Paychecks and Playchecks

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author: Paychecks and Playchecks – Retirement Solutions for Life by Tom Hegna

Synopsis of Content:

This book focuses most on the way to use life insurance, and in particular, a life insurance annuity, to provide for a more secure retirement income. However there is more to it than that.

The first four chapters outline the limitations, risks and problems with retirement planning. He points out that traditionally a retirement plan included three legs:

Social Security, a company pension, and a lifetime of savings. He then points out the problems with all three. Social Security is beset by significant problems for the long term and will almost certainly end up paying less to retirees than it has in the past.

Company pensions are disappearing quickly and some that do exist fail. Unlike our grandparents who could work for a company all their career and then depend on a pension throughout their old age this is no longer available to most people except in a very few industries and government workers. As for government workers, he points out that the pension obligations in the public sector are not adequately funded and may also end in disappointment.

Savings have suffered a number of problems. Many people have lost a lot of money due to market corrections in the late 1980s, 2000 and 2007-2008. As a result many are squeamish about equities and have moved their money to banks where they are earning virtually nothing. The other problem with savings is that since no one knows how long they will live there is no way to calculate how to pay out savings over the retirement period so that one does not either run out of money by withdrawing too much or leave too much behind.

Chapter five then offers a solution to this by advising that people use an annuity to guarantee some income for their entire retirement period. Because of the way annuities are structured they can benefit more than one person, such as paying out to a surviving spouse. And they avoid the uncertainty of the length of life by pooling that risk among millions of people.

The remainder of the book discusses Life Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance and Estate Planning.

The book does not discuss how much an annuity will actually cost although for illustration purposes it often refers to $100,000. Obviously this would limit who can benefit.

The book does a pretty good job of analyzing the comparative strengths and weaknesses of annuities, life insurance and other investments. There is no doubt that the author, who has long been in the insurance business, is biased in favor of annuities and insurance. However he does spend some time discussing some of the risks with annuities and talks about good and bad annuities. It is about as balanced a book as one can expect to find from a cheerleader for annuities for retirement.

What I found useful about this book:

The book goes into considerable detail about the different types of annuities available, their pros and cons. It also discusses the things to watch out for, the questions one needs to ask an agent before buying and the importance of knowing something about the viability of the insurance company you buy from.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and well organized. The details about annuities and different types of insurance is at times technical and might glaze over the eyes of some people who are not accustomed to this kind of financial discussion.

Notes on Author:

Tom Hegna has spent his entire career in the insurance industry, much of that with MetLife and then with New York Life where he became first vice president in 2010. He retired from New York Life in 2011 and now works full time speaking, writing and training.

Other Books by This Author:

Retirement Income Masters: Secret of the Pros

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Become aware that retirement options have changed in the 21st century. One cannot depend solely on Social Security and savings to insure a comfortable retirement. One way to augment retirement income is through the wise use of an annuity.
  1. Consider annuities as part of a risk management plan. While some are better than others they are not as a whole bad despite some bad press.
  1. Seek out a good professional who specializes in retirement planning including the use of annuities. Do your homework and if you select an annuity make sure you know as much as you can about the company.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Paychecks and Playchecks by Tom Hegna

Copyright holder: 2011-2012 by Tom Hegna

Publisher: Acanthus Publishing, Boston, MA.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Things Have Changed Dad

One of my sons reminds me frequently that things have changed. It is not the same world I grew up in, not the same world I attended college in, not the same world I built a career in. His generation faces different challenges. He suggests that many of the principles I offer are no longer relevant.

To some extent he is right of course, but in some ways, I think not.

My son got a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts with the expectation that it would qualify him for a job that paid better than minimum wage. He was quickly disappointed. He moved to a larger urban area but was still earning minimum wage. He had friends in his age group that faced a similar problem. He had been told to work hard, do well in school and you will be rewarded. He now believed that had all been a lie, or least an outdated idea. He told me that the work hard and you’ll succeed idea may have been valid when I was a young man but is no longer true.

