A DISTURBING TREND: RETIRING BEFORE YOU WANT TO

#retirement #RetirementPlanning #layoffs #buyouts
It’s an alarming trend, a letter writer wrote.
People in their 50s are getting laid off, he continues. The workers may get an optional early-retirement package which, if not taken, leads to a layoff a short time later, he continues.
Or, he says, it may mean becoming a contract worker making half the money with fewer, and more expensive to you, benefits. “A friend who refused a package last year will retire with much less this month because of shortsightedness,” he writes.
The letter writer signed his missive “B.” He wrote the letter to Peter Dunn, the USA Today columnist known as “Pete the Planner.” His column was also published March 4, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
To sum up Pete’s response, he advises: “Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper, and create a series of hash marks on the line, representing future age markers. Next, list major life events on the timeline. Be sure to note events such as your mortgage payoff year, when you reach age 59.5 (when retirement funds become available) and when you hit 62 (the first chance to activate Social Security). …
“When I drew my line, I noticed my need for money peaked at age 53,” Pete continues. “If I were to lose my job at or around 53 years old, I would be in big trouble. Therefore, I want to be sure not to take on any additional obligations around that time in my life. Knowing when you’re the most at risk is a reasonable way to avoid additional risks,” Pete writes.
He goes on to say that the age timeline will help people evaluate any early buyout options.
This topic is trending at a rapid pace. Pete advises that retiring at a normal age, with “normal” benefits etc., is challenging enough. Retiring early because one is forced to can be torture, he writes.
Planning is obviously a wise decision, but the best laid plans can go awry when you least expect them, or want them, to. So, we are in a milieu in which we have to PRESUME that we will not be able to work at our current jobs for as long as we want. Reorganizations will come frequently. Bad managers will come into your life and throw you out – or force you to leave on your own.
The age-old advice is to spend less and save more, as consumer adviser Clark Howard preaches. If you “have to have” the latest, up-to-date gadgets, think about whether your current gadgets are serving you well. A rule of thumb might be: if a new gadget will give me pleasure, and is not a necessity of life, postpone buying it and live with the older technology. When the old stuff craps out, then replace it.
If you have, say, a daily habit of buying a cup of coffee in the morning, you might think about buying a Thermos and brewing your own coffee to take with you.
In other words, examine the little things you do in life that cost you money. Do you really need to spend it? Remember, too, to think value rather than price. Sometimes, buying better stuff up front will keep you from buying multiple cheap things later on.
Finally, if you are planning your financial life as best you can, but you don’t think it will be enough when you get shown the door at work, think about investing a few part-time, off-work hours in something that may not only augment your income, but could surpass it. There are many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, draw the diagram Pete suggests. This is especially good for folks who are less careful about their spending. Save well. Invest well – or as best you can – with a good, trusted adviser.
In today’s world, for many people, retirement decisions, unfortunately, are made FOR them by others. Be prepared for that decision to be made for you, as early as tomorrow, no matter how old you are.
Peter

DO SOMETHING

I am one person. I can’t do everything. But I am me. I can do something.
Paraphrase of a T-shirt seen in an airport
#dosomething

We all gripe about the world.
Perhaps we’ve gone through some things we didn’t deserve.
Perhaps we’ve seen everything we’ve worked for disappear, through no fault of our own.
Perhaps we have an illness that we not only never expected, but feel incapable to deal with.
Our circumstances are none of our business. How we deal with them is every bit our business.
Maybe we can’t change the way the world is. But we can change the way WE are.
Perhaps we can’t fix all destruction. But we can fix what we can see and touch.
Some are bent on destroying us. But we are flexible. We keep moving.
The boss wants us gone. So we go, and make a better life.
We get sick. But we do what we need to get better.
We are told certain things are true. Yet we find some may not be.
Even the smallest deception we may try can hurt someone else big time.
We are all better than we think we are at the moment. We just have to go for it!
All you think, do and say has a consequence. Make all thoughts, deeds and words positive.
Don’t let the naysayers get you down. For there is much out there that is good and true.
If no one gives you a pat on the back, give yourself one.
Haven’t gotten a raise in years? Look for something more beneficial to you.
Having trouble finding that benefit? Visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau
The world can be a dark place. Let your attitude shine a light for you.
Perhaps you can’t change everything. But you can change.
When everything isn’t what it seems, keep digging. You may find gold.
If you dread getting up in the morning, be thankful that you still can.
The best way to get on your feet is to get off your butt. (seen on a license plate)
People and companies will do what they must do. You do what you must do.
Be the music that rocks your world when evil tries to drown you out.
Be you. Do what you know you should. Help others, so you may help yourself.
Peter

LEADERSHIP: KNOWING WHEN TO LEAVE

A person who reaches the pinnacle of leadership not only keeps leading, he is aiming to leave a legacy so that when he steps down, a high quality leader will follow him.
In John Maxwell’s “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” the leadership pinnacle is the fifth level. Leaders reach that level not only by developing other leaders, but by creating a situation that people follow him for who he is, and what he represents.
Maxwell says that a person reaches that level by continuing to develop leaders at all the other levels. By having a team of great leaders that the Level 5 leader has developed, he knows that he can step down, and the organization will still succeed like a well-oiled machine.
One of the main mistakes a leader can make at this level is hanging around too long. A Level 5 leader, Maxwell says, leaves before he has to. Most who get to this level have matured, probably had great financial success and may be ready to take on other challenges – or just retire and do something fun.
There’s a philosophy in any job to stay until they throw you out. But really great leaders don’t wait to be thrown out. Because they are so humble, they leave BEFORE they may want to.
So, perhaps you aren’t a CEO with a great nest egg. Are you hanging around a job waiting to see whether they throw you out? Do you see the day when they just might throw you out? Do you think that you are so great at what you do, they will NEVER throw you out?
In today’s working world, EVERY job is at risk. You, as an employee, are just one bad manager, or one reorganization, away from a potential end to a career. The job you are so good at perhaps can be done by someone who would earn less than you. Perhaps technology will advance quickly enough that a machine will replace you. Today’s worker cannot wait around expecting his employer to keep him until he can retire.
You have to keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities. Those opportunities may lie in areas you may not logically gravitate to. Perhaps learning a new skill will increase your career options.
Chances are very good that someday, you’ll walk into work to a surprise – the company has reorganized and you’re being laid off. Never expect to be tipped off to this. It will come when you never expect it.
Or, that great boss you had has left the company, and his replacement is someone with whom you don’t hit it off. Perhaps this person sees you as a threat. Perhaps he just doesn’t like you. He can make your situation untenable.
Though the Level 5 leaders of which Maxwell speaks can usually control their own destinies, you may not have that luxury. But that doesn’t mean you can’t think the way they do. Perhaps you may not WANT to leave a job yet. But you may have to.
What to do to prepare for that? Have a Plan B in place to give you income if a career killer visits you. There are several good Plan Bs out there. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You could be building a legacy of your own while you work. You could work your way up to a Level 5 leader, without interfering with your career. If the end of that career comes suddenly, you can leave with a smile.
Peter