About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.

BEING LONG IN THE TOOTH CAN BITE HARD AT WORK

#ageism #OlderWorkers #AgeDiscrimination
“He’s too old to cut the mustard anymore.”
That’s a lyric from a 1950s-era country song about a man who used to jump picket fences, but now is lucky if he can jump an inch, to paraphrase another lyric from the song.
It brings to mind a problem – or, rather, a situation – in today’s work force.
People are living longer, and some are choosing to work longer. Trouble is, their employers don’t want to keep them past a certain age.
Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy tackled this issue in an article for the Rockland/Weschester (N.Y.) Journal. It was also published Sept. 2, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“With 10,000 baby boomers reaching 65 every day – a trend that began in 2011 and is set to continue until 2029 – it is past the time to have a conversation about attitudes toward retirement. After all, since the time Social Security set the retirement eligibility at 65 in 1936, life expectancy at birth has gone up by 20 years,” the reporter writes.
The article points out an organization called Respectful Exits, which aims to mobilize the voices and talents of aging workers.
“Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age, “ the article quotes the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
The reporter quotes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as saying that “young people are just smarter.”
Admittedly, in some lines of work, age matters. A construction laborer probably will be more productive in his 20s than in his 60s.
Athletes can be at the top of their games for a decade or two, but likely not more than that.
But in most white-collar situations, the older worker is probably no worse – in some cases, better – than his or her younger colleagues.
But, here’s the rub. Workers with more experience tend to cost employers more. They, in many cases, get more vacation time. If they are lucky enough to have them, they may tend to use the health insurance benefits more. The health insurer may raise the company’s premium because they are employing older workers.
From the worker’s viewpoint, they may not have enough money saved, or may not be able to afford to retire on Social Security and whatever pension they may have.
Some may enjoy their jobs so much they don’t want to leave.
So what’s a worker to do when, deservedly or not, they are let go? What do they do when their once-glowing performance evaluations suddenly tank? What if they keep getting messages, subliminal or otherwise, that they need to go?
First, workers, no matter what age, need to be prepared for when that happens. They need to look at other ways to make money so that they can survive, even thrive, after their job disappears.
There are many ways out there to make a potentially substantial amount of money with a few part-time hours a week. To check out one of the best, message me.
The lesson here is that the day will come in nearly everyone’s career that a tough decision will be made. Workers need to start preparing from the youngest age possible for that day, for they know not when it will come.
It may require some outside-comfort-zone thinking, but it would be wise for everyone to do it.
Peter

PRIVATE SCHOOLS BETTER THAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

#PrivateShools #PublicSchools #education #QualityEducation
A new study has turned conventional wisdom on its head.
While most think that private schools do a better job educating students than public schools, the study shows it not to be true.
Valerie Strauss tackled this subject in a Washington Post article that was also published Aug. 7, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The University of Virginia researchers looked at data from more than 1,000 students. It found that “all of the advantages supposedly conferred on private education evaporate when socio-economic characteristics are factored in,” the article says.
The study also found no evidence to suggest that low-income children or children in urban schools benefit more from private school enrollment, the article says.
“You only need to control for family income and there is no advantage,” the article quotes Robert Pianta, dean of UVA’s Curry School of Education. Pianta conducted the study with Arya Ansari, a postdoctoral research associate at the university’s Center for Advanced Study for Teaching and Learning.
Pianta also says that kids who come from homes with higher incomes and parental education achievement offer young children, from birth to age 5, educational resources and stimulation that other children don’t get, according to the article. These conditions presumably carry on through all school years, Pianta concludes, according to the article.
Let’s break it down further. Some private schools can offer what public schools can’t, such as religious education. It may be worth the parents’ expense to see that their children get that religious education along with academics.
But for those parents looking purely at academics, there is probably no need to incur the expense of private education.
Certainly, there are other reasons, too, to consider private education. Safety may be one. A private school may incur whatever expense is necessary to make sure there are no unwanted visitors in school.
Those parents who cannot afford private education, over and above the taxes they pay for public education, can rest assured that their students likely would not do any better academically in a private school.
Certainly, there are private schools designed for children with special needs – though most public schools have solid programs for those students.
In short, unless there are special circumstances, a student will probably do no better in a private school. The key is how much parents value education, and how willing they are to work with their children outside of school.
We like to measure education on what kind of job a student can get after graduation. If you have a student who is unsure what he or she wants to do with his life, there are plenty of vehicles out there through which they can earn a potentially good income while they are trying to figure out what they want. To learn about one of the best, message me.
Educating children, so they can turn into good, productive adults, is perhaps the greatest task we as a society are challenged with. Governments in many areas have been reducing education funding over the years, for a variety of reasons.
But, aside from parents, there may be no more important people in a child’s life than his or her teachers. Parents can support their child’s school in many ways. The most important way, though, may be to put a high value on education, and help the child learn the importance of education from the day they are born.
Peter

