Tag Archives: retirement

Are You Accumulating This Asset for Your Retirement?

Increase Your Current Income and Build Future Wealth

Retirement may be drawing near. Or perhaps it’s not even a blip on your radar yet. Either case preparation is imperative. The longer you wait to begin building assets the greater the risk you’ll have insufficient resources, materially decreasing your wellbeing.

Are You Accumulating This Asset for Your Retirement?

You Don't Need Money to Build Solid Connections

One of the major factors hampering people’s ability to save for their later years is current needs: starting a business, raising children, and helping other family members among them. While overcoming such financial challenges is crucial, there is another asset equally or even more important that you can build starting today. It will not diminish your current life. In fact amassing this asset for the future pays enormous dividends today.

On turning 55, I was deeply touched by how many people took time out of their day to call, send a card, or post to Facebook. When I posted my thanks, noting:

The response was wonderful. I wrote last week about my longest standing friend Rik, who I have known for 40 years. I’m blessed to have several other friends for almost as long. At my stage of life, such long-term relationships are irreplaceable. These people knew me through the formative periods of my life and bring a perspective others cannot.

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As friendships grew, we helped each other advance our careers and businesses. We invested in each other's projects.  We raised our tides together.

You Control the Quality of Your Relationships

Of the factors that will determine the quality of your life as you age: health, finances, and social interaction; the last one is the only one almost solely in your control. You can live a healthy lifestyle and nonetheless have setbacks to your health. Prosperity can come and go.

Having close, enduring relationships costs you time and goodwill, but often little enough of each compared to the other demands you face. Social media makes maintaining such connections easy. AT&T’s famous slogan to “Reach out and touch someone,” that in its day cost upwards of $1 a minute, can be accomplished today almost for free. Here are suggestions for building lifelong relationships:

  1. Contact at least one friend per day. Ideally, in person, second best is calling. If time prohibits both of these email, text, or Facebook someone every day. Let people know you have them in mind and are grateful for their friendship. Doing this will make you happier too.
  2. Always remember birthdays. With an e-card service like BlueMountain.com, you can set up reminders and schedule cards to be sent in advance. Facebook is another great place to say happy birthday although its reminders aren’t as prominent as they used to be.
  3. Cultivate friends who live life the way you want to. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you lead a more affirming, growth-oriented life. Beware, the opposite is true as well.
  4. Equally important, have younger friends who hopefully will outlive you. As you age regrettably your older friends and peers may predecease you. To retain your zest for life you must stay socially connected.

Whether you retire with a comfortable nest egg or continue working, stay in robust health or face challenges, friendships will make your life incalculably richer. As well, you’ll make your friends’ lives better now and in the future.

Don’t wait. Start building connections today, right this minute. Put it at the top of your daily to-do list. Turning Shakespeare’s well know warning, “All that glisters is not gold…” on its head, there are things that gleam more brightly than this precious metal. As you accumulate years, you’ll find your most profitable investments are friendships.

How do you stay in touch with your friends?

You can leave a comment on this question or ask another question below ↓

The Secret to Creating Your Golden Years

Looking forward to your golden years? If you did 20 years of military service you will get there, likewise if you were diligent about saving and investing. Otherwise, join most of the rest of Americans throughout history whose retirement plan was very different. You might reasonably ask how this can be when the World War II and Korean War generation is having a relatively prosperous retirement. Consider the following:

The Secret to Creating Your Golden Years

People who are at least 70 lived through one or more of three of the most harrowing events in American history: the Great Depression, World War II, and the hot part of the Cold War – the Korean War. You would have to go back to the Civil War, almost a century before, to find a time when an entire generation of Americans collectively suffered so much.

These hardships had a profound effect on the behavior and values of what has come to be called the Greatest Generation. They matured quickly, married and started families young, climbed out of the depths of worldwide destruction by striving for and achieving a comfortable life. No generation since has suffered as deeply nor had the need to rebuild a shattered world. Neither the Vietnam War nor the worst post-World War II economic period, the recession of the early 1980s, compare.

Robust economic conditions coupled with a baby boom created the circumstances in which companies could offer defined benefit pensions and government entitlements had a broad enough tax base to support them. However, between 1979 and 2011, private sector workers with defined benefit pension plans declined from 31% to 3%. When first started in 1940, Social Security had over 35 million workers paying into a system that had fewer than 250,000 recipients, a ratio of 159:1. By 1960 that ratio had dropped to a still sustainable 5:1. Since 1980 the ratio has been in the range of 3.3:1 but in 2010, as the first Baby Boomers began to retire, it dropped to 2.9:1 and appears to be continuing down.

During the period from 1945 to 1970, there were 50 months of recession and unemployment rates were as high as 7.5%. During the next 25 years, although there were only 42 months of recession, the lowest recessionary unemployment rate was higher than the highest one during the previous 25 years and peaked at 10.8%. At the same time the birthrate has fallen to historic lows.

Together, these two trends spell the end of any chance that Baby Boomers and beyond as generations will be able to retire. While you might find this upsetting, in reality it is the World War II and Korean War generation that is the anomaly. The vast majority of people in the 19th and early 20th centuries worked through their lives to support themselves.

As you plan to live intentionally, I encourage you to take this reality into account, especially if you do not have a government pension or are not diligent about saving and investing. The good news is that it is beneficial to keep working since you will have a longer, healthier life as a result. For you, the good life means living a life you have planned for yourself. Intentionality will replace the ideal of the golden years.

Question – What are your plans for retirement? Please respond below.

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