Posted by: Dahni | March 18, 2008

Retirement

RetireNestEggs.png 

   Will you be able to retire early or will you be retired early? The first implies choice and the other would be a forced retirement due to many variables. The so called ‘nest egg’ is it sufficient or more than ample to provide for you and yours for the rest of your life?

   In my grandfather’s generation people would look forward to retirement at age 65. They would plan for years in anticipation of this monumental event in their long working lives. All the things they would do like extra sleep, fishing and hunting and traveling could mostly be afforded by their pensions and in a pinch, they could sell their gold watches received during their retirement celebration.

RetireRelax            RetireWatch

   The gold watch was the first to go and the pension would soon follow. Pensions and the gold watches are rarely offered anymore. The days of getting out of school and then going to work for just one company are gone. The company was most likely closed, broken up or sold. It is not uncommon for people to have a minimum of seven careers during their lifetimes. Employers used to look at how long an applicant was on the job at their former or present employer when making decisions to hire. Not anymore, in fact if you have been too long at a place of business it may be a detriment. You may not look experienced and loyal, but be seen as not having vision and ambition. You may appear to be lazy or not willing to take risks.

   Many people way past retirement age find themselves still working just to make ends meet. If they were fortunate enough to have a pension it was probably only about 60% of their former salary. If they had difficulty living on 100% of their income, how will they live on sixty percent? The costs of living continue to escalate and the cost of living increases continue to fall.

   Within the United States and perhaps more than any other nation, we have what is called the ‘middle class.’ Historically and presently this group has pretty much supported all the other groups. Jimmy Stewart playing the character of George Bailey in the classic movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ had this to say about the average folk or the middle class,

“… they do most of the working and paying and living and dying.”                         

Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey – ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Liberty Films 1946

   The middle class is almost squeezed out and there may well be an agenda to literally end this class. What then would remain? It is the age-old story of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.’ What is a current social agenda of ‘womb to the tomb’ security we are enticed with, that nominees for office are campaigning for, and governments run by? Consider the following.

   Governments come up with some idea that supposedly will help us live better lives. Here are two examples.

   To supposedly reduce accidents, video cameras were installed in the Dallas, Texas area to hopefully cause people to slow down, stop at red lights and stop signs. If a driver was guilty of some misdemeanor crime, a copy of their visual guilt was mailed to them along with an appropriate fine. Did this experiment work? Yes and accidents were way down, but so was the revenue to the government coffers. They are now considering pulling those cameras and ending the program. What were they really interested in, saving lives or making money?

   Another example involves water usage. Droughts all over the country prom-ted governments to adopt measures to curb usage. These programs were successful also, and people responded favorably by voluntarily reducing their water usage. So the governments decided to raise their rates.

   Almost daily we read or hear about some multi-million dollar contract for say, a three year period being signed by some baseball player. At the same time some family is forced to accept food stamps while the principal ‘bread winner’ is serving for little money in the military. Who is really the star, the baseball player or the military person? Who is really the hero, the one with the best batting, fielding and pitching average or the one that is in ‘harms way’ to protect the rest of us? What is wrong with this picture? How can it be changed? Should we just get smarter or a better agent? Ahh the smart ones, they have some really nice retirement benefits! Sometimes they actually would do better if their company let them go or they bailed out because the company did poorly. Sometimes they would fare better by leaving if they screwed up. This is what is referred to as, the ‘golden parachute.’

RetireParachute

   A golden parachute is a clause or clauses in an  employment contract (usually an executive), specifying that they will receive certain significant benefits if their employment is terminated. Sometimes, but not always, these clauses apply only in the event that the company is acquired and the executive’s employment is terminated as a result of that acquisition. These benefits may include severance pay, cash bonuses, stock options or a combination of the items.

   Sometimes these contracts never specify that the executive has to perform successfully to any degree. Sometimes the golden parachute clauses compensate the executive, millions of dollars while their companies lose millions of dollars and thousands of workers are laid off under their leadership.

