#FinancialDependence #millennials #YoungAdultsStillLivingAtHome #jobs #employment
Many of us can remember as children dreaming of the day we could live on our own, without our parents’ rules.
For today’s younger generation, that is getting harder to do.
Janna Herron tackled this subject for USA Today, in article also published April 19, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Most millennials define adulthood as being on their own financially, but the majority still depend on Mom and Dad for money, even into their 30s,” Herron writes. She attributes that to a new Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey.
“Finances are the No. 1 stressor in young adult lives,” Herron quotes Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Merrill Lynch.
It’s not just the kids who don’t move out of their parents’ house. Some of them live in their own place, but depend on their parents for money to pay for cellphone service, food and groceries etc., the article states.
A quarter of all young adults have moved back home, while a third get help with rent or mortgage payments. Two in five who own homes get down payment money from their parents, the article quotes the Merrill Lynch survey.
The young folks are hardly high-fiving each other over this, the article quotes Sabbia.
What’s a young person to do?
First, let’s presume, as the article does, that young folks don’t like their situation. Sure, there are some who will want to live at home with Mom and Dad for as long as their parents are alive. But, for argument’s sake, let’s say most young adults WANT to be independent.
Second, let’s look at the reasons they got there. High college debt could be one. Getting a job that doesn’t pay enough to cover all their “necessary” expenses could be another. Living expenses for people today have risen far beyond those that their parents paid when they were young.
Finally, a lack of job security may deter some of them from really putting down roots. At the rapid pace of change in the corporate and business world, it’s hard to know where one may be five years from now. And, it doesn’t matter whether the person is good at what he does. A company, if it sees an efficiency or has an economic need, will lay off ANYONE.
So, let’s take the solution in steps. First, strive to be good at what you do. Be personable, kind, coachable and willing to do things outside your job description. Become a self-starter, if you aren’t already. You want to be in a position to get good recommendations if you have to go elsewhere to find work.
Then, be open to looking at situations that may be outside your comfort zone. There are many entities out there that can enable a person to spend a few, part-time, off-work hours doing something that is not a “second job,” but does involve work. The income from that could surpass any they would earn at a traditional job. To check out one of the best such entities, message me.
In short, you can’t control you work circumstances. If you like your job, stay as long as they will have you, or until you want to leave on your terms. But don’t bank on that job being there for as long as you want it. You have to have your eyes always open for new things.
For the young adults still depending on Mom and Dad to live, be diligent in looking for ways – cutting spending or earning more – to break that financial dependence. You’ll find your life will be so much better when you do.


#success #WantingVsWishing #PersonalGrowth #WorkEthic
Many books talk about the “secret” to success.
Despite the title of the Earl Nightingale’s book, “The Strangest Secret,” there is no secret to success.
It’s all about desire, dedication and doing whatever it takes to be successful.
It’s simple, but not easy.
It has to start with WANTING something. That’s not just WISHING for something. The difference is the willingness to do what you need to do to get it. If you are willing to do what you need to do, you WANT something. Otherwise, you are just wishing for something.
Yes, there are things you may not be able to do. For instance, without the God-given talent and training, you may never become part of the Metropolitan Opera, no matter how badly you want to or how hard you are willing to work.
But there are other forms of success that are achievable. After you decide you want something, and that want is powerful enough for you to do whatever it takes to get it, you have to be willing to look for the right way to get it.
That requires an open mind. You may not be able to get what you want, doing what you are doing now. You may have to look outside your current box.
It’s like planning a big trip. You have to first decide where you want to go, figure out the best way to get there, then decide what you are going to do once you arrive.
Now that you want something, and you’ve decided to look for the best way to get it, then you have to commit to the right vehicle once you find it.
There are many vehicles out there that will get you to success. You just have to know where to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
Along with the wanting, looking and doing comes the growing.
Success is tangible, but achieving it also involves working on YOU.
It’s been said by many experts that if you grow as a person, through reading the right things, hanging around and listening to the right people and doing things that will improve you personally, success will find you.
Certainly, the path to success does not ascend in a straight line. There will be setbacks, there will be failures and there will be bad circumstances along the way.
