The Future of Retirement is Here! Are You Ready?
On September 15th, 2008, the world of finance changed. If you are reading this right now, you likely remember everything that has happened since then, but you may not understand the significance of that date.
On that fateful day in September 2008, Lehman Brothers, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected investment banks, FAILED! The bank had to close its doors, sell off its assets, and declared bankruptcy. Thousands lost their job, and the landscape of Wall Street and finances changed forever.
Worse yet, however, was that the US Economy shrank significantly, and the world collectively lost $12.8 Trillion! That is the equivalent of the United States shuttering its doors, and no one receiving a paycheck until October this year!
Further, the way Americans starting thinking about their future shifted dramatically. A peer of mine, Ross, was gearing up for retirement at that time, and was normally a jovial individual, simply happy to be alive.
In October 2008, he had a different demeanor altogether. It turned out that he had just received his 401k statement in the mail the day prior, and the news was anything but pleasant. His portfolio had taken a 40% decline in the course of two months, and his employee stock had fallen by over 90% as well!
To say he was depressed was an understatement. His years of sobriety nearly went up in flames as we talked that day. I have never seen someone’s mood shift so drastically in such a short period of time.
It was almost like seeing a close friend the day after their spouse passed away. It was utterly depressing, and all I could do was feel sorry for him.
It turned out that Ross had to extend his working years by seven additional years! He was prepared to retire in 2009, and to this day he is still working, trying to recoup those massive losses!
Unfortunately, Ross isn’t alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the largest working population right now is comprised of Baby Boomers, the people who should be gearing up for retirement, if they aren’t already retired! This of course has major downstream effects on our economy and work force, but that is a story for another day!
This is indicative of an even greater problem: our Retirement System is Broken!
According to other studies:
• 80% of workers 30-54 will not have enough money to retire…ever! (Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute)
• 63% of retired individuals are completely reliant on the government, friends, family, or charity to support their quality of life! (Statistic Brain Research Institute)
• 1/3 of all Americans have no money saved for retirement…at all! (Federal Reserve)
• By 2037, the Social Security system will be bankrupt! (Social Security Trustee Report)
Given these statistics, is it any wonder why so many people fear (and completely avoid) the thought of retirement? Retirement planning has become one of those “taboo” phrases one ought not to mention in public!
I’m here to tell you there is a different and better way to plan for your future. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Self Directed Investing & Retirement Planning outlines a new way of thinking about retirement…one that isn’t reliant on anyone other than you to prepare for your future!
The premise is simple: Don’t plan on getting a single red cent from anyone else the day you plan to stop working! If you ask yourself that question, how does it change the conversation in your mind?
The first comment most people make when I suggest that idea is, “Well that’s why I have a financial planner, and I have a good one!”
Well today, in 2015, most people have this false belief that their financial planner is good. Most people also held that belief in 1996 and again in 2007. Unfortunately, we seem to have a very limited capacity for recalling what our thoughts and beliefs were prior to a cataclysmic event such as the Great Recession!
I want you to question your assumptions about what you know, and recall where you learned these ideas. Did you learn how to plan for your retirement from your “financial planner”? If so, what bias do you think he or she might have had in educating you?
Instead, just assume the market is going to drop by at least 30% again (or more) in the next few years. Did your financial planner get you out of the market before it dropped last time? What chances do you stand of getting out before the fall next time?
I want you to start asking yourself, “How can I prepare for my retirement knowing that neither I nor my financial planner can predict the markets?”
If you begin with that question in mind, the conversation starts taking on a new dimension, and opens doors to unlimited possibilities!