Are You Worried, Fearful the Recession Will Bust You? Don’t Just Wait for Obama. Why Not Motivate Yourself to Start a Business That Creates Your Own Economic Stimulus Plan?
My friend Kathy has been a motivated and highly successful Realtor in beautiful and historic Galena, Illinois – a community whose lifeblood is tourism – a for about 30 years. Regularly one of the top selling agents in her MLS, she loves her work and has lived through boom times and bad with the knowledge that everyone needs to have a home. Hers has always been a business marked by sales awards and steady growth.
- But, along with almost 100% of the Realtors in the country, she found 2008 to be a real financial challenge. With little or nothing she could personally do to turn things around.
- Which is probably why she sent out Christmas cards this year featuring a photo her husband took of her with Barack Obama back in 2004, when he was in town, campaigning for the Illinois senate. (She’s what you’d call a long-term Obama fan.)
- For the past year, her hopes have been that he’d win the presidency and turn the economy around – and that he could take action quickly enough to get people confidently buying real estate again.
- Naturally, she’s delighted Obama’s presidency is off to the fast start the whole world has been praying for…
Financially, We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet, Of Course. This Recession is Just Too Deep to Turn Around in Less Than a Month.
Obama may be a man with a plan and a compelling vision of hope. But even Kathy knows he doesn’t have super-powers. Nor did he come equipped with a fairy godmother and a magic wand… And we still live in the real world. There’s still a lot of hard work – and painful decisions – ahead:
No Doubt That’s Why You’ve Heard President Obama’s Cautionary Soundbites On the News This Past Week:
- “We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression”
- “2009 will be tough”
- “Things may get worse before they get better”
- “We must take dramatic action now, with regard to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, the economic stimulus package, tax cuts…”
- Back at the ranch
- Over in your neck of the woods
- Or wherever in the world you like to hang out
January – with its excitement of the new year and the inauguration – has segued into the chill of February. And the hot dragon breath of recession and economic crisis no doubt continues to flick at your ears, as:
- More Americans filed for unemployment in January than at any time in the last 26 years
- A recent New York Times editorial opined that there’s “no guarantee that today’s battered 401(k)’s will rebound powerfully. People close to retirement don’t have time for a do-over. Even for those still far from retirement, there’s no telling how stocks will perform in the future. “
- Big companies around the globe continued to announce plans to lay off tens of thousands of workers. A quick analysis of world headlines finds the following major firms announcing personnel cutbacks:
- Caterpillar (20,000)
- Sprint Nextel (8,000)
- Home Depot (7,000)
- Boeing (10,000)
- Macy’s (7,000 workers cut, plus they cut their quarterly divided, and said they’re integrating all divisions into a single unit, as they expect 2009 to remain very tough for retail)
- Starbucks (announced plans to close 300 under-performing stores worldwide and lay off 6,700 workers, mostly in the US )
- The anticipated Pfizer Wyeth merger (which will result in a net loss of 8,000 jobs)
- Caterpillar (20,000)
As Ann Landers Used to Say, “It’s Time to “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee:”
The question you must now ask yourself is “What have YOU planned to do in 2009 to keep yourself financially solvent??”
In case you were too busy to take action earlier due to:
- The year-end holidays
- The election or
- Your own personal financial implosions
You need to know this: It’s not TOO LATE for you to RESOLVE to spend 2009 focused on generating income via consistent activity related to your skill sets and your big ideas!
Especially if You’ve Recognized That 2009 is Not Just the Chinese “Year of the Ox,” But Probably Also the “Year You Must Become Self-employed.”
And why wouldn’t you be starting to realize this? Obama may be quickly putting solid plans in play, but you’ve been around the block a few times. You’ve heard all the cautionary talk, and you know you don’t have time on your side:
Most people agree that it’s going to take at least two years – possibly longer – to get our economy straightened out again.
And, as a Boomer, someone who might have had plans to retire in as few as two years, you know you’ve got to take action. You can’t just wait for the “man from the government, who’s here to help” – even when he brings with him as much hope as Obama does…
With so much to do, and so little time, your first step has to be to resolve to get motivated to take some action – after you chart your own personal recovery and reinvestment plan!
>Not Sure If Now Really Is the Time to Start Your Dream Business?
The truth is, 2009 is the perfect year to start. Done right, the economy can actually help you break all kinds of records for a start-up business generating sales, revenue and profits. Which is why there has not been a better time in the last 70 years to go out and build a business. You know why?
