Retirement Planning For The 21st Century

It breaks my heart every time I see a senior citizen (60+ years old) working at Walmart, either greeting people at the entrance, or pushing carts around, to just make enough money to pay for their medications. It’s the brutal reality that we live in. And it’s only going to get worse.

The biggest problem facing our civilization is: Cost of Living is going UP, Employment (Jobs) and Inflation Adjusted Wages are going DOWN, and the life expectancy has considerably gone UP, for better or for worse. Combine all those factors with the rapidly increasing population, and you have a situation where the issues presented in the movie Elysium, have the possibility of becoming very real. Dystopia, I tell you.

So is there anything that we can do, to at least survive these problems, before we kick the bucket and meet our creator? Well of course there are certain things that can be done, in order to ensure that you can live a decent life after retirement. Now keep in mind, the plan I’m about to outlay in this post is for people who fall in the category known as the “Middle Class”. That means, you’re neither Rich, nor Poor; you’re just Average, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Here’s my ideal Retirement Plan (items in no particular order):

1) Education – The days of high school dropouts getting decent paying jobs are long gone. We live in a competitive world, and it’s either Do or Die. It’s a survivor’s game, and in order to survive, you need the right tools. Education is a must. If nothing else, you should be willing to move heaven and earth to at least get a Bachelors Degree in a field that’s hot at the moment. Today, the field of Medicine, Technology, and Finance, are pretty hot. Of course, times change, and with that, the requirements change; you gotta be able and willing to ADAPT.

2) Investing In Hard/Liquid Assets – In a world were FIAT Currency is as worthless are a sheet of printing paper, you need to insure your future by investing in hard/tangible assets. Gold, Diamonds, Real-Estate, etc… you need to have at least 25% of your liquid net worth invested in these hard assets.

3) Marriage – If and when you finally make up your mind and plan to get married, I recommend you choose your life partner very wisely. Your partner should be someone that’s productive and contributes in some way to the household. You need to have at least 2 earners in your family.

4) Buying a House – Don’t go for the Hollywood lifestyle with 3 pools and a tennis court in your backyard. Be conservative. Buy a house that’s just good enough, and severs the purpose that it’s suppose to serve: Sheltering. Also, if you buy a house and it goes UP in price, lets say from $100K to $200K, I recommend selling the house, taking the profit, and renting an apartment for the next 2-3 years, until the home prices go back down, at which point, you can consider buying a house again. I believe one shouldn’t stay in the same house for more than 10 years, especially if the house has gone UP in value. Even though this might sound tedious, this is the best thing for your future/retirement.

5) Invest In Your Kids – Assuming that you’re smart enough to have no more than 2 kids, I highly recommend being nice to your kids and investing in then, with the hope that they love you enough to take care of you after retirement. Even though this is a cheesy retirement idea, it’s still worth a shot.

6) Avoid Making Foolish Mistakes – Money is hard to come by these days. So before wasting it on some crappy investment scheme, think a million times about the consequences, and weigh all the risks, before making a final decision. Heck, you’d be better off in the long run, keeping your money in a savings deposit, rather than investing it in some phony investment scheme.

There you have it. Though these are just some ideas that you can implement, they are certain to add up over time. Small things make a huge difference.

P.S: If time permits, I’ll do another post, a Part 2, with some more Retirement Planning Ideas for the 21st Century.

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Wall Street Fool provides unbiased real-time market analysis and commentary for Stocks, Bonds, Futures, Forex, Fixed Income, and Derivatives markets.
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