Retire Early: Comfortable, Secure and Happy
This material is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It is not “How To:”
To be sure, there are young people who have become wealthy by doing some of the above, but your chance of imitating or reproducing their (unhealthy) “selfish success” is NOT very attractive.
Your chance of winning the lottery may go way up if you buy a ticket, but regularly buying many lottery tickets or investing in rip off “get rich quick” schemes will probably delay your retirement goals and make you unhappy for doing so.
Doing things that you are NOT proud to tell your grandchildren about will accelerate your rate of aging and ultimately lower your quality of life. In contrast to selfish exploitation of others:
You WILL eventually reap what you sow! Plant, nurture and harvest the seeds of Joyful Aging.
You don’t have to be a genius to use the following material to greatly enhance your probability of success. You don’t have to rigidly follow every principle in this material to reach your own personal goals, but the more of the following principles that you ignore, the lower your likelihood of joyful achievement.
If you know people who are over 40, of at least average intelligence, in debt, working hard at a less-than-perfect job that they are not proud of, are not financially independent, and have no prospect of a comfortable early retirement, then there can be little doubt that they have been violating many of these principles for decades.
Long-term bad habits are very hard to break. A trip of 1,000 miles begins with one step in the right direction. This material hopes to help you along the wonderful journey of lifelong learning, leading toward Joyful Aging.
This is targeted specifically at farsighted, intelligent people who would like to discover the wisdom and financial freedom of retiring early, comfortable and secure, so they can pursue whatever happy, productive goals they desire.
This material is also designed for the parents, grandparents, relatives, mentors and teachers of young people who would like to share the legacy of this ageless wisdom with their offspring or other young ones that they love. Help others avoid costly “trial and error” can add great joy to one’s life.
I assembled and integrated most of this information over a lifetime of successful (and not so successful) experiences. Some principles were learned by active study, extensive research, and modern refinement of ancient wisdom. Some things were discovered by accident, and some by careful observation of both good and bad examples. The principles include proactive “things to do” and negative “things to avoid.” A few important lessons were learned after decades of my own expensive trial and error (which I do not recommend to my readers). I have productively practiced many of these principles for decades. Some principles, which have become much clearer to me in the new millennium, I only wish I had learned when I was younger.
Most lazy people ignore lessons learn by others long ago, which forces them to forever “reinvent the wheel” and make many avoidable mistakes throughout their lives. Those who ignore human history are forever condemned to relive it. Farsighted individuals learn to search for lessons already learned by others – to imitate their admirable successes, and steer clear of the many mistakes made by the myopic (short sighted) multitudes.
My primary energizing enthusiasm while writing this material is to transfer the priceless knowledge I have accumulated throughout my life to my children, who I love very much. But, this material should also be of benefit to anyone else who encounters the light that this material sheds on the complex society that we find ourselves living in today.
Some people say that “hindsight is 20/20,” but I disagree. Just look at the conflicting conclusions made by countless historians, or the extremely-bad recommendations made by most “Certified Financial Planners” as we entered the new millennium.
There can be no doubt that there are a great many lessons to be learned from history, but there are countless reasons why the future is not likely to be an exact copy of any previous series of events. Our future will be chaotic – a complex series of interacting non-linear systems, as is our weather. It will have predictable trends and seasons, but no one can predict it will complete precision. I have had a successful career of being a Professional Futurist – foreseeing the way tomorrow ought to be, and then helping to make it happen. I have contributed to society, and been well compensated for my effort. I feel well qualified to share my methods for the benefit of those who follow.
It takes enormous clarity and insight to learn from the lessons of the past, digest them, refine them, understand the true “cause and effect,” and then apply them to our unpredictable, chaotic future. I have attempted to apply my unique skill set as a high-tech Research Scientist (with a world class track record) to the problem of financial independence, which is likely to lead to a comfortable, reliable retirement, at an age that is much lower than the myopic masses (who must work hard at an unpleasant job to age 65 and beyond). I boldly claim to have done a good job of accomplishing this challenging goal by publishing this material.
