Are you counting on social security for retirement?

Posted on October 12, 2010. Filed under: Retirement | Tags: , , , , , |

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Checking my comcast news page today I saw this article: http://www.comcast.net/articles/finance/20101010/US.Social.Security.No.COLA/

Are you one of the many that are currently living off of social security? Or are you counting on it to supplement your retirement…maybe even be your retirement? Not a good plan. I know that my parents collect social security and fortunately for them, it is a supplement to the retirement they put away over the years. For many, retirement investments don’t look as good today as projected or many have had to dip into their retirement early and suffer harsh penalties for doing so. These individuals are now facing looking at social security as being their only retirement plan even though they had set aside for private retirement.

The article speaks about the cost of living adjustments for social security that were put into place in the 1970s. This adjustment was postponed last year and is proposed to stay at a standstill until 2012. Some, like my parents, are able to just cut back on the extras because they do have other retirement to fall back on….but for many, they have nothing to cut but the necessities. I have recently seen several homes foreclose that were owned by elderly. I believe that due to the rise in the cost of living they just could not afford all the bills and the house went first. For individuals that worked hard all their lives, this is a severe blow and many are left feeling helpless because where are they going to go find more income?

People are living longer than expected, which is a great thing by all means, but this puts a strain on them personally because they may not have allotted funds for the extra years and extra expenses- but no one can complain getting extra years for sure! It also puts a strain on the economy because the baby boomers are beginning to flood in to the social security years at a time when the economy is already at a severe deficit. So what to do?

I keep saying you must have a plan B or maybe even a plan C. I love how the one gentlemen is quoted as saying, “the system may not support you.” I absolutely agree, it can’t sustain itself and you can’t count on it to support you so you have to be innovative and look for new investments. It does not matter if you are moving into retirement, dreaming of retirement or thinking retirement is so far off you will worry about it later. No matter your stage or age  you must create another possible source of income. Put your talents to work and create a small business. Are you a good web designer, talented photographer, great cook, organizer, friend? There is something you can build now. I personally love any form of entrepreneurship, but most exceptionally networking. How many of us use networking on a daily basis? For work, for friendship, fundraising, prayer needs, and so on. What if you could network yourself to financial freedom and help others do the same? It is possible.

Why does networking work? For starters it is something anyone can do and it is one of the most fair forms of business that exists. Let’s compare most businesses where there are field workers/retail workers, then there is management/administrative, then you keep going and you get to the big bosses or boss….that’s where the bulk of the profits end up. You don’t see the guy working his rear off keeping the wheels turning being able to make what the big boss does now do you?

 In networking anyone at any level can triumph. It does take time. Think about building up a network of friends, business associates, blog/twitter followers and so on. It is not overnight, it takes time, but in the end you rely on those networks and those networks rely on you too. It is a give and receive relationship in a network. One man/woman does not succeed alone, yet everyone does a little and then everyone receives a lot. It is a beautiful system not only because of the aspect of team and helping others, but because what you create and build is residual meaning it continues. It would be like saying I love shopping at X store and then you tell others about the store and they join the club(similar to what we do at those wonderful wholesale stores) and then you are rewarded for a portion of what they buy. They then tell friends and they do the same. So everyone is doing a little bit and as the network grows, so does your financial security. Why? Well if someone was ultimately paying you at some point to shop at there store and you just spent a portion of what you were paid….and were able to keep the rest…..would you ever stop shopping at the store? It is similar to an investment…you build investments over time. You invest in them, just as with networking, and gradually it begins to grow. With networking though, you don’t have to wait for those retirement years to start collecting on those investments, you can collect weekly bonuses and monthly percentages. It is such a beautiful system that Robert Kiyosaki even says in his last book, The Business of the 21st Century, that if he had to create his wealth all over again, it would be through networking. Why? Well most likely because it works, you can feel good about what you do, it does not have a high level of financial risk and it is a place where you can share with others on how to succeed also.

So take a look at where you want to be financially in 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 years. How are you going to get there? What vehicle will allow you to reach your goals? Do you have more than one plan? What if plan A fails, how does your plan B look? Don’t be a skeptic, take a closer look, it truly is the Business of the 21st Century and will continue to grow and help so many along the way. Don’t lose your golden years, start building them or reclaiming them now. Always here to help answer any questions on how to grow your own financial future- Shea.

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