Because everyone else is pulling back! That means, for instance, that ad rates are cheaper now, so it costs you less to find buyers – provided you have pinpointed the messaging that is going to resonate with your ideal prospects…. and you’re absolutely clear about where you’re going with your business, and how you’re going to get there.
What? You’re Panicked and Not Buying This Concept?
Well relax. Fear and panic won’t get you anywhere. But strategic planning accompanied by proper motivation will.
As proof, take a look at the front page of Advertising Age for January 26, 2009. Hone in on the article that says, “Marketing’s New Red-Hot Seller: Humble Snuggie”
- You know what product they’re talking about: those slightly silly-looking blankets with arms that have been advertised all over TV these last few months… You can probably recite the commercial from memory, so you know they come in 3 colors and you can get two of them – plus two book lights – for $19.95 plus shipping and handling…
Here’s how popular this item is:
- Not only has Ellen DeGeneres jokingly worn one
- Fox News actually honed in on a woman wearing one at Obama’s inauguration
- And the product has inspired more than 200 parody videos on YouTube – as sure a sign of success as anything
Now Think About It: Haven’t YOU – At Least Once or Twice – Had an Idea for a Product As Simple – and On Target – As This One?
Thought so. Most people have. Problem is, too few take action to turn these personal flashes of genius into income-generating products.
Now’s the time to review those great ideas you’ve shelved somewhere in the back of your head and dust off any that might fit a similar mold. That is, products that are easy to produce and fill a need.
Especially if – like the Snuggie – they are product ideas that can help people in at least one of these four crucial ways:
- Save money
- Make money
- Relieve pain, or
- Do something they have to do – no matter what the economy – (except, of course, that you can show them how to do it better, faster, easier, with less trouble)
Add to That the Concept of: Do What You Love And the Money Will Follow
Whether you’ve been laid off, are anticipating that a layoff might happen to you later this year, or are simply trying to figure out how you’re going to be able to retire in a few years, now’s the time to take a clue from experts like Loral Langemeier and figure out how to make some additional money doing what you already know how to do. Especially if it’s something you love to do AND it fits the criteria listed above.
- Just getting a new job isn’t going to do it for you right now.
- Nor will panic and fear get you anywhere.
- Your best option today, no matter whether you’re “still employed but worried,” or just lost your job, is to start figuring out how you can generate some new money. Money that will allow you to recession-proof your income.
But What If You Can’t Afford to Spend Money on a Great Business Coach to Help You Get Started?
No doubt there’s a lot of work you’ll have to do to get your business off the ground. The fastest and quickest way to do this is to work with a counselor or coach.
- But that takes money, which is something you’re no doubt short on right about now…
- Your next best option, instead of hiring someone to coach you one-on-one, is to find a reliable online coaching program that’s readily available and free.
- Gina Gaudio-Graves has a great one: Take a look at her 30-Day IM Challenge. Luckily for you, the latest challenge is just about to start. You’d be smart to take a look at what she’s offering.
The 30-Day IM Challenge is Packed With Hundreds of Pages of Solid Information – All Free – And Since It’s a Contest, There Are Even Prizes to Further Motivate You!
According to Gina, the biggest problem people have with completing the challenge is staying motivated to keep up with all of the training. Of course, you can work your way through it slowly. But since your goal is to get yourself into a position where you are generating some new money as fast as possible, taking it slow isn’t the best option. Especially if you want to with the prize, which is a free one-year coaching program with Gina, worth over $5,000.
Here’s something guaranteed to help you focus and stay motivated, so you can keep up with the 30-Day IM Challenge and win:
It’s Gina’s fantastic Miracle Motivational Package.
You owe it to yourself and your future to find out what’s included in this program. Especially since just reading Gina’s story will motivate you!
Can you imagine:
- A car accident ended her legal career
- Doctors gave her 12 months to live
- When doctors said there was no hope – she used motivational techniques – which she shares with you – to save her life. She not only overcame her paralysis, learn to walk again, and figure out how to pay for $9 million in medical bills –
- She also dedicated her life to helping one million people learn how to live the life of their dreams
Discover How Gina Turned Her Life Around – And How You Can, Too!
- Learn to motivate yourself to overcome everything that’s dragging you down right now, including this recession and your current financial frustrations!
- Grab her Miracle Motivational Package today.
- And don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming 30-Day IM Challenge!
One month from now – when everyone else is moaning about how the recession has only gotten worse – you’ll be so glad you did!!