I’m not the richest man in the world – It was never my ambition to be. You don’t need great riches to be financially independent, happy and secure. Having retired comfortably, I am not living a life of unproductive leisure. I still contribute to society, (as you can see by reading my many words). The point is that I am retired from stressful corporate life, and I am now my own manager. I do not HAVE to work just to pay bills (although I am still generating income). The only people that I have to please are myself and those that I love or chose to socialize with.
I do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it. I don’t have to get up when an alarm rings and fight stressful rush hour traffic. I can demonstrate my creativity whenever and however I like. If I dream up a clever idea in the middle of the night, I can get out of bed and begin to develop a fleeting new concept, before it disappears. I can return when I discover new insight and refine my thoughts endlessly.
I can go Joyful Dancing five nights a week, if I just want to have some fun. I don’t have to worry about being too sleepy to go to work tomorrow. Whenever my intellect is challenged with something interesting, I can turn down the path less traveled and take as much time as I want to explore endless personal enrichment opportunities. My very-wise father (also a farsighted research scientist) taught me to always pursue:
I learned important principles from my father and mother’s many successes, (and a few important lessons from the great challenges they were unable to solve in a lifetime).
This material illuminates how almost anyone with an I.Q. above 99 can build the foundation to retire comfortably, secure and happy in fifteen to twenty years, by merely avoiding the pervasive pitfalls that the vast majority of people around us find themselves in today, when they ignore the wisdom of their successful elders and those who loved them enough to raise and nurture them.
The earlier in life that someone learns the important lessons found in this material, the more benefit they (and the ones around them) will receive. It is much like stopping smoking. The earlier that you quit smoking, the better your respiratory health will be. Obviously, the ultimate goal would be to teach our young ones to never ever smoke anything at all (except maybe a Thanksgiving turkey – smile).
In my lifetime, I’ve seen public service announcements made by movie stars (like Yul Brenner) who knew they were about to die from lung cancer. They appealed to young people to never smoke, and to adults to stop smoking. But, these late-in-life compassionate cries have little impact on the myopic masses who prefer to listen to profit-motivated tobacco commercials, rather than common sense. For decades, self-serving U.S. politicians have voted to subsidize tobacco growers with public funds, knowing full well that they are killing their constituents. Today, companies producing hundreds of tons of deadly excitotoxins are doing exactly the same thing. If you know someone with serious smoking-related heath problems, ask them why they ever started. If you know a poor old person, ask them if planning for a comfortable retirement is important. The answer should be obvious to anyone. The consequences are clearly devastating. Why is the obvious need for behavior modification continually ignored?
Bad habits and traditions that have taken decades to establish are very difficult to change. It has been said that significant social change often takes at least fifteen years, which is the lifespan of one generation. Long-overdue corporate improvements usually take place one retirement at a time. There is no reason why this should be true, IF only intelligent leaders would pursue lifelong learning. But, intellectually lazy people stop paying attention to lessons already learned by others. While the myopic masses ignore the obvious, they predictably devastate their own future, with negative impacts on their offspring.
Unlike many lower life forms, humans are learning entities with huge memory capacity. We are very good at learning lessons that have short feedback cycles. Every young child “needs” to be burned at least once. Mom says: “Don’t touch it – It is HOT!” Eventually, the child touches it anyway. The feedback is nearly instantaneous and learning takes place rapidly.
Part of an important lesson about what “HOT” means has been learned. This painful memory will be retained and used to make many decisions in the future. We tend to remember those things that are related to sudden trauma or deep emotional feelings, especially when those feeling are new to us. Intelligent children lear to pay more attention to what mom says, next time.
If you ask prospective mothers before their children are born, most women could tell you that their future children will have to suffer a burn before learning the basic meaning of HOT. None of us wants our children to suffer, and we certainly hope that our children’s’ many mistakes will never be serious, but we know that young ones must learn some important lessons by unpleasant “trial and error.” Our fingers are capable of recovering from small burns. We can only hope that the errors our children make will benefit them in the long run, rather than kill them. We can try hard to impart wisdom that reduces the number of serious errors that they must make in a lifetime, but as every parent knows, this is a challenging responsibility for anyone.