It is painful for a father to watch his son do all the right things and then struggle with disappointing results. We all want out children to succeed. Those struggles of my son and many in his generation who came of age during a severe recession have caused me to re-evaluate my assumptions about success and the things I write about on this blog.

For some perspective I also must remember my own struggles as a young man. I graduated with a B.S. degree in liberal arts as well but back in 1976. Jimmy Carter was President and the nation was in a recession. We faced “stagflation”, a crippling combination of high inflation and a stagnate economy with high unemployment. We had recently suffered through the OPEC oil embargo, long lines at the gas station, and high fuel prices. In the summer of 1976 I found how little that four-year degree did to improve my employment prospects. I worked in a soft drink bottling plant 12 hours a day at minimum wage. Then I was a janitor. Then I worked as a dishwasher and cook.

But I had a plan. My plan all along was to use that four-year degree to get into law school and become a professional. After working for 15 months to save money to attend law school I did just that – I went to law school.  After law school, I built my own law practice from the ground up. It was a struggle. It was several years before I was earning a decent income.

My son was not impressed. Things were different now. His struggle was harder. His generation got a raw deal.

There is some truth in my son’s view. It is hard for many of today’s young people. Not since the great Depression have so many of them continued to live with parents. To be sure however many of that generation are doing well. My older son works in sales and did not even finish college. He is doing quite well.

So is my younger son right? Are the bromides of the past outdated and largely irrelevant in a changed world and a changed economy? I suggest that most of those traditional ideas about how to be successful are still valid but that many will still struggle financially despite doing the right things.


The choices we make about education, training, where we live and what career path we choose all play a large role in how well we will do. That has always been true. It was true when I was 25 and it is true now for my 25-year-old son. Choose a medically related career, engineering, sales and several other fields and success is much more likely. Young people must decide what they want to do and they must choose those careers that are in demand. A few people may carve out a niche in a field that is not in high demand and still do well, but for the majority it is critical to choose the right career. Likewise, choices about where we live, when we decide to marry and have a family also play a large role in our chances of success.

Hard Work

The willingness to work hard still provides rewards. While it is true that all hard work is not rewarded as a rule success in a globally competitive world requires hard work. Employers prefer hard workers. If someone wants to start a business of their own hard work is essential.


Integrity is just as important today as ever. Some would say it is in short supply today though I am not sure I agree. I do see that those who are honest and have high personal integrity are more effective working with others and are more successful.


It remains as important as ever to spend less than we earn, to save and invest wisely and to build for the future. Lifelong employment with a single company is now the exception rather than the rule. Corporate pension plans are no longer as secure as they once were. Government programs like Social Security never provide all that people need in retirement and their future is always subject to political whim.


Education and increasing one’s skill sets and knowledge are more important today than ever. As my son correctly points out his generation is learning that conventional higher education may not always be the best way to go although it still has merit. Lifelong learning however remains critical to maintaining one’s competitive edge no matter where you live or what you do.


My son is right that things have changed. Technological change is increasingly rapid. We now live in an increasingly competitive global market. Social change is also faster than ever before. Adapting to this change requires agility and effort more than in the past. But some things have not changed. Hard work, integrity, frugality and education remain important and in many ways are more important today than they were when I was a young man.

The challenge for us all is to maintain these age-old principles while adapting to a changed world. The principles that have always contributed to success however still apply and may be more important today than ever.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Investing in Secondary Market Structured Settlement Payments by Kathy Manson

Guest Post

Many individual investors, as well as financial professionals, are unfamiliar with the opportunity to buy structured settlement annuity payments in the secondary market. While with all investments certain risks exist when buying what are often referred to as “secondary market annuity payments”, a savvy buyer might be able to find a greater return with this product than they could by acquiring annuity payments directly from annuity issuers.

