Worrying About Financial Disasters
In 1992, Hurricane Iniki ravaged my home island of Kauai, Hawaii. I happened to be home for the weekend from college at the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Honolulu. As the radio announcer kept us abreast of the path of the hurricane, they watched with horror as the hurricane turned abruptly and headed straight for the island of Kauai, it’s circumference exactly covering the small island. My Mom, now a retired public school teacher, has always been one to be prepared for any potential disaster. In High School, when my friends and I were running out to the beach to suntan, Mom would be running out to the car with an umbrella, a jacket and a change of clothes. “You never know Carrie, it might rain. You really should bring an umbrella.” An umbrella? To the beach? We laughed at her and told her to stop being the stereotypical Jewish mother, worrying about every little thing. Yet, as the 120 mile an hour winds approached our island home, my Mom went into the pantry and got out her “hurricane kit”, which included a first aid kit, a short wave radio, extra medication for my Epilepsy, bottled water, canned food, candles and matches. “Mom, you are so amazing”, I gushed and hugged her, frightened at the storm coming. “I’m so sorry I always teased you about bringing umbrella’s to the beach!” We survived the storm, though our house did not, and we were sustained in the coming days by my Mom’s “hurricane kit”. It was a lesson learned. Be prepared. You never know if and when disaster might strike, but there’s a peace of mind in just having the supplies ready just in case.
When Bad Things Happen To Good People
As our economy sent shock-waves through communities across America during the Great Recession, some were ready with their “survival kit”, and some were not. Those that had methodically saved for a “rainy day”, hadn’t leveraged their homes with debt and had invested their portfolios with appropriate diversity were much more protected from this downturn. This is not a judgment; most of us just haven’t been raised to bring their umbrella when the sun is shining, in the off chance it might rain. Many homeowners were victims of unscrupulous lending schemes, and investors were sold complicated investments they didn’t understand by financial institutions that had bundled bad mortgages into seemingly “safe” investments. So many people have been wounded by this recession; they have experienced a shocking fall in quality of life, many losing million dollar homes, fancy cars, and private schools for their children. How did this happen? How did we fall for the cunning ploy of glutinous consumerism? We’ll talk a lot about why these events occurred in this book, but most importantly we are looking at faces and stories of inspiration and prosperity. In my research, I have found that a striking number of Americans have truly taken stock of their financial habits during this horribly difficult time. While we Americans have an exceedingly short memory, I believe that we have shifted the bedrock of the American Dream paradigm, just a fissure. But in accomplishing even this small shift in the psyche of the American family regarding finance, investing, home ownership and more will provide us with solutions to coming economic problems that will desperately need solving.
Worrying Isn’t Always Bad
Women are becoming more educated about personal finance then ever before. We are climbing the ladder to the top of all professions, caring for elderly parents, sending our children to college and managing investments and real estate. However, there is still a gender divide in personal finance; many women feel nervous about managing their own money, defer to their husbands on all investment decisions or feel uncomfortable asking what they think will be “dumb” questions about investing. There is an enormous need for financial education that is accessible to women, as they are hungry for the knowledge they need to manage the issues that are arising in their lives. Our natural instinct to protect our families and ourselves needs to be applied to our own financial life. We are in charge of our own future, and the same concern we have for our loved ones we must have for ourselves.
Living Through The Depression
A dear friend of mine, Maryanne* is an eight-four year old woman who has outlived two husbands. She rents a room out in her house to a younger single woman, not only for the income but also for the companionship. She was a schoolteacher, and her late husband Arnold was a school superintendent. As they raised three children, they continued to slowly build their wealth through buying rental properties. When Arnold passed away, their eldest son recommend they sell some of their real estate holdings to make life simpler for Maryanne. As a result, Maryanne now also manages a sizeable portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. She is learning about the financial markets for the first time in her life, and is excited to participate in my classes and seminars. I am so inspired to see elderly women able to adjust to the many changes in their lives, and continue to want to learn and grow. If Maryanne can achieve a thorough financial education for the first time at eighty-four, we can see it is never too late to take control of our financial life and gain the confidence necessary to oversee the building of our own wealth.
While worrying is never healthy, it can jump-start you into action on saving for emergencies. Saving is just one part of financial planning. Learn about Creating Financial Freedom, Psychology of Money, Bond Market, Aging In Place, Annuities, Life Insurance Retirement Plan, Life Insurance Strategies, Moneyguard, The Best Laid Plans, Money & Relationships.