The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Spending Time and Saving Money

The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Spending Time and Saving Money

We’ve always been told to save for retirement. “Start early,” they say. “Don’t waste money on frivolous things,” they say. Our existence seems to consist of working every day to live, only so we can retire one day with the money that we saved over the years. But at what expense is all of this to our quality of life? Why work simply to live without enjoying the life we’ve worked to achieve? Baby boomers, we’re talking to you. You’ve worked hard and earned your retirement; it’s not too late to start living it up. It really is possible to be frugal without giving up all the fun.

How You Save Your Money

Medicare

Prioritizing is a part of life; so, before enjoying the fruits of your labor, assess your responsibilities first. Housing, food, and healthcare are at the top of the list when it comes to seniors. Since maintaining one’s health is especially important during your golden years, look into Medicare coverage if you haven’t already. Online resources can help with enrollment and choosing Medicare Advantage Plans, which offer supplemental Medicare coverage for vision, dental, and prescriptions.

Long-Term Care

Another cost to consider is Long-Term Care (LTC). Long-term care insurance helps pay for personal or medical assistance when you’re unable to care for yourself. Assisted living and nursing homes fall under the realm of LTC. Not all baby boomers have the financial means to pay for these services out-of-pocket, so this is where LTC insurance comes into play. While you’re still healthy, you can prepare for your needs later by purchasing a long-term care policy. To compare prices and coverage, search online for LTCI companies on review sites like Consumers Advocate.

Life Insurance

The purpose of life insurance is to make sure your loved ones are financially taken care of after your passing. It’s there to replace the income you once provided, especially if you were the breadwinner. It’s also there to help cover funeral arrangements so your family doesn’t have to pay for it.

Some families benefit greatly from life insurance, but not everyone requires it. If your family has the means to financially support themselves without your life insurance benefits or if you don’t have to pay estate taxes, then there’s no reason to take out the extra cost. Adult children who are independent probably won’t need your life insurance benefits, nor will a spouse who has enough income or assets to be self-sufficient in the event of your passing.

How You Spend Your Life

Once you’ve covered the necessities, you can find discretionary ways to fit a quality lifestyle into your budget. Life doesn’t have to be put on hold just because you’re trying to be frugal, but there needs to be a balance between saving your money and spending it. You can have a life without sacrificing your savings by trying some of these tips:

  • Minimize your entertainment expenses by cutting your cable and replacing it with alternative streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. You’ll still be able to watch your favorite television programs without having to pay for the channels you don’t need.
  • Take a road trip instead of a pricey vacation or a cruise. Driving cuts down on costs and allows you to see more of the scenery you normally miss out on when you fly.
  • Take advantage of senior discounts at restaurants, retail stores, and travel services.
  • Host potluck dinners at home. Be social with friends without having to spend money on going out to eat and drink. Or, if you do go out, split a meal with your spouse and bring your own wine.
  • When it comes to entertainment, look for ways to buy discounted event tickets or opt for community theater or musical performances.

Ask yourself this: What’s the point of saving all of your money just so you can use it to survive? Without a healthy balance between saving and spending, you’ll slowly see the days pass by…and one day you might regret not doing the things that you wanted to do. If you’re not living life to the fullest, then what are you living for?

Improve Your Productivity: Know Your Numbers

Improve Your Productivity: Know Your Numbers

For many years I was in the Restaurant Business where, I owned and operated multiple restaurants along with a  restaurant consulting company. I also provided support to other independent restaurant operators. I taught them systems and skills on how operate more efficiently which in true made them more profitable. One of the lessons I learned early, was the importance of keeping track of activity. Without knowing their numbers and the activity level, it was almost imposable for them to understand what they were doing right or what wasn’t working. There was no way for them to know, where to focus their time and energy to make improvements.

Today in my role as a Real Estate Coach and Advisor I speak with very few students that are tracking their numbers let alone reviewing them with the idea of being able to improve their business. If you are not keeping track your activity, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity for improvement.

Some of the data you should be tracking daily and reviewing at least monthly. How many people do you talk to daily and what is the mix? How many are real estate agents? How many are cash investors? What about sellers are they FSBO’s, pre-foreclosure, calls from you bandit signs, etc.? Which groups are the most productive for you and why? How many cold calls did you make? How many doors did you knock on?  How many people did you talk to while you were knocking on doors? How many ads are you running and which ones are working for you? Are you asking yourself questions and are they the right questions?

