Will You Be Able to Retire?

Will You Be Able to Retire

Did you know: 97 percent off all people in the United States will depend upon government or family assistance for living after the age of 65?

If you work for your employer all your life and save in your 401-k this will, more than likely, be you. You must do something extra to prepare for your “golden years”, even to improve your current lifestyle.

Have you?

I once had a high school teacher who gave C’s to anyone who did everything he required and got A’s on all the exams. He said that to do what was required made you average. He expected more class time, additional papers and projects, extra credit work on exams. He told us that if you don’t do extra, you won’t be successful, you’ll simply be like everyone else.

As you can imagine, this created quite an uproar among the students. Even the involved parents argued with this grading structure and it was a real negative to find yourself in his class.

Jump ahead 40 years and I realize he was one of the few professors who taught real life skills. Little did we acknowledge how right-on he was. I wish I remembered his name so that I could tell him what I now know and thank him for his willingness to go against the grain on his students’ behalf. Had none of the parents already learned this lesson?

Apparently not. After all, my parent’s generation was taught the benefit of a good education and working for a successful company where you would retire at 65 with a pension and a gold watch. Those days are gone. Even our parents found that many companies laid them off when they hit their fifties to avoid paying those pensions. Most new companies no longer offer them.

Each of us is responsible for creating our own destiny (which is a good thing if you prepare that way). This reality hits at a time when many have what’s come to be known as “entitlement issues”, in this case meaning: taking for granted and expecting the government to take care of us in our old age. Well, social security is broke so don’t put all your eggs in that basket. Besides, how many eggs will they give you to live on through retirement? Not enough for me.

As for me and my household, we’re investing in real estate as one of our income streams. This is a great time to buy properties because pricing and interest rates are still so low. In ten years, tenants will have paid down mortgage balances and rents will have gone up while our mortgage payments will remain the same. It’s quite a simple formula so long as you know how and where to buy.

We’re now branching out into other investment areas to generate additional streams of passive income.

What have you tried? What’s working for you? How soon can you retire financially free? If this is not something you’ve taken time to think about, do it now. As you write out your goals, be sure to include strategies for accomplishing them.

Remember, if you’re going to work everyday and providing for your family like everyone else you know, you’re average. Don’t be surprised when you get close to retirement if you realize that, financially, you can’t.

I’d like to say “thanks” to my professor, wherever he is.

This post has 3 Comments | Would you like to leave a comment?


  1. You hit the nail on the head with “work smart”. So many people use being busy as an excuse for not accomplishing more, but what is the “busy-ness” accomplishing? Hence the need for an outlined plan.

    And your advice to start saving young is so right on. With the banks paying no interest for savings accounts, where to invest is always a challenge. I, like you, do not recommend the stock market..

    Thanks for your comment!

  2. The professor was correct of course. If you do not work harder and smarter than the next person, you will end up like most of the masses. I am not that smart but I was always willing to work harder than the next person and did reasonably well working for a large company. I retired 16 years ago at age 60 on a fixed income which has less than half the buying power today with inflation and other factors figured in. I was also told by many retirement experts that you only needed 70% to 80% of your income to live on. This may be true if you don’t plan on doing anything after you retire. My wife and I have traveled all over the world and enjoy nice cars and car clubs as a hobby. I would say to anyone wanting a nice life style after retirement that they will need 120% of their income if they want to do the things like my wife and I have done. We invested our 401K’s in the stock market which was a big mistake. As Karen points out putting all your eggs in one basket is not a wise thing to do. My advice to everyone is to save all the money you can and retire early. Invest in long term growth with very little risk so you don’t lose a lot of your retirement as many people have done in the past years in stock market.

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