#AndrewLuck #IndianapolisColts #FootballSeason #FootballFans
Andrew Luck, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, retired just before the start of this football season. He is 29.
He got tired of dealing with a four-year cycle of injuries, including a lacerated kidney.
He left millions of dollars on the table.
And the fans booed, as he walked off the field for the last time during a preseason game after his announcement.
Gracie Bonds Staples, who writes the “This Life” column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, asked that very question in her Sept. 8, 2019, column.
Staples asked one expert, Erin C. Tarver, an associate professor of philosophy at Oxford College of Emory University, who wrote the book “The I in Team,” what she thought of Luck’s decision.
She called it terrible, but not surprising, Staples writes.
“Many fans come to identify so strongly with their teams that they cease to think of players as individual people at all,” Staples quotes Tarver. “If they do, it’s as people who owe them something: wins, more years of their lives, a willingness to subject themselves to serious long-term damage for the sake of the fans’ hometown,” the quote continues.
The long-term physical punishment to football players — punishment for the sheer pleasure of the fans and the income to teams, leagues and players – has come under the microscope in the past several years.
Football organizations at all levels are now addressing it, from children’s leagues to the pros. The particular focus is on repeated concussions, and long-term brain damage that may result.
Though football is a business for players, coaches, professional team owners etc., it is basically a game. Luck obviously wanted to be as whole a person as possible for as long as possible for his family, friends etc.
As a fan, one should understand this. It’s likely that Colts fans saw their team’s chances to thrive this season as diminished by Luck’s departure. But they should understand that he has taken a lot of punishment for their pleasure, and enough is enough. It was no longer worth the risk, or the money, to him. The decision undoubtedly was hard for him.
Though most of us are not professional athletes, we, too, can face issues of having a job that is slowly killing, or, perhaps, permanently injuring us.
This can happen in many ways, not just physical punishment. Stress, overwork, lack of time with family and friends can have long-term effects on us as people.
Feeling underappreciated by those who don’t know, or don’t care, what you are going through can hurt, too.
If you have a job that you feel is killing you, and you are motivated to change your situation, there are many programs out there that, by investing a few part-time hours a week, can put you on the way to potential financial freedom – enough to perhaps eventually kiss that killer job goodbye. To find out about one of the best such programs, message me.
Staples writes that Luck was not offended by the boos. He took out a full-page ad in the Indianapolis Star, thanking the fans for their support over the last eight years.
That’s a class act. Here’s hoping Luck can live a full life, free of pain and full of appreciation from grateful Colts fans.


#LaborDay #jobs #employment #QuittingYourJob #economy
Young professionals are quitting their jobs before they find new ones.
And they are finding new ones quickly.
So reports Michael E. Kanell, business and economics reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His article appeared on Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2019.
Kanell uses the example of Lindsey Roushdi, who had a job as an accountant for a solar company. The industry was seeing a bit of upheaval, so Lindsey decided to move on, Kanell writes.
After talking to a recruiter, within a few hours, she secured a list of 45 job openings that suited her qualifications, according to the article. She got a job almost immediately at a studio.
Kanell quotes a number of young folks who seem to have their pick of jobs. They probably would have never thought about quitting a job without having another one to go to a decade ago.
That’s a good thing.
However, there are many stories out there of those who aren’t thriving. Since the job market is better than 10 years ago, they may have found work. But the new work doesn’t pay close to what they received from the job they lost.
Some of them are even cobbling together multiple jobs to survive.
So, if the economy is so good, why isn’t everyone thriving? Automation, technology and efficiencies have robbed the economy of many good-paying jobs, particularly for those who don’t have college degrees.
A second reason: Many with college degrees are graduating with so much debt, In fact, according to a recent “60 Minutes” piece, New York University Medical School has gone tuition-free, thanks to the generosity of many benefactors.
Many doctors come out of school with six-figure debt. And, if they go into a practice like internal medicine, family medicine or pediatrics – the so-called primary care group – they may not make enough money to live a good life AND pay off their debt. Though you may find it difficult to have sympathy for doctors’ finances, the primary care folks aren’t living the lucrative life you may think.
