There’s an almost universal misperception that the every day American family simply can’t arrive at retirement with more money than they ever made on the job. I’m here to tell you that is a fallacy, at least in my experience. Don’t get me wrong, the lower the income the longer it takes and the lower the ultimate income in retirement. Still, though most folks give impressive lip service to what can be done with solid self discipline, a solid plan, a real purpose, and the flexibility to adjust when necessary, they generally aren’t walkin’ their talk. In other words, they don’t really believe what they want to believe.
Let me sprint to the bottom line here. If you have long enough, and you have enough capital, which doesn’t hafta get within shoutin’ distance of being impressive, you can indeed retire with more after tax income than you made in your best year on the job.
Jim is a young (30) engineer makin’ roughly $60,000. His wife, Melisa, (29) is in retail sales, makin’ roughly $35,000. They don’t have kids yet, but that’s likely to change in the very near future. They don’t live super cheaply, but are relatively wise with their money, saving while still enjoying life. Let’s lay out a short outline of what’s possible for ‘em. We’ll assume they retire sometime in their 60s, 30-35 years from now.
A Broad Brush Look at What’s Possible
An EIUL policy with an inflation based monthly premium of about $500 will, in 30 years produce a tax free income of roughly $4,000. That’s a rough estimate, but done by a pro in the industry. Then there’s Melisa’s income, which doesn’t come with a company sponsored 401k plan. She and Jim decide to start Roth IRAs, one for each of ‘em. Jim long ago eschewed any participation in his employer’s 401k plan. In fact, years ago while still in college, he followed my advice to gut his small 401k with the big box store employing him, and paid off all his outstanding debt.
Now, before too many years go by they’ve accumulated enough to each buy one modest discounted note, secured by real estate. We’ll say this began when Jim was about 35 or so. By the time they’re both 60 they’ll have grown their note portfolios to the point of a combined potential tax free monthly income exceeding $10,000. For you Doubting Thomas types out there, they’d get about half that much if they NEVER bought a note for 30 years, just each contributed the annual allowed amount each year for that long, THEN bought notes. However, doin’ it for 30 years or more, allowing the payments to build up, reinvesting them too, plus reinvesting paid off notes, adds up hugely over what would then have been approximately half their lifetimes.
So far, Jim and Melisa have arranged to generate somewhere around $150,000 a year at retirement, all of which is defined by the Internal Revenue Code as TAX FREE. Even if we’re gonna be cartoonish about …read more