The writer, accompanied by her husband at the brewery, went to her wedding. kat riza
I thought I would retire like my father. He worked for the same employer for decades and was completely financially free at the time.
However, with post-COVID life and work so uncertain, I’ve taken a different path and focused on trying something new.
This article is part of the Re/Thinking Re/Tirement series on inspiring financial planning for a future different from what life from 9 to 5 allows for.
My father retired at 55 and had an independent life ahead of him: no plans, no commitments, no worries. After decades of working in childcare, he was ready to put his feet up and look forward to his golden years with a healthy pension to support himself and my mother.
As a unionized employee of the Toronto City Council, he knew early in his career that if he worked hard enough, he would have a guaranteed income in retirement. I knew from a young age that he wanted to live a completely free life in retirement, and I watched as he sought promotions to increase his pension.
I moved to the US from Canada when I was starting my career in 2010 and the dust of the Great Recession was just beginning. To say I had culture shock is an understatement. I had no idea what a 401(k) was. 401(k) is an American model of private pension plans. Employees can voluntarily deposit a portion of their monthly income into a 401(k) account. I was 23 and only knew one retiree, my father, and I figured retirement looked the same for almost everyone. I didn’t save long before I finally thought about it.
When I first started depositing money into a 401(k) account in my 30s, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps – I stopped working at a reasonable age (let’s say 65 or so) and then returned to my office . Spend some relaxing days with my family and friends, travel, go to the cinema and live shows, work on house projects and be very easy going. But the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped a switch on me.
Suddenly, I began to reconsider my ideal “retirement.”
Maybe I realized my friends were being fired, or I suddenly thought about the fragility of life and work. Sometime in 2020 I suddenly stopped imagining my retirement in a country house and suddenly started thinking about starting my own business – something I would own and enjoy. An epistemic cliché, I know, but it’s a cliché that makes sense.
One night when I was casually telling my husband about my dreams of starting a small business, he said he thought so too. Maybe it was all the reality restaurant TV shows we watched during lockdown or in memory of our brewery wedding. We started dreaming of a place where we wanted to live many years after we retired: a brewery with a stage where we could put on live shows – theatre, dance, poetry. There will be food trucks, there will be laughter, art and friends and good beer. When we saw so many Americans switch from regular jobs to entrepreneurship during the pandemic, we thought it was possible. We just needed time and money.
Ah, money. While we’re still a long way from opening the doors of the brewery, we’ve started thinking about how we can fulfill our dream of retirement. Because let’s face it, for most people today, retirement doesn’t mean freedom — it means, at any age, to give up your 9-to-5 job and go to work that supports your lifestyle and that supports your lifestyle. close to heart. We have developed some strategies to get our finances in shape.
1. We can market our house
Before I started a brewery, I really only had one big financial goal: to buy a house. I didn’t think it would happen much later in life, but in 2020 my husband and I decided to move from expensive Los Angeles to a city with a lower cost of living and buy a house. With our relatively small mortgage of less than $250,000, we can now make additional payments on our principal and use up our home’s equity in about a decade or less.
2. We save and invest
We still save in traditional retirement accounts (because life is long and we’ll need the money eventually), but we also set money aside in savings and securities accounts each month when we plan to invest in our business. Our Educational Savings Account helps us educate ourselves and the money in our brokerage account is available to cover us while we get the business started.
3. We build our credit to take out a small business loan.
I’m sure at some point we’ll need to take out a loan for a brewery, whether it’s to buy the materials needed to run the brewery or to rent a space. With good credit we can get the best rates available. That is why we are now making every effort to improve our creditworthiness. For example, we pay off our credit cards in full each month and keep our credit utilization low.
4. We invest in a stock of craft beers to learn the art of beer making
If you roll your eyes as you read and wonder exactly what skills I have that qualify me to open a brewery, I don’t blame you. I honestly don’t have any. The brewery is still a dream and will require a lot of work.
We are currently investing in brewery supplies and are converting our basement into a workshop. We have to start somewhere. Are you guys coming for a drink?
This text was translated from English by Lisa Ramos-Dosse. You can find the original here.
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