Freedom 55 or 75?

A major advertising campaign that started in the last century advocated “Freedom 55” — early retirement at age 55.  However, at that time men lived to an average age of 72 and for women it was 78.  Now here we are a couple of decades into the 21st century, and the average ages are now 82 and 88, with many living into their 90’s and 100’s.  So for those who haven’t saved enough to see them through 30 retirement years, the new slogan has become “Freedom 75”.

There are many factors to consider when deciding when you can actually safely (financially) retire.  Here are some seriously interesting questions to consider:

  1. Why retire?

Why do you want to retire?  Is that the goal of your working life – to get to retire one day?  Really?  Why? You work yourself to the bone for 35 years so you can then have fun?

  1. What are you longing for?

What aren’t you doing now that you want to retire so you CAN do?  For example, some folks want to travel when they retire.  Why not do that during your working years when you are younger and more physically super-energetic?

One of our clients wanted to go work in a village in Africa for 2 months and take her husband and children.  She owned a clinic so we helped build it up with associates and got it running so smoothly that she was able to be away for 2 months with no side effects to her practice.  Life changing trip!

  1. Hate Your Job?

Do you hate or dislike your job so much that you are constantly sighing for retirement?  Why don’t you work out how to change your career path or change jobs to one that is more interesting to you?  Suffering for 35 years so you can retire and “have fun then” seems counter-productive.  Go back to school and learn a different profession, business, or job.  Enjoy your life and then it won’t seem like you NEED to cut out at 55.

Another one of our clients does not like being a dentist so we helped him hire 4 associates and build the practice up, and he now travels perpetually but manages his practice from wherever he is in the world through specific management tools.  Moral of the story:  You just have to have the tools to accomplish your goals.  (We can help!)

  1. How much is enough?

Inflation is going to double and triple the cost of everything over the next 20 or 30 years.  Therefore, how much money will you need then when you retire, whether at 55 or 75?  Factor into that equation some pleasures (like trips, nice dinners out, a new retirement house, etc. etc.) and what they might then cost … unless your goal is to live the rest of your life in a little cottage off the grid.

  1. Why stop?

If you love your job (for the most part) and are doing something important to help others and mankind, why would you want to stop doing that?  And what about the mental stimulation that comes from working and workplace interactions?

Enjoy Life Now

Even banking on having a large net worth is a gamble as we all know from some of our recessions, depressions and market crashes.  Relying on retirement to begin to enjoy life seems, therefore, to be a gamble and you probably shouldn’t put off living your life to its fullest until that time, whether 55 or 65 or 75.  Figure out how to make your life better NOW and enjoy it as you go as long instead of waiting for that magic moment.


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