Editor's note: We were told that if we worked hard and saved, we could spend the last quarter of our lives living comfortably and free from financial worries. But, as our friend Mark Ford explained yesterday, that promise is beginning to feel like a fraud.
But it's not too late…
Today, in part two, Mark shares his best advice on how to create a very attractive retirement. If you're stressing over your current financial situation, we think you'll find these five solutions extremely helpful…
Fair warning: The information below might be difficult to take. But if you stick with it to the end, my bet is that you’ll feel a lot better about your situation. In fact, many of my longtime readers have taken this plan and broken free of financial worry completely.
More importantly, you’ll have a plan of action.
1. Be realistic about what you can expect from stocks.
First and foremost, you must recognize that you will not be able “make up” for the past by implementing any sort of short-term stock strategy in hopes of catching a big takeoff.
No matter what investment service you use, you wouldn’t be able to double or triple your money in 10 years or less without taking wild risks.
If you just had a portfolio that matched market averages, you’d only get 7–10% per year.
Take the sum of all your stock investments and multiply that by 7–10% per year for, say, 10 years and you will have a realistic idea of what to expect.
Write that number down. Don’t be tempted to make it bigger by telling yourself you will make 15% or 20% every year. It is possible that you could do that. But if you move all your money into speculative stock strategies, it is more likely that you will end up with much less than 7%.
2. Accept the fact that you may have to continue working.
Hear me out…
When your heart is set on retiring at 65, you may feel like working beyond that age will be a living hell.
But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve retired three times so far (at 39, 49, and 59). And each time, I found that going back to work was a welcome relief.
And I’m not only speaking from my own experience alone. I’ve advised many people to keep working in retirement and they have found a great deal of satisfaction in turning their hobbies and passions into second and third careers.
You don’t have to keep doing the work that you have been doing. You might be able to move into a consulting or freelance position with your current employer. Or follow a dream and start your own business. I have dozens of ideas you could try… which I’ll tell you about shortly.
But if you need to continue to work, you need to continue. The moment you accept that fact, the odiousness of working will dissipate. You might even be okay with it. Heck, you might eventually be thrilled with it.
My view on this subject is that one should never give up active work entirely. That’s because work provides great and sustaining fulfillment. Especially if it involves learning something new or following a passion or hobby.
3. Develop an additional stream of income.
Recognize another financial fact of life: the amount of money you have to save and invest, after you take away assets you plan to keep forever (like your house or your wife’s jewelry), is the single most important factor in building wealth. I call this your “net investable wealth,” or N.I.W.
You won’t hear this from brokers or bankers or stock market analysts. They won’t say it because it shatters the myth that clever stock market investing is the cure for all financial problems.
Fact is, stock investing alone can’t give you the wealth you need for retirement. Eking out a few percentage points on an investment portfolio will not solve your problem of needing more income now.
You must increase your income by other means—none of which will incur fees and commissions from your stockbroker. And none of which will be subject to the sort of volatility the market is likely to face in future downturns.
So how are you going to do that? How are you going to increase your income now, at this stage of your life?
The answer may not please you, but you must come up with a strategy to make more money from a business you have or work for.
You must also create a second stream of income. And this is so important that you have to find an hour or two every day to devote to making it happen.
I am not going to tell you exactly how to do that here. But I’m going to suggest that you check out a program I created called the Wealth Builders Club.
Just one of the programs in the club, called the Extra Income Project, features a series of reports and how-to guides for developing income from a side business or hobby. All 36 of the individual income strategies we currently cover are based on my own and my mentees’ personal experiences successfully earning money in this way.
If you want to immediately make more money, I’m telling you: This is the way to do it. This is the fastest way to grow your income.
4. Consider—or reconsider—real estate investing.
I don’t mean the kind of real estate investing that is advertised on late-night infomercials, but income-generating real estate investing. The kind of real estate investing that I do.
This strategy will give you income almost immediately. And it may very well give you asset appreciation—which can add to your net worth considerably in 10 years or less.
By the way, contrary to common opinion, you don’t need a massive investment to get into rental real estate. You can get started by pooling money with one or two friends and going in on a few properties.
Really, to be a successful rental real estate investor, all you need is three things: money, knowledge, and time. This is true of most investments, but the good news is that with rental real estate, you don’t need a lot of any one of them. In fact, with the right deal, a partner, and leverage, you can get into a lucrative rental real estate property for as little as $10,000.
Real estate is not difficult to understand. It is very much a simple supply-and-demand sort of investment. I have been able to make millions doing it and avoid the bubble without ever taking a course or getting a license or any of that stuff.
5. Retire this year on $40,000 or less.
Finally, once you increase your income, your next step should be to decrease your expenses.
Because there is a way to enjoy a dream retirement, even if your income is limited to $40,000 or less.
Imagine, you wake up when you want to and spend a half hour walking on the beach. On the way back, you buy fresh red snapper from your favorite local fish vendor.
You enjoy breakfast served to you on your private porch. Afterward, you work on your novel or you paint. Then you take a nap.
You have lunch at your regular table in the corner. After lunch, you check on the money you made from your side business today ($500). Then you take another nap.
In the late afternoon, you visit some of your friends. At sunset, you have drinks with your spouse at a beachside bar and listen to a young man play his guitar.
Does that sound good?
Many of my friends are living this dream currently. And not because they’re rich.
They’re able to live in luxury by moving abroad. What I just described to you is a typical day in Nicaragua for many retired American expats—many of them who started with a smaller than average retirement fund.
Even in nice areas in Nicaragua, property costs and rents are low. Taxes are low. The cost of living is low. Health care is affordable, and the quality is on par with the U.S.
And here’s another great perk: There is no tax on a pension or any other money being brought into the country, as long as it was earned outside the country.
You can run an internet business or any other business back home (refer back to points 2 and 3) and not be taxed a penny in Nicaragua.
Imagine earning just $40,000 per year and enjoying this lifestyle. A little house five minutes from the ocean… housekeeping and gardening services year-round… access to wild, private beaches… spas and horseback riding for $10–$25 per hour… and day trips for less than $200.
Wait a minute… doesn’t that sound a lot like the retirement you always dreamed of?
I hope you’re starting to realize that even if things didn’t go as well as you’d planned over the years, it’s not too late to have your dream retirement. Far from it. If you do the things I’m suggesting to you today, starting with boosting your income, you’ll find that, instead of disappearing, your retirement account will grow and grow over the years. You’ll learn new things about yourself, acquire new skills, have fun, and have greater financial security along the way.
All you need to do is start.
Editor's note: Tomorrow, Mark is kicking off what could be one of the most valuable training series on wealth building you'll ever find.
If you're ready to increase your cash flow starting tomorrow—and stop being a slave to a paycheck—we recommend you attend this free event.
You can sign up by clicking here.