This week I turned 38. That’s crazy man… Time is flying by. My wife tells me I’m an old man and she maybe right. I was born in 76, so.., so far I’ve seen 5 different decades. I’m also close to 20yrs removed from High School which means some of my classmates may have kids that are in college or going to college. That’s a hard thing to digest…
Half Way to Retirement
Also, 38 means I’m half way to retirement to my estimation. I’ve been working since I was 14, which means I’ve already worked for 24 years. I’ve worked during high school and college and I can argue that college is a job of it’s own. I may have bounced around few times. My professional career in web design may not have started till after college, but I’ve held more physical, labor type of jobs before and during college. I’m not complaining because there is nothing like hard work and honest days living, but I didn’t have choice then. In fact, the single biggest motivation for finishing college for me is, I did not want to do hard labor and/or get stuck working at my family’s dry cleaning business for the rest my life. There is no shame in dry cleaning or any other odd jobs I’ve held, but I wanted to be in a position to have a choice. And higher education gave me that opportunity.
Back to Retirement
The average retirement age is 62 according to the Gallup Poll. Working till 62 is what you are supposed to do or at least that’s what we were taught to believe when growing up. It was instill in us by our parents and our teachers from kindergarten through college. Get a safe and secure job with good retirement plan and benefits and either your company or the federal government will take care of you. It’s the message that’s been pass down for generations all throughout the industrial and information age. But I don’t know too many people who have worked for the same job for the past 20 – 30 years. This may happen in other countries like Korea and Japan but less and less in the United States. My X and Y generation friends don’t really work for the same company for more few years on average. Only exceptions are friends who work for the government and are in education. And I’m sure you are aware by now the of Social Security Funds are Running out, so I wouldn’t count on it if you you are around my age or younger.
Not So Safe and Secure
There aren’t many jobs out there that are secure for life. Your safe and secure job this year may not be safe the following year. The company that you have put your heart and soul into may decide one day you are no longer needed. Personally, I have worked for or consulted for many reputable companies that have had their share of layoffs. Company big or small, it happens. It maybe due to a budget cut, company restructure, and/or you or your skills are no longer relevant. You may have years of experience and skills that are valuable to the organization but at a down market, you are a large overhead.
From an employment perspective, it’s no secret that the older you get, the more vulnerable you may become and you are likely to face discrimination due to your age. This goes for all levels of employment from hiring, firing, or getting that promotion. I am generalizing so if you worked for a company that treat you with respect regardless of color, age, race, etc. I’m happy for you.
For some companies and industries, the discriminations are more extreme than the others. I once worked for a large advertising agency the average age was 27 and I would say good 90% were fewer than 40. Those that were over 40 were mostly in management or C-level. I am not saying its intentional but there is show called Numbers Never Lie which is changing it’s name to His or Hers.
It’s not entirely the company’s fault. Teams want young blood, fresh perspective and people they can mold to become their people. The older you get, you tend to set in your ways. Not me you say? There is no sense in denying it. I’m seeing the same pattern in myself. I don’t mind trying new tools and technologies, but I’m also latch on to or stuck in my ways with certain tools and processes that I’m already use to at my job. This maybe the same reasons I can’t let go of my old shirts and jeans. And each time I wear them, my wife yells at me or looks at me in disgust for wearing the same old clothes. On the positive, I did read an article yesterday on why successful people wear the same clothes. I’m just saying.
Where I am going with this section?
I’m saying, don’t leave you and your family’s faith in someone else’s hands. I’m also not saying to quit your job and start your own food truck business, unless you really want to. You will be better prepared for a rainy days with continued financial awareness and education. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you want to take it step further, become your own boss, work harder and smarter and seize the opportunities. The sooner you figure this out, the better you will be in the long run. Because without the proper financial education, you may not know if it’s a good opportunity or investment even if it came and hit you in your face. And you sure don’t want to face financial uncertainties at an old age, when you may only have limited options. And the time is one option that will not be available to you.
