I’ve stated in previous posts and blogs that this country doesn’t have as much an economic problem as it does with priorities. While there are great and indisputable fiscal issues making success unnecessarily difficult, success is never easy to begin with even in the best of times. Conversely, there are people determined to be successful and stay that way, regardless of who’s in The White House or on Wall Street.
Among countless issues in the news, there’s a growing statistic of people experiencing difficulty achieving the necessary savings for retirement. Some cynics have gone far enough to declare retirement as dead as the Latin language, citing everything from dropping income and slashed pensions, to the simple fact that the numbers necessary to live off the interest are impossible for most to achieve. Since everyone is different, there aren’t any easy answers. But since everyone is different, there are personal decisions you can make to determine which statistic you want to be.
First off, assert your individuality by recognizing the fact that the idea of 65 as your retirement birthday present was introduced in the US in 1935 when the average life expectancy was 61.7 years. This does not need to be a drop-dead date to determine success or failure. In a day where the morning shows seem to constantly report a 100 years-young codger in the mid-west, people need to realize this isn’t a race. Just because retiring early is an accomplishment, retiring at 70 is not a tragedy. In fact, the odds of success by working five more years shoot up to 85%. You’ll get there when you get there.
Everything else lies personally within you and your ability to honestly answer questions you need to ask yourself. How much do you need to retire? What do you need to do to get there? How long will it take? And here’s the one nobody wants to ask themselves. What are you prepared to sacrifice to get there? Do I need a pool this year or can it wait? Does my car have another 10,000 miles on it? Can I afford a vacation right now? Is this flip-phone good enough? Do I need to spend even more time away from home to get where I need to be?
You are not a statistic. You are an individual. Success is attainable and so is retirement. What are you prepared to do?