I have just done a search on Google, and typed in “Retire in 5 years.” Here are the results:
1. A Real Estate company in Australia says – invest with us
2. A Website entitled: “Seven tips for successful saving and investing.”
3. Six keys to an Early Retirement by Microsoft Money
4. A website by the US Office of Personnel Management discussing Retirement
5. MLM Secrets – How to retire in 5 years or less
6. A website called “Free Financial Advice” with lots of table calculations
7. Three Real Estate Investment websites
8. And a “Friendster” ad that made it onto Google’s Top Ten list
What do you think?
I’ll tell you what I think: Most people have way too much debt to start saving. And it is way too tempting to walk into a store with a credit card and not buy anything when everything is shouting: “Buy Me!” Besides that, Real Estate supposes that you have some money to invest, and most people can just make it on their salaries and have nothing left over for saving and investing. I know from my years as a single parent on a teacher’s salary: You just have some money saved, then this one needs shoes, or that one needs braces, or the car needs a service, or the washing machine breaks down. You never seem to be able to get ahead.
Now if you look at statistics: The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that 96% of the population at the age of 65 end up dead, dead broke or on a pension or need their family to support them to survive. These are the same people who are following the “success” formula of going to school, get a good education, work hard and hope to retire to the good life.
Only 3% of the population become what we call financially independent, which means that at age 65 they are able to stop working, but continue to live in a basic manner. It doesn’t mean they’re rich. It just means they have enough money to support themselves, usually less than $35,000 p.a.
1% of the population at age 65 will become what we call “rich”. The ABS classifies “rich” as having a net worth in excess of $1 million dollars. There are nearly 200,000 millionaires in Australia, but even then, do these people necessarily have the lifestyle associated with a “millionaire”? Many of these millionaires have earned the title because their property is worth a million dollars. These are the millionaires that still lack time and money and unfortunately for them TIME + MONEY = LIFESTYLE and they fail to have both. It’s clear that this so-called “success” formula most of us have been taught isn’t working. Should we look at this as evidence it is highly unlikely that we’re going to succeed and say, “What’s the point of really trying? The people making it must be really, really lucky”.
While it is true that no investment is as good as property investment, it is also true that few people have the money, the knowledge or the time to pursue it as a way to get out of the rat race. What then is the solution?
Some people look at business as a solution, and because very few people have the resources to start their own business and build it up to a point where it works for them rather than the other way around, most people look at franchising as a solution.
Let us weigh the pros and cons for starting your own business versus buying a franchise:
In starting your own business you need an original idea, seed capital to research the idea, start-up capital to get started, venture capital for projects. You need a business plan, showing that you researched the market thoroughly, looking at your competition, your competitive advantage and your risks and threats to ensure that you won’t end up like 95% of new businesses who fail in their first year. Those are the cons. The pros are that when your business starts growing and expanding, and you are looking at branches or franchising, it gets to a point where it doesn’t need you anymore, and runs itself. You have leveraged your income.
Compare that to buying a franchise: A franchise is safer to get into because it has proven products, packaging, delivery and training systems that increases the likelihood of success. However, it has the following disadvantages:
1. Its high cost to purchase: ranging from $40,000 to $500,000
2. the franchise fee which ranges from $2,500 – $100,000 annually or more
3. Ongoing percentage of revenue: between 5 – 7 percent
4. Time limited contract
5. Territorial limit
6. You have a better chance to leverage your income, but most franchisees have just bought themselves a job with lots of money to pay off on top of it
There is a business model that is growing in popularity and seriously challenging the franchise model: It is called Network Marketing (Not to be confused with illegal Pyramid Schemes)
These are the advantages:
1. Low start up costs (from $45 – a few hundred)
2. Excellent high quality products
3. An established company
4. A proven system
5. No large investments required
6. No stock or delivery problems
7. No legal or accounting problems
8. Fair remuneration and promotion
9. No experience needed to get started
10. You get help from your team members
11. No territorial limits
12. You can keep working at your job until you have built up an income
13. You can leverage your income off the efforts of others up to a certain level deep
1. You have to have the discipline to work at it, and the patience and tenacity to learn how to sell and how to work the system.
Using this business model and working at it persistently, and resolving not to quit, you can build up your income slowly between 5 – 10 years while working at your job into a comfortable income that you only have to work at for about 2 – 4 hours per day. You can even have money to invest in Real Estate, saving schemes and shares. And most importantly, you will have a business that runs whether you work it or not, giving you time for the lifestyle you want.