Retirement – Heaven Or Hell?

When you retire, are you going to have enough money to meet all your expenses and keep up with inflation? If you are like the vast majority of us, your answer will be a resounding, “NO”!

Statistically, 95% of people retire with too few financial resources.

At a time when they should rightly be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors, they instead find themselves extremely restricted in what they can afford to do and enjoy. They can do little more than helplessly watch as their financial reserves are ravaged by inflation, increasing costs, decreasing pension benefits and, unfortunately, as you get older, increasing health care costs. Then, as the winter of life deepens, and it becomes harder to fend for ourselves, many of us find ourselves having to come up with thousands of dollars a month to spend our last few years in an extended care retirement home. After liquidating everything, the really fortunate ones can barely squeak through, but in the end, nothing remains. Tragic!

The GOOD NEWS is that it doesn’t have to end that way.

But before we get to the good news, let’s continue to take a depressing look at reality:

We live in uncertain economic times. How many people haven’t just lost all of their retirement savings through failures like Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Enron, Global Crossing Ltd., WorldCom Inc., UAL Corp., Conseco Inc., Delta Airlines Inc., Refco Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Washington Mutual, and the list goes on.

At the time of this writing, Chrysler and General Motors are struggling with bankruptcies. The US and Canadian governments are offering up Billions in loans to keep these companies afloat. But can you imagine the ripple effect through the economy if these huge companies go down? Probably better described as a Tsunami than a ripple. General Motors, for example, owes billions of dollars to their suppliers all over the world. What will happen to those companies if GM goes bankrupt? How many companies can afford to shrug off multimillion dollar losses? What is going to happen to the retired workers if these huge companies really do go down?

Companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford laid the foundation for the American Dream. It used to be that if you landed a job with one of these companies, you were set for life. You were guaranteed a good job with high wages, excellent benefits, and a wonderful retirement package. But “Times, They Are A-Changin'”.

A May 29th, 2009, CNN article points out that the Auto Industry is undergoing many changes. Because of the government bail outs, the government has demanded that both Chrysler and General Motors bring their labor costs in line with foreign competitors operating non-union factories in the U.S.. That dropped an entry level wage from $ 28.00 per hour to $ 14.00 per hour. Benefits also took a beating: UAW workers will pay a much larger portion towards their health care benefits and once they retire, Auto Manufacturers will no longer pay their health benefits. Fewer medical procedures and drugs will be covered and, under new agreements, Chrysler and GM retirees will no longer have dental or vision care covered.

Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 30, 2009 followed by General Motors June 1, 2009. We need to watch these companies and understand what is happening, because they are among the largest, most important companies in America. What happens to them will affect multitudes of other companies and millions of workers and retirees.

Consider this: GM pays benefits to almost 650,000 retirees and surviving family members, while at the same time, it has only about 70,750 current employees, including both union and non-union workers. In other words, about 71,000 workers are contributing to the retirement/benefit plan while 650,000 are drawing from the plan. Needless to say, the plan directors have undoubtedly invested wisely in safe mutual fund investment plans to build fund reserves, but is that any better than the shaky global economy? This is kind of like trying to swim with a concrete block tied around your neck.

This all sounds so dismal and depressing, but hang on, There’s still GOOD NEWS coming.

But before we get to the good news, let’s look at one last item of concern: The Baby Boomer crunch. After WWII, the war weary population celebrated in a new world of affluence and technological advancements. Utopia seemed to be just around the corner. The result was a massive increase in the birth rate which has been called “The Baby Boom”. Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964 and this mostly impacts Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe, The United Kingdom, and The United States.

The Baby Boomer generation has been called “the pig in the python” as a colorful and very meaningful illustration. In the United States alone, there are over 76 million Baby Boomers, the first of which are due to retire in 2011. Characteristically, the Boomers tend to spend a lot of money, exhibit an abnormally high anxiety about aging and death and have consequentially avoided dealing with their own eventual demise and have unfortunately been a little too happy-go-lucky with their retirement planning. The Boomers also chose to have fewer children, which means fewer workers in the marketplace. Automation and computerization have also decreased the workers available in the marketplace.

