After 9/11 and hurricane Katrina occurred, the concept of emergency preparedness became a common household conversation. Then came the financial crisis of 2008. Remember how that started? Do you know what has changed since then? Opinions vary on the specific outcomes of the crisis and the response to it; but one thing is sure many people are not financially prepared for the future.
are you prepared handwritten on blackboard
How can I make such a bold statement? Here are some facts to consider:
Only half of all U.S. households are prepared for retirement.
70.7% of households have a mortgage
76% of people live paycheque to paycheque
99% of us are not in the top 1% of income earners
Everyone is scared According to Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller: 3 minute video
Most can relate to feeling challenged to be more financially prepared. Things are changing quickly. Where our parents may have been concerned about the future of their grandchildren, our generation is worried about its own financial wellness!But where do you turn to for information? What are we to do?
God has plenty to say to clarify our present day situation that is timeless and applicable giving us meaning, purpose and hope.
The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
We must live like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do”
I Chronicles 12:32
Imagine running a relay race. Each person has to be individually competent but the thing that can trump the whole race is the hand off. Drop the baton and the team is disqualified. If you have a family business you are in a unique position to hand off to the next generation a great opportunity. Sadly, many experience heartache when passing the business on to their children: businesses fail but more importantly families are ruined, broken apart by unrealized expectations and misunderstanding.
Family business succession is an important topic because it affects many of us, indirectly. In the United States, family businesses employ 60% of workforce. In Canada the number is closer to 50%. Worldwide, in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – including France, Mexico and Sweden – more than 90% of businesses now have fewer than ten employees and are family businesses.
As Thomas William Deans says in Every Family’s Business, handing off a business is largely about setting realistic expectations, avoiding surprises and just plain communicating, and this can happen many, many years prior to the turnover of the business. Through this fictional story based on the real life events in 3 generations of the author’s family, you can discover some essential steps.
Earn, invest, and spend! Giving and being generous were not part of the conversation. A culture of consumption led me down a self absorbed road for a long time. Even though there’s been a shift towards generosity and giving in our culture, it’s a small step towards a great goal. Truth is most people don’t know how to give. That was me – 35 years old and self serving. Self examination doesn’t show us how greedy we are…..you can’t see it in the mirror.
Has anyone taught you how to be rich by giving? Society, culture, TV, advertising taught our parents to want it all and to overspend to get it. This left them with little to be generous with. Few schools teach how to give. Then fear of the future robs us of our desire to give and be generous. Often we don’t give as we value security, not only materialism, hoarding our possessions. There is often competition for Lordship in our lives between God and money.
How can you change? What’s the process?
Start with the foundation…..
Jesus himself reminds us, “…you cannot serve both God and money”.
Then consider the real security in life…..
“Therefore, do not worry about your life”
Jesus assures us we don’t have to worry about our life because God’s promised to take care of us.
……further Jesus teaches in verse 33,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Then start praying…..
God what do you want me to do with all you’ve entrusted to me?
Did you know as Canadians we spend 99.6% of our income on ourselves? The average donation in 2010 was $260 on the average family income of $69,860. Worse only 23% of Canadians claim a charitable donation. That means 77% claim zero. Until 11 years ago I was one of them. I’d give a $20 at church here or there. Even a $100 thinking I was generous. But until you look at your tax return you have no objective means of analyzing generosity. It’s like learning how to be rich. Learning how to be generous takes thought.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
How are you going to make a difference.?
The Bible speaks about training in this area of our lives as the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice Timothy:
It is required of a steward (property and money manager) that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Faithful” – What does that mean?
Why is making money so important? Who is good at making money? If you read the Forbes 400, the definitive list of wealth in America, you will find out whom – but if you read Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments For Making Money – you will find out how! Ever wonder why so many Jewish businesses are so profitable? Did you know that Jews make up only 2% of the American population yet in any given year make up to 25% of the Forbes 400 list? Similar data for the average population reveals that the percentage of Jewish households with income greater than $75,000 is double that of non-Jews. Why?
King Solomon the richest and wisest man who ever lived said,
The crown of the wise is their wealth
If you are willing to read just one book that will add value to your understanding of making money, let it be Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s book Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments For Making Money.
If you’ve got it flaunt it! That’s the mantra that surrounds much of western society. Whether it is appearance, ability or assets – many people live to flaunt it! Especially when it comes to assets; many people spend more than they should and it costs them. They really don’t have the wealth they need or should have for the long term. So what’s the secret to having wealth? Most people want the short, easy answer. They don’t want to read a book, attend a class, or take the time to learn the power of good habits.
I hope that’s not you! Invest in learning. There is a secret to getting rich. It’s very simple. It’s so simple almost no one does it. It’s also kind of obvious. Chances are you’ve heard the answer before.
Are you looking for career advice? Through high school and university I had a variety of jobs: commercial fisherman, fish factory worker, infantryman, laborer and bricklayer. Then something amazing happened – success! But how? How do you find work you love that leads to success?
Research shows that up to 70% of people hate their jobs. Many of my friends do not love their work. Now their children are in school wrestling with the tension of what to study and what careers to pursue. Many people I know are still wondering how to find work you love.
Who doesn’t want more money? Here’s a site that gives a list of most wanted goals that people have declared they want to make for themselves. Take a look at 43 Things. Some common items seen involve acquiring more money. Things like getting out of debt. Becoming financially independent. Work because I like to, not because I have to. Save money. Travel. The problem is over 65% of Americans do not have a net worth of $100,000. In Canada the average is $200,000.
Everybody wants to have more, do more, be more but where do you turn to for advice? For some the goal is trying to get out of debt. Others are people who have already arrived at the destination of affluence.
Here’s my scenario…..I meet people often and the majority of the time they are experiencing problems. No surprise there! We all have problems. But meetings are short and some problems are long….so conveying meaningful caring concern and attempting to help is often difficult. Trying to explain how, changed thinking changes your life over a meal or coffee….is impossible! Unless a tool to leverage the time is used.
That’s where all the resources in this blog come into the picture. But in the end of this post, I am not the hero. You are.
Have you had problems, found solutions and then shared the experience with other people? On so many levels our culture is exploding with this method of teaching and learning. Just think….Do it Yourself Network, Pintrest and so many, many others!
But when you have knowledge and are an expert at something you’re vulnerable. You can easily forget how the wisdom and knowledge was gained – you catch the “curse of knowledge”. So, here’s a suggestion.
Headlines surround me with the enticing message of how to get rich. Those same headlines say, to be happy I need the newest and best “stuff”. I am tempted to focus my admiration on people who are richer than me. Most people think of someone as rich if they make double what they do. It’s called the Doubling Up Wealth Theory. If we make $30,000 we think someone who makes $60,000 is rich.
But who is really rich?
We spend so many years trying to get rich but we rarely realize how rich we already are. On a worldwide scale, we ARE rich.
The statistics are staggering. More than half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day.Go to Global Rich List and insert your family income. If you earn more than $30,000, you’re in the top 2% of all individuals in the world. If you earn more than $40,000, you’re in the top 1%. To poor people in the rest of the world, anyone from the west is “rich.” Bill Gates or you.
Once we realize we’re rich, where do we learn how to be rich?