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How Women Can Take Charge of Their Retirement Plan

How Women Can Take Charge of Their Retirement Plan

00:00 / 00:33:06

How Women Can Take Charge of Their Retirement Plan

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There are a variety of reasons that could be drivers of the retirement savings gap that many women are facing…

  • Prioritization – more focused on short-term financial needs
  • Wage gap – often paid less to do the same job
  • Maternity leave – leaving the workforce to raise a family
  • Personal leave – leaving the workforce to care for a sick loved one
  • Divorce – may be without an existing job/career at point of separation
  • Solo parenthood – single mothers are far too common

Regardless of the source of the issue, the reality is that women, on average, save much less for retirement than their male counterparts.

This might not seem like a big concern at first, but when you consider that the average human life expectancy has never been higher and women tend to live longer than men, you can imagine a scenario where a woman could easily outlive the financial runway she has established for herself.

In this episode, we talk about ways that women can use entrepreneurial endeavors to not only catch up to their savings goals, but also create streams of income that can continue to sustain their lifestyle for the rest of their days.

You’ll learn about:

  • Why women often fall behind on their savings goals
  • What types of businesses women can start on the side to accelerate their savings plan
  • What types of business endeavors are trending among women in the No Nest Egg Retirement community and elsewhere
  • What steps you should take if you want to get your retirement plan back on track as soon as possible

References and Resources:

The No Nest Egg Retirement Community
ARTICLE: How Women Are Improving Their Retirement Outlook
ARTICLE: New Study May Explain Why Some Women Save Less Than Men For Retirement
ARTICLE: Why are women only saving half as much as men for retirement?
ARTICLE: Women fail to save enough for retirement. Here’s how to fix that

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement podcast where we give you the raw, unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401Ks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Hey there, James Sowers here and we are back with another great episode of the Red Pill Retirement podcast for you. Today, my conversation is once again with Mr. Ian Bond and this one is all about how women who may be a little bit behind on their retirement savings for any number of reasons, whether that’s maternity leave, or they went through a separation or a divorce, or they’ve been going through life as a solo parent on a single income with maybe a couple of kids, whatever it is that has caused them to not hit their retirement savings goals. We talk about some strategies for how they can take back control of their retirement and not only make up the difference, or make up the gap from where they are to where they want to be, but go beyond that and start generating recurring streams of revenue that can continue to support them indefinitely throughout the rest of their life.

So I think it’s a really interesting conversation and especially timely given at the time of recording, we’ve got Serena Williams in the news for some of the ways that she’s being treated differently compared to her male counterparts and I think that this episode is similar in the fact that there are certain aspects of roles that women have traditionally filled and the transition that’s happening where they’re being empowered both at home and in the workplace that have an impact on retirement planning. I think that this episode is really about how we can do just that, we can empower women to take control over their own future and give them the tools and resources they need to build a business that can sustain their lifestyle indefinitely.

So, really excited for you to hear this conversation and as usual, I’ll be back at the end of it to tie up any loose ends and tell you about what we have in store next. So without further ado, let’s get into my conversation with Mr. Ian Bond, I know you’re going to love it.

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Red Pill Retirement podcast, my name is James Sours and I’m your host and I am joined as always by Mr. Ian Bond. Now Ian, I know you’re just getting back from a fantastic trip, some time away from the office, can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to?

Yeah, sure James, good to see you again. Well, the family and I just took a vacation which was also part exploration and we spent four days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the east side of the peninsula and then we went across the peninsula to an island on the west side, an island called Penang. There’s a colonial city, I think it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site called George Town and Malaysia’s one of these places with an incredible healthcare system, incredible cost of living, great ex-pat community, we really liked George Town, I’d been to Kuala Lumpur before. So we combined what is a new place for my wife and kids, although I had been to KL before, with a chance of looking around. Just seeing, could this fit at some point? Does it feel like it’d be something interesting for us if we might eventually want to look for some place to settle down. So that’s kind of what we do on vacation. We don’t make any sacrifices, we certainly stayed at nice places and had a lot of fun. So that’s what I was up to.

That’s awesome, that sounds like a great trip. If you’re new to the show, I think that’s a great illustration of the kinds of things that we talk about here. We talk about alternative retirement models and one of those is living abroad so that you can leverage the savings you have and some of the currency exchanges and things to your advantage while living in a beautiful place, having a great healthcare system and frankly, if you’re not ready to make that commitment or make that leap now, you can go on your normal vacation and like Ian was saying, use that as an opportunity to maybe vet or validate a place that you might want to retire to in the future. So that’s just one example of something that we talk about on the show.

Today we’re talking about a really interesting and timely topic, I think, and that’s all about in the past, women have been underpaid or maybe lagged behind on their retirement savings a little bit when compared to men and today we’re going to talk about how women can take control of that back into their own hands and start to improve their retirement situation through entrepreneurship and building a business. So I found this article on Forbes, which I’ll link up in the show notes but they had some interesting statistics around women and their retirement savings as compared to me. On average, women save just a little bit more than half as much as the men in their same age group. There are a bunch of different reasons that they say behind that. Some of that is around prioritization and during the childbearing years, women aren’t as concerned about saving for retirement as they are just getting the kids out the door and to school on time. Whereas men make it their top priority because historically that role has been as the provider.

So first Ian, I’d like to just ask, you run a community for people that are in this age group. Do you see this kind of situation where women are hitting the wall and seeing retirement around the corner but a little bit concerned about where they are financially and trying to make up a plan to make up that ground?

Yeah sure. I would say I was thinking about this. Just off of our blog and the comments, or people that email me, I get more cold engagement from women maybe 60% or 65%, to 35% or 40% from women than men. I don’t know why that is, that’s just an observation and we can talk about a lot of the considerations and concerns. How they got there? There’s a litany of reasons, it could be anywhere from the traditional baby boomer and Gen X role choices of women having career interruption to have children and all of the potential things that happen like that. In my own family, when my mom was unwell, my sister was the one that volunteered to go and take care of my mom and my brother and I did not. I’ve got a family, my brother does not have a family, my sister does not have a family so my sister was the one that volunteer and I think maybe women are more prone to do that but there’s a lot of reasons it happens but yeah, I think it’s absolutely the case that I get more engagement, cold engagement from women just strictly off the blog.

Now within in the community, there’s a very active dialogue and there I think it’s a safer place probably, but I think maybe it just is a … as you alluded to, a newer concept, or more top of mind. I’m almost trying to figure out why someone engages me, what’s their situation and why now? I always try to figure that out and it’s not an exact science.

Yeah, you know if somebody’s listening at home and they find themselves in this position I would say, first and foremost, don’t feel bad about it. You are not alone, there are plenty of other women facing these same challenges and like you said, there are a bunch of reasons why this happens and it’s completely justifiable. If you take maternity leave to raise two or three children and you’re out of the workforce for, it can be a decade or more, it’s hard, it’s nearly impossible to save for retirement during that time if you’re not working at all and then when you do come back into the workforce, you kind of feel like you’re playing catch up. I would say don’t feel any guilt or resentment about that because frankly, it’s never been easier to become an entrepreneur and quickly make up for lost time there. That’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today and I think that one example that I do want to make sure that we touch on is that women on average live longer than men and I know that you have a very specific story about someone inside of your community that brought that up to your wife about why she should be concerned about her retirement savings and the nest egg that you guys have.

Yeah, this really was striking. Last year, in June, I attended a live and invest overseas retirement conference in Portugal. We were looking to think about Portugal as a place we might ultimately want to retire, hey why not choose a capital city in Western Europe, okay? I quickly was befriended by a couple, and my wife was out sightseeing with my kids, Heidi and Ed and we ultimately had dinner with them and I remember … Heidi was probably was 73, 4, 5 and Ed might have been 80 and I remember we had dinner and Heidi grabbed my wife by the forearm and said, “You need to keep doing what you’re doing because I have plenty of capital but I don’t have cashflow and I don’t want to dip into my capital and you’re going to outlive him.” She was pointing at me, I said, “I hope you don’t know something I don’t know.” But she says, “You’re going to outlive him and think about cashflow.” She was incredibly direct about it and I was really kind of taken by the fact that here she is in her 70s, really thinking hard about this, really interested in our eCommerce activities too. So that’s the most striking example that I can tell you.

Yeah and I think the most interesting point to emphasis there is that she does have a nice size nest egg. She does have a set of money that she has set aside, or they have set aside for retirement but what she is saying is, “I don’t want to just draw from that because then I’m going to be up every night wondering when I’m going to take the last dollar out of that account. What I want is cashflow, I want money coming in every single month to cover my expenses so I don’t have to touch the nest egg.” That becomes an inheritance for somebody or whatever you want to do with it at the end of your life, but instead of drawing, drawing, drawing down from a big bucket of money, you want money coming in every month to cover your expenses so that you don’t have worry about that.

Well, so James, going back to your original point. If Heidi was 75 at the time, she could easily live another 20 or 25 years and so that is a … I don’t know what her nest egg is, they were well-to-do for sure, this conference wasn’t cheap, but 20 or 25 years of funding would be daunting for anyone and you need to be thinking in those terms, I think.

Yeah, for sure, and that’s at 75. If she retired at 65 like most people plan to or hope to, or even earlier, then that’s another 10 years. So you’re trying to basically plan for retirement that’s almost as long as you are in the workforce. Like you said, that can be a daunting task so what you want instead is revenue coming in every month from some kind of a business venture that can take care of you over the long term.

Yeah, well look, you know I complain about this longevity thing all the time. This is a terrible thing that we’re all going to live too long. You really don’t want to have that mindset but now … Look, when the traditional retirement age was established, the age of death was not too far behind when people starting collecting retirement. Now there’s almost another third of your life that’s left after that. So it’s a whole different ballgame.

Well and the nature of work has changed as well. That used to be a lot more manual labor positions and at 65 you had to retire. You had a lifetime of doing manual labor and fairly broken at the time physically-


… but now, in today’s world, we’re working digitally and we’re working with software and we’re using our brains more than our brawn for the most part, so we can work longer and later into life and still be happy and enjoy the quality of life that we had without being stressed out physically, mentally or emotionally. So that’s definitely a changing-

… stressed out, physically, mentally or emotionally. So, that’s definitely a changing part of the landscape, is one that needs to be considered when we’re talking about retirement planning. So, I love the stories that we’ve shared so far, but while we’re on the topic of this woman giving your wife some advice about her retirement savings. I know that your wife … It was in one of these situations, before it happened. She took time off, and then was saying whether she should go back into the workforce, or maybe not go back to work, or do something entrepreneurial. So, tell us a little bit about that situation.

Sure. So, my wife was a very high level executive assistant. I would say, kind of a department coordinator in an investment bank, and she took eight years off from the workplace, and got our two kids into school. And she describes the moms in her group of friends, of our kids’ friends as, a third of them never leaving the workforce, so they were never able to attend any of their kids’ activities, and left their kids as they were … before they went to school. Left them at home with their nanny. And then the other two thirds … of the other two thirds, some small percentage didn’t want to ever work, and the rest of them, were all trying to struggle to get back into the work place. And she describes just the challenge around, kind of missing the most recent technology upgrades in the office, and feeling like you’re a step slow as to policies and procedures. Very daunting, and she definitely, when she was going through the interviewing process … I would call it discrimination, or at least a handicapping of the fact that people thought that well, “She’s done this before, maybe she’ll do it again.”

So, easier to take someone maybe who is younger, and looks like they were going to have a … Not have to have the departures from work early, because there’s a kid problem or something like that. It was really a daunting challenge for her, and so, literally when she got an offer to go to work at an investment bank, I mean, the friends all rallied around her, and said any way they could possibly help … She had help from the stay-at-home moms, and she had help from the moms that were still working, saying, “Look, whatever you need, you know, if you run into a situation that you don’t exactly know what’s going on, call me, I’ve still been working. And if you need me to pick up the kids, because you’ve gotten waylaid, call me, and I’ll help out.” It was wonderful. We had a wonderful group of friends.

Yeah, and what I love about that story is, you kind of cover all three options, right? And what we’re here today to say, I think, is that there’s no right or wrong to this, it’s a personal choice. You can go back to work certainly. You can choose not to work, and you can choose entrepreneurship. But, if you try to go back to work, and you find difficulty re-entering the workforce, for whatever reason. If you suspect discrimination or something like that, the fact of the matter is, you’re putting a hiring decision in someone else’s hands, and they’re evaluating you and your recent past, and they’re making a personal decision about whether or not to hire you, and in any case, whatever you think about the situation, that’s not the best place to be, right? You want to have control over your future, and you want your input to determine your outcome. And the best way to do that, I think, is through entrepreneurship and being a business owner. It gives you the most flexibility, and it gives you the most control, because the results that you get, are directly determined by the energy, the effort, that you put in.

So, what we’re here today, to do, is to kind of weight that. And I know, your wife ended up with an e-commerce store, and now a portfolio of e-commerce stores. So can you talk about the decision … when she made the decision not to go back to the workforce, but instead to be an entrepreneur? How did you settle on what path to pursue?

Just to remind you, when I relocated four years ago, the month of September in 2014, my wife waited till the following summer, June of 2015, to bring the kids overseas. And so, we were apart for, call it, nine months or something like that. And when she arrived overseas, there really wasn’t a large pool of jobs available for her with her skill set, on the one hand. On the other hand, I had thought through the fact that ultimately I will be reaching retirement age, and I would like to have an alternative source of income, away from the job. And I got very deep into the e-commerce and the online world. And so … We had actually talked about this before she took her job, but when she got over basically, I kind of steered that decision, she was game for it, and then we plunged head in to purchasing a couple of websites pretty quickly, and having her come up to speed. As an alternative to a traditional job, something that would be portable when my employment ends, or when we decide to retire, we can take with us, and continue to monetize from wherever we end up after here.

So, that was the impetus for the whole thing. And I can tell you that her original trepidation, because it was new to her, was certainly very high, but once she was able to get her arms around the basics, which did not take very long, she was able to work around our kids schedule. So, drop the kids off at school, she’s working. Take the kids to activities, she can work from the soccer pitch, or the rugby pitch, or the ice skating rink. If she wants to, she has no problems. Last night, she was out with her friends, who work, and when she gets back, she checks on her team to find out if she missed anything. So, just total flexibility. She just needs to get the work done, and she’s very disciplined, probably more so than I am, in terms of kind of lining up her priorities, and getting them done. Now, I think she would … I know she would say, “This is just a dream job.” I mean, she is able to work from vacations, when we go on vacation. She has been back to the US for a couple of semi-personal things, we always tie them to business related things.

And her team doesn’t know where she is. Her clients don’t know where she is. She’s able to work, and connect with everybody as need be, doesn’t miss a beat. So, it’s an amazing ability that you have these days, with the connectivity. All you need’s an internet connection. That’s it.

Yeah, and I’m glad we dug a little bit deeper into that, because it actually highlighted a point that I neglected to cover earlier, which is, you don’t have to jump into entrepreneurship 100%. And in fact, you frequently advocate for getting your job, and keeping your job, and building a business on the side, and extending your runway that way. And then at some point if you want to, you can always make the leap into entrepreneurship, after you’ve gained some traction with your business, and you have some revenue coming in. So, if someone is nervous about foregoing … returning to the workforce, in favor of becoming an entrepreneur, you don’t have to chose one or the other. You can go out there, and get a job, and still pursue an entrepreneurship on the side, and then those when those paths kind of cross to the point where it makes sense, you could make the leap at that point.

Now look, James. Rule number one at retirement rehab, is ‘lengthen your runway, and earn at the highest level, as long as you possibly can, so that you can ultimately make the choice on your own terms, not forced by anybody else.’ But, along with that, comes the great obligation, that you got to start. You got to get … You got to find something that’s going to work for you longer term. And the beauty is that, when you have an income coming in, the little setbacks aren’t so bad. The frustration is that, it can be a long day, if you’re trying to learn new skills, or work with … meet new clients or whatever it is. But, you’ve not had this conversation before. Give up Game of Thrones, give up all of the sports things, and find the time to do it. It’s so rewarding. And the other thing I will mention, and I say this … I feel like I repeat it almost every day to the people that I coach, which is, we always … The old adage is that, ‘we always overestimate what we can do in the short term, and we underestimate what we can do in the long term.’

So literally, you just pick something to get done today, and then tomorrow get something to get done tomorrow. When you wake up after six months, you’ll be just amazed at how far you can go. And that’s what’s going on in our community. Okay? What’s going on in our community, is people are … They have accountability threads, and they’re talking about what they’re getting done every day, and they’re getting encouragement from others. And there are other people copying, say, “Hey, you know, I saw that you were able to do that, now I’m going to go do that. I’m going to, you know, go and set up a profile on our freelancing site. I’m going to, you know, start to, you know, work on, you know, you know, you know, this area of interest, and you know, this is my to-do list.” And so, it’s amazing to see people help other people out when they get stuck, but it’s also … These accountability threads are really huge, because once you tell the world that you’re going to do it … First of all, you do it, but secondly, you get a lot of encouragement from people, which is wonderful.

Yeah, it’s kind of like, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats,’ right? If you copy my motto, and you’re successful at it, then I’m happy for you. I’m not angry with you, because frankly the world is big enough for both of us to be successful without pulling back on one or another.

Look, the reality is that the … I got into whole e-commerce world by watching other people, listening to podcasts, and reading blogs of people that were in the trenches every day. I joined the Facebook groups that they’re in. I watched the good days, and I watched the bad days, and I just said, “Look, this is something I can do, and you know, if I … If you know that there are other people, out there doing it, you know, it’s kind of hard to take a call that you, you know, you’re not going to be able to do it.” Now, there is a mindset shift from being an employee, to being kind of an entrepreneur, because it’s very easy to go into a place of work, and kind of have, kind of the same kind of routine every day. But, you figure it out pretty quickly.

Yeah, totally agree. You know, if somebody does want to take that first step today, if they’ve heard what we’ve said, and they say, “You know what? I want to give it a shot.” You guys landed on buying an e-commerce store, and then a couple more, but that’s just one model. What are some of the other things that women who want to take back control of their retirement planning, can do on the entrepreneurial. How can they kind of dip their toe on the water, and see if entrepreneurship is right for them.

So, I would say that, with regards to … First of all, I always talk about the big three, right? There’s coaching consulting, and then there’s freelancing, and there’s a couple of flavors in freelancing, and then there’s e-commerce universe. But I would say that depending … If you have specific skills, there is an enormous need for people that can write, people that can edit …

For people that can write, people that can edit, if you have only a little bit of training in social media you can do social media management for people. If you have any teaching experience, I don’t care if it’s Sunday school or it’s swimming lessons, there is an enormous opportunity for someone who has any teaching experience to either create courses on something where you have a knowledge set or a passion or to just use your teaching to help other people in some way that you get employed to help them.

Look, obviously if you’re a professional, a career professional and have an opportunity to do consulting, you know who you are and you just really need to figure out exactly how to structure that. Those would be the major ways that I see people doing it. The easiest thing, quite frankly, is to just start to get involve in freelancing, see what it’s like, see how it fits and then see if you want to graduate from there.

Yeah, and I think what that really starts with is a personal audit, some self reflection and say what are my skills, what do I like to do and then look at the options available to you out there. If you left the workforce as a marketing director then maybe you’re the perfect person to be a coach or a consultant for startup companies who can’t afford to hire a head of marketing and you can just come in and consult them on their strategy and their execution. Similarly, if you find that you’re a super organized person and you love running the household and managing everybody’s calendars for the kids, when’s their sports and maybe even your husband. I know my wife manages my calendar for me sometimes when I need it. If you’re super organized like that then maybe you’re good to be a virtual assistant and you can work freelance in that capacity.

Yeah, let me mention something. Right now we’re doing a fairly large survey of exactly how far people are on a monthly income basis from what they anticipate their needs are going to be and we’ll be releasing the survey results fairly soon but the numbers are, that they’re not that far away. Two, three, four thousand dollars a month is looking like it’s kind of like the fat part of the bell curve to be honest with you. Two, three thousand dollars is a fairly easy amount of income to construct if you get started and build a lifestyle that will be absolutely the lifestyle that you want, kind of like I described for my wife, what works for her. Yes, you have to be organized, yes, you have deliverables because you have clients but you get to do it on your own terms and so it’s really not that far of a reach. I would say that’s the most exciting thing, is once people see that opportunity then they really get engaged, it’s fun to see.

Yes, so it sounds like what you’re saying is let’s just assume somebody thinks that they can live off of $50,000 a year indefinitely so that’s roughly 4,000 and some change every month and you’re measuring how far away they are from that based on what their nest egg looks like.

Social security, nest egg, potentially a pension, something like that. No-one want to touch their nest egg so it’s the cashflow the nest egg throws off and a little bit of cushion. People also look to figure out obviously how they can shrink the expense side so we work on both sides of that equation. It’s just not that far that you’re away and it’s just not that hard to figure out how to get there. Again, you got to start, it looks daunting starting from zero but after your first couple of engagements which you will spend too much time on and you will stress out over and I’ve done it and I’m doing it, whenever I stretch myself but you learn how to manage it, it’s wonderful really.

Yeah, and I love that we’re going to probably talk about those survey results in a future episode I’m sure but I love that example and I love that you brought that up because that’s really what we’re tackling here today. If you know that you need $50,000 every year on retirement to live the lifestyle that you want but based on the nest egg because you’re out of the workforce for a while, whatever the case may be you’re not going to hit that number simply drawing down from the nest egg you have now, well then you need to do exactly what we talked about today and take charge of your retirement by generating income in some fashion. We covered a bunch of ideas for how to get started with that today and of course, we’re going to link up the study and the community and the survey results when they’re ready. We’ll put them all in the show notes and I guess we’ll probably talk about them in a future episode. I loved what we talked about today Ian, is there anything you want to leave the folks with before we hop off?

