Recently we were interviewed by Andrew Hallam for the Canadian paper, The Globe and Mail. As what happens sometimes, a retirement forum thread opens up to hash out the numbers quoted in the piece. Also, general conclusions of the article tend to run on both sides of the fence from “What they did was so foolhardy!” to “What an inspiration!”
People don’t always agree, and I realize that we have placed ourselves purposefully in the public eye. This position requires that we take the slings and arrows along with the kudos.
What is Risky?
But it also brought up a good conversational point with Billy and me – what exactly is a risky choice? And should we avoid them?
These days, 50% of first marriages end in divorce and 67% of second marriages end up on the rocks. Yet people get married all the time. What sort of businessman would invest in a company with that kind of failure rate? Add children or blended families to the mix and the stress levels soar.
Love makes the world go round, and no matter what the numbers say, people fall in love every day. Sure, some people sour on partnerships and won’t take the leap, but more people do than don’t.
We were “Lucky Fools”
Some forum members claim that we have been “lucky” or that it’s one in a billion that our retirement has worked out for us. Or that we had the wind at our backs with the market of the 1990s, but they forget that we were also invested during the crash of 1987, the dot com bubble in 2000, and in the latest crunch, the Great Recession.
Some say if we weren’t “lucky” then we were fools to have made the decision to retire at so young of an age, and with less than 2 million at the time. And it is irresponsible of us to tout such a plan to others when failure is sure to visit the doorstep of anyone who follows.
Seems everyone wants a guarantee when there are none in life.
5 Dependable Tools for Retirement Planning
It wasn’t luck nor was it foolhardiness. Billy and I would like to share five tools for retirement planning which we used that will also help you achieve your retirement goals, regardless of what age or how much money with which you start your journey.
Calvin Coolidge stated that persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. To keep on keepin’ on when others have given up will surely bring you the prize. Whether it’s saving for your financial goals, keeping your dream alive or just plain not giving up. Even Winston Churchill counseled to never give up. Ever.
Being committed to a goal sometimes means that approaches to achieving that goal must change. Perhaps something must be cut from the plan or added. Maybe it will take another year to achieve the dream, or the house should be downsized, or the realization dawns that an opulent style of retirement must be replaced with something more reachable. Being committed doesn’t mean you never let go, it could mean that a flexible description could be your best option.
Ah, yes. The dreaded word… If you are working out your dream with a spouse or partner, then literally, it takes two to tango. If one person wants to travel and the other wants an organic garden and two dogs, you are being challenged to work this situation out. Find a win-win solution for the both of you. It is absolutely possible, and it doesn’t mean that one person gets to have their dream while the other person gives theirs up. Sometimes communication means you listen to the other side.
Carry your own water. Know what you are looking for in retirement. Know what you want to do with your time. Know where you want to go. If you are working with a partner then both of you should be contributing 60%, not 45-45%. Know your talents and what you bring to the table. Don’t whine because it’s too hard. Get a mitt and get in the game.
Sense of Humor
Keep in mind that it’s not just the destination but the journey. With all this heavy stuff remember to lighten up and laugh, recalling why you want to retire in the first place. It makes the path to your goal more joyous.
What are some tools for retirement planning that you would recommend? Share them with the Frayed Passport community!