Using a simplistic example, median income in 2014 was $51,759 (found via a Google search). If someone wants to cover half that amount in retirement from their portfolio then using today’s dollars their portfolio needs to be $646,987 ($51759/2 then divided by .04). Yeah, yeah it is overly simplistic but a $51,000 salary and a $26,000 portfolio number are not opulent dollar amounts but how realistic is $500,000 or $600,000 for the broad swath of Americans?
Probably not very realistic but paraphrasing Joe Moglia, no one will care more about your retirement more than you. Similarly no one will care more about whether my acquaintance (that may be too strong of a word) will make back it to the major leagues more than him. The implication being that it is better to reduce the extent your fate is determined by someone else like congress.
Just as he is doing what he can to determine his outcome so too can many people try to do more to determine their outcomes. For many years I’ve been talking in this context about living below your means, increasing your savings rate, trying to stay modestly fit (to cut down on healthcare expenses) and try to take some of the burden off your portfolio like through monetizing a hobby in case you need it.
To that end, this week I am taking the second of two classes (there are some perquisites that I took a long time ago) required to be an All Hazards Logistics Section Chief (LSC). I have been an LSC trainee for a couple of years on a recently started Incident Management Team (IMT) here in the Prescott area but am now the only one in the LSC role. Once I complete the class and get a few incidents under my belt I will be a qualified LSC.
I don’t expect to ever need to rely on this for income but no one knows what their future holds, no one knows their future selves might want to do but it is a lot of fun, helps with problem solving in my day job, and like blogging, my fire involvement is opening doors to meet people and do things I would have never been able to do. If we do need it then it will be successful for putting in the time needed because no one cares more about my acquaintance’s MLB career than he does and no one cares more about your financial future than you so do everything you can to get the outcome you want.