Think Retirement Is A Long Way Off? Think Again
Three Resources to Help You!

(~ No Job Is Forever! ~)

Tropical Beach

If you’ve been following along lately, you will know that my most recent posts have been regarding success. Recently it occurred to me that a part of being successful is a comfortable retirement. No one wants or plans to retire into poverty. Not to mention the incredible drain such a situation creates for the family members who are most likely in the midst of weathering the course of mortgages and tuitions for their own immediate families. Also, to be considered is the tremendous drain on society such a situation creates.

Beyond the consideration of how it happens that so many people here spend their entire lives in poverty. This thought is especially highlighted when considering those who have spent their entire lives working and living a solidly middle (economic) class or better lifestyle, only to end up living the last of their years below the poverty line. We all know that life is just not fair at times. Yet, something seems very wrong with that picture to me.

Lady Golfer

I realize that hindsight is 20/20 and it is always easy to look from afar and to think one has hit the simple nail on the head as to how the other person misstepped along the way to cause their situation. (That’s the easy, therefore, we don’t have to think about it too much answer). While I’m sure there are plenty of errors or missteps to go around for all of us. I’m also certain that many would say that as they look back, they did all they could, at the time, just to stay afloat and still can’t see where they could have done anything more or different to have created a significantly better outcome for themselves. Nevertheless, we have to keep trying, don’t we?

Moreover, we must try harder to help the next generation, our children, nieces & nephews and others we come in contact with along our way, to at least hear the message that not only should they start earlier but that they can. Just maybe we can break this cycle.

Although I started working as a teen and saving in my twenties, I didn’t get serious about saving for retirement until sometime later. Now it wasn’t that I was blowing my money as much as I didn’t think I had any to spare and more importantly, thought I had plenty of time. I got it, I thought, but not really, because when you are 20something, you can’t really image how fast and short time can be all at the same time. While you are busy living and handling the day-to-day, one short-term plan at a time, it just flies by. Now, I wish that I had had a stronger understanding, sooner, of the importance of starting as early as possible but, of course, the world was different then. We still had defined benefit plans and social security. Our parents and grandparents retired with their corporate or government defined benefit pensions, which their employers had set aside for them over the course of their careers. All you really had to do, it would seem, was work hard, earn a decent living, retire, and then collect your well-earned benefit checks. And life is good. Right?


However, the current day average stay with an employer is only four years and we all now have some version of a defined contribution plan (401K) while the pension plans of yesteryear have all but gone by the wayside.

So, what to do ~ Where to start, When to start, How to start.

(The following resources are offered to assist you:)



David Bach - Financial AuthorDAVID BACH
Author of the Automatic Millionaire and many other must reads regarding your financial health.

Bestseller by David Bach

When I first read David Bach (I’ve also enjoyed hearing him speak live), it wasn’t so much that he offered much I didn’t already know, as it was that he sorts through it and lays it all out in a neat, simplistic, easy to follow manner. In his presentation, he helps us to see things differently, from another vantage point, a perspective where things are more clearly doable. An example of this, I think, is what he calls the “Latte Factor”.

David Bach - Finish Rich Plan

Please read his description but — it basically says, hey, if you are looking for money in your budget, but believe that you are already tapped out, consider how often you stop by the coffee shop during the week for a latte. If you cut back on just one a week, you would have approximately $20.00 more a month to pay off a debt, build a raining day fund, save for retirement, etc.

That’s what I meant by, not necessarily new, but a different perspective to help us to see possibilities that didn’t seem to be there before. I already do something similar. I’ve been known to say, “I tend to think in terms of what it will cost me.” I’ve done this for my time and my money so as to squeeze something in without increasing my monthly budget. However, I had only ever considered this for short-term goals. In this case, the cost is 4 cups of coffee per month. Are you really going to miss one coffee a week? Probably not.

DID YOU KNOW – That it is possible to borrow the down payment for your home, from yourself, without penalty?

Many great minds out there write and speak on this subject. However, I like David Bach’s presentation and easy reading layouts. He not only tells us the what but also offers a plan of action to follow.



The following example is based on our premise of only $20 a month. So, let’s see what a simple $20 / month could get us.

Example 1: $44,917

Assumes a $21/month contribution ~ starting at AGE 30 ~ 8% rate of return ~ NO employer (ER) matching contribution. Retirement Calculation Example: $21/Mo, Age 30

  • $67,527 – When started at AGE 25
  • $100,748 – When started at AGE 20

SOURCE: Find interactive calculator at

While we may start out with a $20 / month contribution, it is reasonable to expect that our contributions will increase over the years as our personal income increases.

