There is no middle ground …

To me, making $7 million in 7 years (or some other Large Number / Soon Date) is not the goal … at least, it was never the goal for me.

My goal was always to become financially free and have the ability to live my Life’s Purpose.

It just so happened that, when I crunched the numbers, I found out that I needed to make $5 million in 5 years.

[AJC: now, thanks to my book, this process has been highly simplified, if you want to do the same]

I failed on the time frame, but ended up with $7 million in 7 years and promptly retired, at the ripe old age of 49. Now, I blog here (amongst other enjoyable ‘give back’ things that I do).

Fortunately, the goal for some is a lot lower.

For example, in my last post I showed that – if you are happy living on just 50% of your current income for the rest of your life (after adjusting for inflation) – you just need to save 50% of your paycheck every week for the next 17 years.

If this is you, then you need to be reading blogs other than this; you need to save/save/save, max your 401k, pay off all of your debt, and stay very frugal. After all, living on half a paycheck is not easy 🙁

But, what about the rest of us?

Well, I asked you to spend some time with an online retirement calculator; if you took my advice, you probably found something like this:

This means that a couple earning a combined $50k a year today (with 20 years left until retirement), saving a full 10% of their income, has only a 50% chance of their money lasting as long as they do … even if they receive full Social Security benefits for the next 40+ years!

Without Social Security, this couple has virtually no chance at all (1%) of their money lasting as long as they do even if they save 15% of their paycheck for the next 20 years. If they manage to save 25% of their combined pay for 20 years, their chances of financial survival are still less than 25%.

How does creating an emergency fund, paying off all debt, and paying yourself first actually help these people financially survive after half a lifetime of work?

In the above context, I don’t think it helps much, at all.

Really, most traditional personal finance boils down to: saving 50% of your pay packet for the next 17 years, or taking your chances on Uncle Sam looking after you for the rest of your non-working life. The rest is fluff.

If that doesn’t appeal, stick around for the final part of this three part series, where I’ll share my strategies for real financial security.


Be Sociable, Share!

5 thoughts on “There is no middle ground …

  1. Just wanted to thank you for your information. I kinda ended in the same place as you and what you said is what I did over the past 7 years. Never realized how hard it was till I read your little book!

  2. @ Will – Congrats & thanks – drop me an e-mail and tell me about it [ajc AT 7million7years DOT com] …

  3. Pingback: How to become financially secure …- 7million7years

  4. Pingback: Personal Finance = Emotive Finance- 7million7years

Leave a Reply