Retirement Sucks. Income is Relative. Fire Yourself.

Updated: Jan 12

In this post I'll explain why traditional retirement sucks & show you an alternative to working until you're 65.

This post explains a mindset that's important for everyone to consider, especially Internet Artisans (read my post about future-proof wealth creation here).

Take it with a grain of salt when I say:

Retirement Sucks.

The traditional career path looks like this:

School for 20 years > Work for 40 years > Retire when you're 65+.


We're supposed to wait until we're eligible for Medicare to enjoy our life?

Then what?

Go to a beach for a few weeks, get bored, find a water aerobics class back home and start eating dinner at 4:30pm?

To anyone approaching that age, I'm only kidding (sorta).

Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of healthy people over 65 that live great lives.

I'm just saying it's not necessary to work for 40 years straight and trust that everything will be great when you finally retire.

You don't have to wait for a pension to give yourself the freedom to enjoy life.

And you don't have to quit your job & start over, either.

You just need to tweak a few things.

Start with this:

The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

This book introduced me to the power of elimination in the work week.

I highly recommend giving it a read — but I'm here to make your life easier and consolidate info for you.

So, here's the most important concept of the book:

The typical workweek is 40-hours. But very few people are actually doing work for all of that time.

In my first few years in the workforce, I quickly learned how many lazy people there are in the world.

In an office setting, like anywhere else in the world, people find comfort zones.

They figure out how to appear busy while doing the bare minimum, procrastinating, and distributing work to others.

The traditional office employee is constantly busy with emails, meetings, phone calls, chatting with attractive coworkers, etc.

If you take a step back and ask yourself how much time you actually spend producing, it's probably around 20% of the hours you're logging.

Now, this isn't always the case.

A few of you guys are actually grinding away at all hours, getting work dumped on your desk by your superiors, and doing what's necessary to move up.

But still, chances are that the majority of the work you're doing isn't actually yielding much for you.

Think about it in terms of the Pareto Principle.

Pareto's Principle (or the 80/20 rule) states that in most instances, 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.

Consequences = your income.

So, 80% of your income comes from 20% of your work efforts.

And 80% of the work you do only leads to 20% of your income.

A financial advisor might have 10 clients, 8 of them have roughly $100k invested.

But, after a few years in the business he was able to sign two gentlemen that just sold their restaurant business for $3.2 Million.

8 of the clients are making the advisor (with the average 0.5% fee) $40k/year.

The other two make him $160k/year.

$200k/year is great.

But what if that advisor dropped the initial 8 clients?

Sure, he forfeits $40k... but he cuts his workload down by 80%.

If he wants to, he could then spend the majority of his time looking for other, bigger clients, and continue to earn more and more.

But what if he decided he didn't want more clients at all?

What if he just kept his two top-producers, and gave himself a ton of free time?

He could take a few months to travel, live abroad, work on his golf game, etc.

Time is money.

Most people don't understand that to live like a millionaire, you don't need a million dollars in the bank.

Travel is probably cheaper than you think.

You just need free time.

Which leads me to the next part of this philosophy:

Income is Relative.

Here's another example:

Harry & William went to the same college.

Harry is an analyst in New York City, where he takes home $100k/year.

William doesn't have nearly as serious of a job. In fact, he spends his days at home on the computer.

William's parents call him lazy & unmotivated.

The average person would look at Harry's situation and say he's got a great head on his shoulders, and he's on his way to wealth — and that same person would scoff at William.

But what they don't realize is that William has a knack for selling rare basketball shoes online, and it pays him $50k/year.

Harry works 80 hours per week. So, on average, he gets paid about $25/hour.

William works 20 hours per week. On average, he makes $50/hour.

So while Harry might take home more, William is actually getting paid more per hour.

But it gets worse for Harry, because he lives in New York City, where the cost of living is 150% higher than the national average.

He forks over about 80% of his income for living expenses.

All of the sudden Harry's $100k is really worth about $20k.

80 hour work weeks to net $20,000?

William works remotely & isn't tied to any city or country. His cost of living is only 30% of his annual income.

So he takes home $35k/year.

(And don't forget, William is an Internet Artisan, working completely remotely, so home for him might be Bali, Paris, or Thailand depending on the month.)

Harry only has 2-weeks off per year... but hey, there's plenty of fun vacations for him to do.

Flights are pretty expensive though, so he'll have to make it a road trip.

(No idea why I went with Harry from Dumb & Dumber for that example... and William isn't the best representation of an Internet Artisan either...especially since there's a guy named Benjamin Kicks that makes millions selling rare sneakers online... and he was a teenager when he started.)

Personally, I want to free up as much time as possible in my schedule so that I can earn new experiences.

So at the moment, I'm not completely obsessed with driving my annual salary through the roof.

But I'm 24, and I'm playing the long game.

I want to establish freedom from the workplace by developing digital businesses and then start pouring everything into passive income opportunities.

But you don't have to think like me.

Are you not big into travel?

Are you naturally a really hard worker?

That's great, and I'm jealous, but you can still use this concept:

Design Your Life

Don't fall victim to traditional thinking.

Break rules, cross boundaries, give yourself the freedom to do whatever it is that makes you content.

Follow these steps:

  1. Assess how you allocate your time

  2. Identify the things you do that you don't enjoy, aren't good at, aren't getting paid enough for

  3. Fire yourself from those tasks

  4. Use that extra time to find better value

Firing yourself doesn't always mean just giving up on something.

Let's say the financial advisor I mentioned before doesn't want to travel, and he's pretty content doing what he's doing.

He doesn't have to forfeit those 8 clients that only made up 20% of his income.

He could hire someone underneath him to manage those clients, and incentivize them to pick up more clients of their own.

He'll pay the overhead costs, and he'll train them, but he'll also take a small percentage of their income.

Could be a great opportunity for someone just coming out of school to learn the ropes.

But guess what would be easier... using the internet to leverage.

Covid has shown us just how much of our work can be done online, especially meetings.

He could set up a 30-minute video call once a quarter for his smaller clients where they can assess their goals, ask questions, and plan.

The rest of the time the advisor can spent diligently managing the money of his two millionaires.

If he wanted more clients, he could turn to LinkedIn lead generation.

One quick search could bring up hundreds of users/potential clients who just sold their businesses.

And he wouldn't even need to reach out to each of them individually.

He could write a script & give it to one of the thousands of virtual assistants working abroad that would be happy to monitor an email campaign.

(And it would cost a lot less than someone graduation from a four year institution in the US with thousands in student loan debt.)

My message is this:

You don't have to be a world traveler or have an ecommerce business to use the internet to leverage.

And you don't have to spend the first 65+ years of your life grinding behind a desk before you can enjoy it.

Challenge tradition, discover your value, and cut out the rest.

Enjoy your life now, don't wait for this:

Should I post more about these kinds of lifestyle/philosophy things? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear your opinion!

Keep an eye out for my new video series Breaking Tradition

Follow me on instagram: benny_digital

And, subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss a post!

See you next week.

- Ben

18 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Ben Dewhurst

  • Instagram