Nest Eggs Shrinking, Home Prices Falling, Financial Anxieties Blooming: Should You Put the Brakes On Retirement Planning and Power Up Those Dreams For a Business of Your Own?
Are You Worried About the Economy?
Who isn’t? After all, if you haven’t already experienced major losses, you’ve been hearing from a host of respected financial experts – like Brett Arends who writes the “ROI” column in the Wall Street Journal – who are wringing their hands, while telling everyone to “bite the bullet,” and “stash your cash” as they frighten you with stories of a pending depression, should our economy continue spinning into freefall.
Meanwhile, as the news flows, the Dow pumps up and down erratically, sort of like your blood pressure.
In case you missed today’s column, Arends wrote:
Drop your cable package and TiVo. Say goodbye to Applebee’s and Starbucks. Cancel the ski trip.
Slash every single penny you possibly can from your household budgets and start building up cash.
Yes, I’m serious. The shocking collapse of the rescue package on Capitol Hill threatens a disaster on Main Street. Unless this gets reversed almost immediately, it could turn a slowdown into a slump, and a slump into a depression.
It’s hardly possible to make any sensible recommendations about investments or other financial matters until we get a better sense of what will happen next.
Ordinarily in a panic like this I’d be urging people to invest. My usual approach is that the worse people are panicking, the more aggressively you should buy. And that might still be the right thing to do.
But the political and financial situations right now are chaotic.
So you need to get an iron grip at least on one thing you can actually control: Your own personal budget.
Whether or Not Everything Will Actually Sort Itself Out Without Further Disaster is Small Potatoes for Baby Boomers.
You’re not so much concerned about having to slash your Starbucks budget as you are terrified over the impact this economy will have on your retirement planning. Worse, you realize there’s the potential that you’re going to have to forget about retirement entirely.
Perhaps you’re even mentally trying on the smock of a megastore greeter or a burger flipper and contemplating the prospect of standing on your feet and smiling at strangers for the next two or three decades – just so you can qualify for group health insurance. Slaving away day after day, year after year, until you keel over dead. Not a pretty image, right?
Getting back to present day reality, certainly the numbers are not good. Bear markets are particularly tough on people who are close to retirement. Especially if that nest egg you spent years building up has suddenly lost a good part of its value – or vanished entirely.
But as discouraging as it is to think about having to rebuild your portfolio via working a few more decades, these are thoughts Baby Boomers need to consider, according to financial planners and researchers.
They point out that even if the real estate market hadn’t tanked, and the banks hadn’t failed, many Boomers had already been jeopardizing their futures by ignoring the retirement planning process and as a result, grossly underestimating how much money will be needed to fund two or three decades of retirement. Because of these major miscalculations, many Boomers were already leaving the work force carrying nest eggs with premature expiration dates.
Consider this: Even before the current financial meltdown, less than one-quarter of workers age 55 and older — just 23% — have savings and investments totaling $250,000 or more, according to a study published in April by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington. About 60% have less than $100,000.
So the most important economic point Baby Boomers must be thinking about RIGHT NOW is this:
At This Time In Your Life, There’s Only One Economy That Matters: YOURS
The bottom line is, our global financial system is in rough shape and the final consequences are still a murky mystery. But that is largely out of your control. Even though you may have already experienced significant financial repercussions, you must let this point guide you at all times:
“At the end of the day, it DOESN’T MATTER what “the economy” does, all that matters is what YOU do.”
When the headlines are blaring doom and gloom, it takes a strong mind to stay focused on what matters most: The reality is, it doesn’t matter what “the economy” does: All that matters is what YOUR personal economy does.
With that in mind, right now is the best time to take charge of your financial life, and take on the challenge of retirement planning like never before. When you do that, according to Loral Langemeier, you’ll find that it’s not only possible to survive in this economy, you’ll actually be able to thrive.
Now, considering that the stock market had the biggest one day dollar decline in its history just a few days ago, the concept of thriving instead of just barely making end meet, is a truly wonderful. After all, it was that shock that might have had you swallowing hard and considering what it might be like to have to stay in the workplace a few more years, just to bring your personal financial base back to where it was…
Now, if you decide you want to continue working for an employer, that’s OK, as long as you stay in the workplace on your terms. After all…
Many Financial Experts Have Suggested That Our Country’s Pending Economic Woes Could Be Overcome if Baby Boomers Would Choose to Work Longer – Especially When Considering the Challenges Related To:
- Supporting Social Security and Medicare
- Overcoming the workforce brain-drain and labor gap anticipated by 77 million Baby Boomers retiring in a short period of time
- Alleviating the need to draw down on federal benefits, or liquidate investments, home equity and savings to fund two of three more decades of living, and as a result leaving more money for your children’s inheritance
- Putting an end to intergenerational warfare and the now-popular sport of “Boomer bashing“
- Potentially injecting $3 trillion into the economy each year, resulting in a 9% increase on Gross Domestic Product by 2045
On the other hand, the best way to get out of debt and be financially free is to create new money and build wealth. And you’ll never do that as an employee. Short of investing your earnings in the market, that means finding some way to generate income on your own, even if you start small, simply by selling items you own but no longer need on eBay or Craig’s List.
