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Where the mutual fund strategy went wrong! April 1, 2009

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The latest Dalbar Inc. mutual fund study is out and it is not pretty.  Real losses with a 5-10-15 year look back from the end of 2008 and marginal gains [below the inflation rate] for the 20 year look back.  For those who aren’t familiar with these studies the study looks at actual data from the real investors and their actual rates of returns.  No theory here, just facts.  Before anyone tries to point out that these data points are in the bottom of a severe bear market, remember the highest 20 year rate of return since doing the studies has been less than 5%.  There are  a whole host of other financial products that have done as well or even better without the stock market risk.

Here is the real reasons the returns have been so bad for mutual funds;

1. The efficient market thesis which suggests diversification and index mutual funds for the masses is severely flawed;

2. Passive investing leads to massive mistakes because it lends itself to total emotional decisions;

3.  Diversification leads to lopping off the opportunity for oversized gains but leaves the investor with market [systemic] risk;

4. Mutual funds inside 401Ks as a form of compensation leads to people having way to much of their $$$ in the market and way too little in reserves; and

5.  The army of mutual fund sales people are recruited for there sales ability not their formal finance knowledge or experience so they had no clue what the side effects of having people put most of their money into mutual funds would be.

One final comment, there are still people out there that haven’t come to terms with the failure of this strategy and still insist that holding mutual funds for the long term is a viable strategy.  Buy and hold is not dead, just buy and hold mutual funds.  Given the last 20 years of returns in mutual funds anyone who is planning on retiring over the next 15 years better not be expecting to do it on the back of their mutual fund investing!

Let’s talk about overall strategy! December 8, 2008

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There are two things that I agree on with the traditional financial planning community.

1. You should have reserves to help you through the tough times, because there will be tough times; and

2. Whatever strategy you choose (or allow someone else to choose for you), there is no reason to allow your fear/nervousness to get the best of you and change or eliminate that strategy based on fear.

Now, here is the Shafer Financial Way:

1. Create reserves first.  Save money inside a liquid fixed rate investment like a mutual fund until you have 6 months worth of expenses.  But this is a short term strategy to get started with.  Develop a long term strategy.  Perhaps start funding an Equity Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy, or use the money market account as both a reserve account and a pool in which to periodically buy Berkshire Hathaway stock.  In short, long term create reserve accounts that also will hedge against inflation for you;

2. Build a wealth creation plan.  This plan must be specific to where you are currently, where you want to be, and when you want to be there.  For example. your current working net worth is $40,000 and you want to have a working net worth of $3m in 25 years.  Then you need to create the investment(s), which will give you the best chance of getting to your goal with the least amount of inherent risk.  For example, if you need to get a 15% rate of return to reach your goal, then you need to build inside the plan the right investments that can accomplish that for you, using historical rate of return data as your guide.  You simply can’t build a reasonable plan based on beating the market, or based on financial instruments that have historically underperformed your needed rate of return;

3.  You need to fully understand the risk of failure to reach your financial goals; 

4.  You need to put all your resources to work for you.  If you have over 50% of home equity in your home, and you can take out equity to get you to the 80% mark, do it and put those dollars to work for yourself.  Don’t waste precious cash flow on luxury items until you can do so and still remain on goal.  That means buy cars that are over two years old, and don’t buy gas guzzlers.  Put off buying that entertainment center/50 inch flat screen, etc. until you can do so without having to put it on your credit card (unless it is only for payment convenience).  Concentrate on how you can increase your cash flow by starting a business, changing your job, etc.;

5. Make sure you take into consideration taxation.  It is most peoples #1 expense;

6. Don’t be afraid to take reasonable risks in order to invest in projects you are sure about, change your life to a wealth building life, and create the life you want to live.  It won’t happen if you don’t assume some risk;

7.  Find a mentor who has made his/her wealth or preferably pay for a wealth coach.  A wealth coach can make you hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions if you have enough time) by just keeping your eyes on your goals.  Yes, this is self serving, but it is also true.  Think that Warren Buffett, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, etc. didn’t have coaches/mentors?   Of course they did.  Financial services sales people are not necessarily wealth coaches (usually they aren’t).  Wealth coaches might also offer financial products for sale, but they must not mix the two roles at the same time.  Look for a wealth coach that will refer you out to purchase financial products, therefore maintaining the integrity of the wealth coaching role ;and

8.  Now is the time to start.  Build your plan before the end of the year.  Implement it as soon as you can.  Change your life for the better! 

j0285372

 

 

 

Double Edge Sword September 9, 2008

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Today we have Jeff Brown giving us another great guest post.  Jeff is as experienced in investment real estate as you will ever find.  Hope you enjoy!

