Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A new year, new month, new goals and achievements.

This week we have had three days in a row with three different children staying home from school.  Let me tell you, this bumps my schedule a bit more than I would like.  The first was not sick, but did not want to be late to school since he would have to attend “tardy school” and miss recess. 

Since, of course, it was not really his fault but mine that he was late for school I listened to his reasoning.  Dallas is, um shall we call it “talented” with rhetoric.  He can win a debate with me often.  If he doesn’t win, it is usually because I said, “I’m the mom!” So, he stayed home and turned from the challenge child into a perfect angel.  I thought, “If he will be like this for not going to school, I will keep him home all the time.” No kidding, though hard to believe.

The next day Marek was sick, and he really was for a few hours.  Then he wanted to play and ended up just being happy to be home.  Today it was Stephen’s turn to be “sick”.  Not sick enough to take nay gross medicine though.  I have noticed that this may be a ploy to get one on one time with mommy.
We talked about it and are starting a new “maintenance” schedule for the kids.  As long as they are doing their best in school, once a term (Quarter? Semester? Report card time.) I will take them out of school for one day for whatever they want, including big projects for school like the science fair.  They seem excited about that.

The other thing new is I read a book!  It’s called RetirementQuest Make Better Decisions by John Hauserman, CFP. 

Reading the beginning of RetirementQuest scared my shorts off.  Hauserman clearly and simply explains the economic history and outlook of the future, showing why it is so important to plan for your retirement.  This demonstrated to me further why having a large family is so much work!

I thought, "There's just no way possible to have enough money to retire and live for the extra 30-40 years."  Memories of all the money mistakes we’ve made flooded my mind and the guilt set in.  I began to get depressed, until on page 35 it said,

"The challenges facing these people are beyond the scope of this book.  This book is intended for mature readers who have already achieved a reasonable level of financial security and responsibility, and for younger people who are actively in a wealth building mode."

Well, that explains it.  There really is no hope for us.  But as I read on, I made connections with the mistakes we have made in the past.  I must disagree with the quote from page 35.  Although it may be beyond the scope of individuals that are simply not able to produce enough assets to invest, the knowledge is essential for those potential investors to have prior to their making mistakes.

 Let me say it again, everyone should read this book prior to investing. 

I wish we had read RetirementQuest before we traveled through the pitfalls of inheriting money and receiving lump sums from insurance claims, etc. This knowledge could have saved us enough money that I wouldn’t need to patch our jeans! (Translate that as thousands, and thousands, and thousands of dollars)

The book is thorough with easy to understand examples and hypothetical scenarios.  The author also includes several references to check out like websites for the government, as well as his own website that walks you through the “journey to retirement”.   The website is an amazing tool you can use for free!   I ended up having hope for our future after all as the journey winded through the descriptions of generations and what could be the future for America.

If you are interested in this book, you can purchase it here.

Now that we have come this far, the next goal is to get our Christmas … I mean Valentine’s Day letters out!

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