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2004-08-19 15:58:42

It's Yours!

It takes time to develop, grow and build the life you want. So give your retirement dreams the time they deserve and watch them become reality.

Each week as I prepare to write these article I realise more and more that of all the coaching and seminars I conduct, the ones on "Retirement Planning" has the potential to touched and transformed more lives than all the others combined, because in one way or the other we are all touched by retirement. Either we ourselves are giving care and support to someone who is in retirement or know of others that are doing so. And eventually we ourselves will be in retirement.

You will agree that no matter which group you find yourself in, one way or the other we all are touched by money. And when you think about it more relationships break up over money than over any other reasons combined! Therefore in order to have any success in your life you MUST learn how to manage your money.

Money is the tool you use to achieve most of your dreams, and it either unlocks your future, or locks you into a future that you do not want resulting in frustration and unhappiness.

It is amazing to see the 'stupid mistakes' we makes with our money. Living in a capitalist or free market society each person is responsible for his or her financial future. You are responsible for your incomes, your spending and saving habits, and your investments for the future.

But we FAIL to teach our children and ourselves how to manage money! We don't teach investing in school, and we don't read or study or master saving and financial planning as adults! Resulting in so many people struggling with finances, investing and retirement!

That's why I feel Retirement planning is so important as it will help you to get a handle on your debt, your money, your plans and your future. More and more I realise that becoming financially independent is not difficult, others have done it and you can do it too. All that is required are some basic skills, a solid plan, and you working each day to achieve it. But it won't happen unless you determine in your mind that it is what you want to do and you get started on doing it.

Getting started seem to be the most difficult challenge for us, we want the changes but because we have become so comfortable in our current states we usually lack the will to take action. We procrastinate and plan to do it tomorrow because of the unpleasantness of the work that may be involved but once you decide to take action and begin to act you will realize that it is easier than you think. Yes it does take some work but thinks of the rewards "a stress free retirement!"

Not retirement in the traditional sense where you work for 40 years get old and feeble and sit around the house hardly able to enjoy your labour, but financial independence, which puts you in control of your life and destiny now.

No matter where you are in life, if you would start now to better manage your time and money you would be surprise at what you can achieve in a reasonably short period of time.

I am always amazed by the stories of ordinary Bahamians who started from very humble beginnings, endured the struggles of a world that was so different from ours and have propelled themselves to financial independence.

Persons like Rupert Roberts, who started as an employee of City Markets, had a dream that he wanted to become an owner and started with one small store on Madeira Street. Twenty plus years later he now owns a chain of supermarkets that rivals City Markets. But it all started with a dream that was fuelled by his time and money.

Franklyn Wilson who after many years in accounting changed career and started Arawak Homes and Sunshine Insurance -- an idea that has now grown into a very successful operation placing him on the list of wealthy Bahamians. There are others including Cedric Saunders of Insurance Management, Roy Bowe of Jiffy Cleaners and Wayde Sands of Sandpin Motor and I am sure that you have names that you can add to this list. They are all persons who started with little and have made a success of their dreams.

Like most thing in life financial independence starts with a made up mind and I'm told that there is nothing as powerful as a made up mind- those of you who have teenagers know this oh so well. Nothing's easy but neither is anything accomplished unless you make up your mind to get started and begin taking action.

So start by getting mentally prepared because changing those habits that you have developed over tens of years will not be easy but remember the options, a secure future or a future of lack; which would you rather have.

To reinforce the point let me share with you a story that I have made a part of my retirement presentations. It is about an elderly carpenter who was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the construction field and live a leisurely life with his wife enjoying his children and grandchildren. He would miss the paycheck, but was tired working and needed to retire. He felt they could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us - We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less that our best into the building. Then with a shock we realise we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back.

"Life is a do-it-yourself project." You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. It's Yours build wisely!

"Your life may have been a certain way until now, yet it doesn't have to stay that way. Your life can be the way you want it beginning NOW. You have the power to make it different. Make the decision to have the life you want and do it NOW!" - Eva

By Glenn S. Ferguson
A speaker and coach who specialises in financial and retirement coaching Email to: Tel: 242-327-2453 Fax: 242-327-2456

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