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"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full", John 15:11.
  • Most people think that money is the greatest component of their retirement but others have learned that there are many things that are more important than money.

    Refuse to Vegetate
    Make a meaningful and lasting contribution.  Just because you are north of 65 doesn't mean that you can't make a difference in people's lives.  Take advantage of the vast experience you have and can bring to various situations.  Develop a purpose for your retirement and develop a reason to live.

    Want to spend the next 20 years watching daytime TV?  Unless that is your deliberate choice, you have earned the right to do more than that.  Sit down and make a deliberate decision about what you wish to do with the rest of your life then do it.  This will do wonders for your sense of well-being.


    When they retire, some people have between 30-50 years of work experience.  These experiences can serve as era vast repository of knowledge and information that can help other people who have not yet travelled the road you have travelled.  Find someone you an mantra.  Take the particular skill-set you possess and seek to find a neophyte in that field and offer to coach them in the field of your expertise.  You will be rewarded as you see someone else apply the knowledge and experiences you have imparted to them.

    Pass your life along to your children and grandchildren.  Identify those who are willing to listen and invest your life in them be telling them of your accomplishments.  Don’t forget to include your biggest mistakes and failures.  This will insure that the listener will accept your story as credible.  If the only things you share is the positive…they will mark you as someone who is simply engaging in braggadocio.  Inspire the young to be the best they can be.  Lead them in setting and attaining goals for themselves.

    Did you ever have the uncomfortable experience of being thrust into the presence of an important person when you were utterly unprepared?  Remember how embarrassed you felt and how you wish you had been better prepared?  One day you will stand before your creator and will be asked to give an accounting of your life.  Develop a viable and personal relationship with the Lord and you will be able to face him with confidence. Through prayer he encourages us to: “…come boldly unto the throne of grace” and “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16

  • If you need more money, you may be surprised to learn that there are many ways you can earn extra money starting immediately.

    Today’s economy has resulted in an increased degree of financial uncertainty for all but the wealthiest Americans.  Some are unemployed, have experienced layoffs, are nearing retirement, or are already retired and finding that the monies they were counting upon are not enough.

    There are things you can do to supplement your income…

    1.  Turn your hobby, skill, or craft into a money-making business.  It could be anything from singing to sewing, speaking to stamp collecting, or from art to playing your zither.  

    2.  Have a garage or estate sale.  Liberate your garage, basement, closets, or extra room (s) from the unnecessary stuff and valuable clutter you have in your life.  Not only will it bring in some much-needed cash, it is liberating as well.

    3.  Open an account with craigslist or ebay and offer to sell items you can do without.  Give the remainder to a local charity so that other people can get some use from them.

    4.  Consider renting out any extra space you may have on your land, your business, or possibly even your house.  (Be very careful here.)

    5.  Downsize your lifestyle.  Sell the larger big-ticket items in your life for smaller more efficient ones.

    6.  Shop for bargains in everything from food, clothing, trips, medicines, cars, houses, and just about everything else in your life.

    7.  Put your people-skills to work.  Babysit, offer elder care, tutor, teach piano, trumpet, clarinet, or dance lessons.

    8.  If you are a great chef or cook, market your delectables to friends, coworkers, or neighbors.

    9.  Get a temporary job, run errands for people, etc.

    10.  Put a valuable skill to work by offering to consult with large or small businesses, corporations, or individuals.

    11.  Shop around for higher interest rates for your savings.

    12.  Minimize your tax bill by taking advantage of every legitimate deduction possible.

    13.  Skilled in accounting and have a desire to help others?  Prepare people’s tax returns.

    14.  Evaluate your options concerning Social Security.  For every year you delay receiving distributions between ages 62-70, the amount you receive will increase by approximately 8% per year.