At the outset it is important to review what a structured settlement actually is. A structured settlement is a type of out of court settlement of a civil lawsuit that involves the Plaintiff accepting deferred compensation from the Defendant instead of a lump sum upfront. The deferred compensation may be monthly payments, annual payments or lump sum payments due in the future. This settlement mechanism is utilized for not only the most serious cases but often in connection with basic personal injury lawsuit.  In order to effectuate the resolution, the Plaintiff requires that the Defendant acquire an annuity to pay the deferred payment settlement. These annuities are issued by companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Allstate Life Insurance Company, American General Life Insurance Company and other well-known companies. Once finalized, these annuities cannot be modified by the parties so the Plaintiff (now the “Payee”) is locked into the schedule of payments he agreed to.

The opportunity for buyers to acquire some or all of the structured settlement payments from the Payee arises when the Payee’s circumstances change and is in need of an immediate influx of cash instead of waiting on the deferred payout plan. When such a situation arises, the payee will reach out to a factoring company and the factoring company will make an offer to purchase some or all of the structured settlement annuity payments in exchange for paying the Payee a lump sum of money. If the payee and factoring company agree to a transaction, the factoring company must file the contractual documents in the county state court where the payee resides and get a judge’s approval to acquire the payments from the Payee. This process has been established by Federal law working in conjunction with statutes passed by most state legislatures.

Factoring companies, however, do not technically buy the annuity payments from the Payee. Instead, they work as brokers and after the Payee agrees to the terms of a transaction, the factoring company look for a willing buyer or “assignee” of the structured settlement annuity payments. In other words, the factoring company makes its profit by finding a buyer of the deferred payments that is willing to pay more for the payments than the Payee has agreed to sell the same to the factoring company for.

Historically, most buyers/assignees of secondary market structured settlement payments were large institutional investors including banks. These banks issued lines and the factoring companies aggregated these assigned payments until the mass of payments was large enough for a securitization. In time, individual buyers emerged as another group that wanted to acquire these annuity payments in the secondary market instead of buying an actual annuity directly from the issuer. The reason for the interest was that, generally speaking, the rate of return on payments in secondary market was substantially more than one could find when working directly with the annuity issuer.

While the rate of return of associated with these payments is appealing, any potential buyer must vet out in great detail whether this is a suitable acquisition. There are potential risks, including the creditworthiness and underwriting of the factoring company, associated with the assignment of these payments.  Any buyer would be wise to speak to multiple outlets working with these payments and gather as much information as possible before proceeding. In addition, if one proceeds it may be prudent to have a lawyer familiar with the product underwrite the file before funding any transaction.


Kathy Manson has completed graduation from Boston College with a Financial Management Degree. She worked for a big finance firms as Catalina Structured Funding, Inc. & She is very proactive and aware about each and every update of financial changes in the industry.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake

Synopsis of Content:

This is a somewhat different kind of book on how to succeed written by a very unique businessman, and that is actually his point, we are all unique, we should embrace and use our individuality and avoid conformity. Although the author is a businessman he has spent a substantial amount of time as a “serial entrepreneur” and has on numerous occasions gone against the advice of others. He marches to his own drum.

Although he groups his success principles under three broad categories: Reclaiming Your Mentality, Creating Winning Ideas, and Transforming Ideas into Achievements; each main grouping contains a number of subcategories.

The gist of his thesis is that first we must assume full control of our own mental state. Having done this we act intentionally and thoughtfully, not automatically. Here he uses a Situation – Thought – Reaction paradigm which is very similar to ones discussed by Jack Canfield, Stephen R. Covey and others. This idea that we can and should choose our own reaction to outside stimuli is an old one. However Blake gives us a different perspective on this. As with much of his thinking here he is influenced by his extensive study of physics and other branches of science.  He explains how science has given us modern insight into how we think and react that is missing from other writings on this subject.

