I'm sure you've all heard a story of the couple who diligently saved for retirement their whole lives but “life happened”, and when retirement finally came, it was nothing like they had imagined. Dreams of traveling the world, spoiling their grandchildren, and picking up new hobbies were just a dream from the past. With declining health, and limited resources, they were quite limited in what they could do. Stories like this break our hearts. You only get one chance at life. There are no do-overs, so it's truly gut-wrenching to realize that you will never get to live life the way you always imagined. But what if, instead of waiting until it’s time to retire, retirement could come to you? This is why we were so eager to get Vidente Capital off the ground to be able to offer these investment opportunities to help people build passive income through real estate so that they can do more of the things that they are passionate about now, rather than waiting until they no longer have the option. Indulge us for a minute, dream a little... Let's re-imagine what your retirement could look like. The majority of us either put our retirement savings plan on autopilot based on someone else’s recommendations without revisiting the plan often enough to make sure that we are on track or we are just downright neglectful and hope for the best. We might match what our employer gives us or put the recommended 10-15% and not put too much more thought into it. Procrastinators have a skewed sense of time. They always think there’s plenty of time left to get something done. What retirement procrastinators don’t realize is that saving for retirement is nothing like writing a college term paper. You can’t cram at the last minute and knock it out of the water. Investing is a long game, you need the power of compound interest over time on your side. The earlier you start, the less money you have to invest to get the same nest egg at retirement. The reality is we get bogged down by the day to day – What’s for dinner? Did I pay all my bills? How am I going to arrange to pick up Billy from band practice when I’m supposed to work late? Ugh, that basket of laundry is piling up. Sound familiar? Retirement is scary to think about. It’s always there in the back our mind, but it doesn’t demand attention like those other things. It’s not in your face. It’s such an important stage of life, but it often gets the least amount of attention. We have no idea what we will be doing or where we will be, but we are all shown the images of happy couples relaxing by the pool, at the yacht club, or on a golf of course, cruise shipping-it for weeks at a time, buffets galore. That must be what retirement is all about, right? Have you thought about what retirement looks like for you? You might be feeling guilty for not doing more to plan your retirement. It seems so far in the future, and can come off as quite the arduous task. No wonder it’s so easy to push it the side. But next week becomes next month, which becomes next year which can become when you are faced with a major illness that forces you to retire if you aren’t careful. Many people prioritize paying for their children’s college tuition or wedding over saving for retirement and in my opinion that’s a big no no. Those things are a wonderful gift to be able to give to your children, but an even greater gift is to be self sufficient and thriving in retirement, rather than leaving them to figure out how to take care of you when they are trying to establish themselves. Perhaps your nest egg will grow so much that you can pay off their student loans. Or perhaps you will get this thing so right, that you can pay for college, the wedding, AND have the retirement of your dreams. Let’s rethink this concept of retirement altogether. The Retirement Spin-Off Traditionally, retirement is a sign that you are winding down your life. Your children are self sufficient and you’re empty nesters and you’ve reached the stage where you are too old to keep working. By then, you will have dedicated 40+ years of your life to working. You will have some nice things to show for it. Maybe you were able to pay off your house and build that man cave or she shed you always dreamed of, traveled a bit, bought a few nice cars... All along, you’ve saved, let’s say, ten percent of your income every year,towards growing you retirement nest egg. By the time you get to retirement, ideally you have saved enough to stop working and you will be able to live off your savings for the rest of your life. No matter how long you live. But is that really the case? What If You Run out of Money? What if you inherit the longevity gene from your great aunt Sally, and you live to be a hundred? That’s potentially 35+ years of retirement income that you have to account for. Let’s say you get lucky, and your retirement income lasts until your death, phew, but it will be much less than when you started if there’s anything left at all. We are all taught that you should take your money out of the stock market when you retire or switch to a very low risk profile so there will be little to no growth. In other words you are spending your money faster than you are making it. Even if you have enough to last through the end, there will be very little, if any, additional income coming in during your retirement. Rather than growing your money, the goal of retirement is simply to take care of the essentials and enjoy your life if there’s anything leftover, while somehow managing not running out. It’s no surprise that this is, in fact, one of the biggest fears about retirement. People are scared that they will run out of money before they run out of life. And this is a valid concern, when you think about retirement in the original model. Rethinking Retirement Let’s look at things from another angle. You know that cautionary tale about the mole who stores up worms for winter? You haven’t? Well I have… Squirrels do the same with acorns. So while all of their buddies play all day, the