A Makhaira (ma – ki – rah) is the name used, in Koine Greek, (Created, in part by Alexander the Great as the “common language” for his huge military), a dead language, for sword. It was often used, (to the confusion of many) when talking about the sword used by Roman soldiers. They actually used, for 2-3 centuries, a sword referred to as gladius. Keep the faith — slowly but surely, this will dovetail into real estate investing for retirement. The gladius was different. It’s design aided the Roman legionary’s battlefield tactics. First, it was much shorter than what we’ve come to know as a sword. The blade was usually only 19-20″ long. Second, it was double edged, able to cut savagely both ways — a huge improvement. Third, its design went away from the oft used leaf shape, to a simple, straight blade. These changes were a result of Rome’s enemies modifying their defenses. I won’t bore you with the details here, but here’s a description of what a legionary was now able to do in battle. While holding his shield with one hand, he held the gladius in the other, like most soldiers of the time. However, his sword sported a much shorter blade, which helped him get inside his opponent. Also, if his first downward slanting-cutting motion missed his target, it wasn’t necessary to raise his sword arm to try again. He simply reversed the motion, essentially a backhand, and saved precious time, (if not his life) by wounding or killing his opponent that much more quickly. Also, because he was working with the relatively shorter blade, and was therefore more easily able to get inside his enemy’s kill zone, it was far easier for him to thrust into the abdomen, an almost guaranteed kill shot. It was a truly effective (read: nasty) weapon, made possible by it’s planning, vision, knowledge of the enemy, and ultimately, design. Where’s the Roman legionary’s flexibility? His javelin, known as a pilum. It was roughly seven feet long. He used it for both throwing, and thrusting. He had a weapon for close, savage, infighting in the gladius. His javelin gave him the option of dealing with his enemy from a longer distance. The goal was, however, the same for both weapons — victory on the battlefield. And yet… Most military historians agree — the gladius wasn’t really the primary reason for Rome’s military dominance. It was their vision, forward planning, objectivity, but most of all — their massively superior training — which produced brutally reliable discipline. Their vision, planning (Purposeful?), and objectively focused discipline, not only carried out that superior training — but created the ability to be flexible when confronted with (sometimes rapidly) changing circumstances.

Here’s how we can look at this from a real estate investment viewpoint. Leverage, the right financing, solid location, quality construction, tax shelter, tax deferred (1031) exchanges, are all examples of the investor’s gladius and pilum. But they’re not what makes an investor victorious. What provides ultimate victory, defined as a magnificently abundant retirement, is vision, Purposeful Planning, objectively executed, while seasoned with flexibility. BawldGuy Axiom: Don’t mistake the weapons in your arsenal as the way to victory.  What will, in the end, provide you with your dream retirement: vision — plus Purposeful Planning — combined with objective execution and flexibility.  Create your own empire. First though, you have to ask yourself what you want it to look like. What does your retirement look like? Or rather — what does it look like if you keep doing what you’ve been doing?

Thanks Jeff.  You have a way with words!

New Way to Tap into Home Equity Appears! September 8, 2008

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Never say the financial markets are not inventive!  Now there are three companies (REX andCo., Equity Key and Grander Financial) that will give you some of your home equity in exchange for a piece of the future appreciation.  Of course, you need to have significant home equity to make the deal, and the percentage they are willing to forward to you is pretty small.  But in exchange for cash now, you give up 1/3 or 1/2 of your future appreciation.  I suppose they are filling a niche of folks who want to stay in their homes, yet don’t have the credit scores or enough income to get a traditional loan.  And of course they are competing against reverse mortgages; that shouldn’t be hard.  Regular readers know that I dislike reverse mortgages for the fees and the compounding interest which eats up home equity fast.  Here, at least, you can share in future appreciation as well as share the risk for any depreciation of value. For those of you curious here is a web site for REX and Co. http://www.rexagreement.com/index.php/

But, why this product?  Well, it is the result of poor financial advice being handed out by financial planners. For years, the financial service industry (banks, financial planners, etc.) has pushed the idea of paying off your mortgage so you enter retirement with no mortgage.  The result of following this advice is millions of people with paid off homes and little retirement savings.  As inflation eats away at their savings and health care costs escalate retirees find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. 

