They believe the risks are minimal and it’s safe. After all, 90% of all new businesses fail after five years, so the “Fast-lane” can’t be any safer!
If you lob a little logic into the Slow-lane narratives you’ll find that it’s extremely hazardous and a plan based entirely on hope.
Assumptions–decades of them– expose the Slow-lane’s true risks.
Choose to travel the road and choose to gamble.
Here are the risks:
1) The Danger of Your Health
The Slow-lane HOPES you will live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your savings as you hit your late stage years. Remember, you will have millions when you retire at 65! Will you be healthy enough to enjoy it? Alive? If you can’t work your job, you can’t make money. If you can’t work, what happens to this plan? Also, avoid other calamities; hope your job stress doesn’t kill you and your family remains healthy.
2) The Danger of the Job
The Slow-lane HOPES that you’ll be gainfully employed at all times, safely climbing the corporate ladder year after year. You must avoid layoffs, corporate politics, firings, poor industry cycles, job skill degradation, and bad job markets.
3) The Danger of Your Home
Home equity is lauded as a middle-class wealth vehicle. Many gurus have shouted from the rooftops, “Retire on your home equity!” and “Your home is an asset!” Capital BS. The Slow-lane HOPES that real estate values always rise, and it’s patently false. I disavow my home as an investment and, thankfully, I do not rely on it.
4) The Danger of the Company
Not many companies outlive the centuries. If your retirement faith is put into one company in the form of either 1) your job, 2) your pension, or 3) their stock, you HOPE the company survives. You make a bet. Many retirees discover too late that their retirement pensions are lost to mismanagement by company executives. Others who focus their wealth into one company stock accept great risk that the stock will be worth more in the future. If you assign
your retirement unto others, you then accept external risks that you can’t control. When the torque of you’re financial plan resides with others, you’re likely to lose control.
5) The Danger of Your Lifestyle
The Slow-lane begs you to settle and become a miser. Want to own an exotic car? Forget it. Want to live on a beach? Wishful thinking. If you cannot control your temptations of lifestyle improvement (a nicer home, a nicer car, a nicer meal out), the Slow-lane becomes slower and reverses course. The Slow-lane HOPES your “delayed gratification” moves to “no gratification.”
6) The Danger of the Economy
The Slow-lane HOPES that your investments will yield a predictable 8% return year after year. You must believe the theory that “buy and hold” works. It doesn’t, because economic busts, recessions, and depressions happen. For example, in 2008-2009, the equity markets lost nearly 60%. If you saved for 15 years and amassed $100,000, it would now be worth $40,000. It would take you 14 years at 8% yearly returns just to get back even! That equates to almost 30 YEARS GONE! And this doesn’t account for inflation, which makes your $100,000 more like $50,000!
7) The Danger of the Sidewalk
Frustrated Slow-laners often revert to the Sidewalk. Why? Hope over control. When you can’t control time, when you can’t control your job, when you can’t control five days of your life each week, you feel powerless. Emotions of helplessness create an environment ripe for instant gratification and Lifestyle Servitude. A study published in 2008 by the Journal of Consumer
Research found that when people feel powerless and out of control, they have a strong desire to buy things that convey a high status. Why do they feel powerless? Simple. In the Slow-lane, you relinquish control because time is in control and the gates to the Sidewalk reopen.
Hope is not a plan.
Still want a job?