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What is Your Retirement Plan?

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The following is a guest post written by Corey from Passive Income to Retire and 20’s Finances.

Do you have a plan for retirement? Is it what you look forward to? Does it help you stay motivated and get through the work week? What if life wasn’t supposed to be about waiting for your life to begin?

What is Your Retirement Plan?

A co-worker of mine has a clock on his desk at work. The clock isn’t an ordinary clock that is set to the time of day. In fact, the clock is going the opposite way. It is counting down to his retirement by the day. This would normally suggest that he is just a few days or months away from retirement. Strangely enough, he is just under 17 years away from retirement. That’s right, it’s not a typo – 17 years!

Can you believe someone would count down 17 years (by the day) to his retirement? Strangely enough, this is what a lot of us do. We buy into the typical understanding of retirement instead of defining it for ourselves. I used to think this same way. In fact, I provided another guest post for retireby40 about my retirement plan. I suggested that because I have lots of time, I didn’t have to stress about the details. I would rather save more money to provide me the luxury of not having to stress about it. Since I’m young, I also have time and compound interest on my side.

The Best Retirement Plan Changes

Believe it or not, in the past three months, my retirement plan has changed. I now have an alternate retirement plan. I know you are thinking I am just another wishy-washy person in their 20’s, who doesn’t know what they are doing. Heck, you might be right. But I think that the best retirement plan changes. If it didn’t change, it would suggest that you are not taking into consideration your current status of your assets. While setting goals may motivate you, if they are too rigid, you will become disenchanted with them. You will fail to see the importance of them and give up on them all together.

My Retirement Plan Now

That is why it is better to change your plans when your world changes. Don’t try to hold on to a thing of the past. In this light, I am switching my retirement plans. Instead of buying into the typical retirement plan, I plan to retire in 2-3 years. By retire, I certainly don’t mean sit around and do nothing. But, I do plan to work less days than I don’t work. That’s right, my goal, as I see it now, is to “retire” in a few years with passive income (or semi-passive) to live off of (that supplements my wife’s salary). The only regulation is that I am able to manage these income streams in 3 days or less and that it replaces my current salary at my day job. Can you imagine only having to work 3 day a week starting at 27?

I may be shooting for the stars, but think about the possibilities of making this happen. I would have so many more possibilities and options with my life. I created my new site to track my progress and inspire others to resist the traditional understanding of retirement. Certainly everyone’s situation is different, but I figure that I have nothing to lose. I am going to give it all I have and see where I come out. At the very least, I will build up a decent side income. If it works out, I will be one happy person!

Has Your Retirement Plan Changed?

retirebyforty> That’s great! I can’t wait to see if Corey can do it by 27. I’m sure he can create alternative income streams and quit his day job, but I predict he’ll still be working 5-6 days/week. When you choose what to do with your time instead of following order, you want to spend more time doing it. My exit strategy is a bit more structured since I’ve been working at it for a while, but I like Corey’s plan too. I’ll be keeping an eye on his new blog – Passive Income to Retire.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Andrew November 21, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Dream big, there are many ways for youngsters to get ahead. I also focus on investments and personal finance… anything that can shorten your time span hitting the books for someone else. Good luck!

  • Untemplater November 20, 2011, 10:43 pm

    When I first graduated I figured I’d be working until 65 because that’s what most people do. I’ve realized it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m planning on retiring from traditional work before 40 so I can live an untemplate lifestyle. -Sydney

    • retirebyforty November 21, 2011, 12:31 pm

      Keep us updated on your plan to retire before 40. 😉

  • My University Money November 20, 2011, 7:14 pm

    That sounds awesome man! I’m 23 right now, and I have tentatively looked at 40-45 as a retirement date (depending on if and how many kids I end up having). I am constantly working to improve my passive income as well. Does part of your plan consist of moving to a country that has a low cost of living?