Next the author uses teachings on the power of the mind and the law of attraction that go back at least to the teaching of William James, Prentice Mulford, and James Allen. Again however his understanding and application of the law of attraction is different from what has been written before – he gives us a new way of looking at these things. He then teaches how these principles can be used to become more creative and successful.

In fact Blake provides a fresh look at ideas that have been around a very long time. He also presents new ideas to replace the old. He says that a positive mental attitude alone is not enough to be successful. Real accomplishment in the US has been by individuals who worked very hard and paved their own path.

Best of all this book makes you think. He forces us to take a critical look at a lot of success literature and reexamine it in light of both what science has discovered and what his own experience has taught him.  He gives you some simple tools, like practicing quiet time, a form of meditation, which is very useful. This is not a book to read through quickly and put away; this is a book to study carefully and return to.

Blake is a fresh voice on success. His work can be appealing to the conservative businessperson as well as the new age reader. His writing is insightful and forces the reader to think in new ways about some very old ideas. He has used these techniques to achieve success.

Blake is also bold. He does not pull punches. He criticizes those things he finds unworthy of belief or unproven. There is a refreshing genuineness to his writing.

The author is donating the profits from the book to cancer research. He says he is not a “success guru” but a successful businessman who has discovered what works in the pursuit of personal and financial success and wants to tell the world about it.


This book is very useful to anyone who wants to expand their ability to think for themselves and to increase their effectiveness. It will be useful to anyone seeking genuine success.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written. He uses stories to illustrate his ideas. He draws heavily on his own experiences and that of his family but also on science and the experience of others. The book is well organized and easy to read.

Notes on Author:

Trevor Blake is a serial entrepreneur and businessman. He has excelled in sales and in building businesses. He has developed new business models. He has demonstrated the courage and fortitude to go his own way despite heavy criticism. He was born in the UK but has since relocated to the US. He describes himself as not being a “self-help guru” but a pragmatic businessman.

Related Website:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Pause before you speak. Give yourself time to really think about your response rather than just responding with a gut response. Choose your reactions carefully. Be self-aware.
  1. Create intentions rather than goals. An intention should be in the positive, what you want to come about, but phrased in the present tense, as though it has already happened.
  1. Take quiet time each day to mediate for about 20 minutes and then to reflect on and repeat your intentions.

I highly recommend this book.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake

Copyright holder: 2012 by Trevor Blake

Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for August 2013

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Title and Author:  The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Synopsis of Content:

This is a compilation of various writings by America’s grandfather of success, Benjamin Franklin. It begins with the introduction he wrote to his autobiography. It is then divided into three sections:

The Way to Wealth

In this section Franklin discusses the importance of Industry (what we would today call hard work); Self-Reliance; Frugality; Charity; Experience; and all peppered with pithy axioms and Yankee sayings. Little has changed since Franklin wrote these words. He did not invent these ideas. They represented the native Yankee work ethic and the Judeo-Christian ethic.

Advice to a Young Worker

In this short article Franklin remembers the disciplines and methods that served him so well in his youth in the working world. It is a short review of those “virtues” as he calls them, of hard work, persistence, frugality, etc. He frames these ideas for the young man or women seeking to do well.

The Path to Virtue

As a young man Franklin began a self-improvement project, concentrating on one virtue every week until he felt he had incorporated them into his life. He discusses the value of Temperance (avoiding over indulgence), Silence (avoiding trifling conversation), Resolution (resolving to follow through), Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility.

As was customary in the 18th century Franklin did not divorce personal integrity and virtue from personal success. The improvement of the person was required to attain success on both a personal and business level. He understood, as did Jim Rohn two centuries later, that you cannot be less a person and a success at the same time.

While some of Franklin’s moral teachings may seem naïve and preachy today one has to wonder if the world would not be a much better place if more people heeded this advice. Today’s headlines all too often describe the deceit, cheating, and lack of integrity among our leaders and business leaders. Franklin understood that one must constantly work to improve themselves to be successful. One must be a good person to be a successful person.