That’s why the path to success may seem simple, but very likely will not be easy.
Your personal growth and the desire to get what you want will enable you to deal with those setbacks, because you are dedicated to the big prize.
So how do you define success for you? It shouldn’t be money alone. It should be based on what you can do with money, presuming money is in the equation.
If you have the talent and training to excel in the arts, music etc., money may just be a byproduct of your success.
Whatever you call success, much of your shot at getting it is how you train your mind. Desire, tenacity and work ethic are all part of your mental well-being.
So work on you as you work your success plan. A better you can be the difference between achieving success and not.



#HigherEducation #GoingToCollege #CrisisInHigherEducation #CollegeCosts
College is getting too expensive.
Many times, students are learning relatively little.
And, what students expect to get from a college degree, in terms of employment, don’t match labor market realities.
So says Richard Vedder, professor emeritus of economics at Ohio University, in his new book, “Restoring the Promise.” Walter E. Williams discussed Vedder’s book in a column published May 15, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Let’s start with the first premise. Colleges and universities “are vastly too expensive, often costing twice as much per student” when compared with institutions in other industrialized democracies, Williams quotes from the book.
“High college cost not only saddles students with debt, it causes them to defer activities such as getting married and starting a family, buying a home and saving for retirement,” Williams writes.
He also writes that, quoting research by the Federal Reserve Banks and the National Bureau of Economic Research, each dollar of federal aid to college leads to a tuition increase of 60 cents.
Secondly, very little improvement in critical reasoning skills happens in college, Williams quotes from a study titled “Academically Adrift,” by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. Adult literacy is falling among college graduates, he adds.
Thirdly, quoting from a Federal Reserve Bank of New York 2018 report, many students are not only saddled with debt, they are underemployed, Williams writes. Many are filling jobs that only require a high school education, he adds.
We’ve discussed here before that despite universal encouragement to get a college education, college is not for everyone.
In these modern times, it becomes important before deciding whether to go to college to do some math, and give it a lot of thought. Ask yourself first, what are you going to do with the degree when you get it? How much do you believe you can earn by using that degree? How much will you have to borrow to get it? When will you be able to pay it back? What else could you do with that money that might be more profitable?
Certainly, no education is a waste, despite some opinions to the contrary. But if you are not going to earn a better living with a college degree, is it worth the expense?
For their part, colleges have to cut expenses, pool resources, offer more online options etc.
For the prospective student, unless he or she plans to study the STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), job options are limited. If he or she wants to go to college to major in, say, the liberal arts, he or she will probably have to find a way to make an income that is unrelated to their degree.
There are many vehicles out there that allow a person, by devoting a few part-time hours a week, to produce an income that could even exceed what they might be paid through a job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
These vehicles require no specific education, background or experience. They only require a willingness to check them out, the ambition to do what you need to do and the ability to be coached or taught.
College is not for everyone, and, given the state of higher education today, should not be pursued as a matter of course. Fortunately, opportunities can be found with or without a degree.


#pensions #PublicSectorPensions #PrivateSectorPensions #TeacherPensions
Teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees in most places didn’t (and still don’t) get paid much.
The attraction to those jobs, historically at least, were the benefits: good health insurance and a good pension. For teachers, the bonus was having summers off.
Now, governments everywhere are sweating over how they are going to pay for current and future pension benefits for these dedicated public employees. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is to break a big-time promise to these folks, who are counting on those pensions.
Also, hiring teachers, cops and other public employees is getting more difficult. The private-sector pay is just too attractive – and politics slightly less volatile – to attract enough bright folks into these public professions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article April 30, 2019, saying that Georgia lawmakers were moving forward on legislation to put the state’s $78 billion pension system for teachers on more stable footing for the future.
The legislation could temporarily mean a much bigger taxpayer subsidy to the system, which provided pensions to 127,000 Georgians last year, and promises benefits to more than 200,000 teachers and state university system employees in the future, the article says.
The article did not specify what that would cost the taxpayers.
It is not just Georgia that’s having a pension fund issues. It’s virtually a nationwide problem.