    • 20's Finances November 20, 2011, 7:40 pm

      Thanks! It may! I would love to travel and it would keep costs down. Plus, since my wife and I don’t plan to have kids (not for this reason), we would have that flexibility later.

    • retirebyforty November 21, 2011, 12:32 pm

      I think 40-45 is a great time frame for retiring from the day job. You have 20 years left to build your side income so I think you’ll do great. Keep us updated.

  • Darwin's Money November 20, 2011, 11:29 am

    I think so much can change in 17 years that it may not be realistic. With that much time, why not just save more and make it 15 years if that’s his goal? OR conversely, we may see such higher taxes, lower SS benefits and inflation that the same guy has to work 23 years to save enough to make it through retirement. Personally? I set up a spreadsheet last year and modeled out my best guess at all income/expenses over the years, including college for the kids. I just adjust it once a year to see how I’m doing to plan and whether I need to alter assumptions.

    • Edward Antrobus November 20, 2011, 3:01 pm

      I think the point of a clock counting down to a date 17 years in the future isn’t so much about when he will be financially able to retire but possibly his target age.

      On paper, my retirement plan says retirement at age 70, but that is all dependent on my health. My health may deteriorate faster and force me to retire earlier. Or I may be healthier longer than is common for the men in my family and be able to work beyond that age.

      • retirebyforty November 21, 2011, 12:34 pm

        I think you’re right about the target date. Having that countdown clock probably restrict his options though. If he get rid of the clock, he might think out of the box more and find other alternatives. The clock is probably a self fulfilling prophecy.
        BTW, if you like your work, then I think you should work as long as you can. 😉

    • retirebyforty November 21, 2011, 12:36 pm

      Adjusting the plan is necessary. So many things can change such as health and other factors you mentioned.

  • 101 Centavos November 19, 2011, 6:14 am

    I don’t know if I’ll ever “retire”… but I am working to be free of financial obligations.

  • Robert @ My Multiple Incomes November 18, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Good luck with your new site Corey!

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 18, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Your plan sounds great to me! I think everyone has to approach retirement with their own values and abilities in mind. All too frequently many think the process has to be so lengthy and convoluted. I think your plan shows that even someone in their early 20s can have an awesome and quick retirement plan that doesn’t span 4 decades. Cheers to you!

  • krantcents November 18, 2011, 5:34 pm

    My goal of financial freedom was to live better than I was working for someone else. There is a risk when you are not working and independent!
    When I was consulting at a government agency, everyone was counting down their days to retirement. Obviously, they hate their job! If you are always waiting to do something else, you do not like what you are doing. I cannot imagine doing something I hate everyday.

    • 20's Finances November 19, 2011, 6:24 am

      Me Neither KC. That’s my primary motivation for this new goal. 🙂

  • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:45 pm

    haha – I know. Maybe I’ll bring it up with him. 🙂 Having options must feel great!

  • Jackie November 18, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Wow, I feel sorry for the guy who’s counting down 17 years toward retirement. Maybe you should talk to him about some of your alternative ideas 🙂

    I could technically “retire” today (meaning quit my job) but I’m enjoying it and learning a lot so I’ll stick around. It’ll get even easier to do so once our house is paid off, which won’t be too far in the future. Maybe I’ll be more tempted then, who knows.

  • Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot November 18, 2011, 11:50 am

    Id love to retire before the traditional age (early 60’s). At the same time I want to further my career as a personal life goal, but I dont necessarily want to work forever. Id love see what career goals I could accomplish by 50 and then reevaluate. At the very least, Id like to have the money to retire comfortably by then, whether or not I actually go through with it. Keeping in mind im 31 right now.

    • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:42 pm

      That sounds like a great plan. There’s nothing wrong with trying to accomplish their goals – everyone has their own goals. Good luck achieving yours!

