#retirement #investments #NewRulesForInvesting
Like eating and sleeping, choosing how to invest for retirement is a necessity of life.
The number of options makes the choice more difficult.
What may be good news is that new federal rules encourage brokers and other investment sales folks to make the client’s interest a priority, regardless of how much the broker may lose in fees.
Russell Grantham, a business reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed these new rules in an April 24, 2016, article.
Baby boomers are starting to retire in large numbers, and these new rules are designed to ease the burden of choosing the correct investments for them.
As Grantham’s article points out, though, the new rules may discourage some brokers from dealing with clients that have small nest eggs. It could increase brokers’ costs, he writes.
The rules are among the biggest changes in the financial industry in generations, Grantham writes.
The financial industry sometimes gets a bad reputation. Not everyone in the industry looks out for his or her own interests over his or her clients’ interests.
The bottom line for investors, regardless of how much money they have, is to find someone trustworthy to manage their hard-earned money.
Someone trustworthy will always have your best interests at heart. Someone trustworthy will manage risk according to his client’s tolerance.
Someone trustworthy won’t be calling his clients daily, attempting to generate trades that may or may not be in the client’s best interest.
Also, the financial industry is extremely competitive. Those who work in it must not just make a living, but also must make money. A great way to judge an investment adviser is by how much he or she is making for YOU. Generally, advisers don’t last in the business if their clients are making puny returns, or are sustaining heavy losses.
Know, too, that the financial markets don’t go up in a straight line. There will be some down times throughout any investment market.
But good advisers will get clients through the tough times with minimal, if any, losses.
Though the markets don’t generally go up in a straight line, they generally go up over time. Beware the financial adviser who predicts doom, and encourages clients to pull everything out and turn everything to cash. Although it’s nice to have some cash available, cash by itself generates little or no return.
All this discussion about rules for advisers begs another question: how much money do you have for your retirement, and are you investing it properly? If you don’t believe you have enough for your retirement, and don’t know how you are going to get what you need as you age, visit There are many ways to generate extra income, and this is one of the best.
So choose your investment adviser carefully, if you haven’t done so already. Talk to several before you decide. Make sure the person you choose understands how much risk you can stand. Make sure, too, that he or she creates a balanced portfolio for you, and isn’t so conservative that your returns will be puny.
You’ll know by talking to different advisers whether you can trust them. Regardless of the rules they have to live by, trust is the main thing to look for in an adviser. The adviser’s job is not just to make you money, but also give you peace of mind.


#CollegeGraduates #CollegeDebt #CollegeStudents

One graduate has resorted to selling her eggs to help infertile women.

She is one of many college graduates who have huge college debt and not enough income to easily pay it off.

Her story and others were relayed by Kala Kachmar of the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press in an article also published in the May 8, 2016, edition of The Tennessean in Nashville as part of its USA Today supplement.

About $2 million borrowers bear a $1.3 trillion loan burden, the headline reads.

“Who wants to live at home at 29? I don’t. But, luckily, I can. … I shouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck,” the article quotes Christyn Gionfriddo of Neptune, N.J.

Let’s examine what has happened. We have gotten constant messages for decades that to get a good job, one needs a good education – a college degree. Colleges and the government have made it easier for students of all income levels to get into college.

Some of the vehicles used to facilitate students getting into college involve loans that students are not obligated to begin repaying until after graduation.

In theory, this plan works if students can convert their educations into a good-paying job.

That doesn’t always happen.

Therefore, students are graduating with huge debt that may be difficult to repay, if their incomes can’t support it.

Some, in fact, will try to avoid repaying it.

What’s a young person to do?

First, determine in your high school years, whether college is right for you.

It’s certainly a nice goal to have EVERYONE get a college degree, but today’s economics require a more in-depth thought process for each student.

Ask yourself, if you go to college, what is the goal when you graduate? What kind of income will you be likely to earn with your degree? Will you need loans to get through school? What is the likelihood of you getting a job in your chosen field immediately after graduation? Will it be enough for you to live a decent life, and pay off your debt?