TEACHING HAPPINESS

#happiness #TeachingHappiness #schools
Most of us think of happiness as a feeling.
Either we are happy, or we are not.
In Delhi, India, children have a class on happiness in school.
It appears the public schools in Delhi are experimenting with such a class, since schools in India are so obsessed with test scores that the obsession may be stressing the students.
Vidhi Doshi wrote about this in an article in The Washington Post. It was also published July 29, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
And, the article says, the classes have paid off. Delhi’s public schools have outperformed the private schools on standardized test in recent years.
“We should work happily,” the article quotes Aayush Jha, 11, who took his first happiness class. “When you work sadly, your work will not be good,” he said.
But, after nearly three decades of rapid industrialization in India, some states in the country made exams easier and graded them leniently to bring up the scores. Some students got through high school without being able to read or write, the article says.
So now, experts in India are asking whether the focus on employability has stifled creativity and stymied social progress, the article says.
So, how do the classes work? Some 10,000 Delhi students spend the first half-hour of each day without opening a book, learning instead through inspirational stories and activities, as well as meditation exercises, the article says.
It’s kind of like recess, indoors, to start the day.
During this period, the students are encouraged to think about what makes them happy.
So, if your job, or school, stresses you out, start the day by thinking about what makes you happy.
Not just, say, ice cream, or cake. Instead, think about what you want out of your life that you don’t currently have. It may inspire you to do something different or, at the very least, allow you to go to work inspired to do something great. Then, you may be able to have what you want, eventually.
In realistic terms, however, many jobs will not provide people with what they want out of life. The jobs either don’t pay enough, or occupy too much of our time – or both.
If you have a really big dream, and your situation isn’t getting you closer to achieving that dream, it may be time to look at something else.
Fortunately, there are a number of vehicles out there that, starting with a small, part-time effort, could give you what you need to fulfill that dream. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As we’ve learned in the U.S., focusing an education system on test scores may not be the best way to educate children. We certainly want our children to achieve as much as they can academically, but kids need time to be kids.
They also need to learn the value of skills that are not easily measured – happiness, friendliness, working as part of a team, getting along well with others etc. They can be just as important to one’s career as math, science, social studies and language.
Perhaps U.S. children don’t need to take a class in these “soft” skills, but they should learn them as part of their overall education.
Chronic unhappiness not only leads to other mental and physical problems, it can reduce productivity.
We’ve been taught to work smarter, rather than harder. We should all learn to work happy, live happy. We may have to work harder to create that happiness.
Peter

ACADEMIC FRAUD?