Once you get comfortable with the concept of finding ways to create more money, you can thumb your nose at Mr. Arends, and the other financial experts who’ve been advising you that you’ll have to give up your Starbucks, TiVo, that upcoming ski trip — or date night with your spouse or friends.
Meanwhile, Guess What? The World Didn’t End When the “Great Financial Bailout” Failed to Materialize On September 29th. No, the World Continued On, and People STILL Need to:
- Eat…food on the table continues to be a constant requirement for everyone
- Enjoy solid roofs over their heads…
- Look after their kids…
- Advance their careers…
- IN fact, they still need to pursue any one of the million-and-one things we human beings need to do *regardless* of the financial weather outside.
In Other Words, Day-to-Day Business Goes On, Even When Wall Street’s Business Goes Down the Drain.
Don’t let the headlines pull your attention away from that major reality:
The world goes on and people still need businesses and organizations to support their endeavors. So perhaps now’s actually the perfect time to dust off those long dormant dreams of starting your own business.
After all, if you start a “third act” or retirement business as a cash machine to fund your retirement planning, you – and no one else – are in charge of your wealth building efforts. You call the shots with regard to your hours and your involvement.
- If you choose your business niche properly, there’ll be an ongoing need for your product or service, no matter what happens on Wall Street.
- In other words, once your business is set up, the money keeps generating, while you work or play as you please.
- You can even give the business to your kids, or use it to fund charitable work in your name.
Worried About Starting Up a Business In A Down Economy?
Here are some facts that will help you keep your head together and focused on the real financial opportunities awaiting you in the days ahead:
First: The Speed of Our Economy May Have Declined, But It Won’t “Flat-line”
Few people realize that many of the successful companies of our time were started in the depths of the Great Depression. There are thousands of them large or small. (You can prove this to yourself with your own Google search.)
In fact, “Down Times” are great times to start businesses if you do it the smart way. Why? Several reasons:
- Costs are lower…
- Skilled help is easier to find…and
- A lot of your potential competition disappears from the marketplace
Second: There Will ALWAYS Be People Who Have Money to Spend. The Real Concern Is, Will Your Business Know How to Find Them?
For example, looking to the Great Depression of the past as a worst case scenario, if you were wandering the Dust Bowl in the depths of the 1930s, you probably would have been wise to move somewhere else.
- And it’s true that there was massive, brutal unemployment during the Great Depression
- Twenty-five percent of all American households were without a breadwinner
- (You probably know that, you’ve heard the stories from your parents. No one has to tell you what a scarring experience the Great Depression was for millions)
But here’s the reality…
- 75% of the country was employed
- These people were cautious with their money and they demanded real value, but they spent money every day on all kinds of things, even movies
- Whole new industries like broadcasting, automobiles and Hollywood reached their financial critical mass during the Depression
- Thousands of successful new businesses were started. Others grew massively
Third: Smart Business Owners Thrived During the Great Depression – And If Another One Comes, They Will Do So Again.
Here’s another amazing fact:
FEWER businesses failed in 1929 than failed in 1928 and 1927. 1929 was, of course, “D Day” for the Depression. That’s when the sky fell for “the economy.” And yet, on the micro-level – where we all live – there were *fewer* business failures.
- Smart business people are flexible, can adapt to the times, and find today’s opportunities.
- Owning a smart business (or better yet, several smart businesses) is the greatest financial security there is.
- It’s also the only reliable source of true wealth financial experts recognize.
- But owning your own business is serious. It’s not something to play at. Nor, realistically, is business ownership something that will effortlessly bring you riches overnight.
So let’s get real:
Here’s Your Bottom Line: Whether You’re Running Your Own Business Now, Or You’re Currently An Employee Who’s Seriously Thinking it’s Time to Start Your Own Business, Will You Be Smart Enough to Survive the Coming Days?
