Employment Paradigm Shift

I had hoped to retire in five years, but with the economy on the downward slide, so goes my retirement funds. My job is physically taxing so I’m not sure I can keep up the pace beyond age 62. Do you have any investment advice? Invest in yourself – a paradigm shift perhaps – rather than worrying about the market. There is little you or any of us with retirement funds in the market can do in this environment. Usually taking everything out in cash proves to be a poor choice in the long run – if history repeats itself. The market will generally come back – if history repeats itself. In the meantime, you are the greatest asset you possess. Rather than resign yourself to wrecking your body by remaining in your existing profession, begin to take stock of your likes, dislikes, old dreams and some of your hobbies. Somewhere in that mental activity basket is the answer to supplementing your retirement income. Economic times may force all of us to work beyond normal retirement age. For example, someone I know in the construction business – feeling the wear and tear on his body as well – enjoys teaching. He also loves to hunt and competitively shoot. He’s preparing for retirement by getting several certifications that will allow him to teach gun safety classes all around the country. By the time he reaches his target retirement age, his small business will already be established. Another example is a man with an electrical background. He decided to go into business for himself installing home alarms. His goal is to work at something part time in which he dictates his own schedule. A woman I know who retired from the corporate rat race is now doing data entry for the medical profession from her home. It amounts to 10 or 15 hours of work per week in which she is freed from the gas and clothing expenses which were typical of her previous position. No overhead expenses are important when working part-time. Consider your experience, what you think you might enjoy or are already enjoying as a hobby. Do your research. You have time – prior to retirement - to do the groundwork so that you have a plan or perhaps even a small business in place by the time you reach retirement age. Stop worrying and start thinking positively. You and your idea are all you need to weather the financial storms ahead.

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