6 ways to retire poor

Inspired by this clever little piece on “Six Ways to Waste Money Now” from Bankrate.com via MSN, here are my six tips on how to retire poor:

Don’t set up any automatic investments. Even though dozens of financial experts have recommended it, automatic investments are for suckers. You know when to invest – when you have a little bit of spare money at the end of the month! Pay yourself first? I say pay Best Buy or Nintendo or the Cheesecake Factory first!

Use your retirement accounts for loans to buy a house. That money is just sitting there, waiting to be used. There is no sense in worrying about your retirement now – all of that money is just going to sit in there and grow tax free, quietly. Why let it sit there when it could be helping you get a 10% downpayment on a 6 bedroom house for your family of 3? You’ll put the loan back, just as soon as you get out from under those first few mortgage payments, definitely!

Count on becoming a millionaire from cashing in on your home equity. Despite recent events, there is absolutely no reason to think that your $250,000 house in a cookie-cutter suburb won’t be worth $3,000,000 in 15 years. That is the American Dream, right? To live your whole life in a huge house, sell and realize an enormous gain and then buy a brand-new condo right on the beach! It’s foolproof – even though your house has gone up 10,000% in value those condos will still cost what they do today, right? Or you can use your home equity loan to get money to play the stock market and…

Day trade! Just because Jim Cramer, who studies stocks for a living and has access to better analysis and tools than you ever will, can’t beat the market, doesn’t mean you can’t! I don’t remember exactly but I’m pretty sure most of the Fortune 500 Richest Americans are day traders. That’s the way to wealth – well, that and doubling down. Texas Hold ‘Em and hot tips from CNBC – that’s how Warren Buffet did it!

Avoid networking at all costs. Your career is going to progress just fine if you put your nose to the grindstone and properly prepare your TPS cover sheets. Each time you quit a job it is a grand opportunity to moon the boss. That guy you met who works at a place you’d like to work? Lose his email – forget his name the next time you see him. People love that. You will make enough in raises each year to beat inflation, almost! That’s the way to wealth, my friend. Slow and steady wins the race. If you stay with one company long enough, they’ll definitely take care of you when you retire.

Abuse your health. By the time us Gen-Xers retire, surely America will have a cheap, low-cost universal health care system in place. Everyone’s promising one – politicians wouldn’t be making empty promises, would they? So have another helping of fries and wash it down with a Coke. By 2035 they’ll be able to transplant a baboon heart into you at CVS.

Hope those tips helped!


  • GoldnSilver

    Funny 🙂

    I understand #2. I personally wouldn’t w/d from my retirement accounts prematurely. However, is there ever an instance where it’d be legitimate to early w/d? ex. illness; to fund a medical cost. I feel bad for people who have to do this.

  • I guess if you had no other resources to fall back on then you could use your retirement accounts, but I doubt that’s usually the case. I see a lot of my colleagues using their retirement savings to help fund their down payment on a house. If someone needed it to pay for expensive life-saving surgery I wouldn’t fault them…

  • Danny at Money Socket

    I got a kick out of this post, especially the day trading part. Its funny that the real estate mentality for a lot of home owners here in the San Francisco bay area is just like that. Owners have gotten lucky all this time so they think its going to keep going up to infinity.

  • Of course what I really want you to do is to abuse your health and then move to the UK and use our universal free health care. That’ll make my day.

  • One of my co-workers cashed out his 401(K) to fund his son’s wedding (St.Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Ave in NYC)…..And, get that, the son is quite rich himself, BUT as was explained to me by my elderly co-worker when he saw my look (“Are you Crazy?”) that is customary in their culture (Egyptian). I said to him: “You always brag how successful your son. How come he didn’t refuse your money to pay for the wedding?” He answered that if he ever needs help (financially) when he is retired his son will take care of him and his wife. Ok, good for him then.

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  • @plonkee: I’ll probably wait until I have some incredibly expensive-to-treat conditions – would that be OK? 🙂

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  • Great post – love the “Abuse your Health.” Health and healthcare are going to be the huge x-factors as the population gets older.

  • Shawn@MoneyBrick

    Hahaha… I LOVE preparing TPS cover sheets!

    This is great… sarcasm is great!

  • Who *doesn’t* love TPS cover sheets?

    (more sarcasm…)


  • loan modification advocate

    Avoid networking at all costs. Your career is going to progress just fine if you put your nose to the grindstone and properly prepare your TPS cover sheets. Each time you quit a job it is a grand opportunity to moon the boss. That guy you met who works at a place you’d like to work? ——— great advice here

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