As the Baby Boomer Generation enters retirement, it will put additional strains on the pension plans and Social Security Benefits. At the same time, fewer workers remain to bear the financial burden. According to the US Government,”The Current Social Security System is unsustainable in the long run”. In 2017, the benefits being paid out will exceed the taxes being collected from the workforce. At that point, Social Security will need to start tapping into the trust funds to pay the benefits. As they tap into the trust funds, the amount of income will decrease and the situation will worsen. By 2041 The trust funds will be exhausted and Social Security will no longer be able to meet its benefit obligations.

That leaves only four choices:

• Increase retirement ages – nobody retires until age 70 or 75,

• Cut back on all pensions resulting in poorer pensioners,

• Break the backs of current workers with larger worker contributions,

• Make so much money that we don’t have to worry about all this.

Now, here’s the GOOD NEWS.

You can make it on your own in a very short period of time. How? Well, it certainly won’t be by working one or more minimum-wage jobs while scrimping to save every penny.

Instead, why not take advantage of the Greatest Marketplace in the history of Mankind — The Internet. It is virtually recession proof, it is global, and you can use it to establish your own Home Based Business. Set your own hours, work at your own pace. Take control of your own future. Make sure YOUR retirement isn’t a bust.

The Internet is here to stay and is growing by leaps and bounds each year. Online retail sales should top $ 300 billion per year over the next five years, according to a study conducted by Forrester Research. It is such a huge and growing marketplace that, yes, there is room for you at the top. 

When it comes to supplementing an underfunded retirement plan after age 40, your only practical solution, short of doing something illegal, is to generate the finances you need on the Internet. But, how? 

Making it on the Internet is not easy, in spite of all the stories of successful Internet marketers who are making multimillions of dollars each year, some in a month, some in as little as only one day!  If you have taken a serious look at doing something on the Internet, you have probably found yourself absolutely confused and overwhelmed by everything.  It’s easy to feel like a blind mouse in an endless maze.

It seems that the marketers who make these massive amounts of money are technical wizards that have stumbled upon the elusive, secret formula to making money. They obviously must then know everything there is to know about Pay Per Click, Adwords, Adsense, PHP, Javascript, Conversion Tracking, CPA, Landing Pages, Split testing, Affiliate programs, etc.. Needless to say, they also have HUGE e-mailing lists of customers anxiously waiting to buy their next offer.

It’s not long before you wish you could have one of these gurus sit on your shoulder and guide you through to profitability.  Fortunately, there ARE mentoring programs on the Internet that will take you by the hand and walk you through the complexities of Internet Marketing. 

Unfortunately, there are more scams on the Internet than there are legitimate programs. The problem then, is to separate the legitimate programs from the scams.

Here’s what to look for in a Legitimate Online Business

1). Check the reputation of the program or business. Use search engines like Google, Yahoo or MSN to find testimonials or feedback on the business you are considering. However, be careful when turning to online forums, social sites, or even the BBBonline, as a source of feedback on online business opportunities. Often those sites are filled with the most “vocal” whiners and gripers who never give anything a chance to work. Always contact the company itself and talk to the people in charge. Talk to their customers if possible. Due diligence, although tiring, can be very rewarding and do much to safeguard your hard-earned finances.

2). Thoroughly check out the companies website. How it is set up? What types of graphics and images are used? (Graphics that picture semi-dressed women leaning over the hood of a Maserati or on the deck of a large yacht, or the huge grassy estate should sound a warning to you). However, if the companies website is professionally designed and the content is useful, informative, and well-written, the company is probably reliable and legitimate.

3). Does the company have a product or service that people want or need? Do they provide a valid, legitimate service? In the case of a Mentoring program, do they teach you something that you can really use? Something that will help YOU to succeed? Something that will put money in YOUR pocket? If “Yes” then it is a good program.

A legitimate online business will provide you with some kind of useful, valuable training.

It’s great if you can find a company which has structured their program so that when YOU prosper, THEY prosper.  Your success feeds their success.  That’s a winning combination.

4). Does the company have quality customer service?  If it is a Mentoring program, can you access them by telephone or email?  If you call, do they quickly and efficiently deal with your questions or do you have to struggle to get any kind of answers?  Your training is critically important to you and if the company is legitimate, YOUR training will be important to them too.

A company with characteristics like these will help you to achieve your goals very quickly and your retirement will be heaven, not hell.