Americans are a people focused on retirement. You talk with almost anyone about their plans for the future and their eyes light up as they tell you when they are going to retire and what they will be doing at that time. I have always thought this was a bit sad. The whole idea of retirement is based on the concept that you will spend the most productive years of your life doing what you donâ€™t want to do so you can finally get to a point near the end where you can do nothing at all. â€œNothing you say, no we are going to be traveling, playing golf and spend time with our grandchildren!â€.
Oh really, I have a question, how long can you be on a vacation now before you start to miss home? For me personally, itâ€™s about 14 days before I am tired of airports, hotels, restaurant food and/or cramped cabins. Typically once I return from a vacation, I have no desire to travel for several months. So if you want to go home after two weeks of traveling and donâ€™t want travel again a few months you really canâ€™t fill up all that much of your time traveling can you?
But you still have golf, tennis, trap shooting or whatever your â€œthingâ€ is. How much of a 24 hour day can you realistically take up with your favorite activity and would you want to do it seven days a week even if you could afford to? Most retired golfers I have talked with golf at most about two to three days a weeks and that if the weather is good!
Ah, but you have those grand children to keep you busy and itâ€™s a good thing because you havenâ€™t filled up much of your first year of retirement traveling or playing golf! Now your grandchildren, how long can you chase around a small child at 65 years old before you are ready for their mother or father to take care of them? How many meals do you really want to have where you have to say â€œeat your vegetablesâ€ 50 times? On top of that your children and grandchildren have their own lives, filled with soccer and dances practices, school and careers. So how much time will be taken up with grandchildren again?
While retireeâ€™s often think they will have a retirement full of fun and activities there seems to be a great deal more sitting around, doing puzzles and driving your spouse crazy than expected. When you retire, you create a vacuum which nature abhors. Most of the time, retireeâ€™s arenâ€™t realistic about the amount of a void in their life they have created with retirement, as a result you see men knitting and taking up ceramics class to have something to do!
While some retireeâ€™s seem to cope with all the free time that retirement brings, most retirees will admit itâ€™s a bit lonely and less exciting than they thought all those working years. This brings about another issue, health. The healthiest and happiest people are typically those that are the most active and have the most to look forward to. This is why many retirees are healthier during their working years and then have health issues after retiring.
Realizing the inherent flaws with traditional retirement, I looked for a better way. I wanted to plan my entire life and not just my retirement. I wanted to semi-retire at an early age, find the work that I was passionate about and never retire in the traditional since. If you plan your life instead of worrying about retirement you have all the time you need to enjoy your family and children, travel, as well as doing what you love to do to make a living. If you have it all, why would you want to stop? This is the idea in my book Achievable Wealth, Retire Young Using Income Replacement released March 29, 2009 www.achievablewealthbook.com .
In my book I talk about the different paths you can take in Life Design. Many Americans penny pitch and work so many hours saving for retirement that you are never their for your children and deny themselves and their children any of lifeâ€™s niceties because you need every dime to fund all those years of doing nothing. I truly think this is why so many retired people go so crazy over their grand children. They werenâ€™t there for their childrenâ€™s childhood, so they want to make up for it in their grandchildrenâ€™s lives.
Once that ship sales itâ€™ over, your children only have one childhood and it should be amazing. They should have your love and your time. I have seen my 2 sons ride on elephants in Thailand, sing with performers in Morocco and see parts of this world that I could just dream about as a child. I have shared and enjoy everyday of my childrenâ€™s lives and I feel I have missed nothing. I have a grandchild which I dearly love, but he is my childâ€™s child and not my child. I can play with him, spoil him and when I am tired or have something to do, he goes back to Mom and Dad, no worries!
While I donâ€™t want to retire in a traditional sense, I realize that the day will come when I can no longer live the life I have designed. Through planning a variety of passive and near passive business ventures and real estate investments as well as proper insurance, asset protection and living within our means, my wife and I will be taken care of no matter what happens in the future.