Yes, economic numbers are good. Unemployment is low. But the quality of life for many has still deteriorated. Those lives will deteriorate further if the economy tanks, which experts say it will eventually.
What to do? First, if you have a job you like, don’t presume it will be there forever. Reorganizations, bad managers, efficiencies etc. can kill perfectly good careers.
If you don’t have a job you like, or that pays you enough to live a decent life, there is hope. The only requirement is for you to be ambitious, coachable and have a need or desire to change your situation.
There are many programs out there that can allow you to make a good income by investing a few, part-time, non-work hours a week to make it happen, without it seeming like a “second job.”
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, don’t get too cocky at work. If you don’t like your job, find a different one. According to Kanell and other experts, there are more available jobs than officially unemployed people. Hopefully, you can find one to your liking.
Meanwhile, do so BEFORE you quit your current job. You may not be as lucky as the young folks in Kanell’s article.
It’s certainly great to dream, and most dreams are achievable with the right attitude, effort and willingness to look at things that may be outside your comfort zone.
So look and listen. You never know when that great life-changing thing comes your way.


#rich #YoungAndRich #entrepreneurs #investors #RichAtAnyAge
A survey of U.S. investors with $25 million or more says the average age has dropped by 11 years, to 47 years old.
The ranks of these Americans has doubled since the depths of the Great Recession.
The average age of those with a mere $1 million is 62, a number that hasn’t budged in years.
These figures come from an article by Ben Steverman for Bloomberg. I was also published Jan. 24, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
About 172,000 U.S. households have a net worth of at least $25 million, the article says. That’s up from 84,000 in 2008. The study was created by the Spectrum Group, according to the article.
The “vast generational transfer of wealth” is “just beginning,” the article quotes George Walper Jr., president of the Spectrum Group.
The article doesn’t spell out how these folks are getting rich, but here are a few theories.
First, they could have invested well in the stock market, which crashed big time during the Great Recession. A big, universal downturn in the markets creates numerous buying opportunities for those willing to take a chance on them.
Even the casual observer has seen the market go up like crazy over the last decade, so those buying opportunities – at least many of them – have paid off handsomely.
Another theory, as Walper suggests, is that older rich folks are dying, and giving their wealth to their children.
A third theory is a rise in entrepreneurship. Young folks have seen a need, or created a product, that has become very popular. Think Uber, Lyft, scooter rentals in cities etc.
Here’s an area that can make ANYONE rich, who is willing to explore it. You certainly don’t have to create a new product, or meet a need. You just have to be willing to look at ideas that are not necessarily new, but could be new to you.
There are many vehicles out there that can produce wealth for anyone, with any background, education etc. You don’t even need to be a genius. You just need to learn a system and be coachable. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Amid the doom and gloom you may have witnessed in the last decade, these stats should give you a glimmer of hope. Prosperity is there for those willing to look for it. It is there for those who, rather than wallow in their circumstances, are willing to embrace something new.
And, it doesn’t matter whether you are young or older. You just need to be willing to see something that looks very promising, and go with it, no matter what you might be told is best for you.
Our parents, at least those of us who grew up in more modest households, have told us to look for security, a good job, good benefits and stay there until we retire. That was SAFE.
Yet, such situations today are rare. Few jobs are safe. Few lifestyles are secure. Few futures are certain.
Increasingly, it is up to you to determine your prosperity. Certainly, if you choose certain paths, there are many out there willing to help you. But, you have to DO it.
If you don’t see yourself as young and rich, that’s OK. But think about the life YOU want, and know there are ways out there to get it. You just have to be willing to look for them.


#retirement #RetirementCrisis #RetirementAccounts #pensions
The three legs of the retirement stool are rickety, at best.
As Bob Pisani put it in his article for CNBC, all three legs – retirement savings, pension and Social Security – “are all in dire shape.” His article was published April 1, 2019.
The article was published to plug CNBC’s new financial wellness initiative it calls, “Invest In You: Ready, Set, Grow, “ published in partnership with Acorn.
At Vanguard, the financial services group, the median 401(k) account value for an investor age 65 and older is a mere $58,035,” the article says.
That’s about a year’s salary for the average person, and a pittance, considering all the time these folks had to save.
