At age 45, some years ago, Denise McColister felt very secure in her job. She believed she would retire comfortably at 62.
Then, her husband became disabled. Their house, which was paid for, had to be leveraged to pay for his care. So now, at 55, she’s working a part-time call-center job. There is no retirement in sight.
McColister’s story was one of several told in an article by David Markiewicz, in the Sept. 23, 2012, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Over the years, retirement has evolved. Decades ago, workers longed for the day when their pensions, Social Security and retirement savings could be pooled into a comfortable life in the last years of life. They’d spent many years of hard labor and this was their reward.
They combined what their employers, their government and their own diligence did for them over the years to reach their dream. They hoped they would have enough good years of life, without sickness, disability or ordinary ravages of age, to travel, enjoy their hobbies or just relax with family and friends.
Today, the Baby Boomers look at retirement differently. If they are lucky, they have a pension, they have, or will have, Social Security and, if they were smart, a nest egg of savings and investments. But, presuming they are healthy, they can, and want to, still work at something that they can do largely on their own terms, so there is time to enjoy “retirement.”
The economy, however, has produced a number of folks like McColister who are not working at a job because they WANT to. They are working because they HAVE to. They are in this predicament through no fault of their own. The economy, or some other life catastrophe, has put them in a position in which, as Markiewicz quotes McColister, they will be working “until I am called home.”
If you are at or near retirement age, hopefully you have things in place that will allow you to enjoy some kind of “retirement,” or at least get you out of the rat race. If you are looking for something that will help in this regard, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. This vehicle could be the financial solution you are looking for, if you see yourself working until you die. Despite the ravages of a horrible economy over the last several years, there are ways out there to generate income. This is one of the best.
If you are young, and not yet thinking about retirement, start now to prepare for that day. Check out a way you can work full-time at your job, and part-time on your fortune. Put a little money away each paycheck, and don’t touch it until you reach the age you want to retire.
Of course, should you be hit with a layoff or some other calamity,that may be easier said than done. Still, you must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Bad things happen to good people. Having multiple streams of income will help cushion the blows. We must presume that promises made to us, either by employers or government, will NOT be kept. If we do what we can do to prepare for trouble, and it never comes, we are that much ahead of the game. We also have to learn not to blame ourselves, or others, if misfortune comes. If we’ve prepared for the worst, we can use our energy to deal with misfortune, rather than retaliate against whomever or whatever we believe caused it.
What should you do now? First and foremost, don’t presume anything, other than YOU having control over your adversity. Secondly, think about creating multiple streams of income. If you do that, it won’t matter much what happens to you. You’ll be able to deal with it comfortably, without the angst and stress McColister and others face.
The greatest moment of your life is being able to leave a job that has consumed you, on your terms, with a smile on your face. Then, to quote former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson in the AAG reverse mortgage ad, “live the life you’ve dreamed.”


The violence in the Middle East is attributed to lots of things – inflammatory movies or other media, ruthless dictators etc.
But, in the Middle East, the center of the trouble, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and other experts have said, is angry young men who are fairly well educated, but have no job to go to, and are otherwise inhibited from using their talents most profitably.
In the U.S., we also have many young people who feel left out of the process. They see a few people making lots of money, but don’t see a way to break into the action so they can do the same.
They see that they’ve gotten an education, and all they have to show for it is a big debt and, at the moment, no way to pay it. Perhaps they engaged in a field of study that is not in demand, or cannot be converted to a job that pays well.
Perhaps they grew up in an atmosphere in which competition was de-emphasized. Everyone got something, just for joining the club, or just for showing up. The real world is teaching them that showing up – or getting a good education – may not be enough. The parents have no way to bail them out, except by allowing them to live at home as adults.
We can find much to blame for this predicament. But, let’s not waste a lot of energy blaming someone or something. Let’s focus on where we go from here.
No one wants to see thousands, or even millions, of young people saddled with college debt and no job to pay for it. So, let’s try to solve that problem first.
The best way for a young person to get out of debt is to set up a business that he or she can work. For a look at one good possibility, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. This and other vehicles can help young people start to build their fortunes. The good news about this is that ANYONE can do it. No special background or requirements needed. The person just needs the drive to get it going, and get his or her friends in the same predicament to do the same. It can happen overnight, but typically it takes time and diligence. If things go well, you’ll whittle down that college debt in a very short time. You’ll have ups and downs, but just stay with it.
Remember, when the economy picks up, or when the young person finds work in the regular job market, he or she can take that job, and work their business with whatever other time they have. If they work at it consistently, having a regular job might be unnecessary.
If you are a young person not yet in college, you and your parents need to think not just about what college to go to, but also whether college is right for the student. There are many ways to make money that don’t require education (see above). Think about the job possibilities in the field you want to study. Would it be worth incurring the debt to study that, and risk not having an income to pay for it?
Think of the reverse. Make your money first, then go to college to pursue your interests. You’ll have the money to pay for it and whether you can make a living with it won’t matter.
