How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?

I am not a financial planner. Not by any means.

But what strikes me as interesting is that when I am at work in the break room there are guys that have been there for 30 plus years.

And they are all bitching and complaining about the company that we work for.

I want to say to them, “Then retire.”

Here’s the kicker. They probably can’t afford to retire. Some of them have admitted as much. They have spent too much money in the past few years on “stuff”. New cars, boats, four wheelers, campers, etc.

Now I am not saying that a person should never buy the things that bring them some sort of enjoyment.

But you do have to look at the bigger picture. Can I really afford this purchase right now?

Of course we go about our lives in a bit of a backward fashion in my opinion.

We rush out to buy a house that we struggle to pay for. And then we fill it with stuff we also can’t really afford.

We have kids. Talk about expensive!

Then we get vehicles that we cannot afford.

And then people these days want all the extras. Boat, cottage, other “toys” that scream success.

And people still can’t afford to pay their bills on two incomes!

I think of my parents who got by on one income. And interest rates were at 18 percent!! Can you image?

People are losing their houses now at 6 or 7 percent interest.

How did they do it?

They never had a credit card. They saved for purchases. We were a one car family.

I’ll certainly admit that it is hard to think 30 or 35 years down the road at retirement. We think that there will be lots of time to worry about that. Lots of time to invest.

Of course none of this is taught in school or at home. Parents are probably embarrassed to show their kids how much they make and where it goes.

But this is exactly what needs to be done.

Maybe then people will understand that they need to save for purchases instead of just putting it on credit.

They need to start putting money away at a very early age for retirement. Starting small is okay. You just want to get into the habit of investing.

This is one of the reasons I am choosing to live a minimalist lifestyle. I am able to invest 1000.00$ per month.

I live alone in a nice, but affordable apartment so it is a bit easier for me than it may be for some. I get that. But it is about choices.

I choose to save.

I choose to not buy stuff I don’t need.

If I work until 55 I’ll be okay. I know how much money I need to retire. Take a look at a retirement calculator to help you figure this out for yourself.

What I do know is that I won’t be one of the guys sitting around complaining at work but unable to afford to retire.

Not really how I want to spend the latter part of my life.

What about you?

“Live Simply”

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7 thoughts on “How To Afford To Retire

  1. This is definitely something I wish I had heard when I was younger. It’s still not too late I guess. As the years go by I wonder why I needed all that stuff back then. It was such a waste of $. I used to spend money like water when I was younger. I guess I never gave a second thought about the future then. Now in hindsight….

    1. We all do it. The media and peer pressure play a big part. Buying new stuff is fun. But the thrill quickly wears off. Right now I am LOVING a particular new car that is on the market. But I will save until I have the cash to buy it.
      Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing!

      Thanks so much for the comment,

      Mark

  2. I enjoy your mini articles / blogs – very straight forward. We are trying now more than ever to take an active step backward – slow down and pay off all debt including the house. One thing I am proud of is we have stayed a 1 vehicle family for 6 years. I do now have my parents van but it was given to me – funny thing is we don’t use it – sits in the driveway. We got so used to the 1 vehicle thing that it just isn’t a requirment. It is useful for transporting large “stuff” becasue the seats come out – (a spring dump run after another yard sale). Anywho keep it up and I hope your new job is going OK.

    1. Thanks Kirk! Not too many people can say that they are a one vehicle family! Impressive. New job is going well. I am all by myself. Funny how someone who enjoys being alone(well most of the time) gets a position that is isolated from others. Talk to you soon.

  3. I retired at age 58, by doing the things you recommend: start saving early, buy less stuff, drive a servicable but 15 year old car, don’t waste money on coffee and doughnuts, live simply. I lived on my retirement income amount for two years while I was still working, to make sure I could make it. That helped me save even more for any future emergency expenses. There’s been NO money problems since I retired – after years of being conscious of where the money goes, I found out I had all I needed. So when the job got intolerable, I could say, “So long!” Just wanted readers to know that your advice works.

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