Typically, every morning we will sit down to eat breakfast. Meals at our house are generally jovial, with discussions ranging from which animal would win in a fight to how my kids will spend their day.
A few mornings ago, however, my oldest asked me a rather interesting question. Knowing what I do for a living she asked, “Daddy, what do you have to do to retire?” My immediate response was, “That’s a great question!” At age 7, my heart swelled that she was already thinking about retirement.
Before I could give an answer she quickly quipped, “Wait. I know. You have to save enough money so that one day you can retire.” I was speechless. Pretty profound for a 7-year-old. Finally, I replied, “That’s exactly what you need to do!” Then my wife threw a rock at my already fragile ego and jabbed, “And it doesn’t take a Master’s or PhD to figure that out!”
But really, that’s all that there is to retirement – saving enough to one day retire. I told my daughter that sadly, many people forget that the answer is really that simple, yet so hard for them to employ. I told her that many people choose to prioritize their money elsewhere and don’t think to save until it’s too late.
She then asked how old you have to be to retire. My wife mentioned that many people retire at age 65. I replied that people can retire when they want to – as it’s really how much they need to spend versus how much they have saved. I also said that if you love what you do, you may never retire.
“I’m going to save a lot of money”, she replied.
“I think that’s a great plan”, I replied.
A great plan indeed.