The “R” word


This week I’m sharing a blog post about the myth of retirement by a writer I admire tremendously…

Kris Abdelmessih writes the excellent weekly investing newsletter, Party at the Moontower. Frankly, I’m a little in awe/suspicious that he’s able to create such a high quality newsletter without being full time on it. (what’s your secret, Kris? 🧐 )

In this post, Kris talks about how and why the traditional concept of retirement is obsolete. Simply put – Since you can’t accurately guess when you’ll die or how much inflation or interest there will be when you’re older… There’s no way to accurately guess how much you need to save and for how long; nor when you can retire and how much you can spend every month once you do.

Ok, that wasn’t particularly simple. But then again, neither is retirement.

The “R” Word
If you have thus far thought of your career as a race to a finish line you are having an allergic reaction to this. That’s all good. Some of you are close enough to the ribbon that you can ignore me, especially if this last decade of returns has been kind to you.But for many of you who are young, you should not be using your parents’ template for your own.
The “R” Word
If you have thus far thought of your career as a race to a finish line you are having an allergic reaction to this. That’s all good. Some of you are close enough to the ribbon that you can ignore me, especially if this last decade of returns has been kind to you.But for many of you who are young, you should not be using your parents’ template for your own.

Instead of aiming to retire at 60 (or whatever age you arbitrarily choose), Kris suggests continuing to work in some form for as long as you can.

“The definition of a sustainable life is one you actually want to sustain. Nobody wants to sprint forever, and sprinting for a short while doesn’t make the scarcity mindset go away even if you ‘win’. This is partly why rich people fear inflation. They thought they were ‘done’.”

Tbh, the idea of having to work till I’m 80 fills me with dread. I don’t want to do that. Perhaps being able to work on my own terms will change that, but I’m not sure.

I genuinely like the idea of retirement. I want to be an old person with random hobbies like pottery. I don’t want to be 80 and worrying about my side hustle selling clay cups to 20-year-old hipsters (or whatever they’ll be called then).

I definitely found the insight that “retirement might not be possible for my generation” helpful to learn about, if not slightly unsettling. Kris doesn’t come away with any easy solutions either…

What are your thoughts about working sustainably till you’re old old?

Seeya next Monday,

Lesley

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