguish between needs and wants. Needs are something that exists for your survival and comfort. Want is something you buy for your enjoyment, pleasure. Normally, to save money for the future, we control what we want, and pour our money to what we need—like insurance, healthcare, etc.
But we have to advantage of the energy that “wants” gives us. Remember the keyword here: "energy". When it comes to long term financial planning, giving in to what we want is vital to our success. Because our wants empower us to take action and pursue our ultimate goals. We have to be selfish about this kind of planning.
We are therefore responsible to create a financial plan that will create wealth and success to the client, not just a way to dish out a pre-existing menu that we have chosen for them.
Remember, Stan Lee never Retired
Stan Lee never retired, not that he was never tired, it was because he loved his work so much he need not retire. And he lived a long prosperous, fulfilling life because of it. Why not believe that we deserve the same fortune. All it takes is to forget what other people say expects from you or demands you to do, and do what you have been planted on this earth to do.
This new, alternative to retirement plan considers the fact that money should be working for you, not only through your investments but also with your own business. Your goal will be to build a well-oiled machine that is earning passive income for you. And the earning potential of this income stream is strengthened by the fact that you created it and you funded it with your passion.
Thus, my best hope for all of us is to find that inspiration--our true love, as it may--in our entrepreneurial endeavors. Moreover, may we be bold enough to go after what we really want in life. for fortune favors the bold indeed.
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