Jul 30, 2011

Prosperity in Retirement Through The Joy of Not Working

On January 1, 1991 I started writing The Joy of Not Working and made an agreement with myself that I would have it completed in rough by July 31 of that year. It turned out that I completed it one day ahead of schedule, on July 30 — in other words, exactly 20 years ago today.

In The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, I talked about how I don't like working too much in the months that don't have an "r" in them, the warmest months most suited for leisure time. At the time, I thought about how great it would be to be prosperous enough to work very little — or not at all — in these four months and still earn $10,000 a month for each of these months. It turns out that in the last 3 months (ones with no "r" in them) I have worked very little and have still earned over $10,000 in gross pretax income for each month largely due to sales of How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.

To me this is true prosperity. I just want to make a point that there is great opportunity for anyone with a bit of motivation and determination to also attain this type of freedom and prosperity.

I just don't want to make it sound easy, however. It isn't easy and it's a good thing that it isn't easy. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

Perhaps you have noticed that the people are looking for the easy way out are the people who are broke, and even in debt big time. These are the people who go from one seminar to another seminar about how to make money but never ever achieve anything because they are not commited to anything. Others do spirtual meditations on prosperity and recite affirmations until they are blue in the face. Years later they are still broke wondering why the universe hasn't responded. Nothing has changed in their lives.

Most of these people will also end up with very little money in retirement, living at the poverty line, relying on winning a lottery as a retirement plan. If you want to have a happy retirement living a comfortable lifestyle, I would suggest that you get your act together and create something worthwhile for humanity regardless of how much struggle you have to put into it. Your retirement plan will then look more like my retirement plan. and you will find 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

It may sound a bit weird that I am giving this advice on a Saturday in a month that doesn't have an "r" in it. Fact is, 20 years ago I was actively working 4 or 5 hours a day every day of the week on The Joy of Not Working. The payoff didn't happen until later, some of it much later. (The book has earned me well over $650,000 and still brings me a passive income of about $10,000 a year.)

In short, this quotation applies:

    "Much of tomorrow’s success
    and prosperity will depend
    upon what you do today.
    The question is:
    What seeds of success and
    prosperity do you intend
    to plant before the end of today?"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook
Also see Letters about The Joy of Not Working

Jul 26, 2011

More New Retirement Planning News

Recent market volatility and increases in life expectancy have forced even many wealthy Americans to adjust their retirement planning and expectations for retirement. Americans are in retirement doubt, in other words.

A survey by AXA Equitable was done on financial decision-makers with household income of at least $75,000 or investable assets between $250,000 and $999,999. Many people are asking the question, "How much do I need to retire?"

About 42 percent of the survey participants said they plan to delay retirement, and the participants who said they would push back retirement expect to do so by average of six years. The average new planned retirement age has increased to 68, from 62.

The survey found that 27 percent of the participants plan to go back to work in a retirement job after "retiring." The number who already have returned to the work force has increased to 17 percent, up from 9 percent in February 2009.

The AXA survey also found that 85 percent of the participants worry about having inadequate sources of guaranteed retirement income and 84 percent worry about inflation and losing money on investments.

Canadians are also having their issues with their retirement planning. In another recent study by RBC about the realities of the new retirement and what age Canadians retire at, results show that many Canadians do not retire on a date of their own choosing.

Some 83 percent of baby boomers still not retired over 50 believe they will retire on the date that they choose. In fact, 41 percent of Canadian retirees reported that their retirement date was unplanned due to their employer making it for them or health issues.

The study also revealed that more and more Canadians are living in retirement with debt and have to come out of retirement because they need more income to sustain themselves.

Here are some thoughts about retirement and life in general to put both in proper perspective:

    Like the truth, retirement can set you free.
    Or, like work, retirement can imprison you.
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    Viva la retirement, grab it by the horns and go for it.
    — Cheryl Marland

    "Even the most gifted individual, whether poet or physicist,
    will not realize his full potential or make his fullest
    contribution to his times unless his imagination has been
    kindled by the aspirations and accomplishments of those
    who have gone before him. Humanist scholars have therefore
    a special responsibility in that the past is a natural domain.
    They have the privilege and obligation of interpreting the
    past to each new generation of men who necessarily must live
    in one small corner for one little stretch of time."
    — Commission of the Humanities

    There are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work,
    Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character,
    Commerce without morality, Science without humanity,
    Worship without sacrifice and politics without principle.
    — Mahatma Gandhi

Check out 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work

Jul 10, 2011

The New Retirement - Retire in Your 80's

First, I just got interviewed by Sam Bickford, a dancing studio consultant and speaker from Vancouver, who along with his wife Valerie run 3 dance studios with 3,600 students. Neither teaches anymore. To them the new retirement is semi-retirement. They manage their studios mainly from their home office by working only 4 or 5 hours a week. Sam also teaches other dance studio owners to work only a few hours a week and enjoy semi-retirement as the new retirement for anyone prosperous enough to do so.

Sam loved an affirmation (which is part of my retirement plan) and that I created for my international best-selling book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (over 250,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages).

In fact, I had forgotten about this affirmation for the new retirement.

Here it is just for you:

    Affirmation for the Connoisseur of Life

    "I am now a Connoisseur of Life. I am too prosperous to
    work long and hard hours. I have earned my prosperity
    and deserve the right to enjoy a creative and satisfying
    lifestyle. I am too spiritually evolved to have an identity
    based on my work, possessions, and net worth.
    Instead, my identity is based on more profound things,
    including my creativity, my generosity, my spontaneity,
    my sense of humor, my peace of mind, my passion for
    new experiences, my happiness, and my spirituality."
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor

Second, a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that MOST AMERICANS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD RETIREMENT UNTIL THEIR 70’s or 80's.

Ths study by EBRI called The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy indicates that many American’s hopes of a retirement have been dashed and they will need to keep working into 70’s and sometimes even 80’s.

The report is even worse for low-income American workers. Unfortunately, it suggests that those who earned on average over the course of their careers less than $11,700 per year, would need to defer their retirement plans till age 84 before 90 percent of those households would have a 50 percent chance of having enough in their retirement accounts to afford retirement.

Americans who earned between $31,200 and $72,500 during their careers will need to work to age 72 to have a 50 percent chance at retirement whereas those who earned more than $72,500 in their careers can stop working at 65 – in order to have a 50/50 chance of having enough money to fund their retirement.

In short, the EBRI study indicates that the new retirement for Americans is that not working is no longer an option for most and working past age 65 is becoming a fact of life. In other words they will have to wait for some time to experience 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

    5 Important Principles about Money (Quotations) That Will Help You Retire Rich and Enjoy the New Retirement at the Age of 55

    "People who don't respect money don't have any."
    — J. Paul Getty

    No organization — government or otherwise — can take great care of you.
    Organizations aren't capable of this — only you are!"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    "People who are fools with money are foolish in many other ways too."
    — Dave Erhard

    "If you want to be truly prosperous, forget about keeping up with the Joneses.
    Their prosperity is a facade.
    They are broke — and in debt big time!"
    — from the book Zen I Got Rich by Yours Truly

    "Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship."
    — Benjamin Franklin

    "Money is easy to handle;
    There are two secrets:
    The first is spend less than you make.
    If this doesn't work for you, then the second one is definitely for you:
    Make more than you spend.
    That's all there is to handling money."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook