Retirement -- Why it Doesnt Work

By: Tony Rush

It's hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television today without hearing someone talking about "planning for retirement". It's the "holy grail" of earning money, isn't it? The ability to be able to stop working and sit down and rest for awhile. Refreshing, isn't it?

Wrong.

It's a flawed concept from the start. It's an outdated concept from the early Industrial Revolution when employers told laborers, "Hey, if you'll work for me for 40 hours a week for 40 years...then you can quit and get a gold watch and a pension."

That plan hasn't worked since the 1950's. It probably didn't work for your mom and dad and it's definitely not going to work for you, either.

Here's the good news: it doesn't have to. I'm not saying that you have to work 'til you die. I'm saying that the concept of deferring your life's pleasures until you're 60+ years old is STUPID.

Consider Timothy Ferriss' perspective from his wonderful book, "The Four Hour Workweek":

There are at least three good reasons why the concept of "retirement" is flawed:

1. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you're doing during the most physically capable years of your life. [Tony's comments: This is already an impossible situation. There is no logical reason in the world why anyone would choose to do something they dislike for 50+ years.)

2. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standad of living. Even one million dollars is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn't work. The golden years become a replay of lower-middle-class. That's a pretty bittersweet ending, isn't it?

3. And if the math DOES work, it means you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that's the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you'll be so damned bored that you'll want to stick bicycle spokes into your eyes. You'll probably wind up starting a new company. Or taking another job. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn't it?

So, what am I (and Ferriss) saying? That you shouldn't aspire to have a life where you can relax and do as you please? Not at all!

On the contrary, my point is that you should begin living that life NOW. How much sense does it make to work hard for 40+ years so that -- when you're 60+ years old -- you can finally start doing the things you want to do?

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Start living yours today

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