Over the past several months I’ve written about using other sources of income to create an income bridge, in order to delay claiming Social Security (The S – Social Security Wealth) until age 70 thus earning 8% annual delayed credits. We’ve discussed taking money from (The I – Investment Wealth) qualified plans while taxes are low, markets are high and interest rates are non-existent. Last month we discussed using a HECM (The H – Home Wealth) or Reverse Mortgage. Using the Reverse Mortgage to create an irrevocable line of credit which among other things could be used to create spendable income while delaying Social Security Benefits. That leaves only Work (The W – Work Wealth) as the remaining and possibly the most important piece of the WISH Puzzle.
The End of Retirement
Whenever I do a presentation I always start with a question, “What is the definition of Retirement?” and I waited to get several responses from the audience be they CPA’s, Financial Advisors or Most Extra Ordinary Individuals. The answers were all relatively similar “to quit one’s work or profession”. No one ever came up with the accounting definition “the disposal of a fixed asset after it’s useful life”! Having started in the Securities Industry in 1975 and being told and trained that everything involved saving for retirement, I found it quite interesting that no one really understood WHY! Retirement is a relatively new phenomena, it really wasn’t until after WWII that anyone would have considered Retirement a worthy objective or goal.
What does the Doctor Say?
Last month I saw my 70 year young doctor for my annual physical and we had an interesting conversation in regards to his patients who retired. He commented that those who fully retired, aged more rapidly that those who don’t, he also mentioned they had far greater health issues. It mirrors my experiences with clients and friends who retired to the couch and it’s not good! As an aside 25% of Baby Boomers who retire are getting divorced (Gray Divorce) when one or both retire, which only backs up one’s marriage vows “Till death do us part, but that doesn’t include lunch”.
What does the Bible Say?
Nothing! Although we can take advice from the wisest man whoever walked on the face of the earth (Solomon) in the book of Ecclesiastes where he says 7x in 12 short chapters “I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil – this is a gift from God” Eccl 3:12 or “Here is what I see as good; It is appropriate to eat and drink and prosper from all the toil one toils at under the sun during the limited days of life God gives us; for this is our lot” Eccl 5:17. He had everything and abused most everything, but in the end is only real enjoyment was in his LABOR.
The Future – Phased Retirement
When retirement first came into vouge life expectancy was much shorter. Today someone turning 65 has a pretty good chance of living into their 90’s, 25 years of vacation is not all that healthy (emotionally, physically or spiritually), to say nothing of the stress it might put on one’s finances. With today’s demographics, aging population (Help Wanted Signs everywhere) it is a great opportunity to redefine and re-exam the very essence of WORK. I’ve seen a number of individuals, cut back on their hours, become consultants, create new jobs (yours truly), start their own business, etc. etc. Besides the financial aspects (earning $40,000/yr. is equivalent to having an additional $1 Million of investment capital), there are Social aspects, Intellectual rewards and Physical benefits to continued employment.
The Game of Life
I’m reading a great book by James Hollis – What Matters Most, he writes “We all receive maps: this is what life is about – do this, do that, don’t do this or that; value this, pursue that; count on this; avoid that, and so on. Received maps come from parents, religious and educational sources, popular culture and from history. Sometime these maps are helpful and rewarding, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes we begin to cotton to the fact that we are living someone else map.” Think about this for a moment, maybe more “Who’s life am I living?” Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? What are my unique talents? How should I spend my time? What do I really, really, really want to do?
I think the Front 9 of life is living the life you think you were supposed to live, which was programmed by parents, teachers, society, friends, media, etc. The Back 9 is all about living the Life you were uniquely meant to live, programmed by our creator before you were even born. The parable of the Talents is my favorite and most concerning, when the master returns and asks his servant “What did you do with what I gave you?”
I’m not saying that one needs to work for compensation upon retirement from one’s Front 9 profession, I know a lot of great individuals who are thriving and finding their calling thru charitable and civic stewardship opportunities. A good friend of mine is accomplishing his calling by assisting his special needs granddaughter. Everyone has a Unique and Special Talent and Design, the key is finding out what it is and walking down that path.
To Do What You Want To Do, When You Want To Do It!
I think my unique calling is the assist individuals by creating and maximizing INCOME (WISH 4 INCOME) so that they can live the lives they want and were meant to live!