One of the most serious limitations of human learning ability is that we do an extremely bad job of learning and teaching lessons that take more than a decade to understand. The longer the feedback cycle, the less effective trial and error become. Over the millennia, we have partially addressed some of this limitation. Two and a half millennia ago, Plato’s followers called the partial solution “the groves of Acadeum.” We now call it “academics” or “school” (in contrast to “the school of hard knocks”).
As a community, we decide the essential things that our adults need to know to survive in the society that we will leave as our legacy to them. We hire teachers (and don’t pay them nearly enough) to develop and measure methods of transferring these skills to our offspring.
We don’t expect our children to invent language on their own through trial and error (although twins do a good job of it). We “teach” our children a common language that has taken our predecessors centuries to evolve. So it is with mathematics, science and even creative arts. We don’t want our children to have to “reinvent the wheel.”
Deep down inside, we know that “Our children are our future,” but while they are young, we exploit them, and ask teenagers to provide for our needs at low wages, until they mature into the owners of our nation. (See Fast Food Nation)
When inflation spiraled out of control in the 1970’s, our teacher’s salaries fell far behind and college entrance exam scores plummeted. Multiple generations have now grown up spending many more hours each week learning bad lessons from commercial television than from intelligent school teachers. Our public schools do not teach much of anything about long-term financial management or retirement planning. Our children learn such things by watching the sadness of what happens to their grumpy grandparents as they get old. We occasionally see an arthritic old person, who should have retired long ago, working as a food server, or as a greeter in the WalMart store, just to make ends meet. Many young people ignore these observations and fail to learn that today’s decisions will significantly influence their future as they mature.
Recently, careful observers have been touched by the retirement age people who had worked for, or invested in, one of the large American companies that went bankrupt overnight. We have seen these people’s net worth in the stock market quickly fall from over a million dollars, down to nearly nothing. Many retirement investments have no real value, other than fickle market perceptions, which are influenced by self-serving analysts and material cookers. Future legislation may improve things somewhat, but we have rapidly moved beyond the Age of Innocence, and the reality of long-term retirement is now quite bewildering.
Perhaps some otherwise intelligent young people have thought to themselves:
“Why should I even try to save for retirement? Something terrible will probably happen, and it will all be wiped out overnight. I’m going to live for today - Enjoy life while I’m young enough to have fun, and let tomorrow take care of itself. Look at that great thing they are advertising on TV. I want it now!”
These are the lessons that the older American generation is unwittingly teaching its young. Tomorrow will be built on a far-different (perverted) value system than was today. A happy future cannot be built on such shortsighted thinking.
This material flies in the face of conventional flawed
thought processes. Throughout my life, I have learned one extremely important
lesson that has been reinforced many, many times:
Just because the vast majority is doing something, does not make it the right thing for me.
For centuries, American productivity has been growing by leaps and bounds, yet the majority of our people chose (by default) to enslave themselves to financial debt and working as many years as their grandparents did. Why izzat?
If we are so much more productive than they were, why do we have to work every bit as long as they did? In a more productive society, shouldn’t it be possible to work less in a conventional “job” and live every bit as well, or better, than they did? We are not talking about Bill Gates rich. We are just thinking about incremental improvement over the “retire poor at 65” concept.
True, fewer Americans have to do heavy manual labor than they did a century ago. Many more of us have “cushy” air-conditioned office jobs. We sit in front of our computer. Learn overly-complex, unintegrated software. We dutifully purge the endless spam from our daily email. We rebuild our personal computer systems after an ugly virus, and we frequently reboot flawed operating systems after a blue screen of death – Wheee! Look at how very productive we all is! (sarcastic cynicism from the Dilbert generation) Laughing at our stooopid inDUHvidual behavior sometimes helps us realize the need for incremental improvement, rather than maintaining the status quo, just because the last generation tolerated what we find laughable.
Of course, there is a price to pay for the “cushy convenience” of Internet in the home and office – America is now the fattest nation in the world, and the obesity epidemic continues to get worse. More of us die of pervasive life-style-related diseases, which our grandparents who worked on a farm never even heard of. Americans are getting fatter earlier, contracting diabetes at a younger age, consuming more antidepressants, etc. Is this a good thing? Can we project this trend very far into the future? Would you rather be chained to a cushy desk job until you are 65, or be outside enjoying life in the Florida sunshine (as I do every day).
