4 Steps I’m Taking Now to Fund My Own Business: The Brewery
- I thought I would retire like my father; He worked for the same employer for decades and achieved “Freedom 55”.
- With the uncertainty of life and work in the wake of COVID, I’ve changed gears to focus on something new.
- This article is part of the “Re/Thinking Re/Tirement” series that focuses on inspiring financial planning for a different kind of future than life 9 to 5 allows.
My father retired at 55 with a wide open horizon: no plans, no commitments, no worries. After decades working in the children and youth services industry, he was ready to get back on his feet, jump on the radio, and settle into his golden years — with a healthy pension to support him and my mom.
As a union worker working for a municipal agency in Toronto, he knew early in his career that if he worked hard long enough, he would have a guaranteed income in retirement. I can remember hearing about his “Freedom 55” plan from a young age, watching him come out for strategic upgrades that would increase his pension.
In 2010, when I started my career, I had moved to the United States from Canada and dusted off from greatness
Just starting to stabilize. It is an understatement to say that I have had culture shock. I had no idea what a 401(k) was let alone how to use one when it was introduced, and honestly didn’t even think I’d have to save Alone to retire. I was 23 and only knew one retiree, my dad, and I pretty much thought everyone’s retirement looked the same. Suffice it to say I wasted many years of savings before I finally collected it.
When I started pouring money into my 401(k), around 30, it was with the expectation that I would follow in my father’s footsteps – I would stop working at a reasonable age (say 65 or so), and then enjoy relaxing days with my family and friends, traveling, and watching movies. Live performances, work on home projects, and facilitation in general. But the COVID-19 pandemic flipped a switch in my mind.
I suddenly started rethinking my ideal “retirement”.
Maybe it was watching my friends lay off left and right, or suddenly feeling the fragility of life and work and the balance between the two, but sometime in 2020 I suddenly stopped imagining my cottage-oriented retirement and suddenly started thinking about building my own business — something that was mine, something It brings me happiness. An epidemic cliché, I know, but it’s a cliché for good reason.
When I casually mentioned small business dreams to my husband one night, he said he was thinking the same thing. It might have been all the reality restaurant TV we’d been watching during lockdown, or lingering memories from a brewery wedding, but we’re starting to dream about a place we want to be, many years after our retirement: a brewery with a stage where we can host live performances – theatre, dance, poetry. There will be food trucks, there will be laughter, there will be art and friends and very good beer. Watching so many Americans transitioning from day jobs to entrepreneurship during the pandemic convinced us that this was possible – we just needed time…and money.
Ah, the money. While we’re nowhere near opening our brewery doors today, we’re starting to think about how to fund our “retirement” dream (because let’s be honest, “retirement” today doesn’t mean freedom 55 for most people — it means leaving 9 to 5 at any age and doing work that can It maintains your lifestyle but doesn’t require around-the-clock stress, so to speak). We have some strategies that will help us achieve our financial goals in a row.
1. We can make use of our house
Before the brewery, I only had one big financial goal: buying a home. I didn’t think this would happen to me until so late in my life, but in 2020, my husband and I decided to move from expensive Los Angeles to a city with a low cost of living and buy a home.
With our relatively small mortgage of less than $250,000, we can make additional payments toward our principal now and be in a position to cash in on our home ownership in about a decade or less.
2. We save and invest
We still save in traditional retirement accounts (because life is long and we’ll need that money eventually) but we allocate cash each month into savings and brokerage accounts with a plan to put it into our business.
Our Educational Savings Account is there to support us as we learn new skills, and the funds in our Brokerage Account will be available to support us if and when we start working on the ground.
3. We build our credit score for a small business loan
I’m sure we’ll need to borrow money for the brewery at some point, whether it’s to buy the industrial supplies we need to start brewing or rent space to house the business. with
We can get you the best rates available. So we’re doing our best now to increase our results, like paying off credit cards in full each month and keeping credit utilization rates low.
4. We invest in home brewing supplies to learn the craft of brewing
If you close your eyes while reading this article and wonder what skills I think I possess, exactly, that would qualify me to open a brewery, I don’t blame you – I honestly have none. This work is Dream Right now, and it will take effort to get to the finish line.
At the moment, we are investing in coffee making supplies at home and turning our basement into a workshop. We have to start somewhere. Come for a drink?