We have all known them. They are the ones who say,”No matter how hard I tried, I could never catch a break.”,”I just wasn’t lucky like other people were”,”My husband never had the temperament that would have ever allowed us to succeed”,”I could never have done that,” “Or it seems like whatever I did there was always someone out to get me.’
A great deal of the cloud that seems to follow some,at least in their minds, does have to do with their own attitudes. Many do have an opportunity to prove themselves but when they reach the point it is going to mean real effort on their part they quit or fail to put forth the effort it takes to achieve. There are people who are genuinely afraid of success because if they fail at it, they will not be able to blame anyone but themselves nor will they be able to convince others or themselves what a hollowing success they could have been if they were just given the chance to prove themselves. Other times we have such a low self-esteem that we will defeat ourselves before we even get started.
Our attitudes play a great role in the signals we give off to future or current employers.Our appearance and how we dress, use to play a bigger role on the job than it does now, but most places still hire on that alone,if we have the youth and education to go along with it. Previous experience will always win out over none. If we argue each time that we cannot put in the extra hours it will not be long before we are slated for heading out of the door. If we always have aches and pains or allergies that interpret to the idea that we are not able to handle the job, we won’t be asked to do it, and we will once more be slated for dismissal.If we are the local loud mouth who knows everything but our performance lags then we also many times will get the pink slips.
There are many times, people who take jobs because they are getting pressure from home and have no intent of holding the job any longer than it takes to leave and draw unemployment,We need to show initiative to get ahead on our own and many times when we don’t we defeat our own ability to make gains in the Company, Others have the attitude that they are better than the 9 to 5 job. They think they are slated for greater things and the 9 to 5 jobs are for losers and slouches but not for them.
Most of us fail to realize that the largest part of our wealth, we will ever gain towards retirement comes from the income that we earn during our productive years. If we never save and spend every penny of it we will never have what others have. We may have a nicer wardrobe or more shoes that go out of style one season to the next but we will not be able to accumulate enough income that will grow towards retirement.If we do not pay bills when they are due then the amount of the fees and interests we pay along with the over-draft fees many times will come to much more than what we spent on the original item in the first place. We all have way more money to spend once we realize how much is going out and make being debt free our first priority. Much of our earned income is often times the only money that we will ever have.
Many investments will and do fail. Too many people will stick whatever they have all in one basket and if the person who runs the Company,Savings and loan, or fund is corrupt or has hired an inept person or people, we will and do lose every penny we did set aside for later. Often the failure will frighten us off to the point that we never invest again. When we do allow failure to frighten ourselves off we can be certain that we will lose even more, in the long run. Every financially successful person has failed a number of times before they did get it right.
Unless we work for family or are able to establish a successful small business of our own, rare is the person who will not be laid off at least once,lose one home and need to move. Even when we do work for ourselves more will fail than succeed. To think we won’t stumble or be forced to start over at some point in our life is somewhat naive. More people will work and retire at 65 when they work for a small business than a large firm. It is almost unheard of today in any large Company or Corporation.
We need to understand the credentials and history of all the top echelon,who are calling all the shots on our investment. We need to beware of diversity and spreading what we are able to save, through various avenues other than putting our earned income all into one basket. As bad as it is to lose part of our investment, it is always better than to lose all of it.
Just because a business has a store front or a past reputation of making money or delivering good advice, does not mean that all people within the network are always capable. Many times Dad and Grandpa will have run a profitable business and the children will run it into the ground, along with board members who are more valued out of friendship than business savvy.
Check on your investments. Don’t just put them in and assume they are safe. Sometimes we will know more or understand the economy better than those hired to protect our investments. If it is too good to be true then it is too good to be true no matter how good of a friend your friend says this guy is. We never pay anyone anything to win or to inherit anything and anyone who tells us that we have won or been left an inheritance that we just have to pay the taxes on are nothing but scam and con artists and in some cases can be quite dangerous if we refuse to pay after we have already made the mistake to pay once.
The reason our grandparents told all of us to set aside a little something for a rainy day is because it was wise advice. When the day comes when we need to replace the roof or buy new appliances we do not want to take out another loan on the house, whatever we or the savings or loan or the banks call the loan, a home improvement loan or a loan by any other name that clears equity in our homes is, nothing more than taking out a second mortgage. It may be that we borrow against another holding or replace one appliance at a time as the need arises. Other times we can save our bonuses and tax returns so that we can do individual rooms at a time, and pay cash as we go.
Refinancing,unless it is for a lower interests rate,is never more than a second mortgage. Second and third mortgages do not only raise our interests rates across the board they make us all more vulnerable as our house will be foreclosed on where the homes with equity in them have other options at the time our lives take drastic changes. When we still have equity in our homes, we will have the option to sell sometimes at a comfortable profit and reinvest in something smaller or to reorganize or refinance, because we will have leverage in equity or cash.
I repeat, people never want to take the equity they gain out of their homes as to do so means we are getting second and third mortgages and making ourselves much more vulnerable when the job decides we have reached 50 and it is time to work us out of the Company because the department we were hired to work in is being phased out or we are being laid off at any age. Too many people fail to realize that no matter how loyal we are to a large Company or Corporation, the company is only interested in profit and that is their bottom line. Their intent is to please the stock holders first. There are no more of the work until your 65 and we will give you the gold watch ceremonies, left in Large Companies or Corporations.