#education #AcademicFraud #college #CollegeDebt
Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading. Only 25 percent did so in math.
Yet, the high school graduation rate is better than 80 percent.
Columnist Walter E. Williams, who writes for Creators Syndicate, quoted these figures from the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ 2017 report, also known as The Nation’s Report Card. His column on the subject was also published April 25, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He also writes that not only do 80 percent of high school seniors graduate, 70 percent of white high school grads were admitted to college in 2016, as well as 58 percent of black high school grads. Here, he quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Colleges, then, have to provide remedial courses, dumb down their courses so ill-prepared students can get passing grades and/or set up majors with “little analytical demands so as to accommodate students with analytical deficits,” Williams writes.
Williams’ conclusion: there is academic fraud being committed at all educational levels.
“How necessary is college anyway?” Williams asks. “One estimate is that 1 in 3 college graduates have a job historically performed by those with a high school diploma,” he writes.
We’ve all heard the stories, particularly in recent times, of students coming out of college and hitting the job market with degree in hand, college debt on his or her back and slim prospects not only to earn an income appropriate for his or her education level, but even to find a job at all – at least one in a field to match his or her education.
There is a teacher shortage, however not every college graduate is fit or prepared to teach. Besides, many of them might think that teaching doesn’t pay well enough for them to cover payments on their college debt, let alone any other life expenses. (Some loan programs allow college debt to be written off if the student goes into teaching for a certain number of years).
The pressure is on most children from grade school to go to college and get that degree, so they can get that good job. The pressure is so intense that families – ultimately, the students – go into debt to pay for that education.
They then spend some of their most productive work years paying that debt off, and probably delaying things like buying a house or saving for retirement. In the extreme, these graduates move back home with mom and dad and stay for several years, thus delaying their parents’ progression toward retirement.
As Williams points out, the cycle is that many students get through high school ill prepared for college academically, yet go to college anyway. They really can’t afford college, yet they view it as an investment into a great career. Again, as Williams asks, “How necessary is college anyway?”
First, if a student isn’t prepared to cut it academically in college, it’s perfectly OK not to send him or her, especially if you are going to saddle that student with a massive debt upon graduation – presuming he or she can get TO graduation.
Then, if they wind up waiting tables or doing some menial job that doesn’t require a college degree, what was the point of the education, or the debt?
Fortunately, for a student like that, he can take his menial job, work as many hours as he needs to and, in some of his off hours, pursue one of the many ways to earn money without taking a second W-2 job. Many such vehicles can eventually provide an income that could surpass any income from not just the menial job, but also from a job that would be appropriate for one with a college degree.
But, to pursue this, the student has to be willing to check out such a vehicle. If you’d like to examine one of the best, message me.
Otherwise, one could struggle to get through high school, get into college and take a lot of “gut” courses or major in something that will not have much value on the open market – and pay dearly to do it.
No education is really wasted, but one must have eyes wide open about the economic potential — and cost — of what one wants to study. Try to enjoy school at all levels, if you can, then look for ways to support yourself, and perhaps help others do the same.
Peter

PRINCES CAN HIDE BEHIND FROG WARTS

#frogs #PersonalContact #FaceToFaceMeetings #princes
“You can’t smell a rose over the phone.”
That popular axiom is often the answer when someone is making a sales contact, but doesn’t want to say too much over the phone.
The salesperson would rather the potential client see the presentation as it was designed to be presented. In other words, face to face.
Attorney Jeffrey Babener talks about the value of personal contact, vs. an e-mail, social media, text and other more modern – perhaps, more popular – forms of communication in his essay titled “Kiss That Frog! – Personal Communication”
“Technology is changing the game, but don’t sell short the old-fashioned hug or handshake as the best bonding and recruiting machine yet invented,” Babener writes.
“You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince … You’ve got to spend time with frogs and you’ll find them in the marshes … Remember, kissing is a contact sport … That is, if you really want to meet a prince,” Babener quotes from an old marketing fairy tale.
In today’s world, we tend to forget about personal contact. We go to restaurants, or even household dinner tables, and see everyone at the table looking down, eyes on their devices.
We even hear about folks texting each other while sitting next to each other. Perhaps we can call that the Text Next syndrome. That can be useful if you are around a (pick one: boring, angry, long) meeting table and you want to have a private conversation without the others knowing.
But if you are in sales – face it, we are all in sales in one form or another – and you want to recruit a client, team member etc., there is nothing more effective than meeting face to face.
No, you don’t have to kiss or hug the person – often, that’s not appropriate. But you should talk face to face.
Even those dinner-table interactions should involve live conversation. They should involve looking up at the person to whom you are speaking.
Now, let’s look at what Babener means by “frogs.” Leadership expert Brian Tracy wrote a little book titled, “Eat That Frog,” to advise that doing the unpleasant sometimes yields the best results. In Babener’s context, however, one may have to go into the reeds, weeds or marshes to find the frog, which can turn into a prince after hearing what you are presenting.
Some of those frogs will hop away, slither back into the water etc. Others will turn into a prince – a top client, or team member.
If you are in a job now that feels like a swamp, and you want out, and are looking for something to bring out the princely being you are, and provide a potentially life-changing situation for you, message me.
Sometimes, you have to head to the marshes to escape the swamp.
Sometimes, you have to look for the person who not only understands your warts, but will embrace them.
Sometimes, you have to weed yourself from the reeds, and look for someone who will help you find new and better reads.
Sometimes, great princes are found in places you would never think to go. And, if you find that prince, it could change your life.
Peter

IS YOUR ECONOMY MATCHING THE NATION’S?