Don’t get angry. Don’t do things that will set you up to fail. If you are already in a difficult situation, work diligently to get out of it. It didn’t happen overnight, and it probably was not your fault, even though others will blame you. It’s not about how you got there, it’s about how you are going to get out of there.
The alternatives for making money don’t involve government. They are not for the lazy or the impatient. The ambitious young people are just broke. They can fix that with energy, diligence, time and the right vehicle. The lazy and impatient will end up poor, unless they change.
Protests solve nothing and hurt innocent people. Some of the alternatives available to us in the U.S. may not be available to the young folks in the Middle East. In those countries, it may be more about breaking down barriers to success.
There are no barriers in the U.S. There is no need to protest. Use your energy to get out of trouble, or avoid trouble, rather than to blame those you feel got you in trouble.


Are you an E person, an S person, a B person or an I person?
Robert Kiyosaki, with Sharon Lechter, explain the different types of people in their book, “Rich Dad: The Business School For People Who Like Helping People.”
E stands for employee. People in this category usually have a job, and are distressed if they don’t have one. They work for someone else, building someone else’s dream. They are OK with that. They work for money. They have to keep working or the money stops. They look forward to weekends (or days off), vacations and, ultimately, retirement. They’ve resigned themselves to a long, hard road – newly pocked with insecurity since 2008 – until they can retire.
S stands for small business owner. These are rugged individuals, wanting to be their own bosses. Most want their businesses to grow. Some don’t want them to get TOO big, where they can’t run them alone. These individuals believe they are the best and the brightest within their company. Everyone works for them. They may admirably spend their lives building their businesses, shun vacations and hope they will have something valuable enough to sell when they are ready to retire.
The B person owns a BIG business. He has many people working for him. He’s the boss, but some of his employees may be smarter than he. He’s OK with that. In fact, he strives for it. You see, he’s still, and always will be, the boss. (Note: Most CEOs are in the E category. They make a lot of money, but still work for someone else). Those in the B category will own their big businesses until they die. They will probably work in those businesses until they die. It’s financial security, certainly, but where’s the freedom?
The freedom rests in the I category. These folks build wealth, not income. They never have to worry about where their money will come from. They can do what they want. They can go anywhere, anytime for any reason – or no reason at all. They have as much, or more, wealth, as the B person, but they have the TIME the B person does not. These folks have residual income, defined as getting paid over and over again for doing something once. That’s normally associated with people in the movie, TV or recording business getting residuals from reruns. But those in network marketing build initial teams, and help them grow – usually by working with those they’ve brought in to build their teams – and their dreams. The best day of the week for them is the day the weekly check comes in, regardless of what they did the week before.
The Rich Dad book goes into great detail about these types of people, but we’ll sum it up here. The E person craves security. He may envy the rich, or criticize the rich, but never see himself as rich. You can put a fortune in front of him, and he may never see it, or may fear it. Some may make good money at their jobs, but they are still working for someone else.
The S person sees HIMSELF as the catalyst for his life/business. People may help him get rich, but that task is so consuming to him and he doesn’t have time to help others. The important thing for him is that he is beholden to no one. He may tell others what to do, but no one – save, perhaps, a spouse or parent – can tell him what to do. Often, this person’s ego can take over his life.
The B person’s success is undisputed. He is among the fortunate in life. But his fortune comes at a price. He has little time for anything, other than business – or making money. He hopes he doesn’t die before he can relax.
The I person is the dreamer. He dreams not just of financial freedom, but also time freedom. He works for time, not money, though money gives him time. He builds his big dreams by helping others do the same. Chances are, he’s in network marketing, if he’s not in show business. Although, network marketing IS show business. You SHOW others how to do what you are doing.
If you see yourself as an I person, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It may be the financial freedom vehicle you’ve been looking for. If you are among the other types, and REALLY WANT to be an I person, it would be worth your time to check out the site as well.
We are who we are, but can become who we want. But you have to WANT to become who you want. You can be an E, S or B, and work toward becoming an I – if you want. Many work full-time on their jobs or businesses, and work on their fortune and freedom as a sideline – until the fortune kicks in. Then, they grab the freedom. They say, goodbye E, S or B. Hello, I.


Debbi Fields loved to bake chocolate chip cookies. Little did this California housewife know that her hobby would become a big business – Mrs. Fields.
Ken Hannah started a steak house restaurant in Massachusetts. But it was his homemade salad dressing that would become his empire – Ken’s salad dressing.
We often dream that our hobbies, our passion or something we create would earn us great wealth. It happens rarely, so most of us have to be content with just loving our avocations. If we turn them into an income stream, that’s a bonus.
But there is hope for all of us – even those who don’t yet have avocations about which they are passionate. It’s the greatest anti-poverty program in the world for two reasons: it makes average people wealthy AND people get wealthy by helping others get wealthy. It’s known as network marketing.
Robert Kiyosaki, with Sharon L. Lechter, in the series of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” books, has written a book titled “Rich Dad: The Business School For People Who Like Helping People.” In it, he shows that it’s not the invention itself that makes one rich. It’s the network by which that invention is distributed that makes people rich.