The St. Louis Fed concluded, “It could be worrisome that, for many American households, the total balances of their retirement accounts may not be sufficient to ensure a solid life in retirement,” the article says.
There could be many reasons for this crisis. The average person can do little about the condition of Social Security, or if their employers have cut back, eliminated or never offered pensions.
The savings part is the only thing within a person’s control.
If you are already in the 65-and-older cohort used in the Vanguard numbers, starting to save more may be advised, but it may be an exercise in futility. Working until you die may not be an option, either, because employers may not want you around anymore, or because your job is so demanding you’ll kill yourself before you get to retire.
If you are young, start socking away money now, however you can. As it grows, move it carefully from a bank to a more lucrative investment. Get good trustworthy advice as you do this.
If you are not sure how to begin saving, find a good financial coach. Bear in mind your income may not be the issue. Your spending may be the key to saving. Keep track of where every penny goes. Those pennies saved can be dollars earned in the future, to borrow from Ben Franklin.
If you are middle aged, and still have a decent job, but have very little, if anything, saved for retirement, start socking money away in bigger chunks. Again, that could involve analyzing spending habits to find savings.
Finally, no matter your age, job situation, education or background, there are many ways out there to earn extra money by devoting a few, part-time hours a week away from your job, or you can devote more time if you don’t have a job. The money you could earn could dwarf what you are otherwise earning, or did earn, at a regular W-2 job.
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The responsibility for retirement security has gradually, over the decades, be foisted upon individuals. Some 50 years ago, one knew he had a secure job, with a pension coming, as long as he or she behaved himself or herself, did satisfactory work etc. Social Security, plus that pension, and maybe a stress-free, part-time job in retirement could make one comfortable.
Pension plans and Social Security have become less stable, though Social Security should be around in some form for years to come. Pension plans? Not so much.
So the burden largely falls on the individual to secure his own retirement. If savings alone isn’t going to give you what you want in your later years, perhaps it’s time to think about doing something different – perhaps something you thought you would never do


#SickBuildings #SickWorkplaces #SickAtWork #germs
Your work area can be making you sick.
It’s not just the germs from other people.
It’s the building. You may be working in a sick building.
Maurie Backman discussed this syndrome in an article for The Motley Fool. It was also published April 9, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Many office buildings – especially high-rise ones – have pretty poor air quality, (because) windows are perpetually closed and nothing but recycled air circulates,” the article reads.
Also, dust can accumulate in untreated vents, allowing you, and everyone around you, to breathe it in, the article says.
That’s not to mention mold and other allergens festering around your workplace, the article says.
The article recommends that if you believe your office environment is making you sick, speak up. That’s assuming you have a reasonable employer or boss.
If you don’t get satisfaction, look for a new job, the article recommends.
Of course, if you succeed in finding a new job, don’t bet on the air being any better, unless you go from indoor to outdoor work.
Then, there’s the idea of working from home, with windows you can open and, perhaps, an outdoor space from which you can work.
Naturally, not every employer will let you work from home – or from wherever you are.
If the idea of working from wherever you want to be is appealing, there are many ways you can accomplish that without having to look for a W-2 job that will allow you to do it. There are many vehicles out there that allow you to earn money – potentially much more than a regular job will pay you — by working a few part-time hours a week. As a bonus, you can work from wherever you want. No sick building.
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Working in sick buildings is no good for anyone, particularly, as the article points out, if you have respiratory health issues.
If you can document your health problems, and you tell your employer that the building may be exacerbating those problems, the article says you might consider legal action against your employer.
That would certainly be a lot of hassle for you, even if you are successful.
In summary, sick buildings are a fact of life. If you work in a place that isn’t “sick,” consider yourself lucky.
If you like your job, in spite of your workplace being “sick,” you have to decide whether the long-term effects of working in that environment is worth the enjoyment you get from the job itself.
Working from home would certainly by ideal for some. For others, having the interactions at work may be what they crave. If you’re among the latter group, and your building is sick, you have to decide whether those interactions you crave are worth the price over time.
There are some situations that allow you to have a base at home, but have enough interactions and engagement with others to satisfy you.
Perhaps that situation would be ideal for more people than one might think.


