Whether you’re retired now or years away from it, you’ve no doubt noticed there are forces working against us. I don’t mean sinister forces in a conspiracy—though sometimes it sure feels like it—but challenges that we’re facing that, quite frankly, previous generations did not.
For example, we have a government on a spending binge like the world has never seen, and the only way out of it is going to be higher taxes and higher inflation.
Social Security never really kept pace with inflation, and with recent cost of living adjustments near or at zero, the future looks just as grim. Those relying on it can expect diminished retirement income.
Then of course, the Fed’s near-zero interest-rate policy has forced us into investments that are riskier than we might not have considered just five or so years ago.
With these forces in place, retirement is not a foregone conclusion for everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible, if done correctly.
Are We in a Retirement Crisis?
The phrase “retirement crisis” is certainly tossed around in the news quite a bit, but what is the crisis?
To begin with, many seniors have not saved enough money to support themselves in their old age. These folks will either continue to work or end up depending on their children and/or public assistance. And old age is lasting a lot longer than it used to, as medical advances continue to increase life expectancy. That means folks who saved enough for just 20 years or so of retirement are finding themselves in a pickle as their life continues on even as their savings dwindles. A long life is a blessing, but what happens when 95-year-olds can’t pay their bills?
We’re at a point now where, according to a poll by Allianz Life Insurance, retirees now fear outliving their money more than death itself.
For those of us with a decent nest egg, our retirement crisis is a bit different. It involves growing our savings in a low-yield environment while protecting it from risky investments, predatory fees, and confiscatory taxes. These steps can keep us from becoming a burden on our families or anyone else, but they take work and a commitment to learning.
The truth is, our government has targeted seniors and savers. Congress wants to redistribute our nest eggs to appease their constituents (and donors); that’s one of the major reasons the vast majority of incumbents continue to be re-elected and only a very few number of districts are even in play. It’s a fact of life that’s not likely to change, and we need to work around it.
My Kind of Retirement
All of us want to retire on our own terms. To me that means having enough money to choose how I spend my time. It could mean something different for you. Just like our readers, my wife Jo and I worked hard, saved, and made smart investments to get here. I’m sure most of you feel the same way.
Retirement means having enough money to really enjoy the things we want to do right up until the end. The retirement we envision involves being totally independent, not depending on the government or our family. In order to accomplish that goal, we must tend our garden and manage our nest egg wisely.
Depending on your own circumstances, retirement may or may not mean you stop working entirely. That’s your decision. But it should not mean having to work a job you no longer like, or taking on a minimum-wage job after retiring from your career just to make ends meet. It should mean living life on your terms, and that requires financial independence. From the very beginning, our mission is to help you with that.
See the video below for how we intend to accomplish it.
If you’re interested in learning how to become financially independent, whether you’re currently retired or a few years away, I’d like to invite you to try Miller’s Money Forever with a 90-day risk-free trial subscription. In each issue of Money Forever, we share actionable, conservative, income-generating investment ideas to help you create your own path to financial independence—ones you can put in your portfolio today. Plus, you’ll get detailed research on subjects important to anyone in or planning for retirement: annuities, reverse mortgages, financial advisors, etc.