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Today I was talking to a guy at the gym about retirement and he said in another ten years he’s just going to die because he doesn’t see himself ever retiring. I made a decision about ten years ago that I was never, ever going to retire. Now, I’ll get into that in just a minute. One of the reasons I’m never going to retire is I’m looking at the possibilities of the new economy.
Right now, we have the ability to create revenue streams that are independent of our time and effort. That’s what I mean by never retiring. This is something that happened when I got out of the storage auction business. There was a period of a year that was really rocky. My partner had died. I didn’t really do anything in terms of running my business. It was a struggle to put these videos up and my income grew.
I thought, this is interesting. I have a unique set of skill sets that are perpetual. I can do what I’m doing right now when I’m 90. I can still do it. It’s very, very exciting.
When people talk about retirement, they get very anxious and scared. It’s because they have bought into this narrative that there is only one way to retire. I look at people and they start doing the math about returns on investments. They still think you have to save X amount of money so they can retire and it will sustain them for an indefinite number of years.
I look at people and I say what if you create a company. I’m not talking about an internet giant. I’m not talking about this huge thing. I’m talking about a company that serves a group of people and it pays you a a very handsome sum for your efforts. It doesn’t take a lot out of you. You manage it. You can walk away from it and go to Europe if you want to, and you still have that asset producing cash.
I sit back and I hear all of this retirement talk. On Bloomberg, I heard this one story about this 67-year-old woman living in her father’s basement while he travels and enjoys life. Her father is in his eighties and retired with a pension. He was lucky enough to retire when retirement still meant something. There are so many stories where people do all the right things, and their only crime is living a long life and being healthy.
Maybe we should change the conversation of retirement from work, work, work real hard and accumulate, accumulate, accumulate and then kill over. Maybe you can create income using technology sources for the rest of your life.
This is something else. I live in a pretty good neighborhood. I run across a lot of active retired people. They’re always doing something. They’re always taking trips. They’re doing crosswords. They have iPads. They’re very, very active.
They get up every day because they have to do something versus I’m retired and I’m twiddling my thumbs. They’re very engaging. I talk to these people and I get a lot of information when I am around. I realized something. All of these people have something to do. They’re independent of having to be somewhere all the time.
There’s one guy and I thought he was odd. He’s a guy who got married again and he has young kids. He comes around with his daughter often. He’s retired from his first job and he has another job dealing with wine or something at one of the local shops. He is extremely interesting to talk to. I don’t know if he has to do it. I don’t get the sense that he has to do it. I get the sense he does it because he would just go crazy being at home.
If you’re stressed out about retirement, I want you to think about something. Let’s say you’re 50 now and you start a company. We’ll assume it takes ten years to get it really rolling. Then, you’re 60 and that company is kicking you a living wage.
Let’s talk about a living wage. If you manage your money right and you’re doing the proper things, you don’t have to make six figures. You can do very well between $70K and $90K. So, this business is giving you that kind of income or even less. Say the business gives you 60k. Since it is a business, you can amp it up or amp it down.
One day I sat down and thought that based on what I heard about retirement, it wasn’t really my bag. This is what I noticed when I worked in the hospital decades ago. People that have something to do stay mentally engaged. I’ve seen this a lot. I grew up in a neighborhood where so often the man would die and then a year later his wife would pass away. It was like she didn’t have any reason to be there, so then she was “out.” It was like they didn’t really have a reason to live.
I want you to really think about whether you will really retire. This is an important requirement for people who want to make a living without a job; you have to think differently. As technology goes forward, we’re going to have more ways to make money independently of being there than ever before.
Start thinking about how you can retire on your own terms. I do the things I do for freedom. Freedom of time and freedom of choice are important to me. So, essentially for five years, I’ve been kind of retired if you look at it from that perspective. I can always make my own schedule. Sometimes, it can be challenging when I launch a new initiative. But, doing that is also my choice.
You have to think about what you can build or contribute to the world that will make you money for a long, long time. You can’t look for instant gratification. If you do, you will be very dissatisfied. You can’t start a business on Tuesday and expect a paycheck that Friday.
What I see in the future is awesome. I’ll give you an example of a simple business that one of my friends is doing it. It’s cookies. Cookies are great. Even if you start small and make $1000 the first month. If you double that business every year, in ten years you’re making an impressive income.
You have to think of things differently. Businesses take time. It you can get to the point where you can manage your time on your terms, you have achieved half of what retirement is for most people. There are people who are 20 years old and 30 years old who have done that. Even if I got a ten-million-dollar influx of capital, I’m not going to stop doing what I’m doing, because I enjoy this. This is fun.
That’s another consideration when you start your business. Can you create a business and lifestyle that is fun? Instead of thinking, I’m going to work today. I think, I am going to have fun. My business is fun for me.
That’s just some food for you to chew on.
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