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Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy


Ever been cold? Like cold because you can’t pay for heat? Now add to that notion the fact that your bones are 82 years old and other than an achy back, you are probably going to live another decade or so. You were once a corporate professional. But something went wrong along the way. It likely wasn’t something wrong with you or your career but rather, with the “system” under which you invested. Simply put, you are ending your life with not enough money on which to die with dignity. So now you have to worry about whether the thermostat should be at 67 or 68 – each degree is about 10 bucks a month.

Now frame all of this so that it’s even worse – it’s not you shivering in that building in the winter; it’s Mom and Dad.

Are you going to let them cross the River Styx, going out that way? The two coins you’d normally give the Boatman would pay for a month of warmth, let alone food, maybe a sweater.

But you have grand plans too – you will have kids of your own, a mortgage, debts, that dream of owning a boat and a divorce that won’t bankrupt you. Will you let those dreams pass by just because your parents were either lousy financial planners, unlucky, unhealthy, or a combo of all three?

Remember this thought when the turkey is carved in your cramped old dining room - amid the tension of blade cutting bone, everyone shouts, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

So let’s be frank, life goes one of three ways. The first way is essentially winning the lottery in life…you become a rap icon/producer/businessman: Lil’RichyRich. You go double platinum with your album “Too Many Gs in Da Bank,” build a record label, and sell Lil’ Rich shirts, underwear, cologne, and over-priced sugar water. Your biggest financial worry is whether to pay with cash or credit for your new diamond teeth. Some dude in a suit takes care of your skrilla and you just drink “special juice” out of your golden goblet on your private island. No financial worries about retirement…for shizzle.

The second route you can take is the opposite. You become a Leecherson. You have a fun job managing the “Bean Me Up” coffee shop. The salary is good for paying expenses while you are young but you don’t save a dime. This may work for you while costs are low and you are physically able to work; however, you are living on the financial edge…any little nudge or tap will knock you over. Unless you bite the bullet and marry that ugly rich person that comes in for coffee every day, things aren’t looking good for retirement. Living off the “kindness” of others (aka being a mooch) may be your retirement plan.

The third route, and the most probable, is the path of the Middlesons. The Middlesons have average jobs, an average house, an average family, and a dog with an average number of flees. They have the opportunity to have a good retirement if they save early enough but they could become the Leechersons if they spend their money instead.

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