Anyone serious about genuine self-improvement and development of the whole self in order to be successful will benefit from this timeless work. In it you will find the fundamental principles that nearly every success author since has espoused.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

Franklin wrote remarkably clearly for an 18th century author. He wrote for the common man, not for the intellectual. While the organization and style of that period is a little difficult for modern readers his work was much more readable than most of his contemporaries.

Notes on Author:

Benjamin Franklin was an eminently successful American from the 18th century. He succeed in the printing and publishing business so well that he was able to retire from active business by his early 40s. He spent the rest of his life as a statesman, diplomat and inventor. He was instrumental in many public improvement projects founding the first public library, insurance company and fire department in the United States. He became one of the sages and principle architects of our nation and helped write the US Constitution. He was one of the most important founding fathers.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. When someone complained about paying taxes Franklin responded, “We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly. It is only by mastering one’s own self that one can truly attain success in life.
  1. Franklin appreciated the value of time, our most precious asset. He wrote, “If dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
  1. In one proverb Franklin incorporates both the need for hard work and the balance equally important to a successful life: “Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, Poor Richard says”.

Publication Information:  

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Published by Best Success Books (Kindle). This material is in the public domain.

This was the Books2Wealth Book of the Month Review for March 2013.


Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Avoiding Extreme Frugality

The old wisdom “moderation in all things” applies to how we manage our money just as much as anything else. Most people are not overly frugal and so I do not write about that often. For most the opposite becomes the problem: over spending, incurring debt, etc.

One can however go to the other extreme – one can become so frugal it is an extreme. They buy nothing they do not actually need, and I mean need, like food. They forsake entertainment, socializing, and buying anything that they do not absolutely need. They even give up creature comforts. Although extreme frugality for a short time might help one get out of debt or save for something important, in general it is not a healthy way for most people to live. Being sensibly frugal does not mean living like a monk.

Last November Trent Hamm posted a good article on this on his The Simple Dollar blog. He focuses on positive frugality that allows us to focus on what is important and strip away expenses that are not truly important. This requires some introspection and discernment. It requires us to look at what really is important to us and limit our spending to those things.

Hamm’s article is relatively long and detailed and I am not quoting it here at length for that reason. But it is worth reading because it frames healthy frugality in all its forms. It helps you focus on what is important and teaches how to be fugal without undue deprivation. I recommend reading it and giving it some thought. Remember that every dollar you save through healthy frugality pays of debt, avoids debt and invests in your future. By looking at it that way it really makes sense. It is really about putting off a little immediate gratification for a long term view of what is important to you.

I recommend Hamm’s article as a good way to get a comprehensive view on healthy frugality and avoid going too far. Check it out.

Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

How Much Time Does It Cost?

Trent Hamm, author of the Simple Dollar blog, wrote a post about the ten lessons he has learned about money. Each of these ten lessons are golden. One of them leapt out at me though. Hamm suggests that you think of your purchases in terms of time rather than money. Here is how he puts it:

“Time is the one truly valuable resource in life. No matter how hard you work, you can never earn more of it. Money itself is just a way to measure time. You get a certain amount of dollars for an hour that you work, and then you trade those dollars for some item or experience, meaning that you think that a certain amount of time spent doing work is a fair trade for that particular item or experience. Money is just the go-between to help you translate the time you invest for the things that you want and need.

Because of this, I tend to think of most financial transactions in terms of time, not money. Every dollar I spend, according to the “back of the envelope” math, equates to somewhere around 4 minutes of work. Another way of looking at it is that every time I spend $120, I’m adding another work day to my life, a day where my hours are mostly filled with work tasks and not with things that I enjoy. $120 adds up surprisingly fast in an era of Starbucks and endless entertainment options.

On the other hand, moves I take to save money and spend less work in the opposite fashion. If I can do something that will save $120 over the next year, like adding weather stripping to a door, that means that this coming year (and every year after that), I’m essentially gaining a day of complete freedom.