Retirement funds are caught in the bind of people living longer and drawing more and more out of the pension system.
Private-sector employers can just stop paying into their pension system, thereby depriving their employees of their hard-earned retirement benefits and breaking the promise they made to them upon hiring.
It’s a bit more difficult for the public sector to do the same.
To top things off, people are not saving for retirement as vigorously as previous generations did. Or, many people are ousted from their jobs well before they reach retirement age, or even qualify for any retirement benefits, presuming such benefits are offered.
In short, if retirement is to be, it’s almost entirely up to me (you). There is certainly Social Security and Medicare, which are having their own problems. Most experts, though, believe these benefits are not in danger of suddenly going away. They could be decreased in future years, they say, but won’t disappear entirely.
One certainly cannot live on Social Security and Medicare alone, and expect a fun-filled robust retirement.
What to do? If you are young, time is on your side. Make saving for retirement a priority. Watch your spending: that daily $5 cup of coffee can add up over time. Put whatever you can out of your paycheck into savings, and as it grows, get some guidance on how best to invest it.
Put a portion, or all, of any pay increases you receive – those are getting smaller and less frequent in recent times – into that nest egg. Remember: the less you see your money, the less likely you are to spend it.
If you are older, and at or close to retirement age, and your nest egg is tiny, you have fewer options. Still, there are some. Regardless of your age, you can check out one of the many vehicles that allow a person to spend a few part-time hours a week in activities that don’t include a “second job.” There is certainly work, but it won’t feel like a job. The additional income could potentially solve any income problems you may have. To check out one of the best such programs, message me.
In short, regardless of where you work, don’t count on the promise of a pension. Such promises are broken every day. Private-sector employees who may have lost their pension benefits may not be as sympathetic to public-sector employees with pensions, and may not care whether you get your promised pension.
To sum it up, it will be up to you, and only you, to secure your retirement.


#WhereToRetire #retirement #moving #BestPlacesToLive
When you retire, where do you want to live?
The beach?
The mountains?
The big city?
The country?
Do you think you don’t have any of those options?
Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Consitution and has a similar radio show on WSB-AM in Atlanta, advises clients to think before they move.
“Relocating may seem to offer an added financial bonus if you believe you can sell your home, purchase a less expensive place and pocket the difference,” Moss writes in his April 29, 2019, column.
Sometimes, housing markets differ by location. If your current house is near a big employer, like, say, Google or Facebook in the Silicon Valley of California, you might be able to sell your house there, move a few miles away and buy a less expensive house. That would give you a pretty nice nest egg for your retirement.
Sometimes, where you want to move may be more expensive than where you live now. For example, if you live a good ways inland and you want to live at the beach, you may find waterfront property more expensive than your current home. If you have the money in hand, it’s not a problem. If it’s going to be a stretch to make it work, the idea may require more thought.
Moss points out that those retirees with paid-off mortgages are the happiest. On the other hand, most mortgages today have interest rates in the low single digits. It may be better, presuming you have a good financial adviser, to leave your cash in his or her hands to make you a better return than your mortgage is costing you.
Moss also talks about the notion of “home.” Do you want to leave family, longtime friends and neighbors and move to a place at which you know no one? For some, that thought is intriguing, especially if you want to move to a place that has better weather than where you live now. But it certainly requires some thought.
You may find, as Moss writes, that “with just a little polish, what’s old might just be new, and right under your nose.”
If you are the type who is indeed looking to start anew in retirement at a new place, financial flexibility is important.
Also, different areas have different costs of living. Part of your flexibility is knowing that you can probably cut expenses by moving to a place that has a lower cost of living than where you live now.
So add up what it costs you to live where you are, and research what it will cost you to move and to live in a new location. You could actually make money by moving.
Finally, if your retirement savings isn’t what it should be, you may want to consider the many ways out there to earn extra income with a few part-time hours a week, without getting a “second job.” To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
So add up whatever income you will have in retirement and compare that to your expenses. Do some research, and visit the area(s) you might like to move to, and compare your happiness factor there, to the happiness factor you have where you live now.
