There’s a factory near where I once lived that was built about 40 years ago and no one has ever retired from it.
Is it because the job is so great no one ever wants to quit? Hardly.
It’s because workers use their 401K plans exclusively to fund their retirement. Unfortunately, the money contributed to these plans must stay there until they reach 59.5 years old and the back-breaking work and ruthless company policies claim these workers long before they can use this money penalty-free.
They either die, or get fired before they reach retirement age.
Retirement accounts that allow you to compound money tax-free are designed to keep you in the work force until you’re too old to use the money. It’s actually a boon for organizations and corporations to maintain a hungry, available pool of labor. The system also benefits the financial industry, which can maintain trillion-dollar accounts (filled with your money) over long time periods.
If the government and your company really wanted you to retire, they would allow you to maintain any investment account tax-free. They could let you compound the money, increasing the balance exponentially, and then tax it when you withdraw it as income. If that was the case, more and more people would leave their jobs once their accounts were large enough to spin off an acceptable level of income.
And then what would your boss do?
This is not meant as advice to abandon your retirement plans. In fact, you should keep contributing and even maxing them out. You should never deny yourself free money, even when the terms are not exactly satisfactory.
But, if you want to retire early, you need to add tools that lie outside of the typical retirement plans. You need to create a trading or investment account that you control now and one that can produce consistent and exponentially-increasing returns. It may sound like an impossible order, but as technology becomes more advanced, investors and traders will have more opportunities to create just such an account.
This is the first post in a series about financial myths that make you poor. For more information, you might want to read the previous article in this series. It’s called Financial Myths That Make You Poor.
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