The average American works their butts off for their primary working years trying to…
- Make ends meet
- Achieve the American Dream
- Put some money away for retirement
I say "trying" because most Americans are failing to do any of those things!
Here's what's really going on...
- Americans are trying to make ends meet but they are incurring higher and higher debt (through mortgages, credit cards, loans, lines of credit, and financing) to pay for everything
- Americans are trying to achieve the American Dream but are going about it the wrong way.
- And most Americans are failing at putting money away for retirement. According to BankRate.com, one of the top web's top authorities on lending, only 28% of Americans felt that they were saving enough for retirement. 36% said they were saving some but not enough and another 32% said they weren't saving anything at all because of other financial obligations. Sixty-eight percent of Americans are going to be hard-pressed to fund their retirement because of other financial obligations – likely one of the other two reasons I've mentioned earlier. (Note: In case you're wondering why it doesn't add up to 100%, 4% of those polled didn't answer).
Which category of retirement savings do you fall into? Are you in the fortunate 28% who is saving enough? Or are you among the 68% who are going to struggle when you retire (or perhaps not be able to retire at all)?
I'm not surprised when I read about a study suggesting that 21% of Americans consider the lottery as a wealth-building strategy to help them afford retirement.
It gets worse
Even though people try to save (but usually don't save enough), there are two more realities to consider that most people forget:
- Costs are rising. So the money you think you need for retirement is probably not going to be enough once you actually retire. During retirement, you might pay less taxes and you might not have a mortgage but you will have other expenses: Medical expenses plus what about all those things that you've been dreaming about doing in your retirement years?!?
- People are living longer. Increased awareness of healthy living as well as new advances in medicine mean that people are living much longer. It's not unusual for people to reach 100 years old anymore, and with every decade, that likelihood increases thanks to modern science. But it means that the money you might be saving now for retirement will need to be stretched further and further and further. So you are working 45 years, saving the whole time… and SAVING for an additional 30 or 40 years of non-revenue-earning living!
That's bad news but it actually gets worse
Now here's the most frustrating part for most Americans: They financially struggle through most of their primary earning years (about age 20 to about age 65 – give or take a few years) to try and save up. And since most people fail to save, they won't have enough to pay for the years that they were looking forward to not working.
That is the most backwards thinking I can imagine.
Why would anyone CHOOSE that kind of lifestyle? To work and work for 45 years (or so) hoping to have sufficient funds to pay for the years they enjoy only to financially struggle.
It could be different
What if you could retire in a year or less and be able to AFFORD the kind of lifestyle that you can't afford right now… and aren't even considering as a viable option for when you plan to retire at 65? What if you could buy the new car, buy the bigger house, pay for the kids' college, and travel to those exotic destinations… all without worry?
And, what if you could do it all WITHOUT WORKING?
It's possible with real estate investing.
It's possible. Hey, I'm living it. As you read this, I’m on my second trip around the world… This time it’s a 5 year trip meeting many folks who would LOVE to have the Time freedom and finances to do whatever they want (and not have to wait until retirement to do it!)
I don't lose any sleep over what the future will hold for me 30 or 40 years down the road when people I know are retiring.
I have the financial freedom and the time freedom to do whatever I want. I've been all over the world. As I write this, I've just finished enjoying some time in the Caribbean on a leg of our 5 year trip (actually we are 14 months and 1 day into the 5 year trip as I write this to you).
I've designed my business to run without me so that I can spend more of my time with my family and friends on the beach or snorkeling or exploring the jungle or checking out the great restaurants in the area. (That's why people call me the Digital Nomad, "The DN", because I run my business from anywhere). And you can do “IF” you design it that way.
I don’t have a retirement "fund" that I'm struggling to save for. I have real estate investments that generate daily income for me no matter where I am in the world… and which will ensure that my future years will be as comfortable and carefree. As well, many virtual real estate profit zones which we’ll be talking more about in future post.
So what should you do?
First, let me say that I am not a licensed financial advisor so I cannot legally give YOU specific advice about your life or finances. But what I can tell you is what many have done and what I would suggest you seriously investigate: Forget squirreling away your hard-earned wage into a 401(k). Instead, do this:
Go out and create passive income. Passive income is money you earn while laying on a hammock somewhere, far from the ringing of the telephone!
One of the best ways to do that is to find deals that pay you monthly money. It's easy. Come back to this blog regularly and I'll show you how. You can find deals in a million different ways. Heck, you don't even have to find the deals yourself.
Here's an easy way to do it: Create a list of buyers. Then go find a deal. Then, do the deal. Ask your potential buyer-investors if they would do a deal with you. Some will say no but it only takes 1. :) And then you're on the way. Your first deal might not lock in your retirement, but it's the first step toward a more secure, more rewarding retirement that you can enjoy sooner.
You can retire sooner and more comfortably. It's all within your grasp if you just take the first step.
Your livin'-the-good-life friend and mentor
Mark Evans, DM, DN