Banks pushed reverse mortgages at these folks as a way to remain in their home and suck the equity out of it.  Now beyond the obvious predatory nature of reverse mortgages, hidden from view, is the reality that these folks would be much better off having more retirement income with a mortgage, than little income without a mortgage.  Too late for these folks.  Now I have written before that people that find themselves in this position are much better off selling the home, buying an immediate annuity and renting a nice apartment.  Their expenses go down, they get additional retirement income for life, and live in a much more manageable place. 

For those folks still working, pay attention.  If you don’t have a mortgage or are trying hard to pay it off, stop.  Get out that equity now, and put it to work for you before you have to give up all that equity to a bank in a reverse mortgage or give up a chunk of the future appreciation in these new products (why own a home if you are not benefitting from the appreciation?).  If you have a couple of million dollars to get you through your retirement, then you can afford to have a paid off home, if not you can’t.  Consider selling the home if the market is OK and you are on the verge of retirement with moderate amounts of wealth.  Renting is really not a bad experience for seniors.  Many real estate investors would love to have a nice stable senior couple rent their property and would bend over backwords to make it a great experience.  I know many of these folks! 

Retiree Financial Problems August 28, 2008

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One of my consistent observations is that the current retiree population is, as a whole, in serious financial danger.  Maybe, its because I live in Florida and have seen much retiree’s in my mortgage and insurance practice over the years?  Maybe, the sheer number of retirees in my area makes me more sensitive to their issues?  Bottom line, is that the current crop of retirees should be doing quite well, because they lived through the greatest economic growth (1945-1980) in the history of the world, a majority have defined benefit pensions, and had stable work environments through much of their working years.  In other words the economic deck was stacked in their favor.

What I observed, and now we are starting to see the data demonstrate, is that this cohort is in trouble.  The latest study on bankruptcies is only the tip of the iceberg.  Those 55 and over once (1991) made up only 8% of bankruptcy filings, now (2007) make up 22% of filings!  The filing rate for those 65-74 years old is up 125%, while the rate for 75-84 is up an astounding 433%!  Wow.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating, if the advice being given is failing the majority of people, then we need to change the advice.  This study’s (Consumer Bankruptcy Project) author goes on to state “there is no evidence that the problem is consumerism.”  No, the problem is the save/invest in mutual funds/401K strategy.  There is simply no room for common experiences, like sickness or layoffs, in this strategy and when these common events occur, they devastate people’s financial lives.

Now here is a question for the readers.  What happens to these elderly folks after bankruptcy?  No longer able to work or at least work at good paying jobs, dependent on government and family handouts, these folks are locked into a nightmare at the end of their lives.

Ready to change your thinking now?  Bring your retirement into focus? Then click on contact at www.shaferwealthacademy.com!

What We’re Missing When It Comes To Our Middle Class — Playin’ ‘Hide July 30, 2008

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Today we have a guest post from none other that the Bawld Guy!  As regular readers know, we think much the same when it comes to investing and retirement.  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out his website at

http://www.bawldguy.com/

In my opinion, the all time political football in America has been the middle class. They either don’t make enough at work, taxed too much or too little (too little?), or have disappeared altogether. None of those arguments are what continually keeps my attention. Not even close. Taxes? Middle class families figure things out and manage to survive the idiots in D.C. and their ‘help’ one way or the other. How ’bout college for the kids? Again, they figure it out. The #1 concern I’ve always had when it comes to the American middle class is what’s waiting for them at retirement.  In my view, the debates over middle class job income, or even their net worth to a certain extent, misses the target for which they should be primarily aiming. What I’m not saying very well is that saving and investing in and of itself is the very reason the vast majority of our middle class is gonna be living out a life sentence instead of enjoying a wonderfully planned retirement. How so? They’re listening to folks who apparently gotten the memo on what’s workin’ and what’s not. What are middle class folks being told these days? Slam as much money into the government’s qualified plans for retirement as possible. They sell this easily by hawking the annual tax savings allowed contributors for each dollar they invest in their qualified plans. The only retirement being enhanced in a major way by most qualified retirement plans is Uncle Sam.  

Here’s how. 