Yeah, I just want to add and punctuate with what we’re ending with which is however much you think you’re going to need you’re overestimating it.


You’re looking at it from the lens of where you’re living now and there are so many creative ways to lower your cost of living and when you do exit probably the expensive place you’re living for something less expensive and you start to shed a lot of things that you kind of take for granted in your forties and fifties that you no longer take for granted when you really start to think it through, you’re overestimating it. You’re actually closer than you think. There’s a great reason to have hope, let me tell you.

I love it, I love that as a takeaway and if you are a woman listening to this episode and for whatever reason you’re not comfortable with where your retirement is at, maybe you took some maternity leave, maybe you took some time off to care for a loved one that was sick, maybe you went through a divorce, whatever the case may be, if you’re not happy with where you’re at right now the message we want to send home is there are options available to you. You don’t have to do it alone and the folks in the retirement rehab community are there to help you achieve your goals and even exceed them so you can live the lifestyle you want for the rest of your life.

Ian, thank you so much as always for your time today and we’ll be looking forward to the next conversation with you here soon.

Great James. Really one of my favorite topics I think. I get so many inquiries from our women readers and the community is very vibrant and it’s just fun to be engaged with people. I think the fact that we have solved this as a couple and we think about it as a couple might help people get there but thanks, it was a wonderful conversation so thank you.

Same to you and hopefully the folks at home check out the show notes and check out the community and we’ll be back with another great episode here in the near future. Thank you Ian, take care.

All right folks, so there you have it, that concludes my conversation with Mr.Ian Bond all about how women can take back control of their future and their retirement planning through entrepreneurship. I hope you enjoyed it. I think we covered a lot of great point here today and I think especially poignant is the fact that whether you’re behind in your retirement savings or you have a nice little nest egg set aside, the trends that exist in longevity and the human lifecycle indicate that we’re going to live longer than ever before which means the time that we will be out of the workforce and in retirement is longer than every before. Even if you have that nest egg and you’re drawing down from it odds are that it won’t be enough and that by the end of your retirement period you’ll be out of money or very short on money and you’ll be looking at others for help.

If you want to avoid that and you want to make sure that you have a safety net to take care of you for the rest of your life and it won’t keep you up at night then I think entrepreneurship is a great way to generate revenue streams that happen every single month and continue to pay you even after you’ve stopped working.

We shared some strategies for how to get started with that today but the most important tip, I think, is remember that you don’t have to do this alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or scared, you’re not alone, other people have been there and the no nest egg retirement community is the perfect place to connect with other folks who are feeling the same way, have the same goals and aspirations as you. Might be a few steps ahead of you in the process and are excited to help you get to where you want to be so that’s all I have for you today. If you are a woman who finds herself in this situation and this struck a chord with you, please let us know, similarly if you know a woman in your life who needs to hear this, please send the URL her way so that she can be inspired to take back control of her retirement and her future. Until next time, we’ll see you on the other side.

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Debunking 5 Myths About Entrepreneurship

Debunking 5 Myths About Entrepreneurship

00:00 / 00:32:10

Debunking 5 Myths About Entrepreneurship

Subscribe to the Red Pill Retirement podcast in iTunes

When most people think about starting a business, they get overwhelmed by all of the things they think are required to be successful…

  • Tons of startup capital
  • Years of experience running other businesses
  • Advanced technical skills or knowledge
  • Complex financial management practices
  • Hiring (and paying) a team of full-time employees

Sure, there are some types of businesses that could require any (or all) of those things, but they certainly aren’t required for ALL types of businesses.

If you set realistic expectations around what you want your business to look like in terms of scope, revenue, or headcount, you can reduce or remove a lot of the risk and resource requirements.

In this episode, we debunk some of the most popular myths around entrepreneurship and offer alternative perspectives on how you can get past those roadblocks and start building a business TODAY.

You’ll learn about:

  • How to start a business with minimal financial investment
  • How to compensate for a lack of business acumen or technical skills
  • How to transition safely from a 9-to-5 to entrepreneurship
  • How to maintain a healthy level of work-life balance
  • How to find other people to support you along your journey

References and Resources:

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement podcast where we review the raw unfiltered truth about retirement funding in the modern age. Pensions and 401ks are quickly becoming a thing of the past so we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Hey there and welcome back to the Red Pill Retirement podcast. My name is James Sowers and I’m your host and I’m joined once again today by Mr Ian Bond. We have a great discussion for you that is centered all around common myths and misconceptions that people have about entrepreneurship.

Now if you’re one of those people who has considered starting a business of your own and has done some research and started to realize that there are a lot of things that go into a successful business. There’s accounting and marketing and hiring. All of these things are important and they are necessary for a business to run and be healthy and sustainable over the long term. But they aren’t necessarily a cause for getting overwhelmed or something that should turn you away from the idea of entrepreneurship. It doesn’t have to be that complex or that difficult, at least not when you’re starting up.

And so what we’re here today to talk about are some of the common misconceptions that people have around entrepreneurship and some of the realities that exist that make it a much more valuable outcome than a lot of people think when they start to consider it as a career path or as a new career path as they move away from the nine to five, the desk job, the office job and into something more independent.

So that’s what today’s conversation is centered around. I think you’re going to love it. I don’t want to hold you back from it any longer so let’s get into my conversation with Ian and I’ll be around on the backend of the conversation to tie everything together and show you where you can find all of the resources and references that we talked about today. So enjoy the conversation, we’ll see you on the other side.

Hey everyone, welcome back to the show. My name is James Sauers and I’m joined again by Mr Ian Bond. Ian, how are your things looking on your side of the pond today?

James, it couldn’t be better. It’s great to see you again and I look forward to speaking.

Yeah, same to you. I’m really excited about the topic that we’re going to be discussing today. It’s one that’s very near and dear to my heart. So in the last episode of the show we talked about some of the myths that exist around debt and how to manage debt and what it can have as an influence on your lifestyle.

We debunked some of those myths and we’re going to kind of the same thing today about a topic that makes a lot of people wary or has them worried about whether or not it’s realistic for them and that’s entrepreneurship.

They could become a business owner a lot of people will get overwhelmed by the prospect of everything that seemingly goes into running a business. Accounting, marketing, hiring, HR, operations, that kind of thing. And they say, “Hey, I’m just George Small. I’m no Steve Jobs, I’m no Elon Musk, I’m no Jeff Bezos, I’m no Henry Ford even. So who do I think I am to go out here and start a business out of thin air?” But that kind of mindset is really overblown because the beauty of entrepreneurship is it can be as large or as small as you want it to. And I know you have some thoughts to kick of us off.

Well, look, I mean the fact of the matter is that the demographic where there is the greatest formation of entrepreneurs is the baby boomer demographic. So more people doing things independently, more company formation with baby boomers. So it’s clearly not a secret that it’s an opportunity for people. And it’s an opportunity for a lot of good reasons that we’re going to get into.

Absolutely. And I have to dig up this study because I read somewhere, I believe, that actually the average age of entrepreneurship for a company that doesn’t go bankrupt or default its financial situation is actually in the late 30s or early 40s is when that person started that business. So it’s not necessarily a young person’s game.

We hear about the Facebooks and the Twitters that are started out in Silicon Valley but that’s just a small percentage of businesses in general. There are a lot of people who are in the middle stages of life or even later in life who are just getting started as entrepreneurs and seeing a lot of success.

James, I can tell you that we are helping a large number of people that have all kinds of professional or corporate training. And we’re helping them utilize the technology that’s available today and expand what used to be their reality which was their local reality to provide the advice or the service that they provide and provide it in basically globally. And also electronically through eBooks or blogs or courses.

So it’s a amazing opportunity and there’s no better demographic than people that are north of 40 to be honest with you. Because they have the experience, they have the judgment, they have the people skills. They’ve gone done all of that. Also obviously have the work ethic and all kind of the things that are really hard if you’ve never been in a structured environment. I would say the one thing that when they’re leaving a structured environment the challenge is then is figuring out how to get started. And the other thing is when it’s unstructured are they able to keep the tempo and keep the pace up? But that’s been really no problem for anybody that we work with.

Yeah, and I would assume there are even two more strengths that come with being maybe a 40 and over entrepreneur first time is you have a perceived authority and credibility that just comes with seniority and having that work experience that a lot of teens and twenty-somethings don’t have. So they walk into a board room and pitch an idea to a bunch of folks and they’re fresh out of college, these people are going to roll their eyes and shut the door on them. But if you’re more seasoned and you’ve been in business or you’ve been a professional for a longer time, you’re more likely to actually be heard and appreciated and have your opinions valued.

So I think there’s that and you also probably have a lot of flexibility in that you don’t necessarily maybe have kids. They might be in college or even you have an empty nest. So you’re not held back by some of the other restrictions that say a twenty-something or an early 30s person might have in addition to trying to start a business.

So I think what we really want to make sure what we get people to walk away with today is that entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to be risky, it doesn’t have to be a shoot for the moon, trying to take a company public kind of endeavor. It can be something that you start with a specific lifestyle in mind, maybe a financial goal in mind and then reverse engineer it.

So I know Ian you have some specific stories about how someone might have grown up with a parent who is an entrepreneur and not even realize it and some other examples of how entrepreneurship has been part of life for eons and we maybe necessarily don’t think about that in the same way that we might think of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Yeah, look I think first you go back to the agrarian age and if your last name was Mason or Farmer or Baker, you know what the family did. They were all entrepreneurs. Everyone was back then. My father and my grandfather were small town lawyers and they were all entrepreneurs. They didn’t work for a big company. And I think that’s true for a lot of people.

But when you use the word entrepreneur, first of all it’s a long, fancy word, you get this notion that people are going to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Now look, we sell things to people, are we entrepreneurs? I don’t really think of us as being entrepreneurs. We sell physical goods to people online. You could go and buy our stuff. There are people that are selling stuff in their spare time on eBay, that’s as entrepreneurial as … we’re just doing that on a bigger plane.

I always talk about, and you and I have talked about this before, you know the big three categories of opportunity outside of your day job are consulting and coaching. And then there’s things around language which is writing. That could be copywriting or SEO writing or some kind of writing. And then ecommerce. And I don’t think anybody is talking about coming up with the next biotech revolution. Or the next Snapchat or anything like that. All we’re talking about is utilizing the amazing technology and tools that are available today to expand your reach beyond what has historically been a very small perimeter into what is available today which is limitless.

Yeah and if you want to simplify it even further that eight year old with a lemonade stand or who goes to a Sam’s Club or BJ’s or whatever your big department store is and buys candy and then resells it to the kids at school, technically that’s entrepreneurship. And when you boil it down it’s really just someone who takes a product or a service and exchanges that for money. And even the biggest corporations in the world are doing that same thing just on a much larger scale. So-

So yeah, I think the disconnect is that people don’t know how to get there. Okay? So entrepreneurship that scares people. But people just literally just don’t know the first three steps to take. And hopefully, if someone cares, we’ve written a lot about that. There’s lots of choices you can make. We write extensively about the different types of choices that you can make. And it’s really those first three steps. And once you start to get into the lingo and once you start to meet other people that are doing it. It will be like second nature.

Yeah, yeah, and I love that. And I think what we really want to do today is get into a couple of examples of what I commonly call the yeah buts. Like somebody at home is listening and they’re saying, “You’re saying entrepreneurship is easy, it doesn’t have to be scary. Yeah but it requires a whole lot of money to get started.” So let’s walk through a few examples like that, maybe let’s even start with that one.

A lot of people think you need a large amount of start up capital to get a business. You have to lease a space like an office space or a shop downtown. But that’s not necessarily true. So what are some examples of businesses that you’ve seen that have been started with little or no start up?

I know people that have started with literally next to no money. Now, yeah, I mean like-

Now, I mean, look, technology, we’re talking nine timezones away from each other right now, and it’s not costing either of us anything more than our internet subscription. So, there’s no fancy software involved. It’s all stuff that you can get for free. So, it’s never been cheaper to start a business today, and it would probably be cheaper and better tomorrow, and certainly will be a year from today.

So, everything just keeps getting upgraded. You can’t say that going back a decade ago because there were a lot more obstacles, but it isn’t the case today. So, it doesn’t cost money. I would tell you that you can substitute money for time in doing certain things because you can outsource those things and someone else can do that, and you could ramp up more quickly if you have more money, which is one of the reasons as a spouse keeping your day job and working on this in the before work and after work time during your day because that allows you to get very familiar with all of the inner workings, but also do it yourself and do it on the cheap, if you will.

Right. I think that ties into another myth about entrepreneurship that a lot of folks have is, “Okay. So, let’s say I do have a little bit of startup capital, and I do have a skillset that I have earned through my traditional employment, but I don’t know how to make a website. I don’t know how to build a software solution that I think needs to exist in the world or maybe I don’t have a creative skill that’s in high demand like copywriting or graphic design or something like that. So, I can’t start a business in this day and age,” but I think that’s a misconception that we’re here to just squash today. I’m sure you have some examples or some thoughts around that.

Well, yeah. First of all, I don’t know how to build a website, okay? I was thinking about this the other day. The last three years we’ve processed on a dozen or so websites that we have sold things on, over 5,000 orders and we’ve never seen one of our products. Never physically touched one of our products ever before. So, we have no idea how to create the backend that we use, which is we use Shopify and BigCommerce, which are E-commerce platforms.

You can get people with tech skills through wonderful sites like Upwork. You can get graphic design work, logos through Fiverr. There’s a myriad of places that you can get tech help or other help relatively cheap, and that’s what people do. For our blog, I have an editor. She’s wonderful. She’s an author. She does a wonderful job far better than I can do on my own. By the way, when you write something yourself, there are things that you don’t obviously see. It’s also good to have some take a look at things. I don’t have someone close to me that can do that. So, you find people like this that are available, that you can leverage off of for a fraction of what you might have thought before you started to look into it.

We have spent well into six figures on outsourcing different tasks to people, and it’s everything from logo design to building websites, to doing product uploading, to doing editing, and doing paid search, and all of these things. You pay them by the hour. You pay them by the job. You find what works for your budget.

Yeah, and I think what I’m hearing there is much in the same way that technology has made it more affordable than ever to start business, it’s also made it easier than ever to build a team of experts who can do the things that you might not necessarily be good at, and you can bring them on temporarily or you can bring them on almost full-time without having to necessarily go through all of the HR procedures of having a W-2 or anything like that. You don’t have to pay them a salary necessarily. We have contractors and freelancers, and the talent pool is bigger than it’s ever been. You could hire somebody across the globe to literally work on your business while you’re sleeping, and help move it forward. So, you’re doubling productivity in that regard.

I actually did that first back in 2013 or 2014 to see if it actually existed, and it did. I actually outsourced to India some work, and while I was asleep, they did a whole bunch of processing. You wake up and your inbox, you’ve got this wonderfully complete project. The adage that I saw the other day is our parents, being a baby boomer, our parents had one job. Us, baby boomers, in our career might have seven or eight jobs, and our kids might have seven or eight jobs at the same time.

So, there’s a whole change in the economy where people are going to be having multiple things that they do, call them gigs, call them whatever you want to, but they’re going to have an opportunity if they want to to have multiple ways to make money. Some of them won’t want to do that, and they’ll just opt in for something more traditional, but that’s the world we’re living now. So, there’s a massive full of talent out there that could be incredibly helpful.

Yeah, and I heard you touched on something that will actually tie nicely to our next point. So, we talked about how you don’t need a bunch of startup capital, you don’t necessarily need to be a technical expert or a creative professional, but what I heard you say there is you don’t necessarily have to even quit your job. A lot of people are saying, “Yeah, I want to start a business. That sounds great, but I have so much security where I’m at right now that I couldn’t possibly quit my job. I have kids to take care of. I have bills to pay. I can’t stop cold turkey and not have that income, and start building a business that might not generate revenue for quite some time.” So, I know you have some really specific thoughts about that. What do you think?

Yeah. So, okay. Rule number one of the No Nest Egg Retirement Plan is keep your day job. We have an extensive amount of time that we spend on lengthening your corporate career at the highest possible earnings level, so that when you leave, you leave on your own terms, and then we also, once we get that solved, we talk about how do you implement the strategy where you’re at a second source of income or a second and third source of income, and how do you start to build a profile to do that if you want to consult or coach or how do you do that if you want to do … Well, how do you build something on the side once you have lengthened your career? Job number one is keep your day job, and lengthen your career, so that you earn at a high level.

Yeah, and then you’re just layering additional revenue streams on top of that day job, so your financial position is only getting better. What that might trigger is a thought in someone’s head where, “Okay. So, you’re saying work my day job, work full-time, but then I see movies like The Social Network or I read about Elon Musk sleeping at his office or I see Mark Zuckerberg falling asleep in his computer while he’s building Facebook.” You don’t necessary have to work hundred hour weeks to build a successful business. We’ve touched on some of the reasons behind that, but what are your thoughts on that one, Ian?

Well, I think, and I know people that get up at 5:00 and work, and leave to get to the job at 9:00 and then they work till 1:00 in the morning or something like that. I know people are doing that. They are very passionate, and they’re on a time schedule of trying to build something, so that they can go to the next level. They might do that for a short period of time. I have spent a number of times where I’ve taken either long weekends or even a week off of work and worked on my side gig, if you will, whether it’s the blogs or it’s the E-commerce. So, you don’t have to be crazy to do that. If you’re set up correctly and you do have your career runway length, then you don’t have to do that.

Yeah, and I think that’s all around your personal goals. I mean, that’s certainly a choice that some people make is to put in that kind of time and effort because they want a certain kind of outcome, but if that’s not what you want, if you want a business that can sustain a certain lifestyle that doesn’t require that kind of scale or that kind of revenue growth, then you can certainly structure your life and your business in a way where it requires much fewer hours per week.

I know one of the examples that you love to cite around that is the coaching and consulting realm. So, let’s just say someone is a VP of marketing right now. They could take on a few clients where they’re, let’s say they’re coaching startup CEOs about their marketing strategy. That is something that you can really put some guardrails around. You can say, “I’m going to take on three clients. I’m going to do a one-hour call per week.” So, that constrains not only the time commitment required for you, but also the capital required. I mean, what are we doing right here? Right? We’re having a video call. That’s really all the more that you have to do and there’s almost no expense with that. If they’re paying you for the coaching session, you’re revenue positive from day one. So, that alone meets a lot up here.

I have a call scheduled later this afternoon with someone who’s an expert and something I want to know more about. I went to their electronic calendar. I picked a time that was convenient for me. I’m going to have a 30 or 45-minute call with them. It’s going to be invaluable to me. That’s the world we live in today. I mean, it’s wonderful. You just go to an electronic calendar, pick a time, and it’s highly efficient. So, you can absolutely put, as you say, put guardrails around what you’re doing.

Once you start to set up information that can be helpful to people so that when you do have one-on-one time with them, you’re at a higher level and not at a really introductory level, that becomes really powerful. I think that, I mean, there really isn’t anyone I know that’s achieving at a high level that’s not getting some mentoring or coaching from at least one, two or three different folks. Look, people use personal trainers. That seems to be well-socialized. Why suddenly one wouldn’t for a-

… is to be well socialized. Why someone wouldn’t, to add another stream of income, have a personal trainer for an additional stream of income I don’t know. I have at least three people that I pay regularly that give me great insights into things that I don’t know about.

There are all kinds of services that you can buy that are prefab services. You plug in, you get a great output for exactly what you’re looking for, and you’ve really maximized your time. It may cost a little bit of money, but it’s worth … Well, you’re substituting money for time.

You could do it. There’s a lot of things you could do yourself if you have the time, but that’s one of the great trade offs. If you keep the day job and you have a little bit of money, the ability to access the talent pool that we’re talking, and ramp up really quickly; it’s just amazing.

Yeah, and that’s exactly where I was going to go with that. What I love about coaching or the consultant model is you keep your day job. You do as much of the coaching and consulting as you want, or as you feel comfortable with, and that lets you dip your toe in entrepreneurship.

If you’re providing that strategy and that insight I’m sure that, sooner or later, somebody is going to say, “Hey, so can you actually implement this for us? Can you do the execution?” If that’s something you want to do, you can go out and build a team quickly and take on the execution.

All of a sudden, you’re running a small agency or some kind of service around the marketing angle. Then, shocker, you woke up one day and you’re an entrepreneur. Congratulations, you did it, and you didn’t realize it.

Yeah, James, and it goes back to … I don’t know if someone will know who said this, but we underestimate, or we overestimate what we can get done in the short term, and we underestimate what we can get done in the longterm, and that’s absolutely the case.

Even me, I forget the reality that I was in five years ago when my mind, my head was in an entirely different head space than it is today. You’re right; to have the ability to access all these wonderful capabilities, to not use them is just, it’s crazy, to be honest.

Yeah, and we just systematically debunked a bunch of myths there. Just to recap, we talked about it doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a bunch of start up capital. You don’t have to be a technical expert or have some kind of creative skill. You don’t have to leave your job. You don’t have to jump straight from traditional employment into entrepreneurship. You don’t have to work a hundred hous a week to make this happen.

That’s a lot of great material that we just gave the listeners. One thing I want to leave them with, I want to send them home with is, most importantly, you don’t have to do this alone. You do not have to explore entrepreneurship as a professional endeavor by yourself.

I know that you have the No Nest Egg Retirement Community and the Retirement Rehab Community that help people out, so why don’t you tell us a little bit more about that?

Sure. Look, our community is all about what we just discussed. We have people pursuing … There’s different points in the journey, right? What I think we’ve done is create the common sense approach to retirement planning in the real world as it exists today, what I call the new economy.

There is all kinds of people out there with alphabet behind their name with all of their designations who would like to tell you what they think is rocket science, and what I can tell you definitively does not work. I would tell you to throw that away and think about this from a very practical aspect.

