Everything I Know about Early Retirement Can be Learned from “The Karate Kid”

And I’m talking about the ORIGINAL from the 80’s, not that remake trash.  Anyone one who knows me, is very aware “The Karate Kid” is one of my all time favorite movies.  I’m often quoting Mr. Miyagi on an almost daily basis.  Any time it’s on TV I have to watch it.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch it.  In a nutshell, new guy moves to town.  Meets Elizabeth Shue.  Elizabeth Shue’s ex-boyfriend is a karate badass, with a headband.  Karate badass decides to pick on new guy and beat him up.  The apartment maintenance guy befriends Daniel, mentors him and trains him in ancient karate methods.  Turns out the building maintenance guy is a Super karate badass with all kinds of Japanese wise sayings and does more than fix faucets.  New guy becomes a Super Mega Karate badass, beats the headband wearing badass in a tournament, and gets Elizabeth Shue.  The End.  Who wouldn’t want to watch that…

I have very fond memories of this movie from my childhood, watching with family and friends, the toys, re-enacting the fights with friends in backyards.  These days I’m fond of the movie for things I didn’t see in the film as a child.

As an adult, I like the film because I naturally root for the underdog, being that I have often felt like the underdog.  I also see Mr. Miyagi as a wise sage full of ancient Japanese proverbs on life.  Well, “The Karate Kid” was just on TV, so I figured I would draw some parallels on how that movie can actually teach you about investments*.  (You can just as easily change investments to life or goals)*

“Things Not Always What Seem”  Mr. Miyagi says this to Daniel in training, just before he is about to open a can of whoop ass on him.  Daniel is fed up with feeling like a slave… wash the car, sand the floor, paint the fence, paint the house.  He was short sided in his vision of the lessons and how they would translate into learning karate.  When Daniel is able to block the barrage of punches and front kicks thrown, he then realizes what all of the work is for.  What the fuck am I talking about.  Just like investing and building a portfolio of investment assets, you will sometimes question why are you doing things the way you are.  Why should I cook at home instead of eating out all the time, it would be so much easier to get fast food.  Why do I control the urge to splurge and not buy a fancy new gadget that I want.  You know that not wasting money each month, means you have more disposable income.  That disposable income can be invested into income producing assets, so you don’t have to work forever.

“Always Look Eye” After the Can of Whoop Ass scene from above, they bow to each other.  Daniel looks directly to the ground only to get slapped over the head and told “always look eye”.  In other words, keep your eye on the target.  If you are trying to retire early, at a normal age, or just getting started to save, keep your eye on the prize ( building a portfolio, not having to work anymore, whatever it may be for you).

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