Take a middle class couple contributing to their 401(k)’s from 30-65 years old. Each year they they save anywhere from $3,000-10,000 in state/federal income taxes. In 35 years let’s say they’ve saved a total of $250,000 in taxes. If after 35 years they’re combined plans have reached $2 Million, and they figure a way to obtain a 6% annual return for their retirement income, they’re potentially in trouble. Their house is no doubt free and clear. They have no tax shelter of any consequence. In reality, they arrive at retirement with at best, $120,000 a year in income. They’ll most likely be liable for the highest income taxes possible. Let’s say they pay about $35,000 in combined state/federal taxes. This means by the time they’ve been retired 14 years, they’ll have paid just short of twice what they ‘saved’ in the previous 35 years. And that’s it ’till death. Please tell me in what scenario does saving $250,000 in taxes for the privilege of paying out twice that amount in less than half the time, make sense. Why not investigate alternatives allowing you to not only create a far more abundant retirement income, but also keep more of that larger income? Why not also do this while building tax sheltered and tax free income? Indeed, why not? Here’s what I’d be pleased for you to take away. Don’t keep your eye on a few tax dollars saved each year. Keep your eye on the real ball — your retirement income, and it’s after tax safety. Stop allowing Uncle Sam to play ‘hide the pea’ with your retirement plans. That pea is your gold.

Why Layoffs are so Devastating? July 22, 2008

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Before 1980, layoffs were virtually unheard of because companies and workers had come to a social compact that recognized the realities of layoffs were bad for both.  I won’t go into the details, but for about a 50 year time period management and workers were able to agree on the issue of layoffs as being bad for everyone, and therefore avoided it at all costs.  Companies like Procter and Gamble and IBM went further and created profit sharing plans that allowed their workers to share the prosperity by being given company stock based on performance and longevity metrics.  In the 1990’s, many of these folks retired with $500,000-$1,000,000 in company stock!  Hence, two generations of workers retired from these companies with large portfolio’s along with lifelong retirement benefits.

However, starting in the 1970’s and rapidly escalating in the 1980’s layoff’s and outsourcing became the main management tool for pumping up stock prices.  Since then, much research has pointed out the damage caused by this behavior to both the worker and the companies.  For industry, layoffs eliminated social capital, stored knowledge that enabled workers to use their experience and familiarity with co-workers to solve problems and increase productivity.  It eliminated the “all-in-this-together” feeling that enabled companies to withstand the vicissitude of the economy.  Companies started treating workers as replaceable parts, only useful for a short shelf-life.  Research has demonstrated that this damaged companies and damaged the bottom line.

However, the real devastation it caused the workers hasn’t really been discussed.  Most workers never reached the pay they received at their old companies and before they find jobs literally use up all of their savings.  Psychologically, it creates a situation where risk is avoided for fear of “another failure.”  Now let me remind folks I am not just talking about the industrial working class here, but also middle and upper management.  In fact, the psychological damage might be worse for them, as their ego was wrapped that much tighter into their educational and occupational attainment.

Layoffs are so common that it is estimated that the average worker will be laid off several times in their career.  Despite the realization that it can and does happen to everyone, those that are laid off, emotionally, see the event as their failure.

I often counsel people who have been laid off.  It is very difficult to get them to take risks, even obvious ones, to break the pattern.  I know I am surprised at this, thinking that folks would do anything to avoid a future layoff and the financial issues it presents.  But, for folks in that situation, they see it much differently, trying to regain self worth by finding another employer that “will value them.”  That is why I get everyone to think in more entrepreneurial ways, even if they have no intention of quiting their job.  The time to get started is when everything is status quo on the job department, before the psychological damage is done.

Sometime people tell me they don’t need a wealth coach because everything is going well for them at work.  Sometimes, they have a defined benefit pension that promises them a fruitful retirement.  But now we are in a situation that private industry has looked to the bankruptcy courts to eliminate those pensions, and even local governments are having issues with meeting those pension obligations.  The future does not look good for even government workers and those defined benefit pensions.  So what is your strategy for the current work environment?  Do you even realize you are a totally replaceable part?  Isn’t it time you start acting like the free agent you really are?  Or are you going to wait for the axe to come down on you?