The next example assumes more personal income and, therefore, a larger monthly retirement contribution. Additionally, this example includes an employer (ER) matching contribution since many employers now offer this benefit.

Example 2: $2,095,882

The following calculation assumes an annual salary of $40,000 with a 10% (approx. $333) monthly retirement contribution ~ starting at AGE 20 ~ 8% rate of return and a 50% ER match.Retirement Calculation: $333/Mo, Age 20, 50% ER Match

  • $1,404,771 – When started at AGE 25
  • $934,412 – When started at AGE 30

Also, notice (on graph) accumulation amounts without the ER matching contribution. Or, pop over to the site and create your own calculations!

So, squeeze / reallocate $20 a month from your current budget and sign up for a 401k plan at work or open you own. Then contribute, via a pre-tax payroll deduction or an automatic deduction from your bank account and take the tax deduction at the end of the year. Whenever you get a raise, increase your contribution a bit and watch your account balance grow over the years.

How do you get a $21 contribution with only $19 or a $333 contribution with only $297, for example?
– Take a look at the following:

Pre-Tax / After-Tax Examples

PreTax Example

If you are joining your firm’s 401K plan, be sure to do everything you can to contribute (to your plan – to yourself), at least, what your employer will match. If you don’t take advantage of this, it is the same as saying no to free money. Now, how often does that happen! So cut out a coffee a week or brown bag it one day a week. Heck, make it two coffees, if need be. You will thank yourself later!




Plan to Retire Someday? You’ll Want One of These – Daily Worth

Susan Gregory Thomas - Authorby
Susan Gregory Thomas


“You’re not alone … if you get tripped up by all the retirement gobbledygook. Here’s our straight-up guide to the six major types of retirement accounts.”

~ Susan Gregory Thomas ~

(read article here)

I hope that you found this information useful and that you will be encouraged and will encourage others to start now! No matter when your “now” is. Always better late than never.

~Thanks for Reading ~


“Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.”

~Ronald Reagan~



AJaGi~ on Twitter

About AJaGI~



Think Retirement Is A Long Way Off? Think Again




The 10 Things Successful People Live By Before They Make It
Written by: Chad Howse of Chad Howse Fitness

Here’s an interesting twist regarding success. The following reblog is not about what successful people do, but rather what they did in their pursuit of success.
Hope you enjoy.

REBLOG: Source: Joel of Addicted2 Success


(1) They didn’t use excuses.

“We all have two voices. There’s the voice that tells us to work hard, to focus on the task at hand and to finish it before we move on to the next. And to finish it well.

We also have the voice that tells us to take a break, to think about what’s on TV, or to visit a site that we like to visit that entertains us – whether it’s or Facebook.

In life we’re the victim of injustice from time to time. It could be a promotion that we deserve but don’t get. No matter who we are, we’re going to be treated unfairly at some point. We can either feel sorry for ourselves, or push forward and put it behind us – even use it as motivation.

Nelson Mandela
South African President.
Click on picture below to read bio.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela could have used his unjust imprisonment as an excuse to give into his anger. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and eventually free others.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Listen to your excuses. Understand why you have them. Then figure out how you can use them for good.”

(2) It wasn’t just about them.

“Things can be a motivator, they can even be a reward, but they can’t be the motivator. The truly successful in life always get there because they created change in the lives of others, not just their own.

If something drives you that is greater than just the ‘ends’, we’re going to work harder, longer, and we’re going to give more of ourselves to our project.

Yes we can make money when we have the primary goal of making money. Some might even use that money for good – which is awesome. But there’s no fulfillment in simply making money. And isn’t that the point?”

(3) Early mornings and late nights.

“People who have achieved true success in their lives have worked for it.

This might come at the detriment of other areas of their lives, such as family or social life. But their mission is first and foremost. Until it’s complete, everything else comes second.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
16th U.S. President.
Click on left picture to read bio.

There’s literally no substitute for hard work. Abraham Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait… but only the things left by those who hustle.” If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to out hustle everyone else.”

Abraham Lincoln

(4) The greatest commodity.

“Energy is a huge commodity that is often not talked about. Yes, energy in the sense of fuel and electricity is talked about everywhere, but I’m talking about our own energy levels.

The fact is that the more energy we have, the easier it is to focus, and the higher the quality of our work is.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Richard Branson
Click on left picture to read bio.

One of Richard Branson‘s ‘keys to success’ is staying in great physical shape. So would raised energy levels be the greatest benefit to working out? It may be.

