Let’s get real: who really wants to live for 30-40 years in “survival-spending” mode to save enough money for after they retire at 65 or so– without any assurance that they’ll even have enough to fully enjoy life afterwards, given all the unknowns?
What will inflation for 40 years do the price of money? What will be the cost of living, travel, fun and especially healthcare? Yes, your “retired future self” will need money to enjoy life (and Social Security is not enough!), but doesn’t your “present self” and the “intermediate-self” also deserve to enjoy a fulfilling life? There’s got to a better answer.
Rob Bennett tell us there is in his book “Passion Saving: The Path to Plentiful Free time and Soul-Satisfying Work”. First, “passion saving” is a different way of operating your budget; the goal is to “enhance your enjoyment of life in the years that come before you turn 65 as well as those that come after”. “Survival spending” takes place when you earmark a certain amount (say 10%) of earnings and reduce other line-item expenses to generate the 90%. Passion spending focuses first on identifying which items will allow you to lead a fulfilling life and budgeting for them and asking how you can accomplish that goal for less.
For example, if your daily cup of coffee costs $4.00 and it’s more of a habit than a passion, you can reduce the cost in many ways – such as by switching brands, sizes, etc. And for those things you are passionate about, a close look will probably find ways to still continue doing them with minor variations. For instance, you and your family still get to take the annual vacation, but with minor changes in the details (e.g., scheduling of the travel days) can usually save money. The end result is achieving a fuller, richer, freer life without sacrificing what counts for you.
Second, if you’re not a great financial planner and need help budgeting, there are many options for help available. The Age Brilliantly community consists of countless financial advisors who serve clients with different financial, family, career and other priorities. They take the time to understand your unique needs now and in the intermediate- and far-future and can make recommendations. Some help you invest your assets so they will compound and grow over time and provide the service as part of their wealth management fee. Others are fee-based advisors, charging only for the project. Finally, you can contact us with your needs and we can provide some referrals to consider.
In sum, the goal of financial independence-freedom is something you should have most or all of your adult life – not just after you retire, when all the unknowns may limit you! As Mr. Bennett notes, “financial freedom is no longer a distant dream but a current-day pursuit”.