#JobMarket #women #OlderWomen #employment #BackInWorkforce
Erica Hernandez, at age 54, decided to go back to work after 19 years as a stay-at-home mom.
The best job market in half a century has been a boon for older women going back to work, typically after raising children for nearly 20years, according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published April 1, 2019.
The 3.8 percent unemployment rate is near a 50-year-low, and there were a near-record 7.6 million job openings in January, the article quotes Labor Department figures.
In Hernandez’s case, she and her husband’s retirement fund had been depleted while she stayed home, and they were unable to do a lot of dining out and other fun things, the article says.
“My husband shouldered the burden all these years,” Hernandez, from South San Francisco, is quoted in the article.
Incidently, Hernandez did not get a job as a public relations executive, as she once was. She got a job as an administrative assistant, according to the article.
Therein lies the rub. Certainly, there are jobs out there for older women and others. But are the jobs as good as the job a person previously held? In many cases, they pay much less.
It’s tough for anyone who has been out of the work force for a time to go back to a job that was as good, or better, than the one they once had.
In some cases, people have lost jobs through reorganization, downsizing etc. What they find when they check out the job market is: what’s out there generally pays less, and often require as many or more working hours.
In other cases, what might be available may not give a person enough working hours to make a living. That induces people to cobble together an income with several part-time jobs, or even several full-time jobs, to allow them to live the life they’ve known.
If you are an older woman, like Hernandez, the income may not matter to you, as long as you can squirrel it away for retirement, college tuition etc. And, there could be less stress than she may have been accustomed to in her previous career.
But for others who may be approaching retirement, or facing college bills, it may not be such a convenient choice.
If that sounds like your situation, there are alternatives. First, if you have children going to college, or getting ready for college, talk to them about your financial situation. If they can apply for scholarships, and get them, that certainly helps. But, a good student can postpone college for a time and get a job that will help pay for it. This may be the only good reason to have adult children living at home.
After that discussion, determine that your retirement will be the priority. If the kids really want to go to college that badly, put the onus on them to figure out how to pay for it.
Secondly, there are many vehicles out there that can provide an income without having to take a W-2 job.They are suitable to anyone, regardless of age, education and background, if the person is willing to check them out. In fact, the income potential could potentially exceed any expected income from a traditional job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
The article about older women going back to work points out that these ladies face many obstacles, including rusty skills, a lack of confidence, employer discrimination, new technologies and social media.
If you care not to deal with those obstacles, and want to earn extra money to fund your retirement and other expenses, you may have to think outside your comfort zone and look at something completely different.


#EndOfLife #EstatePlanning #death #PlanningForDeath
We’re all going to die.
Perhaps not right this minute, perhaps not soon, but eventually, we are all going to die.
Planning for your death may seem morbid to you, but it is necessary.
Of course, you can delay or defer, or not plan at all and leave everything to chance – and your heirs.
Only 42 percent of Americans have a will or other estate planning documents, according to a 2017 study. Tamara E. Holmes quotes that study in an article she wrote on the subject for USA Today. The article was also published April 1, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Another stat from the study: Among parents of children younger than 18, only 36 percent have created a will, the article says.
Sure, it’s one of those things we put off, perhaps because of the expense of hiring a lawyer who specializes in estate planning and elder law. The article says there are Web sites, such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer who can walk you through the process if you want to do i8t yourself.
But, if your estate is complicated, it’s well worth it to get expert advice firsthand. It’s even better to have the expert put together a plan for you, incorporating your wishes.
Not only should you plan for your death, you should also plan for your disability, should it occur. If you are no longer competent to make your own decisions, you can actually make many of them in advance as part of your plan.
Your plan can even list your likes and dislikes when it comes to food, what you like or don’t like to read etc.
There are certain considerations, depending on your situation, that should be part of your end-of-life plan. For example, if you have a family business and you want it to stay in the family when you die, or can’t run it anymore, you can plan so that your family doesn’t have to liquidate the business to pay taxes.
If you have no heirs – or at least no heirs to whom you would care to leave your money – you can plan for which charities or other organizations or people would get your money.
