The inaugural American Dream Study, conducted in 2007, revealed an insatiable hunger for more and better material possessions. In addition, the bar was continually rising for what was considered “basic necessities.” However, across all social strata, the economic crisis has been a loud wake up call.
Respondents to the 2009 version of the study reported that they are eating at home more often, shopping more at big box discount stores, spending less on movies, and moving away from brand-name products to generics (www.metlife.com). And, unlike previous downturns, no one seems to be immune. (more…)
The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States. It gauges the views, experiences, attitudes, and expectations of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.
The 2012 RCS is the 22nd annual wave of this project, making it possible to track retirement planning behaviors and concerns over time. Of particular interest in recent years is the affect of the slow economic recovery on the level of confidence Americans have regarding their long-term financial outlook. (more…)
“We encourage you to set the bar high, no matter what you’re aiming for in life.”
Marc Eisenson, Gerri Detweiler
Invest in Yourself:
Six Secrets to a Rich Life
Many of us spend our lives trying to please others or pursuing goals that others have set for us. In contrast, the authors of Invest in Yourself advocate the self-designed life, “where you invest your time and energy getting what you want and doing what you believe in—not wasting them on things you don’t really want, but think you should have.”
The first step to take, in changing the direction your life, is to clarify your values and priorities. That is because identifying and articulating what is most important to you will increase your self-understanding and strengthen your sense of autonomy. An excellent resource to help you in this process is Values Clarification by Sidney Simon, Leland Howe, and Howard Kirschenbaum. This book is described as “the classic guide to discovering your truest feelings, beliefs, and goals.” (more…)
When a person sets goals that are especially meaningful, he or she experiences a sense of mission. A mission is always in tune with one’s values and interests and gives opportunity for those to be expressed in many ways. A sense of mission in retirement adds an essence and quality of life, the value of which is beyond measure.
As you take steps to design your life in retirement, you may discover that your thoughts turn to deeper issues. Many consider retirement to be a time to explore their potential. Though a nebulous concept, for some this may mean “fulfilling my purpose,” “finding and expressing my uniqueness,” “making a difference,” “having a mission,” or “leaving a legacy.” Individuals often respond to this desire for a higher purpose in the following ways: creativity, contribution, generativity, and spirituality. (more…)
It is important to keep in mind that cultural messages have a profound influence on our money beliefs. Intellectually we can disagree, but subconsciously these messages can affect how we feel about money. Therefore, true financial freedom is more than having a lot of money; it is being free of money myths and notions that influence our money attitudes and behaviors.
For example, there is a lot of truth to the old adage, “Money can’t buy happiness.” However, what money can “buy” is options—more alternatives to choose from as you design the life you want to live—now and in the future. (more…)