We take people through right sizing their life, establishing and lengthening their career runway through a myriad of choices that they can make, and then figuring out what they want to do to supplement their income. It’s a community. It’s vibrant. People are talking to each other. People are doing different things. People are collaborating together on things. People are sharing different tools that they have found helpful.

That’s really what it’s all about. This is not the kind of thing that I could find five years ago when I had this horrible realization that I wasn’t going to make it. Forget saving for retirement, I was worried about paying for college for my kids, much less my monthly expenses. That’s where I was at.

That’s the reason we put together the Retirement Rehab Community, the reason that I built the No Nest Egg Retirement Plan, which is the anti high brow retirement plan for all those people that have sat down and paid a fortune with financial planners, only to get a piece of garbage that doesn’t work because the inputs determine what the outputs are. The inputs are impossible to predict to that.

Right, so if you’re one of those folks that we talked about at the beginning of the episode, that are seeing of how I’m saying, “I’m just an average guy or gal. I can’t be a business owner. I just punch a clock for my 9:00 to 5:00, and I don’t have what it takes,” you probably can’t get Jeff Bezos on the phone. You probably can’t get Elon Musk on the phone, but there are people out there who are doing what you would like to do.

They’re just like you. They started yesterday. They started a year ago. They started maybe 5 or 10 years ago, and you can learn something from each of those people at each stage in their journey. One of the best ways I know to do that is to join a community like the one that you have at Retirement Rehab.

I would strongly encourage anybody listening who is on the fence, who say, “Oh, yeah, you have some good points here today, maybe that I can to this,” to consider joining a community like that, to have those models, to have those mentors, to have those real world examples of people that are doing exactly what you want to do. And frankly, have a blueprint or a process that you can follow to duplicate or replicate those results.

I’ll take it one level deeper. Five years ago, when I was making this transition and thinking about these things myself … And by the way, this is something that goes forever because we’re all going to live to be 80, 90, or 100 years old, and the world is changing, so it kind of goes forever.

But back when it was really critical for me to get my finances in order and to think about how I could, there was no community that I could find. To this day, I can’t point to another competitive community where this is the kind of thing, a resource that you can find that explicitly talks about these types of topics.

I believe firmly in the notion that you have to find like-minded people who are generally not going to be your neighbors. They’re generally not going to be from your social set, because this is a topic that’s very taboo.

If we’re not talking to each other about these things, it’s very, very lonely being in your own head all day every day. So joining a community is absolutely the best way to make progress, and a little bit of progress every day. You wake up in a year and you won’t believe the difference. It’s amazing.

Absolutely. If you’re sitting back there and you feel like we’ve addressed a lot of the concerns that you had around entrepreneurship and you’re ready to take action, we are going to link up everything that we talked about today, including that study and that quote. We’ll get it all together and, of course, the community assets.

We’re going to close out here today by saying if you had reservations and we’ve addressed those, and you’re looking to take the next step, just check out Redpillretirement.com. You’ll see the show notes, a number of links to all these references and resources there. Then, of course, future episodes will be talking about other subjects related to entrepreneurship, and how it is a viable path for you, going forward.

Ian, thank you so much for your time today, and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

James, it’s always a pleasure. Enjoy the end of the summer.

All right, you too. Yeah, take care.

All right folks, so there you have it. That wraps up our conversation today about the common myths and misconceptions that many people have about entrepreneurship. We talked about some specific examples, about how you don’t need a whole bunch of capital or money to get started and start a business today.

You don’t need to be a technical expert. You don’t need to do everything by yourself. You don’t need to leave your job today and start out on your own tomorrow, without any kind of a safety net or a risk mitigation process. You don’t have to try to build some big venture backed company, like Tesla or Facebook or Apple, and you definitely don’t have to work a hundred hours a week to make your dream a reality.

All of these things that you might’ve been sitting at home, thinking at the beginning of this episode, hopefully we did a good job today of laying out some data and evidence to support the fact that, while these may be concerning at face value, they aren’t necessarily the reality. As long as you have realistic goals and expectations for what you want to get out of life and your career as an entrepreneur.

I really enjoyed the conversation with Ian today. I hope you did as well and, as always, we’re going to link up all of the references and resources that we talked about in the show notes. You can find those at Redpillretirement.com.

That will conclude our episode for today. We’ll be looking forward to covering another great topic with you in future episodes. We hope that, if you haven’t already, you go ahead and subscribe. We’ll see you on the next episode. In the meantime, best of luck to you in life and in business. We’ll see you next time.

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Flipping the Script on Debt and Financial Management

Flipping the Script on Debt and Financial Management

00:00 / 00:32:50

Flipping the Script on Debt and Financial Management

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When most people think about debt, they think about it as something to avoid at all costs. It’s the big financial monster looming over your shoulder, generating worry and fear that keep you up at night.

That might be true if you are overwhelmed by bad debt (Ex: student loans, high interest credit cards, etc.), but that doesn’t have to be the case with ALL types of debt.

In this episode, we talk about how you can manage — and even add to! — your debt in ways that can actually improve your financial situation. If you take a logical and responsible approach, debt doesn’t have to be the monster that the mainstream media makes it out to be.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Tackle your debt problem by increasing revenue, not living like a pauper
  • Leverage short-term debt to generate additional income that can pay down existing debt AND continue to pay you indefinitely
  • Plan for managing your debt if you are looking to retire or expect a pink slip from your employer
  • Negotiate better terms on your current debt or ask your debt holder to write it off entirely

References and Resources:

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement podcast where we give you the raw, unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401(k)’s are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Welcome back to the Red Pill Retirement podcast and we have another great discussion with Mr. Ian Bond for you today. Today, we’re going to be talking about a topic that can be a bit polarizing. I think if you look at the mainstream media and popular opinion, a lot of people are going to tell you that debt is something to be avoided at all cost. It’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the thing that’s looming over your shoulder and keeping you up at night because you’re concerned about whether or not you’re going to be able to continue to pay down that debt indefinitely.

Although those feelings aren’t totally unfounded, my conversation with Ian today is going to shed some light on the fact that debt doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t always have to be the villain of the financial sector. In fact, it can be leveraged in certain ways to actually give you the short term capital you need to accelerate the growth of your business and not only pay back all of the money that you borrowed but reap the benefits of increased monthly revenue indefinitely going forward in the future.

Today’s conversation is going to be all about how to leverage debt responsibly for the benefit of your life and your business. I think it’s one that you’re going to really enjoy, so I don’t want to hold you back from it any longer. Let’s get into my discussion with Ian about debt and entrepreneurship.

Hey everyone and welcome back to the show. My name is James Sowers, and I’m joined as always by Mr. Ian Bond. Still in Dubai for now, but Ian, I understand that you have a trip planned. What do you got going on in the next couple weeks?

Well, we’ve got a family trip. We’re scheduled to go to 5:00 first thing tomorrow morning to Kuala Lumpur. We’re going to spend a few days there. Then we’re going to head up to a colonial town of George Town in Penang. It is about a four-hour train ride up from KL to George Town and spend some time at a resort there.

Then the first week in September is the third annual Empire Flippers Retreat. That’s one of my most favorite events to attend. You’ll find me there at the end of the first week of September. I’ve got quite a good few weeks coming up.

That’s kind of like a mastermind retreat for a bunch of website owners and members of the Empire Flippers audience to get together and just kind of talk shop and have some fun on the side and talk about business.

Yeah. I love what they do, because if you go to a big conference, generally you listen to the speaker. Then after the speaker speaks, you go out and you grab a doughnut like coffee and you hang out with the people you know. With this, it’s a mastermind and they flipped it. Everyone gets to know everyone. We all keep in touch after it’s over, so it’s marvelously additive to building relationships. I know a bit I think about my little slice of e-commerce role, but there’s such a broad cross section of people that it’s just amazing to hear what’s going on. It’s only a short plane flight away from here.

Right. That sounds like an amazing trip to round out the summer, head into fall. It sounds like it’s going to be about two or three weeks. What I love about the fact that you’re taking that much time off is that’s basically what we talk about here on this podcast is how to structure your life and your business and your retirement planning around what you want it to be and not living within the box of the 9:00 to 5:00 and you get two weeks off per year.

If you try to take them both at the same time, your boss is going to give you a little bit of a glare. I think you have succeeded on designing a lifestyle and building a business around that. I love that you are putting that into practice and we’re not just talking about it in theory here on the show.

I will tell you this all honesty that one of the great things about working abroad is that you generally get six weeks of paid vacation. In 38 years of working, I started in 1980, this is the first time I’ve ever taken three weeks off continuous.

A matter of fact, working in the States, if you took off more than two, you were looked at. It’s very much frowned upon. My last two week vacation, I had conference calls every morning and it was at the end of August. Same time of the year. End of August. Conference calls every morning because we were looking at capital markets transactions. It didn’t even feel like a vacation to be honest.

I think the take home message for the folks listening is if you’re in that job right now where you’re trying to take vacation and you’re still handling conference calls or responding emails from the boss or the rest of your team while on vacation and supposedly being unplugged, there is a realistic outcome where you can make a transition into a place that has more freedom, more flexibility to do the things you want and less of the things that you have to.

Absolutely. It’s absolutely amazing to me, because the other thing that I didn’t mention is that your leave, as they call it, sacrosanct. No bothers you, so it’s wonderful.

I love leading with that message. I think that it transitions neatly into what we’re actually going to talk about today, because we do talk about a lot of these unconventional approaches to business that actually improve your quality of life and still allow you to be successful as an entrepreneur and as a professional. What we’re going to talk about specifically today is something that people have a standard perspective on that may or may not be founded in reality.

The world changes and things change, and today we’re going to be talking about debt, which is often perceived as this 700 pound gorilla in the room. It’s looming over you shoulder. It’s breathing on your neck. All the debt that you have just keeps you up at night worrying about, “How am I going to make these payments?”

You’re looking at your credit card statements or your financial statements and you’re saying, “Wow, I do have a lot of expenses.” Maybe to pay down this debt, I don’t have an income to balance that out, but we’re here today to tell you that, that doesn’t have to be that way if you manage it in the right way. It doesn’t have to be a liability. It can actually be an asset.

I know that you have some thoughts on this related to your no nest egg retirement plan and the philosophy behind that. Maybe we’ll kick off with your personal thoughts and experiences around debt and then we’ll get into some specific examples.

Yeah. First of all, this is the most common topic that I talk to people about when I’m having my first Skype consultation with someone. For baby boomers and for Gen Xers, it really comes from our parents and our grandparents. My grandparents, my grandfathers were born a couple years either side of 1900. My parents were born in the early 1930s, so just after the crash and in the middle of the depression. Then they went through the World War II.

1914 is when Henry Ford implemented the eight-hour workday and they moved from having children in factories working 14 to 16 hours to having a very regimented eight-hour day. Then the industrial age and all of the things like pensions were born. They became ingrained in how we think about not only our retirement but all of the other things kind of debt issues.

I would tell you that far and away, the horrible secret is that if you have a debt issue or a debt problem, you have no one to talk to. It’s almost like you have a scarlet letter on your lapel. Gen X and baby boomers get into debt issues many different ways, but it is a very, very unhealthy relationship that Gen Xers and baby boomers have with that because it’s never talked about.

First thing you have to do is get … If you’re in a debt mindset where you are overwhelmed by debt, you are undoubtedly in a scarcity mindset. And that means that you’re not thinking strategically at all. And you need to get out of the mindset and start to think strategically and kind of think about yourself as being a mini bank.

One the one hand, you have debt and the other hand, you have assets or potential opportunities. There are times when you shouldn’t pay down debt immediately or you can think about it because you may want to hold cash or because you may want to invest in things.

Sometimes with people that I talk to, it can take several conversations to get people around that level. Now, I’m not addressing the people that are in a monthly burn rate situation where they haven’t been able to rate their financial position. If you’re spending more money that you’re bringing in, the first thing you obviously have to do is get it to a point where you actually have some monthly savings. Once you have monthly savings, you have opportunities. You have options.

Yeah. I think you hit on an important point there, which is if you do have debt that you need to pay down, you really have two options. You reduce your expenses or you increase your income. And I think a lot of people will naturally focus on the expenses. They pull in. They tighten up. They say, “What can I cut?” Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that is a bit of a scarcity mindset as opposed to you talking about we live in a world of abundance where really the better option probably is to increase your income.

There are multiple ways you can do that. You can get a raise. You can take on another job. You can do a consulting and coaching. You can buy a business. You can start a business, but that is an angle that when we’re talking about debt, I feel like a lot of people don’t consider is I can increase the income and handle the debt that way.

Guilty as charged. I’ve actually written that when the phone used to ping, because my wife was out shopping for groceries or whatever, it would literally send shivers through maybe because I was so overwhelmed by this debt obligation that I have.

You’re right. Look, you can only do so much on the expense side, but there are things you can do. There hasn’t been anyone that I’ve done a consultation with that I couldn’t come up with a half a dozen different things that they could do or that they should consider. On the flip side, raising your income, raising the revenue that you can bring in for your family is much …

… that you can bring in for your family is much … There’s many, many, many more levers that you can pull. So it’s absolutely … There’s much more that you can do. But in concert between the two of them, we have opportunities. We have options.

Right. And to hammer that point home, there are only so many expenses you can cut. You have basic living expenses. You need to eat. You need to get to and from work. Maybe you need to take the kids and get them cared for so that you can perform at your job. Whatever the case may be. You can only trim so much, and then you’re still in this conundrum. But as far as increasing your income, frankly, the world is so large. There’s seven billion people out there. There’s a way to make more money if you’re willing to put in the work and you have the skills and you find the right opportunities.

I think that ties to the next point that I think we want to talk about is there are different types of debt. If you are carrying a balance on a department store credit card that has a 20% interest rate, then yeah, that’s bad debt. Every single month, you’re just adding to the principle through the interest, and that’s something that is going to be an anchor for you and hold you back financially. That’s bad debt. But there is another scenario where you actually use short-term debt as an asset to increase income over the long-term and not just pay back what you borrowed, but have an ongoing revenue stream that can sustain you indefinitely going forward. What are your thoughts?

No question that the 20.99% APR debt is really horrible debt. I think probably most of the time, I’m talking to people that have student loan debt, to be honest with you. Let’s get rid of as much of the very high interest rate debt as you can. Now, when you’re dealing with student loan debt, there’s a myriad of different options. If it’s held by the government, they’re incredibly flexible, and there are things you can do. Again, the ability to have the option of holding cash versus paying that student loan debt off immediately is a really big option. You can put it towards other things.

The reality is get rid of that high rate debt, and then think of yourself like you’re a mini bank. You’ve got assets and you’ve got liabilities. The problem is when you’re in a scarcity mindset, you’re not there at all. You’re just putting the … You’re hoping to be able to make the next payment.

The other thing that I know we’re going to talk about is reaching out to your creditors to somehow restructure that, but there’s no question that you’ve got options that you can utilize when you’re in that situation.

Sure. I think that it’s important to explore those options, but I think maybe even more importantly, it’s you need to know that you don’t need permission to break free from the established thought that you have based on how you were raised or who runs in your social circle and how they’re managing their finances. The world changes, and if we don’t adapt with it, frankly, we get left behind. In a new world, debt doesn’t have to be a bad thing as long as you use it in the right way and you have intent and a strategy behind how you’re going to leverage the debt to increase your income or improve your business or start a business or something like that.

I can tell you that in 2013, when it became obvious to me that my expectations of where my earnings would be covered to after the financial crisis were not going to be there. They were going to be substantially lower, like half of what they were. That the feeling that I had literally every day of walking around was abject loneliness. There was no one to speak to. It goes back to the whole social stigma of debt. People don’t talk about it in their social circles. You certainly can’t engage colleagues at work and talk about it. Even my siblings I’m close to. You can’t. They don’t really understand. So that’s a really, really big deal and how you deal with it.

We worry about the plan that we had back from whenever and what the neighbors are going to think and what our social circle’s going to think. The reality is you’ve got to change with the times, as you point out.

I grew up in a neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago and these big old homes that everybody had three, four kids back in the ’60s. As the kids left, the people never left these big old homes. We go back, and all the local schools closed. And so they never changed. Now, they didn’t have to, because they were in an era in the United States in the ’50s, in the ’60s, and even the ’70s where housing prices raced way ahead. And so those homes are fully paid off. By the way, the elementary school that I went to which was two blocks away had no cafeteria, because every kid went home for lunch. It was a different era.

Now, you have to … If your mental framework is from that era, I have a notion for you. Things have changed. You have to change. You have to survive. Don’t be a victim. Be a victor and change. Be the leader. There are lots of groups, including ours, where people talk about these topics online, because you just can’t go next door or to relatives or to work colleagues and have these conversations. So you’re absolutely right.

Right. Debt is viewed as a bit of a dirty word. People don’t like to talk about money in general for the most part, but they especially don’t like to talk about money that they owe to other people. Anybody listening at home, I think there’s an important point in here in that a lot of times, you see everyone else’s highlight reel, but you don’t see what’s on the cutting room floor. If you talk to somebody about their family, they’re going to tell you, “Oh, my son’s doing great. He got a promotion. He’s got a baby on the way.” They don’t tell you about the drama, and every family has drama.

In the same way, most people … In fact, I think it’s something like 80% of people, at least in the US are living paycheck to paycheck. So that guy next door that you think is doing great is probably just like you. Part of that is a discussion around debt, and people have debt. They have student loan debts. A lot of people are talking about that as the next big financial crisis or bubble that might burst here in the States.

The point here is you’re not alone. I think for the next two points that we want to make here during this episode are if somebody is carrying debt, some of that bad debt we talked about, what are some strategies that they can use to pay that down so that they’re in a position to leverage the good debt, to improve their financial situation or generate a runway or an emergency fund or start a business or whatever their plan might be individually?

One specific scenario I think we want to attack is someone who is carrying a bunch of bad debt. You touched on it. You can actually go to your debtor and you can negotiate with them different terms for paying that down based on your individual situation. So do you have any specific examples of that or stories of people that have done that with great success?

Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you asked, because I do. I have someone that I know through this endeavor. He had a situation with one of the very large banks where they changed the terms on an unsecured line of credit, and it made his payments very, very tight. We’re now over nine years in an economic expansion. His job feels less certain to him. By the way, do not be paying down debt if you think a pink slip could be around the corner. Squirrel that debt away.

Anyways, he reached out to his creditor. This took a number of months. It took a couple of years for him to get to this level of having a constant dialog about where he was with his career coming in on retirement, being subject to a mandatory retirement. He renegotiated with his creditor, one of the large US banks. He was able to not only lower to pennies on the dollar a very substantial sum, but he was actually able to repurchase the note from the bank. Actually, a third party repurchased the note. A friendly third party repurchased the note, which means that the forgiveness of the debt, the amount that he will no longer owe the bank, doesn’t show up as W-2 income and he doesn’t have to pay taxes on it. So he literally saved taxes on $200,000 worth of what would have been phantom income, because he repurchased the note. But that took a lot of cultivation of the relationship with this major bank and the bank officer.

A lot of the banks right now, because we are late in the economic cycle. A lot of the banks are trying to get some of these suspicious loans off their books. They have the ability, particularly if they’ve written them down. They have the ability to just write them off, get on with their business. If you’ve managed it correctly, it’s actually an excellent strategy if you’re in a situation where you’re literally not going to be able to repay it without putting your family’s future really in peril. Look, he is an upstanding guy. The bank which he was negotiating with acquired another bank. Terms that were expressed orally back in the day no longer were subject, so a lot of things had changed. He wouldn’t aggregate his debt for a lot of moral and ethical reasons, but when it comes down to brass tacks of taking care of his family or paying off an obligation for which there’s all these cloudy and suspicious facts around, he went that route.

Yeah. I can already tell that this is a topic that’s probably going to have a part two, because there are some technicalities in there. Every situation is different, but the point that we want to hammer home here is it doesn’t hurt to put in a call to your debtor and talk about your situation and say, “Hey, I’m in a bit of a pinch right now. The way that things …”

Say, “Hey, I’m in a bit of a pinch right now. The way that things are structured right in currently are not working for me, so what are my options?” It doesn’t hurt to ask that and let them tell you what your options are. If you find somebody in your social circle, break the norm and talk to them about their debt and your debt. Odds are they might have been through a situation like that before. They might be someone like the person you just described who could say, “Oh, man. I cut my debt in half. I saved a bunch of money because I went and I asked these questions and I talked to these people.”

Yeah. James, I worked in banking for over three dozen years. Every bank has reserves against their loans outstanding, whether they’re credit cards, whether they’re mortgage loans, whether they’re unsecured loans. Every bank out there has estimated losses. Banks reserve against these things. So reaching out to them, which is for a lot of people something they wouldn’t even think about, is absolutely the best strategy that you can employ. Start the dialog.

You will find that if you have a personal loan, it’s a lot easier to reach out to them than if you have a credit card loan, but even with credit cards, there are lots of different things that you can do, but you have to have a dialog. So start sooner rather than later, because when your name comes up on the phone in the next month or six months from now, you don’t want it to be the first time. Particularly we’re late in the economic cycle, and if your company is going through a merger, if there’s downsizing particularly in the offing, if you think you might get a pink slip or if you’re going to be forced to retire. Any number of reasons, start the conversation early.

Yeah. There are options that you can refinance. They might even write off your debt. They might just lower your payment and extend the payment life cycle. There are a bunch of different options. The point is, ask the question. I think you just had a great segue into the last point we want to cover today, which is that situation where somebody thinks they might get a pink slip. Something’s not quite feeling right at work and there’s some transitions that might be on the horizon and they’re worried about possibly either being let go or laid off or fired. What you’re advocating for is don’t pay down that debt, but what would you suggest somebody does instead?

