Over the years I've noticed that personal finance can be a very touchy subject for a lot of people. For whatever reason, I've just always enjoyed learning and talking about it. I'm probably way over into the realm of TMI as several of my close friends continually tell me. My filter is set pretty low.
Lately, I've been considering a widely used term in the personal finance world. Retirement. Yuck. Just saying it brings a bad taste to my mouth. I'm 46, and by traditional standards, I'm about 19 years away from retirement. However, I don't like the word retirement, nor do I like the idea of waiting till I'm 65.
Retirement is a Dirty Word
To me, retirement is a dirty word. When you're young, you don't really care about it. When you're old, you're scared of it usually because you didn't do a good job preparing for it. For example, my dad feels like he's invincible. He's 67 and works 50-60 hours a week. He plans to work until the day he drops. Is that realistic? No, especially since he's been smoking since he was around 10 years old. However, he doesn't have any other option. No retirement, and social security is a joke.
So, I prefer to dump the term "retirement". It's a dirty word. Instead, let's use the words "wealth building". Whether you are young or old, you can and should do wealth building. The more wealth building you do, the better off you'll be when you need money. And who wants to retire in their 60s anyway. Try setting a date to quit working at 59 1/2 years old which is the earliest you can draw on your retirement without tax penalties. If you did enough wealth building earlier in your life, it's totally doable.
I'm big on the 59 1/2 years old or sooner number because of my past life experiences. I've seen too many of my friends and family pass away in their 60s to wait. My mother passed away last year at age 67. My former boss passed away around 65. Every one of them would have had a good 5-10 years to enjoy more time with their family and living life however they wanted if they'd just focused more on their wealth building and broke free from the traditional "retirement mindset."
Wealth building. 59 1/2 years old or sooner target. Do it.