One thing I think about, a lot, is retirement. I concluded a couple of years ago that the retirement advice we get is broken.
I’d put money away, the way my financial planner and accountant told me to do, and then watched as that money “disappeared” into the ether of the stock market.
I’d meet people who were near “retirement” age but had lost their entire life savings due to stock market crashes.
I’d look around me at the people I know, the people who run their own small businesses, and think, “Retire from what?” I already consider myself semi-retired. Why? I have my own business, which is what many people aspire to once they “retire” from corporate work. I pretty much do what I want. I live in a small house (no downsizing required).
And, I kept hearing that 50 was the new 40 — which must mean, logically, that 60 is the new 50 and 70 is the new 60.
So why would I want to retire at age 65? Seems to me I’d just be getting started!
I have my own ideas about how I should prepare for retirement, but I’d tell myself I was wrong or that my ideas had zero merit. After all, I don’t have initials after my name. I’m not a financial planner or an accountant. And, being a writer, I’m somewhat math challenged!
Thankfully, I got my hands on an advanced copy of Randy Gage’s new book, Risky is the New Safe: The Rules Have Changed (Wiley).
In this book, which is scary and thrilling at the same time (I finished it late Friday night and couldn’t sleep after!), Gage lays out a new world of complete and total upheaval.
This world isn’t the world of the future. It’s now. Today.
While the changes happening around us are disrupting whole industries with people losing their jobs and old technologies disappearing, these changes are creating extraordinary opportunities.
I read Gage’s book through the lens of a marketer. I kept thinking about how I’m telling my clients to get on the mobile bandwagon — or be lost.
I look at my email inbox and think, “Email is so dead” as I delete, delete, delete the tons of unsolicited crap I get.
I think about my own marketing and how I’m taking a risk by listening to my own inner guidance — guidance that is sometimes running counter to accepted practices.
As I read Gage’s book, I thought about how we’re all addicted to our devices. I thought about the social media gurus who advocate this 24/7 connected mindset. And, I wondered what people would think if I came clean about my own cutting back.
I recently made the radical — and risky — decision to work set hours each day — 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. I did this because I kept thinking about all the activities I used to do before the Internet. I wanted my quality of life back.
This decision has forced me to be much more focused so that I accomplish the really important things.
The time I sit at my kitchen table at night or on the weekends “catching up” has been significantly reduced. Instead, I do things that I used to do before social media, devices and the Internet, such as enjoying cooking and eating dinner (slowly), playing with my dogs, taking longer walks, working in the yard and yes, contemplating my life’s purpose.
Reading Gage’s book, I found myself asking, “How much would people pay to learn how to become untethered? Who will teach them how to do this? How much will people value slowing down, quiet time and listening to one’s spirit?”
And, more to the point, how much would people pay for retirement advice that isn’t broken?
Suffice to say, Gage’s book is one you want to read if you want to think about why you do what you do — and how you’ll adapt to the changes that are already happening in the world around us.
It’s a must read book for any marketer or innovative thinker who wants to create new opportunities.
Risky is the New Safe goes on sales October 30. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon.
Have you made “risky” or contrarian changes based on trends you’re seeing? If you have, feel free to share in the comments below.