Our minimum-wage kids (working at the unhealthy fast food “restaurant” – See Fast Food Nation) can’t even calculate sales tax on a hand calculator when the (“touch the icon”) overly-simplistic computer fails. Can you imagine how many times a day minimum intellect children must ask people if they “want to super size their value meal” with even more deadly fat and sugar? (See our material on Obsolete Food Pyramid)
How can we expect our young generation to have the foresight to plan for early retirement in our “highly productive” (some say “declining”) society? Should we commission the creation of an Internet-based virtual reality retirement game and force them to play it 4 hours a day for ten years? - Instead of the violent ones that they now play.
All of the above problems are solvable by intelligent people, who believe that a solution is possible, and who will invest the time to find, prove and continually improve the solution. Mental Aerobics suggests that we can enhance our minds and delay dementia by continually working on solving intellectually-challenging problems (as we are now doing with this material)..
Nothing changes the meaning of the word “impossible” more than a working proof of concept, developed by someone who recognized the problem at hand, set a specific goal, worked toward achieving a specific solution, and ignored the people who said that it was impossible.
Is it possible for a person with mediocre intelligence from an “average” family to retire early comfortably, without violating any laws or winning the lottery? Perhaps the majority of readers would say: “YES” (or you wouldn’t have gotten this far). Do we have working proof of concepts? YES. Are there people who say that average people under average circumstances have very little chance of doing it? YES.
A major university asks an assembly of all freshmen: “How many of you plan to graduate in the top ten percent of your class?” Most of the students raise their hands. The speaker then says: “The statistical reality is that most of you with your hands up won’t even graduate from this university.”
Most people do not plan to fail – They just fail to plan – And having failed, they want to convince you that they did was the correct thing - And you should follow their bad example.
One day my father took me to the barbershop. (Unisex hair saloons didn’t exist.) Old men sat around talking about the bad job that the President was doing and what he ought to do instead. As we left, I asked: “If they are so smart, why don’t they run for President?” Dad said:
“Son, when you get older and begin to worry about losing your hair,
don’t pay any attention to the baldheaded barber who tells you what to do.”
It was a priceless lesson that I will cherish for a lifetime. I offer it to enhance your own decision-making processes.
When we are seven years old, we probably learned some “important” lesson about life by observing the behavior of a nine year old. Decades later, we may still be listening to baldheaded barbers, and the hidden memory of that ever-so-wise nine year old child.
A true seeker of truth and wisdom will demonstrate the high-value of lifelong learning and frequently fly in the face of conventional wisdom. When a lifestyle principle is learned, we will continually reevaluate and compare our latest observations to it. Yul Brenner was a baldheaded cancer victim wisely telling us not to smoke. I will listen to part of what he had to say, but then Yul did not write a material on how to prevent hair loss. He learned to profit from his trademark baldness, but many young people saw him smoke in the movies and thought he looked “cool.” (ambiguity intended)
(Only Vulcans Can Do a Mind Meld)
As much as they would like to, mothers cannot explain to their children with words alone what “HOT! Don’t touch!” really means. Words only convey meaning between people with a common experience (like the unique language developed by twins who have minimal contact with other children). You have to be burned, before you understand what HOT really means, and the lasting effect of ignoring a HOT warning. How many burns did YOU receive as a child? Did any of them leave permanent scars (mental or physical)?
This material attempts to communicate with mere words some things that the reader has yet to experience over a lifetime – a challenging intellectual exercise. These principles are long-feedback-cycle concepts that cannot be tested and proven in the length of time that it takes to read this material.
Parable: If a sighted person tries to explain vision to someone who was born blind, how can they do it, since the person hearing the words has no understanding of the concept being conveyed. How can a man ever really know what a woman feels or needs when they make love? - Since men are from one planet and women from another, and thus, they can never share the exact same experience, or the meaning of certain elusive words and concepts.
Some people might answer that “compassion,” “consideration” or “empathy” are the answer, but in reality, they are insufficient. Some would say that you should “walk a mile in my shoes,” but how can I encourage my children to even try my big shoes on, when they may be something that children must grow into?