If you’re smart about business, there’s someone – and something huge – you need to know: Gina Gaudio-Graves and her fantastic, FREE business development coaching program, the 30-Day IM Challenge.
Gina Gaudio Graves kicked off her third 30–Day IM Challenge this past Tuesday, September 23rd. But it’s not too late for you to get some FREE business startup help from one of the best business development coaching programs around.
What, you haven’t yet heard of Gina Gaudio-Graves and Her 30-Day IM Challenge?
Here’s a Little Bit About Gina:
- Prior to a disabling car accident, she enjoyed an extremely busy legal career as a litigator. But an accident left her unable to get out of a hospital bed and wheelchair for almost 10 years. During that time, she turned to the internet as a way to spend her time and afford her medical bills
- Eventually she experienced a miracle cure which allowed her to get out of bed and walk without aid. Doctors can’t explain it and she still has no feeling in her legs
- On her feet again, Gina spent the next 4-1/2 years organizing Joint Ventures for some of the most successful people on the internet. People like Shawn Casey, Willie Crawford, Henry Gold, David Garfinkel, and many others
- As a Joint Venture Broker, she earned the reputation of “The JV Queen” because her promotions were so hugely successful!
- Today she is a coach and mentor to entrepreneurs looking to build a business using the power of the internet.
- Whether the internet is the business owner’s only presence or their secondary presence, her information products and coaching programs show them how to get bigger results, faster
- Gina’s areas of expertise include:
– Strategic Planning for your Online Business Presence
– Product Creation and Planning
– Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances
– Strategic Traffic Generation
– Strategic List Building
– Web 2.0
– and many other aspects of building a business using the power of the internet
- These days her mission is to help 1,000,000 entrepreneurs learn to live the life of their dreams through owning their own business, by the year 2013.
- That’s why she came up with the idea of offering a free 30-Day Challenge, conducted online, allowing her to teach entrepreneurs EXACTLY how to build a business that will be a success!
- Beyond that, she has a variety of paid information products and an Apprentice program, which is hugely successful 12-month long group coaching program.
- Further, she also provides one-on-one coaching to a very a limited number of highly qualified students
- Perhaps the thing that is the most impressive about Gina is the success percentages her students achieve. They are off the charts!
The most important thing you need to know right now is the success rate of Gina’s students: It’s doubtful any of the “big name” experts can point to as many real student success stories as she’s helped create in just a few years.
The 30-Day IM Challenge Gives You the Knowledge You Need to Succeed With Your Own Home Business.
So the only questions still left to answer are:
- Do you want to succeed?
- Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
- If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
- Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
- Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”
If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…
Remember: There’s never an easy time to make money – and there’s never a hard time to make money…
There’s only the right time which is always NOW
You can still register for the 30-Day IM Challenge RIGHT NOW, for FREE and learn to live the life of your dreams through building a business using the power of the internet. You’ll find all the details at:
The 30–Day IM Challenge will walk you through every step of the process, one small step at a time.
The 18+ Lessons – Totaling More Than 750+ Pages – Covers A Variety of Topics Hugely Critical to Your Success, Including:
- Time Management, Mindset, Goal Setting & Strategic Planning (You MUST have these foundations in place before you start anything else!! Gina explains why.)
- Choosing Your Target Market and Your Products (i.e. What is your niche?)
- Your Profit Funnel (i.e. What products will you sell?)
- Your Web Presence (i.e. Setting up Your Blog, why she recommends you use WordPress, and how to do it!)
- Resources for Creating Your Web Presence
- Increasing Your Traffic (it’s all about having a traffic generation SYSTEM that you repeat every day)
- Building Your Business on a Solid Foundation (without a solid foundation, your business is going to fail!)
- Avoiding the “Price Wars” Game (Find out why competing on price will not only decrease your profits, it will also decrease the demand for your products! Gina shows you why you MUST avoid this at all costs or your business will NEVER succeed!)
- Developing Your USP (That’s Unique Selling Proposition, and she explains the why and how)
- Building Strategic Relationships (With the development of Web 2.0, the internet is all about relationships. Build them strategically and you’ll totally DOMINATE your market every time!)
- Copywriting (Good copywriting skills must be learned. Without the right message, your business won’t succeed, no matter how much traffic you generate!)
- Traffic Generation and List Building (These go hand in hand! Gina shares tips and tricks)
- Using Blogs, Forums, and Article Marketing (Just because everyone is talking about Web 2.0 doesn’t mean that you should forget about the good ole’ days when Forums and Article Marketing were the ONLY way to drive traffic! They are just as effective today! And when you combine them with Web 2.0 strategies, look out!)