If you’ve determined that college is worthwhile enough to borrow money for, then watch your spending while in school. You may have to forgo some good times, get a part-time job and otherwise be somewhat miserly. Watch every dime you spend and make sure it is worthwhile.

If you determine that college may not be right for you, don’t fret. There are other ways to make an income without having to worry about what kind of job you have. For one of the best, visit You’ll see people of all income and education levels spending less, and potentially earning enough to pay off any debt promptly.

In short, don’t view going to college as an automatic decision. Don’t view your education as an interlude to be young, boisterous and have a good time. Because, when you grow up, there could be a big debt welcoming you to adulthood.

Colleges don’t care what happens to you once you get out. But you should take that into account before deciding whether to go to college.



#life #purpose #MakeADifference
“The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”
That quote, from Polish-born writer Leo Rosten, is one of many inspirational quotes and words in the book, “The Power of One: How One Person Can Make a Difference,” by BJ Gallagher and Steve Ruttenberg.
Let’s dissect the quote for a minute. If you work for someone else, perhaps you only want to be productive enough that the boss will pay you, and keep you around awhile.
If you work in a place in which only the owner of your company, and a few key executives, are getting rich, and you are not, that feeling is understandable. Why, after all, would you want to give your all so that they can take all – or at least the lion’s share.
Then, think about how much you matter to them. They may like your work, and may even think pretty highly of you. But how much are they going to sacrifice to make sure you don’t leave? Chances are, they see you as nothing more than a tool, a human resource. If they determine that you are costing them too much, or they need to reorganize and get rid of a few people, do you think they are going to care about what happens to you?
They may say nice things, but they will tell you they had to make some “tough decisions.” Some employers, undoubtedly, honestly feel bad about letting people go. But most of them aren’t going to take money out of their pockets to make sure there is money in yours.
Rosten, undoubtedly, was not thinking about employer-employee relations when he spoke those words.
He was referring to what’s inside YOU. Are you doing things in your world, if not at work, outside of it, that matter to others? Are you helping others, to borrow from the late Zig Ziglar, get what they want, thereby getting what you want?
It can be tough to matter. It can be difficult to be productive, generous, humble, even honest.
It can be hard to like everyone.
But Rosten’s words say that we should strive to be and do all those things.
Personal happiness, perhaps, is selfish in his mind. But without personal happiness, it will be a struggle to be the person you want to be – someone others see as valuable.
One does not have to be financially rich to give happiness. But one must strive to give what he can so others can succeed.
Some bosses want you to give, so they can take. You’d much rather give so that others can get and, by extension, you can get as well.
If you see yourself as a giving person, or are striving to be, but are looking for the best way you can give, visit You’ll see stories of people who became successful by finding the best way to give to others.
You can stay on the treadmill of a job, with a boss who doesn’t care about you. Certainly, if it pays well enough, you can sock enough money away to leave that job sooner rather than later. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to hang in as long as you want to.
But that may not be the way YOU want to be productive, to matter or to make a difference. You may have to look for the best way for you to do that.


