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How Much You Keep, Not How Much You Earn

Rich people who die with money issues tells us that spending more than you earn is risky for individuals, and for entire countries

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The tragic death of Robin Williams in 2014, who took his own life while suffering from severe depression as well as facing money problems among other things, reminds us of a truism of personal finances: it doesn’t matter how much you make in any given year, or in the span of your career.

If you spend more than you make, and do it in a hurry, you can end up as bankrupt as anyone. This last year has been particularly tough for many people and so prudent finances are more important than ever before.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yesteryear, we often read about professional athletes or entertainers who annually earned multimillions of dollars, but then, a few years out of the sport, or out of the celebrity limelight, fell into financial ruin.

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How could someone raking in several million dollars a year, we thought, end up penniless? How foolish, how reckless, how wanton could people be with their money?

Today, at least among pro athletes, money managers ensure that said individual will have regular annual income for life. In pro contracts, clauses stipulate how much of an athlete’s earnings will actually be dispensed in any given year.

Hence, 15 to 20 years out of professional sports, an athlete who had been earning, say, $10 million a year will be assured of income for life as a result of effective money management. Celebrities who are wise enough to choose effective professional financial counsel are similarly aided.

Low Debt = Breathing Space

No matter how much you make, if you don’t effectively manage your money, it can all go to pot. Studies show that an inheritance, of any size, is dissipated on average within seven years. So, whether someone receives $5,000 or $500,000, on average, far too soon all that money is gone.

Being in debt is not conducive to having breathing space. In fact, it’s the antithesis. When you’re in debt, that reality has a way of dominating your day. When the next bill arrives, you think about your finances. When the next mortgage or rent  payment becomes due, the issue arises again.

Every time you write a check, or surrender your credit card to a vendor, or even take money out of your wallet, you are reminded of your tenuous financial condition.

When you’re in debt and seek to re-pay it, you tend to work longer and harder. You want to make extra money to pay down credit card balances. Living beyond your means, however exhilarating in the short run, is insidious in the long run, for people and for entire nations.

The constant drum beat in the back of your mind, “I’m not making it,” “I owe others,” and “What if people find out?’ can wear down an individual in ways that we don’t even fully understand.

Construct a Cash Flow

The fastest and easiest way to understand the state of your current as well as future personal finances is to construct a 12-month cash flow spreadsheet.

A well-constructed cash flow plots all of the incoming cash and revenue from all sources, and to the best of your ability projects all of the expenses you will be incurring. A 36-month cash flow is more ambitious and more revealing.

It’s too easy to get caught up in thinking, “I’m making a big bucks annually, and my goodness, what do I have to worry about?” The fate of rich people who die with money issues tells us that you have plenty to worry about if you spend more than you earn.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

With Representatives Like Kelly Daughtry, We Can Take Back America

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman who gets things done

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When President Trump takes office next January 20th, he’s going to need a cadre of strong-willed Congressional representatives. It’s not enough to simply retake the White House, we need the foot soldiers with the unshakeable resolve to restore America.

In North Carolina’s 13th district, one candidate is firmly rooted in the values that made this country great, and will make it great again. Her name is Kelly Daughtry and, quite frankly, the nation needs many others like her.

Raised in rural North Carolina and the daughter of a U.S. veteran, farmer, lawyer, and entrepreneur, Daughtry has been a practicing lawyer for the past 25 years in Johnston County, where she makes her home. She’s been in the trenches and is not skittish about the slings and arrows that come with taking bold, conservative positions for what is right.

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Clear Positions on Vital Issues

Daughtry is exceedingly clear on where she stands and on what will improve the lives of American citizens. She is a vigorous supporter of law enforcement and decries ‘de-fund the police’ movements wherever they arise. She understands that, by and large, the men and women in law enforcement are dedicated, hardworking individuals who, in many instances, put their lives on the line.

Similarly, Daughtry supports the U.S. military and our veterans. She knows that nations around the world with rogue leadership wish to do us great harm, and that we must maintain a strong military at all times. Not coincidentally, a strong military is the best prescription for peace.

On the border issue, Daughtry recognizes that the Biden Administration is firmly committed to swamping our country with illegal aliens. Why? Because the U.S. Census count doesn’t focus on U.S. citizenship, only the number of residents per county and state.

Hence, Democrats can gain a 20-seat advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives by continuing to flood our nation. This ploy is precisely why Biden and company have brought lawsuits against border states seeking to protect themselves.

The drugs, the crime — the murders — and the bursting budgets of towns and states trying to cope with the onslaught of illegals should never have happened in the first place. Daughtry knows what needs to be done, and done immediately.

Reversing Biden’s Reckless Agenda

Daughtry will go to work on restoring our nation, dismantling Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America. She understands that Biden’s policies towards China in particular, and the bribes he has taken, have been nothing less than devastating for hard-working Americans and for our national security.

Most notably, she is firmly opposed to the Chinese Communist Party and their representatives who are seeking to buy farmland throughout North Carolina as well as every other place in the United States.

Biden’s out-of-control spending has particularly hurt North Carolinians. Farmers have taken the brunt of the punishment. The unending inflation that we’ve faced for 38 months also has dealt a crushing blow to North Carolina small business owners and families in general. One of Daughtry’s first agenda items will be to help steer our country back towards fiscal sanity, which in turn will have a direct impact on the cost of groceries and gasoline.

Americans First

Like President Trump, Daughtry understands the importance of putting Americans first and of safeguarding or voting procedures, elections, and indeed what it means to be an American citizen. Of note, she has no misconceptions about the differences between men and women and will work to stop the malarkey that the Left imposes on us every day, with their “56” types of genders.

Daughtry is a soft-spoken woman and in her quiet way, gets things done. If Donald Trump had an army of Kelly Daughtrys, the country would be on firm footing in relatively short order. She knows what hard-working Americans want and need, and is exactly the type of politician that North Carolina must send to Washington D.C.

It is not an exaggeration to say that in Wake, Harnett, Johnson, and Wayne counties in North Carolina, as well as the entire state and entire country, the 2024 election will be the most important in our lifetimes. This has been said about other elections at other times, but considering the damage that the Democrats have wrought on America, the time is now to reclaim our great nation and, with the likes of Kelly Daughtry, we can.

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Life

Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?

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Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

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* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?

 

By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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