Richard Branson

Keeping physically fit gives us greater blood-flow to our brain, enhanced alertness and improved focus. Make training a routine part of your life and increase your chances at success – in every meaning of the word.”

(5) Principles.

“History will be kind to me. For I intend to write it.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill
Prime Minister
Click on picture above to read bio.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill had principles. The difference between him and the rest of us, is that he stuck to his principles at all costs. He didn’t waver when they weren’t popular – an extreme rarity in politics.

Winston Churchill

What are your principles? All of us should have them, know what they are, and live our lives by them.

One of Apple’s principles is to bring change to the world through technology, and they do it with every product they release.

Identify what principles you have that guide your life through tough times, and when things couldn’t be any better. They shouldn’t change, and at your core, neither should you.”

(6) Wavering, yet unbreakable faith.

“We all have moments of doubt. Even the best of us question if our dream is going to come true. The one thing that separates the truly successful from those who never reach their true potential is an unbreakable faith in the fact that what they’re doing is right.

Even if they have moments of doubt, they’re soon quelled, where other’s listen to that doubt and let it eat them up and finally they quit.

Have your moments of doubt. You’re human. Just don’t let that doubt eat you up. Instead let it motivate you to prove your optimism right.”

(7) A reason.

“Many of the greatest accomplishments in the world were accomplished by insecure men and women, people who had something to prove to others. A desire to elevate their status and create change that was so strong, that failure is simply never an option.

Abraham Lincoln‘s reason(s) had to do a lot with his view of himself in relation to how other’s viewed him. Where others saw a poor, illiterate boy, Lincoln saw someone capable of achieving more, even if he had to do it completely on his own. He also saw the need for change. A nation that preached freedom wasn’t free. He saw something fundamentally wrong with this and set out to change it. His why wasn’t about him. Which in turn made him one of history’s great men.

Understand why. You have that reason to work when others sleep, to sacrifice a safe life for a risky one with no ceiling. Find it by asking why, and not stopping until you hit your core, emotional reason for wanting to change your status, or the status of others.”

(8) They persevered when others didn’t.

“How does the guy who quit on his dream know how long it would’ve taken him to become a success? He doesn’t. None of us do. It could be tomorrow, or ten years from now.

What separates a lot of the great people we read about in our history books from those we’ve never heard of is the fact that they never quit. Quitting was never an option. They only stopped when they reached their dream. And even then, they created a new mission.

James Braddock Heavyweight Boxing Champion – Click on left picture to read bio.

James Braddock

James Braddock

Take James J. Braddock, or even Nelson Mandela, for example. They didn’t achieve their greatness or success early on in their careers or in life like some. They achieved it after surviving. They survived while others literally died, or quit. In their cases it wasn’t just that they were the best, but they were the best because of what they endured. They were the last one’s standing.

James Braddock

We don’t know when our breakthrough will come. So don’t guarantee your failure by quitting. You can adapt, change, and evolve, but never, never, never quit.”

(9) Great people relentlessly studied their craft.

Tony Gwynn Major League Baseball All-Star – Click on left picture to read bio.

Tony Gwynn

“Tony Gwynn and Mike Tyson studied their craft as much as anyone. Gwynn spent hours upon hours studying opposing pitchers. He studied their patterns. He wasn’t the most athletic guy around, but he put his work in to be the best at what he did: hit baseballs.

Tony Gwynn

Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Click on picture below to read bio.

Mike Tyson

When people think of Tyson, they think of an animal, but what we fail to see is the student. No one studied boxing like Tyson did. Watched more film than anyone in the history of the sport. He was a student first, a fighter second.

Mike Tyson

These great athletes studied film, but how can we perfect our craft?

Using myself as an example; much of my job has to do with writing, and obviously fitness. So, I study those two things. I read books about how to become a better writer, ways to connect with the reader, and I simply read great books written by authors who are much better at writing than I am. If you’re in sales, read and study sales. If you’re a marketer, then do the same with marketing.

Being a drone that simply goes through the motions is no way to achieve greatness. Assuming success is something you want, you have to study your craft, whatever it may be. Learn it inside and out. Build a wealth of knowledge. It’ll help you create great, inspiring, and unique work.”

(10) Risk.

“No risk, no reward. Yes it’s an over-used, cliché of a phrase. But it’s true. Those who have achieved real success have often risked the most to get there.

There have been billions of people throughout history who have had the ability to achieve greatness, whether it was the talent or smarts, they had it. What they didn’t have was the guts to risk the life that they were living. They also didn’t have the work ethic to see their talent realized.

