The common thread of all retirement advisers seems to be how many millions we’ll need to have in order to live during our retirement years. With all the recent studies about how poorly everyone is doing with saving anything, I have to wonder how many will achieve the high standard that is set before us. If we look at things from another direction, is it possible to live out our retirement years without all the millions required?
If we took the money we would be investing into RRSP’s or 401k’s and invested, instead, into avenues of sustainable living, we are guaranteed a decent return. If we put our money into a greenhouse, solar panels, water conservation systems, alternative transportation or even community living, in some way, it will guarantee a return and even a reduction in costs.
Let’s look at it in dollars and cents. In studies from 2009, the solo 401k salary elective deferral limit was $16,500. The corresponding IRA annual limit was between $5,000 and $6,000, depending on the depositor’s age. According to the Consumer Price Index, the current inflation rate was minus 1.3%, which means there was technically a period of deflation (Consumer Price Index Report: October 30, 2009). So what does this mean? It means that all the monies dumped into all the traditional means of investment are actually losing value, but if we invest in means of sustaining ourselves, we definitely come out ahead.
If we invest in a greenhouse, or even just a garden of our own, we have fresh food to eat and preserve, which will save on grocery bills. If we can invest into solar panels, or even just a few, we cut down our utility bills and can even be paid for the power we generate. Water conservation systems will drastically reduce the cost of both water and sewage and even if any type of community living isn’t for you, it is an ingenious way to greatly reduce costs of living. All these investments will provide gains for us, mainly as much as we’re willing to give to each of them.
I know that many people are currently laid off or have been terminated from their jobs, and may not have the means to put toward all of these projects but it does provide us with time; time to indulge in smaller projects. Time could be spent toward building cold frames from recycled material, tending an abandoned orchard, planting a new garden, wildcrafting or lots of other do-it-yourself projects.
We are definitely living in a time of huge change and there are two ways we can view it. We can view it as an opportunity to create something new – or we can view it as a terrifying change.
I would like to share with you a project that was completed a short time ago here in my area. The gentleman behind this dream has put his all into seeing this to fruition and I hope you’ll take the time to have a look at the site and all that’s been accomplished here – especially view the video that explains how they produce their power & heating, it’s quite ingenious. As well, see what is used for insulation and its efficiency.
Mary Cunningham would never claim to be a financial expert but has worked in the area of finance with personal taxes for over 15 years. Those personal taxes included all personal aspects, rental property and small businesses. She will be offering some Canadian insight to this venture but she came to live in Canada by way of Kentucky.