My Thoughts on Retirement Planning

I received an email from one of my readers asking me about my thoughts on retirement planning.

“What did you do successfully in your 20s to prepare for retirement?

What you would have done differently to ensure a better financial future?

What would be your ideal retirement plan?”

My ideal retirement plan would be to retire today, but that’s not realistic.  I will very likely retire a millionaire at age 67.  If I run into some money or develop a successful side-gig, I may retire sooner.  I would also love to cut back to 3-4 days a week and semi-retire in my 50s.  Since my house is almost paid off and I love living at the beach, I’ll likely stay here, even though California has high taxes.

What I did Right in my 20s

  • I started investing at age 21.
  • I saved consistently, even with a low income.
  • I did research and learned how to invest.
  • I bought newsletters and found mentors.
  • I wrote down goals and plans to achieve them.
  • I read books and listened to motivational tapes.
  • I followed a career path and chose a great profession.
  • I found side-gigs and invested the extra money.
  • I drove older cars and maintained them myself.
  • I saved for a house and will pay it off before retirement.

What I Would Change if I Could

  • I would have gotten my college degree in my 20s, instead of my 30s.
  • I would have demanded higher pay that was equal to my skills.
  • I carried credit card debt and took out a second to fix up my house.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that saving up for retirement isn’t as daunting as some people think.  As long as you start in your 20s, you will have plenty of time to save and invest.  If you wait until your 30s or later, the math becomes a lot more difficult.

“A whole generation of Americans will retire in poverty instead of prosperity, because they simply are not preparing for retirement now.”

– Scott Cook

2 comments to My Thoughts on Retirement Planning

  • This is an interesting subject but I think it depends on how you want to live your life and use your money. The reason being is if you want to work at the job where you are at and become wealthy later in life it is possible. I would recommend saving into a ROTH IRA and automatically putting money into the account every month. This is a very passive way to invest.
    On the other hand this is not the only way to become wealthy. And the one above will obviously take some time to feel its effect.

    • You made some great points Alex.

      A Roth IRA can have some big advantages over a traditional IRA. I have already converted one of my IRAs to a Roth and I may convert the other in steps. I also contribute into my Roth each month, instead of my traditional IRA. I don’t want to have to deal with the convoluted MRD (Minimum Required Distribution) after I turn 70. I also would love to avoid paying taxes on the proceeds.

      Long-term saving is definitely not the only way to become wealthy, but it is possibly the most reliable. Starting a business, investing in real estate or creating intellectual property are some other great ways.
      Bret recently posted..Become a Millionaire in One Easy StepMy Profile