The real estate business is the same way. You have to know your numbers on your activities.  As you move forward, you will set goals for your activity and check yourself daily. You will find power along with insights you didn’t know you had. There are three major areas we need to track our activity in daily they are;

  • Finding Quality Cash Investors
  • Finding Deals
  • Writing Offers

In each of these areas, there are at least nine techniques.

We have developed a new tool that is designed to help you with your weekly planning. If you would like to receive a copy of this tool which list the techniques please contact the Real Estate Advisory Line at 877-394-4752 ask for the Weekly Activity Worksheet and the Advisor will email you a copy. It will help you to identify areas that you might want to study and improve your skills.

 

Smart Goals

Smart Goals

Several years ago, I attended a conference of business professionals where I was asked a simple question that ultimately had a major impact on my life and that of my family.  The presenter asked everyone in the audience to write down one major accomplishment they would like to achieve within five years.  After everyone had committed the overall goal to paper, he asked us the following question, “What will stop you from achieving this goal?”  What was interesting was that he didn’t ask how we could achieve the goal, rather he wanted us to clarify the reason or reasons why it would not happen.

I reflected on his question for some time and then listened as he pointed out the difference between dreams and goals The first thing I came to understand was that dreams and goals are not the same thing.  Goals can lead to results whereas dreams most often lead to frustration.  What’s the reason?  Dreams are all about the destination whereas goals are about the journey.  Also, for goals to be effective, they must be realistic and well defined.

How can we learn to set goals that will make the difference between success and failure?  I believe  the answer is a step-by-step process.

  1. Believe in yourself. Ultimately, success will be on your shoulders, so you must believe in your own abilities.
  2. Visualize the process. Achieving long-term success is a journey or process and your goals must be achievable.  You should be able to visualize yourself completing not only the long-term goal, but the smaller micro goals that are the foundation for success.
  3. Put it on paper. If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember it, and if you don’t remember it, you won’t accomplish it.  Be specific as to what you are going to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you intend to accomplish it.
  4. Commit yourself to action. This step is fundamental to success in business.  Unless you are committed to the process and taking regular, consistent action you are ultimately committing yourself to failure.
  5. Remain focused on micro goals. Micro goals are best described as the individual activities required for success.  Yes, you have a long-term goal, but you must remain focused on the individual assignments necessary to achieve that long-term goal.
  6. Follow a plan of action. Your plan of action must be specific and should be written down on paper.  Once you have recorded what you are going to do, you must remain focused on doing it.
  7. Adopt a review it now attitude. If you want to see success happen on a daily basis, review your action plan daily.  Make yourself accountable to your action plan by reviewing what you have accomplished, what you still need to do, and an up-to-date timetable for accomplishing the tasks.

 

Most entrepreneurs have heard of setting SMART goals. I have been fortunate to see countless individuals change their lives by setting realistic goals and then achieving success when the SMART acronym is applied.

 

SMART GOALS

  • Specific – Write down the specific tasks to be completed along with a detailed account of how you intend to accomplish the goal.  It should clearly detail what you are going to do.
  • Measurable – If the goal is well written, you should be able to measure how it was done, when it was accomplished and the final result.
  • Attainable – You must be able to achieve the goal. Once again, micro goals with concrete objectives must be part of your SMART goal program.  If you lack specific talents or education, then add micro goals that allow you to develop those talents.  In my role at Response, I have witnessed individual after individual develop real estate talents that allowed them to achieve or attain their micro goals.
  • Results – Your goals must be results-oriented. As you review your individual goals, you must evaluate the results themselves, not just the activity participated in.
  • Time Bound – Your goals should be tied to realistic time frames that stretch your abilities.

 

When I was in Europe I visited Picasso’s museum in Barcelona.  I was amazed at the achievements of Pablo Picasso as an artist.  His quote on goals explains how he was able to accomplish so much during his life, and I believe it can be a roadmap for how to achieve success today instead of experiencing failure.  Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”

Your ability to set realistic SMART goals and then to follow through with a well-designed action plan will determine the difference between success and failure.