Whatever you do, try not to move someplace, only to find that you have to move back to where you came from, for whatever reason.
Remember, too, that a house is a house. Your home is where you make it.


#suicide #SuicidePrevention #SuicideAmongMen #AspenColorado
He was a reliable family guy with a big laugh.
He was white, hard-working and middle-aged.
It may have been the American Dream that caused him to commit suicide.
So writes Randy Essex, senior news director at the Detroit Free Press. His column on the matter also appeared April 16, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’ve known a handful of men over the years who took their own lives. I’m in the prime demographic myself,” Essex writes. “And, I spent three years as an editor near Aspen, Colo., — as strange as it may seem, an area plagued by suicide,” he continues.
“The (ski) season goes by and people think, ‘I didn’t meet the girl of my dreams. I got laid off. I don’t have any more money,” writes Essex, talking about the glamour of living in a vacation paradise.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to be whatever he or she wants, Essex says. White men already born with advantages, feel the unspoken words: “If you can’t make it, it’s your fault and you are a failure,” he writes.
Suicide rates have been rising not only in the general population, but also among troops after deployment.
Some of the men Essex talks about did have it good at one time. The Great Recession changed that for good.
Now, all men and women are faced with going to a job and not knowing what surprise announcement might await them.
After all, no one tells you it’s coming until the day it arrives.
In today’s world, companies have to be nimble. They have to adjust to change quickly. What was a hot seller for years is no longer. What used to be done by five people is now done by one, thanks to technological advances.
In previous generations, such progress was much slower. In some cases, unions had the power to slow progress and prevent efficiencies.
Those days are gone forever. What faces many people, particularly middle-aged people or older, is the horror of losing a job that had been good to them for a long time, and getting a job that probably pays a good deal less.
There’s talk of getting retrained, but those in the middle-to-end of their careers have a decision: do I spend the time getting retrained, only to buy a couple more years of work? Or, do I spend the time getting retrained to do job X, only to find that by the time I get started with it, a different skill from the one I learned is needed.
There is good news here. Yes, one does not have to kill himself. Instead, he or she can spend a few part-time, off-work hours a week doing something completely different — something that can not only augment income, but perhaps surpass any income a job could provide.
The key is being open to looking at one of the many vehicles that would allow a person to do that. If you have thoughts about doing something different, and want to check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
If you find yourself wanting to commit suicide, stop. Call the Suicide Lifeline included in Essex column. The number is 800-273-TALK (8255).
Your family and friends still love you, no matter how desperate you feel your circumstances make you. Instead, look ahead to a bright future by looking at something different.


#UnicornEconomy #EconomicTrends #TemporaryJobs #unemployment #inflation
It’s been dubbed “The Unicorn Economy.”
That is an economy so unusual, that both unemployment and inflation are low.
Neil Irwin discussed this in an article for The New York Times, also published May 4, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That same day, the Atlanta newspaper published an article that says temporary jobs are playing a bigger role in Atlanta’s economy.
“The last few years have made it clear the Phillips curve – the relationship between unemployment and inflation – has either changed shape or become irrelevant,” Irwin’s article says.
Generally, when the employment picture is good, wages go up and, by correlation, so do prices for goods and services. That defines inflation.
But that does not appear to be happening, making it tough to set economic policy, the Irwin article says.
Meanwhile, technology has spawned the increase in temporary workers, the other article says.
“In an increasingly uncertain economy, a company that has demand for its services right now can get the people it needs – without committing to keep paying them if demand drops,” the article says.
“If business suddenly slows, workers go away. If business is strong, a company can take temps who have proven themselves and hire them – no muss, no fuss, no ads or interviews,” the article continues.
Low unemployment coupled with low inflation may look good on paper, but several things could be at play.
First, wages are not increasing as much as they should in a good economy. Some are seeing raises for the first time in years, but many wages are not good enough for some people to make a decent living.
As the article on the temporary workers implies, fewer workers are getting benefits from their employers, like health insurance, vacations etc. That helps companies keep labor costs down, so they won’t have to raise prices.
In short, what looks good on paper may not translate into the best of lives for average workers. The job security and benefits of the past are gone, in many cases.