That kind of thinking really motivates me to take action right now to spend less money. The reason is that right now, I have the sound mind and body to take on a bit of extra challenge. Right now, I can handle a task like installing weather stripping. Right now, I can make the decision to buy store brand dish soap. If I make those better decisions right now, then I’m essentially giving myself the gift of personal freedom at some point down the road. I’m earning a day without work.

I love visualizing those days without work, too. I think about an afternoon curled up in a comfortable chair with a great book on a cold day. I think about several hours spent hiking on an interesting trail in a nature preserve somewhere. I think about gathering several of my friends together to play board games all day while having great conversations. I think about packing a picnic lunch and sneaking off with my wife to some beautiful grassy hill, spreading out a blanket, and simply spending an hour or two together watching the world go by. I think about working on some big ambitious project that I never have time for but which seems so incredibly fulfilling in my head. And I earn those things through being smart with my money.”

This is just another way of using opportunity cost to evaluate a purchase. It is however a little different than the usual opportunity cost analysis. It is different because time is the one resource that is completely limited. You cannot increase your time. You can manage it. You can find ways to earn more money per minute of work. But the time itself is fixed.

Next time you contemplate a purchase think about it in terms of time. How long will you have to work to earn that new purchase? Is it worth it?

Read the rest of Hamm’s post here. It is well worth the time you spend to read it. It will be even more valuable if you implement what he has learned.
Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Jim Rohn’s 5 Money Principles

Pretty PennyThe late Jim Rohn attained financial success. He then taught others the basic principles he used to do so. He first learned those principles from a wealthy mentor.

The principles are time-proven. You will find them in most good books on personal finance. They are worth reviewing.

  1. Develop the right mindset

View debt as your enemy and oppose it ruthlessly. Get out of debt and avoid debt. Save money and invest it. Build wealth over time. It is not a sprint, it is a long distance run.

  1. Gain more understanding

You have to know where you are before you can get to where you are going. You need to study your finances and keep constant track of your income and expenses. Once you know where you are then you can map out your goals for where you want to be.

  1. Seek help

When you are sick you see a doctor. When you have financial problems you need to seek help as well from a good financial advisor.

  1. Get control

No one else will fix your financial problems or make you successful. You must take control. You must limit your purchases and eliminate your debt. You must save for the future.

  1. Create a plan

To get out of debt and to build wealth for the future you need a plan. Once you create the plan, write it down and then work that plan. Refer to it constantly. Use it to guide your financial decisions. Financial success does not just happen, it must be intentional, it must be planned and executed.

Read the rest of Rohn’s article here.

Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.

Learn more about Jim Rohn and his teachings on personal development and creating wealth here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Billionaire Principles

money_bagAlex Charfen posted an article on’s blog called The 10 Principles of Self-Made Billionaires. Charfen writes: “I’ve spent a significant amount of time with billionaires. I’ve studied them extensively, and here’s what I’ve discovered: Billionaires are billionaires because they all follow a set of unique perspectives, or principles, that help them persevere where others find challenges.”

The principles are these:

  1. Simplicity of Purpose – those who have attained success that rates them as billionaires have simple but highly focused purpose. They build a company, an empire, a product… and that is all they focus on, at least most of the time.
  2. Simplicity of Plan – most of these very successful people did not start out with some complex plan. They kept it simple. Simple is easier to manage. It is easier to grow.
  3. Limit What You Will Tolerate –
  • They don’t tolerate incompetent or unhelpful people.
  • They don’t tolerate an absence of results.
  • They don’t tolerate social pressures—they’re willing to embrace the isolation, solitude and suffering it takes to build something truly great.

Henry Ford was an example of the third of those on the bulleted list. He was repeatedly scorned and ridiculed for his idea of building an affordable automobile. He ignored the scorn and the social isolation it initially caused. He pursued his dream.

