Almost all high-income professionals who provide professional services that I know tell me the same: they want to become rich quick so that they can retire soon.
Most of us IP lawyers earn money only when we are working. In other words, we trade our time for money.
When discussing personal financial situation with my peers it comes out that – homes and retirements accounts set aside – the most valuable asset they own is their own ability to work.
Taken today’s low investment return rates into account, the most valuable investment that we own is the investment called “ourselves”. Example: let’s say a profesional is earning 150,000 US$ per year, the corresponding capital stock to make that income from interest payments would be 10 Mio US$ big. Very few can save such a capital stock during their lifetime, working as an IP lawyer.
Here is a newspaper article about this problem: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/your-money/your-most-valuable-asset-is-yourself.html
And here are my personal resolutions to account for this problem.
Find ways to compensate for the declining number of years of productivity that we have left.
In other words, we have to increase our level of productivity as we get older.
The habit of constantly mastering new techniques and tools extends into later life. If you get this habit early, it will not be seen as a burden when you have to continue it beyond the age of 55. You don’t have to be on the cutting edge of technology. Being on the trailing edge is sufficient.
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Second, stay active. This is your personal responsibility and it is also easy to solve. As an IP lawyer you can afford it. Just Google for “personal fitness trainer” and the name of your town and you will find a lot of offers. Prices for good personal fitness trainers range from US$ 60 to US$150 per 60 minutes. This is worth it. Unless you have practised sports since you were a teenager there is no easier and less time-consuming way to become active when you are older than 40 years. And there is no age limit for working out in a gym. Don’t try it without a personal trainer, you can get hurt badly.
And here is some evidence that I’m walking my talk:
Do this and you can stay active in the work force for at least an extra decade. This will also push out the number of years of net income remaining to you. Be honest with yourself: for an IP lawyer, these added years of work are not a burden.
These extra-years in the work force are rather an opportunity. Retirement will not be a lure for you.