What Financial Health Means to Me

According to CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study, 57% of Americans—approximately 138 million adults—are struggling financially. While we can probably picture what strugging looks like, what about being financially healthy? To me, financial health means that I’m prepared to handle what life throws at me. In my case that means that when my wife and I began suffering with chronic illness, we were able to cover our medical bills and avoid bankruptcy.

What Financial Health Means to Me

First my wife, who was already suffering with fibromyalgia, learned she also had rheumatoid arthritis. She worked as long as she could with the pain, but in the end had to file for disability. Then I had a heart attack, learning I had type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure in the process. That required multiple hospital stays and surgery, but thankfully I am stable now. Still, I had to retire a few years earlier than planned. At the same time our income was taking a significant hit, our healthcare expenses were increasing.Continue reading“What Financial Health Means to Me”

The Social Security Dilemma & What You Need to Do

Social Security has been around now for over 80 years and has helped millions and millions of Americans live more comfortably in their senior years. But what about the future of Social Security? It’s something you learn about when you’re young, and like most people, think about it just occasionally until you draw nearer to the time when you will receive it. Although it was never designed to be the sole supporter of your retirement, it has become just that for millions of people. It’s now more than 50% of retirement income for the vast majority of all Social Security recipients.

The Social Security Dilemma and What You Need to Do

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), 52% of all beneficiary couples and 74% of all beneficiary singles received at least 50% of their retirement funds from Social Security payments in 2015!  For 22% of all couples and 45% of all singles, Social Security is shockingly 90% of their retirement funds. Those numbers are growing every year. That is pretty scary. Continue reading“The Social Security Dilemma & What You Need to Do”

5 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way (So You Won’t Have To)

I began my post-collegiate working career back in 1971. Does that seem like a century ago to you? Well it may be in many ways! It was a time when the computer was something rare unlike it is today. There were no cell phones around for 24/7 availability. There weren’t 400 TV channels on cable and the internet just didn’t exist for regular folks. Even the word blog wasn’t in our vocabulary. But there was something that hasn’t really changed over the years and probably never will. It’s the desire to be a success at whatever you do for a living and the search for financial wellness that comes in finding the job you really want that will earn you the kind of income you desire. And the drive to get it no matter what!

5 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way (So You Won't Have To)

Back in the day, when I graduated college, I have to admit I wasn’t certain about what I really wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t a great student for most of my time in school, but I did do well in my junior and senior years at college. I was all over the place when it came to fields of study however, majoring in Secondary Education and History and minoring in Philosophy. As I look back at that, I realize that if I truly wanted to be a Philosopher, I’d probably have to dead before I could reach the level that would earn me a good living!Continue reading“5 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way (So You Won’t Have To)”

The Middle Ages Part 3: Money Tips for Your 50’s

If you’ve already made it through your 30’s and 40’s, you’re in a special place as you enter your 50’s these days. It’s different then your parents’ and grandparents’ days. If you’re a typical 50-something, you are at a great place and time in your career. 50’s are the new 40’s and you’re still young, vital, and involved as much or more than you ever were even as a 20, 30 or 40-something. Health consciousness has been ingrained in your mind, so much so by TV, you are probably in better shape than anyone who had ever been age 50 in world history!

The Middle Ages Part 3: Money Tips for Your 50'sContinue reading“The Middle Ages Part 3: Money Tips for Your 50’s”

The Middle Ages Part 2: Money Tips for Your 40’s

On Friday I spent some time talking about your 30-something years and hopefully when you took action you got through those years building a good strong base and plan to tackle your financial future for the next decades. Moving on now, if you’ve made it to your 40-something years, the challenges may be different but they still require a focus and goals. So here’s my take on money tips for your 40’s.

The Middle Ages Part 2: Money Tips for Your 40'sContinue reading“The Middle Ages Part 2: Money Tips for Your 40’s”

The Middle Ages Part 1: Money Tips for Your 30’s

Back in your school days you studied all about the Middle Ages. It was the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the European Renaissance, roughly from the 5th century through the 15th century AD. Well, as fascinating as that period was, it’s not the subject of today’s post. Today I’m writing about your middle ages. That’s the years when you’re in your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Those are the “middle” of your  lifetime years when so much of what you are and will be is determined. From your career path to your relationships, family life and retirement planning, and everything in between. And so today’s post, part 1 of 3, will be about money tips for your 30’s.

The Middle Ages Part 1: Money Tips for Your 30's

Today, we know that life expectancy is longer than ever and you can think of it as divided into 3 stages. There’s stage #1, Coming of Age, which I call birth through your 20’s. Stage #3, I call the Retirement and the Golden Years of 60 and up. And today’s topic, the Middle Ages, Stage #2, ages 30-60. Each phase is different and yet somewhat similar in some ways. The key is timing in all cases, because what might be a plan in your 30’s may become a desperation move in your 50’s. Time is your friend when you are younger and not so much as you move through…the Middle Ages.Continue reading“The Middle Ages Part 1: Money Tips for Your 30’s”

Financial Empowerment – My Road to Financial Wellness

The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you.

This coming September will mark for me the 20 year anniversary of starting my journey to my financial empowerment. Sometimes, the best things that you will ever do are born out of times that are fundamentally the worst times, such as when you are hurting emotionally and financially and are desperate for control when tough roadblocks occur in your life. That’s what happened to me in September 1996.

Financial Empowerment - My Road to FInancial Wellness

Back then, my 25-year marriage had just ended, my divorce became final and I was at my low point in every part of my life from job to family and of course, my financial condition. After a divorce, the division of assets doesn’t leave two halves but rather a pretty big financial hole which means a lot less for everyone involved. You can do one of two things it seems. Either you can wallow in self-pity and think you’re destined to be in that mess forever or you can decide that you can do something about your problems and start to find ways that you can take control again of your financial well-being. It may not be simple and easy, but it can be done.Continue reading“Financial Empowerment – My Road to Financial Wellness”

How NOT to Get a Raise at Work

Money makes the world go round. At least that’s what we seem to think. So when you go to work, the big reason is most likely to earn money. And you want to get as much money for your work as you can. Therefore it seems logical that you want to learn how to get a raise at work. But what if you are trying your best, and you just aren’t getting anywhere?

How Not to Get a Raise at Work

You feel like you work hard and you deserve that raise. After all, they gave Dave a big raise and a promotion and everyone knows he’s not half as smart as you. So why not you?  What did he do that you didn’t do?.  You did everything they asked you to do and you always do. You‘re a model of consistency, you show up every day on time and you never miss a day. What’s the heck is wrong with them? Can’t they see you need a raise?Continue reading“How NOT to Get a Raise at Work”