Retired Income — Fixed Or Variable

If you are close to my age, or maybe even if you are not, you very likely think of the term “fixed income” when you think of retirement.  Since I was a little boy I have always heard various comments regarding retied, usually senior citizen’, folks who were retied, coupled with that fixed income phrase.

It’s almost as if we were talking about some sort of disability (differential ablement?) regarding retirement and our citizens in their “golden years”.

The reality of life is that most people reading this article, be they 20 or 120 are on a “fixed income” … certainly I was for years, even before I retired, and today I think it is time to figure out why? 

Why was I on a ‘fixed income” for all those years, and why are (most of) you in that same leaky “fixed income” boat right now?

The answer to that question is both complicated but simple.  It’s complex in the sense that from childhood most of us are taught that the path to success is go to school, build up debt, beg for a job from somewhere and then take what you get until you are old enough to take what “they” are willing to let you have in retirement.

But it is simple in the sense that no one is responsible for things operating this way except you.  You allowed someone else to set the price you are worth, you and you alone decided to let other people control where and how you are allowed to work, and you, and no one else, is empowered to change anything in that algorithm you may want to change.

How can this be?  Here’s one way you might want to explore.

Switching to a Variable Income

Earning a variable income, where you have the flexibility to earn a different sum of money each month, has a lot more to do with mindset than anything else. It doesn’t matter if you have a job, run your own business, or enjoy multiple streams of income. Those are just different vehicles.

The key is to recognize who determines your income. You do. You may have financial and economic realities to deal with, but ultimately you set the prices for what your time and efforts are worth financially, you decide what skills to develop and what kind of training to undertake, and you determine what kind of value to create and deliver to people. The most powerful choices are under your control.

If you deliver pizza for a living, you can expect to be paid for that particular skill based on its market value. Pizza delivery guys are easily trained and replaced, so you can expect to earn very little from such a job. Don’t blame the job for what it pays. No one is forcing you to choose a low-paying, unskilled job. If you try to squeeze more money from a job than the job is worth in the larger marketplace, eventually your boss or customers will figure out that you’re being overpaid, and you’ll be replaced by someone cheaper. …

Your income is not fixed unless you decide to fixify it. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting checks from the government as your only income source. Those checks may not increase in size, but they aren’t the only checks you’re capable of earning. If you don’t like the size of those checks, go out and earn different checks. …

Read the rest of Steve’s article about why having a fixed income is a sucker bet, and think it through.

If you think it can’t happen, then think again about what you are reading right in front of your eyes, right now.  I have no “official” income except a couple government annuities.  These annuities are as “fixed’ as they can get.  I won’t get a promotion.  I won’t get a special bonus for a profitable year, I won’t suddenly launch another career and then get an additional income source.  My sources are fixed, and if I wanted to I could spend most of my time complaining about how the size of my income limits me … or, I can do what you see what is right in front of your face … I can make more.

As much more as I want, as hard or as easy I want to work.  If you are a retiree, and or a senior citizen who is tired of the fixed income treadmill, all you have to do is allow yourself to switch to a variable income model.  You can use a common tool like Google AdSense, or ClickBank, or you can set up a blog for profit … or you can make money in many other online ventures.  The only important decision is, you decide to take control and make yourself responsible for your own income.


  1. More and more people are working into their retirement years for this exact reason.

    • Exactly. The word I like to use is “Empowering” their retirement. Since I was aboy I’ve been troubled by the perception of the “helpless” oldster only able to live on what he saved/what society will allow him. No more! Now, I am once of those “oldsters” and beleive me, I enjoy empowering my retirement a hell of a lot more thna I would sitting in a busted rocker wondering if this month I can afford food or medicine, but not both? Yo my fellow retirees wondering what they should do and worried about what wil happen next, I say, “grow balls” … YOU decide what happens next.


  1. […] Why was I on a ‘fixed income” for all those years, and why are (most of) you in that same leaky … […]

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