According to Social Security, the “full benefit” retirement age is now 67 years old for anyone born in 1960 or after. Combine this with the average life expectancy in the USA of 78 years and you’ll start to get a pretty scary picture.
(Note: Our average life expectancy in the states continues to decline because of how overweight and sick we are as a country). 🙁
To retire and collect full benefits from Social Security, one must now work until the age of 67. If this person is lucky, they’ll be able to enjoy their “full benefit” retirement for around 11 years before the game is over.
Assuming you start working full-time at the age of 21, you’re now required to work full-time for 46 years (80% of your adult years) before you can retire with full benefits. Once you do finally retire, you’ll have around 11 years (20% of your adult years) to enjoy retirement.
Seriously, think about that for a minute…. it’s a horrible deal.
If someone offered you that opportunity, would you take it? “Um, no thanks. I’ll pass.”
Yet, this is what we’ve all been taught to do –> To trade away 46 years of work for 11 years of retirement. We pay with 80% of our time and in order to get 20% back for ourselves.
Sadly, many people who follow this plan won’t even have 11 years of retirement. This is because at least half won’t live until their 78 years old.
We can go a little further and consider how many weeks of each year we’re supposed to work. Out of the 52 weeks each year, the average person is asked to work around 50 of them, considering the standard two-week vacation. Subtract another two weeks for holidays and sick time and we end up working 48 weeks each year with only 4 weeks off.
Is this a good deal?
Based on my math, we have to work roughly 92% of each year in order to enjoy around 8% of it for ourselves (48 work weeks – 4 weeks off).
Now, let’s look at the average work week…
The average person goes to work 5 days each week. After these 5 work days, they get 2 glorious days off. We trade 5 days of our lives away to get 2 days off. In other words, we pay 71% of our time each week to get 29% of it for ourselves.
Are you starting to see a trend here?
Remember when we were kids and we’d have a bag of candy that we were going to share with a friend. We would take out once piece of candy for our friend. Then we would take out another piece of candy for ourselves.
“One for you. One for me.”
Shouldn’t we be using this approach with our work?
“One day of work. One day off.”
No, this isn’t anywhere close to what we get.
46 years of work vs. 11 years of retirement
48 weeks of work vs. 4 weeks off
5 days of work vs. 2 days off
This game we’ve all been taught to play is not very much fun. It’s designed to suck your life away. The game is designed for the benefit of your employer, the government, the mutual fund companies, the insurance companies, and social security. It is not designed for you. It’s designed to exploit you.
Why do we play this horrible game you might wonder?
Because we’ve been taught to value money over time.
Once you start valuing your time over money, everything changes.
In my October Cashflownaire Newsletter, which will be released in a few days, I share how one couple retired at the age of 35 to travel the world. This same couple is still retired today thirty years later. They retired early because they started valuing their time above money.
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