squirrels and moles work hard all spring, summer, and fall to store up enough acorns and worms to get them through the winter. When winter comes, they can relax and enjoy all the food they worked so hard to store up, while their friends, who didn’t think ahead, go hungry. Sounds selfish, but food is a means of survival, it’s not something you can casually share with your poor planning friend. Likewise, your retirement nest egg is not something you are going to share and no one is going to share it with you! So let’s get this thing right. This is what we’ve all been taught about retirement. Save, then spend. But what if winter lasts longer than they anticipated? Then they have to go back out scrounging around for food in the dead of winter. What if, instead of spending all that time gathering food for themselves, they had come up with a way for the acorns and worms to accumulate automatically? (Don’t get hung up on the practicality of this hypothetical situation, just humor me for a bit.) Then, they could play with their friends during the best seasons of the year, have enough to last all winter, and possibly end the winter with more than they started. This is the model of retirement I’d like to explore. Let’s call it the Retirement Spin-off In other words, Retirement 2.0 For just a minute, we are going to put aside the original version of retirement, and take a look at the spin-off. What if . . . we didn’t need to wait until the end of our lives for retirement? What if . . . retirement was something we could enjoy right now? What if . . . we could be retired AND still continue working, but do what we love, not merely what we have to do? What if . . . retirement were not a stage of life but rather, a state of mind? This version of retirement seems exciting, rather than daunting. This is the kind of retirement I could get behind. BUT, In order for this model of retirement to work, you have to find a way to make your money work for you. You need to be able to earn passive income. This income would cover your living expenses, maybe more, making it possible for you to quit your job and start a new venture, or adventure, or simply continue working, but with the idea that you get to work, rather than having to work. Retirement should not be a stage of life that comes at the end, a last hurrah. Rather, it’s an ongoing part of your life. In this spin-off, you slowly replace your active income (from working your job) with passive income (that you make while you sleep), so that you get to live the life you’ve always imagined, while your kids are still young, and while you still have the energy to play with them. Not only that, it allows you to create a machine for ongoing income and wealth accumulation, so, regardless of what you do, you are generating income for your family. Your money is always growing. That way, towards the end of life, you are continuing to generate income, rather than worrying that you will spend it all. But, of course, this version of retirement is not easy to achieve. It requires grit, creativity,and courage. You have to think outside the box, hustle, and to dare to create your own path. This version of retirement is certainly not for everyone. But it can be for anyone. Anyone willing to do the work, take the leap, and trust the process. If you are ready to take life by the horns and want to learn how to make this version of retirement a reality, keep reading. Achieving This Version of Retirement It will require you to challenge conventional wisdom and to try something new in order to achieve the ultimate goal of financial freedom. Start by working backward from the amount of money you need to live each month. This is your freedom number. Then, your mission is to find ways to generate this amount of income passively each month. The magic word here is passive. You aren’t looking to replace your current job with another. That’s a career change, not retirement, that’s not what you’re trying to do here. You need to find ways to generate income while you sleep. If you’ve never done this, it can sound pretty foreign, or maybe even a joke, but it’s totally possible! I’m sure by now you’re thinking this sounds like a late-night infomercial. But I promise you, once you get the hang of it, it will open up a whole new world of possibilities that you never knew existed. There are countless ways to generate passive income. Some people write books, some people create online businesses, some people invest in real estate. It is, of course, the last of those that has brought Vidente Capital to where it is. Through investing in real estate, I can generate income in my sleep. Regardless of what I’m doing – whether I work overtime or chill on the beach – the check comes in every month, like clockwork. At some point, I will have so many fish, that I won’t even need a fishing pole anymore. And the same can be for you. Each piece of real estate you invest in generates income on your behalf and contributes to your freedom number. As long as you own real estate, it continues to generate income each month. It’s money that continues to come each month, rather than only going out. So you don’t have to worry about the “spend down” anymore, because you are always growing faster than you are spending. This can make it possible for retirement to be part of your life now, rather than down the road. To Retirement, And Beyond! As I mentioned, there are many, many ways to generate passive income. It can be difficult to take that initial leap, to think outside the box, and to get started. But once you do, that little passive income snowball will keep getting bigger and bigger, and soon, you’ll spend all your time on your retirement, and no time at all on spell check. If you’re interested in leveraging passive real estate investments on, your journey to your new version of retirement, a great place to start is by joining the Vidente Capital Investor Club. Here’s to retirement, and beyond!
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