On-demand or volume-variable staffing is not good for the workers who have to navigate it. Some full-time workers may be asked to go home, either without pay or by using vacation time. What a job-security nightmare for those folks.
The good news is that there are ways for workers to deal with, or even eliminate the problem. There are a number of vehicles out there in which a worker can invest a few, part-time, off-the-job hours a week and earn a potentially lucrative income. It doesn’t matter the worker’s background, education or job skills. He just has to be willing to take a look, and see whether any of these vehicles is to his liking. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Today’s job market is unrecognizable to your parents, grandparents or other older relatives. In the old days, “steady” work was the ultimate goal. As the two articles indicate, the economy has changed and so have work rules.
Workers may now have to look for income alternatives that may lie outside one’s comfort zone.


#JobsThatKill #overwork #WorkKills #jobs
For 2.8 million people annually worldwide, work kills.
Today’s society, with its technological advances, has you on an electronic leash with your employer.
So says a United Nations report, discussed in an article by Karen D’sousa of Tribune News Service. The article was published May 2, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The world of work has changed, we’re working differently, we’re working longer hours, we’re using more technology,” the article quotes Manai Azzi of the U.N.’s labor agency, the International Labor Organization.
About two-thirds of the work-related mortality is estimated to occur in Asia, the article quotes the report. The greatest cause of death are circulatory diseases (31 percent of such deaths), work-related cancers (26 percent) and respiratory diseases (17 percent, the article quotes the report.
If you are fortunate enough to have a good job, you can relate to this.
The jobs that pay well keep us from being broke, but also tie us into a 24/7 work life, or close to. Therefore, we may not be financially broke, but we are time-broke.
We miss out on family activities and events. We miss out on some of the recreational opportunities we enjoy. We miss out on just plain relaxation.
It’s been said that most people today are either unemployed, underemployed or overworked.
Perhaps you can recall generations ago, when Mom generally stayed home, and Dad worked. Dad would be home every weeknight at around the same time for dinner. Perhaps he would spend time with the kids after dinner.
Then, there were the weekends, when everyone was home.
Today, there are more crazy work schedules than ever. The 9-toi-5 job is indeed rare. Chances are, if you have such a job, it’s probably not making you rich.
Not only are many folks’ schedules all over the map, they work more than eight hours a day, generally. And, when they come home, there may be work-related e-mails to check, phone calls to return, paperwork to complete etc.
People are more likely than not to get a work-related phone call at home while they are off.
There is good news in all this. It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are many vehicles out there that will allow a person to take a few, part-time off-work hours a week to build an income that could potentially make them not only financially secure, but no longer time-broke.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, try to take as much advantage as possible to the things in your life that you enjoy, or mean something to you.
Look for ways to relieve stress, be it physical exercise, pleasure reading or spending time with family and friends.
Your job may try to kill you, but you don’t have to let it. You can still do all you need to do at work, and relieve stress when you are not at work.
Don’t let work stress mess with you. Don’t let it kill you.


IncomeInequality #MinimumWage #productivity #WageGrowth
It isn’t a low minimum wage that has enlarged the income inequality gap.
Nor is it the greed of the top 1 percent, or the recently approved tax cuts that has caused a lack of bounce for the middle and lower classes during the economic boom.
So says Edward P. Lazear, a former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and currently a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He discussed the matter in a May 7, 2019, column in The Wall Street Journal.
Lazear, who is also a Hoover Institution fellow, believes the higher earners are simply more productive, with the help of technology.
“Wage growth for the median worker has stalled at about 0.5 percent in the U.S. , Canada and France,” Lazear writes. In Japan, he continues, there is no growth at all.
His conclusion: future technological advances will widen the gap. The demand for lower-skilled labor will fall. We can’t really stop technological advances, and guaranteeing a wage would merely patch the problem, he says. The solution is to narrow the productivity gap by raising the skills of the lower and middle class workers.
Lazear is correct in his thinking, so how do we, as a country, raise the skills of lesser skilled workers?
There are many programs, and many employers who have initiated programs to do that, but it has yet to make a dent in the productivity gap.