I talk with another Successful Investor July 17, 2008

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Yesterday, we went to visit one of our Florida neighbors whom also has a summer place up here in New England.  Frankly, I knew vaguely what this person does for a living, but have only heard bits and pieces over the last few years.  While we were canoeing and swimming with my son we had a chance to talk more extensively.  I thought the readers would like to read his story:

 He had started working on the Jersey shore during summers at 14.  Eventually, he went to work for IBM in Jersey.  After many years of working for Big Blue, he decided that working for someone else wasn’t getting him where he wanted to be.  So he moved to Florida.  Taking his savings he started to buy property and fix it up.  His formula was buy three houses a year and sell one.  Eventually, he owned 20 properties.  He hired a full-time maintenance guy and worked hard at keeping his houses in good condition and rented to good people.  He had a rule that he would never raise the rent of someone while they lived in his property.  This worked well as he had loyal renters who, for the most part, didn’t try to destroy the properties.  He tended to buy properties in the less expensive parts of town so he could set the rent in the affordable range.  Slowly at first, but accelerating in the 1990’s, rents increased, dramatically increasing his income.  He had become very successful as a real estate investor through simple hard work and treating folks fairly!

For some personal reasons he started to sell out in the last decade.  He now is down to 6 properties.  However, he hasn’t had the same success with his capital, trusting financial planners and stock brokers.  One lost some of his capital, while another one had his money for 4 years and left him at the same place he started at.  We laughed about the thought that the only people making money from his capital were the financial planners!  He told me sheepishly (and this was totally unsolicited) that the best retirement vehicle he had [outside of his real estate] was a life insurance policy!

He also invested in some raw land in North Florida on the coast, with the thought of building a house and living there part-time.  However, he met his wife and she had a job tied to St. Pete so that never happened.  He picked it up for a pittance in the 1970’s.  In 2003 he sold most of if for a profit of around $400,000.  He kept a couple of lots.  At the time he checked with a broker and found that the lots were worth $400,000.  Because of tax considerations he did not put the land on the market.

 

So he still has considerable capital in real estate which he will sell out in the near future as real estate in Florida rebounds.  Then, he will be retired comfortably!  Well, very comfortably!  He is an example of exactly what we teach at the Shafer Wealth Academy.  I consider him a mentor as well as a friend.  His story makes me even more determined to bring folks into the Shafer Wealth Academy, helping them to the life and retirement they deserve.  Note, that he didn’t do it without any mistakes.  Making mistakes is part of the game.  Note that he didn’t get greedy.  Getting greedy hurts you in the long run.

I asked him if he thought his success could be duplicated today?  He felt that taxes and insurance were too expensive currently, so he wouldn’t buy in St. Pete.  However, he felt other areas that didn’t have the same tax and insurance issues it could be done.  He felt if you paid attention to the basics, treated folks fairly, anyone could do it.

 

During this conversation I realized that it didn’t take incredible luck nor superior analytical ability to become a successful real estate investor.   It takes what I call “want to and know how.”  Add in a little “treat people fairly” and you got the recipe for success!  An average person with a little capital and the willingness to learn and go out there and do it can build a fruitful and meaningful life. 

Taking on the Herd! July 15, 2008

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Once a month I go out into cyberspace to see what is out there of interest.  You get a real good understanding of how the herd is created, maintained, and led to slaughter doing this.  So I thought I would post today about the underlying assumptions that engender the herd creation.  Of course the uniformity of opinion on the net/blogs is truly amazing given the supposed openness of the medium.

The first assumption is the hatred of debt.  Now, all these assumptions have an strong emotional component to them, but debt has perhaps the strongest emotional tug to it.  Mainly aimed at those folks who carry large credit card debts and have no self control over purchasing consumer items, “financial experts” have created careers by telling people how bad debt is and making them feel really bad about themselves for having it and paying interest.  There is very little discussion on how debt functions, other than as a way for banks to make money off of people.  It is usually the first thing these experts say to do, get rid of credit card debt and then start paying down that mortgage.

Here is what the experts don’t tell you.  Rarely does a person build any substantial wealth without the use of debt.  Mortgage debt has produced more wealth for folks than mutual funds, bonds, or any other financial instrument.  In fact, the more wealth a person accumulates, the more debt, at least in the accumulation stage.  Debt is pretty simple to understand.  If the cost of the debt is less than the appreciation or value created by incurring that debt then the debt creates positive net worth.  The trick of course is to make sure you can service your debt while this appreciation or value is created.  Without the use of debt there is few if any folks who could create wealth.  So by creating a fear/dislike of debt, these experts are conditioning folks to fail and to fall into the next assumption.