I have heard people who were born blind try to poetically describe with words what it might be like to be able to see for the very first time. Biotechnology is beginning to allow impulses from a digital camera to be sent to the optical cortex of a blind person, which will enable them an (unnatural) form of sight. How will they convey what the experience first “feels” like. How will we know if it is like what a sighted person experiences? Such people may eventually be able to see infrared and things that “normal” people cannot see. We can now implant a sound transducer in your tooth and attach it to a radio or cell phone for undetected quiet conversations and even real time knowledge enhancement. Will most of us eventually want to become “bionic” in various different ways, so we can perceive things that others cannot? How will we discuss the possibilities with those who have not experienced what our bionics provide us?
Let me try to bring these various communication concepts into convergence, and then focus our attention on the first principles referred to by the title of this material.
Imagine for a moment that you are now 40 years old. You have accomplished the goal of early retirement, comfortable, secure and happy. You are retired from a conventional work-a-day job. You are financially independent. You have no debt, other than to love those who love you. You have a comfortable home in a nice secure location, and the resources to maintain it. You have a car under factory warrantee and the cash flow to continually replace it before the warrantee runs out. You do not have to work (just to make money) for the rest of your life. Most of your investments have real value and would be difficult to wipe out by white-collar crime. You live in the land of freedom, but unlike the vast majority of those around you, YOU are TRULY FREE to do whatever you chose to do for the rest of your life. Now that you have arrived – Whacha gonna do?
Many retired people say that they enjoy doing volunteer work – You could do that. Some like to swim, dance, play golf or write – You could do those things too. Some retired people want to do something entrepreneurial. You can afford to invest your time in whatever way you like, as long as you do not place most of your financial foundation at risk.
Suppose you meet a 21-year-old who admires your truly-free lifestyle and thinks that you are a “cool dude”, which has happened to me many times recently, since I love Joyful Dancing with young and old people several times a week. Lest you think otherwise, I am a clean living “good” guy who never drinks, smokes or uses drugs, and I’m not at all promiscuous, but I do enjoy the energy, enthusiasm, happiness and the openness of young people.
In the imaginary situation that I described above: How would you explain to the 21-year-old who admires your success how to do what you have done, so they could achieve similar goals within 20 years?
Albert Einstein said that you don’t really understand a topic, unless you can explain it to a six year old. I have thought long and hard about the problem of sharing unfamiliar human experience, and the fragility, frailty and ineffectiveness of mere words at conveying lessons learned over a long period of time, to a person who was born blind and raised by blind parents, taught by blind school teachers, works for a blind manager under a blind government of laws that were created by corrupt blind politicians. (A bit of an intellectual challenge – eh?)
In contrast, many of today’s “difficult” problems seem easy to solve at first:
Sometimes “easy” problem solution principles are very difficult to implement, due to the mysteries of the human mind and the great difficulty that most people have in breaking traditional bad habits. In modern psychology one concept is called “SIR” (stimulus imagery response) – Change the mental images and the undesired behavior will be replaced by a more desirable set of behavior modifying lifestyle decisions.
In simpler terms, we need to fully understand the predictable consequences of today’s “bad” habits, and replace them with “good” habits that enhance the quality of our life (and our longevity). Humans are creatures of habit. Changing habits is often extremely difficult to do, even when it clear means the difference between a joyful life, versus a slow painful demoralizing death, that places unnecessary great burdens on those who love us.
As we explore the essential Joyful Aging principles in this material, we will discuss new mental images that can significantly alter the fundamental concepts that you use to make both tactical and strategic life decisions.
Effective communication requires not only a good sender, but also a receptive receiver. The sender needs feedback (or the experience of previous feedback from many others) to verify that the message being sent is being received, and that the receiver understands and appreciates the true value of the message..
I don’t know how you discovered this material (email us and let us know JoyfulAging@AOL.com), but I hope that you have the motivation to carefully consider its contents, as I did its writing. You can’t do a one-week experiment to verify its correctness. You may begin to see encouraging results in a few months or a year, but it will take a decade of perseverance to have a dramatic, unquestionable change in your financial status. This lifetime commitment to thoughtful long-term life planning requires you to be a farsighted individual, able to mentally project yourself into the future, and comprehend how today’s many decisions are likely to impact the rest of your life.