Charen notes: “Billionaires are the 1 percent of people who tolerate what 99 percent of us avoid, and generally avoid what 99 percent of us tolerate. They are constantly optimizing their lives. They are asking themselves on a daily basis, Where’s the operational drag in my life? What can I get rid of today to make tomorrow better?”

  1. Absolute Reliance on People – they understand that no one achieves success alone. Success is a group effort.
  2. Absolute Dedication to People – they do not all get this right all the time, but generally because successful people understand that they must depend on others to succeed they equally understand that they therefore must be dedicated to help their people.
  3. Rely on Communication Systems – this is vital to working effectively with other people. It is essential to success.
  4. Require Push Communications – to maximize communication they do not wait for others to communicate. They demand that others communicate with them and they step out and communicate as needed.
  5. Be Intentional with what you consume – “Billionaires are incredibly intentional with their consumption of resources, and no resource is more thoughtfully consumed than information. Typically the information they need is relevant to a highly specific issue or decision. If there isn’t a need, billionaires tend to ignore the information.”
  6. Make Decisions based on data and narrative – they understand they need reliable data to make good decisions but they also understand that not everything can be reduced to data. Narrative is a key way to stay connected with people and learn from them.
  7. Be proactively transparent – “Billionaires proactively communicate with intention to avoid misunderstandings and eliminate any type of drag on their organization. They know that vague goals and an unclear purpose can stop momentum in its tracks, so they don’t wait for people to approach them with questions. They understand the importance of actively showing up and sharing what they need with the people around them.”

You may never be a billionaire. You may not want to be a billionaire. That is quite alright. But no matter what you set out to achieve you can learn from the billionaires what makes them achieve so well. You can apply those principles in what you do and how you do it.

Read the rest of Charfen’s article here.

Learn how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

Is Retirement Old Fashioned?

piggybankIf you are even remotely close to “retirement age” (early to mid 60s) you grew up in a world where working people looked forward to a time when they could retire. That meant no more alarm clock, no more work days, no more punching the clock. It meant collecting pensions and social security, fishing, visiting with grandkids and just enjoying life. At least that was the dream.

Matt Becker on the Simple Dollar recently opined that retirement in this sense is an out of date idea and should be replaced with financial independence. Financial independence meaning you can live without uncertainty about your financial security. You can work if you like to and as much as you like to, but you do not have to.

The Retirement Myth

While it is true that more people today over 65 are working than in the past 70 years in fact older people have always worked. Some had no interest in the fishing pole and rocking chair and worked until they could no longer do so, or until they died. Many older people worked full or part time because Social Security is not enough to live on for most. That is increasingly true.

Financial Independence Regardless of Retirement

Becoming financially independent is a very good idea no matter what your age. Living below your means, saving, investing and building wealth has always been an excellent idea. No matter how old you are working toward more such independence is a great idea. It allows you to work, if you work, because you want to and because it fulfills you, not because you have to.

Having It Both Ways

People are still retiring and are likely to do so in some form for a long time to come. It is not so much that retirement is old fashioned or obsolete. It is that retirement looks different now. Some people will fully retire, leaving jobs and doing volunteer work or traveling or just enjoying life. If they are financially independent they can afford to do that and if it is what they want to do that is great.

More people will continue to work, some in their old jobs, some in new jobs, some in part time jobs, some as consultants, some will build all new careers. Depending on their financial condition some will do this because they have to, some will do it because they want to.

The ideal is to do what you want to. Do what you enjoy. Do what fulfills you. Retirement no longer has to mean one thing. It may include work and a lot of other things.

The ideal does not just happen though. It takes preparation. It requires you to prepare for the future. The closer you can come to financial independence the closer you can come to whatever your idea of the ideal retirement is: with as much work as you want to do, not as you have to do.

Learn how to manage your money, eliminate debt and build wealth in my book, Your Financial Success.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.