I find it incredible that so many people do such a poor job of preparing for their retirement years.
I turned sixty seven on my birthday in July this year, and although I can’t get my head around what that actually means to me, I can confess that I’m one of those who did a very poor job of planning to be old.
Retirement is a different thing.
For example I’m in good shape (now) to be retired, both physically (due to a daily regiment at 5:00 a.m. every day, seven days a weeks, fifty two weeks of each year of being in the gym doing a regimented work out) and financially (thanks to getting my you know what together but only late in life).
I really never had a “master plan” for my life.
I lived a rather dysfunctional childhood being raised by two alcoholic parents, which led to a rather dysfunction adolescence out in the street, which led to a complete lack of education, and “the hustle” for a career.
Back in those days being an entrepreneur was a bad word, that only later became corporately acceptable but corporations looked for entrepreneurs with university degrees (a dichotomy in and of itself).
And “hustle” I did, for years which took me around the globe.
I stumbled into selling and quickly learned that selling was a street educated lifestyle that if you got good at, you would never have to look for income again.
Everybody was longing to pay you a commission!
Later in life I stumbled into selling condos for developers in the early days of Condoland and I quickly became “the king Cobra (a name given to me by associates working condo sales sites with me) in the land of snakes that is Condoland“.
But at fifty years old, having chased a vision of a digital real estate world, that I had materialized over decades before there was a World Wide Web, Internet, Windows Operating System, notebook computers, cell phones, etc., I was fundamentally broke.
Oh, I had spending money but I had never really even sat down and thought about what my future would hold as a “senior citizen“.
I still don’t see myself as one!
I frequently see guys half my age and say to myself “look at this old guy” as I just don’t see myself (nor look) old.
I never expected to get an Old Age Pension or CPP, and was actually surprised at 65 when I received my first $1,200 monthly pay from the Government (although with my income they claw back half of it).
Well, as most of those who’ve read my blogs over the past fifteen years (simplycondos.com and now simplycharles.com) already know, I launched my web site before anyone else even had one, while getting my real estate license (actually just re-purposing the CD-ROM application that we had produced) and introducing “Buyer Agency” to Condoland (after attending a weekly group meeting of a “Condo Network” where all the Realtors were expressing “fear” about this “rumoured new concept“.
I knew right there an then that Buyer Agency was what I would achieve my goals with, and the rest is history.
I’m happily semi-retired these days active only in investing in real estate. I still have a valid real estate license but I am not overly active in the business these days (using it primarily for my own investments).
I realize that I am literally blessed to be where I am and that not everyone reading this will see this type of fortune come their way.
So, my question is how long do you plan on being old?
It’s a question that I think most people ignore.
I had a small investment unit in the Entertainment District (King West) and stayed in it for a brief while until my townhouse became available for us to move back into while our Oakville house is being built, and was constantly by how all those bars and restaurants filled to the brim every night of the week.
Today’s generation, frequently called “Millenials“, much like my generation (Baby Boomers) hit the nightlife every night!
Coffee and alcohol are a daily constant in their lives.
They eat out almost every meal.
They smoke cigarettes like crazy.
Most are on some kind of chemical meds (for everything from smoking cessation to skin treatment, to weight loss) and/or recreational drugs.
Can we just step back for a second and try to estimate the amount of money being blown here?
Most are said to not have savings, but rather live “pay cheque to pay cheque“.
Most are said to not want or intend to buy a home, preferring the flexibility of renting (this is a seriously flawed logic).
So, my question today is, how do Millenials (or you in fact) plan to retire and in what condition physically, financially, and/or emotionally, do they plan to be in when they do that.
I never caught on until fifty years old, after making and losing tons of money many times as an entrepreneur.
When do you plan on getting serious about this.
With a total income of $1,200 per month, left to my own without having simplycondos.com turn things around, my life would be very different today.
So, I’m writing this truthful background to help you understand that life goes by quickly and before you know it you will be old.
My advice is not to wait until you are old to start planning your second half of your life.
When you are young you work for money.
When you are old you must have money work for you.
So, what’s your plan.
I’m not a financial planner and I don’t recommend running out and starting to pay one.
I simply sat down, got real and planned for being old.
You see, I plan on being 100 at least!
How do I go about optimizing my chances of success.
Good clean diet; no alcohol, no cigarettes, no sugar, no processed food, no chemicals, no medications, no all-nighters, lots of fresh organic food, lots of exercise, lots of sleep, lots of mental stimulation, being my own doctor (I’ve pretty much given up on them as I’ve learn that they really don’t have any knowledge or education on nutrition).
As for you finances, you had better take care of that yourself.
You have to have savings . . . . period.
You have to invest those savings.
You have to own a home and your second “best investment” after you home is paying off your mortgage.
I don’t know how anyone retires with a mortgage or monthly rent payment.
The silent killer in our society is “interest“.
Stop paying interest (mortgage, credit card, car loan, line of credit, etc.) and your finances will pretty much take care of themselves.
Put that interest savings into a self directed investments (real estate is number one in my books, the RSP’s if your income requires it – I use TD Price Waterhouse and have found them quite helpful after having lost heavily with “a pro” investing for me).
Does this mean that you are going to “cramp your lifestyle“?
Possibly it will, at this point of the game but in the closing hours of the game of your life, it will pay huge dividends to own your own home with no mortgage, own your car with no car loan, have no credit card debt.
In my mind, there is no up-side to being financially comfortable at retirement but being in bad health!
Life is balance and you’ll have to become good at navigating its complexities with the “end game” always front and centre in your thinking.
This is not meant to be earth-shattering revelations to you, but if you read this and use it as a blueprint to see how your life plan is working itself out, you just might be surprised.