#dreams #dreaming #jobs #prosperity
“Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.”
That lyric, from John Cougar Mellencamp’s little ditty, “Jack and Diane,” tells of two Midwestern teens who dream about breaking away from where they are, but come to grips with the fact that they might not.
“Hold on to 16 as long as you can,” the song urges.
If you are old enough to have lived in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, you’ve probably heard your parents discourage you from dreaming. If you are too young to remember those years, talk to your parents and grandparents about them.
Ask them how their lack of dreaming turned out for them.
Ask them what they would have done, had they been encouraged, even allowed, to dream.
Folks who lived through those years may be happy. They may even have everything they need to live out the rest of their lives in prosperity. For everyone in that situation, there is at least one, if not more, who is not.
For those who are not, the job they thought was going to be there for as long as they wanted it is probably gone. If they have found another job, it probably doesn’t pay close to what they earned in that lost job.
If you ask them what they have put away for retirement, it probably isn’t nearly enough. If you ask, they will probably tell you that they will have to work until they die.
If you ask them what they are passionate about, they may say “nothing.” Or, they may be passionate about something that isn’t necessarily going to improve their lives.
What are these folks to do,besides complain about their situation?
Are these people bitter about everything? Are they telling their children that the world is doomed? Are they so full of fear and doubt that it consumes them? Do they feel that there is absolutely nothing they can do about the way things are?
It’s certainly easy to feel that way, if you’ve been badly wronged through no fault of your own.
Though it’s easy to feel that way, it’s also easy to tell yourself that you don’t have to feel that way.
There are things in the world that one can do to get himself out of his funk, which may take him out of his comfort zone as well.
Complaining and blaming is easy. Finding solutions may be harder, but certainly not impossible.
There are many ways out there to ease your financial burden, and not have to worry about working a traditional, W-2 job, that you might hate, until you die.
For one of the best, visit You will find an alternative that, for those who really want to better their lives and are willing to make some sacrifices to do so, can potentially change one’s life for the better. And, one can help others do the same, should they choose action over contraction.
The future is bright for those who want to partake of the many blessings out there. If you are in a job you hate, or that isn’t paying you nearly enough for your efforts, look for a Plan B that can eventually get you out of it.
If you’ve lost your job, and don’t see any way of getting another one that will make you a decent living, explore other options. You’d be surprised at what’s out there, if you are willing to look for it.
In Mellencamp’s ditty, the teens seemed resigned to stay in their hometown and live a boring life. There is certainly nothing wrong with staying in your hometown if you like it there, but one does not have to live a boring life. “The thrill of living” comes from within. Build it. Nourish it. Keep it alive and thriving.
This also brings to mind the television ad about the “settlers,” who settle for cable TV instead of the alternative. Don’t settle for anything. There is too much out there to miss by settling.


#stop #breathe #CalmDown #suicides
Suicide in the United States was up 63 percent among middle-aged women, and 43 percent among middle-aged men.
So says an article by Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times. It was published in the April 23, 2016, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Suicides are at their highest level in 30 years, Tavernise writes. It ‘s not just among middle-aged people. It’s up to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest rate since 1986, Tavernise writes.
“The findings in this report,” by the National Center for Health Statistics, are extremely concerning,” Tavernise quotes Nadine Kaslow, an Emory University researcher and past president of the American Psycological Association.
American Indians had the sharpest rise of all racial and ethnic groups, with rates rising 89 percent for women and 38 percent for men. White middle-aged women had an increase of 80 percent. The rate decline for black men, and declined in one age group: men and women older than 75, Tavernise quotes from the report.
Researchers who reviewed the analysis said the figures were consistent with recent research and painted a picture of desperation for many in American society.
Why do so many, who live in the greatest country in the world, want to kill themselves?
Certainly, the economy in recent years has not been kind to many, particularly those with less education. Jobs are going away, and not returning. Some who had decent-paying jobs have had to take lesser-paying jobs because they were downsized, reorganized etc.
One can lament the situation many face, but to resort to taking one’s own life is a drastic measure.
If you feel so much pressure that you just want it gone, take a breath.
Look around you to see what’s good in your life. Do you have a good family? Do you have lots of friends? Remember, the rising sun each morning is a blessing, and not just another day.
So, once you’ve recognized what’s good in your life, look for something that will help eliminate what’s not so good in your life.
If your job, or lack of job, is not giving you the financial security you want and need, there are many vehicles out there to combat that. For one of the best, visit
Yes, you may have to step outside your comfort zone, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised the number of people out there – perhaps whom you don’t know yet – who are or would be willing to help you.
Stepping from one’s comfort zone is not always easy, but it has to be easier than premature death.
We can blame lots of things for the positions many people find themselves in. But casting blame requires energy needed to help one get his life back. If one expends his energy thinking good thoughts, realizing that there is much good around him and that he should be grateful for that, it would be a good start.
It’s difficult enough, when you have an illness or injury that is going to take your life, to deal with death. Perfectly healthy folks certainly don’t need to resort to death to relieve their problems or stress.
Take in all the good things out there and live.