Where might we find such people? - Those who are self-motivated to enroll in college must have some degree of insight into their future. Statistically, people with a better education “do better” than those with less education. (Of course there are notable exceptions like the uneducated dropout who brought us the familiar “blue screen of death”, but…) Good college students can see how one esoteric class, based on a book that may soon be obsolete, can contribute to the sheepskin, which is essential for them to achieve a motivating long-term personal goal. I have often told my children that the reason for going to college is NOT to learn particular subjects, but rather to LEARN HOW TO LEARN, and the maintain “Lifelong learning in an every expanding universe of endless possibilities.”
Most children quickly learn to go to school and wait to be “spoon fed” by their teachers. In America, we reinforce this ineffective mental image for 13 years of public education – driving creative thinking and self motivation far from the next generation, who are destined to eventually gain control of our own future.
College is supposed to teach superior students to become self-motivated “seekers of knowledge and truth” (but a lot of lawyers, accountants and politicians learn creative ways to hide the truth). College students should learn how to learn, without being spoon fed. No one is going to (or should) force the knowledge in this material down your throat. You must internalize your own motivating goals and pursue them with your own enthusiasm.
You must be able to mentally connect the principles that you discover in this material and elsewhere to your own lifestyle-decision-making process, which become the stair steps that are required to reach your motivating goals.
I don’t expect anyone to do everything recommended by this material, but I do hope that you will stop, think about it, and remember most of the principles, which you will have many opportunities to reevaluate, elaborate and refine throughout your lifetime. If you only adopt one principle now (and think about some of the others later), then I believe that your life will be enriched.
This material has references to related work published by others. Please use these pointers and search for others in your lifelong learning process (just as any self-motivated lifelong learning entity would intuitively already understand).
My wish for you is that you may become wealthy in those
things that you truly value the most.
I hope that some of the following principles will help you achieve your personal goals. I will appreciate your feedback and suggestions over the years, to help me refine these principles, and improve how I convey them effectively to others. JoyfulAging@AOL.com
Important Financial and Lifestyle Principles Overlooked By The Masses
(Under Construction Significant Long-Term Work In Progress)
Let’s Begin By Stating The Obvious, and then Fill In The Important Subtle Details
A Good Education Is Essential – Visualize Powerful Personal Goals / Select Wise Options
The critical importance of Energy and Enthusiasm For Life / Instability delays/prevents success
Adapted from The Finish Rich Workbook © Copyright 2003 by David Bach.
"Pay yourself first" means just what it says. The next time you earn a dollar, before you pay anyone else any money they may have coming to them -- before you pay the government its federal or state tax, before you pay your landlord the rent or your bank the monthly mortgage -- you must pay yourself first.
The fact is that most people pay everyone else, before we pay ourselves. The first person we pay is the government through our withholding taxes. Then we usually pay the rent or the mortgage and the rest of our bills. If anything is left at the end of the month, then maybe we pay ourselves by putting a few dollars into a savings or retirement account, but most of the time, any month excess is spent on non-essential things.
Unfortunately, this approach simply does NOT work. By letting the government take its portion first, there is often not enough left over to pay yourself much of anything. Fortunately, there is a way to pay yourself BEFORE you pay the government, a way where you don't lose a significant portion of your paycheck to income taxes. And best of all, it is legal and we are encouraged to participate..
It involves using a pretax retirement account. There are many different types: such as 401(k), 403(b), SEP-IRAs, 401(k) / Profit-Sharing, Keogh plans and SIMPLEs. Exactly which type of plan, and how it should be invested, are important topics for detailed discussion, but first we need to understand the following:
Formulas For Wealth Accumulation
To be poor:
Save nothing, or worse yet, use credit foolishly and spend MORE than you make. This predictable plan for long-term poverty should be obvious, but for some reason, many millions of shortsighted people do it every month. If you have already decided to live this plan for being poor for the rest of your life, then you will probably not be remotely interested in the following predictable formulas.
To become middle-class:
Consistently save 5% to 10% of your gross income every month.
