You hear it all the time from everyone, at least we have. Your golden years are the time of your life when you finally get to retire, reflect on your accomplishments and spend quality time with your family or friends. Am I the only one who sees the cynical nature of this picture? Take a moment to think about what you may experience in your sixties and up.
I believe people need to proactively keep this in the back of their minds as they are entering their first real career. The days of working for the same company for 40+ years and riding off into the sunset with a fat pension and a Rolex are extinct. Quickly backwards for a moment – my cynical thoughts, remember? Let’s imagine that this person is retired and has all the free time to do as s/he pleases. How often do you see or hear about someone retired that cannot travel or cross items off the bucket list due to medical issues? What about wanting to spend quality time with your loved ones but realize the younger family members are too busy working or simply move away chasing the next rung on the ladder? It is a well-known fact that a lot of the elderly suffer from depression and miss experiencing life due to the aging process. Please keep reading, I promise it gets better! On the flipside, I know many more retired folks who live rich, rewarding lives that played the game well and wouldn’t change a thing. I just want to get you thinking outside the box.
I am a realist so I do not want anyone to make excuses or have anyone think I am being negative. Times have changed and we as employees must evolve as well. Pay for high ranking CEO’s and Board Members are at an all-time high but wages for the rest of the population have been stagnating for decades. Additionally, with the advancement of technology many lower level jobs have been eliminated - creating layoffs in the banking, retail and energy industries. I have spoken several times about how backwards many bosses and corporate cultures are in regard to work/life balance. Does that even exist anymore? Further, I think it is borderline crazy to jump through the endless hoops and have to dodge the workplace drama just to get a small raise that barely keeps up with inflation and premium increases. How often have you or one of your friends or family members came home stressed out or missed family time due to a “last minute” demand? Please keep in mind, however; sacrificing a little extra ‘can-do’ now can make all the difference when a promotion opportunity comes.
We’ve worked very hard and learned as much as possible in our current careers as soon as possible. Even though neither of us ever worked in the same industry, we would basically volunteering for extra projects when upper management would be involved to show our worth and get our name in their ears. Due to the early sacrifices, we are lucky to have good jobs in the perpetual “bottom 10” state of West Virginia. Yes, it is a state and not in western Virginia! However, it’s important to stay focused on both short- and long-term goals. We are continually attempting to create as many revenue streams as possible. In addition to our jobs, we are the sole Owners of American Wealth Project, invest heavily in blue-chip dividend stocks for future retirement income and working on plans to own a few rental properties. What other routes of income have you embarked upon? We would love to hear your story, too.
The simple reason to challenge yourself is to reach your “Golden Years” well before your fifties and sixties so you can truly enjoy life - while still in your prime. You know what they say, “Forty is the new 20!” In our opinion, retirement is not spending your last years in declining health. They are a lot of opportunities if you take the time to be diligent with your budget and stay focused on your goals. I am not suggesting to quit work but open your eyes to other possibilities. We are advising to diversify your income and produce as much cash flow as possible.