- Tying It All Together With Information Products (Remember — the Internet is the “Information Super Highway”. People are online because they want INFORMATION, not “stuff”. So give it to them — AND — make loads of money in the process!)
- Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances (As “The JV Queen”, Gina shares her strategies for building some of the most profitable joint ventures online!)
- And Much, Much MORE!
Plus, as a 30-Day IM Challenge Member, You’ll Have Access To:
- All of the Lessons
- The IM University Classroom (the forum where IM University students are actively discussing their businesses and what they’re doing to build them)
- The daily podcasts with tips for implementing all that you’re learning
Even Better, After You Register For the Challenge, You Can Upgrade to Become a Gold Challenge Member, Where You Also Get:
- The LIVE Weekly Teleconferences with Gina’s personal help in building YOUR business and critiques of your website(s), blogs and business plans.
- You’ll get mp3 recordings of all four calls too.
- You’ll even get mp3 recordings from all 8 of the calls held for the 1st 2 Challenges, for a total of 12 mp3 recordings in all!
- Since the topics don’t repeat from one Challenge to the next, this means you’re getting three-times the content!
- As much help as you’ll need to rapidly get your business up, running, and actually getting RESULTS!
This is a True Win-Win-Win Scenario
First, you win no matter whether you’re:
- Brand new to the concept of operating your own business and you’re still kicking around ideas for what kind of business you want, or
- You’ve already got a business up and running but it’s just not seeing the kinds of results that you dream about
Either way, the 30-Day IM Challenge will help you build a business that can quickly bring you a 5–figure monthly income!
- You’ll learn how to keep your new funds generating, reliably, month after month – no matter what the market does
- Set your business up right, and this “third act” cash machine will keep churning out income, even if you choose to be off saving the rainforest, or cruising the world!
- And of course, you’ll be providing value to your grateful customers, the people who buy whatever it is you end up selling. (And this WILL happen, because Gina will have taught you strategies to identify and serve ravenous markets, who are starving for whatever it is you’re offering.)
- Plus, you can set up your business to allow you to leave behind a legacy for your kids or a favorite charitable cause
Now if that isn’t reliable long-term retirement planning, what is?
In closing, keep this in mind: Gina’s current 30-Day IM Challenge may already be underway, but there’ll be a new one starting in a month or so! Why not check it out today! There’s no charge, it’s free! All you’ll be investing is a bit of your time…
Do nothing and time’s a-wasting! And retirement is calling!
Daring New (Non-“PC”) Topic for Cocktail Party Conversation: “Do YOU Think You Will Have Enough Money When It Comes Time to Retire?”
This very provocative question is of the type that my socially correct mother raised me not to ask: Everyone knows it’s socially unacceptable and completely impolite to discuss topics like how much money someone makes, or how well off they are. Questions like that are “Totally CR and SU,” as we used to say in college: “crude, rude and socially unacceptable.”
But the point is, we are starting to ask this question of each other, and I say this is a good thing.
If we don’t talk and plan, we’ll end up unpleasantly surprised, as many of my Boomer-aged coaching clients have discovered.
Consider one of my former clients, a dentist from Indiana who sold off his practice for slightly more than $1 million at the young age of 61, and then began looking at his options. Only to discover that a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it once did – especially since he still had school-aged children living at home.
- He quickly realized that unless he took massive action of some sort, he was in no condition to maintain his current lifestyle. Especially since he was in good health and had every reason to suspect he would live for another 30 years!
- Thankfully, he was quite entrepreneurial, and we quickly came up with several business concepts based on his professional expertise, which would generate a steady passive income stream, and would not require him to get back into the daily grind of seeing patients in a clinic setting.
- I’m happy to say he is living the good life, these days!
Will YOU have enough money when it comes time to retire?
Too often these days the answer is “no,” even if you diligently started planning for retirement in your 20s. A recent but unscientific poll I saw showed that only 28% of us felt secure enough to answer yes when asked this question.
Another survey I found noted that 63% of Americans 50-59 worry about having enough money to retire.
And 80% of us Boomers plan to work in retirement — and I don’t mean doing meaningful volunteer work, which is also popular — I’m talking about people who want to get paid for their labors.
