Getting Rich Working for the Man

Post date: Apr 20, 2012 6:31:11 PM

The other day I read a newspaper article about a 60 some year old lady going through a world of trouble because of her increasing health insurance costs. On her fixed income from Social Security and other sources, any change means giving up something in life. She already gave up going out for dinner and movies as well as so many other "luxuries" we may take for granted. She didn't have much left to sacrifice! I rarely read the newspaper to avoid sad stories like this. I know it's supposed to call you to action to fight the big evil insurance companies, but I looked at it in a different way.  

I don't subscribe to the paper. I read the article at my mother's house, so I immediately thought of my own mom. Last month she celebrated her (ahem) 60th birthday, but she already retired a few years ago. No, she didn't leave work for some injury or layoff or anything like that. Her passive income allowed her to cover her expenses, so she figured it was a good time to leave. Before you think she was blessed to work in some high paying career, I want to let you know she worked for 30+years as a grocery checker.

Retire Inspired: It's Not an Age, It's a Financial Number

Don't get me wrong; I have tons of respect for that position. My grandfather was a butcher, my uncle delivered cookies, and my dad sold anything from Dolly Madison cakes (remember those) to linoleum & carpet. I come from a line of worker bees, but these jobs, with all their little rewards and perks here and there (think free cookies), are monotonous, labor-intensive jobs. They all performed well on the clock, but while many of their coworkers lived paycheck to paycheck, they were planning for their future.

I haven't yet mentioned that my dad passed away nearly 20 years before my mom retired. Most of my financial knowledge comes from the 12 years or so I was lucky to have my dad around. He was a good dad, maybe not the best parent in the world, but he was practically a genius with money and investments. Sure I wore shoes from Payless, but I'll trade that any day for struggling in old age.

In future posts, I'll share more tips from the rich, but the realistic "retire early" ideas come from the foundation he laid that helped a widowed single mom retire ahead of schedule. That's really what you want, right? To have your passive income outweigh your expenses, so you can retire from the workforce forever - All from working for "The Man."