February 25, 2018 09:42 pm CST
5 Tips for a $1 Million Retirement
By Jeff Siegel, Wealth Daily

The headline screamed:

"$1 Million is no Longer Enough to Retire on"


If you have $1 million set aside for retirement, you'll likely be just fine... just as long as you have a solid retirement plan in place — which includes a lot more than just a big wad of cash.

Although it's easy to get caught up in random percentages and long-term financial projections, a safe and happy retirement isn't determined solely by how much money have you stored away.

Sure, you'll need the money — particularly if you don't plan on working in your golden years. And I will be the first to preach about the importance of investing early and often for retirement.

But if you're not properly prepared — outside of your IRAs, 401(k) plans, and stocks — it won't matter if you have a million dollars or not.

Forget the “Professionals”

Unlike a lot of folks, I don't take my retirement advice from “professionals.”

I take my retirement advice from Rodney Oliver.

Rodney Oliver is not a regular on the cable news circuit. He doesn't speak at finance conferences, he hasn't written a bunch of books about retirement, and you won't find him at any fancy black-tie affair, schmoozing with the rich and famous and noshing on shrimp cocktail while discussing the latest market trends with Warren Buffett.

No, Rodney Oliver is nothing like that at all. Instead, Rodney's just a simple man with simple needs. Yet he's likely better prepared for retirement than anyone else I know... at least as far as non-millionaires go.

Rodney Oliver is an old friend of the family. He lives in western Maryland and works as a welder. He actually owns his own welding business. It's nothing big — basically just him and two other guys. They do small and medium-sized jobs, primarily commercial stuff.

As a welder, Rodney makes a pretty decent living. He own his own home, he put his two kids through college, and he's debt-free. He currently has about $850,000 set aside for retirement, and he said he plans on working for at least another five years.

By that time, he'll likely be sitting on $1 million — or at least pretty close to it. But the truth is, if he wanted to retire today, he could.

Five is the Magic Number

Rodney's retirement plan is pretty simple, as he claims he needs only five things:

  1. Money
  2. A home with plenty of land
  3. His health
  4. Protection
  5. A good attitude

We cover the money part every week, so we don't need to re-hash that here.

His home — well, that's paid for. He made his final mortgage payment three years ago.

Of course, it's an older house, so it needs some work. And that's exactly what he's doing now. He wants to get as many upgrades and improvements done while he still has a steady stream of income. This way, when it's time for him to retire and that income stream slows dramatically, he won't have to worry about shelling out a bunch of money to get things fixed or upgraded.

Here are some of the things he's done already or is currently working on...

  1. Complete upgrade of all plumbing — Done
  2. Complete upgrade of all electrical — Done
  3. Install all new appliances — Plans to do this one year prior to retirement
  4. Install solar panels to serve as a hedge against electricity price fluctuations — Done
  5. Expand and upgrade bathroom — In progress

Rodney also grows most of his food. With about two acres of land, he and his wife have been hobby farmers for nearly two decades now. They grow an abundance of fruits and vegetables, raise chickens, goats, and rabbits, and even became amateur beekeepers a couple of years ago.

There isn't much Rodney needs to buy from the supermarket. He enjoys fresh fruits and vegetables from June through November, and in the winter months he relies on the stash of root vegetables he keeps in his root cellar.

Not to mention the bags upon bags of frozen berries that he grows himself. They're mostly blueberries and strawberries, although he's trying to grow raspberries now, too. His wife cans a lot of their fruits and vegetables, as well.

The rabbits are raised for food, and he gets fresh milk from his goats and fresh eggs from his chickens. Rodney also hunts, so you'll always find plenty of venison in his freezer.

Point is, with all that land, Rodney and his wife are well prepared to fend for themselves both now and well into their retirement. They don't have to spend hundreds of dollars every week at the grocery store for food that is rarely fresh. Over time, that adds up.

Don't Get Sick

One of the biggest expenses most folks prepare for in terms of retirement is health care. Without a doubt, health care could easily eat up the majority of your savings.

And this is why Rodney does everything he can to stay healthy. As Rodney puts it, “The best way to stay out of the hospital is to not get sick.” Here's how he does it...

  1. Exercises daily — cardio and strength training.
  2. Doesn't eat processed foods, and most of what he eats is organic and homemade.
  3. Doesn't smoke.
  4. Practices yoga and meditation. That's right — a yoga-loving welder. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!
  5. Gets eight hours of sleep every night. As well as this being a safety issue, as it's not particularly safe to weld while tired, Rodney and thousands of doctors and health experts know that lack of sleep can really wreak havoc on your body and immune system.

Incidentally, Rodney's has had few health problems over the years. A very uncommon thing for a commercial welder.

Are You Fully Prepared?

While Rodney is one of the nicest, most pleasant people you could ever meet, he's also no pushover.

A fierce supporter of the second amendment, Rodney has built up a pretty impressive arsenal. He hunts with most of what he has, but he also has no issue showing off his collection of handguns.

Rodney also keeps a close eye on his property with video monitors that he can check at any time from the convenience of his smartphone.

He says it's mostly to keep an eye out for bears or potential predators that sometimes start sniffing around his chicken coops. But he fully admits it offers him a feeling of security, especially when he's out of town.

Some might say he's being a bit paranoid. I prefer the term "well prepared." And that's what retirement is really all about anyway.

Yes, you do need a sizable chunk of change on which to rely when it comes time to retire. But without your health, access to healthy food, land, personal protection, and a debt-free home, you'll never really be fully prepared.

And as far as Rodney's number five for retirement planning, here's what he's got to say:

Life is short and wonderful. Don't waste your time being a downer. Nobody likes a downer. Appreciate everything God has given you, make the best of it. Don't be lazy, but don't be afraid to enjoy the spoils of your hard work. And above all, remember, if you have a good attitude, fortune will find you. It's found me, and I live like a king.

And those are the words of a man whom I believe has it all figured out. He's better prepared for a happy retirement than most, and if you want the same, prepare for your retirement the same way Rodney has. It's never too late.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

Jeff Siegel Signature

Jeff Siegel

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