   The first known golden parachute was likely and interestingly, used in the aviation industry. The famous and perhaps infamous aviator, Howard Hughes once owned TWA airlines. Creditors sought to oust him from control. The creditors signed a contract between them and Charles C. Tillinghast Jr.  The golden parachute was likely a symbol to the protection a parachute offered. In effect, it would protect Tillinghast in the likelihood of his almost certain job loss, if Howard Hughes would have been able to maintain control of TWA.

   Well in preparation of retirement, the rest of us without a golden parachute must consider some form investment or financial planning, but first?

   When we are young, most of us have no thought of growing older and we don’t think about retirement. We are merely going to own the world without there being a clear-cut plan as to how we will accomplish this lofty goal. We put off like like Scarlett O’Hare of the movie Gone With the Wind who said:

“After all… tomorrow is another day.” 

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hare- ‘ Gone With the Wind,’ MGM 1939

   When we are older is when we may start thinking about retirement. The questions we often ask ourselves are: can I retire, will I be forced to retire, or will I have enough to retire? The really smart people plan ahead. Others plan too late. Then there are those who in all actuality, planned to fail because they had or have no plan whatsoever. Let’s look at some common plans, especially those in our day and time.

   Real estate has long been considered to be one of the best, most reliable and most stable investments, but short of it being perhaps cheaper than rent, look at what is happening today. New housing starts are down. Mortgage companies are closing their doors. Property values are declining, interest rates are climbing, and bankruptcies are on the rise. Some of this is due to unscrupulous business practices in valuing a property for more than it is worth, which means many loans were made that should not have been. Some of this was due to greed, trying to sell properties for more than they were worth. And then some of this is due to just plainly, stupid people that should have known better. If your income cannot support your mortgage payment, then neither should they consider or be given a mortgage.

   Then there is gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones. The biggest problem with these are the costs to acquire them and their wild fluctuations in the marketplace. If you are saving these just to trade with in anticipation of a monetary meltdown is one thing. To make money buying and selling them is another.

   The most popular form of investment is stocks, bonds, utilities and my personal favorite (with sarcasm intended), is futures. The one thing these all have in common is certainty or uncertainty. By that I mean there are certain people that certainly make money doing this, often at the certain uncertainty of others. To me, all of these are no different than legalized gambling or playing the lottery. Many people in fact consider gambling and the lottery as investments.

   Years ago I heard the best definition of gambling and I cannot quote the individual that said it, but in essence it goes something like this:

 “Gambling is for fools or people with inside information.”

-unknown

What follows are how I view the stock market, gambling and playing the lottery.

STOCK MARKET-

“Anybody who plays the stock market not as an insider is like a man buying cows in the moonlight.” 

Daniel Drew

GAMBLING –

“A fool and his money are soon parted.” 

Thoma Tusser (1524-1580). English poet and farmer.

PLAYING THE LOTTERY –

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Attributed to P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain and others –

No authoritative conclusion as to authorship.

   If you think I am not touched by any of these, think again. We thought we were smart and had a reputable firm invest money for us. We lost $12,000 in one quarter. I guess we were fools or really just not smart. I have lost money gambling (once in a casino), playing a slot machine. It wasn’t that bad a loss as it wasn’t much and it was at the insistence of another whose money it was that I used and lost. I have lost money playing the lottery and from those ‘scratch off’ games. It still wasn’t much even if you put the amounts all together, but I lost it. One could say I was not very smart or that I wised up sooner than others or later than others. All of this has come from what we have seen or have been taught.

   Instead of investing in something we really believe in and through time can make a profit as the company, the product, service or individual succeeds, we have gotten used to having it all right now, this instance. This smacks of greed which is to get something or a lot for little or nothing. Greed is fueled by fear. The stock markets all run by fear. This stock is rising, better buy now! That stock is falling, better sell now. In contrast to this fear of losing or not having what you need, have you ever seen a bird eat more than it needs daily? Probably not because, it just knows there is plenty to go around and it will be able to eat again tomorrow.

   What then are we supposed to do? Number one, start some kind of business as the rules for business and individuals well, they are just different. The best way to understand this is with a chart. It is a simple example, but it works.

