Sunday, January 21

The Number

I am currently reading a book called "The Number", which is about how people think about retirement and what amount they need to retire. When I told my brother that, he said to me that I must have Numbers worked out for 35, 40 and 45 already, for my own retirement. Do I? No, not really...

Money is so fluid and things change so much. I have mentioned in a previous post that my net worth has experienced great gains in the past couple of years. This was not something I predicted and it really showed me that no matter what the graphs look like in books, real finances are not a smooth steady ride to the top. So why would I believe that my retirement projections would be any more accurate? The markets will rise and fall, my needs will rise and fall, (or rise and rise) and all manner of externals will impact me in ways I can not predict. This doesn't mean that I'm throwing my spreadsheets out the window. But it does mean that I have realized that money management is a lifelong process and retirement is just one bend in the road.

In reality, I expect to retire early and often. That is, I will probably retire and then start working again if something comes along that interests me enough, and then retire again and repeat the cycle. Kind of makes the Number a bit difficult to define, doesn't it?