Working for a Great Retirement…or NOT

We were speaking with a couple the other day who are living comfortably on their retirement.

They both worked for one employer for their entire working life, she for the federal government and he for a manufacturing company. They both have generous pensions and medical coverage. They are comfortable, living in a retirement community of handicapped accessible homes which they were able to buy when they had a need for accessibility.


It’s great for them but almost unattainable for younger people in our society.

Few, if any people in our current world of work will get a good job they can manage to hang on to until they are retirement age.


Well there are a number of reasons.

Maybe you could get a job working for the government and keep it until you could retire on a government pension. You will need the right skills and education and be persistent in applying for those jobs that rarely come open. You might also need friends with influence, though the government would deny this is necessary.

Once you get the job and manage to keep it, things are OK if not great.

As long as the government can pay bills you can keep a job and/or receive a pension.

Since you might need other job options, you might have to go to work for a large company instead.

But there are few manufacturing companies left in our economy, thanks to politicians supporting the idea of offshoring dirty manufacturing we only have so-called service jobs left here. They are nearly all low paying, low benefit jobs with no opportunities for promotion. You risk being laid off or fired every day you work regardless of your work ethic or education.

The best educational opportunities are in engineering which requires lots of aptitude and study that is beyond the ability of many people. Additionally engineering educations tend to get obsolete before one is ready to retire. Many companies who are eager to hire recent graduates just coming out of school don’t want to keep them as they get older and more expensive.

For a mature worker, say 40 or so, the old job is far less secure than one would hope if one has a family. Being laid off or fired is VERY common. Worst of all the risk is greatest when workers have the most family responsibilities.

It’s not the worker’s fault, generally. Stock prices rise with personnel layoffs. Pensions are not a responsibility companies want if they can be avoided. They might even try to make people so unhappy they might quit their jobs. Many companies and bosses will deliberately present a worker with some moral dilemma to encourage them to quit.

As reprehensible as this list is, none of these things is beyond the realm of possibility. In fact these types of things are likely and common.

The highest paid employees of large companies are also by far the best compensated with stock options and bonuses other employees can only dream they might get. Only the very top executives can expect these perks. Everyone else is screwed, though some get it worse than others.

Additionally, no worker is indispensable to a large company. They will just go hire someone younger and cheaper and keep them till they don’t want them anymore, sort of like Donald Trumps wives.

So how do you insure a comfortable retirement for you and any family you might have.

First, a liberal arts degree is nearly useless.

Our strategy has been to be self-employed.

It hasn’t been easy, either, but neither is anything else. That is especially true of being an unappreciated and disrespected employee.

We knew that the time would come when slimy employers would have difficulty hiring people to fill jobs. We know a fast food restaurant that cannot keep or hire enough employees. Those poor managers are working themselves to death! They parade in and out, sometimes in just weeks. My heart bleeds!

Why would people take these jobs? To quote the Bard and inappropriately, too, “That is the question.” Reality bites hard.

It’s the wave of the future.

The most financially successful and secure people in our society are self-employed. It may make being an employee look WAY too risky.

Make you own future. Be self-employed. It’s actually less risky than working for someone else. The best part about it is that you have a going business to leave to your family or sell when you are ready to retire. It’s your business and your money and you have more control and maybe even a comfortable retirement, too. Also, if you are considering starting a business, pick one that isn’t cash intensive. Cash flow of businesses, even large ones can be difficult to manage and can even bring a business down very quickly. ABL loans can help but not needing any form of business debt is ideal.

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