The greatest tragedy in life is wasted talent ~ A Bronx Tale

Your big, audacious dream might be to marry the girl of your dreams and have a family with her. Your risk might be to leave the career that you love in order to support her and your family. Your dream might be to help millions live longer, healthier lives. Whatever your dream is, give it enough of a chance to be realized.

Risk if you truly want to see the reward.”

“Find your dream. Then risk everything to get it.”

Written By: Chad Howse –

(read original post here)


“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”


~Thanks for Reading ~


What It Takes To Be Successful



No Job Is Forever!

(View video of what Steve Jobs has to say on Success)

In preparation for this article, I set out to determine the most common qualities of the highly successful. As you might image many have written on this topic. However, a consensus or listing of common attributes was difficult to ascertain.

We’ve all heard it said, do what you love and you will never work another day in your life! While I get that, I’d love to be paid to do what I would do anyway. The truth is, however, that even though our hobbies, for example, may not feel like work, we tend to put in many hours and work very hard at perfecting whatever that thing is that we enjoy so much.

So, start your business –

  • Doing What You Are Good At –
    That should be a good start toward producing an excellent product or service.

  • Do What You Love – (if you are good at it)
    You’re likely to be a happier camper every day. Now when is that ever a bad thing?

    I find that I tend to enjoy quite a bit those things that I am good at. How about you?

    The flip side, I’m sure I would love to sing on stage (preferably with an instrument in hand). However, while I’m happy belting out songs loudly and out of tune in my shower or in my car, the fact is no one is ever going to pay to listen.

  • Love What You Do –
    If you are unhappy in your business life with what you do or your business environment, success is likely to be difficult to obtain. We’ve all worked with people who hated their jobs – not good – for anyone!

  • Always Be Who You Are –
    Stay true to yourself – I’ve heard it said the surest route to unhappiness is trying to please everyone. (Bill Cosby – I believe) It just cannot be done.
    So Focus Your Efforts.

  • Remember, You Only Fail If You Stop Trying.
    Everything along the way is just your journey to success.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

~Thomas A. Edison, Prolific Inventor~

The rest of your life (potentially) is a very long time to walk in shoes that don’t fit properly. So, at the very least, pursue something that you enjoy. You can always learn more about it and partner with other experts.

(View video of what Steve Jobs has to say on Success)

As Explained by Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs


“If you look at the ones that ended up being successful in the eyes of society, often times it’s the ones who love what they do, so they could persevere when it got really tough.” Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

~Click Pic to Read Bio~

Steve Jobs explains The Rules For Success


Hope you enjoyed this post. Your comments are welcomed

~Thanks for Stopping By ~


~Just For Fun~ 12 Excellent Reasons to See Olympus Has Fallen

Smiley Face


Not Business but thought you might enjoy this review of Olympus Has Fallen.


The Lady Tea

Monday night I attended an advance screening of


scheduled to open this Friday, March 22, 2013.




What’s not to like?











10) Lots of action with disturbing theatrical scenes.

11) Interesting story line will make you wonder.

12) OMG! ~ SO GOOD!

That is if you like fast paced action that makes you cheer, gasp, clap, and speak out loud all while experiencing a range of emotions from sad & devastated to happy & proud and still all the while feeling disturbed & thoroughly pissed off!

If you like your heroes tough (good girl, way to go Ruth!), if you like badass, hot and…

View original post 295 more words





Starting A Small Business: 7 Deadly Sins

by Nellie Akalp

Hope you enjoy.


“A small business owner’s life can be a real roller coaster. There’s no road map, and pitfalls lurk around every corner. While making mistakes may be a great way to learn, it’s a lot better to avoid them in the first place.” Nellie Akalp.
(read more here)

(1) Don’t Underestimate A Business Plan. If you’re launching…

(2) Don’t Incorporate as the Wrong Business Entity. Your business’ legal structure…

Business Sins

Potential Business Pitfalls

(3) Don’t pick Delaware or Nevada for the state of incorporation if you don’t live there. Many business owners think…

(4) Don’t underestimate the importance of a Business Name. A business begins with…

(5) Don’t Fall into a Discount Trap. At the beginning…

(6) Don’t go against your Intuition. Intuition is a critical…

(7) Don’t Be Afraid to Fail. If you’re scared…

(read more here)

~Thanks for Reading ~

Happy New Year

Happy 2013!