#economy #YourEconomy #jobs #raises
OK. The numbers show a booming economy.
Corporate profits are up. The unemployment rate is at a historic low.
So, how are you doing – financially, that is?
Arizona Republic columnist Russ Wiles poses that question in a column for USA Today. It was also published July 1, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If you don’t find yourself in a booming financial situation now, here’s what Wiles suggests: find a better, steadier job, while the unemployment rate is so low; He admits, however, that a lot of jobs pay poorly or feature irregular work hours.
He also suggests getting financial help from someone outside your household – hey kids, ask mom and dad or supplement your income with a part-time job in your off hours.
He even suggests the bold move of asking your boss for a raise. Wiles says the employee may be in the driver’s seat in this economy. We’ve all been told, perhaps, that it never hurts to ask. After all, the answer is always NO if you don’t ask. As a practical matter, however, most request for raises generally receive a NO, perhaps in a more graceful manner.
Let’s look at this problem from the employer’s perspective. The general rule of thumb is to pay people as little as you can get away with. However, if you have good, dependable people working for you, it may improve your bottom line – and cut down on work you have to do yourself – to INVEST in those people.
It’s not just in raises, though they indeed may be necessary. You want to make sure that if you know of some particular hardships that a good employee is enduring at home, that you help relieve some of that stress as best you can. Recently, an Alabama worker just hired by a moving company walked 20 miles, hitching rides along the way, to make sure he showed up for his first day of work.
The employee’s car had broken down and he had no other way to get to work. The boss, realizing how difficult it is to buy that kind of dedication, gave the young man a car.
That CEO should make sure he has a decent career ladder crafted for that employee, so that he never leaves.
Of course, at the same time, we read about employers dealing with workers who don’t show up for interviews, or, worse, are hired and don’t show up for their first day of work. Or, they abruptly leave a job without giving the employer any notice.
Reports indicate that during the recession, people would apply for or be interviewed for jobs, and the employers never get back to them. This may be in retaliation for that.
If you follow Wiles’ suggestion and consider getting a second, part-time job to boost your finances, consider a thought outside the box. There are many ways out there to pick up some extra money – perhaps eventually enough to quit a lousy job you hate, that doesn’t pay you enough – that do not involve a second, traditional job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, these are supposed to be among the best of times for workers. However, many jobs involve hard work and low pay – or at least lower pay than many deserve. Companies have to keep their costs down to compete. The employers have to make money. No one wants to work for someone forced to go out of business.
It’s up to employers and employees to learn more about each other’s circumstances. There’s really no good reason for people not make good wages, while companies make decent profits. It does workers little good to keep changing jobs, and it does employers no good to have to be constantly rehiring.
Everyone – employers and employees – wants options. If everyone treats everyone fairly, there’s no telling what great options everyone will have.
Peter

ROBOT TAKING YOUR JOB? DON’T TRY TO STOP IT; ADAPT

#robots #RobotsTakingJobs #automation #jobs
Experts everywhere are trying to figure out what to do when robots take over the lion’s share of jobs.
Though it is already happening, many speculate it will be more widespread in years to come.
The Houston Chronicle took on this topic in an article that was also published in the June 16, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some would have the federal government give everyone what they needed to live on, while the robots did all the work, the article says.
In a Roosevelt Institute paper, titled “Don’t Fear the Robots,” economist Mark Paul writes that a series of not-so-radical policies would go a long way to ensure the technological advancement would be widely enjoyed, the article says.
Paul argues for overhauling intellectual property law so that the companies that develop valuable patents and trademarks don’t have such a long monopoly on their innovations, the article says. Paul also sees more people working part-time, sharing jobs, as a way to keep unemployment low, the article says.
He also argues that that the rapid shift in needed skills and technologies would strengthen the case for more publicly funded higher education and training, the article says.
Whatever solutions are developed, our attitude should be to embrace technological innovation, rather than stymie it. After embracing the new technology, even if it personally affects us, we can then figure out what our own next steps should be to not just make a living, but to potentially prosper.
Fortunately, there are many vehicles out there that we can check out to potentially solve our problem. The good news: no robot could take those options away. We just have to be open enough to check them out, even if it means doing something you never thought you would ever do.
If you see yourself losing a job to a robot, or someone else, or if the job you are doing now is not helping you fulfill your dreams, message me if you want to check out one of the best alternative vehicles.
Our knee-jerk reaction to change is to try to stop it or stand in its way. Remember, those who stand in the way are more likely to be run over.
Technology, efficiency and innovation are all coming. We can’t stop them, so why not embrace them?
Factories will continue to hum along, just, perhaps, with many fewer people.
More work will be untouched by human hands.
Progress cannot be stopped.
We just have to figure out how we will fit into the new world.
Much like the weather, progress will be what it will be. It will take us wherever it will take us.
Standing in its way will get you body-slammed.
Don’t just stand there. Adapt.
Peter