  RetireRules

   We just have to study what individuals and businesses do to make all the money they do and we need to understand that if they can do it, so can we. To do this, we have to play by the rules which by the way are regulated by the government. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!!! We empower the few that make the decisions for the rest of us.

Look into home based businesses! Why give away money you do not need to? Businesses don’t’, the smart people don’t and governments don’t either. If we play by the rules we gain. If we do not, we lose. I do not know who first said the following, but many have heard this and it applies here –

“It’s often not how much you earn which is most important,

but how much you keep.”

– unknown

   How do you keep more?

  • Make more
  • Cut costs
  • Reduce your taxes (not evade or cheat on, but legally reduce them)

   The best way is to start all three and keep doing them. Make a budget. Don’t know how? Learn! Me too!

   Get a good tax person (CPA, tax attorney or whomever would do your taxes), that UNDERSTANDS HOME BASED BUSINESS LAW!!! I can help you here so let me know. Leave a comment here and I’ll answer or go to http://www.i-imagine.biz/ and look for information on taxes, then contact me

   Eliminate costs of things you really do not need. Treat yourself (not deprive), by looking forward to things instead of overindulging. Cut up your credit cards. Pay them off and never pay interest again in perpetuity for what you bought in the past. Your mortgage may well be the only exception. Maintain your vehicle; don’t run out to buy the next best thing. Save money and make it a habit like involuntary breathing, you don’t think about it, you just do it!

   Your own home based business? What should you do? The answer should be as varied as there are people. It is an individual thing for sure, but what is the best model? Regular businesses have a lot of costs and you don’t want that. Franchises are too costly for most people and you pay royalty fees forever, plus there are too many restrictions and you don’t want that. Consulting could be good, but there is also a lot of competition. A ‘Mom and Pop’ operation where you might live upstairs in the same building as your work might be just OK. But this could give you a lot of headaches and are usually just a ‘break-even’ enterprise and you might want more. Are you some kind of artist, writer, musician, or some other artist in entertainment? Good luck (if there is such a thing). It’s tough, I know, I R 1.  🙂

   Consider network marketing. What’s that you might be wondering? Oh, I could never do that, you might be thinking? Does anyone ever make money doing one of ‘those things,’ you might ask?

   Last thing first, can anyone make money with ‘those things?’ Consider ABC, CBS, NBC. Besides the word ‘Television’ in all of their names, what is the other thing they all have in common and is at the end of their names? Hmmm, could it be NETWORK?  This is HUGE money and they are BIG BUSINESS, these networks. Need I say more?

   Could you run a successful Network Marketing Business from home? You already are and may not even realize it. It just may not be a business in the truest sense of the word and the other thing is, you may not be making money doing it. Doing what?

   What is network marketing? Are you ready for the answer? Are you sitting down as this may come as shock to you. I don’t want you to faint or pass out from a standing position. Have you ever recommended a movie to a friend, a family member or an associate? Did they go to the movie and maybe with someone else? If you recommended the movie and they went, guess what? You are a network marketer. I am truly sorry that network marketing is not more complicated than that, but it isn’t. It is just that simple and we all do it every day. The only difference is, you may not have a business name and you may not get paid for it. Why not?

   How hard is it to suggest something you like to your friends, family, fellow associates or even your foes? How easy would it be to suggest something they might like or need?

   What if you were paid to find what people wanted and needed? Would that be so terrible to recommend and get paid for what in finality is, a win-win for everyone? Well this is happening every day and it is going on right now! What if I were to tell you that with little money and little effort you could generate $1500, $6300 or more every week for the rest of your life? Would you believe me, probably not? But you most likely do believe that someone somewhere is making this amount of money or more, weekly. Maybe I should move back to Missouri where I was born and raised. Missourians don’t believe anything either, but they have one thing going for them. Missouri is known as the ‘Show Me,’ state. OK, what if you could be shown? What if it could be made to happen for you? Would this be enough of an incentive for you to find out?  Leave a comment here and I’ll answer or go to http://www.i-imagine.biz/ then contact me. Ask yourself, What if and…

Just Imagine,

Dahni


Responses

  1. Nice writing style. I will come back to read more posts from you.

    Susan Kishner

  2. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: