Retire Rich? Never!

Retiring rich is a myth of the American middle class. To retire comfortably, with your lifestyle intact, is what I think we all mean when we talk about retiring rich. Thus, the term rich really has nothing to do with money, but the pursuit of happiness.


A few of my clients really like not working. They have enough to do what they want, but they don’t exactly charter private jets and race yachts. They spend time golfing, fishing and spoiling grandkids. Some would say they retired rich.


What does it take to hang it up, relax and pursue hobbies that don’t relate to your prior, money-generating activities? If you love what you do, don’t stop; you will live longer this way.


For those who love what they do, but don’t want the continued stress of their current environment, here are some steps to consider:


First, do you need the money? If you have four kids in private school, a big mortgage and no desire to curb spending, you are stuck and will have to push through until you can afford a different path. If not, think about a different format to the work you love. You could work fewer hours; start a related, but fresh, new business that you find more interesting; or simply change your work environment.


Second, do you like what you do? If you don’t need the money and don’t like what you do, stop and find some hobby. Many people work because they have a “number” they need to reach. The problem is, most never calculate the number, and if they do, they keep raising it for no other reason than fear.


Third, should you decide to retire, study retirement as you studied your career. Retirement is just like going off to college, only for the rest of your life. You need to talk to other people who have done it for a while. The major psychological transformation that exists in the first six to 12 months needs to be respected.


Most of my clients get downright crazy in those first months after the retirement honeymoon wears off. This is why many just keep working, in a less intense mode. My successful retired clients (not financial success, personal) get engrossed in hobbies they take as seriously as their prior careers. The drive will not go away. The worst thing you can do is enter retirement with no plans to keep busy. I know there is the long list of things you always wanted to get done, but that will get burned up in no time. Be prepared.


In the end, retiring rich is a myth if you place the wrong values on it. If you are not financially rich, you will not retire rich. However, you can be happy, comfortable and live a life filled with rewarding experiences, without the hassle of punching a time clock.

For more information about Albuquerque financial advisor Lee Munson and Portfolio, LLC reach us at 505.884.3445 or - always make sure your portfolio matches you financial plan.


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Comment   |  6 years, 9 months ago from Albuquerque, NM