Financial Freedom

I Should Have Spent More Time at The Office!


Yesterday, I read about a woman, an empty-nester in the

Midwest, who made the error of investing in an upscale

four bedroom house that now has negative equity;

meaning she owes more than it’s worth.

Unlike many Californians, who are upside down a

hundred thousand, a half-million or more, this

distressed lady is regretting her extravagance because

she’ll have to sell at a cash loss of $5,000.

I read this, and though my sympathy goes out to all

folks who predicated their purchases upon a perception

real estate prices only rise, I thought, “Heck, she’s

sweating only five thousand bucks?”

But $5,000 constitutes a major part of her retirement


How can that be?

Like the recently retired employer of mine in the

financial industry, who received a twelve million

dollar payout, doesn’t everyone have

six-figure and seven-figure cushions to fall back on

when their other investments fall through?

In a word: No.

And Social Security, that system that so many predict

will fail someday, won’t that agency make up for the


When you reach AARP age, 50 and up, the Social

Security Administration sends you annual forms

recapping your accumulated contributions to the fund.

Based on these figures, the notice tells you how

little you’ll get if you retire at 62 or later.

It’s shocking.

A baby-boomer, who started paying into Social Security

when he was in his middle teens, and contributing

every year since, could retire at 62, and get the

grand sum of $986 per month. That might be enough to

pay his utilities and insurance.

How is the rest of the nut going to be cracked?

The simple answer is by working until he drops.

Investment companies spend millions to advertise the

concept that we should save a lot for retirement,

beginning early, and even if we’re late to the game,

we can catch-up and still accumulate a nest-egg in


Simple math suggests this is partly true.

“Save early,” is sound advice, but catching-up so you

can have a life of leisure on the golf course or

quilting, just doesn’t seem feasible.

The other day I got a proxy statement from the Auto

Club which wants to increase the mandatory retirement

age of its Board of Directors to 73 or to 76. My

initial reaction was to toss out this appeal for my


I’m reconsidering, appreciating the fact that these

seniors may need the extra income.

In much of the wildly optimistic, goofball, New Age

literature, you still see the once funny saying that

on your deathbed, the last words you’ll utter will NOT


“Gee, I wish I spent more time at the office!”

Tell that to the distressed Midwestern homeowner I

mentioned earlier, and to millions of her

contemporaries, who are facing the prospect of

fighting to stay in, or to get back into the


Somehow I’m sensing that not staying employed long

enough is precisely what many will be lamenting.


Source by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

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