LABOR UNIONS GETTING MORE CLOUT

#LaborUnions #MoreUnionClout #workers #jobs
Labor unions, and their power to create a lifestyle for their members, have been declining for years.
And, government has been assisting in that decline by passing laws reducing the unions’ bargaining power. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that government workers who declined to join unions that represent them in collective bargaining cannot be forced to contribute to those unions.
That ruling would certainly have an impact on a union’s ability to raise money to cushion labor disputes etc.
But, according to an article by Nicholas Riccardi for the Associated Press, there’s a little more enthusiasm now for labor unions. His article was published June 29, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There’s kind of a spark going on now with unions,” the article quotes Mike Hinton, 39, a UPS delivery driver and Teamster from Campbellsville, Ky.
Whether its Las Vegas workers striking at Strip casinos, and winning concessions, or teachers striking in states that have chopped education budgets for years, unions are trying to make a comeback, the article says.
In fact, the article says labor unions picked up 262,000 new recruits last year.
It’s not clear why unions are making a comeback. “I don’t know if locals have been unusually organized rather than things have just gotten very, very bad,” the article quotes Moshe Marvit, a Pittsburgh-based labor attorney and fellow at the Century Foundation.
Some historical perspective is in order. As the Industrial Revolution took hold, factories – often called sweat shops – emerged. People moved off the farms to get jobs in these factories and, at the beginning, those jobs paid very little for the hard work people had to do.
So, organizers got the idea of trying to negotiate better wages and benefits for the workers. If they didn’t get what they want, they would convince most, if not all, the workers to strike until demands were met.
Over time, those demands created inefficiencies in the workplace, and companies could not change things without union approval. Of course, the unions’ mission was to preserve as many jobs as possible, with the best pay and most benefits.
Technological progress sped up, and companies found ways to produce their goods more efficiently with machines, rather than human power.
As fewer people worked in factories, unions gradually lost their clout, with the exception of the public sector unions.
Some recent improvements in working conditions have taken hold because of a tightening job market. Still, in general, job security is almost non-existent. Raises are few and far between. Employee benefits, pensions etc., have gradually gone away. The income gap between rich and middle class grows wider. The middle class is declining.
Perhaps, with a strong economy and companies unable to find enough workers, labor feels emboldened.
The lesson here might be that, for as long as it took for unions to gain power in previous decades, workers may not want to wait for that to happen again.
If you have a job that doesn’t pay you enough, or give you enough benefits, you might want to find some part-time, off-work hours in your schedule to check out the many ways to earn money that doesn’t involve a W-2 job. To check out one of the best, message me.
Organizing labor is risky, as the article points out. The way things are, or the way things are headed, may make workers believe it’s worth the risk to organize.
Remember, whatever choice you make, think it through and make sure it’s the right thing for you to do. There are ways to bolster your financial future with much less risk.
Peter

