First of all, why should we need to retire? If we are not tired in the first place, why re-tire?
The more important question is – “Why are we so tired that we would want to be retired?”
Photo from an Arizona retirement center. Is this really worthy of a dream?
Generally we are tired because we are working too much… at something that does not sufficiently fulfill rather than having fun, doing what we love… AND earning in the process. This site focuses on ways to create micro businesses that earn but more importantly are gratifying, fun and serving the mission you feel needs to be filled.
There are numerous economic scenarios that could ruin retirement for many. Inflation, a falling greenback, another market crash or recession. Any of these could doom traditional retirement plans. The timing of these events are beyond our control.
That’s okay because diversification into a business that fulfills and serves can be better than stocks and bonds, cash and gold… all put together.
Right now… cash pays nothing. Bonds are quite sure to lose purchasing power. Gold could rise or fall. Shares are at an all time high which creates a problem of timing… if you are near a time when you need the money from your stock investments.
A reader sent a note that highlighted the importance of invest timing for retirement.
“Gary, is there not one period in each person’s life when market timing is very relevant? —- when they are leaving the 40-hour work force (and predictable if limited paycheck) and have to begin 401K and IRA withdrawals and pay taxes. Is a different strategy required for distribution than is required for accumulation?
On Market Timing
My reply was: “We can never tell what markets will do in the short term. No matter what the market has done, it may do more of the same…or it may not. Looking for value is a more accurate and dependable than trying to predict tops and bottoms in the long run. In the long run… only the long run is reliable.”
This is why the less you have time for your investments to work… the less important market timing becomes. When you reach the distribution stage in your investments… you cannot afford to wait years for your investment to bring a profit.
If you have $500,000 in a 401K and need $20,000 per annum to retire this requires a 4% withdrawal. If the market (and your shares) drops 30% your $500,000 shrinks to $350,000 and now you have to draw almost 6% to gain your $20,000 a year. If a market stays weak for three years… the $350,000 has been depleted so there is less capital to make up the loss when the market recovers.
In addition, because of inflation each year the $20,000 is likely to buy less. So even more demand may be placed on a diminished portfolio.
What we do not know exactly is when markets will rise or fall. What we do know about market timing is that “periods of high performance are generally followed by periods of low performance”.
This is especially true in today’s highly leveraged world. Today, currency markets can be leveraged 100/1. Stock markets can be leveraged 10/1. This means that when panic strikes, markets can go down fast. Even the safest investments can go down very quickly.
This means that periods of high performance may be followed by periods of sudden, dramatic low performance.
As markets rise, the value of the investments in the market tend to drop.
April 2013 finance.yahoo.com chart of the Dow Jones Industrial.
The Dow, now at an all time high, is at risk of a severe and dramatic drop.
Can one depend entirely on the stock market to retire or not? So if there is retirement danger in equity markets and cash and bands and gold, where can one go?
Having your own micro business is a great approach. An April 2013 Sunday Times article “Over 50, and Under No Illusions” by Diego Ibarra Sanchez helps us see why.
Here is an excerpt: It’s a baby boomer’s nightmare. One moment you’re 40-ish and moving up, the next you’re 50-plus and suddenly, shockingly, moving out — jobless in a tough economy.
Too young to retire, too old to start over. Or at least that’s the line. Comfortable jobs with comfortable salaries are scarce, after all. Almost overnight, skills honed over a lifetime seem tired, passé. Twenty- and thirty-somethings will gladly do the work you used to do, and probably for less money. Yes, businesses are hiring again, but not nearly fast enough. Many people are so disheartened that they’ve simply stopped looking for work. Though there is no single path, there are success stories that offer hope.
The article shares success stories about boomers without jobs who became a franchisee, a real estate renovator and a networker.
Plus the article tells of this inventor.
Photo from New York Times Magazine (link below)
The article says: Jeffrey Nash, shown with Donna Sanchez, invented the Juppy, a sling that helps children learn to walk.
After 15 years selling men’s clothing for a national retailer, Jeffrey Nash, 58, was earning $90,000 a year and was often the top salesman in his company. But as the recession deepened, he began referring his customers to struggling co-workers. His sales commissions took a hit.
“I kind of softened up,” he says. “My sales went down because I was sharing them.”
His income fell to $65,000. And as shoppers became more cautious during the recession, he knew that it would soon fall even further.
“I was doomed,” he says. “I knew I had to come up with an idea.”
Mr. Nash, who lives in Las Vegas, had invented a device he called the Juppy, a sling that helps toddlers learn to walk more safely and confidently.
