Your Retirement Plan Is for Sh*t

James Altucher, here. Nilus invited me to write to you today with MY OWN view of your retirement.

And I have one message for you: It’s over.

The whole myth of savings is gone.

I don’t care how much you set aside for your 401(k).

Inflation will carve out the bulk of it. And in order to cash in on that retirement plan you have to live for a really long time doing stuff you don’t like to do.

Then suddenly you’re eighty and you’re living a reduced lifestyle in a cave and can barely keep warm at night.

The only retirement plan is to choose yourself — to start a business or a platform or a lifestyle that allows you to put big chunks of money away. Some people can say, “Well, I’m just not an entrepreneur.”

This is not true. Everyone is an entrepreneur.

The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are an ability to fail, an ability to have ideas and to sell those ideas, the courage to execute on those ideas, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move on to the next adventure.

Or be an entrepreneur at work—an “entre-ployee.” Take control of whom you report to, what you do, and what you create.

Don’t just do what’s listed in your job description. That’s the old way. Go beyond that.

Or start a business on the side. Deliver some value, any value, to somebody, to anybody, and watch that value compound into a career.

Your other choice is to stay at a job where the boss is trying to keep you down, will eventually replace you, will pay you only enough for you to survive, will rotate between compliments and insults so you stay like a fish caught on the bait as he reels you in.

You and I have the same twenty-four hours each day. Is that how you will spend yours?

I can already hear the excuses, because I’ve heard them all before.

“I’m too old…”

“I’m not creative…”

“I need the insurance…”

“I have to raise my kids…”

I was at a party once when a stunningly beautiful woman came up to me and said, “James, how are you!?”

What? Who are you?

I said, “Hey! I’m doing well.” But I had no idea who I was talking to.

Why would this woman be talking to me? I was too ugly. It took me a few minutes of fake conversation to figure out who she was.

It turns out she was the frumpish-looking woman who had been fired six months earlier from the job we were at. She had cried as she packed up her cubicle. At the time she was out of shape, she looked about thirty years older than she was, and now her life was going to go from better to worse. Until . . . she realized that she was out of the zoo.

“What are you doing now?” I asked her. “Oh, you know,” she said. “Consulting.” Some people say, “I can’t just go out there and consult. What does that even mean?”

And to that I answer, “OK, I agree with you.” Who am I to argue?

If someone insists they need to be in prison even though the door is unlocked, then I am not going to argue. They are free to stay in prison.

“I can’t just quit!” people say. “I have bills to pay.”

But it’s okay to take some baby steps. I get it. Nobody is saying quit today.

Before a human being runs a marathon he or she learns to crawl, then take baby steps, then walk, then run. Then exercise every day and stay healthy. Then run a marathon. (I might know what I am even talking about, since I can’t run more than two miles without collapsing in agony.)

But I do know that if you make the list right now, every dream, you can start to take those steps.

I want to be a best-selling author…

I want to reduce my material needs…

I want to have freedom from many of the worries that I have succumbed to all my life…

I want to be healthy…

I want to help all of the people around me or the people who come into my life…

I want everything I do to be a source of help to people…

I want to only be around people I love, people who love me…

I want to have time for myself…

These are not goals. These are themes.

What do I need to do to practice those themes every day?

It starts the moment I wake up. I ask, “Who can I help today?”

I ask the darkness when I open my eyes. “Who would you have me help today?”

I’m a secret agent and I’m waiting for my mission.

This is how you take baby steps.

This is how eventually you run toward freedom…

Here’s to choosing a rich life,

James Altucher

James Altucher
for The Rich Life Roadmap

The Daily Reckoning