Starting A Small Business: 7 Deadly Sins

… It’s Time to Be an Entrepreneur

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2013




(In Other Words – No Job Is Forever!)

Kiss GoodBye

Marilyn Monroe – Kiss


Kiss Your Boss Goodbye. It’s Time to Be an Entrepreneur – Forbes
by Alan Hall


“I recently read a reliable report on the attitude of the American workforce. To my surprise I learned more than half of all employees are not engaged at work. In other words, most workers are not happy, not satisfied, not productive, not loyal, not inspired and will jump ship if another opportunity arises. In fact, most are looking to leave now and have polished their resumes. If this is the case, I would also assume that the managers who supervise these disillusioned employees are probably jerks, or are carrying out the mandates of thoughtless upper management.” Alan Hall
(read more here)

A Really Great Article.
Hope you enjoy.

~Thanks for Reading ~


Happy New Year

Happy 2013!



Wreath 1




by Deborah Jacobs


How To Make Money Without A Job


An Excellent article on Entrepreneurship!  Hope you enjoy.


“Before joining the staff of Forbes in July of 2011, I was happily self-employed for 23 years.

Leave yourself a financial safety net. While creditors…

Do what you know. Don’t waste…

Find a comfortable workspace. It’s important…

Spend judiciously. New technologies…

Create digital footprints. These days…

Present a professional image. Answer calls…

Go after more work than you can handle. In the early…

Charge what the market will bear. While eager…

Get help as you need it. By hiring…

Build a support team. Exchange…”



~Thanks for Reading ~



How To Make Money Without A Job – Forbes




by AjaGi~

Eternity Leave


I read this statement somewhere several months ago (source unknown) and thought, so true!  However, we just do not seem to think about our jobs in this way.  There is a tendency to think that if we just get into the “right” company we will be secure.  When, in fact, the truth of it is there is no security (in most positions, with most organizations).

If you are working in private industry, it is likely that your position is “At Will” which essentially says the company doesn’t really need a reason to let you go.  Even if you have a union or government position, it may take a little longer, there may be a few more hoops for the organization you call home to jump through but you can be let go.  Years ago, our grandparents and parents stayed with their employers for 20 to 30 years and then retired.  However, you do not see so much of that anymore and even if we did, I don’t think that it would really make a difference.

By make a difference I mean to say that even if you land your dream job with the dream company right out of school and stay there until you are 45 or 50, you still need a plan for the next phase of your life.  I believe that next phase or even perhaps the first phase, if you are so positioned, is to start a business.

Let’s face it, your firm may be ready for you to retire at age 45 or 50 but most of us are nowhere near ready at that point.  Not that we might not like to cut back some, most of us just are not prepared financially to do so.  In fact, there is still another 15 to 20 years!  before you can even apply for your retirement benefits.  Also, at 45, those benefits are not likely to take you very far into your golden years but that, let’s face it, is not their concern.  It’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to survive on the planet for, at least, 20 more years (until 65), not to mention 10 to 30 more years into your 70’s, 80’s, even 90’s.

Recently, we all have had reason to think about and to consider the potential devastation a large corporation can have on the economy.  Think auto industry, Enron, heck Bernie Madoff, even!  Now, consider particularly those individuals who were just about to or had just retired from these organizations and had their 401k’s largely invested with or in their companies.  How do they start all over at 65?  They don’t, I suspect.

Now, it is not my intention to beat up on corporate America.  I’ve made my way thus far working in corporate America.  I raised a child (pre-school, private school, College, before school care, after school care, summer programs, swimming, soccer, basketball, t-ball, softball, little league, music lessons, band, orchestra, choir, drama, oy vey….., bought a home, several cars, etc.  You all know, just running on my little tippy toes, trying to make it all happen.  Right?

In all fairness, my corporate America income allowed me to accomplish as much as I did.  However, it is also my corporate America career that helped me perfect my multi-tasking skills, become intimately familiar with the all-nighter, function on little to no sleep,  get rid of the need to wear anything other than blue or black suits with matching blue or black pumps and to jump, skip, hop, turn, twist, bend and stop on a dime.  Tada!

Some in smaller companies I’ve worked in wondered why the need to document so thoroughly when they saw no reason to.  Living inside Corporate America people!  Major rule if not the first rule – C.O.A., Cover Your Assets!  That’s not necessarily an accounting rule.  This has saved my little assets on more than one occasion over the years.  I’m tempted to quote examples but probably best that I don’t.