“I had already touched base with a patent attorney and had started the ball rolling,” he says. He took three weeks of vacation to see if he could make a go of his invention, telling only a few people about his plans. Their opinions were “really negative,” he recalls.
Undaunted, he drove to Los Angeles and San Diego, selling the Juppy from his trunk and on a televised sales show, and earning $12,000 in three weeks.
“I never went back to work,” he says.
Investing $35,000 of his savings and an additional $9,000 from his father and a friend, Mr. Nash had the device manufactured in China.
“The transition was simple,” he says. “If I’d stayed in my old job, I was going to lose in the end. I was done. I needed a massive change. I needed income of several hundred thousand dollars. I knew I had to take a risk, a massive risk.”
That included selling his home — for $200,000 less than he had paid for it, because of the downturn — and renting a house instead.
“I used to drive a Lexus,” he says. “I let that go. I don’t need it anymore.”
Mr. Nash has since sold $500,000 worth of his product, netting $200,000 in two and a half years, an annual average of $80,000. He is relieved, and proud of having successfully leapt from the familiar into the unknown.
“It’s unbelievable to me that at my age I recognized a need and filled it,” he says.
“We’re having a hard time filling orders right now, we have so much demand.”
Here are three benefits of a micro business.
First, from a timing point of view… you can start any time and work through ups and downs. Your own business can adapt more quickly to your circumstances because it is under your control… not at the whims of a market.
Secondly, a business integrates your energy with an investment so provides maximum income as well as the best tax benefits.
Third, because this is YOUR business, you can do what you love… serving, satisfying, earning and having fun all in one package. You can find and achieve your destiny with a pinnacle career
In my mind your own business is not an encore… but the real performance. The past career was just the warm up act. What many call an encore is not the end at all. This is the beginning of a pinnacle career.
Improve retirement economics through writing.
The careers we create in our 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s benefits from our greatest experience and the growth of wisdom. These can be our pinnacle careers… the best ones that earn more… are truly fulfilling and provide a greater service to mankind.
I prefer to think of careers for those aged 50 and beyond as pinnacle careers. These careers are what we are here for. I call call them our destiny careers.
Merri and I share two passions…. writing and fixing up old things. We love seeing through the grime and neglect in old places that have a grace and solid reputation shrouded in time. There is a tasteful architecture from a passed by style that used to require individual care, pride and effort… artisans and laborers working side by side carving, painting and polishing masterpieces atop solid engineering.
Our latest fixer-upper venture… a cottage 101 years old…. and still handsome in her stately charm.
Writing is fixing up as well. There is plenty of grime and neglect in society that requires washing away with words. Whether a book, report, article, course or magazine sharing an idea or selling some product or service, their writing is an architecture in words… art and English… carving in syntax and polishing function and form.
The foundation of all writing are ideas. They support a framework of love, hate and desire and all the emotions throbbing through the heartbeat of humanity.
Writing builds shelters against the storms of stagnation and creates progressive energy that artistically leads us from the tyrannical grasp of existing thought into new dimensions and ideas.
Marco Polo photo from Wikipedia.com
Take Marco Polo and the impact he had on changing the thought process of the Western world.
Marco Polo was a merchant and an explorer. He saw wonders when he ventured into the Eastern world. When he shared these wonders it altered the entire way that mankind in Europe lived… from the introduction of gun powder to paper money. Yet Marco was able to share these innovations due to his writing!
Biography.com says of Marco Polo’s exploits (bolds are mine): Just a few years after his return to Venice, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was eventually captured and sentenced to a Genoese prison, where he met a fellow prisoner and writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia, what he’d seen, where he’d traveled and what he’d accomplished. His stories were soon committed to paper and eventually published as a book called The Description of the World,
The book made Marco, who was released from prison in 1299, a celebrity. It was printed in French, Italian and Latin, becoming the most popular read in Europe. But few readers allowed themselves to believe Marco’s tale. They took it to be fiction, the construct of a man with a wild imagination. The work eventually earned another title: Il Milione (“The Million Lies”). Marco, however, stood behind his book. He also moved on with his life. After his release from prison, he returned to Venice, where he married, raised three daughters and, for some 25 years, carried on the family business. Marco died at his home in Venice on January 8, 1324. As he lay dying, friends and fans of his book paid him visits, urging him to admit that his book was fiction. Marco wouldn’t relent. “I have not told half of what I saw,” he said.
