A Generation Lost In Space

A generation lost in space-Rebel Retirement

How to retire?

Amass a huge inventory of wealth and then go on a spending spree until you die.

This wealth is not to be built by normal means, it can only grow by speculating that others, just as ignorant will continue to push the value of an investment ever higher.

According to conventional wisdom, we are supposed to retire by “Ponzi Scheme”. Some imagine themselves as winners. Most feel pathetic and left out.

Oh, and there we were all in one place, A generation lost in space, With no time left to start again -Don McClean, American Pie

Fortunately, by applying a little modern business practice, we can turn the pathetics into winners and the perceived winners into pathetics.

We’ve all seen great changes during our lives. We may not wear white jumpsuits, but the twenty-first century is still quite different from the last.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. – L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

Modern business practices have evolved from the old models by embracing practices credited to the Toyota System.

Retirement is your business and as will most enterprises, it stands to benefit greatly from the implementation of these practices.

My challenge is to pique your curiosity to the point that you will desire to know more.

Many remember 5S, Kaizen, Lean or Six Sigma not so fondly, as training sessions at work. Your employer may have spent a fortune on this training.

The company made this investment for The Company, not for you. Now that you are in the business of retirement, you stand to gain rich rewards by adopting a “Continuous Improvement Culture”.

What always intrigued me was the concept that 95% of what a business does is waste. A business can earn much more by eliminating waste, than by pursuing new orders.

Change fit, form or function in a fashion that the customer wants to pay for. Everything else is waste. This value stream is pulled by the customer. Nothing is done until the customer shows his money. Everything is driven by value. This is the mindset of the modern enterprise.

What customers value, drive the business. A customer can be external or internal. Whoever’s need drives your value stream is a customer. In your retirement business, your customer is obviously and fortunately – you.

Your purpose in life can now be providing value to yourself!

Before we start some basic training, I want to reiterate that most of what we are developing is a mindset or a culture. A lot of what you may hear mirrors its roots in a manufacturing environment. The principles remain valid whether you vacation for a living or make automobiles.

Make your retirement a Kaizen Event

Kaizen is a term meaning continuous improvement. A kaizen event is when one sets aside time and resources to brainstorm ways to improve efficiency.

Some tools we work with are:

  • 5S
  • 7 Wastes
  • Taki Boards
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Six Sigma

Most important is always that which the customer assigns the highest value to. As the customer, this may be your biggest responsibility.

As we delve into the fundamentals, you will begin to see retirement not as a life of consuming dwindling resources, but as an adventure, discovering riches available for the picking.

In my next article, we will cover the difference between value and waste. This simple study is the cause of much conflict, however, with an open mind, it is also the source of great wealth.

See you next time as we continue to explore “Just In Time Retirement in a Just In Time World”.

This is the 1st installment in the series, Just in Time Retirement. To continue learning about this method, please read:

Woodstock Festival Photo Attribution: Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License, Photo by: Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell
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