How to Retire Well When You Don’t Have a Lot of Money (Value-Based Planning)

Value Based Planning- Rebel Retirement

How to retire well is subjective because we all have different ideas of what defines retirement and what defines a comfortable lifestyle. Keeping that in mind, I have a practical solution for how to retire well when you don’t have a lot of money.

It’s called Just-in-Time Retirement. It’s a value-based method for achieving retirement success in your present financial situation.

I’ll explain how you can make the most of the money that you do have, which is the opposite of most websites that tell you how much money you should have.

Before diving into Just in Time Retirement fundamentals, let me emphasize that I am not a financial advisor. Those folks want to plan your retirement and manage your finances. Unlike those folks, I want to empower you by giving you the tools to plan your own retirement.

Just-in-Time Retirement – a practical solution for retirement.

Just-in-Time Retirement is a practical solution to retirement based on respected business principles. It’s for those retired or entering retirement and worried about their financial future. And that includes most people. In fact, a recent survey found that 27% of people 59 and over have nothing saved for retirement.

It’s an easy, value-based retirement plan based on the world-renowned Toyota Production System. You may or may not have heard of the Toyota Production System. It’s commonly used in a “lean” manufacturing environment. Its philosophy aims to eliminate waste which provides optimum efficiency.

With Just-in-Time Retirement, you treat retirement as your business, eliminate waste, and live efficiently. In turn, you create more cash flow to live abundantly.

This value-based method is effective for retirees or people who want to retire and are searching for alternative solutions to working longer or saving more.

Those in pursuit of fulfilling their retirement goals, but haven’t achieved their financial goals will find it helpful.

What is a value-based retirement plan?

A value-based retirement plan is a personalized approach to planning your retirement based on your values and priorities. You are in charge of the results – not your financial adviser, or the fluctuations of the stock market.

Value-based retirement planning is based on the idea that you plan your retirement around what you value and eliminate what you don’t.

The method is “lean”, but it’s not about living with less. As you work with the method, you may discover you have more!

By removing waste, you put your money toward what you value.

What is considered waste in retirement?

Waste is anything that does not add value to your retirement. Therefore, it is anything that no longer provides a benefit to you – especially possessions that are costing you money to retain.

Friends and family pressure us to keep things based on sentimental thinking that we might want or need it in the future.

I’m not suggesting you toss everything out. But I am suggesting taking a long hard look at big-ticket items that are costing you money to retain.

Let’s take a look at this personal example of waste as told in Rebel Retiree’s article Eliminating Waste and the Cost of Ownership.

“I needed the space to house a machine that was no longer used. The machine was kept because it had a good engine worth $4,000. So in my wisdom, I paid $1,000 per month to house a machine that would go to the dump. I’m not the only one that has paid $12,000 to keep a worthless item.

Consequently, he wasted thousands of dollars housing outdated equipment he didn’t use.

It’s not uncommon for many of us to maintain ownership of things that no longer offer us any real value.

Some examples are:

  • fishing camps
  • boats
  • houses
  • RVs.

We waste money to pay rent, insurance, and upkeep on possessions we don’t use.

Develop a continuous improvement mindset.

For best results, you should develop a continuous improvement mindset.

A continuous improvement mindset is forward-thinking.

It’s not a singular event or action you take, but a continuous process of improvement.

In essence, you don’t live the same lifestyle mistakes over and over.

You continually look for areas to improve your retirement lifestyle by removing waste – things that no longer hold value.

Develop the habit, and reap the rewards of a Just in Time Retirement lifestyle.

Read: Eliminating Waste and the Cost of Ownership

Get started with value-based retirement planning.

First, adopt a mindset that includes embracing change. It’s helpful to think of your retirement as a business.  With you as the boss, you decide what makes your retirement business a success.

Second, businesses have challenges. Oftentimes couples face the following barriers when starting value-based retirement planning.

  • Giving mixed signals
  • Having a lack of trust
  • Skeptic about the plan
  • Lack of commitment to the goal
  • Inconsistent direction

Having said that, commit to success and the benefits will outweigh the challenges.

You’ll discover new resources for living the retirement of your dreams. Plus, you’ll enjoy an abundant lifestyle without having to worry about money.

For this process to succeed, you and your spouse must communicate and cooperate with one another.

Four important steps for value-based retirement success.

1 – Identify Waste – Think outside of the box. Where can you remove waste? How can you cut the fat and stop creating waste?

2 – Make a Plan – Plans can be flexible. But if you set a goal, it helps to guide you in the right direction.

3 – Implement the Plan – Make a commitment to succeed. Don’t let old habits get in the way.

4 – Check Results – Did you receive a desirable outcome? Rinse and repeat for continuous improvement.

Continuous Improvement-Rebel Retirement


Retirement planning is often about how much money you should have to retire. However, that’s not always feasible for everyone. A Just-in-Time Retirement, value-based plan is for anyone willing to accept a continuous improvement mindset to achieve a successful, abundant retirement lifestyle.

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Last update: 06/13/23
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