If you have heirs that you care about, you certainly want to make life as easy for them as possible upon your death. With your wishes spelled out in writing, they simply follow the plan, or call your estate lawyer to execute the plan.
Certainly, if you have young children, you have to plan for their care until they become adults.
The point is: you probably won’t know when you’re going to die. So, plan early and update that plan as your life changes.
Speaking of life changes, do you think it would be a nice problem to have enough money to make end-of-life decisions about? If you don’t see a way that is going to happen with what you are doing now, then perhaps it’s time to check out one of the many ways you can augment your net worth by devoting a few, part-time, non-job hours a week to something, perhaps, you may never have thought of doing. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, leave as little to chance as possible in your life. Give a lot of thought about what you want to happen after you die. Think about those who will be most affected emotionally, financially etc., by your death.
Celebrate life, but know it will not last forever. Be prepared for your death, disability etc. Don’t make others wonder what you would have wanted. Make your wishes known, in writing. It’s well worth whatever it will cost you.


#infrastructure #levees #rivers #maintenance #flooding
No matter what you have, you have to maintain it.
Your home, your car or anything of value undoubtedly requires some maintenance.
Reporters Mitch Smith and John Schwartz wrote for the New York Times about how the levees burst along Midwestern rivers during the flooding of early 2019. The article was published April 1, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“On the river-specked Midwestern prairie, the thousands of miles of levees are an insurance policy against nature’s whims that, at their best, keep cropland and towns dry, floodwaters at bay and the agriculture-driven economy churning,” the reporters write.
During the early 2019 flooding, however, the levees didn’t hold up. The article says a suggested $80 billion in investment is needed over 10 years, for the nation’s levees, the American Society of Civil Engineers suggested in 2017, long before the 2019 floods.
As a society, we are seldom proactive and frequently reactive after a bad situation is upon us.
The article says 62 levees were known to have been breached or overtopped by the Midwest March floods.
It’s not just the levees, but roads, bridges, sewer systems and other infrastructure is aging in this country. They have been neglected because government at nearly all levels has chosen to underfund maintenance. Presumably, they prefer to have insurers pick up the pieces after something bad happens.
The question becomes, are you taking care of what you have? Or, are you rolling the dice hoping nothing bad happens? It’s better to fix something minor to avoid something major happening to you or your valuables.
Perhaps, like government, you say you don’t have the money to maintain, say, your car. It may be better to save on some of your other spending to make sure you have what you need to maintain your car, appliances and other things you need for daily survival.
If your job isn’t paying you enough, there are actually ways you can do something about that. You can take a look at the many vehicles out there that allow you to earn extra money – some potentially a lot of money – you would need to keep your valuables in working order.
But, you have to be willing to spend a few, part-time, off-work hours on your vehicle of choice. Even before that, you have to be willing to take a look at these programs, to see which one might be right for you. To check out one of the best, message me.
Like saving for retirement, keeping what matters to you well maintained and devoid of disaster requires discipline. It requires taking care of the money you have. It may require you to watch every cent you spend, making sure you have what you need in an emergency, or what you need to keep what you need in working order.
Remember, if you have a job, in most cases, you can’t live without a car. If you like to eat, you can’t live for very long without a refrigerator.
As Dennis Quaid’s Esurance ad goes, insurance isn’t sexy, or delicious or fun. But we all need it. Take stock of what you need to live a decent life. Make sure you are doing what you can to maintain those things.
You may have to give up some pleasures to do it, but you’ll have a lot less stress in your life.


IncomeInequality #jobs #recession #incomes
Despite strong job growth, Metro Atlanta incomes have faltered since 2007.
So writes Michael E. Kanell, business and economics reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His article on the matter appeared March 25, 2019.
“At the same time, racial inequality remained stubbornly high, even as the economy rebounded from the Great Recession,” Kanell writes.
The Atlanta region ranks 33rd in the country in economic growth, and 57th for inclusion by race, the article states.
Though Kanell covers the Atlanta area, the same thing likely can be applied elsewhere.
As a person, economically and otherwise, are you better off than you were 11 years ago? Have you been able to hold on to that good job you had back then? Has your employer downsized, leaving you out to find other work? Does the other work you may – or may not – have found pay as well as the previous job? Have you been forced to retire long before you wanted to ? Do you have enough saved for retirement to make it at all comfortable?
