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You’ll Never Guess The True Secret To A Rich Retirement

Posted On May 3, 2018 1:32 pm
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My Own Example

This is what I’ve chosen to do. I was originally in the Army Medical Service Corp and training to be a trauma surgeon. However an injury forced me to retire medically (on disability) and it was a very traumatic event for me. An Army surgeon had been my lifelong dream and I had spent decades working towards that goal. To suddenly and permanently lose that calling stripped me of my identity and put me in a deep depression that took me years to recover from. However I eventually changed the way I thought about my involuntary “retirement”. Thanks to my disability pension I could live frugally but comfortably without working ever again. I also had the VA medical system to cover my healthcare needs free of charge.

However I immediately rejected the idea of a traditional retirement of golf or binge watching Netflix all day as a waste of my skills, talent and ambition. Instead I decided to pursue my life long love of stocks and personal finance and became a professional investment writer. Eventually I built up my business to cover three websites, and now am choosing to work the same amount of hours I did in the Army, but as my own boss. I write about what interests me, and thanks to a lot of luck and hard work, I’m making about double what I ever was in the military. I’m actually happier than I was back when I had my “dream career”. That’s because I’ve found a new calling, where I feel I can make a difference in people’s lives, but in a different way.

In the meantime I’ve surrounded myself with friends, family and most importantly of all, puppy; my 6 pound Chorkie. My life is now more well rounded and richer; socially, emotionally, and financially. And most importantly it’s sustainable. I literally have no plans to ever “retire again” and quit doing what I’m doing now. That’s because I love what I do, feel it helps contribute to society, and gives me everything I need to avoid the kind of gradual physical, emotional and mental decline that would lead to an early grave.

Obviously I’m not saying that everyone can or should do what I did. But my point is to not make your goal to quit working entirely, but to quit working on other people’s terms. For me the goal of my retirement portfolio (which I have no intention of tapping for decades) is to provide a source of: safe, generous, and exponentially growing income. Why? Because money is a tool. It’s optionality. It’s a safety net that allows me to help my loved ones if they need it or to pursue other passions I might discover in the future.

At the very least it’s something that can one day I can turn into a perpetual charitable trust that donates half the dividend income to causes I care about to make the world a better place (the other half gets reinvested to grow the portfolio). The bottom line is this: life is about building a legacy, not about working only as long as you have to so you can then stop working all together. Being “rich” doesn’t mean owning a penthouse or a Bentley, but rather having the freedom to live life without concern for material want and able to pursue a rich social, emotional, and psychological existence the way you want to.

Photo: “Retirement” by 401(K) 2013 is licensed under CC BY-SA

About author

Dividend Sensei
Dividend Sensei

I'm an Army veteran and former energy dividend writer for The Motley Fool. I currently write for both Seeking Alpha, Simply Safe Dividends, and DividendSensei.com My goal is to help all people learn how to harness the awesome power of dividend growth investing to achieve their financial dreams, and enrich their lives. With 22 years of investing experience, I've learned what works and more importantly, what doesn't, when it comes to building long-term wealth and income streams. I'm currently on an epic quest to build a broadly diversified, high-quality, high-yield dividend growth portfolio that: 1. Pays a 5% yield 2. Offers 7% annual dividend growth 3. Pays dividends AT LEAST on a weekly, but preferably, daily basis

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