You hold the cash. I could be, and I’ve … In the No Nest Egg program, we talk about establishing a disaster fund. We talk about looking for a low cost place to live, the ability to downsize from your current run rate. I can tell you, I’ve been out of work a couple of times during my career and living in expensive payments. It takes nine months to blow through all your savings. So it doesn’t take long. So if you can squirrel the money away and not use it to pay down the debt, and if you can also have a plan and build a big disaster fund, and if you can also have a plan of someplace where you and your family can live at a much reduced rate. It could be family that lives close by from you or it could be another country where you can live for a fraction of what you live for.

I also have a friend who was given the pink slip. This was before the financial crisis. He took the opportunity to do volunteering work while the rest of the world was in turmoil. So in his CV, when he came back and started and the economy picked up, he looks like he did something that kind of the person on the other side of the table was jealous of. Had world travels, did volunteering work for a charity he believed strongly in, and used the time very wisely and saved a ton of money. I’m a big proponent of doing that.

One of the things I tell people to do is when you’re taking your vacation or your holiday, go visit a place you think that might work for you and your family where it’s much reduced cost of living, where you could spend some time and start to think about these things. What might make sense for you to do in terms of volunteering or alternative study or any kind of avocation that you might have.

Right. You’re saying hold the cash. Get yourself a runway or an emergency fund so that if the worst case scenario comes up and you do get laid off that you haven’t invested all that money into paying down bad debt. You have it available for you to start to explore alternatives and get yourself back on your financial footing. That ties into the previous point we just made. If you do lose your job or something like that, that is all the more reason to go back to your debtor and negotiate a change in the payment structure or pause the payments or something like that until you get back on your feet financially.

Yeah. Cash equals options. Cash equals options. All right? Give away the cash, no options. Think of yourself as a bank. Lose the scarcity mindset. Start to be strategic. But cash equals options.

Definitely. We’ve covered a lot of great material today. I know that time just flew by. I’m sure we’ll be back for a part two, because we can talk about the different types of debt that you can take on, both good and bad. We can talk about some of the technicalities of the negotiations and everything. But I think that what we really want to make sure that everybody walks away with today is that abundance mindset. We don’t live in a world of scarcity. You don’t have to live in fear because you’re carrying debt. You can take action to pay down the bad debt and you can use good debt to increase your income and improve your overall position. Frankly, if you go about it in the right way, that kind of transformation can take place pretty quickly.

Ian, it looks like you’ve got some parting words for us.

I was just going to say the only other thing that I would add to abundance mindset is that you’re not alone. Gen X and baby boomers, the debt cloud that you’re walking around underneath, you’ve got to lose that as quickly as you can. Read some of the material on our blog. Join our community. You can’t be strategic when you’re worrying that every ping on your phone is your wife spending money on groceries and you’re upset. And I did that in 2013.


I’m guilty.

I’m really glad you touched on that, because I definitely don’t want to forget about that, because debt can have implications for other areas of life. Your relationships, your health. If you’re stressed out about this kind of stuff, that’s going to not just affect your profession-

It was horrible. My wife called me a financial terrorist. She doesn’t happen to be here right now, but she called me a financial terrorist. That crock pot you bought, it’s going to lead us to financial ruin or whatever. It was horrible. It was a horrible mindset to be in, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Literally, it was one of the reasons that I spent the time and put together the No Nest Egg plan. What we’ve tried to do is everyone wants to out-intellectualize everybody with their fancy retirement planning programs. Ours is really for is common sense for common people. It’s not highbrow, and it’s very practical. It’s the new economy. It’s the real world. It’s not the … The retirement planners, the guys with the whole alphabet after their names. They want to believe that they’re doing something that’s rocket science, and they’re not. I’m here to tell you they’ve worked for me in the past, and it’s just not the case. What we offer is real world solutions in the new economy that really work.

If you’re sitting at home and you’re feeling depressed, sad, overwhelmed, lonely about debt and its presence in your life, then we have the No Nest Egg retirement plan that you can check out. We’ll link everything up that we talked about today up in the show notes. Those will be available at redpilretirement.com. Of course, like I mentioned before, we’ll probably come around and cover this topic again, so you’re going to want to subscribe for updates. But in the meantime, Ian, I think we’ll have to call it there for today. We’ll definitely come back around to this, but until I talk to you next time, enjoy that trip with your family. I hope you guys have a blast and safe travels.

Thank you, James. I look forward to seeing you again.

Sounds good. Take care.

All right. There you have it. That concludes my conversation with Mr. Ian Bond about debt and the role that it plays in entrepreneurship and business building. I think what we really accomplished here today was disproving or otherwise invalidating the traditional view that debt is always a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it can be something that you leverage in the short-term to drive up revenues in the long-term without putting yourself at too much risk.

Three key takeaways we have for you today are one, just what I said there. You can use short-term debt to increase revenues and grow your business faster and more efficiently and then use those additional revenues to pay down the debt and mitigate any risk, real or perceived, that you might have had coming into it.

Second, if you’re planning on retiring soon or if you expect a pink slip, paying down debt is the last thing you should be doing. You should be stockpiling that cash. You should be giving yourself a safety net or a nest egg or a runway so that if you do make the retirement decision or you do receive that pink slip, you have cash reserves that you can float in the meantime until you can start a business or find a new revenue stream that can support you into retirement.

Then finally, most people don’t even consider negotiating with the person or the entity that holds their debt. In many cases, you can go back to them and explain your situation and negotiate better terms, whether that’s a lower payment, a better interest rate, a refinancing, or even writing off your debt entirely. Any of those outcomes can put you in a better financial situation than you might be in today.

So if you took nothing else away from this episode or if you enjoyed the conversation a little too much to take notes, those are three key takeaways that I want you to walk away with today and see how they might apply to your life and to your business.

We’ll wrap it up there. I hope you enjoyed the conversation today. As always, we’ll link everything up in the show notes that we talked about. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Take care and drive on.

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My Wife’s $2 Million IKEA Desk

My Wife’s $2 Million IKEA Desk

00:00 / 00:32:16

My Wife’s $2 Million IKEA Desk

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In Ian’s home, there is a simple, unassuming IKEA desk. The retail value of this desk is probably around $200, but Ian and his wife frequently refer to it as their “$2 Million IKEA desk.”

That’s because the activity that has taken place at that desk over the last few years has gotten them to a point where they are now generating $2 Million in annual revenue from the comfort of their home.

In this episode, we talk about what steps they took to build a location independent, seven-figure business that they can run from anywhere in the world. It certainly didn’t happen overnight, but with the right combination of planning and persistence, it is an outcome that anyone can replicate.

If you’re interested in learning about how to acquire or start an online business that can help you make progress toward your own $2 Million IKEA desk, you should definitely give it a listen.

Key Takeaways

The Impetus for Buying the Desk (And The Business)

We cover the details of Ian’s relocation from the U.S. to Dubai and the decision that had to be made when his wife and children came to join him indefinitely. Together, they decided that it would be better to acquire an existing business than for his wife to enter the local job market.

We talk about the thought process behind their decision and the steps they took to identify, validate, and eventually acquire a profitable eCommerce business. We also talk about some of the mistakes they made and lessons they learned on their way to growing the business to $2 Million in annual revenue.

Setting Realistic Expectations Is Key

We emphasize that building or acquiring an online business is not a foolproof investment. It is important to only use capital you are willing to lose and to diversify your investment by building or purchasing multiple smaller properties rather than one large site.

Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight (Or Without Hard Work)

Additionally, it is important to understand that simply acquiring a profitable business is not enough. You need to apply a disciplined approach to expanding the business in order to recoup your initial investment and begin generating that outsized return.

While it is certainly a viable financial pursuit, you should not expect to reap the benefits without putting in the time, energy, and resources that are required to facilitate exponential growth.

There Are Resources and Communities Available to Help You

Being an entrepreneur can feel lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people who are ahead of you in the journey are more than willing to set aside time to coach or mentor you on how to make the most of your investment.

We talk about ways that you can reach out to these individuals and get the intellectual and emotional support you need to push through the challenging times and ultimately exceed the ambitious goals that you have set for yourself and your business.

Resources and Recommendations

  • Empire Flippers – The marketplace where Ian bought his original eCommerce site that eventually become the financial engine behind the $2 Million IKEA desk.
  • My Wife’s $2 Million IKEA Desk – The original Retirement Rehab article that tells the full story of this special piece of furniture.
  • The No Nest Egg Retirement Plan – A collection of educational resources and community support designed specifically for people who want to start writing their own “$2 Million IKEA Desk” story.
  • Retirement Rehab Homepage

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement Podcast, where we give you the raw unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401Ks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so were here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Hey everyone, we have another great interview with Mr. Ian Bond for you today. As you might of guessed from the title of this episode, it’s all about a very entertaining and a very interesting story that Ian likes to tell around a desk that he keeps in his home, which he affectionately refers to as the two million dollar IKEA desk. Now, of course the desk itself is not worth that much money. If you know anything about IKEA, you know that that is not a price point that they operate at. But, what happens at that desk is worth two million dollars to Ian and to his family.

Without giving away too much detail, in this episode we’re going to talk about how that kind of outcome, that two million dollars worth of value coming from an IKEA desk is a viable outcome for you and anybody else who listens to this episode. What Ian’s going to tell his personal story of how his wife made that IKEA desk worth the two million dollars that we’re talking about and what went into that process. Then how you can use that as a blueprint to replicate that kind of outcome in your life and have a two million dollar IKEA desk of your own.

That’s what we’re gonna talk about today. Normally I like to give a little bit more of a teaser, but the nature of this story requires that I keep most of that a secret until you actually listen to the episode and it’ll make a lot more sense at the end. So I’ll come back after my discussion here with Ian and I will tie up any loose ends that still exist. But in the meantime I hope that you enjoy our conversation. I know that I did. Without further ado, let’s get into that discussion with Ian.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Red Pill Retirement Podcast. I’m your host James [Sours 00:02:18] and as always, I’m joined by Mister Ian Bond. Ian, how is it going over there today?

It’s going fantastic James. It’s good to hook up with you again. It’s been too long.

Yeah, same, same. Always love talking to you. Looking forward to it. I’m especially looking forward to what we’re gonna talk about today, because if the folks are watching on YouTube, they can see in the background there that you are at your home. Right there behind you is a desk set up with a computer monitor and today we’re actually gonna be talking about that desk. So why don’t you tell us what’s so special about that desk behind you there Ian?

Okay, so that’s what we refer to as the two million dollar IKEA desk. The reason we refer to it as the two million dollar IKEA desk is that we purchased a website from Empire Flippers back in November of 2016. That website was generating about on an annualized basis probably about $300,000 in revenue or $250,000 in revenue. We purchased it maybe on a monthly basis maybe 20 to 25,000 dollars. Last year that website generated two million dollars. Just that one website is the reason we call that the two million dollar IKEA desk. That one is a blond IKEA wood. The one I’m sitting at is dark wood. That one’s much more valuable than this one.

Well, just out of curiosity, do you know what that desk actually costs at IKEA? I’m guessing it’s a couple hundred dollars maybe.

I was just gonna say, it’d be a lot of it’s a couple hundred dollars. These are really bare bones desks. They give a lot of table space, but my wife works off that desk when my kids are at school. When my kids have afternoon activities, whether that’s at a soccer pitch or whether that’s at an ice rink, both my kids are skaters. My wife will work off her laptop and work around their schedules. She doesn’t have to go to a big building anymore. She used to work on Wall Street and worked for an investment bank. When we relocated overseas, we thought ahead and said, “Well, you know, should she really get another job?” It’s really not as easy for the following spouse to find a job when they move overseas. We said, “No.” What we should do is something I had been thinking about for some time during kind of this five year journey that we talked about in Red Pill Retirement conversation. We said, “No, let’s develop location independent income.”

So that’s when we kind of made the decision. We bought our first site in October of 2016. 2015, sorry. We bought our first site in October. It went so well the following month, November of 2015 we bought the second site. Literally the first site, we were closing on the first site the weekend we moved into the apartment you’re looking at. You know, so I said, “Here you go honey. Let’s go.”

It’s been a wild ride ever since, I’m sure. Just for anybody who’s just joining us today, what Ian is talking about is you actually … You accepted a professional position. You actually moved abroad first. You were there for several months, I do believe. Then the family came to visit once. They loved it. Then they came and joined you for an indefinite stay. So, when you say the following spouse, that’s what we’re getting at. AS you mentioned, a lot of times when the following spouse gets in country, you have to make a decision if they’re gonna try to find a job. What you guys chose to do was to acquire a business, an existing business, and grow that and use that as a revenue stream. So, just to clear things up for the folks at home. That’s what’s happening with that story.

What I love about the headline, the two million dollar IKEA desk is that when somebody thinks about a multimillion dollar business, in my mind, I think of some penthouse office in New York City that’s overlooking Manhattan. There’s glass windows and doors everywhere. People are wearing suits. But, the reality is, in this day and age that’s kind of an outdated model. It happens, there are certainly large businesses that are run like that. There are folks clocking in nine to five every day, but technology and the economy has changed in such a way that you can run a multimillion dollar business from a 200 dollar IKEA desk anywhere in the world. That’s what you guys are living. That’s what I love about the story. So, tell us a little bit about … Take us back to that day you said, November 2015 you are thinking about acquiring this site. Talk about why you decided to acquire an existing business in the first place.


And maybe some of the criteria that you were looking through to vet or validate a business for … Because I’m assuming that based on what you’ve told me here that it was not an insignificant amount of money that you were investing in this. So, I’m sure that you did some due diligence around and just tell the folks at home what you were thinking. What your thought process was to make sure that you weren’t just throwing your money at like a money pit, something that was just gonna go away the next day. So talk about your thought process there a little.

Yeah, so the first thing I like to do is remind people that when I took the job in September of 2014, my family stayed behind. I found myself after work having a lot of free time and kind of no family. Quite frankly, it was a bit lonely. But, I threw myself into all things e-commerce. So what that meant was … and I’m a strong believer that I spend enormous amount of money on courses and coaches and things like that. But, I think that if you’re going to … And I realize that at the time I was in my late 50s, that the reality was that I can accelerate my success by buying an existing site as opposed to building a site. But, in order to understand the value creation process or the value of an existing site, I really need to have look at it through the lens of a builder. So, I believe that you should join the courses of people that are building things, to understand kind of the nuts and bolts of what creates value. All right, so that’s a big deal.

The second thing … You know I’ve been a wealth manager for over three dozen years and I had allocated a pool of capitol that I was going to spend to attempt to replicate what venture capitalists do. What venture capitalists and private equity fund managers do is they put kind of small amounts of money into a number of bets and generally one of those bets returns multiple times what the entire fund will return. The other stuff might return a little, might lose a little or you might lose it all. Okay? So that was the strategy. I call this, it’s my … This is literally what we refer to as the venture capitalist strategy of investing in websites.

I will tell you that at the beginning when we started … What we were looking for and what appealed to me is that this is a very large niche. I like things that are in the house, household things. I think I understand them. They’re certainly not super niche-y where it’s a potentially a hobby or something that I might not know much about. Things that you can stumble across between your bedroom and your living room, your bedroom and your bathroom. Everybody’s gonna be looking for these things in their homes sooner or later. It was a very large niche. I bought it from someone who had built the store, very smart guy. He had put a lot of thought into it. I used Empire Flippers which is a firm that I know, trust. I like the people there a lot. Their due diligence is well regarded.

We paid $25,500, if I recall correctly, for the website. And then we embarked on what I would call a 15 month struggle. If you’re reading about what others are doing online, all you read about is how they’re crushing it and on a day to day basis they’re doing incredibly well. Every day in 2016 it felt like dentistry. It felt like we were struggling every day. We were making-

It felt like we were struggling every day. We were making mistakes very different than the corporate world. And we would try something, it wouldn’t work, then we’d get surprised by something we hadn’t anticipated. And we struggled, but we struggled and built the income. Our original income from the site back when we purchased it was about $1,250. So that gives you the ratio of what we paid in terms of a multiple of the income, but we got it up to the $4,000 or $5,000 by doing some things that we thought were relatively low-hanging fruit. But it was very volatile, and every time we had something kind of negative happen it felt like it was kind of a … It felt like a body blow to be honest.

And then as I’ve described, we hit upon a strategy at the end of 2016, and by the spring of 2015 … excuse me, 2017, the site took off in sales, and we accomplished just under $2,000,000 in revenue. It was one million, 900 and … I don’t know 70 or 80 thousand dollars in 2017. And now in 2018, we’re above what we were in 2017. And so I felt comfortable enough that we called it the $2,000,000 Ikea [desk 00:12:30].

Now, what I’m not telling you about are a bunch of other sites that we own that either we really haven’t developed well because we had focused on this particular site because it’s working so well and one huge, humongous failure that we had where I believe we’ve lost all our money. So it’s the idea that you don’t spend all of your money on one thing is particularly poignant because we lost all of our money on another $25,000 investment. And that’s probably a topic for another conversation, but that happened. So our return, if you just kind of think of what the monthly numbers might be, would probably be 25 or 30 X what we paid for this website. And because we live eight time zones is ahead of the United States, the reality is that when we built this site, we had to build it such that it would run while we were asleep.

And so there’s quite a bit of value in doing that because buyers of websites want to buy businesses. They don’t want to buy jobs, and so we have standard operating procedures. We have a team in place that handles everything. It takes very little of our intervention. And when I say “our”, I am not involved in the operations of the business. I don’t know any of the people that work for us. I don’t speak to them. I don’t know any of the suppliers. I know everybody by name, and what my wife tells me. And I kind of think of the high level strategy, but my wife handles all of that no matter where she is.

Now, the fact that the desk is right here behind me is totally incidental to the revenue. My wife happens to be in Eastern Europe right now with my kids. My son’s at a hockey camp in Slovakia, and she’s conducting business from her laptop while she’s away for a couple of weeks. And so one of the beauties of this business model that we’ve chosen is exactly that. We’ve done this while we’ve been on holidays, family vacations together. She has done this when she’s done other things. She helped my older daughter get settled in an apartment where she had an internship. So the desk is incidental to the business. It’s all run kind of from the outset. It’s all being run with kind of the end in mind being kind of location independence.

Right, and I love several parts about that story. But one in particular that I want to unpack is right back at the very beginning where most people, when we’re talking about retirement planning and more specifically funding a retirement, there are traditional retirement vehicles that everybody knows. You’ve got your 401k with your employer matching. You’ve got IRAs brokerage accounts. And the way that those things work is you kind of put your money in there, and you cross your fingers, and you hope that the market does well. And you get some kind of single digit or low double digit return on your investment and that’s kind of it. You just hope for the best, and I like to say hope is not a strategy. I’d much rather have control over my destiny as much as I can.

And so what you guys decided to do was buy an existing business, knowing that as long as you put in the work to grow that business, essentially the upside or the earning potential from that business was uncapped. And there really … As much as the market will bear, sure there’s a number somewhere out there that you could get 100% market share in the home goods sector and that would be the limit. But that’s not going to happen, so essentially your earning potential is unlimited. And the way that I was thinking about it as you were describing it is when you go … Let’s say you want to get some food, and you have two options. You can go to the grocery store, and you can buy your fruits and vegetables there or you can start a garden. And as long as you tend to that garden and you put in the work, you can produce exponentially more fruits and vegetables from your garden at a lower price point, as long as you put in the effort.

But most people opt for convenience, and that’s kind of the way I think most people approach retirement. They just put their money away in traditional vehicles that everybody’s talking about, and they hope for a small return. But if you want an outsized return, if you want to double, triple, or even quadruple your money or more, this is a model that can work. And you’re buying a business that generates revenue today, and you’re investing that capital up front. And you’re saying I’m going to show up every single day, and I’m gonna make this business a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better. And then three years from now I’m going to wake up, and I’m going to have five X to my money. And that’s a retirement vehicle that it’s hard to find a comparison to. It’s why it’s hard to find a better alternative as long as you continue to show up and do that work. Is that a sentiment that you think that you would agree with?

Yeah, and I think with regards to being in my late 50’s when we kind of went down this path, and in keeping with the theme behind red pill retirement and the known nest egg retirement plan, we don’t have a huge nest egg that can compound out over a long period of time. What we have is compounding at market rates, and it’s doing so safely. But it’s not going to afford us kind of what we would ultimately want or need. Whereas a private business, you do have the unlimited upside. We decided specifically to buy, not build, because most new businesses fail. And once you have the ability to look at something that has succeeded, this asset class is a new asset class. It’s undiscovered, the information is difficult to get your arms around, all things that I’ve written a lot about, and so it offers a tremendous opportunity.

Now in my day job I’m a wealth manager, and I’m extremely familiar with every investment strategy that’s practical for institutions and wealthy individuals. And in fact, I know the fund managers of some of the sexiest and most interesting strategies personally. And I’ve done this for a very long period of time. The asset class of investing in websites is tremendously attractive, but it’s not like investing in a paper asset class, okay? This is one where you have to be an operator, so you assume that responsibility. Along with that, is the journey that you just talked about. Every day you’re going in and trying to improve it and trying to make it better.

One of my coaching clients, had a conversation with him, really down in the dumps over the weekend. He had been living and bootstrapping a business that he’s building in Medellin, Columbia, went back home to visit family. The site had been making good progress. It was having a bad month. He heads back home and visit family and friends. They don’t understand what he’s doing. They don’t understand why he’s not working, and he’s in a funk, okay? And I had a call with them over the weekend and I say, “Look, every day this is a lonely business, and it’s a struggle, and there’s nobody to talk to.” I said, “But if you keep at it, what happens is … And what’s happening in my case is in two years, we’ve had two smart things that we’ve done or that we got lucky and stumbled across after trying lots of things that didn’t work. And suddenly things really work, but you got to be able to stick with it.” And so he’s now back on the right side of that happiness, okay? But that’s just par for the course.