Marco’s desire to earn more money, his travels and adventures were the foundation of his destiny, but his writing was his legacy. Here is one more excerpt from Biography.com.
In the centuries since his death, Marco Polo has received the recognition that failed to come his way during his lifetime. So much of what he claimed to have seen has been verified by researchers, academics and other explorers. Even if his accounts came from other travelers he met along the way, Marco’s story has inspired countless other adventurers to set off and see the world. Two centuries after Marco’s passing, Christopher Columbus set off across the Atlantic in hopes of finding a new route to the Orient. With him was a copy of Marco Polo’s book.
Writing to sell is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and marketing is what we do in every aspect of life… every day.
The heart of all events requires marketing. We market ourselves, our business, our thoughts ideas and beliefs all the time. In business, marketing covers strategic planning, product design, packaging, distribution, advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is the process by which anything and everything, product, service, idea, person is introduced and promoted. Without marketing, you may be or have something great, but no one knows it.
All marketing begins with writing… whether, a speech, picture, video, movie, advertisement, announcement, banner, jingle, song… the birth place is in the written word.
Consider writing as one part of your pinnacle career.
Pinnacle Careers are Destiny Careers
Why Write to Sell?
Writing to sell unlocks the dreams of destiny held in your heart. Writing to sell can improve your lifestyle in unbounded, exciting ways… and writing can open your heart so it leads to your destiny… and it also satisfies the financial necessities we all require.
You unlock amazing benefits: joy, service and money available when you write to sell. You gain these benefits because writing unlocks creativity.
But how do we turn on Creativity through Writing?
Julia B. Cameron, an American teacher, award winning author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer, and journalist.
Over the past 30 years Julia Cameron has written fifteen books and countless TV, film, and theater scripts, including an episode of Miami Vice, movies including Taxi Driver, New York, New York, and The Last Waltz. She is an award-winning playwright and has had films premier at the Chicago International Film Festival, and selected by the London Film Festival, the Munich International Film Festival, and Women in Film Festival.
The title of her book “The Right to Write” hits an important chord that can help us understand how writing to sell enhances our lives and those around us.
Cameron is quoted with two important statements.
The first is “Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.”
This quote reveals a pain, so many suffer, from the pressure of burying the fact that they have a dream.
Her second quote shares a way to sum up courage that releases that suffering so we can admit our dreams. She wrote: “Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.”
Once we realize that not knowing and not seeing are natural… we are released from the tyranny of reason!
Cameron’s writing certainly led her to fulfill great dreams.
She started her journalism career at the Washington Post, then moved to Rolling Stone. She met Martin Scorsese when interviewing him for Rolling Stone. They wed.
This is a clue… ordinary people can do extraordinary things… go to extraordinary places… meeting extraordinary people when they write. There is more on this prestige you gain when writing later.
Yet Cameron’s charmed life shows even more about the power of writing. Success led her into alcoholism and drug abuse and psychotic episodes.
Writing saved her.
She quit drugs and booze and began using writing to unblock her destiny. She used creativity as the spiritual path to lead her back to happiness and success.
Writing can lead us to and through our destiny and when we follow a destiny, creativity just follows.
Are you developing your creativity to prepare for the modern world of work?
Most destinies lead to a material lifestyle and no destiny leaves our material needs unfilled. We write to sell because we live in a material world that is rapidly changing. Every aspect of life is being changed by technology… the very root of our thought process is becoming more virtual, but of all the changes… the one that has the biggest impact on a daily basis is how change affects our finances. This is why the selling part of writing is important.
Being childlike starts creativity because our childish dreams are mirrors reflecting our destiny and they look forward not back.
One way to keep up with change is to be childlike in our thinking.
Photo of Jean Piaget from the “Great Decide Decision making in a complex world” (See link below).
Jean Piaget, a Swiss Psychologist, pioneered studies on child intelligence, was captivated by the reasons children gave for wrong answers to logical questions. He believed they revealed important differences between the thinking of adults and children.
He is quoted as saying: “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.”
Piaget developed a theory about cognition in children based on the belief that they are born with a genetically inherited mental structure that is the basis for creativity.
Writing Enhances Creativity
Writing can bring your new life into existence when you’re feeling stuck, blocked, or just tired of your existing lifestyle.
We all go through lulls in our lives. The problem is that many people come out of childhood and get stuck in natural and minor dips of adult responsibility. The pressures of daily life can suck the light out of our dreams, creativity and lifestyle.
A major reason for getting stuck is the fear of change.
Rather than relying on creativity and looking forward we cling to the past.
