#HappyRetirement #GiveBack #StayPositive
Happiness in retirement may not entirely be based on how much money one saves for that purpose.
Many other things go into it, according to Wes Moss, chief investment strategist for the Atlanta-based Capital Investment Advisors, host of the “Money Matters” show on WSB radio in Atlanta and personal finance columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He discussed his eight rules for a happy retirement in his newspaper column June 7, 2016.
His eight rules include: 1) Skip the BMW. Own a car that is comfortable, reliable and affordable. 2) Stay the course on investments. Don’t chase the next “hot stock.” 3) Give back. Find a cause you care about and contribute your time, talent and money. 4) Don’t move or renovate. Make sure you are happy with your home before you stop working. 5) Buy the big stuff before you retire. When you spend your money is just as important as how much you spend. 6) Start now. He writes that 44 percent of unhappy retirees in Moss’ study group were dissatisfied with how much retirement planning they’d done. 7) Know your rich ratio – the amount of money you have in relation to what you need. Or, monthly income divided by monthly expenses. 8) Stay positive. People probably won’t retire when they want to because they don’t believe they can, he says.
It’s certainly important to save for retirement, starting at the youngest age possible. Some in previous generations did not begin saving until their children were adults, or near adulthood.
With the job situation very fluid today, one should not expect to work for as long as he or she wants. People are very often retired early not by their own choosing. If you’ve developed good saving and investing habits as a young person, you need not fear this problem.
Also, one should always have a Plan B, in case a good job goes away prematurely. It’s difficult to be a happy retiree when one is forced into the situation. One Plan B might be to turn a hobby into an income-producing activity. Another might be extensive, careful investing throughout your life.
There are other Plan Bs that allow people to make additional income without the need for an extra traditional W-2 job. For one of the best, visit
As Moss writes, retirement is more than just sitting in a chair resting from years of labor.
It’s meant to be an enjoyable part of your life. You can certainly do things you love to do, but many experts say that it’s best to have a purpose in life, no matter what your age. That’s probably where Moss’ “give back” rule comes in.
“The happiest retirees envisioned a future and worked consistently toward that future with optimism – secure in the knowledge that while the economy and stock market can be a crazy ride, the long-term trend has been decisively positive,” Moss writes.
If you are young, think about when you might want to stop working, and prepare for that time. Set a goal. Follow Moss’ advice and don’t let fear and pessimism kill your dreams. Enjoy your young life, but also prepare for a good life as you get older.
Always have in the back of your mind that one day, the good job you have might disappear. If it doesn’t, you will have lucked out. If it does, the well-prepared person will goforth knowing he’s done his best to be happy in the face of an unexpected turn.
We can’t control our circumstances, but we can do what we can to react positively when things don’t go as we would want.


#grit #innovate #GradePointAverage
Creative people are good at asking new questions, but the grade-point average rewards those who can answer other people’s questions.
So writes New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a column published in the May 13, 2016, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Brooks calls the grade-point average “one of the more destructive elements in American education.”
“In life, we want independent thinking and risk-taking, but the GPA system encourages students to be deferential and risk-averse, giving their teachers what they want,” Brooks writes.
In other words, the education system highly rewards students who are good at a lot of things, rather than those who are very good at one or two things.
Even if you are not good at something, the education system wants students to use their grit, and do things they don’t like, to grind out a good GPA.
There is certainly nothing wrong with grit. It helps people overcome obstacles and gets people through difficult times.
But the education system is designed for students to learn things, and they are evaluated by how well they can spit those things back.
“Schools across America are busy teaching their students to be gritty and to have ‘character’ – by which they mean skills like self-discipline and resilience that contribute to career success,” Brooks writes.
In other words, they teach kids to be good employees, rather than innovators.
In today’s world, innovators are handsomely rewarded, providing they solve a problem that needs solving.
In one adage, the “A” students end up working for the “C” students.
How does one deal with this?
There are a couple of ways. First, be a rebel.
Take the grit that you learned to develop in school, and use it to innovate.
Thomas Edison tried many times before he successfully invented the light bulb, so he had enough grit to know to stay with his idea.
If you are not an innovator, or if you have resigned yourself that you will work for someone else forever, there are many alternative ways to make money outside of a traditional job. For one of the best, visit Sometimes duplication, rather than innovation, can create potential fortunes.
As for the education system, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Learning is difficult to quantify, and the GPA system is, up to now, the best way educators have found to quantify learning.
In recent times, an array of competency tests has come into vogue. These tests have been used to evaluate teachers, much to the chagrin of the educators.
A good teacher should not be penalized, since students’ performance on competency tests can be attributed to many things.
So use the education system to cultivate grit, but use that grit to go out and do great things for others.


