Not everyone dreams of retirement and retirement means something to different to today’s generation — especially if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner. But even if you don’t plan on calling it quits permanently one day so you can hang out with your grandkids or curse at your neighbors for walking on your lawn, you might want to have some money in the bank. Why?
So you can do whatever the hell you want, that’s why.
This week on Worth It, Dustin and Danielle are digging into what it means to live a work-optional lifestyle. And while it doesn’t look the same for everyone, there are some hard-and-fast rules that can help you save up for your own work-optional lifestyle with the help of a “backup life bank.”
[01:35] What a launch and retirement have in common
[02:35] The difference between retirement “back then” and retirement now
[03:22] What to do when you don’t have to work for money, but still want to feel useful
[04:25] How retirement might mean different things to different people
[04:40] The definition of “work-optional lifestyle”
[05:40] The importance of knowing what you need to get by when you don’t want to work
[06:50] How to factor future income into your early retirement
[07:46] What the Journal of Financial Planning says you need to have saved to retire
[08:25] What financial planners do to help you figure out retirement savings
[09:23] How much of your income you should be saving and giving
[09:33] The importance of having a backup life bank
[11:12] What to include in your backup life bank calculations (hint: everything)
[13:02] Why investing is a very smart way to get your backup life bank filled
[13:43] How to DIY your backup life bank calculations
Even if you’re like Dustin and you don’t see yourself ever quitting your day job, it helps to have money in the bank for a rainy day or a really big emergency. Better yet, it helps to have money you can fall back on when you want to take a sabbatical, or have a kid, or just relax for a while. Nobody said you have to stop working, but a work-optional lifestyle gives you the flexibility to define that work. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about who’s paying the bills while you’re off doing whatever you want to do.
But to rock the work-optional life, you need a backup life bank. Others might call this a retirement fund, but you’re too cool for that. You need a backup life bank that:
So what do you need in your backup life bank to launch your work-optional lifestyle? That’s different for each person — and it takes a little bit of math. *groan*
According to a 1994 Journal of Financial Planning — yeah, Dustin is that old — the safest percent to withdraw from retirement (or backup life bank) funds is 4% per year. By withdrawing 4% from your backup life bank each year, the account can still accrue enough interest (on average) to account for inflation and increased cost of living. But what does 4% withdrawal rates mean for your work-optional lifestyle?
It means that you’ll need about 25 times your minimum income requirements to live a work-optional lifestyle (or to retire entirely). Your minimum income requirement is everything you need to live the way you want, from your Tesla Model X payment to your mortgage or your monthly massage subscription. Whatever you want to sustain in your work-optional lifestyle should be accounted for in your minimum income requirement. Then, you need to times that amount by 25.
For example, if you know you need $80,000 a year to maintain your lifestyle without changing anything, you’ll need 25 times that — $2 million — in your backup life account(s). Once you have that amount, you can pull 4% of your funds out each year ($80,000 —- isn’t math cool?). Of course, if you live in a van down by the river… you may need a little less than $80,000 a year.
Are you reading this AND thinking “$2 million?? Who can save $2 million??” You’re not alone. That’s why Dustin and Danielle are breaking down their tips to help you accrue that backup life bank on this week’s episode (hint: saving pennies won’t cut it, you’re gonna have to invest)
In the episode, Dustin and Danielle touch on how to “DIY” your backup life bank by:
If you’re hoping to live a work-optional lifestyle and want to know how to get there, this episode is for you. And if you’re not sure that you can do this whole “backup life bank math” thing by yourself, you can always contact Toujours Planning to see if our financial planning services are a good fit for you.
This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
What if you had a clear formula to help you figure out how much to save… while paying down debt and enjoying life? It is possible… when you know your numbers.
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