A time will come when you’re ready to give a big middle finger to the monotony of everyday employment and wade peacefully in the waters of uninterrupted retreat, travel, family, hobbies, or just infinite boredom and nudeness. Well if you haven’t yet thought about how you’re going to fund those 25 to 30, “I’m going to do what the hell I want” years, you’re bound to die working. That is, unless you think you’ll be able to live on the projected social security retirement benefits that will fall right around $1,300 a month. This amount could be even less if you choose to start receiving your social security at the earliest age of 62, which is only a 75 percent payout. You’d have to wait four years longer at the age of 66 to receive 100 percent of what you’re entitled to. Who the hell wants to work all their life just to struggle once they step into their golden years? We’d be idiots to concentrate and rely on this one resource of retirement funding. Let’s not put all of our eggs into a single government basket—we must invest in ourselves!
So, if we want to take control and grab the stability of our future by the financial balls, we must hatch a dependable plan. Let’s start with an estimate of how much of a retirement nest egg we’ll need. One in four 65-year-olds will live beyond 90 and for those of us still kicking after that, one in ten will live beyond 95. That means planning for around 30 years for retirement is adequate. Now calculate your projected annual expenses—this amount perhaps won’t be too far off from where you’re at now, considering you’ll probably exchange a mortgage or car payment for medicinal costs or needy grandchildren. Let’s do the math: minus about 75 percent from your current annual income, and then multiply that amount by 30 years (30,000 - 75 percent x 30 years = $675,000). Don’t be alarmed by that large sum, it is reachable. Just remember that a substantial portion of that $675,000 will come from your funds growing over time. If you spread your money around and place it in cumulative incubators, you’ll reach your desired goal without even trying because your money will make money!
Here are five practices and baskets I suggest using to grow your money in a controlled environment until your nest egg is ready to hatch:
If you start early enough, placing 15-20 percent of your monthly income into savings accounts can absolutely add up over time. Treat yourself like a bill and set up automatic withdrawals into accounts that pay a monthly interest. You can withdraw your money at any time should you have emergencies or unexpected expenses. Check out Capital One for their free “Savings” & “Money Market” accounts:
Cash-Value Life Insurance Plan
As responsible adults, we should all have a life insurance policy, but what if I told you that you can benefit from your death before you die? It sounds weird, but it’s like killing two birds with one stone. You’ll get retirement income and life insurance by taking a loan against your death benefits to serve as periodic income or you can withdraw in a lump sum. The unused amount goes to your beneficiary or those greedy grandchildren of yours. Contact a certified insurance and financial advisor for more details.
The 401(k) Plan
This retirement plan is facilitated by your employer and if they really value the hard work you put into your social media and Netflix on their dime, sometimes the employer will even contribute money to this account as well. Put your phone down, pretend to be busy, and take a little initiative by asking your company if you can have money automatically withheld from each paycheck to save for retirement.
Open a Roth IRA.
This individual retirement account offers tax-free growth and withdraws once in the retirement age of 59½ or older. You can also keep contributing into this account after you’ve retired. It won’t be smart to withdraw all of your money from all of your accounts if you don’t need it—allow your money to keep making money and extract the investment earnings periodically for those trips to the nude retreats. Contact a certified insurance and financial advisor for more details.
Save your tax refund.
Save your annual tax refunds or at least a portion of it before you purchase all the crap you don’t need. Determine an amount and ask your tax preparer for the IRS form that allows you to directly deposit that sum into your already established savings and IRA accounts.
A comfy retirement is a luxury denied to many, not due to a deficiency of money, but to the lack of knowledge. Because it’s not about how much money you make, but how much you can keep. Start now and your future self will thank you.