An Encouraging Word

Subject: An Encouraging Word
From: John Gear <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 21:17:39 -0700

While this doesn't pertain to the performance of techwr it seems very
relevant to an issue that confronts many techwirlers. Anyway, I found it
very encouraging.

This is from the 8/11/96 Oregonian Business (!!) Section:

Q: I work long hours keeping my small business going. I often read about
the seemingly huge sums we should be socking away for retirement. I'm not
sure I'll be able to make it. What do you suggest.

A: Popular advice that implores Americans to save piles of money for
retirement is hugely exaggerated. Instead of focusing almost exclusively on
our finances, we should instead be thinking about the things that will truly
make a difference in our later years; our health, spiritual life,
relationships with family and friends, and having a plate of interesting
things to do.

There is a huge gap between the save more money messge of the consumer press
and investment industry and what successful retirees themselves say is
important. The happy retired people I've talked with are, for the most
part, not primarily interested in money--spending it, piling it up, or
worrying about not having enough. Instead, most contend it's more important
to have wide interests, lots of activities, good friendships and family
relationships, and decent health. The happy people in their 60s, 70s, and
80s I've talked to almost uniformly say that while acheiving a minimumlevel
of financial security is important, saving lots of money is not nearly as
key to enjoying a successful retirement as investing in yourself--that is,
taking steps now that will help ensure that you will enjoy a healthy,
active, friend-filled and interesting retirement.

(snip)

A little anxiety about the future is obviously a healthy thing if it
motivates us to take action to save a reasonable financial cushion. The
real problem occurs when we obsess so much about retirement savings that we
sacrifice large chunks of our lives trying to amass piles of money and, by
doing so, fail to do the other things that will help us enjoy a satisfying
retirement such as staying in good physical condition, making new friends,
and pursuing new interests for which we have some passion.

Most Americans think they don't have enough money. If you're running a
small business, you're more prone to do something about it. Working twice
as hard in the corporate world won't double your salary, but it just might
in a small business. That can become a big trap. ... I've rarely found that
people who have doubled the money they had before are living better lives as
a result.

---- excerpts from an answer by Ralph Warner, lawyer and author of "Get
a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well" (Nolo Press, Berkeley, CA).


John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)
The Bill of Rights -- The ORIGINAL Contract with America
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