Everybody wants to be happy and secure in their older years. Most people suggest aggressive investment in order to have the cash to fund any lifestyle you want when you’re 65 or so. But riches aren’t available to everyone. Nor is this the way that many people will most enjoy their life, especially as they get older. I’m all for financial security, but that doesn’t mean I think that life has to be very expensive to achieve it. Here are three ways to adjust your expectations for the future in order to be able to have an attainable dream retirement.
- Invest in People. The better friendships you have, the less you will have to spend to enjoy your life. A lot of people don’t realize this, or they forget it. In the early middle part of our lives, lots of people start their careers. Living is competitive. You’ve got to work really hard in order to make enough money to stay afloat. People also have kids at this time in their lives, which can isolate them from friendships they used to have more time for. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start investing in people again. Go on trips with your friends. Invest in people in your neighborhood by volunteering or tutoring. Get involved with local government. All of these are focused ways you can spend time with other people. As you meet the right kind of people that work as good friends for you, you’ll find that enjoyment of life is free if you know where to look.
- Invest in the Basics. I’m talking about the very basics here: food and shelter kind of stuff. Warren Buffett is famous for living in the same house he and his wife bought in the 50’s. It’s small, they got it for a few thousand dollars. And he hasn’t carried a personal mortgage since then, not that he couldn’t afford one. It’s an example of the way in which people can be satisfied with simple things. If you buy a cheap house and pay it off in 10 years, that’s a huge amount of your living costs gone. If you invest time and energy gardening, you’ll be amazed at the reward and diversity of knowledge that comes from this pursuit, and you’ll be less dependent on things you have to buy from grocery stores. I’m not talking about going off the grid. But I am talking about being a little more independent than most people. Being dependent on others and services is expensive. If you cut that cost out of your life, your future lifestyle will be MUCH more affordable.
Of course, you should always do these things beside traditional investments like forex trading, mutual funds, IRAs, ETFs, and the like. But these usually aren’t enough by themselves to make the average person happy. If you have a balance of these investments and the personal investments that add value to your life, you’ll be happy and secure for a long time to come.