  • Aloysa November 18, 2011, 11:45 am

    Understanding of retirement changes as we get older and our lives take different turns. Seems like you know where you are going now. It might change significantly when you hit you late 30s or 40s. But for now, I am watching you closely! 😉

    • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:38 pm

      Thanks Aloysa! Yes, it might change later, but if I establish myself now, I will have lots of options.

  • [email protected] November 18, 2011, 9:48 am

    I love your thoughts on this Corey! If you work hard enough, I bet you can accomplish your “retirement”! I do enjoy my job somewhat, but it would sure be nice to have options in the future! For that reason, I’m right there with you! I’m developing as much side income as possible! 🙂

    • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:37 pm

      Awesome! Glad to have you on board Derek! We’ll do it together!

  • 20'sFinances November 18, 2011, 8:32 am

    @Retireby40 – Thanks for hosting my guest post. I am honored. I feel like you just issued a challenge to me to see if I will actually be able to work only 3 days. 😉 I will do my best to accomplish it!

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time November 18, 2011, 7:53 am

    Will that be a true retirement Corey. Retire to me is a state where you don’t have to work to earn money.

    • 20'sFinances November 18, 2011, 8:31 am

      It’s true – it’s not the traditional retirement. I always thought that retirement would be where I didn’t work. But, I have rethought retirement lately. I would be way too bored to not do anything. And I hate the idea of having to wait until I am 60+ to do what I want. So, I am going to start now. 🙂 Plus, I don’t want to be a workaholic either, so this seems to be the best of both worlds.

  • Little House November 18, 2011, 7:01 am

    I love that you’re striving for such a terrific goal, quasi “retirement” and putting a few things in place to make it happen. I definitely think “retirement” needs to be defined for each person. I know that for me, I keep rethinking retirement and reworking my plan.

    • 20'sFinances November 18, 2011, 8:29 am

      I think reworking your plan is the way to go. 🙂 Good luck reaching your goals.

  • Everyday Tips November 18, 2011, 6:44 am

    Well, we have 3 expensive little creatures still at home, so retirement won’t be for a little while. I would love if my husband could retire at 50, but it will most likely be 55. It could be sooner, but the opportunity cost of his retirement is way to great, and we will be able to really accumulate money as all the kids will be out of college when we are 52.

    Not a glamorous plan I know, but we have had a great time along the way and have balanced vacation, fun, private school, college saving, retirement saving, and more along the way.

    • 20'sFinances November 18, 2011, 8:26 am

      Thanks! Being responsible is glamorous in my book! I just have a great opportunity and I am going to go for it. 🙂

  • PKamp3 November 18, 2011, 6:35 am

    Interesting strategy. I’ve heard the quote “shoot at the stars and land on the moon” – basically, aim high and if you don’t reach your original goal at least you’re on the moon!

  • Edward Antrobus November 18, 2011, 4:18 am

    My retirement plan? Work until my health no longer allows it. Full, long weeks. Preferably 6 day ones with overtime. And when I’m no longer able to work, I hope for my retirement to be short.

    My grandmother retired early because her own mother died before retiring (kept putting it off). Then she came to realize there was a reason that Nana put it off. My grandmother wound up converting religions to one of those knock on people’s doors ones just because they gave her something to do with her time.

    My grandfather retired 5 times. He just couldn’t stand not having something to do everyday. When his doctor finally told him that he wasn’t allowed to work any more, he would sometimes try to sneak away to do yard work! He died this summer after 2 years on forced retirement.

    • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:46 am

      I’m sorry to hear that Edward. Sounds like a great man. Yes, I can imagine the difficulty with not having anything to do. I certainly want to avoid that as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hunter November 18, 2011, 3:33 am

    I wish you every success Corey, and look forward to following your progress. Passive income streams still require work to manage and develop because the world is so dynamic.

    • 20's Finances November 18, 2011, 4:45 am

      Agreed. It will take time to manage. I do hope to be able to do it in three days. Replacing my income is going to be easier than keeping it in 3 days. 🙂

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