However, again, in all fairness, the goal of a corporation is to make a profit and the animal will do what is its nature to do!  I don’t know about you but I wish I had bought stock in


Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder

Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder


Steve Jobs Apple

Steve Jobs Apple Founder


Larry Page Google Co-Founder

Larry Page Google Co-Founder

Sergey Brin Google Co-Founder

Sergey Brin Google Co-Founder


Donald Kendall PepsiCo Founder

Donald Kendall PepsiCo Founder



Doc (John) Pemberton - Coca-Cola Founder

Doc (John) Pemberton – Coca-Cola Founder

Rex Tillerson Exxon CEO

Rex Tillerson Exxon CEO


even, to name a few.  Better yet, wish someone had bought me a share or two when I was a kid!  So, I’m not angry about the Corporate model, I get it, I think anyway.  Corporate America can be, should be, if nothing else, a great training ground.  For the most part, I enjoyed my stay and would consider going again for the right…well, everything.  🙂  However, here and there, every now and then, we need to be concerned about who is in charge.

So, what I’m getting at is the small business.  The large corporate conglomerates seem to get all the attention but it is the small business that keeps America’s economy moving along.  Per the SBA, small businesses make up 99.7% of all employER businesses in America!  Employ about half of all private sector employees, pay 43 percent of total U.S. private payroll and have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.  That’s significant, Y’ALL.


(Slipping sideways for a moment – but to a point)

I really have a hard time understanding how anyone in America could argue against the need to “fix” health care in this country.  This is not a political statement, this is a dollars and sense statement, at least it is in my head.  However, before I move to the dollars and sense of it, as I see it, let me just ask this.  Have you ever had to fix something that was broken?  When you got it “moving” again was it exactly as it should be or could be OR did you have to do a little more work on it, tweak it, if you will.

Let’s start somewhere with the health care fix, we can tweak, enhance, correct, add, eliminate as we start moving in a new direction.  Anyway, what is needed and how to proceed can start to become clearer when we are moving rather than sitting and spinning in the same place.

So, what I think I know about health care from being a part of the purchasing, negotiating, budgeting process from inside Finance & Accounting departments is this.  The cost of health care has gone up approximately 10% every year since the 1980’s.  Now, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12% outpaced my income increases in most years.  How about yours?  I have been the one trying to tweak a budget so that the company could continue to absorb the bulk of health care expense and not pass it along to its employees.  I’ve also had my health care contribution raised so much one year that it more than cancelled out my “exceptional performance” raise that year.

Then there is Medicare, which I admittedly don’t know enough about except that it seems to be a well-known fact that it is laden with fraud related issues.  I hope that isn’t true but if so, I would say – policy & procedures, mandated Internal controls and regular site audits should be a good start but I just can’t image that those things aren’t already in place.

What I do know is that seniors in this country are too often faced with outrageous monthly medical costs that cause them to choose between eating and medicine.  (Three, four, five hundred dollars a month!)  Come On!

COBRA.  COBRA is great, I’ve used and appreciated it more than once in the past.  However, it is not the whole answer, we need to keep going, keep tweaking if you will, because, unless you have a lot of cash set aside, COBRA is of no use to you.

Now, here is what my reality has been more often than not, money – no time, time – no money.  How about you?  If I have time, I most likely have no job, if I have no job, then I probably can’t afford COBRA, at least not for long.  If you have no job because you are being treated for a medical condition, well, that really would be a major conundrum for most, I think, since currently, no job tends to equate to no health insurance.  Who pays then?

Beyond, our seniors, who have suffered with health care dilemmas for some time now, currently, many of our citizens are without any type of health care due to the continued severely high underemployed and unemployment rates throughout this country.  In case you don’t know, as of September 2012 the unemployment rate is 11.8% in Nevada, 9.3% in Michigan, 10.2%  in California, 10.5% in Rhode Island, 9.8% and in New Jersey.  Moreover, what about those who have given up or are now virtually unemployable, due to age, due to no address, no phone service, ultimate health related issues, etc…?  Who is counting them?  Think that has nothing to do with you, think again.

A couple points, when the healthy can’t get preventive care, they become the unhealthy, when the unhealthy or injured don’t have health insurance they become emergency room only visitors, the most expensive care there is, I suspect.  Who pays for that?  Why everybody does!

So, in my, admittedly simple logic, because I like to find the simplistic thread that runs through everything.  It isn’t reasonable to think that if virtually every American had access to preventive care, job or not, that the cost of health care wouldn’t eventually come down.  Arguably, substantially, unless we forget to put the brakes on those who abuse the system.