#leaders #bosses #ServantLeadership #MakeSomeoneProud
Make a list of everyone you care about.
Then, find out what would make them proud of you. How would that feel?
John Addison, former Co-CEO of Primerica, closes his book, “Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living With Purpose,” with that action step.
In Addison’s case, he wanted to make his parents proud.
He points out that not everyone had the kind of caring parents that he did. In that case, find some other person or people you care about that you’d like to be proud of you.
Often, accomplishments that evoke pride don’t have much to do with money.
Sometimes, if success leads to money, it may not be WHAT you achieved that matters, but HOW you achieved it. How many people did you help become successful along the way, is a question you should ask yourself.
Addison’s point is that if you conduct yourself in a manner that makes someone you care about proud, success is likely to result.
Certainly, there are wealthy or privileged people out there who got that way but hurting others, or using others who did not reap their just rewards.
They may have accomplishments to brag about, and they may make THEMSELVES proud, but they may not evoke pride in many others, much less among others that they may care about.
Addison’s book tells his story of fighting hard to preserve the company as he and the many who were associated with it wanted it. Sometimes, in the business world, one company is taken over by another, and its culture – even its reason for being – is sacrificed.
Addison risked his own well-being to make sure that didn’t happen to his company.
So what do you think you could do to make someone you care about proud?
Of course, we’re assuming that you care whether anyone else is proud of you. Most, undoubtedly, do care.
Perhaps you might be looking for something to come into your life that will change how you see life.
Maybe you’ve run into some bad luck over the last few years. You might even think that the chances of anything good happening to you are slim to none.
It could be that you aren’t looking in the right places.
If you are looking to change your life, there are many ways out there to do that. For one of the best, visit You’ll see the stories of people who decided they were going to do something different, and found a way to evoke pride from those they care about.
One might have to think and do things a bit differently, but it can be done.
So don’t just make yourself proud. Sure, it can stoke your ego to do that. But you’ll probably find more success if you do something that will make someone you care about proud.


#leaders #bosses #ServantLeadership
Really great leaders share credit for good things and shoulder the responsibility when things go wrong.
A mediocre leader tries to impress people with how important he or she is. A great leader impresses upon people how important THEY are.
These are among the “Nine Simple Practices for Leading and Living With Purpose” in John Addison’s book, “Real Leadership.”
A boss is different from a leader. A boss can be a good leader, but a boss, or, if you prefer, a manager, tends to give orders and expects his staff to carry them out.
Real leaders, who may or may not be a “boss,” will help his or her staff or colleagues do their jobs by giving them what they need to be the most productive. As Addison puts it, they will shine a light on their people not to look for what they may do wrong, but to make sure what they do right gets the proper attention.
Addison’s book talks about the Hawthorne Effect,” in which a Chicago company told its employees that it was going to study them to look for ways to increase productivity. About all the company did, Addison says, is brighten the lights in the workplace.
Now, one could look at that as boss trying to find ways to get more work out of the people for the same wages. But the workers didn’t see it that way, Addison says.
They were so delighted that someone was paying attention to them that productivity soared.
The trick for the leaders is to KEEP paying attention to the workers and KEEP giving them the credit for the good things they do.
Certainly, not all employees will respond the same way. But if you are a leader and you hire and screen well, most will.
We’ve all worked for “bosses” of one degree or another. Sometimes we have to suck it up and work for people temporarily, just because we need to.
When you work for a real leader, who sees his or her job as working for YOU, work becomes almost pleasure.
Are you working just for a “boss”?
Do you see yourself as a leader in the making?
Do you want to find other leaders to work with, who will teach you things that a boss never would?
If so, visit You’ll see and hear stories of servant leadership in the flesh.
It doesn’t take much to shine a light on others, Addison writes. But you have to check your ego at the door, and realize that helping others often brings success your way, too.
If you have a long-term goal to be a great leader, sometimes you might have to look outside your comfort zone to find the vehicle that will get you there.