What Does Retirement Look Like to the 21st Century Survivor?
I am a prepper therefore I am a forward thinker. I am a forward thinker therefore I am a prepper. Its a one hand washes the other situation. While I am a young man I still appreciate that this ride has an end. This short dance in the sun will eventually be clouded over and the infinite dark will follow.
But what do we do until then?
Right now, I am in the throngs of my youth. In fact, when I stop and look at it all its clear these will be some of the best days of my life. There is love, family, babies, kids, progress and all the things that a well governed life affords you. There is a little luck in there, too, but lets not get side tracked. At 32 years old it seems like working to make money is something that will never end. I have been doing it since I was 13 years old and it is just what life takes.
Of course, there is always that thought about the R word.
Retirement is out there and its looming. Its in every other commercial on the television. I know that most Americans answer no when the commercials ask them, ‘Are you putting enough money away for retirement?”
The idea of work coming to an end and leisure taking over from there is not only unappealing to me but its also a little terrifying. Still, I wanted to talk about a 21st century survivors approach to retirement. I think its important that we be honest about the future and decide if retirement is even possible. I can tell you that traditional retirement is dead. I am not that upset about it.
The Dead Pension
There was a time when netting that job with the good pension was all that mattered. That retirement hit after X amount of years and you were off to enjoy yourself. Head down, nose to the grindstone for 40-50 years and for all of your hard work you get 20 years to slowly fall apart and die.
Would you take that deal?
With states melting down just as fast as the national government, they have reached a turning point with pensions. CNN Money wrote an article back on 2015 title IS YOUR PENSION SAFE:
Just last month, thousands of retirees found out that their once untouchable benefit checks could be cut.
And more cuts could be coming. Under a new law, about 100 pension plans might be able to reduce benefits, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
A lot of the workers covered by these funds are union members who’ve worked in the mining and trucking industries. They get their pension benefits from cash-strapped funds that are now, for the first time, allowed to make cuts to current retirees’ pension checks.
Now you can languish over why this is happening but the more important question is:
“How does a young prepper prepare for a time when traditional paychecks stop coming.”
The Mirth of the 401K
In the last week we have seen course correction and volatility in the markets. We have watched the market dip and dive while many held their breath. I know many preppers that don’t invest a penny in Wall Street and that is their decision. Still, the 401 is one of the best ways for a young person to start stowing away cash for tomorrow. For a long time this was the best method for assuring your money and your retirement was safe.
The Future of Fiat
After 2008 preppers really started harping on the cash emergency fund. It is one of the very best moves a person an make. We all cringe at the idea that the ATMs can shutdown and we will no longer be able to get at our hard earned money. Ask yourself these questions in regards to paper money and its value:
Will cash be a viable option in 20 years?
Will we be able to keep the world from putting their faith into something more reliable and less laden with debt?
Like never before, with the introduction of things like Bitcoin, retirement is not only about stowing away money for when you no longer make money. Now, for those of us who are decades from a perceived retirement, its become about being a novel futurist. Our retirement plan must be nearly Nostradamic as we watch the world around us morph rapidly.
IS Retirement Really What you Want?
My retirement plan is to work a little less and live more but that has nothing to do with a bull and bear club, a golf course or even a reclined life on the beach. To be frank, when you slow your motor down its really hard to rev it back up. I have watched so many people step out of the workforce, into retirement, and right into a coffin.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion.
I am a writer and a talker. That is how I make money, today. I have the ability to work well into my later years and I plan on doing just that. I have spent more years working than not and creation and self expression are always going to be important to me.
But what about the brick layers, what about the laborers and the people who reach their physical limit. Or, like many of the women I have known in their twilight, what happens when you simply cannot get another job. You might be willing and ready to work but the industries are not hiring in your age bracket. I have seen a heinous level of discrimination foisted upon older women in the job search.
So what is the answer for preppers who want to stay prepared and keep an income flowing into their latter years?
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW I JUST TOLD YOU I WRITE AND TALK FOR A LIVING!
I am no financial adviser but one of the first things you need to do is start living the life you want to live. Start making moves today to course correct towards a life you want to be living. You can do this. Beyond that I think its time to start exploring new ways of building wealth and old ways.
Outside of a chemical spill or serious, life changing disaster, land will always have value. Some people save up $2000 and dump it into the stock market. Its a free country. Land will only increase in value. A better investment is buying little parcels of land over time. People are always gonna be in the market for a piece of dirt to call their own. The land market doesn’t crash. Plus, this gives you a variety of bugout locations to consider.
Gold and silver have stood the test of time. if you can find yourself a trustworthy operation that sells gold and silver, as well as buys it, you are going to have an option that just feels right. There is something that feels almost naughty about using my worthless dollars to buy gold and silver. When I hold a dollar and then I hold a 1oz silver round, its when I really feel the weight of the robbery that is taking place on many levels in this nation.
Hold the physical product, unless you have enough that it becomes a serious risk. Don’t stuff $100,000 worth of gold bars under your bed. At the end of the day I have a hard time believing that gold will be the same price today as it will be in 40 years.
Imagine if gold or silver becomes a necessary piece of creating certain robots!
The Mystery of Cryptocurrency
Finally we have this new world of the block chain. We have the Bitcoin and all of the other little guys who have their mouths open to catch a little bit of the residual craze that cryptocurrency has created. While Bitcoin is the big player today we could see it all shake out and something even better appear.
While you can claim ignorance in the world of cryptocurrency, I think its time you start learning about it. There are some very solid protections in place but the volatility still exists. You have to understand that this is a newborn and in 30 years it could be much more appealing. Due to the fact that limited quantities are created means its got one leg up on the US dollar already!
THE COLD HARD TRUTH
Retirement is rooted in the idea that you are gonna spend your life doing something that you don’t like and getting out of that will be high on your priority list. The world is laden with opportunity and now is the time that you should take advantage of it. Stop living a life you hate with the promise of a life you will love in the future.
Also, consider doing something that you can do, and will satisfy you, for life. Retirement is not something that has to happen. What has to happen is challenge, struggle, love, progress, frustration and physical movement. These things are really what’s important as you begin to get old. I think a survivors retirement plan should be more about these things than about the betting on the stock market.