Category Archives: Dreams

The Middle Class is Disappearing…

 

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“The middle class is disappearing” has been a standard line during this election cycle.  As it turns out, it’s not wrong…”

These words caught my attention as I breezed through my morning reading on the NPR News application on my smartphone.

Middle class is a term which is rather abstract and undefined in the world we live in.  Some young people may have never experienced a world where the middle class was vibrant, growing, and empowered.

To learn more, please click here to read about a brief history of American’s middle class.  Quick and easy read and something to think about!

 

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myRA – Starting Small

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ffpcovermarch2016lulufinalAs a broker and financial advisor I used to dream that someday (the wishful someday we all know about) there would be a way for lower and middle class income people to start preparing for retirement with a small investment account.

I had seen how getting people started with a small investment of $25 a month increases their confidence and understanding of the value of the concept of accumulating funds.  Over time it has been less financially attractive for the investment community to offer services to small individual investors  who aren’t part of a larger level of overall contributions from a workplace retirement plan like a 401k and 403b.  This means that people who want to contribute to a Roth IRA often had few choices except to accumulate money just to get started.  That of course, usually didn’t happen and nothing changed.

A new program called myRA is an option to fill that gap between getting started and entering the investment community.  Is it all I dreamed of?  Yes, pretty close.  Is it worth learning more about if you aren’t accumulating money for retirement?  Yes!  Is it perfect?  No, but then neither are we and our best intentions to invest when we accumulate some funds are overcome with this option.

The information below is from the myRA.gov website.  As always, tell your friends and family.  It doesn’t take an investment professional to get you to this solution.

About myRA

The United States Department of the Treasury developed myRA® to help more people start saving for retirement.

Why was myRA developed?

myRA was developed to remove common barriers to saving and help people take the first step toward a more secure retirement.

Who is myRA for?

myRA is designed for people who don’t have access to a employer-sponsored retirement savings plans or lack other options to start saving for retirement.

How does myRA work?

People can contribute to their myRA account with as little as a few dollars a month generally up to $5,500 per year (or $6,500 per year for those age 50 and over).

Millions of Americans aren’t saving—or aren’t saving enough—for their retirement. myRA offers a simple, safe, and affordable way for people, especially those who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work, to get started.

myRA is a Roth IRA retirement savings account with no start-up cost and no fees. myRA has no minimum contribution requirement, so people can contribute the amount that best fits their budget.*

Contributions to myRA accounts are invested in a new United States Treasury security, which safely earns interest at the same variable rate as investments in the government securities fund for federal employees. This investment is backed by the United States Treasury and the account carries no risk of losing money.

People can fund their myRA account directly from their paycheck, or from a personal account, such as a checking or savings account, or by directing some or all of their federal tax refund to their account when they file their taxes.

myRA can be a first step

myRA can help people without access to a retirement savings plan get started saving, but it is not intended to be the only way they save for retirement. myRA is not a replacement for 401(k)s or other types of employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. People can have a maximum account balance of $15,000, or a lower balance for up to 30 years. When either of those limits is reached, savings will be transferred or rolled over into a private-sector Roth IRA where people can continue to grow their savings

From: myRA.gov. You can learn more there and enroll!

 

New Year, New Chance to Increase Retirement Contribution$$$

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When I was a financial advisor, I learned that the time between Thanksgiving and January 1st was going to be a slow time for me in terms of working with new clients.  Yes, existing clients were often on vacation and using that time to catch up with me and to check in about their accounts and plans.  The rest of the world seemed to be waiting until the first of the new year to really think about their goals, dreams, and how their finances could be changed or improved to meet them.

Every year about this time I would print out a new list which showed the maximum contributions allowed in various types of retirement accounts.  In reality, most people don’t contribute the maximum and often they just look at the list and give up.  So, just  remember, these are the maximums.  You can contribute less and work towards your goals.

To see the list for  2014, please click here.  Good information to know and to discuss with your advisor or with the person who is knowledgeable about your company or organizational retirement plans.

Please share with others.  As I often say, don’t always assume everyone knows what you know or takes the time to access

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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Culture of Threes-#3

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This posting relates to what I refer to as our Culture of Threes. As explained in previous posts, when an idea or concept comes to me three times from totally different sources, I have learned to pay attention, process the information, and then act. 

The Culture of Threes happened to me recently concerning my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

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My Number 1 post was about the Financial Freedom Party for Women and how financial education for women meets party plans and the financial industry asks, “Like Tupperware parties?”  Please go back to my previous post for all the details.

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Number 2 was about a fictional character in a novel who encounters mystery with a backdrop of relationships, relationship selling, and Tupperware.  The book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

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Number 3 appeared when I turned on the TV one morning.