Yeah, and we don’t mean to paint a dismal picture of entrepreneurship or owning a business. But the fact of the matter is, it can be a slog at times. But there are folks out there who are doing this just like your wife, and they are in many cases willing to talk to you about … If you’re considering this as a path, and you can manage to connect with them and say hey, I’m thinking about buying a business. I know that you’ve already done this, and you’ve managed to grow yours, so do you have a few minutes? Can I get some of your time? Can I book some of your time to learn from your journey and help guide my journey because I’m way back here at the starting point, and you’ve already been through this? In my experience, those folks are generally very generous with their time because they want to see other people succeed, and your success does not prevent my success.


So I think that if you’re on the fence about this, there are a couple of points that I think we should make very clear. One is you don’t have to be like Ian and invest $25,000 up front. If you want a business that’s generating a substantial amount of monthly revenue right off the bat, then yes that’s the facts of life. That’s what you’re going to have to be willing to invest upfront in order to pull down those monthly dividends every single month, knowing that if you grow the business, you’ll get a return on your investment much quicker. But there are other opportunities to buy sites that are lower in value but also earn less per month, or you could start one from scratch like you mentioned. You can literally build an eCommerce site from nothing, and if you’re willing to put in the sweat equity upfront, that’s totally a viable option, too. So if you’re listening at home and you’re saying I can’t do what Ian did. I don’t have $25,000.

If you’re listening at home and you’re saying, “Oh, I can’t do what Ian did. I don’t have $25 thousand laying around,” that may be true, but there are other channels that you can pursue to end up in the same place and be running a two million dollar business from an Ikea desk a few years from now. So that path is still open to you, and the other thing that I wanted to hammer home is not only do you not have to have that much capital to invest up front, but you don’t have to do it alone. It can be lonely, it can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be because communities exist around brands like Empire Flippers and around brands like Retirement Rehab of folks that are doing this already and are there to be a peer or a mentor or a coach or whatever it is that you’re looking for to pursue this as a retirement opportunity, or just a professional endeavor on the back end of your career. It’s a viable alternative regardless of what you want to get out of it in the end.

Yeah, absolutely. I’m involved in a number of online communities, everything from one where it’s a bunch of super geeks on eCommerce I am clearly way behind, and I’ve said this before, the monthly fees that I paid for that, just one kernel of wisdom I get from that pays for the whole year. It’s amazing. These guys really geek out on things that I’ve never even considered, to be honest with you.

Then I’ve also been involved in other online communities where people are building, where people are owners, and people are incredibly generous, as you mentioned, with their time, and if they know something, it’s exactly the truth. It’s not a zero sum game. The biggest trend in wealth management to make money is to get in front of a big deal, get in front of a big trend. The trend in eCommerce is massive. Okay? We’re at the very beginning of it. Look at what Amazon has done. I guarantee you, five years from now we’re going to be doing much more eCommerce, not much less. So getting into this kind of … Getting your piece of this trend now, you can probably be a sub par operator and do quite well, to be honest with you. There are just an enormous number of opportunities.

Now, I can tell you because I have a friend in the UK that I partner with. The UK and the EU is behind the United States. So there are opportunities in the EU, UK, Australia that are even behind the United States. The United States is becoming more competitive. Will it be the same opportunity in five years? No. Do something today if you’re hearing this. Think about it today because it’s a phenomenal opportunity right now.

Now, I do believe that as the information becomes better disseminated, more organized, people get more comfortable with the concept, that the valuations will go up, and it will become more invest-able to bigger pools of capital, and so I think that you can make money buying in today’s multiples from multiple expansion, but I also think that you can … that the opportunities to grow businesses is very unique today also. So I think that there’s kind of a … The best of both worlds is that you can make money both ways.

Right. Yeah, so great points there. I think just to kind of package this all together, circling back to your wife’s two million dollar Ikea desk there behind you, it is worth two million dollars today, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took some investment upfront, it took a lot of investment in time and energy and resources over the course of a couple of years, but the fact of the matter is, today it is worth two million dollars and that kind of outcome is a realistic outcome for anybody who’s listening to this podcast right now. You just have to be willing to put in the work, you have to be smart about the way you approach it, and you have to lean on people who have done it before for the mentorship and support and guidance to make that a reality.

And I will say that today’s episode is all about eCommerce, but I know, Ian, you talk about several other ways that you can pursue alternative retirement vehicles, and we will cover those in a future episode. So if this doesn’t seem like a perfect fit, then there are other opportunities like coaching, speaking, consulting, that might be more within your wheelhouse. So if you find yourself on that boat, do not despair. We are going to cover that in a future episode. But just any parting words here, Ian, specifically about your wife’s desk, eCommerce, and buying an existing business and using that as a retirement vehicle that can generate revenue and that you can frankly operate from anywhere in the world?

Yeah. It’s not worth two million dollars. That’s the revenue that we generate. Obviously we have a profit margin on that revenue and we work on that profit margin, but the desk itself is not worth two million dollars. That’s the revenue. And in fact, right now it’s worth nothing because the computer’s not on. The computer’s on someplace in central Europe or in eastern Europe right now. So it’s not the desk, it’s the concept. The concept is that you can generate money revenues from anyplace where you can have an internet connection.

And so we chose eCommerce, I’ve said this before, because I think it’s fairly intuitive. Most people shop online, and we kind of understand it kind of sort of like we understand real estate. You know when you walk into an apartment or a home what the value should be. Well, I think it’s somewhat similar in terms of kind of buying physical goods eCommerce businesses, and we wrote a piece talking about why you should start with physical goods eCommerce businesses as your first purchase. But you know, that’s the real takeaway. For us, it’s essentially going to be an enormous addition to our … and really, kind of the foundation for our retirement, when we choose to go that direction, and that was all kind of generated over the last three years, so.

Yeah. Perfect way to cap it off, and you know, I’m sure that if you want to learn more about the story behind that desk and some of the complimentary topics that Ian just touched on, they’re all available at myretirementrehab.me, and we will also link up the relevant articles here in the show notes. But as I mentioned, that’s going to wrap it up for today, but we will cover alternative channels and we’ll probably dive a little bit deeper into eCommerce as a retirement vehicle and buying existing businesses in future episodes. So until next time, I’m going to go ahead and sign off here for myself, and Ian, great talking to you as always, and we’ll see you on the next episode.

Thanks, James. Have a good one. Appreciate your time.

All right, take care.

All right folks, so there you have it. That concludes my conversation with Ian Bond about his wife’s infamous two million dollar Ikea desk, and now that you’ve heard the story behind it, it probably makes a lot more sense why we say the desk itself is not worth two million dollars. It’s what takes place at that desk that is worth two million dollars to Ian and his family. And as we talked about in the episode, that kind of outsized return does not happen overnight. It took a lot of sweat equity. It took a lot of discipline. There were a lot of setbacks and challenges, but the point that we want to hammer home to you is that this is a viable outcome for you and for everybody else who listened to this episode.

You can get started today, and with enough time and energy and resource investment, a couple of years from now, you can be sitting in the same position, looking at the desk in your home or wherever you like to do your work from, and saying that desk or that couch or that outside table on your patio is also worth two million dollars.

And so today we covered how you can buy an existing business that’s already generating revenue and focus your efforts on growing that business, and not only returning your original investment, but also expanding from there and expanding the monthly and annual revenue associated with that business, or You could do the same thing but start from scratch, it’s just going to take you a little bit longer. Either way is a viable pursuit of the same outcome, and that is to create a location independent business that you can operate at an Ikea desk or from anywhere in the world. So we talked a lot about how Ian and his wife got to where they are today, and that kind of story can be yours as well, and we shared some tips and resources for how you can get started on that journey yourself.

So of course, as usual, everything we talked about today will be linked up in the show notes, and if you want to learn more about the story behind that desk, about some of the concepts and the resources that we talked about today, you can visit redpillretirement.com and look for episode four, which is all about My Wife’s Two Million Dollar Ikea Desk, and of course, in that phrase, the my is Ian himself, and it’s Ian’s wife who runs her business from that desk.

So if you enjoyed the story today, I would love to hear about your experience or your thoughts in the form of a review on iTunes, and you can always go to myretirementrehab.me and hit the contact link and reach out to Ian directly. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and any other episode of the Red Pill Retirement podcast that you have listened to and enjoyed and gotten value from. So until next time, thank you so much for listening today, and here’s to hoping that you take action on the advice we shared today and go out and then start building that two million dollar Ikea desk of your own. So until next time, we’ll talk to you later and have a great day.

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Retiring Abroad Doesn’t Have to Be Scary (Here’s A Story to Prove It)

Retiring Abroad Doesn’t Have to Be Scary (Here’s A Story to Prove It)

00:00 / 00:36:22

Retiring Abroad Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

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When it comes to retirement planning, most people default to the established model of putting their savings into traditional investment vehicles, crossing their fingers, and hoping for the best. One problem with this approach is that you are effectively putting your future in the hands of the market and/or your investment manager.

In this episode, we talk about an alternative retirement strategy that involves leveraging certain professional, cultural, and financial benefits that come with living and working outside of the U.S. In other words, we share some ideas around how you can accelerate your retirement timeline or extend your financial runway by becoming a U.S. expatriate.

We start by covering Ian’s personal transition from the U.S. to Dubai, which was initiated by an employment opportunity that required him to relocate indefinitely. Next, we talk about some of the benefits and sacrifices that come with expat lifestyle and share some resources for helping you determine whether retiring abroad is an attractive option for you. Finally, we discuss a few different ways to test the waters for retiring abroad and share an example from a real-world couple who is making the leap right now.

Key Takeaways

Retiring Abroad Offers a Substantial Number of Benefits

Relocating to another country can feel like an overwhelming proposition, but it also comes with a host of attractive benefits. For starters, you can move to a country where the exchange rate for the U.S. dollar is favorable, which can instantly multiply the value of your nest egg.

Additionally, you open yourself up to a whole new world of personal and professional networks, job opportunities, and cultural influences. Tune in to the episode to hear us discuss all of these benefits – and more!

You Will Also Have to Make Certain Sacrifices

Of course, moving abroad doesn’t come without its own set of challenges and sacrifices. Most people are worried about leaving behind their friends and family, but we talk about how technology and the global economy has made it easier than ever to maintain strong, long distance relationships and foster new relationships with people around the corner or around the globe.

You Don’t Have to Jump in Head First

There is a common misconception that retiring abroad has to be an “all or nothing” effort. While there are certainly people who are passionate about the expat lifestyle, there are many more who aren’t quite ready to make the leap. If you find yourself in the latter group, we share some advice and resources for testing the waters by exploring retirement opportunities in a temporary or part-time arrangement.

It’s A Realistic Opportunity for Anyone Who Is Interested

If you’re sitting there thinking, “This sounds great, but I could never make it happen,” then think again. We share the story of a real-world couple who has sold most of their physical assets and are relocating to Mexico as the first step in their journey to retiring abroad.

Just like Ian, these folks have taken their control of their future by liquidating their assets and moving abroad to instantly increase the value of their nest egg and extend their retirement runway. It’s a viable path for them to take and you can do the same!

Resources and Recommendations

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to The Red Pill Retirement podcast, where we give you the raw, unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401Ks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Hey everyone, we’ve got another great interview with Mr. Ian Bond for you today. We are talking all about how retiring abroad does not have to be a scary endeavor. Now I know a lot of people think about the opportunity to retire abroad, and they get nervous, thinking that there’s going to be a huge capital requirement, resource requirement. It’s going to be a logistical nightmare. On top of all that, they’re going to have to move very far away from their friends and family, and maybe even leave their career behind.

But in this episode today, we’re going to talk about how a lot of those fears are unfounded and overblown, and how retiring abroad is a viable alternative for most of the professionals out there. In fact, it is an extremely attractive option for a lot of professionals, especially those who may not have been as proactive with retirement planning as they might have liked, or have had some kind of life event that has kind of presented a financial shock to their nest egg, and they’re looking to either accelerate their retirement timeline, or extend their financial runway.

We talk about how that can be done by moving abroad and taking advantage of things like building a location independent business, leveraging your expertise as a professional here in the United States to gain an influential position at a company abroad. Also, leveraging currency exchanges to double, triple, or even 10x the value of your current nest egg, because you’re living now in a country where the dollar is worth ten times the amount that it would be here in the States, because of the exchange rate with the local currency in whatever country that you move to.

So, some of the key takeaways that we talk about in this episode are those benefits that retiring abroad offers, as well as some of the trade offs that you will have to be accepting of, and why maybe they aren’t quite as concerning as most people might feel. Then we also talk about a couple of different models for testing out retiring abroad as an opportunity or as a next step in your life without selling all of your worldly goods and relocating full time to another country that you may or may not be familiar with. Then finally, we really hammer home the point that this is a realistic opportunity for anybody who is interested by telling the story of a couple who is doing this right now.

So first, we share Ian’s personal story. Then we share the story of a couple who took a slightly different path, but they are currently in the process of relocating from the U.S. to Mexico, and they’ve doubled their nest egg in the process. So it really is a great episode. If any of that strikes a chord for you, I strong encourage you to keep listening. And of course, as always, let us know what you think by leaving a review in the iTunes store and wherever you get your podcast.

So without further ado, let’s get into the interview with Ian. Hope you enjoy.

All right, welcome back to The Red Pill Retirement podcast. My name is James Sours, and I’m your host. I’m joined, as always, by the lovely Mr. Ian Bond. Ian, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great, James. How are you?

I’m doing great as well. The weather here in Cleveland is beautiful, and people are outside walking their dogs, jogging, working in the yard. This is just my favorite time of the year. It’s like energizing to see all the activity going on. I hate the winter here in Cleveland. As much as I love the city, it just kind of drags me down. So I’m full of energy right now. I don’t know about you over there in Dubai.

Yeah, well it’s a little warm over here right now. So we didn’t lose LeBron here, but we do have some heat and humidity. Actually, the skies are crystal blue. It’s gorgeous, although it’s warm.

Right, right. Well hey, that’s one of the considerations we’re going to talk about today, because today’s episode is all about retiring abroad and how it is a valid choice to either accelerate your retirement timeline, because you’re leveraging things like currency conversions and location independence, or extend your runway, and you take the nest egg that you have, and use those same principles to kind of double the value of your money, because you’re moving to a country where the U.S. dollar is worth more.

So we will start off, I guess, by telling a little bit more about your story. I know, Ian, you made the transition internationally through your employer and accepted a position there. Then that has kind of overflowed into a lifestyle now, it sounds like. So I’ll let you tell the story, but let’s start off by giving an example from your personal experience.

Yeah, my personal experience is actually probably demonstrative of the way it has worked for a lot of people who work overseas. I had a long career where I traveled overseas, and so I’ve worked on four continents. Lo and behold one day in 2013, I was contacted by an in-house recruiter for a bank over here and it started a dialogue. Would I be interested in an opportunity that looked like this? So, you know, I responded, checked out the person, make sure it wasn’t some kind of fishing expedition. I said, yeah I’d be interested.

So arranged to Skype a conference call, where I heard more about some of the details and I threw my hat into the ring. Then over what was a fairly long period of time, I would call it about eight or nine months, I did Skype interviews, ultimately a trip, and then ultimately got an offer. Then fairly quickly, relocated in September of 2014.

Because everything kind of came together quickly at the end, and because it was a new thing for my family, I moved over here, eight time zones ahead of New York City, where we were living. My wife and kids stayed behind. We had paid for schools, and to be honest with you, you don’t know if things are exactly going to work out the way you think they’re going to work out. I also kind of felt like coming into a new situation, it would be good for me to have total focus. We kind of had the opportunity to relocate after the first term, but the school situations here really didn’t permit it. The schools were kind of full.

So my family actually came over the Christmas holidays, had a wonderful time. While the September to December timeframe went fairly quickly, between the beginning of the year, January, when they went back to the States, and when they ultimately moved over here, which was kind of the end of June, that went very, very slowly for me. I missed my family a lot. I think I described in prior sessions with you, I was able to utilize all of the free time that I had, because I had very short … I didn’t have family responsibilities. So I spent a lot of time learning about what I called the new economy.

But that’s how it all happened. Quite frankly, it happened because of my professional network. I was recruited off of LinkedIn. It’s because of some of the firms I worked for. The principals over here knew of my reputation from a firm that we worked at together, although I didn’t know them at that firm. I was one of the candidates that made the short list. Then ultimately, during the interviewing process … And of course, I only know this now, but during the interviewing process, I guess I did relatively well.

Lo and behold, and in a very quick fashion, at the end of the summer of 2014, in a fairly short period of time, got on a plane with a couple of suitcases and relocated. So that’s how I ultimately moved abroad, after spending an enormous amount of time on planes, traveling from the U.S. to places of business that were outside the U.S., which I did for the better part of three decades.

Right. So your transition was kind of an opportunity that arose … And frankly, it sounds like it was a risk that you took. I mean, you weren’t really familiar with working internationally or working abroad. So it was kind of something that you had to learn as you went along. But now that you have had some experience there, and you’ve been doing this for a few years, I believe you told me offline that you’re thinking about living abroad indefinitely. Your family’s on board, so there must be something about that situation that’s pretty awesome.

So let’s talk about some of the benefits of living and working abroad, especially somebody that might be based in the U.S. now, and this would be a transition for them that they’d be making either through their employer or maybe as a voluntary life transition or a new chapter in their life. What are some of the benefits that you’ve experienced?

Sure, well just to clarify, I spent an enormous amount of time working abroad, but not living abroad. So it’s easy when you get … Even if you’re gone for a week, you get on a plane and you go back to wherever you live. But the benefits of living abroad, I think there are many. First of all, I think there’s a fascinating cultural aspect of moving your family and living in another country. There’s the local population, which is wonderful here. Then there’s the [inaudible 00:10:26] population. You meet incredibly interesting families.

I think, frankly, the international families that we know, they’re incredibly very accomplished, first of all. There is a different perspective they bring to life, because they do do this. They’re very close families. So we appreciate very much the people that we have met. We’ve made some great friends.

we can talk about the financial trade-offs. There are great benefits to being an employee internationally. Things like you get paid for a trip home every year. You get usually some kind of a bonus for … You get various bonuses. Generally, things like health care coverage for when you work overseas are much better than they are in the States. Although, I think in lots of countries where I know people working, health care is diminishing as a benefit. We rarely come out of pocket for anything healthcare related. I’m trying to think of the last time that I came out of pocket for something. We had a family member spend some time in the hospital, and we never saw a bill for a four or five day stay in the hospital, so that’s amazing.

Now, the flip-side is you are leaving behind friends and family. So I have an older mother. She’s in her mid-80s. We Skype together, so my mother is a [inaudible 00:12:11] with using Skype. It’s not the same, and it’s a long plane flight to get everybody to go visit. Now one of the things that I think everybody plans on when they move abroad is that they’re going to get visited by people a lot. It happens a lot less than you think. You think you’re going to get visited, and you don’t. We actually skivvied down and gave up a bedroom a couple years ago, because no one came. We had a few people come, but we decided that we didn’t need an empty bedroom for most of the year.

I would say the biggest thing on the negative side is you have to kind of deal with leaving people behind. I find it very easy these days with communication to talk to people as frequently as I want to. I was living in New York City …

Because I want to. I was living in New York City most recently. My siblings are living in Miami, Florida, so I didn’t see them that frequently anyways. And so, you know, yes, I left other friends behind and my kids left their friends behind and my wife left her friends behind, but we replaced a lot of those relationships. And the people that I had been friendly with professionally in the states, I’m still friendly with. We stay in touch, but everybody moves on in their career. So those would be some of the things I would mention. If there’s anything you’d like to dive into more deeply, I’d be happy to go there.

Sure. So on the benefits side, I think one thing that comes to mind to me is if you are thinking about retiring abroad because you want to live internationally or you want to travel, as we all know, if you relocate to somewhere in Europe, then you can travel even more because the countries are closer together. So you could visit more countries, once you establish a home base or a headquarters over there abroad versus in the U.S., you are not flying across an ocean every time. So I think maybe that’s like that’s one of the secondary, but it’s not necessarily a professional benefit, but if travel is something that interests you, retiring abroad and making your new home abroad makes everything else a lot closer to go visit those other countries that are neighboring, wherever it is you’re going to be living out of.

And one other specific thing that I want to make sure I get your input on is the perception or the perceived value of professional work experience in the U.S. when you move abroad. So when you go to another country and you come in as an executive or a senior professional manager or director level with experience at a big U.S. corporation, there’s a certain perception around that in other countries that exponentially increases your value to an organization that might be operating over there, whether it’s a branch or a sub brand or product line or something like that that you’re going to be working on for maybe a parent company international. Is that true in your experience?

Yeah. So let me answer the second part first. I’ll go back to your first part. Look there’s just no question that the blue passport, from a credential standpoint gives you an enormous benefit, certainly in the part of the world that I work in, but every other part of the world that I’m familiar with. You have enormous credibility if you’ve worked in a large corporate setting, you have seen things by being in a big city like or working for a U.S. corporation. Quite frankly, a lot of people don’t see. So it’s a huge advantage and with all due respect to my friends from the UK, my friends from Canada and my friends from Australia, the American passport is still very, in experience, is very, very highly valued so that goes without saying.

Now, switching over the first part of your question, I’ve written many times that I keep a tab open on my browser to a site called numbeo.com, N-U-M-B-E-O.com. And there they have a cost of living calculator, and I compare when I’m reading about some far away place, I compare the cost of living to New York City. And one of the reason I use New York City is that it’s on the scale, on numbeo, it’s ranked as 100, and so I think right now the number that they use for numbeo is $7,700 per month is what people spend and this is how it compares to the city that you want to compare it to. Now I know what the relative cost of living is in New York City and it’s more than $7,700 for most people I know, but I can shade the numbers and say, well, three bedroom apartment in the center city in New York is underestimated by this amount. So it’s probably under estimated where I’m looking at.

