Category Archives: finances

How $1,000 Invested at Birth Could Change Everything

 

KidSave’ accounts may be part of a long-term solution to the retirement income problem.

In the presidential debates, we’ve heard more about Donald Trump’s anatomy than what may be the most pressing financial issue directly in front of millions of boomers: Where will they find monthly retirement income that is guaranteed for life?

The retirement industry can talk about almost nothing else, which in hindsight seems a predictable turn. Did we really believe Americans would manage their 401(k) plans well enough to stash away 25 years of post-career financial security? We haven’t come close, and in this sense the 401(k) has been a colossal failure. Now the first wave of pensionless retirees is about to land, and politicians have almostnothing to say on the subject.

One reason is that there are no quick fixes, which is why it may be time to dust off a long-term solution first floated in the 1990s and still championed by one of its architects, Bob Kerrey, the former democratic senator from Nebraska. He would like every child born in the U.S. to receive $1,000 in a “KidSave” account that would compound over 65 years before being tapped. “For most people it’s not income that matters,” says Kerry, now with investment firm Allen & Co. “It’s wealth accumulation.”

In other words, retirement security is less about what you earn and more about how much and how soon you save. Compound growth over seven decades can do a lot of heavy lifting.

Kerrey reiterated his support for what he calls “wealth accounts” last week during a discussion on the financial impact of longevity, hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch at the Museum of American Finance in New York. These wealth accounts would be funded at every child’s birth through a government loan, to be repaid when the child enters the workforce some 25 years later.

The initial $1,000 by itself wouldn’t make a huge difference: at 6% a year over 65 years it would produce just $44,145 in tax-deferred savings. But the existence of a wealth account from birth would encourage more saving, Kerrey believes. These accounts would be strictly off limits for 65 years and in his estimation could be enough to guarantee adequate income that will never run out later in life. If parents or grandparents, say, kicked in $20 a month for 20 years the nest egg would swell to more than $240,000 at the child’s retirement.

KidSave accounts enjoyed bipartisan support years ago but stalled amid efforts to boost other types of savings accounts and shore up Social Security. As previously envisioned, the initial deposit might be $2,000, indexed annually for inflation. That alone might produce $250,000 at age 65, Heritage Foundation found in its assessment of the program nearly two decades ago. Another version of the program called for $1,000 at birth and five annual payments of $500, which could generate a nest egg of nearly $140,000.

Why dust off KidSave accounts now? They are a relatively painless way to address a retirement income shortfall in the, yes, distant future. But as the youngest boomers and then Gen Xers retire with virtually no guaranteed income other than Social Security, the shortfall will only grow. Everything is on the table now as policymakers try to fix the retirement income issue via things like expanded Social Security, guaranteed retirement accounts, 401(k) annuities, better home reverse mortgages, and breaking down legal barriers to working longer.

Kerrey noted that without change every American now under age 40 will receive a 25% cut in Social Security benefits at retirement. We need interim steps. But we also need a long-term plan. The candidates have touched on ways to fix Social Security and cut ballooning student debt.

Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow

Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow

Some say this gentleman speaks a little differently. Regardless, overlook that and concentrate on this good, simple message!

It’s easy to imagine saving money next week, but how about right now? Generally, we want to spend it. Economist Shlomo Benartzi says this is one of the biggest obstacles to saving enough for retirement, and asks: How do we turn this behavioral challenge into a behavioral solution?

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/shlomo_benartzi_saving_more_tomorrow.html

If you’ve put off saving, investing or even thinking about it, just take a quick look at this

If you’ve put off saving, investing or even thinking about it, just take a quick look at this

I personally have had ups and downs, and I used to save a lot, used to invest, then when things got tough, I just started putting things off, avoiding it, deferring it, or just plain pretending like I never thought of it, yet it was always in the back of my mind. So many people don’t talk about finances, don’t think about it, and just keep pushing it out until a later date for all sorts of reasons.

Please don’t. Please think about it now…..it is easier than you think. People with less brains and less talent have done it, so you certainly can.

Tony Robbins explains how you can attain financial security more easily than you think.

http://www.inc.com/tony-robbins/wealth-isnt-about-not-working-about-not-needing-to-work.html?cid=sf01002

Easy Ways to Think About Hard Finance Stuff

Easy Ways to Think About Hard Finance Stuff

By Morgan Housel | fool.com
November 26, 2014 |

Finance doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to think of it in simple terms.

How to think about market volatility: Pick a million random people from around the world every day. Some days, 51% would be in a good mood, 49% in a bad mood. The next day maybe it’s the opposite. Other days, random chance could mean 8% of people are pissed off for no explainable reason. This is basically what the market is on a day-to-day basis.

