walmartIs your financial freedom only a myth? Have you given up hope? Maybe you’ve not even really thought or cared about it. As a former CPA, CFP and professional investment advisor I helped many families plan for their retirement. I learned some valuable concepts from over 30 years of that experience. But the most valuable knowledge I learned when I personally was faced with a bleak retirement future.

My Own Story

This blog is not about me but briefly sharing my story may help you answer this important question.

Like so many people I first started to save using a passbook account. I would bring a dollar a week to elementary school where the bank would take it and deposit it for me and mark it off on the passbook. I saw that bank account grow over the years. I really never had any idea why I did that except my parents thought it was wise.

Then during college I held many jobs as an employee. I was able to put more in that same account. I liked that it was growing more.

After college I began my career as a CPA. I thought having a career would be better than going into the plumbing trade like my dad and his dad before him. As an employee and leaning about IRA plans I started to save more and more into an account that had tax advantages. I would invest $2,000 per year  in the IRA and more in my credit union account.

When I became a partner in the CPA firm we started a new type retirement account and now I could put way a lot more. I would contribute about $20,000 per year in this account. I liked that I was saving taxes too.

I left the CPA firm and began a new career as an investment advisor. I became connected with other innovated ways to create wealth like buying real estate and owning investment property. At the end of 2008, after  30 years of saving my investment portfolio was close to $7 million. Certainly that would be enough to pay for my retirement.

Then something awful happened. In 2009 the financial markets collapsed. Las Vegas real estate was hit the hardest of any state in America. I lost over $6 million of my investment accounts.

My dream in investing the “traditional” way was destroyed. So were my retirement dreams.

The only thing remaining of worth was those investment accounts I had purchased mutual funds with. Plus cash accounts. Over 95% of my real estate was gone. I still had my business.

The other thing I still owned was my dream and faith in starting over at age 53.

The Mistakes Most People Make

From my own experience I had my eyes opened wide and paid for a big education that cost me $6 million. Below are classical mistakes most people make, including experienced investment advisors, about how to create net worth for retirement:

  1. Believing that “retirement” is a set date in the future

    People that believe that retirement is a set date in time begin to lock onto that date as the date they a) quit creating income and b) need to live off of the dividends, investment income and cash flow created by the portfolio. This belief causes most people to be “closed” toward other ways to create life style income. Plus they limit their dreams and lifestyle to the limits of what the investment portfolio can provide. In essences they limit their personal growth to the harsh limits of how well they did at saving and investing.

  2. They stop dreaming of a bigger future the closer they get to an arbitrary time they believe they can’t work anymore.

    You see those who have lost hope of a bigger future than their past when you see those, well past their prime, taking jobs just for the sake of having money to pay for food and shelter. I feel bad for those who knock “Walmart” greeters because in all probability they don’t have a plan for later in life either. I always make it a point to be kind to Walmart greeters. It is in the dreaming and the exercise of faith based on hope that you find solutions and ways to accomplish your dream. Never give up on your dreams!!!

  3. Dependence on your own efforts to create financial independence.

    Most people rely on their own efforts in creating income.

    Most people believe they can only earn by trading “their” hours worked for a income that an employer agrees to pay you. Most experience investment and retirement advisors also believe this. In fact, they too are only trading their time and effort for dollars.

  4. Investing in a limited number of asset classes

    So many people gain confidence in only one asset class and will not follow principles of diversification when they acquire retirement assets. So many people only will purchase what is currently “hot” and growing. It’s a solid fact that chasing return of the hot asset is very risky and over time has repeatedly showed will actually produce a lower yield.

    It’s important to have some of each of these asset classes: a) Cash b) Different asset classes that follow these factors; the market factor (equities vs fixed income), the size factor (large vs small companies) and the value factor (value vs growth) c) real estate d) precious metal f) life insurance and g) residual income home business

Some Solid Ideas to Consider

You may for the very first time hear a wild approach to gaining financial freedom. I can assure you that these are far from wild but based on solid and conservative principles. Many people who I personally know and have studied and partnered with use these principles to gain wealth. Click here to review a few stories. 

  1. Create a lifetime of learning and growing and adding value to others

    The concept of retirement is a myth. I’ve met very few people living in retirement that really lived and continued to grow. I know there are those who seem to be doing well. Even traveling, playing golf and spending time doing things they enjoy. They may truly believe they are happy. But those who continue to serve and grow and move from being “successful” to “significant” is the model I’m suggesting you follow. By growing yourself, you’ll grow your ability to earn wealth far past any date that you “quit” being successful.

  2. Create the Life By Your Design

    Many people that approach solving the retirement equation only focus on the money part; i.e., the part that will pay for the limited lifestyle they believe they can live after they quit adding value in the workforce. I’m suggesting to design your lifestyle first, believing that you can have it, then second solve how to pay for it. Most retirement advisors are never forced by a client to think big. They only focus on what they “believe” are the only ways to create a nest egg. Their model and the models of millions of others is to figure out how much lifestyle you have to sacrifice now and put away so you can have a limited lifestyle in the future.

  3. Start building residual income now

    Build residual income now part time while you continue to work and dream of bigger life in the future. Residual income can be created by getting paid on the efforts of others. It’s more fruitful to be paid on the one hour for a hundred people than a hundred hours of your self. This is building a network. This is exactly how the wealthy, only 1 in 20 in the US, do it. For most people the only way to do this is with a network marketing company.

    When I was an investment advisor and learned this I began to recommend this approach to my clients before the crash of 2009. Some listened. Most didn’t. Learn of my story of this concept by clicking here.

    With this approach you can earn income the rest of your life and it can grow exponentially. It’s not dependent on the financial markets but on the efforts of a lot of people, who like you, continue to add value to others over and over again.

  4. Build a saving and investment portfolio that is diversified

    Above I mentioned the asset classes that are solid. By building your nest egg with funds set aside for that purpose (a rainy day fund) in all of these asset classes you’ll have a greater probability to have more return at less risk. These funds are for your future. Don’t look at the funds as “money” but rather your “dreams.” This way you’ll be more diligent in using the advice of others and not based on your own limited understanding.

 Final note

Our economy is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. Why? The biggest changes are in productivity. Productivity creates unemployment. The majority of the 90+ million Americans who have quit looking for work will not have a job to go back to. They have to create their own economy now. Watch this brief video that will explain this point.

I hope this blog gets you to thinking and more importantly I hope it gets you to do something now before it’s to late. I was fortunate to have found this principles and used them to create an abundant life for me, a life of significance for me. I’m excited!! I hope you do what excites you!!!

Please contact me if you’re open to exploring some of these ideas for yourself. Free of charge!!! My way to pay it forward.

About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: http://HealthIsAHabit.live

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