Why? Well, two-thirds of us told Scudder Kemper that we are “worried about having enough money in the future,” and no wonder: we realize that the money we planned on for retirement just isn’t going to be there! Often the problem is not that we Boomers failed to plan – though that does happen – but that the backdrop against which we did our planning shifted. For example:
- Even the diligent savers among us were affected by the stock market decline of 2001-2003, which eradicated roughly $7-8 trillion in shareholder wealth, much of it held by us Boomers. And of course, if you’ve started investing in the market again, you’re aware that the last few months haven’t done that well for us, either! Clearly the timing for major withdrawals is a huge concern
- Then there was the famous “dot-com” crash, which ate away roughly $279 billion on 401[K] assets and huge chunks of other retirement savings
- Not to mention that many of us are financially savvy enough to know that 401[K] and IRA/retirement money statements can create a false sense of wealth, since – with the exception of Roth IRAs – these funds will be federally taxed on withdrawal
- For others of us, the challenge came because our employers lopped off 50% of the work force, dropped pension plans, were bought out by a foreign national – or went out of business. Downsizing, right-sizing, off-shoring, you get the picture.
Or, the financial challenges might be brought on by death, divorce, illness, or unexpectedly finding ourselves caring for our aging parents, our children and grandchildren – or all three! No wonder 50+ consumers outspend younger adults two to one! Currently:
- 22% of us financially support an aging parent
- 24% provide for an adult child, aged 18 or more – many of these being “college re-bounders” who come home to live in order to reduce their own living expenses
- 43% of all singles are 45 or older
- Collective Boomer debt is estimated at roughly $2.5 trillion
- The top monetary concern of Boomers considering retirement is “being unable to afford health insurance”
What is the solution?
- Arrange with your employer to work longer?
- Figure out how to effectively reduce your standard of living?
- Win the lottery?
- Start a business, perhaps based on life experience, which allows you to generate income without “working” in the traditional way?
What if you decide to Work Longer?
According to an article , “How Much Longer Will Boomers Need to Work?” which is posted in the August 11, 2008 issue of US News & World Report, “The typical American retires at age 63. Those fortunate few who have traditional pensions, retiree health insurance, and a fully loaded 401(k) will probably be fine.
But if you haven’t saved enough to fund 30 years of retirement-and as we’ve seen most baby boomers aren’t even close – the obvious solution is working longer.
Some experts correctly note that there are huge benefits for the health of the nation of we work longer. Specifically:
- The Economy (not to mention Social Security and Medicare) needs the money
- The Nation’s Employers need both our brains and our bodies – to stave off brain drain and a pending labor gap. Especially in the fields of health care, biosciences, energy and the federal government, where 44% of all workers will be eligible for retirement over the next five years
- We Boomers are healthy enough to work and will be so for several more decades
- Future Generations will benefit from a rosier future – because Boomers working longer will alleviate the need to draw down on federal benefits, or liquidate investments, home equity and savings to fund two of three more decades of living, and as a result more money will be left for Boomer children to inherit
- It will probably put an end to intergenerational warfare and the now-popular sport of “Boomer bashing“
- It’s a common sense solution that could inject $3 trillion into the economy each year and result in a 9% increase on Gross Domestic Product by 2045
But how much longer will we Boomers need to work to finance a secure retirement? It depends on who you ask:
- “For those workers who can work, the way to a secure retirement is to keep working until 66,” says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and coauthor of Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge. Social Security currently replaces 39 percent of preretirement income for the average earner retiring at age 65 after the Medicare Part B premium is automatically deducted. But those who retire at the same age in 2030 can expect Social Security to replace only 30 percent of earnings, according to Munnell’s calculations. “Retirees in 2030 will have to work two to four years longer to maintain today’s level of replacement income,” she says.
- Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of the think tank Civic Ventures and author of the book Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, says that Boomers should try to work until at least age 70. The share of households prepared for retirement would nearly double from 31 to 60 percent if early Boomers currently between the ages of 54 and 63 delayed retirement from age 65 to 70, according to a McKinsey & Co. analysis.
- While Tamara Erickson, author of Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation, says Baby Boomers should plan to work until a minimum of age 70 and up to 85 or 90 if they can.
Hmm, still “punching the clock” at age 70; I can see appreciate those advantages for both the workforce and the individual…
But I’d be looking for an option which would allow me to work on my terms. Ideally I’d like to incorporate:
- Limited hours
- Opportunities to work from home
- A paycheck whose size I have some ability to control and the opportunity to REALLY get paid what I’m worth
- The ability to take off for a week or two at least every quarter…
I wonder how well perks like these, as well as options like retention bonuses, bridge jobs, phased-in retirement plans or delayed retirement subsidies will go over with my younger co-workers?