I have never watched the CBS This Morning Show, just glanced at it while channel surfing.  I was about to switch channels and then saw Gayle King talking.  I decided to watch CBS since I hadn’t seen Gayle (a journalist and media personality in her own right, but best known as being Oprah’s best friend) in action for a while.  I always say that Oprah and Gayle made having “girlfriends” cool again.  Gayle intrigues me and I always appreciate her viewpoint.

Rick Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands, was being interviewed.  What a nice way to start the day with such a positive story.   This was a huge contrast to all the other reporting which centered around the challenges of the day such the government shutdown, health care reform, and the debt ceiling. 

Tupperware has been around my life over the years and I have products in my kitchen that I purchased a long time ago.  This is a pretty big deal since I come from that generation of professional women who thought parties to sell products were kind of unsophisticated and not for us.  The irony of this attitude is that later in life I became a distributor for several direct sales companies and also created a new business model for marketing traditional products such as investments and life insurance through my Financial Freedom Party for Women®  Had I not learned so much about the value of parties in business to the clients and the company, I would not have had the ability to modify the concept and transfer it to the financial services industry.

Embracing a party concept for my financial services business came out my observation that a whole bunch of women showed up at my neighbor’s home for a Pampered Chef party and then proceeded to buy “a lot”.  This all happened on short notice with only a couple of days planning by the hostess who simply invited her friends.  Yes, she had a lot of friends.  Even so, this was quite a change from what I and a small team of women brokers encountered when we planned ahead for financial seminars and found few women would show.  Obviously we (and the industry) were doing something wrong.  Things needed to change.

So that morning on CBS it was really refreshing to hear how Tupperware has re-branded the company and recognized that with 90% of their market outside the United States, they needed to change and adapt their product line.  Tupperware acknowledged that the U.S. market is all about bargain shopping and price.  With the advent of inexpensive plastic storage containers, U.S. customers were not as abundant.  This 65-year-old business re-invented itself and offers an entrepreneurial opportunity internationally and current has 2.8 million representatives, most of them women.  A nice story about success brought on by understanding the market and creating change.

At the core of the party plan process is not only products, but women who understand relationship selling.  In a busy world where we can buy products and services on-line, party plans understand the importance that we women place on having a little special attention and understanding what we are buying.

I have always admired how direct selling and network marketing businesses remember that the connection between the customer and the product is most effective when it is through some sort of relationship.  This concept transferred effectively for me when using the Financial Freedom Party for Women® to meet women, teach them financial basics, and sell them investment and insurance solutions.

For me, hearing this short segment on Tupperware and the women (and their families and friends) it serves, was a nice and positive way to start the day.  I was surprised and pleased to hear the statistic concerning women  in Indonesia who are making $100,000. You can hear more by clicking here.

Being a financial services professional who is advocating a party concept for teaching women about money management and seeing it as a marketing tool for the financial services industry is not easy. Many people in the industry are more entertained by the concept of the Freedom Party for Women® than they are impressed.  Watching the Tupperware story re-inspires me that what worked for me in my business and for my clients, can work for many more.

That completes my Culture of Threes story about the Freedom Party for Women®, women, money, products, success, business models, relationships, party plans and of course—Tupperware.  I am listening and paying attention!

If you wish to purchase copies of the Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition at www.amazon.com. please Just click here.

Until Next Time.

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Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

What Do You Really Want?

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What do you really want?

As a financial advisor, this is a question I spent a lot of time asking my financial services clients.  The answer to this question is really where all things start in our personal, professional, spiritual, and financial lives.  However, in our sound bite world most people seem to skip the first part of the process and jump over to making decisions and taking action, not always based on a foundation of understanding first  “what I really want”.

What Do You Really Want is also the title of a book  which is targeted to teens and written by Beverly K. Bachel.  I didn’t know anything about this wonderful book until it was shared with me by one of a woman who works on a volunteer project we lead.  Our activities involve some wonderfully talented young women who may not have always had the opportunities we had.  So, the volunteers simply spend some time with the students and teach life skills.  For the high school students who are seniors, Ms. Bachel’s books seems perfect.  It formalizes the topics we have discussed over the last three years and gives them an easy way to roadmap their lives…based on their hopes, dreams, and goals.  It encourages them to focus on what they want, not necessarily what their friends, families, or boyfriends want for them.

As I started planning how to compress all this wonderful information to make it meaningful  in a lunchtime setting, I was struck by how valuable it is for not only teens, but for all of us.  Parts of it mirror conversations and processes which are in my Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women.

I encourage you to check out Ms. Bachel’s book ( mine too!) and consider sharing  it/them with the young people in your life.   Not only will they learn things and have a process to record them, you will probably learn a lot about yourself as you lead them through the book (s).

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com