Debbi Fields and Ken Hannah invented something special, but didn’t become rich until that invention was widely distributed. In network marketing, the product(s) have already been invented or created. The average person gets rich by building a network to distribute that product. Here’s the beauty of it: you don’t have to build these networks through anything other than talking to others about it, and showing it to them.
Kiyosaki did not build his fortune through network marketing. But through his research, as his book states, he’s become a fan. Why? You see, many people get rich AT THE EXPENSE of others. They use others’ labor and others’ talent to enrich themselves. Those who made them rich get very few of the spoils.
Through most legitimate network marketing companies, one cannot get rich unless he helps others do the same. Anyone can do it, yet, network marketing is not for everyone, Kiyosaki says. Donald Trump and Warren Buffett also have invested in network marketing companies.
To do anything well, you have to believe in what you are doing. Belief turns to passion. Passion oozes out of you as you talk about your product, and recruit others to work with you. Those who are looking to change their lives will see that passion in you, and want to follow you. The passion becomes contagious, and the people who see your passion and join you, become passionate themselves and attract others. That cycle builds networks that can make everyone in it rich.
Why is it not for everyone? There are lots of folks who NEED something to come into their lives that will change it for the better. But not everyone LOOKS FOR IT! Many are content enough with what they have, even though they envy others who have more. Many others are clearly not content, but even if you put a fortune in front of them, they will never see it. Still others see it as too good to be true, and are so skeptical they won’t get near it – no matter how well they know you, and no matter how passionate you are. To borrow a phrase from the U.S. Marines, you are looking for the few, who will ultimately become the proud (and rich). Along the way, you’ll find the many who will not.
There are many good network marketing companies out there. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. How will you know that the one you are shown is among the best, and won’t burn you? You can do your own research, of course, but here is your first clue: is the person showing it to you SHOWING, rather than SELLING? How will you know that? He’ll take NO for an answer, and walk away.
He may update you periodically on how he’s doing, if you show some interest, but he won’t keep bothering you. Remember, he’s interviewing you for his business. He’s not looking for any special talent. He’s looking for desire and interest. Sure, he may sell you a product that you will use anyway, and may not want to sell yourself. But he’s really looking for business partners.
The next time someone you know – or perhaps someone you don’t yet know – offers to show you something that they say could change your life, check it out. Say no if it’s not for you. Say yes if you believe it is. But unless your life is so good that you don’t need a change, take a look. Then, decide.


Many of us dreamed of a good job, nice house, great family and never having to worry that all that will go away.
Slowly – or perhaps not so slowly – it may be.
In August 2012, Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez took a look at the problem, thoroughly examined by reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele in their book, “The Betrayal of the American Dream.”
The book details how the middle class is eroding, and how those who consider themselves part of the middle class are voting in favor of people and policies that may be against their own economic interests.
Barlett and Steele, according to Sanchez, point to 1985 as a pivotal year. From 1950 through 1985, the number of American workers with defined-benefit pension plans grew. Since 1985, employers have killed 84,350 defined-benefit pension plans.
These pensions, combined with Social Security – also in peril over time – kept the middle class in the middle class during their elder years.
One may argue that pension plans with employee contributions, combined with company matches, are even better for the employees. That certainly may be true if the employees contribute to or near the maximum allowed by law, AND the financial markets behave.
In recent years, the behavior of the financial markets has been less than stellar. Companies and other employers have had difficulty sustaining their pension plans. The Baby Boom generation is retiring in earnest, thus stressing any type of pension plan.
Who is at fault here? That’s no longer important. The important thing is what workers do now.
If you have a job in which working past normal retirement age is tenable, that’s an option. If that is not an option for you, you probably need a Plan B. There are many Plan B options out there. To check out one really good one, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau
If you have a pension that has not gone away, consider yourself blessed. You’ve worked hard for it and certainly deserve it. However, others who’ve worked just as hard may not be as lucky. Their employers have broken their promises. Or, their employers never made the promise. Or, their employers have stopped making promises. If you have contributed toward your own pension, you will still have something. But your elder-years lifestyle, or perhaps your current lifestyle, hangs in the balance.
As many advocate less dependence on government, they are in effect advocating more dependency on employers – and many employers like that. Many employers like to see a certain amount of desperation among their staffs. They want people not to get too comfortable in their jobs. They want to maintain the right to break a promise if it proves too difficult to keep.
As an employee, there is little YOU can do about that, other than to leave. The goal becomes to hang in until YOU decide it’s time to go. That may not always be possible.
Consider carefully your own economic interests before making any decision. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be taken care of, by either government or your employer, when neither may be the case. Not all pensions – even those from the government — will be guaranteed.
If you are young, PRESUME no one will take care of you. If you are older, and have been jilted by your employer, find a Plan B. Try not to work longer than you want to – easier said than done, certainly.
It’s not a matter of what’s happened and whose fault it is. It’s much too late for that in most cases. It’s a matter of how YOU solve YOUR problem, even if YOUR problem is not YOUR fault. Choose carefully.