Now, let’s go to the specific example you get. If you were to run the number of New York City versus let’s say Lisbon, Portugal, which I was visited with my family last summer, you would find that it costs probably $7,700 per month in New York City and the equivalent cost of living in Lisbon, Portugal is about $3,000. So, Miami, Florida is going to be 57 or $5,800. It’s very hard to find a place in the United States for $3,000. And if you do find a place for $3,000, you’re not in a western European capital city where you can be skiing in Switzerland and a short train ride and driving to Paris with your family or hopping on a plane and going to the UK for a weekend.

So my family happens to speak Portuguese, ’cause my wife is from Brazil. But that’s one of the reasons we went to look at Lisbon, but the reality is that going to your point that right now the American dollar is so strong that it’s just ridiculously cheap to look at places, and even western Europe is cheap. Paris is cheap. Okay. I guess probably the places that might still be expensive, London would still be quite an expensive place. Switzerland is still quite an expensive place, but dependent, you’re typically not gonna retire to Zurich, you’re not going to retire to London. You’re gonna retire someplace outside of, and so you can still find plenty of very reasonable places if you choose to live abroad and at a fraction of what it costs in the United States.

Right. And you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice all the amenities that you’re used to Maybe in a U.S. city like transportation, you’ve got restaurants and dining, the arts. I mean, all those things exist in a place like Lisbon, but you’re getting all of that for effectively half the price factored in.

I know a number of people who’ve retired to Mexico, a Mexican peso is, just flat on its back. It’s almost 19, 20 to the dollar right now. Two years ago, two and a half years ago, it was 12/13 to the dollar. So it’s had a massive depreciation in Mexico. You know, you have Costcos and Walmarts right down the road from you depending on where you live. So probably the number one country that North Americans retired to is Mexico. Now in Mexico, you can live in the Central Highlands and live at a high elevation and it can be quite cool and temperate, or you can live on the beach. So you can live, literally pick the climate that you want. You could pick the population size that you want. And in some cities, I think the predominant population is the expat population. So, you know, in the Lake Chapala region, that’s very, very well known expat population in places like that. Same with San Miguel de Allende and the highlands are closer to the coast and Merida, a place that I love. It’s very close to the beaches and it’s warmer and hotter if that’s what you’re looking for. So the choices are endless.

Right. We’ve covered I think the benefits in great detail. There’s a lot of upside to retiring abroad and living and working abroad, if you can get over that primary sacrifice, which is you’re going to be moving away from your friends and family that you may have back here in the states and maybe to some degree your professional network. But the counterpoint to that is with all the technology that we have and the internet operating globally, it’s never been easier to keep in touch with somebody who is 5,000 miles away than it is today. So you don’t necessarily have to reduce those relationships down to nothing and like you said before, people may not visit as much as they say they will, but they can. They can come visit you and you can still go home. So if you can get past that, then it sounds like retiring abroad and, and building a career and a life somewhere other than the U.S. is a great retirement option for people in certain situations. So if somebody is sitting at home listening to this and they say, hey, this all sounds great, I want to live in a climate that is perfect all year round and I want to have all this culture and this travel, but I don’t even know where to get started. I know that you’ve written about several different models that you can use to make this transition. So maybe we could cover those briefly and tell the folks at home some of the options that they have, they don’t necessarily have to live abroad full time. So talk about some of your ideas around that.

Okay. Yeah, sure. When we first started writing about living abroad, I got a number of questions and so we accumulated the questions, we actually published the book, which you can buy on Amazon, it’s called “Retire Abroad, 49 Questions Answered.” And so he literally took all of the top questions and tried to answer them so that they wouldn’t keep getting questions to be honest with you. And I thought there was a lot of bad information out there. Probably the biggest question that I got subsequently is, well, you know, how do I accelerate this? And so we have a separate book called “Fund Your Retirement” and that’s all about how to make money in a location independent fashion, so that you don’t have to live in a U.S. city and you can earn money in dollars and pay for living expenses in pesos or euros or Thai baht or whatever currency you choose to do it in. So “Retire Abroad, 49 Questions Answered” and then “Fund Your Retirement” are two resources that we’ve published as books.

But I think the use of technology today, the world is just entirely connected. And so you can be in touch with people as much as you want. I mean, really the question is how good is your Wifi? Here we are, eight time zones away and I talk to people in my mornings before they’re going to bed. My daughter is a college student. I spend time, she’s a night owl and so she’s in the U.S. And so I talk to her in my morning, right before she’s going to bed. And then in the late afternoon United States starts to wake up and depending on where somebody is, East Coast or the West Coast, it’s just a question of connecting with them. Technology’s so good, it’s just amazing.

Right, and then let’s make sure that, so we’ve got those resources and we’ve got the point addressed where you can stay in touch with the folks at home, but let’s make sure that we touch on the three different models that you described to me about how you can live or retire abroad. But you don’t necessarily have to go all in. You can kind of set up a home base in the U.S. And how about for a little bit, so what are your thoughts around those?

Yeah. So, okay. Yeah, I probably handicap how people think about it, there’s a group that’s probably maybe 15 percent of the number of people that I had interacted with that are hardcore. They want to leave the United States, they want to move abroad. I would say they have little regard for, they’ve already solved for this in their minds. They have little regard for staying too much in touch. They are clearly the wanderers and explorers and they would go back probably, but they’re not that concerned about it. The biggest section of people are people that clearly they’re thinking about retiring abroad, moving abroad but they still probably are going to have a foot back and they’re thinking about how to make the transition. And then the third group is the group that definitely wants the ability to travel, but they probably are going to use the U.S. as a base to travel from, to start with.

Right. And so the point there is you don’t have to jump all in. If this is something you want to test out, you can go live abroad for a month or even two months and just kinda get a feel for it. And if it’s not quite right, then you just come home and you’re back to your current situation. So you can mitigate the risk that way by testing the waters. But maybe to bring all of this home, and you could tell us the story. You told me a story of a couple who actually put this into practice. And they changed their life electively. There wasn’t a job opportunity, anything that was going to take them abroad, they were in maybe that second bucket or maybe even-

… gonna take them abroad, they were in maybe that second bucket or maybe even that first bucket, you’ll be able to tell me. But they wanted to try this out and so they took the slice of action to validate the opportunity and see if it was a good fit for them. So why don’t you tell that story real quick to bring us up.

Yeah, so around the beginning of the year, a couple reached out to me, and they were committed to retiring early. And they decided to sell their home which was on the market, which ultimately sold and they now have cash. And they have chosen where they’re gonna go. They’re gonna go to Mexico to start. They have plans to travel around from there, but they want to start in Mexico. And all they’re waiting for, is for the husband’s pension to vest, and they will have a pension which they can live off of. They have a smallish nest egg but they aren’t anticipating a big lifestyle, and they are now solving for the third piece of that, which is how to fund a bigger lifestyle should they want to. And so they’re working very diligently at what I call the big three, which is coaching, consulting, freelancing or eCommerce. And they’re looking into how they each might do that individually, or how they might team out to do things. But they’re gone in the next … by the end of the summer, they’re gone. So, yeah.

And what I love about that story is, we’re basically providing the listeners with two different models here today. One is yours, where you made this transition through an opportunity that came up professionally, and the other one is theirs, where they are taking matters into their own hands. They know what kind of future they want, and they’re altering their lifestyle in a way that isn’t necessarily risky, but is going to get them one step closer to that world where they are living abroad, and they’re living the lifestyle that they want. They’re in a location that they wanna be in, and they have the opportunity to go to other locations they wanna go to.

So if anybody’s listening at home and they’re kind of on the fence about this, they’re like, “Yeah, that all sounds great, but, that’s not a realistic outcome for me. I’m just Joe Schmoe sitting at home. That’s never gonna happen.” The fact of the matter is, it could. And there are real people out there who are doing it, and I know this is probably a great place to plug your community because there are other real people inside of the Retirement Rehab community, that folks listening at home can connect with. And you’ll hear I’m sure, a dozen stories of people who did the exact same thing, or something very similar, and are living their dreams basically by working and living abroad, and maybe running a business or maintaining an employment situation and doing some stuff on the side, to make that dream a reality.

Yeah, so I would say that inside the community, inside the Retiree Rehab community, it’s a very lively debate as to what people are gonna do. And there’s some people that just say, “I’m just gonna stay in the states, but I think that the idea, want to kind of lower my cost of living.” So they might move from Cleveland to someplace that’s less expensive. They don’t need to be in an urban area. They could be a train ride or a longer car ride away and live more cheaply, and accomplish something in between. So there’s no requirement that in the community, you have to pick a retire abroad option. But I would say, there’s a very lively debate, and people who haven’t thought about it before, or may have thought about it but felt a little bit uncomfortable about it, you could see a lot of questions being asked about, “Well, what’s that really like?” So it’s really kind of exciting to see.

What I always suggest to people is, take your two week vacation and after you’ve researched someplace, go and visit it and see what it’s really like if you’re really intrigued by it. Now you can’t stay in a five star resort, and expect to have that be the cost of living. You have to kind of figure out what it’s gonna be like to live locally, but you can get a very good view by traveling someplace and seeing what the vibe is like in a two week vacation for sure. And obviously, the longer you spend or the more times you go back, the more comfortable you’re gonna be.

Yeah, and I love that idea, and you can do that two or three years in a row, and visit a different location every time, or go back to the same location, just dive a little deeper. Go to a different market, stay in a different neighborhood. And by the end of that, you’ll have a great sense for, if that’s gonna be a valid place for you to live indefinitely or if you wanna keep exploring.

So, I love that, and I love that the community exists at Retirement Rehab, because there’s no better way to, I guess, remove any fears or anxiety somebody has about something, than to talk to someone who’s already done it. Somebody who’s two or three steps ahead of you, and you don’t have to go read a random article on the internet and trust that it’s good advice. You could talk to a person and they will literally tell you, “Here’s what we did, here’s what we would do differently if we could go back and do it,” so I love that you have the book, you have Fund Your Retirement, and you’ve got the community to help anybody who’s lightening and thinking about this out, and give them real world resources, to kind of help them make an educated decision around this. So-

Let me just leave you with one teaser, which people kind of come across at some point in the analysis which is, if you are thinking that you’re going to develop a location independent income, every US taxpayer can earn $104,100 in 2018, and not be subject to federal income tax. So if you are working with a spouse or a partner, you can each earn that and not pay federal income tax. You do have to pay payroll tax at 15%, but that substantially adds to the economics or the economic benefit, of doing this exact same thing if you were to choose to supplement your retirement income, living in the United States as opposed to not living in the United States. That’s a huge deal.

Well that’s a great point to take it home with. You know, Ian, we’ve covered a lot of great information today, and of course everything that we’ve talked about, from the book to the course, to the community, to Numbeo, and some of the resources that you pointed us to, to help kind of make those cost of living calculations, and evaluate a potential location. We’re gonna link all those up in the show notes. But I really appreciate your time as always, Ian, and I know the folks at home are gonna get a lot of value out of this. And I’m sure that they might write into you, and you might have an edit or addition to the book, and it might not be 49 questions, it might be 101 questions next time, because we’re gonna have some folks dial in or email you and send some more questions.

But, thank you for your time today, and we’ll come back. I’m sure we’ll touch on this topic again, and go a little bit deeper. But I appreciate your time today, Ian, thanks so much.

Thanks, James, it’s a pleasure as always. It’s great to hooking up with you, and look forward to doing it again, thanks.

Sounds good, all right, thanks. Take care.

So there you have it. Another great interview with Ian. Today we talked about retiring abroad and how, although it’s a very attractive option in the minds of a lot of folks, who doesn’t want to move to a country that they love visiting, or move to a climate that has the weather that they would love to enjoy, day in and day out? Of course, it’s attractive to a lot of people, but it can also feel overwhelming. Because, strictly from a logistical perspective, there is the physical relocation, there’s a certain perceived expense that comes with that. Of course, you’re gonna be leaving behind some of the personal relationships that you formed here in the US. But, despite all of those things, I think today that we really hammered home the point that there is a substantial amount of upside that comes with retiring abroad. And, a lot of the disadvantages or a lot of the cons that might be associated with the concept, can be overcome thanks to developments that we’ve had in technology, and of course the economy, and just the nature of connectedness that’s taking place around the world.

So, I think that we have established that this is an attractive option, and today we shared a bunch of resources to help you make your personal decision as to whether or not this is the right next step for you, as you progress along your retirement journey. So, just a couple of those resources we talked about today was Ian’s first book, Retire Abroad: 49 Questions Answered, and that is pretty self explanatory in that, if you have questions about what is required to retire abroad and what your lifestyle changes might be, and what kind of impact that might have for your retirement planning, and for extending the runway you have for yourself in retirement, that’s a great resource.

We also shared Ian’s second book, which is called Online Business Basics: Fund Your Retirement. And that is a guide book for helping you build a location independent business that can generate revenue, that can sustain your lifestyle through a retirement, regardless of where you are. If you want to have a home base here in the US and travel frequently, or if you wanna permanently relocate to another country, that book is gonna give you a blueprint for building revenue streams that can sustain that indefinitely.

And then of course, we talked about the Retirement Rehab community as a source of support. If you’re considering this lifestyle, you can connect with people who are two, three, four, or even five steps ahead of you in that process, and learn from their experiences so that you don’t make the same mistakes or have the same delays. So we talked about all of those resources and more, and as always, those will be linked up in the show notes. If you want more information about what we talked about today, make sure that you go to redpillretirement.com. and seek out episode three about retiring abroad. As always, we loved having you join us for this conversation, and we look forward to diving deeper into this topic and more on future episodes of the Red Pill Retirement Podcast. So until next time, hope you’re having a great day and thanks for listening.

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Take Control of Your Retirement (Without Quitting Your Job)

Take Control of Your Retirement (Without Quitting Your Job)

00:00 / 00:40:04

The Raw, Unfiltered Truth About Retirement Planning

Subscribe to the Red Pill Retirement podcast in iTunes

Today, I want to talk to you about a common misconception that people have about life and work:

They think that just because they have a full-time job, they can’t be a business owner.

Based on my first-hand experience building Retirement Rehab while working full-time as a senior executive, I can assure you that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

You CAN be an outstanding employee and still have time to build an online business on the side. In fact, that’s one of the most popular strategies we teach for extending your career runway and financing the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

In this episode, we’ll dive deeper into the “why” and “how” of simultaneously being a high-performing employee and a successful business owner.

Here’s what we covered during our discussion:

The Commitments and Choices You’ll Have to Make

We’re all given the same 24-hours each day – it’s how we spend them that makes the difference. If you’re going to honor your promise to your employer, that only leaves about 8 hours per day where you aren’t sleeping or working.

So, you’re going to have to sacrifice some recreational activities and stay disciplined to your long term goal of being a business owner. We talk about some of the ways to do that without burning out.

Overcoming Common Objections

There are a handful of objections that are almost universally cited by people who want to start a side business, but are on the fence:

  • Time and Energy
  • Capital Requirements
  • Lack of Technical Skills
  • Lack of Business Acumen

In this episode, we systematically debunk the myths around each of these objections and equip you with strategies for going around, over, or through the roadblocks that might be holding you back from getting started.

Strategies for Balancing Your Time and Energy

We’ll also dive deeper into my personal strategies for managing time and energy in a way that lets you simultaneously make progress at the office and at home.

You’ll walk away with strategies to get more value out of each day by doing things like segmenting roles and responsibilities, bucketing similar tasks, outsourcing low value activities, and scaling your efforts up or down as needed.

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect, You Just Have to Get Started

There are a lot of things that can hold you back from starting your side business, but one of the most commonly cited (and least justified) excuses is “I don’t know anything about starting or running a business.”

There is a common misconception that you have to have all of the answers on Day 1. The truth is, most people are just figuring things out as they go, and the primary difference between successful business owners and wantrepreneurs is simply that – taking action.

When you’re just starting out, you will probably make a mistake every day – and that’s okay! You’ll learn from the experience and be a better business owner because of it.

You can go as slow or as fast as you’d like. But, if you want to accelerate your growth, you should join a community of like-minded individuals like the one we have at Retirement Rehab so that you can learn from peers who have “been there, done that.”

References and Resources

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement Podcast, where we view the raw, unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401Ks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

All right folks, welcome back to the show. My name is James Sowers, and I’m your host, and I’m joined again by Mr. Ian Bond. Ian, how are you doing today?

I’m doing terrific, James. Great to see you again.

Yeah, great to see you, and I know the folks at home are excited to have another conversation from us, and today, we’re going to be talking all about how to take control of your retirement, and frankly your future without giving up your day job. I think a lot of folks mistakenly believe that if they’re going to go into bi for themselves, or if they’re going to try to run a business as a way to build a sustainable living, that they have to quit their day job, because they just won’t have the time or the energy, or the where with all to take care of both at the same time, and I think we’re here today to kind of dispel that and say that there are ways that you can set up processes and workflows and structures around your time and your life, that you can make time for it too, and be highly effective in both roles.

I think this is extremely prevalent for you, because you are still working for a traditional employer in an executive role with a team that reports to you, so it’s a demanding position, and you’re running some extremely successful businesses on the side. I think the folks listening in are going to be intrigued to learn from you and your experience, and how you’re managing both of those things effectively. Maybe Ian, the best way to start off is to just tell us a little bit about your professional situation, and what you’re doing to manage an employment scenario and an entrepreneurship scenario.

Sure, James. You know, let’s be clear about a couple of things. First of all, your best strategy if you find yourself looking at a situation where you don’t have enough money to retire is to keep your day job for as long as you can and earn it at the highest level that you can, and in the My Retirement Rehab Community, we talk about strategies on how you can do that, one of which is what I call the MVP employee. That’s, you know, what we owe our employers is sacrosanct, that comes first. Everything else has to kind of fit around that.

Now, that having said, having said that, there are choices you have to make. And you have to make this commitment. There is 168 hours in the week, and if you’re going to choose to watch Game of Thrones and be committed to the NFL and to have a DVR full of shows that you want to watch, you’re going to have a tough time finding enough time in the day to do the things that you want to do.

Now, I’m an executive, and people that triangulate up to me, there are probably 80 or 90 right now, and I have a team of people that handle, that those people report to, and … but I’m very involved in a lot of firm wide conversations about strategy. I’m very involved in obviously the strategy of my business, and you know, that comes first. I have to do that first for sure.

Everything I do is, in my side pursuits, come after what I think is my obligation to my employer, and after doing this for a number of years, and coming up through the ranks of, the way I’ve been ingrained to believe about this, I think that’s the right thing to do. Now, how do we manage our operations? Kind of in our last session we talked about in our e-commerce activities, my wife runs those. We bought websites and grew those websites, and that is my wife’s day job.

Sometimes it’s at night, she’s working on it right now in another room, and sometimes she’s working on it during the day, but that had to be done with, that had to be constructed with the notion that we’re not on the same time zone as the United States. It has to kind of run without us. We had to set it up to run like that.

When I come home from work, or when I have free time, I think about this strategy. I don’t know any of the people that work for her. I do know their names, I don’t know any of the suppliers that she deals with, although I know their names. I certainly can read the spreadsheets and the financials, and plan that stuff out. I can contribute in that type of thing.

Now, I happen to have a passion for writing and communicating. On MyRetirermentRehab.me, and ProfessionalWebsiteInvestors.com, I write about things that are interesting to me and important to me. On MyRetirermentRehab.me I write about what I think is the fallacy of the current state of retirement planning and why it’s failed so miserably for people, and what you should do if you find yourself in a situation like I was in, where I was 55 and, you know, not going to make it.

Then at ProfessionalWebsiteInvestors.com, I write about investing in websites. I’m not as prolific as I would be if I didn’t have a job, I’d be writing much more, but I have a job, and that comes first. Now, I don’t golf, I don’t watch Game of Thrones. There is no NFL football in my life. This is it. This is what I’m doing, and so it works for me, but if you’re not going to make some sacrifices, and if you’re not going to commit to being, you know, the best employee you can be, I think you’re going to have a problem.

Right, and you know, piggybacking on that point, I think one of the common misconceptions that we’ve created in popular society is, we’ve made the term “priority” a plural. We say, “what are your priorities?” But in the traditional, Latin sense, priority is singular, you have one.

That’s right.

If you’re going to do this, I think it’s important to know that you need to make building the business your priority after the traditional role. Your employer is number one, that’s your priority. You take care of that, it’s kind of like the safety briefing you get on a flight, right? Put your own mask on, right, and then help somebody else. Take care of your employer, make sure that primary source of income and the breadwinner is taken care of, and that you are excelling in that role, and then beyond that, your next priority is to build the business on the side. It’s not mixed in with Game of Thrones or whatever other hobbies you want to do. It’s going to require that kind of commitment. Is that accurate?

That is not only accurate, that’s probably better said than I said it. I liked the Latin, priority. There is a priority, and you know, literally, I think about every day, at some point in my day, there is something that I’ll have some time, there is something that I can do to take one step forward in this other stuff that I’m doing. Maybe I can even squeeze in two or three.

It doesn’t disrupt my work. There’s plenty of extra time at work. Sometimes I stay late at work and I, my evening hours are cut back, but there’s always something you can do to take one step forward, and if you’re well organized, you can do that. I have a very good friend named David who I coach, and he lives in Los Angeles. You’ve never met a busier guy. This guy flies all around, unfortunate for him, he’s incredibly well regarded by his employer, who keeps sending him to corporate off sites where he can’t drive his business, and he has to participate in the off sites, and then when he gets done with these things that start at eight in the morning and end at 10:00 at night, he still has to go back and think about running his basic business back in Los Angeles. Yet he is developing an online income, because he sees the limitations in what he does.

Yeah. I think that kind of covered one of the considerations that a lot of folks are going to have when they are thinking about maybe starting a business on the side of their day job, is the moral implications of that. Am I doing wrong by my employer to try to juggle the two, and I think the answer is no, as long as you continue to prioritize your full time role as an employee with … you prioritize that over the entrepreneurship.