If I follow the status quo, living paycheck to paycheck, paying for the house in the suburbs, buying a new car every 3-4 years, shopping for nice things to keep up with the Joneses, putting away money toward 401k as the only source of retirement savings, then the earliest retirement for me will be at 62 years old to Never. Which is another 24 years and that my friends is a long time. I don’t want to work for another 24years. I’m tired just thinking about it. Life is too short. I need to enjoy it while I’m a young man. We all deserve to live young and enjoy the sunshine everyday, and be able to dip our feet in the ocean everyday of the week.
I’m Going to Retire Early
I am going to break from the norm. I aim to retire early. I have plan that I’m going to work toward to make this a reality. A Man without a plan is like a lost man traveling in the rural Amazon jungles without a map. He maybe able to eventually get there but it will take him a while and time is not on his side. So I’m taking my map with me through the road that’s less traveled.
If you have been following my blog, you will know that I’m a recent graduate of self-educated personal finance and investing 101 life learning course. I didn’t really have solid goals or A solid goal till I was 36. That’s when my adult education started to kick in and I started to grow my personal financial education. Before then, I was just working to pay off the bills, put food on the table, and buy things that gave me short term happiness like a sports car or a new laptop. I wasn’t irresponsible but I didn’t have a good handle on money management or retirement savings.
I understand where I am, I know where I need to go, and it’s up to me to figure out how to get there.
Since I started personal financial education and campaign to improve on my financial literacy, it gave me clear objectives and goals to work toward an early retirement. It is empowering to know that there are no longer uncertainties in my financial future. There will always be spotty areas but I understand where I am, I know where I need to go, and it’s up to me to figure out how to get there. It really ignited part of brain in ways that I’ve never used before. Things just make sense now.
My June 2013 Goals
Below is a whiteboard picture of set of goals I’ve written in June of 2013 around the time I’d started my financial education. I’m nowhere near achieving my long term goals, and some are far fetched but I figured if I want to get to the moon, first I have to aim for the moon. Whether I get there or not that’s another story. But I will keep trying. So far:
I’ve failed in
- Getting out of the rat race by age 38. I don’t think I’ll be there this year.
I’ve succeeded in
- Build Net worth of $250,000 by age 38. I’m not exactly there yet but I’m close. So I’m going to say yes.
I need to adjust
- Some unrealistic numbers. Instead of owning 1000 real estate units more like 100 units in my lifetime.
- Net worth projections.
Everything Else on the I’m still working on.
I’m going to refactor my goals from above at the time of writing. As the years progress, I will reflect on my new goals from this blog and adjust them as I make progress.
My New Financial Goals – November 2014
- Get Out of Rat Race by age 40
- This means I will need to focus the next two years on building passive income that will be equivalent or more than my ordinary income (paycheck from my job).
- Retire by age 48
- Establish Financial Freedom in 10years. I don’t see why I can’t make this happen if I tried hard enough.
Age 38 40 44 48 55 Net Asset $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000 $5,000,000
- Become a successful Real Estate Investor
- Own 100 or more housing or apartment units by age 55
- Close 3- 5 Real Estate deals each year.
Age 38 40 44 48 55 Units 7 -10 10 – 20 30 – 40 50 – 60 100+
- Become a sophisticated Investor
- This means I will need to study and practice other forms of investing including paper assets, stock/equity, bonds, etc.
- Build a Technology Startup
- I’m a technologist at heart. I still need to challenge myself in my field. Currently, I am involve in Affiliate and Performance Marketing startup idea. It’s definitely challenging and my business partner and I will need to be resilient and push hard to see this thing through.
So there you have it. These are my new refactored goals that I will be working toward them to Make Things Happen.
I Would Love Your Feedback
What are your goals? Do you have them written down? How are you tracking against your goals? Please drop me a line. I would love to get your feedback.
And Thanks for reading!