Whether you are 20 or you are 50, your retirement may feel like its really far away… but the truth is that its not.
Reason #1: If you have more income coming in then expenses going out, you can retire any time you want.
Reason #2: Anything can happen at any time, and these things usually cost a lot of money.
So to make this less boring, lets replace the word retirement with “EMPIRE“. Doesn’t that sound neat? How much money are you saving every month to put towards your EMPIRE?
Yes, much better.
So what is an Empire? Imagine its a large bucket. How large? Thats up to you. The bucket grows as it is filled. But often there are holes in the bucket that are used to pay for expenses and silly liabilities.
The old way to think about retirement was to fill the bucket up until 65, then retire and start draining the bucket until one day you finally kick the bucket.
Problem #1: What if your bucket is empty before you kick it?
Problem #2: Re-read Problem #1 because that should scare the crap out of you!
What most retirees don’t realize is that your expenses actually INCREASE as you age. Even with Medicaid/Medicare/Insurance the cost of living goes up as you age.
“I remember when going to the movies cost a nickel!” – Your Grandparents
Don’t forget about inflation! Every day the government is making your dollars worth less and less. The best way to understand this is that it once actually did cost only a nickel to see a movie!
But the government keeps printing money, making the money you have saved less and less valuable. So not only are your expenses going up, but the value of the money that you still have is going down.
“Da da da da da da da da da” – Empire Music from Star Wars
Good thing you aren’t “saving for retirement” but instead are “building your empire”.
Empire Building is simple:
-Education: Take control of your finances. Cut stupid expenses and spend every free moment thinking about how you can increase your income.
-Decision Making: Do your own research so you can make your own decisions. Do not leave this aspect of your life up to someone else, especially someone that earns a commission. This is your EMPIRE for you to rule and no one else.
-Discipline: No excuses. Find Your “Why” and stick to it!
Retirement vs. EMPIRE Building
Remember the bucket? Of course you do.
With retirement, you spend your life trying to fill your bucket until you are 65. There are many holes in this bucket but hopefully you are adding more water to this bucket than is draining. Then one day you stop filling your bucket (retirement) and you hope you have enough water left over to last you until you die.
With EMPIRE Building, you spend your entire life creating new streams of water (income!) that continually pour into this bucket. Even if they are small streams today, they are important. You minimize the holes in your bucket and as your bucket starts to fill up, it grows.
Your bucket gets larger and larger over the years as more and more streams are added to it.
One day you will realize that you have more streams than holes. Many more in fact. And since these are automatic (you don’t need to do anything to maintain these streams) you can choose whether or not you want to keep adding new streams. (The Cash Flow Lifestyle!)
You decide how big you want your Empire to be. While it is important to always live below your means, its up to you to continually raise your means.
Or, you can just save for ‘retirement’.