How should you plan for your financial future?
Conventional thinking says to look at your current salary then it says that in retirement you need some larger-or-smaller percentage of that salary to live on – some people say that you need just 50% to 70% of your pre-retirement salary in retirement … others say 100% to 120% – hence you need a certain lump sum invested in a certain way to produce that weekly or monthly withdrawal.
Now, this may produce the RIGHT result for SOME people, but I believe that any resemblance to what MOST PEOPLE would want to retire on is purely coincidental.
Here are two examples – obviously extreme – to illustrate:
1. Less is more
Let’s say that you like surfing … in fact, if to surf every day and just ‘be one with the waves’ is your Life’s Dream, then, I say “go for it!” …
… Go ahead and cash in your 401k and other assets now, move to Byron Bay (Australia) and you can pretty much live the rest of your life on the beach, living off government handouts.
Plenty of people are happily living this ‘dream’ right now …
Requirement: 0% (give or take) of your current salary
2. More is more
In 1998 I had the audacity to imagine a life where I could be ‘free’ to travel physically, mentally, and spiritually … I costed this life in terms of:
(a) Time – I would need to retire within 10 years so that I would be free to travel where and when I liked,
(b) Money – I would need about $250k a year in PASSIVE INCOME, indexed for life … my dream didn’t say that I couldn’t travel Coach!
The only problem, in 1998 I was running a struggling business employing 5 people, losing $5k a month, $30k in debt, drawing only $50k a year, and my wife still had to work … what’s more the business had been running that way for 5 years!
Requirement: 500% (give or take) of my (then) current salary
The outcome for me was positive (I didn’t just pick the name of this blog out of thin air!), I firmly believe BECAUSE I had a Big Dream. My challenge is now to shift from aiming towards it to actually living it.
But, the point here is that your LIFE should dictate your finances, not the other way around … dream first …
… only then, financially plan accordingly.