I recently saw a commercial where a company was claiming to help clients get their retirement plans ‘back on track.’ That got me thinking…how long will it take the average person to make up for the losses they suffered during the near market crash? And also, wouldn’t it be nice if something as important as your retirement funds were not subject to the roller coaster ride of the market?

There has to be a shift in thinking, traditional financial planning just isn’t working anymore! Watch this short video where a certified financial planner tells how 40 and 50 year olds can protect their retirement: Video

My favorite part of the video:

Certified Financial Planner: “make sure you’re investing in your 40’s and 50’s, especially in this market, everything is cheap right?”

Anchor: “Yeah except if your retirement plan has tanked lately.”

CFP: “Well that’s the key of being in  your 40’s, you’ve got time.  I mean you’re not going to retire for 20, 30 years right?”

She continues on to say that if you are worried about the economy,  “make sure you’re still investing in your 401k.”

WHAT?!?!?  So let me get this straight, I am upset that 20, 30, sometimes up to 50% of my retirement funds are gone and to make sure I “protect my retirement” I should keep throwing money into the very vehicle that has lost all that money?!?

As I stated before there has to be a shift in thinking, traditional financial planners are still using buzz words like asset allocation, diversification, risk tolerance, and for some reason are still advising their clients to put their money at risk in hopes of high returns.

Why worry about having to get your financial plan ‘back on track?’

If you could save for retirement in an efficient, risk free, and tax advantaged way would you?  Would you rather have constant, predictable growth, or a risky roller coaster ride with an unknown outcome?

While those advised in the traditional manner are postponing retirement and waiting for their investments to make up for lost money, you could be enjoying steady returns and have more control over your financial future.

The key is to stop losing money!

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A Trillion Dollars

January 6, 2010

Most of us are hearing about the government spending a Trillion Dollars, or at least you’ve heard of Mark Titus’ quest for the trillion, but to the average American it’s just a word.

Some of you may have seen these graphics floating around the internet lately, but if you haven’t you need to take a visual look at a Trillion dollars.

First off a Trillion is a 1 with 12 zeros, it looks like this: $1,000,000,000,000. Okay, so it’s a big number, but let’s put it into perspective.

Before we get to what a trillion dollars looks like visually, here are a couple of interesting statistics:

  • 1. If the printing presses ran from 8-5 every working day, 5 days a week, it would take 72 years to print 1 trillion dollar bills.
  • 2. Stacked on top of one another a trillion dollar bills would be 70,000 MILES high.
  • 3. If you could have spent 1 million dollars per day since the birth of Christ (2009 years ago) you would still need another 740 years to spend a Trillion dollars.
  • 4. One million seconds ago was 10 or 11 days ago — One billion seconds ago was during the Nixon administration One trillion seconds ago was 30,000 years BC…..wow!
  • 5. To count out One Trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) dollars nonstop without sleeping or eating it would take Thirty-Nine Thousand (39,000) years.
  • 6. If your annual salary or wage is $50,000 it would take you 20 million years to earn a trillion dollars.
  • 7. We could wrap the earth about 4700 times with a trillion one-dollar bills laid end to end around the globe.
  • 8. Assuming there was a roll of 1 trillion – $1 dollar bills, it would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.

So there’s a little “Trillion Dollar Trivia” for you!

Okay, now let’s look at a Trillion dollars visually.

Here we have a man standing next to 1,000,000 (1 million bucks!) You could put a million in your backpack and have lots of fun!

Notice how small it is compared to an average man.

Next we have $100 million dollars. This can be neatly stacked on a pallet about 4 feet high.

Now we have $1 Billion dollars. This is 10 pallets of $100 million each. This used to be a lot of money…..but to congress a billion dollars falls out of Uncle Sam’s pockets like change.

Although a billion would be a lot of fun to spend……how does it look compared to 1 trillion?

HERE IS 1 TRILLION DOLLARS!

Look at this……what we have here is 10,000 pallets (double stacked so they are about 8 feet high) and each pallet has 100 million dollars on it.

Can you see the little man now in the bottom left corner?

So maybe now we can get a glimpse of the burden government is putting on us in terms of long term debt for this “stimulus” package. Anyone want to run a credit check on the borrower? Oh I forgot, most of the borrowers aren’t even born yet!

*Thanks to Dan Thompson for this post*

Many people all over the country have adopted the president’s motto of “change” or “change we can believe in.”  I am by no means opposed to mixing things up here and there, but some of the ways this whole “change” idea has trickled down from Washington are nowhere close to change that I can believe in.  A recent article in the Boise State University student newspaper, The Arbiter, had the president of the university, Bob Kustra, spouting some interesting redistribution of wealth ideas.  Here is the link to the article through the university newspaper’s website—>robin hood.

To quote Mr. Kustra, “What do we do?  We take from those who can afford it and redistribute to those who need it. We do it quietly as public institutions and without fanfare.” (emphasis added)  This quote alone is wrong on so many levels I can’t imagine such a high profile individual making such a statement.

Kustra went on to say, “If we increase tuition by double digits, it must be returned to need-based students.”  I’m wondering how Mr. Kustra could possibly justify simply taking from the ‘haves’ and giving to the ‘have-nots.’

I think we need to understand the breadth of the damage that is being caused by adopting this philosophy.  On the surface it seems like we are punishing those students that can pay full tuition and rewarding those that cannot, but as the following quote from Howard W. Hunter states we are creating a lose – lose situation, “Both have lost their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.”

We can only hope that this is not the kind of  ‘change’ we can expect to see on a national level!

The Socialist Experiment

November 16, 2009

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. The Class agreed!

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

Take a little trip over to one of the most shocking sites on the internet…..http://www.usadebtclock.org.   This site provides up to date information regarding the nations current debt situation.  This just goes to show you that you cannot spend your way out of a recession, and the more you try the more burden you put on tax payers (as I write this the debt per tax payer is $109,932).  Do what you should have done years ago and get the government as far from your personal finances as possible.  The best place to start is your 401k or IRA, these government created loop holes are just another way to tell you what you can and can’t do with your money.  Why should the government be able to tell you how much you can put into savings for retirement?  Why should the government tell you when you can start to take money out of your retirement savings?  Sure I’ve heard the common excuse, “but if I could take my money out earlier I would spend it on unnecessary things!”  Everybody that says that could use a little lesson on self-discipline and with a little help could better their situation by being in control of their assets.