Stocks_Down
It’s a fun news day today. Let’s look at some of the headlines:

  • Stocks inch up but S&P ends quarter at loss – TribLIVE Business
  • Stocks tumble, yields drop as Greece veers toward default – Reuters US
  • Leon Black’s Sell-Everything Call Has Been Heard by His Rivals – BloombergBusiness

I read a few of these articles out of morbid curiosity, and that last one was a link that was a “Related Article” recommendation that popped up. It reminded me of the 90’s, back when I was at the end of my first “I’m gonna’ retire by the time I’m forty” run. I was heavy in the stock market and, in my eyes, super rich. Well, I was super rich on paper. And by super rich, I just mean that I was finally in six-figure territory in my 401k. I was picking stocks and looking like a genius. Everything was going up, up, up. My in-laws pretty much ceded control of one of their IRA accounts to me, I was doing so well. And then 2000 hit.

There’s no need to go into the ugly details. For those of you that were in the market in March, 2000, you remember it well. For the rest of you, you probably saw it every evening on the news as the “dot-com bubble” burst, just like all bubbles are wont to do. Within a few short weeks I went from “I’m gonna’ retire by the time I’m forty” to “man, I hope the job market doesn’t soften for IT project managers when I’m sixty”. My 401k was pretty much wiped out. My in-laws’ IRA account wasn’t much better. And honestly, I was one of the lucky ones. I was in my 30’s and had time to recover. For my in-laws, it was just a good thing that they hadn’t handed over any of their larger accounts to me. They were bruised, but not broken. And as I listened to the news and read the forensic analysis about what happened, I realized that this cycle repeats itself over and over and over. I needed to figure out a better retirement plan.

It was only after almost a decade of searching that I found Bank On Yourself. It took the guesswork out of retirement planning, since I knew what my guaranteed returns were regardless of what was going on in the economic world. On top of that, once I had acquired some cash value in the plan, I was my own banker, leveraging my “retirement money” well before I was actually ready to retire. My money was locked up away from me. By using the plan to pay for my truck and for some larger home expenses, I was even accelerating my savings. I was no longer praying in the stock market. 

That’s not a typo. I’m an IT guy, not some guru financial analyst. Back in the day, I sure looked and felt like some sort of stock market wunderkind. But really, I was just buying stocks that I heard people talk about, praying that they would go up instead of down. So, like I said, I used to pray in the stock market. I’m out. 

Within a few short years of starting my first policy, I was a convert. No longer would I have a few sleepless nights every time the market stuttered and stammered its way through a rough trading day. No longer was I looking at a 401k balance, wishing I had access to just a bit of that money so I could cover an unexpected expense. That’s a whole different blog article I’ll write, The Top Ten Things They Don’t Tell You About Being A Homeowner. But I became a bit annoyed that I hadn’t discovered Bank On Yourself years earlier. 

Let’s face facts, though. In the middle of the dot-com boom when I was throwing darts at company ticker symbols and making 30% returns, I wasn’t ready to listen. It was only after I watched all of my gains and a significant portion of my capital disappear that I snapped out of the ridiculous dream I was having. A few years after opening my first Bank On Yourself account, proving to myself that it was indeed everything it promised, I decided that I could not sit quietly by and watch a bunch of hard-working people keep playing the rigged game of Wall Street with their retirement.

So, I decided to share my story and share the stories of others. I have used my Bank On Yourself policy to do amazing things in my life. It only gets better as I get closer to retirement. I look forward to meeting with Scott, my Wealth Coach, and talking about my plans for the future. No longer is the plan filled with question marks as placeholders where I just don’t have a clue how things are really going to turn out. I am not depending upon really, REALLY optimistic predictions of the stock market that I’ll need so I can retire before I’m 90! Now, we talk about helping family members accomplish their goals, about helping charities continue their good work, and we also talk about taking some really awesome vacations. We don’t talk about what happens if the stock market tanks, or what happens if the bond yields go down. It’s a whole different conversation I have today, compared to the conversation I was having in 2000 with my broker.

If you are looking at the financial headlines today, and if those headlines have a negative impact on your retirement plans, we are here to talk to you. You can request a free analysis of your specific situation. We can craft a solution specific to your needs and goals. You can quit losing sleep when the financial headlines get grim, and you can start looking forward to your family’s financial future.