This may be the single most important post I’ve ever written, and you’ve ever read.
The current message from the media when it comes to your personal finance decisions goes something like this:
1. Start saving money now to send your kids to college.
2. Pay off your debt as quickly as possible. (And don’t acquire any if at all possible, unless it’s to buy a house or car, and even then, pay it off as quickly as possible.)
3. Prepare for retirement by saving as much money as you can and investing it in mutual funds or maybe put it into an insurance product that will pay you tax-free in your later years.
People, it’s time to wake up! This advice no longer serves you.
I’m probably quite a bit ahead of my time saying the things you’ll read in this post, but this advice needs to change and the only way to start doing it is to start talking about the alternative.
Saving for college is a fool’s errand for the vast majority of the people in the United States. There are SOME situations in which saving for college is appropriate, but they are the exception and certainly not the norm our mainstream media would have us believe.
Paying off your debt makes a whole lot of sense if you are a wage slave and intend to be for the rest of your life, but if you want to pursue your dreams, work for yourself and step into the new economy to create sovereignty for yourself and your family, paying off your debt may just be the last thing you want to do, not the first.
And retirement? It starts now.
Imagining that you are going to be able to save enough for your retirement by working hard now, socking money away in the stock market and hoping it will be there when you are ready to stop working and move into the old folks home is a pipe dream for the vast majority of us.
So, what’s a new economy gal or guy to do?
Start thinking in terms of the real economy.
Instead of saving for your kids’ college education, invest in your own growth, now.
Learn how to start a business or expand the one you have, so you can create an income stream (a sovereign revenue stream) your family can count on for life, no matter what’s happening in the “global economic system.”
Learn how to do something or create something that provides value to the people around you and how to trade that value for the things you need now and you’ll need in the future.
Take the majority of your money out of the stock market and instead put it into assets that have real value, no matter what. And I’m not talkin’ Silver here people.
I’m talking about real value, things that you will need, no matter what. Like what?
- Clean food (non-GMO), clean water, renewable energy and ways to store all of it;
- Land, community, learning how to live with people, resolve conflict and get along with the people in your life and those you don’t even know yet;
- Shelter. And I’m not talking big ass fancy houses, unless you are turning it into a community house where you are re-learning to live multi-generationally’
- Strong, healthy relationship with your children or others in the younger generations.
These are the things that have real value, no matter what. After you’ve secured all of this, then you can gamble with the stock market.
And forget about paying off your debt. Yes, really. (Important note: I am NOT saying not to pay off your debt if you have a surplus of income coming in from a sovereign revenue stream you can count on to support you for life. Not at all. Once you’ve got that, pay back your debt, by all means! But, under no circumstance should you put paying off debt before creating that for yourself and your family.)
Start thinking instead about how you can leverage the credit system to support the real reason you are here now. And invest your credit in building yourself a sovereign revenue stream.
You aren’t here to go to work at a job you don’t even really like, so you can just scrape by paying your bills, sacrifice for your kids who won’t be grateful for it anyway and fill in the empty spaces of your life watching TV, biding your time until you can move into a retirement home and die.
You really did come here for a reason. If you don’t already know what that reason is, I imagine you can feel it tugging at you.
The lack of resources or the debt you must pay off before you go do that thing is simply the excuse keeping you from going for it. Because going for it is scary.
But, I can promise you this — not going for it will be scarier, down the road, when it feels like it’s too late (maybe it already does, but if you are reading this, it’s really not) or you are forced into going for it because the structures you’ve come to depend upon have shifted irrevocably.
This is the real economy. I know some of this sounds far out right now, but the lucky ones are the ones who can not only see ahead, but who can trust in themselves or what they see enough to do something about it.
There are people who knew before it happened that the housing bubble would burst, that the stock market would crash, that the tides would turn. I was one of those people (we sold our 2 bed/1ba house at the very height of the bubble for $650,000 — today the people who own it would be lucky to get $400,000 for it in the condition it was in) and now instead of keeping it to myself, I’m sharing it with you.
If you have questions about the real economy or anything I shared here, please post them in the comments. I intend to share a lot more about this in the future and your questions will influence where I take things from here.