How Possible is it to Reduce Living Costs?
A group they labeled “Financially unprepared, yet undaunted and uncompromising,” the Forbes authors note that this group shares all the optimism and expectations of their wealthier counterparts, yet this group — incorporating 24 million middle-class American households – is approaching retirement with lofty lifestyle aspirations, a thirst for new products and brands, and limited financial resources.
None of this group will be living a “Lexus Lifestyle” in retirement. Think more in terms of the recent commercial where the wedding guests are exclaiming over the lovely backyard garden reception featuring Martha Stewart-branded products purchased at Wal-Mart.
According to the article, the “U’s” will account for almost 25% of total U.S. consumption by 2015, which leads the authors to suggest there will shortly be a massive market for products and services that meet discriminating u-boomer tastes at affordable u-boomer prices. (Obviously the copywriters who wrote that Wal-Mart commercial were listening!)
Note also that the article points out that the “U’s” are the largest segment of the baby boomer generation, sandwiched between roughly 10 million well-to-do households with high hopes for a comfortable retirement and the financial resources to pay for it, and 11 million disadvantaged households that are deeply pessimistic about the future.
But the concept of reducing you standard of living is one you surely hope to avoid, so let’s not accept this option!
Realistically, What Are Your Chances of Winning the Lottery?
Well, it obviously works for some, we see those excited winners on the state-run lottery commercials all the time…but wining is nothing you can bank on.
And since there’s no guarantee — and history shows that the odds of lottery winners actually holding on to their winnings and effectively investing them is slim to none — you’re going to “take a pass” on this option.
So Maybe the Best Option is to Start Up a Business of Your Own?
This is the best option for generating income at this time in your life. And starting up your own business makes sense, considering that the stage is already set for lengthier Boomer careers, thanks to the increasing acceptance of older workers. What better time to dust off your dreams and start taking control of your life and future? After all, you’ve got experience, your children are grown, you’re healthy and you’ve still got decades of good life ahead!
And Boomers DO want to work. What else would you expect from the generation that mainstreamed working women, has such a strong work ethic, embraced 24/7 connectivity and coveted the MBA degree? And where better to call the shots than in a business of your own? Especially since Boomers have also been called the “me generation,” due to recognition of the fact that we’ve always made our own rules.
Actually, the Boomer penchant for defying convention, if expressed as an extended working life, could be the offsetting – and saving – factor in the economic doomsday scenarios that have been passed around lately. And it really works, since more Boomers working longer translates into additional contributions to the Social Security coffers, more income tax revenue, fewer Medicare payouts and a delay on draws from the Social Security system.
But if you’re providing those benefits to the economy while working in your own business, it finally gives you the chance you’re sought our entire working lives – to do it your way.
- A recent Towers Perrin/AARP Study, “The Business Case for Workers Age 50+” concluded that older workers are more engaged and motivated to exceed expectations than younger workers, and that declining physical skills such as manual dexterity are more than offset by skills that improve with age, such as verbal communication, tacit knowledge and experimental innovation. All skills that are much needed in business start-up situations. And moreover, starting a business of your own allows you to profitably leverage your life experiences.
- A 2005 survey by Merrill Lynch revealed that almost 80% of workers age 40-58 plan to work in retirement, and roughly 60% look forward to the challenge of trying something new
- Recent AARP research found that 69% of today’s workers age 45+ plan to continue working past age 65
- Globally, Boomers are starting up businesses at a rate higher than any other demographic.
Now, you might say I’m biased in my opinion about the values of business ownership, since I’m a coach who works with Baby Boomers who want to start a business based on leveraging their life experience.
But I’m not the only one promoting the benefits of working in one’s own business, as opposed to being an employee. “Millionaire Maker” Loral Langemeier has written books and developed a series of programs and workshops that are perfect for budding Baby Boomer entrepreneurs, because they teach ordinary working people how, in as little as a year, they can:
- Quit your job and start doing the things you love
- Control and then eliminate debt, no matter how much you owe
- Live your life on your own schedule rather than that of an employer
- Engage in business ventures that generate passive income
- Substantially decrease your tax burden
- Form trusts, corporations and partnerships to protect your assets, and create a non-stop revenue stream
So, here you go: WHETHER or not you are going to have enough money to afford to retire, consider helping out the economy and giving yourself the gift of having something meaningful to do with the next few decades of your life – dust off those dreams and start planning your own business start-up! Who knows, you might become the next Colonel Sanders, Oprah or Martha Stewart!