How to think about hedge funds: Probably 100 are legitimately talented and can consistently beat the market with below-average volatility. They won’t take your money. The rest charge ten times the fees of mutual funds for half the performance of index funds, pay half the income tax rates of taxi drivers, and have triple the ego of rock stars. Basically a conduit between public pension funds and private jet brokers.

How to think about (many) economists: A car mechanic who says your air conditioner is fixed if you just assume there’s cold air coming out of it. Your car doesn’t even have an air conditioner. This doesn’t change his opinion.

How to think about recessions: Everyone wants to see Kobe Bryant play all game. But sometimes he can’t. You’ll wear the poor guy out. He needs to sit on the bench once in a while. The sponsors will say, “You can’t do that! We don’t make money off him when he doesn’t play!” They’re right, but only in the short run. Everyone – the team, the fans, the sponsors, and Kobe himself – will be better off in the long run if you let him take a break once in a while. He needs to rest his overworked knee and learn from the mistakes he made last quarter. Don’t worry; he’ll be back.

How to think about IPOs: There’s a new movie out. It looks awesome. You can go see it opening night but the lines are probably really long. Or you can wait a few weeks, go see the same movie, without the crowds, and pick a better seat in the theater. Do that.

How to think about dividends and capital gains: Dividends are your annual salary – pretty steady and even, and you should consider it a huge part of your overall pay. Capital gains are your Christmas bonus – big some years, nonexistent other years, and no one will feel bad for you when it’s volatile.

How to think about pundits: People who profess to have knowledge about things that can’t be known. Combines the skill of an actor, the ridiculousness of a comedian, the believability of priests, and the credibility of politicians.

How to think about margins of safety: You’re building a foot bridge. You can design how much weight it can hold. The heaviest you’ve ever been is 165 lbs. An engineer says, “Let’s build it to hold 166 lbs.” You think that’s crazy, and say it should be able to hold 250 lbs. The engineer doesn’t understand. After a freak illness causes you to put on 50 lbs., he gets it.

How to think about Warren Buffett: If Michael Jordan looked and sounded like such a normal guy, you’d think you could dunk from the free-throw line, too.

How to think about economic data: Ideally we’d have 500 years of unimpeachably perfect data. In reality we have about 50 years of so-so data. If we had the former, we’d learn that so much of what we’ve learned from the latter is wrong and incomplete.

How to think about patience and investing: A guy pulls grapes off a vine, smashes them in his hand, drains the juice into a cup and says, “This wine is awful.” Someone tells him he needs to let it age first. An hour later he says it still doesn’t taste like wine, and gives it to his friend. His friend stores it in his basement for 20 years and has the best wine you’ve ever tasted.

How to think about long-term investing: The labors of your past self work hard while your current self does nothing so your future self will be better off.

How to think about compound interest: Little slaves that work for you while you sleep and breed like rabbits.

How to think about chart patterns: Palm reader with an Etch-a-Sketch.

How to think about bubbles: The masses lose their minds ever 10 years. Afterwards, you fool yourself that you won’t lose yours 10 years from now.

How to think about bull markets: Most businesses, CEOs, consumers, and countries wake up in the morning wanting to do a little bit better and make the world better off. Rising stock prices over time reflect their progress.

How to think about bear markets: They overdo it sometimes. Not a huge deal. Everything that lives and breathes needs a break once in a while. Let it rest and wait for it to get back in the game.

How to think about people who disagree with you: Guy from Minnesota says it’s cold in the winter. Guy from Mexico disagrees, says it’s hot in the winter. Both have a hard time realizing they’re each right based on their own unique life experiences. They call each other idiots in the comments section of news article that has nothing to do with weather.

How to think about the intersection of politics and investing: As little as possible.

How to think about behavioral finance: Just watch this video.

3 Decisions That Will Change You

The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Life

From entrepreneur.com Nov 19, 2014

Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on.
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Which area do you tend to focus on more: what you have or what’s missing from your life?

I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional well-being and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to deeply feel grateful with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfillment can be found.

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:

—-

Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?

If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?

Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85 percent to 90 percent of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side effect.

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like “life is not worth living,” that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit on what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.

Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
——
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.

Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.

Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.

Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behavior on those they respect, enjoy and love.

The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.

Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by.

It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.

It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.

This piece was adapted from Tony Robbins’ new book, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

Being rich is all about having the right habits

Being rich is all about having the right habits. That’s the message from Tom Corley, who spent five years observing how rich and poor people lived, worked, and even slept. Then, Corley wrote about his research in a book called “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

Here’s what he found:

First: Be an early bird. Because among people making six-figures a year, about half wake up at least three hours before they have to be at work. Then, Corley says they use that extra morning time to focus on self-improvement like reading and exercising, because those things help them be more productive at work.
Another daily habit that can make you rich:Don’t gossip. According to Corley’s research, wealthy people are a whopping 14 times less likely to say they spread gossip, compared to people earning less than $30,000 a year.


