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Surviving retirement………….

It seems that the last thing that a small business owner (that includes commission sales persons) wants to address is retirement. There is a mindset that eventually money will start flowing and then the issue of retirement can be addressed; always at some future time.

I am not predicting “doom & gloom” but it may very well happen to those who postpone the development of a realistic financial retirement plan. My concerns are with the increase in medical costs; the unwillingness of Medicare to pay for certain medicines and some surgeries and the very high cost of medication.

Of course, the increasing national debt and increasing welfare system, make, in my opinion, social security and other similar programs, unsustainable.

As a society we are bombarded by millions of advertisements that encourage instant gratification. You can achieve more success if you drive a certain car; business will flow to you if you use the newest smart phone and tablet.

In my experience, many small business owners and commission sales people don’t know how much they need to save for retirement.   Is $500,000 enough? Is $1,000,000 enough?  There is the issue of longevity; people are living longer and have not prepared themselves for a longer retirement period. Inflation continues to rear its ugly head, look at the cost of a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk!

I had a conversation today with a man in his early 70’s. He called asking how to write a resume that will help him get a job; he has exhausted his savings and has been unable to find any kind of employment.  A social security check around $500/month does not make his mortgage payment. His home has been refinanced and borrowed against for survival. This is just one of many such stories that come to my attention. Family members may be a partial solution by providing a place to live, but there will not be enough for other life essentials.

The moral of this story is to encourage everyone to start saving. Give up the non-essentials and put that money into savings. The excuse that it isn’t enough to make a difference is not valid. By putting a little away all the time, and meeting with a Certified Financial Planner to determine your retirement needs is a critical part of business ownership.

Back to my call from the man in his 70’s; during our conversation he stated that he likes to go to garage sales to purchase items he needs. I suggested that perhaps he can profit by buying and re-selling items from garage sales. Who knows, it may be what he needs.

Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility… in the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.        Michael Korda 

  Nick J. Petra CFP  I can only help if I hear from you!

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