Is Your “Three Legged Stool” Broken?
As someone facing the challenge of retirement in today’s economy, using outdated models and methods that made sense at one time, forces a serious discussion for the millions of Americans that have been caught in the market’s cross hairs, as to what to do now, and how planning is critical to avoid the triangulation that the “three leg stool” promises.
My basic function and purpose of sharing information on my Blog is to generate information on marketing, internet marketing, digital marketing, business ideas, business online, work from home jobs, wellness programs, lifetime fitness, and self help information that transform the thinking of the average person and opens up creative solutions for many of today’s problems and challenges.
The “three-legged stool” is a retirement term from the past that many financial consultants used to describe the three most common sources of retirement income for the average person. These were: 1) Social Security, 2) Company pensions, and 3) Personal savings.
Times have changed though and so has the three-legged stool. For younger workers, one could say that there still is a three-legged stool, but the legs have changed. In place of company pension programs, most employers have moved towards 401K plans which require workers to defer a portion of their own paycheck into the 401K retirement account. Some employers will match the employee contribution up to a certain percentage, but many current employers are even eliminating the matching program.
So let’s be clear. The old three legged stool model is Broken and does not work as originally intended, as the market dynamics have shifted in major sea changes that are affecting the 98%.
It is obvious that if we evaluate the three legs, starting with Company pensions, this leg is almost gone from the current scene. Today it is up to the Individual to sort out their financial world and to make sense of the complex financial structure that favors the wealthy.
The second leg, Personal savings, doesn’t’ give us much hope as disposable income continues to deteriorate, taking savings out of the equation. People are literally surviving, going check to check in many cases. I recently posted two articles to Facebook and Linked In, by reputable news agencies that describe how 2/3’s of Americans cannot come up with either $500 or $ 1,000 to cover an emergency. So personal savings are out the window, as money is used for living expenses primarily. As the world’s largest consumer society, it is evident that the days of spend, spend, spend are gone. What has transpired in the process since the 08/09 downturn is that consumers are now using their credit cards to buy the additional purchases beyond their “salary”, and getting in deeper and deeper debt.
The giant corporations are not getting the message that we cannot purchase all of their production as we once did and they continue to fuel the fire with their bottom line mentality.
The third leg, Social Security, which makes complete sense as a fallback position, is also in trouble, as we now have 78 million Baby Boomers retiring and expecting their SS check. From my research, this widely popular source of retirement income is almost broke, as when it was set up, there were 43 workers for every one retiring. Today there are only 3 for each retiree, causing a massive shift in payments that unless secured by some investment vehicle to populate the fund, will in time run out.
As readers of my Blog articles know, I had a great run in my career path, spanning the past forty eight years, with a “bullet proof” retirement plan, utilizing the Three legged stool concept. As we all know from personal experience, the 08/09 downturn changed all of that for many of us.
Fortunately, we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth, and I state that point literally, having travelled all over the earth several times over. As an Optimist and a believer in my own ability to continue working, I have tossed out the old three legged stool and replaced it with my own, new version.
I now represent three uniquely different companies that all fall under the Optimum Wellness model covering eight synergistic dimensions: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Environmental, Financial, Spiritual, Social, and Occupational.
I have been following the Wellness trend for over 20 years, as I believe in the concept and have seen this trend grow to 3.4 Trillion in sales globally last year. It is not going to peak anytime soon, as even the youngest Millenials are on board, seeing their parent’s world change dramatically during their childhood.
My focus on the three companies I represent, or my personal three legged stool, are Melaleuca – The Wellness Company, which as the manufacturer of wellness products, offers us 500 wellness products that cover six departments in their online store. As a Preferred Customer of theirs, the customer saves up to 50% off retail, as by cutting out the middle man – the grocery, drug, and health food store, the 63% normally used for their advertising, marketing, transportation, etc,, is passed on to the customer. The clear focus is Save time and money by Switching Stores from the grocery, drug, and health food store to ours, where you will find Exceptional products at Reasonable prices – Same Dollars, Better Spent. Doesn’t get any easier than that. This company also offers me residual income, which means that after I have quit the company, I will continue to receive my monthly commissions, as long as my customer base continues to purchase their wellness products. This is huge, as the average company cannot and more than likely will not ever offer this benefit, as they are bottom line oriented and cost conscious.
My second leg is my entry back into Hypnotherapy, which I was certified in, back in 1993, at the first and largest college of hypnotherapy in the US, located in Tarzana, CA. I am in the process of re-certifying and hope to open up my HypnotherapyinVentura.com office in Ventura, CA. sometime in early 2017.
