How This Threesome Can Improve Your Retirement?

Ted Jenkin
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I’m thinking that anybody who reads this headline is thinking this, “Ted, have you officially lost your mind trying to connect the words threesome and retirement in the same headline?” The answer is no, I haven’t officially lost my mind, although a few people who know me well have always considered me to be an out-of-the box thinker.  And for the record, I’m not going to suggest any of you run out and have a threesome, although, you’ve probably fantasized about it once in your lifetime.  So, how can a threesome actually improve your retirement?

Don’t wait to come alive in retirement, if you are dead every day going to work.

The ménage-a-trois that I am talking about here are the three important concepts you need to embrace in order to retire successfully.  While many retirement articles talk about “how much money you need for when you retire,” the real trick is figuring out how you will re-create your paycheck.  What most common retirement strategies fail to mention is the psychology behind the strategy, and how it affects the person who is trying to make work optional.    

Here are the three strategies to look for under the covers:

You Must Have Your House Paid Off

I’d be remiss not to mention that I recently attended a conference which had some of the top financial bloggers in the world in attendance.   I met at least a half dozen people under the age of thirty-five who were “retired.”  The interesting thing is that by purchasing a smaller house (they call these “tiny homes” today) and aggressively paying off the mortgage, it gave them the financial freedom to use a smaller capital base and other passive streams of income to technically make work optional.   Either way, you must fall in love with the strategy of paying off your house.

Pro-Tip: Forget about the financial analysis to determine which is better, and focus here on the powerful emotional feeling you will have knowing that you owe NOBODY!   When my mom retired (a fifth-grade school teacher) this was my number-one piece of advice to her. She followed it and paid off her mortgage.  Today, she still says it was the best decision she ever made.

You Must Have a Pension

People who retire with large 401(k) balances, sell a business for a pile of cash or build up massive sums of money in the bank sometimes have a problem that they didn’t realize they would have when they were building up their money.  It’s the mentality of “I’m not going to go broke,” which dictates the way people behave when they retire. As they watch their account values fluctuate, their fear of being penniless prevents them from spending any of their money and becomes an obstacle for enjoying retirement.  

I’ve seen it firsthand with many retirees where both partners are having frequent panic attacks and lots of stress as they watch the daily values of their accounts go up and down.

Pro-Tip:  Get a program set up somewhere that guarantees you will get a paycheck when you retire for the rest of your life.  

You Must Fall in Love with Work That Keeps You Alive

A few weeks back, I had a car service take me home from the airport.  During the car ride, I had one of the most wonderful conversations with my seventy-seven-year-old driver who reminded me of Alfred from Batman.  He actually had a cooler of beers waiting for me in the car, Nutri-Grain bars and several choices of fruit.  I shutdown my phone, and he preceded to tell me about how he has been in and around the car business for the last sixty years.  He told me that he had drove race cars competitively, and he still drives cars today, because it’s his life’s passion.  He never plans to “retire,” but is truly enjoying his retirement staying active with the work that he loves to do.   

Pro-Tip: Don’t wait to come alive in retirement, if you are dead now going to work.  When you love what you do, there will always be a way to make an income stream.

From my headline, I’ll bet somebody had a flashback of being Jack Tripper from “Three’s Company,” one of my all-time favorite shows.  If you have daydreamed from time to time about having a threesome, perhaps these three tips can give you a fantasy you have also dreamed about for retirement.  

Ted Jenkin (@tedjenkin) is the CEO of oXYGen Financial, a financial advisory firm managing more than six hundred million dollars.  He is focused on being your financial advisor and your financial therapist. He is a frequent guest writer for the Wall Street Journal and personal finance expert for CNN’s “Headline News Weekend Express” and The Weather Channel.

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