By Charlotte Latvala
Retirement? What? you’re saying – I’m only 50, for crying out loud. And although you’ve heard those urban myths about people retiring at 50, you’ve never met anyone who actually has.
Still, the Big R is kinda, sorta looming. Mathematically, you’re closer to retirement than, say, having your first legal drink.
And because you’re the sort of 50-year-old who’s reading How to be 50 instead of Forbes, you probably need some friendly advice about facing this major milestone.
First and foremost: You can’t just stop working.
You need money. You need a plan. You need a dream.
But mostly, you need money.
How to be 50 can’t simply write you a check. But, as usual, we do offer some handy shortcuts:
- Announce that you’re writing your “family story” and spend a year sponging off wealthier relatives. They’ll be so happy to see you leave that they’ll offer to pay for your plane ticket to visit the next relative on your list.
- In the spirit of the “tiny house” movement, downsize. Still have kids at home? No worries! After all, it’s good for kids to learn independence, and what better way than tossing them out on the street?
- Sell your vehicle. Why waste money on gas? You can pick up a bicycle for free on trash night in any suburb. Bonus: You won’t have to deal with pesky relatives who bum rides to the airport for so-called “business trips.”
- Get rid of complicated electronics. Tablets and iPhones are expensive! Sure, you’ll be cut off from the world, but what’s more important: Maintaining your last existing friendships or saving a few bucks?
- Extort money from your kids. Sure, it sounds bad, but haven’t they been doing the exact same thing to you for years?
- Drop any hobbies you have to pay for. Bonus: By forgoing sporting events, gambling, and bar-hopping, you’ll have plenty of time for an actual job.
- Come up with a romantic, difficult-to-fact-check story about how you lost millions earlier in your career. A broke middle-aged person is one thing; one with a colorful, ruinous past is quite another.
- Look into the following second careers: House-sitting. Vacation house-sitting. Beach house-sitting. (And if you get any great leads, can you please pass them along to How to be 50?)