The Prosperity Blog

Your Next Act: Reinventing Your Career Past 50

With the reinvention of work comes the re-enchantment of work,
 for good work makes for joy.
– Matthew Fox 

Retirement — or re-firement of the soul?

In spite of a general trend of a growing upper-middle class (detailed by Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post), the inconvenient truth is that many baby boomers are in pending financial crisis. Only 5% to 15% of this generation (born between 1945 and 1964) have saved enough to even have the option of retiring. And according to a 2015 GAO survey, an astounding 30% of these folks have no savings whatsoever.

Compounding the problem, of course, is increasing longevity. If you make it to 65, there’s a 25% chance you will live to 90. And as we’ve mentioned before, life insurers’ actuarial tables now include assumptions of life spans upwards of 120.

“We need a better plan B than just to rely on social security,” career reinvention coach John Tarnoff, author of Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50, said at a talk at Town Hall in Seattle recently. “We’re all going to have to keep working. The problem is: We’re not ready for this–and society is not ready for us to keep working either.”

It is not as if boomers are unaware. According to Tarnoff, many feel insecure or under-valued in their jobs, or ashamed that they have saved so little or were downsized for no valid reason. “They are unwilling to accept that their working lives are just being tossed aside,” he says. Boomers are understandably angry to find careers cut short while still at the top of their game.

So how do boomers actually reinvent their careers when they are shut out of a job market that considers them old, overpriced and out of touch?

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Spring Cleaning for Peace and Prosperity!

Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.”
– Robin Sharma

Now that the worst of winter is past and spring is around the corner, people come out of hibernation and into action! As you’ll see, it’s the perfect time for Spring cleaning your home and your finances.

Here are five ways you can take advantage of this season to organize and streamline your finances and even put some extra spending cash into your pocket while you’re at it!

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Student Loan Strategies to Save You Thousands! (Part 2)

“Funding Nemo: A Pixar movie about Marlin trying to put his son through fish college.”
– Twitter joke seen on Buzzfeed.com

No one told Heather Jarvis she couldn’t afford to go to Duke University, even though her modestly paid executive assistant mother and often-unemployed Shakespearean actor father couldn’t afford the tuition. She “charged it” to student loans and graduated several years later from Duke’s School of Law with honors… and a $125,000 bill.

Facing 30 years’ worth of $1,200/month payments and with a dream of becoming a lowly-paid public defender, Heather was in a quandary. Should she abandon her dream of standing up for those facing criminal prosecution, or just take the highest-paying job available?

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Student Loan Strategies to Save You Thousands! (Part 1)

Student Debt: “Say hello to adulthood, and goodbye to your paychecks.”
– Anonymous

According to StudentLoanHero.com, Americans owe over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year. The average monthly payment for a borrower aged 20-30 years is $351. And 11.2% of students have defaulted on their loans.

What can be done about the $1.3 trillion of student loan debt? How can you or your child escape decades of burdensome payments that drain your wealth? Or even better… how can you AVOID debt in the first place?

In this two-part article, we’ll share tips and strategies that may help you save thousands and get out of debt faster. Plus we have some important warnings of what NOT to do! And we’ll tell you where you can get help to qualify for loan forgiveness programs or refinance your debts into a lower-rate loan.

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Convertible Term Insurance: The Third Option

“The third option is that other possibility…”
– Lynn Barrette, Counselor and inspirational blogger

Life Insurance: It’s Not An Either/Or Decision

“Whole Life or Term Insurance?” It’s a never-ending debate amongst financial advisors and self-proclaimed experts. Today, we’d like to suggest a third option.

But first… let’s summarize the two most popular and obvious choices:

Term life insurance allows the insured to afford more coverage for less premium, thus putting greater protection in place, in the form of a death benefit. However, term life insurance policies rarely provide a benefit, because they only provide coverage for a certain period of time and typically expire (like product warranties) before they’re likely to ever be used.

Like most other insurances, term life is an “if” insurance, not a “when” insurance. A benefit is paid only IF your house burns down, your car is vandalized, or someone passes away long before expected.

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Tax Deductions You Should Claim (And Five You Can’t!)

“People who complain about paying their income tax can be divided into two types: men and women.”
— Anonymous

‘Tis the time of year when some Americans await refunds, while others groan, procrastinate, and start getting their receipts in order… tax time!

Unless you were one of the early birds who pounced eagerly on their W-2 or 1099’s, you may still have an opportunity to find deductions and maximize the tax savings on your 2016 earnings. We detail the deductions you won’t want to overlook, plus we name five “deductions” you CAN’T take after all!

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If You’re Going to Invest in the Stock Market… (Diversification Strategies)

“One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute.”
– William Feather

The stock market has been feeling VERY bullish lately, hitting 10 new highs in the last 10 days before a lull today. The bulls love Trump’s promises of decreased regulations and “big league” tax breaks for business.

We’re happy for all whose portfolio ticked up this month, and as the market breaks old records, it’s an excellent time to look at the big picture of your finances and consider some changes, especially if you’ve got money in the stock market.

A Different Financial Philosophy

First, let us admit that we’re a little biased. Partners for Prosperity advocates Prosperity Economics. It’s an alternative to financial planning that, unlike typical financial advice, doesn’t rely on stock market speculation to build wealth.

Prosperity Economics advocates that investors maintain a level of control over their finances, instead of delegating financial results to the markets, the government, or an employer who can legally move dollars from your paycheck and put them into mutual funds without so much as your signature.

(You know how some companies will send you junk mail unless you take the trouble to opt out in writing? Automatic enrollment for 401(k) plans works like that, thanks to some very effective lobbying of Congress by large financial corporations.)

It’s not that investing in the stock market will necessarily lead to a disaster. It could be very profitable! The point is, whether it climbs or falls, it’s out of your control. And since you can’t control the stock market, the more money you have in the market, the less control you have. Many are willing to give up some control for higher returns, but risk does not necessarily lead to better results, especially when a 50% loss must be followed by a 100% gain to recover the loss!

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