These and any number of questions can be posed today after a decade recovering from the Great Recession.
Some folks may have lucked out and found better economic circumstances. But many have not. Yes, the economy is growing. But if your individual economy has not grown, in fact has shrunk, you are not alone.
So, if you are in that situation, what can you do?
Fortunately, there are solutions out there, other than trying to juggle multiple, low-paying and time-consuming jobs. There are vehicles out there that potentially can enable you not only to recover economically, but prosper – perhaps as you never have before. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
You can sit around, fret and complain about your situation, or you can do something about it. Don’t expect some serendipitous event to come along to pull you out of your economic funk. Don’t expect a winning lottery ticket to solve your problem.
But you could be open to doing something you perhaps thought you would never do. It may take you out of your comfort zone, but if you’ve had to downsize your economic outlook, that can’t be really comfortable.
Kanell’s article says economically the best-performing regions, according to the Brookings Institution, are: Austin, Texas; San Antonio; San Jose, Calif.; and Dallas.
If you don’t live in one of those areas, or even if you do, you may not have benefitted individually from the nationwide economic growth.
Don’t look at the well-to-do with envy. Look at them as inspiration. You potentially could be among them if you are willing to look at programs that, starting with a part-time effort by you, could yield a pot of gold for you over time.
Times were tough a decade ago. Companies are still downsizing. Manufacturing plants are closing, or becoming more automated.
You can worry about it, or do something about it. It’s your choice.


#aging #AdjustingFinances #retirement #investments
Are you in your 50s?
Do you have enough saved, or are you on track to have enough saved, for retirement?
Wes Moss, who writes the Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, took on this subject in his March 17, 2019, column. He also is chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors, and has a Money Matters radio show that airs Sunday mornings on WSB radio in Atlanta.
First, Moss talks about the TSL strategy. That stands for taxes, savings and life. He says that for a younger person, 30 percent of your income should go to taxes, 20 percent to savings and the remaining 50 percent for life expenses.
But, when you reach 50, he says, you may want to adjust those percentages to put a bigger percentage into savings.
He also says many people save for their children’s college expenses. But college tuition can be covered through loans, scholarships (and having the child work through college), among other things. But there are no loans to cover your retirement, unless you take out a reverse mortgage on your house.
In short, Moss advises to make saving for a child’s education secondary to saving for your own retirement.
Moss also suggests playing catch-up with your retirement contributions, which the law allows you to do at that age. As for paying off one’s mortgage, as Moss advises, give it some thought before you dump cash into your house. If your interest rate is low, say, 5 percent or less, and you have an investment adviser who routinely can make you a lot more than that every year, it may be wiser to put your cash into other investments rather than your house. The aforementioned reverse mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, may be the only ways to get that cash back out of your house.
That brings us to Moss’ other point: stick with stocks. If you have your retirement nest egg invested in stocks or their derivatives, don’t panic at every downturn and don’t be overly cautious, and grab profits, on every upturn. If you have a good investment adviser, he or she will guide you to investments that are suited to your situation. Adjust as needed, but don’t dump stocks wholesale based on the news.
You may say this is all well and good if you have lots of money. If you can barely cover your taxes and life expenses, how in the world can you save, with your current income? That could be discussed in detail in a different setting, but it boils down to spending less on things that aren’t necessities, and saving more.
There is also another way to add to your income: check out one of the many vehicles out there that allow you to leverage your non-work time, perhaps just a few hours a week. You could potentially dwarf the income from your job eventually. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, in this day and age, your 50s could be a scary time. You’re at the age when your employer may yearn for someone younger , and cheaper, to do your job. Company reorganizations happen frequently, and many people find themselves unexpectedly out of work.
In past generations, people didn’t really start saving for retirement until their 50s. Decades ago, companies cherished their experienced employees. Now, they are seen as a mere cost, in most cases.
You can certainly make adjustments to your retirement plan in your 50s, but it’s better to start a retirement plan much earlier in life. Today, you don’t know when, or at what age, your retirement will come. And, in most cases, it will come, whether you’d planned for it or not.