Schools have tried to focus on improving skills for lesser skilled workers. But not all of those workers qualify to get into certain schools.
Plus, these lower skilled workers may be at a stage in their lives in which going back to school for several years to earn a new skill is practically difficult, or will not give them enough good years on the other side to get a sufficient payback from all that education.
Also, you have the problem of fast changes. So, the new skills a worker may have spent years learning may be usurped by even newer skills. So, all that time spent going to school to learn new skills that have been usurped may be wasted.
So what’s a working-class person have to do to get ahead?
Fortunately, there are many vehicles out there that allow a person who spends a few part-time hours a week (maybe even a smaller time commitment than going back to school) to earn a potentially good income. That person just needs to be open to looking for them, and, congruently, at them.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In the past, labor unions could retard technological growth and efficiencies with rules that companies had to follow. Unions don’t have the clout they once had, and that may be a good thing in the modern age because change happens much more quickly than in decades past.
The lesser skilled workers first have to realize that government is an unlikely solution to the problem. It will be up to workers themselves to decide what to do. You can’t stop an ocean wave, and you can’t stop changes in the workplace.
But you can decide that you’re going to make changes in your own life to not only ease your financial burden, but also create a life for you and your family that could be better than you’d ever envisioned.
So, instead of expending valuable energy worrying and complaining about your situation, income inequality or the good fortune of others, create your own good fortune, however it works for you.
We are all capable of changing our lives. But not everyone is willing to step outside his or her comfort zone to do it.


#EducationalSuccess #SchoolModels #EducationalAchievementGap #HeadStart
Economist Eric Hanushek has seen successful school models, and sometimes believes overall educational improvements are possible.
At other times, he worries that educational success simply depends on the individual student.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discusses how the education gap persists in an April 16, 2019, column.
Hanushek co-authored a recent study that concludes “a stark opportunity gap between America’s haves and have-nots despite nearly a half-century of state and federal attempts to provide poor children with the extra resources to catch up,” Downey quotes the study.
“We have been trying a lot of things to close that achievement gap over time, but these gaps have not changed one whit over the almost half-century in which we are able to track performance,” Downey quotes Hanushek.
Head Start, desegration of schools, mandating services for students with disabilities and more equal funding between rich and poor districts have all been tried, yet there is no real movement, Downey writes.
The study, which analyzed various standardized test scores over the decades, determined that nothing that is really relevant has changed, Downey quotes Paul Peterson, director of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and a co-author of the study.
However, rising educational attainment by parents over those decades – a good thing – may be offset by the decline in the quality of teachers, Downey quotes the two experts. More higher-income opportunities for women have much to do with the decline in teacher quality, Downey writes.
This all breaks down to students who grow up in homes in which education is a priority — usually those in which the parents have a lot of education– have a better shot at educational success than those who don’t. That hasn’t changed in 50 years.
However, that doesn’t mean that students who grow up in poorer, less educated families CAN’T succeed. It may mean that those students need adults who can motivate them and help them make good life choices. These adults need to step up and help these kids.
The schools, after all, can’t do everything.
Also, kids need to be taught that college, and all its expenses, is not for everyone. They have to be taught that being a successful adult may not require a college education.
Certainly, if a motivated student really wants to go to college, he or she will also be motivated to find a way to get there if there are no obvious resources in their backgrounds.
Also, there are ways to earn money – potentially a lot of it – that don’t necessarily require a college education. They simply require a student to think outside the box, and perhaps look at something he or she never thought existed,or even thought they would be suited for.
Many such vehicles and programs exist. To check out one of the best, message me.
To sum it up, students need adults to motivate them. Every teacher may not connect with every student, but for every student, there is undoubtedly an adult who can find what makes that student want to succeed, and provide the time and resources to help that student experience what could be his or her passion.
Relying on schools to do everything for every student is like relying on a government to do everything for every citizen. The students have to look for what will motivate them. They have to learn not to let circumstances define or derail them.
They have to be taught that school may not have everything they need. If the school doesn’t, the students have to look for what they need and adults – parents, mentors, others – have to be willing to work with them.