It is the dream of just about every man and woman in the free world to work as little as one possibly can in order to enjoy the greatest amount of leisure time possible. Since the days when the mass production of food made it possible to stockpile resources for future use instead of hunting and gathering on a daily basis, man has wanted to have his proverbial cake and eat it too, while he lazes in an armchair and sips from a bottle of champagne. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of this, of course, except that it means that we tend to work an extreme mount in a concentrated period of time in order to spend the period of not-working time in as comfortable a situation as possible. For the prospect of retiring in the 21st century, this means that, if one has the option, one can work a tremendous amount until the age of retirement (usually thought to be someplace around 65) and then one can sit back on the laurels and take it easy. The economic prospects that govern whether or not it is going to be possible for you – in whatever profession you find yourself in – to be able to retire comfortably, are not entirely up to you, but are essential to know so that you can plan in the best way possible to achieve your retirement goals.
If you’re young enough to have not had to think too seriously about retirement and how you are going to manage it in a society that is about to see a huge chunk of its population hang up their hats in the next 20 years, you might want to sit up and take notice. The Social Security system that exists thanks to Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” is going to see some seriously hard times when the baby-boomer generation retires. This means several things for the ordinary working class people like us. For one, we may not be able to retire as early as we’d like, at least not with the system of retirement planning that currently exists in America, and so we’ll either have to plan to work longer, harder, or find a new way to save money. It seems likely that even the baby-boomer generation is not going to be able to take off to their retirement paradise in the tropics as early as they’d hoped, unless they’ve done some pretty clever financial planning themselves.
What you’ll need to look into is finding a financial advisor or planner that can help you with your current financial position and tell you what the right investments to make are. If you are self-employed, you are surely going to have to do your own investing as you are not going to have a pension or 401k to fall back on as a bare minimum safety-net. Every one will have a different case and a “best way” of saving for their future, and if you are someone who wants to know what it feels like to work less and retire longer, it is up to you to put in the effort needed.