More and more people are finding that their terms of employment are ending between 45 and 50. There are supposed to be laws against that but all Companies have their own team of lawyers who dot every I and cross every t before they lay us off and can find grounds by simply saying the Company is going a new direction. There will be tons of class action lawyers trying to get you to pay a little something or to sign on the dotted line and they will go after the bastards but believe me, it is for the lawyers benefits more times than not. More Companies are also hiring two-part time employees over one full-time in order to get out of paying for benefits.We need to be aware of our own ability to put aside and to invest and never trust someone else who is promising us a sweet deal. Too many sweet deals end up in their pocket and they are the only ones who will get the sweet deal. The rest of us will be broke. Never believe the person who tells us that they just need to borrow for a short time until their own cash comes,unless we can verify the information ourselves. If it means paying a penalty to cash in our own personal investments, then don’t do it.
The question was then,”Do we Choose Our Own Financial Misery?” The answer is many times “yes”, especially when we ourselves are the worse offenders of all when it comes to spending more than we earn. Other times it’s a little greyer of an area. Some of us are just too trusting, other times people are immigrants and not aware of our laws, cons prey on the elderly who no longer have the ability to reason and do not have family members to guide them. Other times people are bankrupted by health and crime.Corrupt Evangelists or corrupt Cults can convince many deeply religious or confused people to sign over everything they have or own.
No one is better skilled than the manipulator or con artists who sometimes are our own children,parents or extended family members. Yes we do all need to understand that people will stand in line once they find out that we are generous or aging, to get every dime we have and we are responsible to know the difference, but many times we are people who fail to know that con people are everywhere. It is important that we do appoint a trustworthy person to handle our accounts or to set up trusts and handle our estates while we do have the ability to know who is dependable and not.
If the estate is small, then the safest way many times, is putting it into small varied accounts and C.D.s,bonds, or interests bearing savings accounts in your local bank. You won’t get rich this way but at least your money will be safe as the bank will ask you why you are taking out the money and they can advise you if that would be wise or not. Never,never, never trust the person who tells you not to tell your bank why you need the money. That has crime written all over it.
I guess then the truth to the question is yes,if we are talking about a family who had the physical and mental potential to earn a middle-class existence or better,unless we are victims of health problems that bankrupt us and of crime that we could not foresee. We all have a responsibility to make and find our own financial stability. We are not only responsible for earning the income but also responsible for how we use or spend the income we earn.
We need to educate ourselves as well as listen to the opinions of the experts, to know if it is more feasible to borrow money and on what terms as well as where and when we should invest. It is true that many times those who are willing to take the greater risk, as long as it is done with some knowledge or common sense, are more likely going to make the greater gains. We can be too cautious if we do not educate ourselves on taking a few risk and doing our own research on it.There are still more honest people in the business than dishonest.Many times we can and do well to use a combination of both ourselves as well as bonded brokers,realtors,bankers,and financiers,which the great majority are.Some will be “dice throwers” while others are conservative investors and if you have done your homework you will know the difference. Sometimes the investments can justify borrowing money as the investment will bring us a greater return than what we will pay out on interest.
Too many people have wrongly gone with the idea; “we need to spend money in order to make money”, without understanding fully what the risk are that it entails.Some not many people, who have more knowledge and income than we do, can make that idea work, but it does not come without a high risk ratio, especially if we go into it blindly. If getting rich this way was such a sure thing or a common occurrence then there would be more than 1.3% of the population,with most of those having inherited from oil, in the wealthy class. As long as we look for blame and make excuses we can always find both but neither will protect our income.
Many of us do not knowingly cause our own hardships but regardless of if it is our homes,checking accounts, or extra income we do need to get the information that is necessary to protect ourselves against those who would manipulate or con us out of it. Although our hearts do go out to those who really did think they were doing the right thing and met the wrong person or people whose only interests lie in making certain that the trusting and good of heart do end up broke. We cannot spend everything in our productive years and think we will be retired to do the things that we wish to do when we retire. The Ryan Plan backed by the Republican majority is another such move to spell disaster to those who are unprepared for retirement. We must tell our Congressmen,to “Leave Social Security and Medicare, alone!”
We should make the laws tougher against the corrupt and con artists but sadly a great majority of them are never prosecuted because it cost too much to do so. We all need to remember that regardless of our age, our own identity can be stolen in a matter of seconds, and that is no treat to try to correct,either. All credit cards,checking accounts and Social Security numbers are subject to theft with or without our own carelessness, sadly.
If we remember nothing else,”Ignorance is no excuse in the face of the law,” and “the only person we can trust to be as concern as we are about our own money is ourselves,” If we fail, before we turn our money over to another, to check to see if an insurance company, savings and loan Company, a broker or an individual is licensed, Federally insured or are bonded, as well as,check out the safety and financial records that are a matter of public record, on other institutions, we do need to understand that sometimes our money is not safe.
We need to both educate ourselves ,as well as, understand that everyone even those that others call a good Christian person is not always an honest or moral person. We are no less responsible than if we turn over our money to a family member who is a drug or alcohol addict and we know they will spend it on drugs or alcohol. Just because they attend our Church does not mean they have our best interests at heart. Too often we blame the banks when it is our own lack of knowledge as well as those closest to us that we should evaluate closer.
We can’t live our lives in paranoia so we need to do the next best thing and that is use our own common sense and learn to protect that which is ours. If we do not check out their credentials or make certain our money is guaranteed safe or protected, then we do need to take responsibility when it is lost. The stock market is no better of a bet, sometimes, than a slot machine in many cases. When we decide to take the risk to earn more we are doing just that,”We are taking a risk,”The good news is Americans are paying off personal debt at a higher rate than ever. Have a good day folks and understand a smile goes much further than gossip towards making us all feel better.
(Please note: I repeated myself in several places so that it does stick in our minds)
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