The Cup Is Really Half Empty

Reports are that this year the Social Security fund will pay out more than it actually takes in.  Entertainment costs are increasing – try going to the movies or to a sporting event.  The healthcare reform bill has been signed.  The war in the Middle East is a constant vacuum which never gets full.  Do you see the recurring theme here?  Expenses are rising but there is no mention of revenues rising for individuals like you and I.

This should make both you and I look a little differently at our budget and what we spend our money on.  Right now is the time more than ever not to be optimistic but be realistic.  We need to examine our investments because this is the time, more than any other time, which we need to invest in assets.

What are you going to invest in?

Yes We Can?

A recent radio address from President Obama suggested that Americans need to save more for retirement. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also disclosed “working Americans should be able to retire with dignity and security,, but nearly half o the nation’s workforce has little or nothing beyond Social Security benefits to get by on in old age.”

One of the new incentives on the table to counteract this is to allow tax refunds to be directly deposited into retirement accounts or used to buy savings bonds.

This is something we all may want to consider during this upcoming tax season. Don’t let Social Security be your only source of income when you retire. In like fashion, don’t allow your job to be your only source of income now either.

Less on Less

You may have already heard that there will not be an increase of social security payments for the 2010 and 2011. This will account for the first time since 1975 that this automatic increase will occur. In addition the Social Security Administration reports that nearly 6 million Americans will see a slight decrease in monthly payments in the coming years. This decrease is due to the slight increase in medical costs for those that have payment for medications deducted from their Social Security payments. What does this mean for those individuals who depend on Social Security?

Well it primarily means that we must discover more options. This should also serve as a notice to those who are ten or more years away from retiring. The message to you is to make sure you focus on saving for retirement now. What should those who are currently receiving Social Security payments do, here are a few things:

(1) Develop a solid budget immediately. There is something about writing out a plan or budget on paper. It makes the budget or plan realistic. Make sure you include everything in your budget, even the least expensive items. The budget should be on a monthly basis.

(2) Adjust your expenses. Cut any expenses that you can do without. We are creatures of habit. If you begin now to eliminate a particular expense, although it will be tough in the beginning, it will become easier to do without in the next thirty days.

(3) Increase your income if possible. After creating a budget and assessing your expenses you should examine your income options. Is there anyway of increasing your income without risking a decrease in Social Security benefits? If so, you may want to purse those options.

(4) Stick to your “new” lifestyle for the next 365 days. It is important to stick to this new plan for the next year. I would reassess the plan every four months to ensure that it is working. Adoption is one of the largest things for adults to deal with. Hang in there I know you can do it.

Maybe you know someone in this situation or maybe you are in this situation. There is hope for you. It is never too late to create the lifestyle you desire as long as you still have the desire to change your lifestyle!