Will I Be Able To Retire?
With the worst economy since the Great Depression hanging over our heads and many bad financial decisions, I can't help but wonder if I will have the resources available to retire.
Bad Economy Clouds A Once Clear Vision Of Retirement
As my birthdays begin to fly by like leaves in the wind, I find myself thinking more and more about past mistakes, great accomplishments and what the future has in store for me. Funny how things change from one year to the next, isn't it? Not too long ago, I knew exactly what my future was. I planned on retiring by the age of 60 with more than enough money to support my wife and I comfortably. We would travel and do all of the things we sacrificed doing so our children could enjoy their childhood and be able to go to college. With 25 plus years at the same job, I felt as secure as I have ever felt in my life, and knew my paycheck was going to be there every week. And my wife, an ever hard working mom, shared in the bread winning. We were on top of the world...once upon a time.
Now I wonder if we did too much. Had we spent our money unwisely and not saved enough? Was it wise to buy a vacation home or should we have put that money away for a rainy day? All of the toys and things that weren't necessary, just because we could. Why, I ask myself, why? Because I could? Oh my gosh, what have we done?
One year later and things are drastically different. The economy has taken it's toll on everyone, including me. Decisions had to be made at work and the once brilliant salary I took for granted was cut, ever so slightly, but just enough to hurt. At the same time, my wife's company was looking to make cuts to save as well. Furloughs they call them, but that's just a fancy word for "work less hours". The question at hand now isn't, "will I be able to retire?" The real question now is, "will we be able to survive this?"
Life As We Know It Must Change
I'd like to think I'm a smart man. I know what needs to be done in situations like this. You need to make cuts. Much like running a business, you need to change your lifestyle so you balance with your income. If you don't, you will surely fall flat on your face and possibly lose everything. The biggest challenge was making the family understand. Your children don't want to hear they can't have something when they are so used to getting everything they want. And sometimes they don't accept "no" for an answer. I felt like such a failure for not being able to provide for them the way I had been for so many years. Like my father, I took pride in knowing my kids had everything they could ever need and more. It was my father who showed me the same kind of giving when I was growing up. Even though he was the only one who worked, he always provided my mom and my three siblings a life that many envied. I remember talking to a couple of my friends once about my home and the things I had and they all thought we were some rich family. That was because my father always made sure he put his kids first. That was who I wanted to be.
Constantly calculating and reviewing monthly bills, I began to stress over how we would be able to maintain our lifestyle. Bills were getting paid later and later and the money was getting thinner and thinner. I thought we could survive by using credit cards for things like groceries and gas and that would have helped. But it was evident that this was going to be a complete life change because just as we had decided to start using credit cards that we had not used in several years, we started getting notices that those accounts were being closed. One by one we received letters in the mail from our creditors that our account was being closed due to inactivity. And the ones that we had been using decided that our limits were too high so they were lowered, just above what we owed.
We had no money, no credit, no way of paying all of our bills. How...how did this happen? What are we going to do now?
On The Road To Financial Recovery
I'm happy to say that after months of financial torture, and many sleepless nights budgeting and calculating income versus debt, we are doing a little better. Things will never be the same as they were before and that may be a good thing. I guess we can chalk this up to a learning experience but I'm not sure we did anything wrong. We lived a comfortable life that, okay, may have been a little beyond our means once in a while. But we always paid our bills on time, always gave to charities, always put money away for retirement and had a nice nest egg for our children to go to college. We had planned for everything. Or so we thought. Who plans on losing income? Nobody I know. I mean, sure we had accounts we could cash in, which we did to survive, but now it's like we are starting over. The biggest problem is that I'm not as young as I used to be and I'm not sure I have enough time to save enough money to retire. I'm concerned that my wife will not be able to quit working like we had originally planned. Every aspect of our future is up in the air, just like when we were first married.
The only good part about going through this at my age is that I'm much smarter now. It was quite the wake up call but I know now what not to do. And even though it will likely take more time than expected, I am confident we will be able to retire some day. New plans are in place, the family is all on the same page, and the goals are clear. Survive to fight another day!
My advice to you, don't live beyond your means. Even a few dollars a day could throw off the budget. Yes things will get better someday. Until then, hang in there. We are all in this together.
When You Need Money, Where Do You Turn? The Internet, Of Course!
As I mentioned above, new plans for our future are in place. You see, I've never been one to ask for someone else for help, so I felt I had no place I could turn to. I have always been the one who people come to when they have problems and I help them. So when this financial mess began, I didn't know where to turn. I wasn't going to ask anyone for money because, as I said, I am the guy people turn to when they have problems. I have way too much pride to not fix this myself. So when I had nowhere else to turn, where do you suppose I looked? The Internet, of course.
Now I have been working on my Internet business for some time, learning different ways to make money online but I really hadn't done anything to prove myself to this point. Today, I am proud to say that with all of the time I have spent here on the Internet, I have learned how to choose the best products available and can successfully market them with my knowledge of the Affiliate marketing business. Along with that ability, I can also put my knowledge to good use by helping others learn those same skills much faster and easier than I did. With the help of my website, The Affiliate Marketing Institute, and the guidance of my mentor Ewen Chia, I am confident that I will be able to reach out and assist people who are new to the Internet marketing business and guide them through the process so they don't have the same difficulties I had learning the business.
Besides Affiliate marketing, I have also learned a great deal about MLM, or Multi-level marketing, which I know is typically frowned upon by most people. I know because I was one of the people who used to frown on it. Even here at Wizzley I'm not allowed to talk about it or give you a link to learn more about it. This only confirms that the people who came before us on the Internet ruined it for the rest of us.
Now, I am not a high pressure type of person. If you ask for my advice, I give it. If you don't ask, I keep my mouth shut. At the same time, I'm not the type of person who really cares if someone doesn't agree with my beliefs either. So whether or not you think these businesses are real or legitimate, doesn't have any effect on how I view them. I have already seen success with them. I know first hand that they work. I'm sure there are other ways to make money and I have done a couple of them. But the fact is, as far as I am concerned, and as far as this article is concerned, these businesses are my insurance against any future financial problems and my insurance that my wife and I will someday retire with no money issues what so ever.
As I read my own writings back, I realize that this kind of turned into a promotion of my businesses and that was not my intention. I really started out wanting to warn people of the dangers of being complacent in their lives and of being financially irresponsible. We all understand that the worlds economy is in a delicate state right now. But some of us feel like we survived the worst of it and it just isn't true. There are more changes coming and with those changes will come more uncertainty. Please make sure you are prepared for the worst. I know I will be.