DECISIONS FOR A SECURE RETIREMENT

#retirement #SocialSecurity #PensionFunds #pensions
Recent reports and studies have Medicare funding drying up by 2026, with Social Security only secure for a few years after that.
Geoff Mulvihill reports that many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in benefits than they have in the bank. His article for the Associated Press was published May 26,2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Just two days later, the Atlanta paper published an article by Susan Tomor for the Detroit Free Press discussing how to become a 401(k) millionaire. In summary: start saving at a young age, consistently, from every paycheck you receive. Also, if you get raises, put those in the bank, too, and don’t touch the money, except to reinvest or improve your investment portfolio.
We’ve all heard the stories about people at or near retirement age who have very small nest eggs stashed away.
Obviously, they did not make that a priority as they’d gone through various life stages – marriage, children etc. Some of them might argue that there is no way they could have saved money and dealt with whatever life threw at them.
For the young person, making retirement saving a priority is essential if, of course, you don’t want to be broke in your elder years, when you might have the time to do things that you never had time to do as a youth.
It really doesn’t matter what you earn. It matters only that you take what you earn and use it wisely.
Spontaneous – some might call it frivolous – spending ought not be a big part of your life. Knowing where every cent you have is going is essential. Of course, a life of complete amusement deprivation is not good either. But choose your fun wisely, as cheaply as you can.
Check you daily expenses. Are you buying your lunch at work every day? If so, bag your own. Are you making daily coffee shop runs? Buy a Thermos, brew your own and take it with you.
Are you ending your workweek with “happy hour?” Why not have you, and your friends, pick someone’s house, each buy a favorite beverage or snacks, and gather there instead of at your favorite watering hole.
Of course, not everyone has to cheap out. But for those who insist they cannot afford to save money, it has to become a conscious decision.
Even bigger life decisions, such as how many children to have, and when, should be considered as part of creating a financial future.
Young folks, too, have to decide when, or whether to buy a home. It may be considered part of The American Dream, but there is no shame in renting, if that works better for you. On the other hand, a house can be an investment you could use later as part of your overall net worth.
If you are older, and think you are out of luck now, or even if you are younger and are looking to secure your future, there are many ways out there to earn a decent, potentially lucrative, income by spending a few part-time hours a week. The bonus: if you are diligent and consistent, it’s money no one can take away from you. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The lesson to learn with these various reports on retirement is that a secure financial future is in no one’s hands but yours. Take charge. Use what you have, to the best of your ability. Perhaps even be open to looking for things that may help boost your future.
As the adage goes, if it is to be, it’s up to me.
Peter

WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE IN RETIREMENT?

#retirement #RetirementHomes #RetirementDestinations #WhereToLive
If you had a million bucks socked away for retirement, where would you live?
Presuming you stay in the U.S., the places where $1 million would last longest in retirement are: McAllen, Texas, 42.3 years; Harlingen, Texas, 39.5 years; Richmond, Ind., 39.3 years; Kalamazoo, Mich., 38.1 years; Cleveland, Ohio, 37.4 years; Martinsville, Va., 37.1 years; Knoxville, Tenn., 36.7 years; Ashland, Ohio, 36.6 years; Jonesboro, Ark., 36.6 years; and Norman, Okla., 36.5 years.
On the other hand, the places where $1 million would be spent the fastest in retirement are: New York, N.Y., 12.5 years; Honolulu, Hawaii, 14.8 years; San Francisco, Calif, 15.9 years; Seattle, Wash., 18.7 years; Boston, Mass., 18.7 years; Orange, Calif, 18.8 years; Hilo, Hawaii, 18.9 years; Stamford, Conn., 19.3 years; Washington, Va., 19.4 years; and Kodiak, Alaska, 19.7 years.
These figures were compiled by SmartAsset.com and were part of an article by Ron Hutibise of the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was also published May 14, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A couple of things are obvious. First, $1 million isn’t what one would call a lot of money today. It may have been a fortune a few decades ago, but no longer.
Second, the most expensive places might be the more desirable places to live than the least expensive places.
As the article pointed out, Fort Lauderdale came in last among Florida cities – even worse than Miami. Your cool million would be gone in 25.2 years in Fort Lauderdale, the article says.
Something else is at play here. Many people at or near retirement don’t have anywhere close to $1 million saved. It’s hard to imagine how they will survive – never mind enjoy – retirement without a decent financial cushion.
So what might the lesson be? If you are young, start saving, even if you have to give up something, or things, you enjoy. Though it may be hard to imagine what life will be like in coming decades, or whether you’ll even live that long, you still should plan for all eventualities as best you can.
If you are middle aged, or nearing retirement, and you don’t have what you think you will need to enjoy your golden years, your choices are limited. You can keep working, presuming your employer is in no rush to get rid of you. The worker shortage many employers are experiencing now, thanks to an economy that has pretty much recovered from the recession, may be a saving grace for you. That’s presuming your health is good, your job is bearable etc.
Still, that could change. You have to work under the presumption that you could be let go any day. You almost never get a warning of when that day will come. You have to keep your eyes and ears on what is happening around you, so you can spot things that might forecast your departure.
Finally, no matter what your age, there are a number of vehicles out there that will allow you to pick up extra money – potentially a lot of extra money – by dedicating a few part-time hours a week. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
If you plan well, you can retire at the appropriate time. If you plan really well, you can retire whenever you want, wherever you want.
It all depends on your diligence, how much of a priority you devote to a good retirement and the sacrifices you are willing to make. It does you no good to have enjoyed life while you are young, only to barely survive in your elder years.
Whatever you do, don’t presume the promises made throughout your life will be kept. Your retirement security is entirely in your hands.
Peter