    15.  Be thrifty.  Always ask for senior discounts, and economize with your spending.

    16.  Love animals?  Practice your skills by working for a local veterinarian, animal clinic, or by pet sitting.

    17.  Offer to house-sit for people who are going on extended vacations or business trips.

    18.  This is a starter list, add ideas of your own.

    Finally, volunteer in your local church.  No pay expected or required…but greater rewards exist.

    Pray, meditate, and ask the Lord to guide you.  Then sit down with a pen and paper, write out your ideas, list the pros and cons of each, run your thoughts by a trusted friend, and get busy.

  • Many Americans will find that they have to work longer before being able to receive Social Security benefits if our legislators follow the recently proposed French model.

    An article in the London Telegraph by Henry Samuel reports that the French cabinet approved a controversial retirement plan.  The cabinet approved an unpopular bill to raise the retirement age, after the minister in charge of the reform, Eric Woerth, stepped down from his role as treasurer of the ruling UMP party.

     The controversial pension reform plan was rolled out asking the cabinet to raise the official retirement age from 60 to 62.  Why was this proposal advanced?  Its implementation is seen as crucial to show investors France means to tackle its debt and deficit woes.

    French President, Mr Sarkozy said in a Monday interview he was determined to see through the plan to lift the retirement age and make people work longer for a pension despite expected protests when it goes to parliament in September.

    The reform was essential to bring down the public deficit and national debt, and prevent France entering a debt spiral similar to that of Greece and Portugal, the president said.

    Trade unions promised to fight the bill and said they would seek to make the government retreat. "We will have to create the conditions to force him to change his mind," Bernard Thibault, leader of the CGT union, told France Info radio.

    Facing unmanageable national debt and deficits the French appear to have their backs against the wall and are being forced to take drastic measures to lessen the fiscal pressure.  Unfortunately, America finds herself in the same scenario and will face similar adjustments in the years ahead.

    What can you do about it?  Not much if your only source of retirement funds is Social Security.  The best remedy is to take charge of your retirement by contributing to a balanced and widely diversified personal retirement plan, establish a significant savings plan, and stay out of debt.

  • Though this is a fictional headline, it makes as much sense as this actual headline that appeared a week ago:  House Democrats “Deem” Faux $1 Trillion Budget as “Passed”.

    Under the cover of darkness, House Democrats “deemed as passed” a non-existent $1.12 trillion budget for 2010.  During the late-night session of July 1, the procedural vote passed 215-210 with no Republicans voting in favor and 38 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote against deeming the faux budget resolution passed.  Never before has the House failed to pass a budget, failed to propose a budget, and then deem the non-existent budget as passed as a means to avoid a direct, recorded vote on a budget.  Because of this shady action, Congress now considers that they to have the right to spend additional taxpayer money.

    Applying that kind of ridiculous logic, a ludicrous congressional parallel might be reasoned out as:  “Since our national debt and deficit spending are rising faster than our space shuttle, we need to “deem” that one thirdf of every American's 401k and other retirement monies suddenly belong to the Federal Government instead of to you.”  Of course, they would justify such an action as needed because we are experiencing a “national emergency.” 

    One wonders whether the House could deem the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill flow stopped and the environment cleaned up.  Could congress deem the hundreds of billions of dollars they borrowed and spent from the Social Security “lock box” repaid?  Could they deem our $13 trillion debt cancelled?  Could they deem the 7.9 million people who are out of work suddenly employed and earning $100,000-250,000 per year?  What about Cap and Trade?  The list goes on and on.

    One has to wonder whether he or she could "deem" their 2010 personal Federal Income Taxs already paid? 

    When one considers the wheeling and dealing and extravagant gift-giving that preceded the healthcare vote, one wonders what ever happened to honest, above-board, ethical, and in the true interest of the American people lawmaking.  Is it any wonder a majority of Americans are disenchanted with congress and their disingenuous antics?

    Actions like this hurt America and erode our way of life.  Call or email your representative and voice your opinion.  Insist upon honesty, integrity, and ask them to lay partisan politics aside.

    Had enough?