Now, I think another concern that a lot of folks have is just the sheer bandwidth. I mean, you’ve got a lot going on, and you’re managing successfully to be an effective executive and run businesses on the side. A lot of folks are afraid of the time and resource and energy requirements there. Do you think that that concern is justified, or is it maybe a little bit over blown? Do people make it out to be worse than it actually is, when you get in the trenches and you start making progress toward these goals?

Well, as I just mentioned, I don’t know a busier guy than David, so I would challenge anyone to show me their calendar and you know … and I know people that work from 10:00 at night to 1:00 in the morning, and then get up at 5:00 and then work til 7:00. I know people that do that, and have four kids and their moms, and they have the responsibility, and they’re doing it.

I find the, “I don’t have time” kind of argument to be a little bit lacking, to be honest with you, because if it’s a priority, if it is the priority, you’ll find the time. You tell me how you spend your day, and I’ll tell you what your priorities are. You know, having said that, we all go into a time warp sometimes professionally where it’s, you’re traveling or you’re indisposed or your work requires you to do things. Yes, obviously, there’s not much you can get done, but even listening to a podcast or reading a book or before you go to bed at night, jotting down a couple of things that you can think about subconsciously while you’re sleeping, and when you wake up in the morning. Any little thing that you can do to make, move the ball forward, to me it’s a big deal, and that’s the way you have to look at it.

I mean, you can only do what you can do, but I can only tell you this, that you’ve got to start, and you’ve got to make progress and at some point, the best way to make more progress is to learn how to outsource things so that you can get more leverage on your time because you can employ workers in other countries who work for a fraction of what people work for in the United States to help your effort, and when you get to the point where you can employ outsource workers, it’s a snowball. It just, it’s amazing what you can get done.

Yeah, and I think the important point there is that starting a business does not have to be a light switch, it can be kind of a dimmer switch. You can dial it up and down based on how things change. If you get busy at work, then you can dial back the business a little bit, but the important thing is to make incremental progress every single day, and over time, that is going to accrue to be meaningful developments toward your ultimate goal of running a business that can sustain your life by itself, when you do retire from the traditional gig.

I think that’s a really compelling point that you shared, and you know, along the same lines, I think we would be curious to hear about the steps that you’ve personally taken to make sure that there is balance. That you are during right by your employer, but also doing right by your business and not letting that go to the wayside. Are there certain systems or workflows that you put in place, that you hired a team, automation, outsourcing, that kind of thing? What are you doing to make sure that everything, every ball stays in the air and nothing falls to the ground and breaks?

Well, with regards to my job and my employer, you know, my day starts and ends committed with them, and like everyone, we’re on email, less outside the United States than it used to be when I was inside the United States in terms of after hours, but you know, there’s planning sessions and there’s social events and there’s client related things that you need to do after hours, and you do those things. Now, with regards to our E-commerce activities that my wife runs, my contribution is strategic. I can do analytics on different types of website investing, kind of in my sleep I’m, looked at different type of investments, different types of asset classes, different managers, for three dozen years now.

That’s kind of a super power I have, which is being able to look at spreadsheets and kind of being able to figure out, what makes the business tick, and you know, as you start to network in the world that you choose to participate in, mine is e-commerce, but it could be coach-

Participate in, minus e-commerce but it could be coaching and consulting, which I do, or it could be writing, which is something that I do.

As you start to network into these you meet people and you hear their stories and you learn from them. We outsource as many tasks as we can. As a matter of fact, my wife and I have a joke that when I get frustrated with things that are going on in the business because I look at the high level financial summaries all the time, when I get frustrated with the progress that’s being made it’s usually because we need to hire someone else, an additional person, to supplement the team that we have because I’m impatient and I want to do lots of things and I want to go fast and break things.

My wife is very methodical. The way to break that tension of me wanting to go fast and her wanting to make sure that everything is going correctly is to get some more leverage on our time by hiring a specialist that does whatever it is that’s holding us back. That’s something that we’ve experienced and it’s almost now a family joke. It wasn’t really very funny when we first started out. I can tell you that.

I think that that’s an intuition that a lot of folks have is there’s going to be this natural desire to move quickly, especially if you’re in a position where maybe financially you’re not where you want to be. You’re going to want to make money right now.

One thing that I heard you say there that I think is a big part of the message that you’re trying to communicate through My Retirement Rehab is that you don’t have to build a business from scratch. If that scares you, either from a complexity standpoint or a time requirement or a resource requirement standpoint, you don’t have to do that.

You can buy an existing business that’s already generating revenue and you can focus on growing that into something that can hit the revenue goals you’re looking for. I think that that’s one point that I heard you say that I think is really important for the listeners to understand.

Another point is that when you are crunched for time because you’re working full-time for another employer you need to be laser-focused on doing the tasks that drive the most progress for the business. For you, that’s the strategic tasks. Focus on your core competency and to the degree that you can, outsource or automate anything else that might fall under administrative tasks or lower value tasks.

That’s how you’re going to make the most out of the time that you do have available to build the business and still make sure that you protect that sacred time with your employer and that you execute at a high level there in the office, whatever arrangement you have.

Yeah. Going back to your first point if you were to come up with a brilliant idea on your own and you were to launch it you would be subject to the 90% fail in five years rule. Okay?

If you buy an existing business, an online business that’s already up and working, no matter how small the commitment can be, and it can be as little as $10,000. Our first business cost less than $20,000. You can get in the game in something that has a track record already.

You can learn. I called it the university of the internet. I was prepared to lose all of my money in my first investment to actually learn how to get into the game. I’m a big believer in doing that.

Now with regards to how much time the dimmer switch analogy it’s absolutely the case that if you lay the groundwork and depending on what model you choose to participate online, you can pick up various assignments and help people within your area of expertise at your leisure.

You can respond to posts for people looking with your expertise on places like Upwork or Freelancer dot com or some of the places where people freelance. There are industry-specific coaching sites, Clarity dot FM comes to mind, where people look for people with various expertise.

Yeah. You can absolutely figure out how you want to participate. I think the thing is that you’ve got to start and there’s a learning curve. You have to start before you are retired in order to be able to be at some kind of a running speed when you ultimately do retire.

You’re not going to get there … It’s going to take a while to build things. By the way, there’s jiggles, right? There’s things that work today that may not work a year from today and right now the economy is terrific but it may not be terrific at some point in the future. You’ve got to keep experimenting with things.

Sure. I would say that one of the most attractive aspects of starting a business on the side of your day job is its more similar to real estate investing than investing in traditional vehicles like mutual funds. Those things are intangible.

You send your money off. You check a dashboard and you hope that number goes up every time you come back but you really don’t have a sense for what’s being done with it, somebody else is managing it. You can kind of feel insecure or left in the dark. Again, if there’s another economic downturn that number can be cut in half tomorrow.

Buying an existing business is more like buying a piece of real estate that you can rent out. It’s a tangible thing. For the most part it’s a tangible thing. You can see the website. You can navigate the website. It is bringing money in every single month. You can touch and feel those things and you control how fast that grows. You’re not at the whim of the economy or some new law that gets passed at the federal level that might be tanking your portfolio.

I think that if somebody is looking to take control of their retirement, that’s the whole point of this episode, I think running a business is one of the best options when compared to traditional options like a brokerage account or speculative investing.

I think that it’s really a bit of autonomy and independence that a lot of people crave and it might seem scary at first but it’s really actually in a lot of ways the safer bet.

Well, look, what drives me nuts is that there’s a whole cottage industry that’s coaching people that are 60 plus into trying to figure out how to recast themselves by taking their graduation date off their LinkedIn profile and hoping that they can somehow massage their way into this shrinking pool of jobs for people that are in their fifties or sixties.

I think that’s crazy. I just think it makes no sense. I think the smart thing to do is to capitalize on your years of experience as a corporate career professional or as a professional in some other field. The internet allows you to take your expertise, which you might only be able to deliver locally without the internet, and now you can deliver it globally.

We’re talking. We’re eight time zones apart. My tax guy is another couple time zones away from you. He’s in Central America. I deal with people all the way around the globe. The website broker that I use, the CEO is based in the Philippines. Their team is distributed all over.

Taking your expertise and expanding the number of people that have access to you is just so easy today. Why you would think that if you live in Dallas, Texas that you needed to only call on people in Dallas, Texas or Miami, Florida or Denver, Colorado, it makes no sense to me really.

Neither does thinking about what’s your next career going to look like when you’re my age. At some point you have to say that the likelihood that you’re going to get hired for the next great job is going to be somewhat limited.

We talked about this a little bit in the last podcast that it’s incredibly appealing to have location independent income that you own and that you can dial up or dial down as your income source. It’s totally liberating.

I would challenge anybody listening to this, just go sell one thing on eBay and the joy you get when the wire transfer to your account because you sold something that you don’t need and you got money for it it’s addictive. It’s really fun.

I wake up in the morning and I look at the dashboards for the backend of the e-commerce sites that we run. Every day I’m just amazed. You think it’s just going to end, right? For some reason you’ve got this feeling. Here we are now two and a half years into this. We started very meager. Made every mistake you can possibly make.

Finally got lucky at the beginning of last year and we hit on a theme in the niche that we’re in. Things exploded for us. We had a 5X revenue year. We’re now doing over $2 million in revenue. That’s growing and will be bigger this year than last year.

You know, I would never have guessed, James, that this would be what’s going on for us. If I can help anybody get somewhere into that process, if I can persuade anyone just to even look at it and think about it, that’s my mission.

Yeah. I can imagine. You talked about selling that first item on eBay. Every dollar you make today is just as intoxicating and motivating as that first dollar that you made a few years back whenever you started your first business.

If somebody wants that feeling … I think we’ve done a pretty good job of illustrating why this is a compelling path to go down compared to traditional vehicles. Let’s just assume that everybody at home is sitting there saying, “All right. Well, how do I get started? What do I do?”

Did you jump straight into e-commerce? Did you do some coaching and consulting? What did you do? What challenges did you face early on in that process that you want everybody listening at home to avoid because they’re learning from your experience?

Yeah. I became convinced that physical goods e-commerce, which is the biggest slice of the e-commerce universe, physical goods e-commerce is something that I understand. I think most people do, right? It’s kind of like real estate, right? If you and I were to be parachuted in to pick a city we’d figure out which apartments and which houses are cheaper and what rents should be. You can figure that stuff out. We’re all online shoppers.

Physical goods e-commerce made sense to me. The first thing I did was I paid a couple of thousand dollars for what I think is the best course to teach people how the theory behind building e-commerce stores because if you understand the theory on how e-commerce stores are built and why they’re built and why they should work if they’re built this way then I think you’re at an advantage when you’re looking to buy them.

Now I’m a deal junkie so I went and signed up on every website broker’s website and they will send you everything that’s for sale. I would get the prospectuses, the short sheets on every deal, and I would often times send back a question or they would contact me. I did plenty of interviews with people to learn about the sellers, to learn about why they’re selling, what are the challenges in their website. I didn’t abuse this.

Then ultimately I got comfortable with buying. The funny thing is the first site we bought totally contradicted all of the teachings of the course I took. It was an older site so I felt comfortable that it wasn’t going to go away. Like I mentioned, I was prepared to lose everything that I invested in it.

The reality is that it didn’t go away and it worked out so well that a month later we bought our second site and I kept accumulating some smaller sites after that. That second site, which is in a very big niche, we really got lucky and there were a few things in the formula that really worked. It’s in a very big niche. It’s household products. Things that you can walk around and see in your house. I love …

This is another bugaboo but people get all hung up on this idea that you’re an entrepreneur. I don’t really think of myself as an entrepreneur. I sell people stuff. I just sell stuff. It’s very simple. I’m not Zuckerberg or Gates. It’s not what I’m doing here. It’s not my goal.

That second site we struggled for a long time until we finally hit it. You know, when you think you’re doing everything right but the numbers in any given month are kind of uneven and you’re kind of …

But the numbers in any given month are uneven and you’re kind of failing every day. It’s the antithesis of the way you would expect your corporate life to go, where if you have a mistake it’s a huge problem. Okay? I will tell you that when you buy your first website, you’ll have a mistake every day. Okay? We kind of coined a phrase here my wife and I, that if it didn’t kill us, if we survived, we would live to fight another day. Most of the time it was an expensive lesson that we learned and then we moved forward. Then ultimately when we got lucky, and we got lucky through a lot of hard work and some very good luck then things they got very serious. When they got very serious, then we started to have to really commit ourselves to putting things in place, like standard operating procedures, and formal hiring policies, and stuff like that. My wife does all that stuff and I look at the high level strategy things as I’ve mentioned before. I also, because I’m a deal junkie, I looked at kind of what the next thing we might do.

Right, and so I think the important thing to emphasize there is that it was an evolutionary process. If you’re sitting at home thinking, “I gotta figure out how I’m going to hire a team and I got to have all these standard operating procedures,” you don’t have to know everything from day one. In fact, you don’t really have to know much of anything. You just have to get started and-

I can make it easier for you than that. If you join our community, you ask the question and people will give you the answer, “What do I do in this situation?” You’ll get a ton of answers for people who did something similar to you and they’ll give you a great idea of what resources you can do or how you should approach it. It’s that simple.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s actually the perfect segue. I was going to emphasize the community. I know we’re running up against time here so let’s just cap this off. If somebody wants to get started today, what is your advice to them? I think that my gut tells me you’re going to mention the community and that you are not alone in this. If you’re thinking about this and this is something you want to do. You don’t have to do it by yourself. You don’t have to figure everything out by yourself.

There’s a community of people just like you that are either in the same position as you or some folks that are further down the line that can say, “I’ve been there and done that. Here’s what happened to me and here’s how you don’t make the same misstep.” This community exists in the world, and you can join it today, and you can have all that kind of support that you want from Ian and all of the folks there at the My Retirement Rehab community. But what other advice would you give somebody to get started small today and start making progress towards taking control of their retirement?

Yeah. So James, I think my contribution is that in my day job I’m fortunate and I looked at kind of every imaginable investment and asset class and manager and I know a lot of the best managers on a first name basis, so I can cut through all of the retirement planning mumbo jumbo for people. The community is a very practical place to go that didn’t exist when I was in the situation where I was trying to figure out which way was up. I was really quite befuddled and quite confused and now I feel like we’re really on the right path and I’m very excited and I’m excited to share that with other people. But what would I do? You know I would look around and try to figure it out, kind of what interests me, what are things that I’m good at, how could I apply those things to solve other people’s problems and I would think of the world in those things.

But the reality is there’s a go-slow path and there’s a go-fast path. The go-fast path, which if you’re in your 40s, or 50s, or 60s, is that you’ve got to find some mentors quickly. They could just cut through things and you won’t make the mistakes. The best money I’ve ever spent has been to hire great mentors and hire experts who can look at a problem that I might have and in a moment they can discern what the answer is. I’m involved in an E-commerce community. I won’t mention the name of it. It’s full of people that just geek out over E-commerce issues. I am far and away … I’ve got to be in the bottom few percent in terms of intellect, in experience in this group. I will never, ever give up that membership because the annual membership, whatever it is, for the one question that I might ask in any given year, it’s priceless. It’s absolutely priceless. You’re not alone. Join a community. Participate. Find one that fits for you where you can be with like-minded people and contribute.

Now the first thing that most people do when they join a community is they lurk. Okay? Then they start to kind of get their footing, and they see a question that a newbie is asking, and they answer it, and that’s a great feeling. Then suddenly they decide to ask their own question. I remember being the guy that was really reluctant to open up and share and somebody asks it, answers it, because that’s how communities work, and it’s great. It’s a great way to find in this world like-minded people because they’re no longer living … It’s no longer your neighborhood or your neighbors. It’s who you’re connected to online and how we’re all networked together.

Yep. If you want to take action today, you don’t have to follow Ian’s model of buying that $10,000 or $20,000 existing business. You can start small and if you’re happy you can stay small or you can start small and grow. But one way to start today would be to look at your current skittles and get into something like a freelancing or consulting position through some of the websites you said, Upwork or clarity.fm. Just start taking a coaching client and start having a weekly or biweekly call with them. See if you like that kind of thing. You can always scale that up. You could take two, three, four and let them work around your schedule and fit that in and generate revenue that way.

Then if you decide that this independent business owner lifestyle is for you, then you can double down and buy the business, but being a part of a community and having some people that have your back and can provide some insight from real world experiences is going to be the best way to determine if this is something that’s viable or of interest to you. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just start small. Take a coaching client, take a freelancing advisory role, and started making money that way and just get a feel for it. Then Ian and the folks at My Retirement and Rehab will be happy to help you grow from there if that’s something you want to do. Is that … I think that’s-

Yeah. So James, so what we talk about in My Retirement Rehab, in the community, is that there’s really the big three, right? There’s coaching, and consulting, and then there is writing or speaking. Speaking is teaching English. Writing is, there’s all varieties of different writing. Then there’s various different ways to participate in E-commerce, Those are really the big three. Figure out what’s right for you and we provide people with resources in the community to help them in all of those. I tick all three of the boxes, so I can add a little bit of value of my own. But there are other people that are far deeper in some of these things than I am.

Yeah. You know you’re the advanced course. That is basically is what you’re saying. You don’t have to start there, but that can be the end-goal. I think that what we’ve done today is illustrate that you can take control of your retirement. You can take ownership over your future and build sustainable systems that can finance whatever you want to do with your life after you leave the workplace. But you don’t have to give up your job right now. In fact, you should keep it and keep excelling in that role to support your ambition, to be a business owner and to take that as the eventual outcome for that.

We’ve got all kinds of resources and in future episodes we’re going to talk more specifically about types of work that you can do and things like that. But I think the real learning point today is don’t be afraid to take action if it seems scary, if it seems like you’re not going to be able to balance the time commitment, or if being a business owner seems too complex, then don’t let that hold you back. Take action today. Feel it out. With the resources that are available at myretirementrehab.me that Ian’s providing, I think you have everything in your toolbox you need to be successful. We just encourage you to get started today. Any last words, Ian, before we sign off here?

No, James. I think you kind of summarized it well, hit the nail on the head. You’re not alone, but everybody has to solve the problem that we’re all going to live too long, and we’re going to need to fund our retirement, and there’s lots of ways to do it. I would just tell people that are in the conundrum that I was once in that there is a way out. We published, we have over 120 pieces of content on our website that address all different kinds of issues. Peruse the website. Look for something that’s interesting. Post a question or a comment. I answer them regularly. Please use us as a resource.

Yep, and we are going to link everything that we talked about today up in the show notes so you can find the URLs there and peruse that way. Of course in future episodes, we’re going to keep diving into this. So if this is something you’ve enjoyed, go ahead and subscribe and stay tuned for more information about all of this. As always, Ian, thank you so much for your time and we appreciate hearing from you. We’ll look forward to the next one.

Thanks James. It’s a pleasure talking with you again. I look forward to the next time.

We talked a little bit about how there will be some sacrifices that need to be made in terms of maybe you can’t keep up with your favorite TV show. Maybe you can’t have as much downtime for things like reading, or watching movies or television, or maybe even exercising in the short-term. You may have to cut back on those things just a little bit until you can get your business off the ground and then gradually reintroduce them as you have stability and predictable revenue around what is going to ultimately fund the retirement that you’re shooting for.

We also talked about how you can take small steps just to get started and you don’t have to jump in headfirst and dive into being an entrepreneur or a business owner. You can just take a small step and test it out with something like coaching or freelancing and just take one or two projects on at a time and see if it’s a good fit for you. Then you can always scale up from there. Over time, you can scale up the independent business and scale back the traditional employment arrangement until finally you are totally free and “retired”. Or in other words, free to live the life that you’ve always wanted and build a business in the process so that you never have to worry about whether income is going to continue coming in, and never have to worry about any bills or expenses that you have to support your lifestyle because that is all funded through the business.

Of course from there you can continue to double down and start additional businesses or grow the one that you already have in progress. So a really enlightening conversation again with Ian today, and of course you can find more of your peers and your support group at myretirementrehab.me. As always, you can learn more about this podcast, like additional episodes, or the show notes and the resources we talked about today at redpillretirement.com. In the meantime, until we publish our next episode, go ahead and check out those resources, but otherwise we will see you on the next one. Take care.

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My Personal Retirement Rehab Story

My Personal Retirement Rehab Story

00:00 / 00:31:48

The Raw, Unfiltered Truth About Retirement Planning

Subscribe to the Red Pill Retirement podcast in iTunes

I’ve got some bad news for you — traditional retirement planning is going the way of the dinosaur.

Whether we’re talking about employer-matched 401(k) plans, Social Security benefits, or corporate pensions, traditional retirement planning vehicles are being reduced or eliminated across the board. And, frankly, investing your savings in the market isn’t a guaranteed win either.

So, if you’re someone who isn’t comfortable with your current retirement plans and you’re ready to take back control of your financial future, we’re here to help.

Let me be the first to introduce you to The Red Pill Retirement Podcast. In our first episode, we talked all about how the retirement landscape is shifting and what you can to do prepare.

I also shared a little bit about my personal Retirement Rehab story and how I came to be the founder of Retirement Rehab and The Red Pill Retirement Podcast.

Here are the highlights:

My Personal Journey

I was betrayed by the “tried and true” model that is passed down from generation to generation: go to a good school, get a good job, work there for forty years, max out your 401k, and coast into retirement.

And I’m not alone. Lots of people are behind the 8-ball when it comes to retirement planning, whether it’s because of a market downturn, being laid off, suffering from an illness, or going through a nasty divorce.

In this episode, I share my personal story of how I came to run Retirement Rehab and started building tools and educational resources to help other people in my situation take control of their financial future in an unstable market.