You can create wealth by making small monthly inputs into mutual funds.  Sold as a risk-free way of building wealth, mutual funds have a soiled history and data indicates that again rare is the person who builds real wealth through mutual funds.  The latest permutations are the low expense index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).  Taking on one of worst abuses of the mutual fund industry (high expenses and fees) these folks encourage the concentration on fees and expenses correctly arguing that by limiting these and foregoing active trading one can decrease risk (variability) and approximate the market return.  This view is especially popular among the young.  Not surprising, because its hard to imagine the challenges of keeping dropping money into an account that come later with children, lay offs,  sickness, etc.  Its pretty easy to drop a little money into a 401K when you are young even if this means being a little more frugal than your peers, but wait to the kids need new shoes for school or that latest computer game, or you need to fly across country to take care of an ailing parent!  History has demonstrated how hard it is to have 35 years of uninterrupted inputs into a retirement account.  And if you have some interruptions, then that 8% rate of return you thought was adequate, disappears into smoke.  The fact remains that people who acquire wealth, need to gain double digit rates of returns because of intervening life events.  And if you start late in life, forget about creating wealth or even a decent retirement getting only 8% on your investments.  And if you retire into a poor return environment you are doubly screwed.  Simply put, that risk free investment has demonstrated to be almost a guarantee of a poor retirement.

The final assumption, and probably the hardest one for people to get over is that you can create a decent retirement by being an employee.  This is demonstratably false under today’s environment, but was at least partially true in the last three generations.  When defined benefit pensions were the norm, companies honored a pact with their workers for mutual advancement, lay offs were unheard of and social security and medicare were solvent into the foreseeable future people retired comfortable if they were willing to work hard at a job.  But that is not the environment now, unless you work for the government.  And even local governments are starting to balk at the defined benefit retirement plans that are driving them into bankruptcy. In essence we are all free agents now, dependent on ourselves to produce, save, and invest.  So why be an life-time employee, if you are really a free agent, only of temporary use to your employer?  Now I am not saying quit your job.  But you have to start thinking like an employer at all times.  Usually, this ends up with making plans and implementing a strategy that includes running your own business during periods of your life and using your built up capital to leverage into creating value of some sort.

I conclude with some words from conservative commentator Paul Poirot, writing in 1950.  Not that I ascribe to all his words, but believe that he describes the world we now live in:

“The only security any person can have lies within himself.  Unless he is free to act as an individual, free to be productive, free to determine what part of the production he will consume now, and what part he will save, and free to protect his savings, there is no chance he can find security anywhere….In an industrial societey of specialist, who exchange products, the process of saving involves the investment of money in productive tools which will return income to their owner to whatever extent those savings might be useful to a new generation of productive and thrifty men….Government gifts to the aged [pensions] cultivate a robber instinct among men who are in search of security.  In a society of free men the aged will find protection, have always found it, by their own efforts or by those younger men and women who look to their elders for instruction and guidance in the ways of truth.”

Ernst and Young Study; Most will run out of money! July 15, 2008

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The evidence has been coming in for more than a decade, but the mainstream institutions are just now picking up on it.  Regular readers recognize it as a common theme.  Here is a direct quote from the study:

“…Americans will have to drastically reduce their standard of living before retirement to live comfortably, or avoid destitution, later in life.” [bold by author]

The study goes on to pronounce that middle income workers have to reduce their spending 24% now in order reduce their chances of becoming destitute during retirement, these same middle income workers if within 7 years of retirement must reduce their spending 37%!  And it gets worse from there.  Workers with $75,000 income/year if they have other income aside from social security have a 37% chance of running out of money.  This the the heart of the middle class that has developed other retirement income (a minority) and they have a better than 1/3 chance of running out of money!

Of course as accountants they suggest reducing your standard of living, but this is the first time I have seen anyone put a percentage figure on the reduction.  So are you ready to reduce your standard of living  by 24%?

If you have already belt tightened to you are unable to breath what do you do next?

Well here is just a tiny suggestion, call me!  727.804.9271.  I have been helping people escape from this financial vise grip not by creating miracles, but by showing them how wealth is created, built and maintained and how they can do the same!  Check out my web site   www.shaferwealthacademy.com fill in the contact form and get started today. before it is to late.