The nation is on pins and needles trying to figure out exactly what “going over the fiscal cliff” means for the average middle income family. Even if things seem resolved, many people are terrified that they will be subjected to eating beans and rice during this time of uncertainty . My theory is, don’t worry about what is going on in Washington behind closed doors, focus on what you and your family can do to make sure that you have what you need.
As I meet families in the community, many have nothing saved for emergency, college and/or retirement. I guess you can say those people are facing their own personal fiscal cliffs. Most people I meet think they are, “okay” but without the help of a financial professional, someone who will hold their hand through the process, they will outlive their money. What does that mean? That means, if we don’t properly prepare, we will not have enough money to sustain us in our latter years. We have to create a plan…an aggressive plan of action to get what we need. There is no time to waste.
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I met a woman — 46. I educated her on the need for life insurance and investments and discovered that she only has $1200 saved. She said she wants to retire at 50. Very frankly I said to her, ‘based on what you have saved, you will not be able to retire in 4 years. That is not realistic’. She looked at me with great bewilderment. The only way that she will be able to successfully leave her job in the next 4 years is to win the lottery and the odds of that are slim. So…what do we do? For her, we MUST create an additional stream of income so she can save like crazy for the next 15-20 years or longer. Otherwise, she will fall off the cliff. And THAT would not be the fault of Congress.