Creativity Helps Us Live Beyond the Fence
Imagine living in a wonderful city or countryside but surrounded by a high fence.
You hear rumbles that provide suggestions of a soothing, better and exciting life beyond the fence but you are afraid to open the gate because what’s in your yard might escape.
This wonderful city or countryside outside the fence is your creative talent and bright, new future.
This new lifestyle is there waiting to be lived and enjoyed, but there is a fear of venturing out because no exact, specific pathway is illuminated.
Creativity is the light that reveals the path one step at a time.
Creativity is also a Key to Business Success
An article at psychologytoday.com entitled “Working Creativity – Tapping into your Everyday Genius” by Mark Batey, a Ph.D. in Working Creativity starts by asking:
Is Creativity the Number 1 Skill for the 21st Century?
Here are excerpts from this article: Creativity is the essential skillset for the future
Against a backdrop of uncertainty, economic turmoil and unprecedented change a new picture is emerging of the skills and traits for success (and perhaps even simply survival) in the modern era. At the heart of this essential skillset for the future lies… creativity.
A raft of recent research studies demonstrates that creativity is vital from the shopfloor to the boardroom and at the level of the individual to the organization as a whole. What is more… our economic fortunes at a societal level probably rest on creativity too.
Below are 7 (magnificent!) themes and some research studies that convinced me. I wonder if they will convince you of the cruciality of creativity too.
1 – Creativity and innovation are the number 1 strategic priorities for organizations the world over
2 – Creativity is part of all our day jobs
3 – Organizational profitability rests on individual creativity
4 – Creative teams perform better and are more efficient
5 – Creative organisations are more profitable
6. Creative Leadership is fundamental
7. Successful economies and societies will need to be creative
“Creativity may be the most powerful of all the resources to be rich in. With vast numbers of people entering the workforce, huge improvements in productivity, and continued globalisation, the rewards for innovation and creativity will become even greater.”
Given that for much of the western world we have exhausted our supplies of cash and commodities, creativity may be all we have left.
So there we have it. 7 themes that demonstrate that creativity is the number 1 skill for the 21st Century.
The question is…
Are you developing your creativity to prepare for the modern world of work?
Writing unlocks your creativity. Your creativity creates TRUST and FAITH in yourself and your destiny.
Creativity, trust and faith are perfectly linked.
Merri and I learned this truth in the Ecuadorian shamanic method that led us in directions and ways we did not expect.
Many years ago, Merri and I had created enough wealth to make a major change in life without thinking about the cost. We bought a farm in North Carolina and a 950+ acre hacienda, Rosapamba, deep in the Andes. We moved to the hacienda and studied with Ecuador shamans.
Here is the start of the road to Rosaspamba, Ecuador where the shamans lived.
That’s the good part of the road that ends in a grassy trail.
Our home is even more remote…down that trail to this point.
We had moved from a million dollar + house in Naples, Florida to this shack. We still had the millions but chose to live this new, humble lifestyle. This did not seem logical in business terms. Did it make us…
happy? Giddy is a better word perhaps. As you’ll see it also led us to a fortune… a most logical investing and business decision that came… in a most illogical way.
This land is smoky with clouds… a primary forest shrouded in mystery… energy… life and nature’s beautiful way.
The Ecuadorian shaman would take us for walks on these paths. As the trails narrowed… the cliffs became steep. Then he would say…
“Look ahead… close your eyes and walk. Trust the path. You know where to go. Your eyes blind your vision.“
So we would wind our way…
along the cliffs… not seeing… but feeling where we were headed instead and knowing that the path was correct.
Let me see if I can express in words this process that cannot really be expressed… because without want or need… following paths we could not see but knew were there, and this led us to happiness, fulfillment but also incredible financial success.
In a year when businesses have been dying like flies our business rose 52%. During this downturn when many investors lost half their savings or more… our wealth was up… without any special attempt to make this so.
Luck? Perhaps… except this is not the first time… by closing our eyes and following how we felt… rather than what we saw, we have stumbled upon pots of gold while trying to do something else.
Merri and I urge you to unlock your creativity so that it can lead you towards your destiny that is fulfilled in your pinnacle career.
How We Can Help
We offer an online course. Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell for $299. Enroll here.
Even better we offer a year long program including attendance to a Writer’s Camp. You receive the online course “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” free and save $299.
Psychology Today article Working Creativity – Tapping into your everyday genius.
New York Sunday Times Over 50, and Under No Illusions by Diego Ibarra Sanchez