Saving does NOT mean that you shouldn’t pay your bills. It means that you must learn how to spend less than you make. If you do not have the money to spend after you have paid yourself, then do NOT buy things that you cannot afford. Old fashion checking accounts came with balance books, so you would not overspend. The credit card companies’ “debt trap” encourage you to ignore what you spend, so you will be forced to pay them interest. You must develop the discipline to pay close attention to what you spend, especially easy-use credit cards and loans on depreciating items, which only go down in value while you are burdened with ever increasing debts. You must develop sales resistance and proactively avoid “affluenza” (setting goals for things you don’t really need and cannot afford to pay cash for). If you cannot pay your credit card off EVERY month, if you have large loans on depreciating items, and you do not Pay Yourself First, then you need to seek counseling to help you make significant lifestyle behavior modifications.
The better education you have, the easier it is to become at least middle class. A poorly educated minimum-wage person has great difficulty rising above poverty. Invest in your education first, and the education of your children. There are countless stories of people who were born into poverty, who decided to better themselves with a good education. Study hard and do not waste valuable education opportunities. Do not wait to be “spoon fed” by mediocre teachers. Take the initiative to find valuable sources of wisdom. Become a seeker of knowledge. Practice lifelong learning to maximize your long-term potential. And, do not spend money you don’t have or borrow money on depreciating items.
To become upper-middle-class:
Consistently save 10% to 15% of your gross income every month.
To become wealthy:
Consistently save 15% to 20% of your gross income every month.
To retire early - comfortably and financially secure:
Consistently save at least 20% of your gross income every month.
Vaccinate Against “Affluenza” – A Virus Of The Mind
The Impact Of Commercial Television On the Human Intellect, Goals and Decision Processes
Take control of your decision-making images – Don’t
allow advertisers to own your brain
Its not just about sales resistance – Its about endless hours of profit-motivated brainwashing
Advertisers spend billions of dollars to effectively convince you to buy things you don’t need
Where Will You Spend Your Money – What Does It Really
Cost Long Term
Learn the basic long-term expense math and apply it daily
Mad money, splurges and indulgences add up and delay your financial and lifestyle goals
Intelligently differentiate what is essential and what is not - Keep your lifestyle simple
Avoid exposure to influences that make you deviate from your motivating long-term goals
Avoid The “Enslavement” Debt Trap – Perhaps The Most Significant Of All Financial Principles
Never buy things that you don’t “need” or can’t afford (even if they are “on sale”)
Never borrow money on any depreciating item – How can young people implement this?
Investing Wisely While Surrounded By Extremely Biased Advisors
There has never been any single investment strategy that is always the best thing to do
Understand the risks and issues – Carefully read the signs of the times – Don’t risk everything
The popular majority opinion is often the worst thing to do
Never lose sight of your goals and your thoughtful decision-making criteria
Healthy Lifestyle Decisions
Avoid the obvious bad stuff (for many reasons)
Pay more attention to nutrition and exercise than your doctor does (use it or lose it)
The more energy you expend, the more you will have
Use it or lose it – Hidden brain secrets from modern neurobiology
Categorical Perception: Breadth and depth – Answer the 2500 year old question
Nutrition, exercise and brain function
The essential roles of humor, attitude, happiness and joy (not based on situations)
The world is full of good and bad things. People who
amplify the good things
and learn to laugh at most of the bad things are a lot more fun to be around.
Chose Your Partners and Associates Very Carefully –
Synergy is WONDERFUL
- Failed Relationships Are Expensive (in many different ways)
- Be realistic - Don’t ignore statistics – Control your expectations and investment
Ancient wisdom versus modern morality reality – We are learning more every year
Now That You Have Comfortably Retired: Who Ya Gonna Call? Whatcha Gonna Do?
The actuarial secret about life after retirement – When you vegetate, you accelerate death
Visualize powerful, motivating retirement goals – Plan a very active, fulfilling retirement
Now that money no longer matters, you can focus on discovering the true “meaning of life”
The quality of your own life will be greatly enhanced by bringing joy and happiness to others
Chose wisely how you invest your finite available time - You will surely reap what you sow
If you like what you’ve read so far, please let us know. If you have constructive comments, related interests, or sources that you think would help our effort, then we would really like to hear from you. JoyfulAging@AOL.com
© Copyright 1980 – 2002 Larry Hartweg JoyfulAging.com