Other VanOrden Posts

Saturday, April 30, 2011

4-legged Retirement Plan---START NOW---the sooner the better! 1) Pension, 2) Self Directed Internet Business, 3) Savings, 4) Social Security

We are a bit more than a year away from the first possible retirement date from my career as an educator.  I turn 60 in July 2012 and could retire with a pension due to having over 33 years with the same employer.  About the only advantage to staying past age 60 would be to continue to build our 401K savings plan to supplement our pension and social security.  So we are pretty serious about retiring, but I have been surprised by my worry about having nothing to do. 
Lest you start commenting that we could go on missions and serve in all kinds of other pursuits, such as quality time with grandkids, not to mention golf, we do plan on doing all of those…but I also want to start another “career” to last from age 60-75 that will supplement our income and increase our net worth.  I don’t do the couch-potato thing very well.  I need projects and creative outlets, so career #2 here we come.  It must be a business that gives us freedom to work when we wish and do otherwise when we wish. 
Now back to our trip to Boise----we had a dual purpose: time with children and grandchildren as well as looking for a retirement home.  We spent time playing games, watching Liam’s first T-Ball game (so cute), geo-caching, and looking at possible homes buy.  The housing market in Boise has been decimated which gives us a retirement boost since we can buy more home for the $$$$$.  Short sales and foreclosures abound.  You must have nerves of steel to navigate the banks and former-owner labyrinth but amazing buys are abundant.  Million dollar homes for sale for almost 50% off…wow!  Way too much home for empty-nesters but fun to contemplate and perhaps a good investment lurks.   
We want acreage to garden and maybe have some animals.  I figure we should have the where-with-all to produce what we need if something ever does happen to the distribution system in our country.  Boise is beautiful this time of year and gardening season is starting.  The mountains are close for recreation.  The Snake River is just to the south.  Most of our children and my mother would be within an easy days drive.  Tax-wise, Idaho is good for retirees. 
The price of food and necessary household items is fantastic compared to Alaska.  I would miss catching 40 lb. salmon but there are some pretty good fish in the Snake River.  And hunting in them-there-hills north of Boise is not bad either.
Our developing Internet Business can be run from anywhere we can get a fast cyber-connection.  So Boise has moved to the top spot on our retirement list.  August 1, 2012 is starting to look pretty good as the beginning of the next great adventure in our lives.                  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making a Family Budget Work for You

Living wisely includes the need to manage financial resources, without obsessing, lest we get our heart set in the wrong place.  You’ve heard it a thousand times but it is still one of the wisest morsels of biblical wisdom, the love of money is the root of all evil.  Avoiding that kind of obsession seems more than essential if we are to successfully navigate our lives with lofty goals in mind. 
But, you say, money management is so complicated!  It takes too much time! It makes us way too stressed! We fight every time we work on our budget together! 
Unfortunately if those worries cause grid-lock and budgeting goes on the back burner, soon credit cards control the money flow without restraint.  So is there a solution?
After many years of using a multiplicity of systems, some of our own concoction, we have found an online program that does most of the entry portion of budgeting for us.  We now use Mint.com which made me nervous at first but has proven to bless our lives ultimately.  The concern was that you give them access to your financial accounts and the entries are made automatically to your tracking system online. 
There are other similar online resources.  Investigate carefully before pressing forward. But we are satisfied it works and that our identity and privacy are protected.  I don’t work for them and I don’t get a commission from them for making this suggestion.  But it has simplified our much friendlier weekly meeting of the minds on financial decisions. 
Our goal as we go into retirement will be to continue to increase our net-worth by at least 5% per year in order to inflation-proof our nest-egg. This will allow us to serve others and to spend time traveling to see family and friends.  Mint.com is quickly becoming a very good friend.                       

Friday, April 8, 2011

Home Business---Supplemental Income has Never Been so Available

Instead of two parents gone from home to make-ends-meet, a home business could keep one parent home with the children.  Supplemental Income has never been so available----the first step to internet business success is finding a niche that fits your interests or skills. Here are a few that caught my interest as I browsed and brainstormed recently.  People make money at all of these. Start up costs are minimal.  The list could go on forever.   
Golf exercises to maximize your game. 
Model train landscaping secrets.
How to grow bigger and better apples. 
Making money with genealogy.
Becoming a master on the putting green.  
Writing and selling your own books or poetry.  
Better Home Schooling Curriculum. 
How to get your child into the best University. 
How to get your child the best scholarships. 
Maximizing your stock profits. 
Paying less tax legally. 
Homemade Greeting Cards made easy. 
Buying the best Alaskan Native Art. 
How to attract more traffic to your internet sites. 
Cut your grocery bill by 50%. 
Quilting like the professionals. 
How to create your own landscape paintings. 
Blogging for profit. 
Writing children’s books. 
How to become the best home chef. 
How to ace the Graduate Records Exam. 
How to read 1000+ words a minute. 
There are two sets of internet businesses:
1) those that sell products for someone else and
2) those that create their own product, business, and/or brand. 

The first group handles product and generally make money according to the hours put in.  Whoever makes the product is making the money.  Most of these companies are bottom-heavy with "distributors" who "own" their business but do not create their own product.  On estimate, about 1 in 1,000 make good money in these business models. 
The second group creates their own product and controls their business and ultimately make much more money. The sucess ratio in this group is 50 times better than the other.  They find their niche and become experts in that endeavor by researching the field. They have confidence they can do it better than others. 

They grow their “brand” over time and enjoy exponential growth in profits.  They learn how to access a worldwide audience through internet marketing.  They enjoy the creative entrepreneurial spirit from inception through the continual growth cycles. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not to Worry Babyboomers---

The solution is in building your own internet business using the expertise you have developed over many years of the 9-5 work pattern, positioning yourself as an "expert" in your chosen field. This could be from your vocation or hobby interests. With a little bit of investment in yourself and the internet resources necessary you can make a healthy income from home and do it in your way and according to your schedule.  This could simply be supplemental income in addition to your retirement funds or you can build an income that reaches 6 figures and beyond. The key is finding the right mentors so you don’t waste a lot of time and start-up resource $$$$ spinning your wheels.  That is what I have been researching in my spare time this past year since I may retire in about a year.  More to come once my new website is complete.