Also: Spend less time using the Internet. Corley says most people who struggle with money spend at least an hour a day surfing the Web, or watching TV. But rich people are HALF as likely to go online every day. Instead, they spend that extra hour connecting with others in the “real world,” doing things like networking, socializing, and volunteering.


Another helpful habit: Make more “to-do” lists. Because wealthy people say they cross off 70% percent of the tasks on their to-do list every day – including short-term and long-term goals, meaning, rich people love getting stuff done.


Finally: According to the book, wealthy people are calorie counters. They generally limit alcoholic consumption, keep their junk food snacks to less than 300 calories per day, and weigh less. And it makes sense that successful people would weight less, 75% of executives in a recent survey said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” Overweight people are 3,000 times more likely to get passed over for a promotion. And fair or not, overweight applicants get turned down for jobs more than any other group.

http://www.tesh.com

Feeling stressed, tense, worried?

happyfacefinger

You know, we’ve all been there in one way or another: we’ve been tense and focused on money, maybe stressed, maybe short with our spouse, maybe short with our kids….and in that moment when we’re stressing about money, we’re missing the world around us.

You know what I mean when I say “That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach because you feel like you have to worry about running out of money at the end of the month.”

I’ve been there, then back on “top”, then stressed again, a few times in my life.

I heard a funny thing the other day; someone was saying how they thought ‘rich people’ always think about money and ‘rich people’ are all shallow.

Maybe some are shallow, but in my experience and from what I read, when you had enough money to pay the bills and to live in a decent way, you’re NOT thinking about money much at all. When you have enough to cover the bills, you can think about fun things, about things that you WANT to do in your job and career, and things that you can do for or contribute to others – you can choose to enjoy life a little more.

When I was struggling with income and bills, and when I observe others that have the same struggle to pay bills and meet their obligations, they think about money all day long.

There is a great book that I highly recommend called “Bridges out of Poverty”. It helps explain how people struggling in poverty are constantly thinking about how they are paying the bills, food on the table, tires on the car, utility bills, etc.

Even if we aren’t at the poverty level, we can sometimes have some traits of the poverty mindset……we worry about money, about paying the mortgage, about our jobs, etc. This never creates a good feeling inside, does it?

Again, as someone that has been back and forth, here is some wisdom that I’ve learned from a few others and I believe that it really can help:

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want – instead of focusing on the bills and lack of cash, focus on the things that you really want, the freedom, peace of mind, better health, better relationships, enjoying life, security for your family, etc.

  • Watch your self-talk- we all talk to ourselves and ask ourselves questions throughout the day. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it by bringing yourself down. I was someone who beat myself up for many things and once in a while still do – if you do also, STOP. Reflect on accomplishments, look for references why you’re good at something, ask yourself questions like “Why do I deserve this?” and “Why am I so lucky?” instead of things like “Why can’t I earn more money” or ‘why is this such a struggle’ or ‘why don’t I ever win anything?”

  • Have a vision – ok maybe your life isn’t where you want it to be now and you want to improve – almost everyone does….create a vision. It doesn’t have to be a major complicated thing – something as simple as some bullet points or a paragraph or two is fine – create a simple story of you as you want to be – make the story in present tense as if you already have it – as if you are already “THERE” and you’re looking back on today, when you are struggling. Make sure that in the story you talk about how you’re proud of the steps you took, the hard work, the good attitude, and how you changed for the better. Remember, tell the ideal story of your life as if it is already done!

  • Enjoy the present, live in the moment – when we worry about the future or fret over the past, we miss moments and experiences right in front of us. I recall a time when my wife and I had time alone and I sat there worrrying about something that never even happened. Another time I recall worrying about something and basically ignoring my daughters when I had a free day with them. We all lost and nothing was gained. Take a moment to look around, be aware, and live today’s life. Things can happen in a moment. Look for miracles. You gotta celebrate life’s moments no matter what. There is no rehearsal.

  • Here’s something that can be the toughest for any of us – do the above each and everyday. We can all do things for a while or on occasion, or here and there. We have to ask the right questions, focus on the good stuff, reflect on our vision, and enjoy the present every day! We all must take action – even if they are just baby steps each day. Ask, ‘what thing, regardless how big or small, can I do today?” You don’t have to spend long on it – but at least 5 -10 minutes. Can you turn off the TV, put down the phone, or walk away from the computer or ipad for 10 minutes if it makes you better?

Remember, people with much less smarts, ability, education, opportunity have done great things, contributed, made money, helped others, and been successful , you have the ability, you have the power inside, you just need to take action.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

😉

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