Now, while this writer is not advocating for or against government health care, heck, no one really ever likes the big brother approach, I think that people just concede to it at times as necessary.  Let’s remember that the animal will do what is its nature to do.  So, when we privatize where human well-being is the primary concern, we become open to the corporate CEO whose eye is on the bottom line only, as this is what he / she was hired to do, thus humane consideration can become lost in the mix, if not careful.

As example, back in the day, when some HMO’s insisted all should use the exact same brand of a medication, simply because it was most cost effective for the corporation, albeit, a small percentage of its human customers were negatively sensitive or insensitive even, to it.  (So sad, too bad for you)  Something to be mindful of on the issue of privatization, in my opinion.

On the other side, I wonder what could happen if we had more of the extreme business savvy techniques that streamline and perfect a process in a well run corporation, to all but severely hinder if not virtually eliminate things like, redundancies and other wasteful endeavors in a process.  The truly successful organizations, know where all their pennies are and they run like well-oiled machines, constantly reviewing and tweaking, is my opinion.  They do this because their existence depends on it, they must perform at optimum capacity for their shareholders, their owners.

Well, in a government run program, we are the shareholders.  A government would put all those nice bottom line profits back into this society.  I’m not advocating socialism or a dictatorship, just wondering what if government borrowed and adapted a few more business savvy techniques, not to the detriment of the human condition, mind you, if we might be able to get a better handle on things like Medicare and social security.  After all, non-profits are corporations too; they need to have a positive bottom line also.  It’s just a matter of what they do with the profits.  Just a thought.  (And please don’t accuse me of implying that our government officials are less than smart or capable, I don’t feel that way at all.)

Nevertheless, I can’t image any of the corporate big boys (and girls –’cause girls kick but too!) to have not gotten a handle on whatever really ails Medicare, for example, since their jobs, if not their careers would depend on it.  Sounds like I’m advocating for privatization?  Well I’m not, but why reinvent the wheel when there are usually examples and samples to be borrowed and tweaked?

But hey, I could be wrong, have been wrong in the past and will be again!

Bottomline, we all need health care, no matter what our state of employment is AND we all need a pension plan.  
I hope I’m wrong on this, but I expect that the next generation or two will be ill prepared financially to retire due to the Great Recession and the defined contribution type retirement plans in general (401K type plans).  If I am correct, it may be our next big crisis.  Let’s hope I’m wrong this time.


Did you know that a small business, can setup and offer to its employees both pension plans, like a 401K type retirement plan or at least similar and a health insurance plan?  I know, I know,  I hear you stating the political arguments; it’s too expensive, too big of a hardship on the small business to provide those types of benefits to their employees.  I say two things, first not necessarily and second, maybe, just maybe we should be thinking about it the following way, until all are on board and it is the new normal:  If you can’t afford to offer these benefits (within a reasonable timeframe of opening your doors) then you aren’t ready to be in business.  I know that sounds harsh but I liken it to eating in restaurants, that saying goes:  If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out.  (At least, not dining in – go through the drive through).  It’s just not fair to the wait staff who work as hard as any of us do for their money and who depend largely on tips to make their pay work for them at all.

So, when you consider the vast number and segments of the population who work as hard as anyone else does in this country, yet who can’t afford health care, is this really how it should be?  Also, when so many people don’t have health care, everyone pays, and at a premium when they do need something.  Even the healthiest twenty something may have an accident and need medical care, then what?

Now, consider this, when you start your own business, in the beginning it may be only you or you and just one or two others.  No matter when you add others to your business or maybe just contract to do business with them, they are very likely to be friends, family and extended family.

So, just to bring my points around, let’s say you have a business and you employ your spouse and your sibling(s) and your Mom and your best friend’s son, who is having difficulty finding employment in the current market.  Well, look you now have an opportunity to train people into positions that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to get.  Most large or larger corporations are not likely to train someone off the street into a position, they want you to come in with what they want.  Moreover, while you will want the same and sometimes need the same, you can afford opportunities to those who just have not had the same opportunities that many of us have had.

The same can be true with health care.  However, I want to be clear, in no way am I suggesting that any of us should hire friends and family, just because they are friends and family into positions for which they are not suited or properly prepared.  So, don’t get ahead of yourself.  This practice is likely to be detrimental, thus taking you all down, you, the business, them and that is not the goal at all.  Maybe establish a tuition reimbursement program, done properly, it could be a valid business expense of your organization.

While we all know that healthcare is terribly expensive for everyone, companies included, you may not know that it is a bit different from the company side of things.  Now, of course, as with most everything else, the larger organizations have more options and flexibility because, well because they have more resources but that doesn’t mean that the smaller ones are completely out of this game if they want to be in it.

