RETIRE, OR DON’T RETIRE

#retire #DontRetire #retirement #working
A man on a TD Ameritrade ad tells the financial adviser that he likes working, and that his retirement plan is to keep working.
So, the adviser says, instead of creating a retirement plan, let’s create a plan for “what’s next.”
“I like that,” the gentleman says.
Oh, if only it were that simple. One likes to work, so he just keeps working. He may vary what he does as he ages, but he keeps working because he wants to.
It seems a rather inappropriate ad for this economic milieu. Today, most employees essentially have no say on when they stop working. If they don’t retire when the company wants them to, usually they are given signals to go, or else ….
Worse yet, in many situations, many are forced out of jobs either well before retirement age, or before they had planned to retire.
And, many of these folks want to keep working. But their options suddenly become very limited. They may be forced to take a job that either they don’t enjoy, pays much less than their previous job did or gobbles up more of their time than they care to give to a job. If you selected all of the above for your situation, you are not alone.
So how does one deal with planning for retirement, or for “what’s next,” in this milieu? First, as soon as you begin your career, get your head in the right place. Know that the following will, or is likely to, happen:
• The job that you were hired to do will change over time, perhaps sooner than even you may expect. If you like what you are doing, you may not like what you will be doing next. If you like where you work, you have to decide whether the changes in your employment situation are worth staying with your employer, or trying to find something more to your liking. The current job market has improved enough over the last decade that you may have more options than you realize.
• As you get older, and earn more employee benefits, you become a greater cost to your employer. Don’t necessarily go by your parents’ advice that says if you keep your nose clean, show up every day and do good work, you’ll have a job for life. Someone came up with an arbitrary matrix some years ago that says something like: in the first three years, you get more out of an employee than you pay him. After three years, as the cost of that employee increases, you are paying him more than you are getting from him. You’ve heard of being on the clock? Well, you may be on the clock for more reasons than you think.
Given all that, here’s what you do: first, save. It doesn’t matter how much, initially, you save. Even $5 a week will work, if you are not making much. You may have to go without some pleasures to do it, but do it, and don’t touch the money unless there are dire circumstances, or you are making a long-term investment in, say, a house. Also, put any raises you get into that savings. If your costs go up, cut out more discretionary spending.
Secondly, come up with a plan B that could put money in your pocket whether you survive for years at a job, or not. There are many such vehicles out there that will allow you to spend a few part-time hours a week off work, and potentially make an income that could eventually dwarf what you are earning now. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, follow the old adage that says, “plan for the worst, and hope for the best.” Because you like a certain job doesn’t mean you can keep it. After all, the job doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to your employer. He or she can do with it whatever he or she pleases, even move it to a different country, or replace it with a machine.
A good job is a gift. Certainly, one earns a good job. And certainly, one can become really good at that job. It doesn’t mean the gift can’t be taken from you. It’s up to you to prepare for when the worst happens, even if it doesn’t.
So, if you like working, that’s admirable. Just don’t presume that you can always do what you like, for as long as you like.
Peter

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