The Perils of the Traditional Retirement Planning

If you’re relying exclusively on things like regular raises/bonuses, 401(k) plans, or brokerage accounts, you’re putting your future at risk.

Any time you rely heavily on a single source of income, you put yourself in serious jeopardy if that revenue is ever taken away. Additionally, traditional retirement vehicles give you little control over the inputs and almost no control over the outcomes.

Diversifying your revenue streams by learning how to build a business that can operate in parallel to your current job is the responsible choice for yourself and your family.

The Benefits of Alternative Retirement Planning

At Retirement Rehab, we help you be proactive and intentional about the retirement lifestyle you want and how you can reliably finance that lifestyle for 20-30 years or more.

Leveraging digital business models like coaching, consulting, or eCommerce not only generates additional revenue streams, it also helps you achieve location independence, uncaps your earning potential, and allows you to continue working longer than you would be able to at a traditional employer.

In short, it gives you the freedom and peace of mind to eventually leave your job knowing that you’ll be able to continue to provide for your family because you’ve taken steps to keep earning money over the long term.

References and Resources

Transcription of This Episode

Welcome to the Red Pill Retirement podcast where we give you the raw unfiltered truth about retirement planning in the modern age. Pensions and 401k’s are quickly becoming a thing of the past. So, we’re here to share resources and recommendations that will help you create the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re ready to take control of your financial future, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Hey everybody. Welcome to the show. My name is James Sauers, and I’m your host, and I am joined by Ian Bond, the cohost. Ian, say Hello to the folks listening in.

James, how are you?

I’m doing well.

Thanks for having me. It’s a delight to be with you.

Great. Great. The feeling is mutual. Today we’re going to talk about some of the changes that are on the horizon and frankly already happening in the retirement planning space, and maybe some of the conventional vehicles aren’t what they used to be just like a lot of things in life. And, there’s some opportunities for folks that maybe didn’t plan as well as they had liked to, or find themselves in a financial pinch for whatever reason, to use some different methods to solve that problem and make sure that they can provide for themselves, and their families through retirement. We’re all living longer, so extending that runway to make sure that retirement is a sustainable next chapter in life for them.

So, you’re the expert on this Ian. I’ll let you weigh in on what you’re doing right now with My Retirement Rehab, and your lifestyle, and where you’re at today, and then we’ll take a step back and talk about how you got there. So, just tell us a little bit about you.

Sure. Sure James, and just to piggyback on that, I actually heard a technologist the other day say that there’s been more change in the last 10 years than there were in the last 10 decades to put things in perspective from a technology standpoint. But, at myretirementrehab.me, we have a thriving community of folks who are behind the eight ball in terms of saving for retirement. Either something happened or it didn’t work out as planned.

In my own situation, I essentially bought into go to school, get a good job, max out your 401K, and everything will be okay. And, when the financial crisis hit, my earnings never really returned to even half of what I was making before the financial crisis.

So, in our community at myretirementrehab.me, I have developed resources for people that know that they’re going to live a long time, and that have to deal with all of the different things that someone that’s facing retirement as they’re getting older would want to think about.

I developed a four and a half hour course called The No Nest Egg Retirement plan. So, if you were close to no nest egg, or your nest egg is not big enough, this is for you. It’s a community of like-minded people that are helping solve each other’s problems, and sharing the journey along the way.

I can remember when I first came to the realization that I was never going to see the income that I saw before the financial crisis. I looked around, and trying to find a resource, there was none. The reason I created my retirement rehab, then the No Nest Egg Retirement plan was essentially to answer … solve that, answer that question. So, that’s the reason I’m here.

Right? You’re actually still working, and you’re running this in conjunction with a full time executive level position, if I’m not mistaken. So, tell us a little bit about how you’re balancing that, and what life looks like there.

Sure. So, one of the options that we have a module on, which is a career counseling module, is for people to try to maintain their current level of earnings for as long as they can. Now, sometimes you’re found you’re in a situation where you can see that the pink slip is coming. Other times you can proactively make a move that will lengthen your career runway.

One of the strategies that we talk about is moving internationally. So, I chose to take a job outside the United States. I left the United States in September of 2014. So, I’m coming up on my four year anniversary. My family joined me the following summer. I could tell you, it’s entirely different working for it in an international setting where you’re viewed as an American expert, and that advice and career background that you bring, and the pedigree that you bring is incredibly well appreciated.

I love my job. I love what I’m doing. I like my boss very much, and I love our CEO very much. So, it’s been just a godsend to me to be able to have this opportunity. It also allows me to lengthen my career runway so that I can put a little bit more away before I do decide to take retirement.

Absolutely. Yeah. I think it’s extremely interesting that you are doing both things at the same time, and also that you are living abroad because that is, first of all, it’s always good to have multiple revenue streams. It doesn’t really matter what situation you’re in, in life. That diversification is just, it’s a safety net. If any of those were to go away, you still have the other ones to fall back on. So, I think the model in general that you’re teaching and sharing with the community here is very advantageous. I’m interested to hear more, and I’m sure that the listeners are too. So, I think maybe the next thing to do would be to take it back. So, I’m not quite sure how long you’ve been running My Retirement Rehab. How long has that been?

This is our third year.

Okay. So, just shortly after you made the move to Dubai, right? So, take us back to, I guess, maybe four years ago or three years ago. What was the precipitating event that led to the idea of My Retirement Rehab, and how did your life change, I guess, and what was the catalyst there to get you on the first step to this journey?

Well, the realization that there were no resources for people that didn’t have a nest egg and no one to talk to, really appalled me. The retirement, the traditional retirement planning space is a place where you go in, and pay a hefty fee and you get a beautifully documented folder of spreadsheets, and all kinds of projections. But, none of it means anything if the inputs can’t be counted on, and can’t be something that’s certain.

As you move through your 40s and into your 50s, I can only tell you that the likelihood that your income will stay the same is going to dramatically go down, and the reality of today’s employment landscape, or career landscape is that things are changing very quickly. So, having only a career or professional source of income is really a horrible situation to find yourself in.

So, when I realized this, and I actually write it my own ship financially, I chronicled this. This is what became, call it two and a half years ago, what became the core part of My Retirement Rehab, The No Nest Egg Retirement plan, which really starts I think of it as being a two fold exercise.

One part is really to determine where you are, but more importantly, where do you want to be? I think we all get locked into the, “Oh, woe is me. This is where I am.” Step back, and do the millennial thing and think about how you’d like to live your life. The second part is implementing strategies to get there. That’s really the exciting part. So, that’s the core of the history of it.

It’s evolving every day. Now in my own case, you mentioned developing other sources of income. When my wife joined me, we started to invest in websites, and earn income online. My wife could not find a job overseas. She had worked for an investment bank in the United States. We decided that really it wouldn’t make sense for her to find a job because ultimately we’ll leave here, why wouldn’t we invest in something that we could take with us?

So, we have invested in websites and built quite a nice income from investing in websites and operating them. Now my wife has upwards of eight or 10 people working for her at any given time, and runs a thriving business from the desk that you see behind me, which on myretirementrehab.me is affectionately known as my wife’s $2 million IKEA desk, and it is from IKEA. Last year, our revenues were over $2 million from that desk, or from her laptop, which she often used when she goes to my kids at various events, whether it’s outside the hockey rink, or the ice skating rink, or by the foot football pitch, or wherever it is. So, that’s how I got here.

Right. So, I think what I’m hearing is you started off by documenting your own journey. You realized that this is going to be a challenge that you were going to face, and you wanted to come up with a plan. And, during that process you started documenting the steps you were taking, what you were thinking, your rationale. Then that’s been effectively productized into a course, and a community, and some educational informative articles, and thought pieces.

So, that’s what I’m hearing. I think what’s most interesting about that, and that some key points that I’m pulling out of it is you’re teaching folks how to do business online, which not only gives them the flexibility to do it from wherever they want, which is what we all want in retirement. I mean, we picture ourselves on a beach running a business, and that’s not necessarily the most realistic application day-to-day, but it is something you could do once in a while.

But, more importantly, if you want to relocate across the country to be closer to grandkids or your kids, you could do that, and you don’t have to stop making money in that process. And, if you want to take the kids to the zoo for the day, like your business still runs in the background if you set it up the right way.

So, that kind of location flexibility is one thing, but it’s also something that you can dial up or down, and it extends your runway for how long you can work, especially if you’re in a role right now that requires manual labor or something like that. Like something where when you move into retirement, I mean we all age, right? And, if you’re in a backbreaking, laborious job, it’s going to benefit you to continue to make money into the later stages of life by doing business online, stuff that you can do from a laptop from a $2 million IKEA desk. Does that sound like what you’re getting at here?

Yeah. So, one of my very good friends in one of the e-commerce communities that I’m involved in online is I think he’s in his last 20 months of being a General Motors plant supervisor. He has these crazy hours at the plant where they work at, and he’s building, he’s doing exactly what you have described. He’s building an income so that when he leaves, and he’s one of the fortunate few that will have a pension. The rest of us are out of luck. He’s going to have a pension, and he’s going to have this business which he works at nights and weekends on, and he can go and travel anywhere he wants to with the business, and certainly with the pension, and ultimately when he reaches the age to collect social security.

But, you’re right. I mean, the business that we’re running, which is well into the six figures on a monthly basis in revenue is one that we’ve run from vacation. My wife recently went back to the states to help my older daughter get an apartment for a summer internship. Her team didn’t know where she was. She was online running the business, and the business went like clockwork.

Being eight hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, our business has to run without our intervention. So, all of the standard operating procedures we’ve put in place basically require the business to run on its own. So, all of that has been something that we’ve worked on from the beginning. Now, if you want to do coaching or consulting, which I think are very natural things for people to start with, or if you want to do something like writing, which is something that … writing or teaching English or things like that, otherwise, there are lots of different ways to get into this game. In fact, we have a book on Amazon called Fund Your Retirement. It’s an introduction to online income.

So, that talks about all the various business models and different ways that you could get involved in earning that online income. But, this industry, my industry is broken. The reality is that the retirement planning industry, all of these assumptions are outdated today. It goes back to our introduction. More has happened in the last decade, than the prior 10 decades. We’re all going to live too long chains, unfortunately, okay? It means it’s going to be horrible. So, you’re going to have to figure out, everyone’s going to have to figure out how they’re going to fund the retirement. I much rather start while I am, I’d start thinking about that now and be proactive.

You said something early on in the conversation about you can lower your expenses, and only lower it so much. That’s really true. Okay? One of the ways that we’re going to lower our expenses is we’re going to retire abroad where it’s much, much cheaper to live, and where you can live, wonderfully. Other people may choose to relocate from an urban area in the United States to someplace suburban. I know a number of people that are going to do that.

Of course, we’re all going to go back and visit our grandchildren, and we ultimately may end up moving back to be near our grandchildren, it’s something. Never say never. But, the reality is, it is cheaper to live abroad and you can take advantage of that. If you have an online income, it really doesn’t matter.

Right. Yeah. I think what I’d like to touch on there is you talked about your particular situation. I’ve heard you tell a couple stories already about folks that are facing a similar situation, and are using your knowledge and resources to get over that challenge.

So, what were some of those early indicators that this issue extended beyond yourself, and that it was something worth solving with a platform, and a brand targeted specifically at helping folks in that situation. Now, I know there are probably some market indicators, but was it really just folks coming to you and saying like, “Hey, I’m facing the same problem that you are, and how did you get through this, and can you teach me?” Then you just scaled that up so that you could have a larger platform to share that message with.

So, if I go back to the very early days, and I don’t really want to relive this ever again, it was horrible. When the notion hit me that I’d never get back to the earnings level that I needed to fund my retirement, to pay for my kids’ college education, and I couldn’t fly anymore miles. I was flying 130000 miles a year. I couldn’t work harder. My business was growing. I just wasn’t going to get paid anymore. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was on a total funk.

The first thing I had to do is get healthy and decide that I’m not a victim, I’m going to be a victor, and figure out how to solve this. I guess I’m fortunate that being in management, I could see how technology was disrupting all forms of traditional work.

So, what I decided to do is try to figure out how I can make that technology work for me. I started by just outsourcing some simple tasks to India to try to figure out how does this all work, all this stuff all work. The real breakthrough for me was when I relocated in September of 2014, got this great job overseas, and my wife and kids stayed behind, and suddenly working from 7:45 in the morning till 4:30 in the afternoon. I had a ton of extra time. A ton for me because I used to be on planes literally every week.

So, I was able to immerse myself in all things online. So, I looked at all different types of online opportunities. My Retirement Rehab was born out of the presumption that there were more people like me. But, when you’re in this situation, you’ve got nobody to talk to. You can’t go to a colleague at work and say look, “This isn’t going to work out for me. I’m not going to be able to retire. I’m going broke.” You can’t share that with anyone.

If you go through a divorce, you’ve got plenty of people you could talk to. Okay? If you’ve got a personal financial situation, and you don’t have any money, there aren’t any financial professionals that want to talk to you, and there certainly isn’t anybody that’s going to give you the emotional support that you need.

So, for me, the first real big thing was coming to grips with the fact that it wasn’t going to work for me, and I had to tell my wife, and I had to tell my kids, and life was going to change. I grappled with that for a really long period of time. Then when I told them, it was like, why did I worry so much? They were, “Okay, that’s great. What do we have to do?”

So, it worked out wonderfully well for me, but if I can help anyone through this process not suffer the way I did, and I think there are a lot of people out there, I want to do that. By the way, I don’t think that most people are football fields away from where they need to be when you look at potentially what they have saved as well as potentially what social security can mean, and what their future lifestyle could be depending on where they live. So, even one, two, $3000 a month is a lot of money. It can be a big uptake in your lifestyle depending on where you choose to live. But, how do you do that, and how do you do that online?

That’s not something that’s native to most people that are baby boomers. I’m 61 and I can tell you even with people that are a set of friends over here that are in their 40s, they don’t think like this. They don’t think about it. They have their, everybody’s committed to the career, and to the job until the job ends, and then everybody scrambles.

So, when you’re 61, that’s not a huge amount of time. Look, the alternative is taking your career skills at age 60 or 55, and looking at a shrinking pool of opportunities, and hoping that you fit in. Now, I’ve been on Wall Street since 1980. I’m past the point where I want to put a suit and tie on, and go to a big building every day, and go through performance evaluations, and performance reviews. I’m pretty much close to being done with that. And, being in control of my own destiny is really exciting for me. That’s not something that even three and a half years ago I could set.

Yeah. And, there are some points I want to reiterate there because I think you had a lot of really great nuggets. The first one is this kind of, I just call it an alternative retirement planning maybe, like a new world retirement planning. Is it just for the folks that are behind? It can, if you are behind on your retirement savings, and you’re not confident in your future, it can help you catch up, right?

But, it’s also for the folks that maybe have planned responsibly, and just want to keep working through retirement. They don’t want to sit back on their heels, or they want to increase their standard of living in retirement. They have a certain nest egg, but they’d like to live a little better, and travel a little more, and have nicer things or whatever, or maybe they want to provide for their kids and grandkids. I mean, not to get morbid, but everybody wants to be able to continue to provide for their family even after they’re gone. And, so-

Yeah. So, that’s really an excellent point because I think most of us want to stay engaged. What we’re doing in the e-commerce space is incredibly exciting. I’ve met so many interesting people, and I attend conferences. The more I learn, the more I like it. I think it’s something that I can do for a very, very long period of time, and certainly not be bored. I’ll be challenged every day, every day.

So, I think you’re absolutely right. It’s different than what you’ve done for the last 40 years, and it’s wonderful. I mean, it’s really, really fun to do. Organized correctly, you can have all the free time that you’d ever want.

Right? The other point I wanted to hammer home that you said, and I’m going to rephrase it to something that I’ve used throughout my life is that hope is not a strategy. Hope is a prayer, right? So, if you think that putting your money in the market, like we all saw how that can shake out. I’m not a doomsday enthusiast here, but it can happen, and you can lose half of that overnight.

So, if you’re going to put your money into a traditional vehicle and just hope for the best, that is not the most definitive way to make sure that you can take care of yourself and your family through retirement. So, I think that what you’re teaching folks, and the other point you made is that this might not be intuitive to people who are nearing retirement age because they aren’t digital natives, they’re not millennials who grew up with technology, and all of these different online business options available to them.

So, what you’re doing is you’re taking some of the stuff that other brands are targeting for millennials who get it right away, and you’re packaging it in a way that it makes sense for folks who may be open to the idea, but might not have that ingrained knowledge already in their brain, and who may have had decades of exposure to this is the way you do it. You go to college, you get a job, you stay at that job for 40 years, you get promotions along the way, hopefully you have a 401K worth matching, and then at the end you just cross your fingers and hope that you’ve got enough to live off of for the rest of your life. And, that’s not always the case. So, again, I just think this hope is not a strategy message that you seem to be conveying, is [crosstalk 00:23:59].

Yeah. So, let me give you the, I think the ultimate story. So, last summer, my family and I went to Portugal. I attended a retirement conference held by one of the two big folks in the retirement space. I quickly became friendly with a couple that she was in her mid 70s, and he might be 80. We had dinner with them one night. I remember her reaching out to my wife, and touching her on the arm and saying, “Sweetie, you’re going to outlive your husband. Let me tell you, I have plenty of money, but I don’t have enough cash flow. Okay? I don’t have enough cash flow. Think about cashflow. Okay?”

So, that’s the reality. We need cash flow to live. She didn’t want to dip into the principal, okay? That’s a very slippery slope to go down. She was very interested in the stuff that we were doing in e-commerce because she saw it as generating cashflow, cashflow way above what you can earn in normal investments.

By the way, if you go back to your earlier point, and you read any of Robert Kiyosaki’s work; paper assets, while wonderful, should not be your only strategy for sure. So, I’m a big believer in what Kiyosaki teaches. I’ve read all of his books multiple times. Start with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and the Cashflow Quadrant, and you will quickly become convicted that if you do have some financial assets, and you’re lucky to hold those, you should definitely develop alternative streams of income, probably in private businesses where you run them with the standard operating procedures, and all kinds of policies, and run them very professionally. That’s a wonderful hedge to have relative to your paper assets.

Right. So, I think we should tie this all together because I think this has been a great introduction to you, and your background, and My Retirement Rehab. I think really what we’re trying to hammer home today is that you don’t necessarily have to settle for that established life path that everybody recommends for you.

If you’re in a situation where you might be in some dire straits financially, or you just have greater aspirations for your life after retirement than most people, and you want to build revenue streams, and a business that can support that, then that is a realistic outcome. And, if there’s a learning curve that you’re afraid of, or you’re intimidated by calling yourself an entrepreneur, or a business owner, then My Retirement Rehab is really the place to get not just the outcome, but the roadmap to get you every step of the way there.

Ian, of course, you’re the person, you’re the guide along that journey. You’ve used your personal story, and some stories that you’ve shared with us today to go ahead and map that out. So, I think your story is super intriguing, and I think that the folks at home are going to love it. So, I think what we might want to do here is just wrap this up with like anything else you want to say about the brand, and then maybe close out with where folks can go to learn more about you, and to learn more about My Retirement Rehab.

Yeah. James, let me just add one thing. I thought about launching a course, and selling people a course at whatever the market would bear. There’s an equivalent course that’s on the market right now that’s about, it’s I think it’s $1297. I think that the right model for this problem is a community, a membership community.

So, that’s why I’ve embedded my course inside a membership community because it isn’t just always me. It’s other people that are either at the same level, or one might be leading another, or it be one learning from another. This is what communities are great at. It may be the case that I am not the best person to give the best advice because it’s a couple of years removed from me, whereas someone else may have just gone through the exact same situation.

Now, I’ve got more anecdotes than we have time for today in terms of things like making housing choices and things like that. So, I would tell you that the fact that your part of a community, which you can join and which you can exit at any time without any commitment where you can have access to all of the resources right from the beginning, that’s what I wanted. That’s what I would have wanted. Okay, and that’s why I did it.

So, you can reach me at ianbond@myretirementrehab.me, I usually respond pretty quickly. I’m eight hours ahead of the east coast at this time. So, I may respond while you were asleep, or you may reach out to me while I’m asleep, but I usually do it very quickly, but thank you for your time.

Yeah. Thank you. We’ll link up all those resources we covered today in the show notes, and some of the topics we discussed about alternative retirement vehicles, on running a business that you can operate from anywhere, living abroad, and using a geo arbitrage to extend your financial runway. All those things are going to be future episodes. So, if you enjoyed this, and you enjoyed learning about Ian and My Retirement Rehab, then definitely subscribe, and tune in for future episodes.

Ian, thank you so much for your time. We’ll talk to you again soon. Okay?

Thanks James. Appreciate it.

So, there you have it. Episode one is in the books and we had a very enlightening, and engaging conversation with Mr. Ian Bond. We learned about his personal and professional background, and how he came to realize that the traditional model for retirement planning isn’t going to be sustainable in the future.

We talked about some of the changes that are already happening and some that are on the horizon that are going to impact the way that we, and generations after us plan for their financial future. We talked about Ian’s website, myretirementrehab.me, and the community that he’s building over there for people that either aren’t confident in their financial situation, and they’re staring down retirement, or folks who just want to increase their quality of life, and be able to afford a more lavish or more rewarding retirement than they might have originally planned.

So, we talked about what Ian’s working on at myretirementrehab.me, and we also talked about some ways that you can get your start exploring some of these alternative methods like starting an online business, or standing up an e-commerce store, and just take that first step. Just start making progress. Test the waters, dip your toe in, and see if it’s going to be the right fit for you.

If you’re ready to grow, and move further down that path, and start taking control of your future, then myretirementrehab.me is definitely the place to go for that. And, as always, we link up all the resources that we talked about in today’s episode in the show notes. If you want to find more information about this particular podcasts, you can go to redpillretirement.com.

So, until then, we hope you check out the resources from this show, and we’ll see you on the next one.

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