When you buy healthcare as an employer it is a bit like ordering from a smorgasbord.  You shop different plans and you pick which services and what levels you want.  You have an opportunity to tailor the plan you choose to your current workforce, who can come on the plan and when, deductibles and how much or not, etc.

Of course, because you are small, it will cost you more than larger companies since they can offer more people to a plan but the more you grow the better the rates get.  Also, if you, the business can swing it so that your employees have some type of a health plan even if not the best or all that they / you would like, some health coverage is better any day than no health coverage at all. So, you add a health plan and initially your employees have to pay a larger contribution than anyone would like.  However, your employer group plan is still most likely less than it would be if they had to pay for an individual plan.


Similarly, a pension plan is not terribly expensive for an employer to set up.  They can also decide some things about the plan towards making it doable or not.  For instance, we love when an employer matches our 401k contributions, but they don’t have to.  So, even if our employer doesn’t offer a match right away, we still have a pension plan that we can pay into in whatever tax deferred, payroll deducted increments we like, for the most part.  Even a little starts to add up eventually, especially when you start young.  However, young, old, somewhere in between, don’t let that get in your way.  Who knows how long you may need to survive without active income down the road?

Additionally, just because a company can’t or doesn’t commit to matching your contributions as you make them throughout the year, doesn’t mean that they cannot elect to make a contribution, say at the end of the year once they see their final bottom line.

I once worked for an organization who gave out bonuses once a year if the profit margin was over a certain percent.  Anything over the designated percentage was paid out to the employees as a year-end bonus.  It was a great incentive not to be wasteful during the year, as you felt connected to the prosperity of the organization.  It also made me very popular at the end of the year as I calculated and knew those results first.  So walking to the rest room, for example, caused me to want wear a “NOT YET” sign, as in I don’t have the final, yearly results yet.  In truth, it was all good, I didn’t mind, it made year-end exciting, even for me because while I had a good idea going into the closing of the books, I also didn’t know until the books actually closed.

What could happen if you started your own small business?

Could you change your course?  Could you change the course of your family?   Don’t think about it as getting rich, although people have.  Think about it as learning to fish for yourself, always having a way to make at least a little money if no other job opportunities are available.  Think about it as a way to have your next generation go into the world already knowing how to make honest money sooner rather than later.  It doesn’t mean it has to be their career choice but they won’t starve ever and hopefully, they will always have health care available and not have to retire into poverty.

As it is now, we tend to rely on someone else to fish for us, “the company” and sooner or later, “the company” is likely to no longer need or perhaps even to desire our help to catch and share their fish.  While we tend to learn much about the process and know that the skills we come to possess are needed, there are always others waiting to learn those valuable skills you are now expert in.  So, go fish for yourself AND teach your family!

You say, “What would I do”.  I say, “What do you know about that others already pay for or would pay for”.  What do you love, that you would do for free?  Is it business worthy?  Alternatively, what do you find yourself wishing you had, or would pay for yourself, if you could?  I’ve heard it said necessity is the mother of invention.  I still wish I had invented sticky notes!  RIGHT?

I think start with what you know, what you like, what you are good at, study, research, perfect it, hire / contract, partner with the expertise you need.  Dot your I’s, cross your T’s, don’t half step but don’t reinvent the wheel either!

My mom use to have a saying about doing something half as…d, well you get the point.  Don’t be that person and you can do this, many have before you.  Remember 97% of all American businesses are small businesses.  That means you and me.  Why can’t it be You and Me?

I’ll leave you with one more of my Mom’s sayings –


~Thanks for Reading~

AJaGi~ on Twitter






REBLOG: The 10 Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs
Uploaded by Stanford Business on Mar 23, 2010

♦ What things typically trip up an entrepreneur in starting and running a company?

♦ Is it getting the right business partner? Is it having the killer technology?

♦ How does one recover from major setbacks?

♦ A panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, angels, venture capitalists, and board members discuss the common pitfalls most new entrepreneurs encounter when building their businesses.

Check out this great video!

Part of 2010 Conference on Entrepreneurship.


~Thanks for Stopping by~

Top 10 Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs






Lessons from the new world of quicksilver work, where “career planning” is an oxymoron.

REBLOG: The Four-Year Career 
by Anya Kamenetz, Senior Writer – NY, NYFast Company January 12, 2012

Another good article!  Hope you enjoy.

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The Four-Year Career | Fast Company