Mark Cuban says he’s ‘too competitive’ to retire at age 64


Almost four decades ago, a 25-year-old Mark Cuban had a goal: He wanted to retire within 10 years.

But to this day, the 64-year-old billionaire is active as an investor and entrepreneur. From owning the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to starring in ABC’s Shark Tank, Cuban says he’s far from ready to downsize.

In a recent episode of the Re:Thinking podcast with Adam Grant, Cuban said there’s a reason he hasn’t retired.

“I’m too ambitious,” Cuban said, adding that this mindset has led to a long and successful career.

“When I was 25 and had my first company, I wanted to get rich,” Cuban said. “I wanted to retire at 35 and that influenced my decisions.”

But after selling his first company, MicroSolutions, in 1990, Cuban realized something: Starting, selling, and investing in companies felt like a sport — and he knew he could keep winning for years to come.

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“Any entrepreneur [in] The back of your mind says, ‘I want to be that entrepreneur who disrupts and changes an industry,'” Cuban explained. “What’s better than that?”

In other words, the Cuban may not need extra cash, but still enjoys backing promising investments. Now, when he makes money from an investment, he said on the podcast, “I’ll just reinvest it.”

At 64, the Cuban is about three years away from claiming his Social Security pension — and he’s significantly wealthier than the average retired American in his age bracket. In July, investment firm Vanguard found that Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 typically have nearly $90,000 saved for retirement. While Cuban hasn’t disclosed how much is included in his 401(k) plan, Forbes estimates his net worth at $4.6 billion.

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And some experts say early retirement is overrated anyway. Almost two-thirds of people ages 57 to 66 retire early, even though the average wealth for this age group is $144,000. That’s less than three years of average household spending, wrote Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a Harvard economist for CNBC Make It in February. The result, according to Kotlikoff, is that early retirees often save less money and overall life fulfillment falls.

But it doesn’t look like Cuban will be retiring any time soon.

In January, he launched Cost Plus Drugs, a prescription company that offers generic drugs at a lower price than typical pharmacies. And while his competitive spirit drove him to start the company, Cuban said he’s more focused on the company’s mission than profit — and that’s one of the reasons Cost Plus Drugs is able to offer drugs at affordable prices .

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“If I’m 25 and do that again, I probably am [thinking]’Okay, what can I do to be acquired?’” he said. “But now… is the limit of my next dollar [minimal]. It won’t change my life very much. So my decision-making process is completely different.”

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