Psychology has always interested me and the reason for my minor in psychology with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. The key reason that I did not continue was the confusion of the many labels that are hard to follow unless you are a dedicated professional. I initially got into hypnotherapy, as I knew the information was mind changing and applicable to sales people, which I have worked with for close to fifty years. I am blessed in having had the ability to travel all over the world, establishing new distribution for companies and working with their professional sales force.
Hypnotherapy is ideal for vocational and avocational self improvement, which covers lots of ground. These are areas such as: Enhancing your confidence and self image, accelerating learning processes, modifying negative behavior, achieving your ideal weight, becoming smoke free, learning to relax and de-stress, turning failure into success, and creating self improvement, to name a few. As I tell people, this calling will pay me a living wage, and had I started even twenty years ago, might have been able to use the calling for retirement building.
My third leg and one that I have dabbled in before, is working in the financial services industry. I am now on board with one of the largest financial services companies in the world and working my way to being certified as a financial consultant.
The greatest impact this company has made on me, is that fact that I am learning things that should be taught to all grade school kids, which is to study money and finances early enough to start using the basic principles for long term stability and security. Even though I managed multi million dollar entities for countless years, I was never taught the basics of how personal money works and how to make it work for you.
The greatest thing supporting my belief and support of my financial services company is their philosophy and mission to work with the 98% of the population that cannot or do not think of financial planning for their families and future. Financial planning has been typically regulated to the 2% that are wealthy enough to afford a team of financial experts to make their money not only work for them, but also to use the power of these principles for their long term growth, stability and security.
Bottom line, we all need financial direction and guidance, especially in these volatile times. The icing on the cake is that we do not charge service fees for our services. It all starts out with a visit to your home or business, where we overview who we are, what we do and how the benefits of our services can help you short and long term. If there is interest in continuing, we set up a second visit where we dig deeper into the financial information shared with us to start formulating a plan for your future, as well as your families.
A very simple explanation of our program is that on our first visit, we take a snapshot of your financial picture and during our conversation, determine your and your family’s future goals, including your projected retirement date. Once we have the basic information needed, we plug into your timeline with specific financial strategies to offset the ups and downs of the market and get you ready for retirement, as well as taking care of your wife’s and kids’ needs, such as college costs, etc.
This article is designed to get your mind thinking about the subject of money and how to use it properly to establish a secure and stable career, while planning for you and your family’s needs, all the way to a successful retirement. The one area that I have not covered and will mention, as it is a factor that needs to be plugged into all conversations related to money, is inflation.
Inflation is generally described as a rise in the average price level of goods and services or a decrease in the purchasing power of the standard unit of currency. While that definition may be a bit difficult for some to comprehend, the effects of inflation are not.
In simple terms, inflation means your dollar does not buy as much as it did before. As a result, a set amount of goods or services will cost you more when inflation rises then it did previously.
If you go back to the 70’s, these were times when you could purchase a house for $ 20,000. That same home today is worth around $ 289,000. Currently inflation is running around 2 to 4% a year, while not exceptionally high, still drives the cost of anything we purchase by that amount annually.
I hope it is clear why the average American need guidance in this area and the reason for using the services of a financial planner. I mentioned residual income earlier. This is another company that offers this invaluable income stream and one that I plan to use for my long term security.
In closing out, if you or your family needs great, Exceptional Wellness products, that impact your life today, consider Melaleuca – The Wellness Company. If you have personal life challenges that may be holding you back in life, consider Hypnotherapy, and if you read into what I shared about the financial services company I now represent, in particular that there is no charge to conduct an in home visit to determine the next step, make sure to contact me for further information.
Keep in mind that in today’s world, you are pretty much on your own. The loyalty and benefit programs previously offered by corporate America are now gone or receding. Take the responsibility today to do something about your life situation before it is too late. Time is the only commodity that is running out, for all of us. If I can help you in any way, please feel free to contact me. I promise to be thoughtful, considerate, and consulting related to the three companies represented and the services we offer. Join me and the millions of Americans dedicating their lives to the Wellness trend. It will change your life. My contact information is posted on my website: http://jameshobartmarketing.com
The Author, James Hobart, has been an industry leader in the Professional Beauty Industry for more than 48 years at every level, and has certification in Hypnotherapy and is a Financial Consultant. His insight and experience has helped many companies and individuals with their growth and development over the years. His books, Happiness Is Your Birthright and Salon / Spa Retail – The Lost Revenue Stream, and his Blog: http://jameshobartmarketing.com, support his philosophy on life and are practical handbooks and articles to create positive change throughout one’s life. Additionally, he works closely with a Consumer direct Wellness marketing company, found at http://makegreengogreen.com/jameshobart that supports Enhancing the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals.