Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Retirement is Worst-Case-Scenario Insurance
I just started reading a fascinating book by Timothy Ferris titled The 4-Hour Workweek (Wall Street Journal Bestseller).
Although there are some shortcuts and assumptions in the book, it is so far (50 pages out of 300) refreshing both by the concepts exposed and by the style of the author. I can't garantee my workweek will be shrinked by 60 hours when I finish reading it, but I will have learned a few things.
Here's and except about the irrelevance of planning for retirement that somehow relates to one of my older posts (You can't pack a lifetime into a retirement):
Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons:
a. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter - nothing can justify that sacrifice.
b. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdog-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per ear. The Math doesn't work. The golden years become a lower-middle-class life revisited. That's a bittersweet ending.
c. If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that's the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you'll be so damn bored that you'll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn't it?