My Four-Point Plan For Saving Your Retirement
Fair warning: the information below might be difficult to take in. But if you stick with it to the end, my bet is you’ll feel a lot better about your situation.
In fact, many of my long-time readers have taken this plan and broken free of financial worry completely.
After reading this, you’ll have a proven plan of action.
1. Accept the fact you might have to continue working
Hear me out…
When your heart is set on retiring at 65, you might feel like working beyond that age will be a living hell.
But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve retired three times so far (at 39, 49, and 59). And each time, I found going back to work was a welcome relief.
And I’m not only speaking from my own experience alone. Many of our readers have embraced my advice to keep working in retirement and have found a great deal of satisfaction in turning their hobbies and passions into second and third careers.
You don’t have to keep doing the work you’ve been doing. You might be able to move into a consulting or freelance position with your current employer. Or follow a dream and start your own business.
But if you need to continue to work, you need to continue. The moment you accept that fact, the odiousness of working will dissipate. You might even be okay with it. Heck, you might eventually be thrilled with it.
My view on this subject is that one should never give up active work entirely. That’s because work provides great and sustaining fulfilment. Especially if it involves learning something new or following a passion or hobby.
2. Develop an additional stream of income
Recognise another financial fact of life: the amount of money you have to save and invest, after you take away assets you plan to keep forever (like your house or your wife’s jewellery), is the single most important factor in building wealth. I call this your “net investable wealth”, or N.I.W.
You won’t hear this from brokers or bankers or stock market analysts. They won’t say it because it shatters the myth that clever stock market investing is the cure for all financial problems.
Fact is, stock investing alone can’t give you the wealth you need for retirement. Eking out a few percentage points on an investment portfolio won’t solve your problem of needing more income now.
You must increase your income by other means – none of which will incur fees and commissions to your stockbroker. And none of which will be subject to the sort of volatility the market is likely to face in future downturns.
So how are you going to do that? How are you going to increase your income now at this stage of your life?
The answer mightn’t please you, but you must come up with a strategy to make more money from a business you have or work for.
You must also create a second stream of income. And this is so important that you have to find an hour or two every day to devote to making it happen.
3. Consider – or reconsider – real estate investing
I really believe in real estate investing. Not the kind of real estate investing that’s advertised on late-night infomercials, but income-generating real estate investing. The kind of real estate investing I do.
This strategy could give you income almost immediately. And it may very well give you asset appreciation – which can add to your net worth considerably in 10 years or less.
By the way, contrary to common opinion, you don’t need a massive investment to get into rental real estate. You can get started by pooling money with one or two friends and going in on a few properties.
Really, to be a successful rental real estate investor, all you need is three things: money, knowledge, and time.
This is true of most investments, but the good news is with rental real estate, you don’t need a lot of any one of them. In fact, with the right deal, a partner, and leverage, you can get into a lucrative rental real estate property for as little as $10,000.
Real estate isn’t difficult to understand. It’s very much a simple supply and demand sort of investment. I’ve been able to make millions doing it and avoid the bubble without ever taking a course or getting a license or any of that stuff.
4. Retire this year on $55,000 or less
Finally, once you increase your income, your next step should be to decrease your expenses.
Because there is a way to enjoy a dream retirement, even if your income is limited to $55,000 or less.
Imagine you wake when you want to and spend half an hour walking on the beach. On the way back, you buy fresh red snapper from your favourite local fish shop.
You enjoy breakfast served to you on your private veranda. Afterwards, you work on your novel or you paint. Then you take a nap.
You have lunch at your regular table in the corner. After lunch, you check on the money you made from your side business today ($600). Then you take another nap.
In the late afternoon, you visit some of your friends. At sunset, you have drinks with your spouse at a beachside bar and listen to a young man play his guitar.
Does that sound good?
Many of my friends are living this dream currently. And not because they’re rich.
They’re able to live in luxury by moving abroad. What I just described to you is a typical day in Nicaragua for many retired expats – many of them who started with a smaller-than-average retirement fund.
Even in nice areas in Nicaragua, property costs and rents are low. Taxes are low. The cost of living is low. Health care is affordable, and the quality is on par with Australia.
And here’s another great perk: there’s no tax on a pension or any other money being brought into the country, as long as it was earned outside the country.
You can run an internet business or any other business back home (refer back to points 2 and 3) and not be taxed a penny in Nicaragua.
Imagine earning just $55,000 per year and enjoying this lifestyle. A little house five minutes from the ocean… housekeeping and gardening services year-round… access to wild, private beaches… spas and horse riding for $15-$35 per hour… and day trips for less than $250.
Wait a minute… doesn’t that sound a lot like the retirement you always dreamed of?
I hope you’re starting to realise that even if things didn’t go as well as you’d planned over the years, it’s not too late to have your dream retirement. Far from it.
If you do the things I’m suggesting today, starting with boosting your income, you’ll find that instead of disappearing, your retirement account will grow and grow over the years.
You’ll learn new things about yourself, acquire new skills, have fun, and have greater financial security along the way.
All you need to do is start.
For The Escapologist