Other VanOrden Posts

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trustworthy Financial Advice and Education Essential for Early Retirment

Trustworthy financial advice and education are essential for early retirement---click the link below for one good source of education---but not sufficient to replace personal financial advice. Click on the title above to access a trustworthy website or cut and paste from below.   "12 Tips To Build Wealth For Early Retirement".

Please consider joining our email group with no obligation by signing in to the right and receive a free copy of the Podcast "7 Pillars of Retiremetn Freedom". 


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Memories

My father fought in WWII after graduating from the Naval Academy.  He was an executive officer on Battle Ships.  He didn’t talk much about his experiences after retiring with almost 25 years of service.  Then he went to work for Good Year Tire and Rubber company in North Chicago as a design engineer.  It is likely that the proto-type for the hose through which you pump your automobile gas was designed by my father. 

Just before being fully vested for a second retirement Good Year decided to do some “down-sizing” and forced my father out of his job.  My parents moved west and bought a smaller home.  My mom went to work as a secretary to help make ends meet.  The Greatest Generation helped us enjoy peace and prosperity for several decades and then were down-sized. 

My father eventually died of a blood born cancer that was caused by nuclear fall out while his ship was at a testing site a few years after WWII.  His grave is over 2000 miles from where we live now.  I don’t get to put a flag by his gave stone this Memorial Day weekend, but I still pause to ponder his sacrifice for the comfort my family and generation enjoy.  I not only thank my father, but all current military and veterans for their service and courage.    

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Topics Covered in my New "Retirement-Freedom" Website --- To be Launched Soon

I have been receiving requests via "comments" & messaging, helping me streamline the topics to be covered in my new website.  I do so appreciate the notes sent by readers.  It helps me tailor the site to the needs of my friends and readers.  It won't be long and the new site will be up and running.  

Here are a few of the sub-categories thus far:

1) 7 Pillars of Retiring Early
2) How to be Your Own Boss
3) Where to Retire
4) Building Wealth While Retired
5) Internet Business Mastery
6) Finding Your Internet Niche
7) Excellent Health While Retired
8) Retirement Bucket List

Podcasts, Web Seminars, and Training to Follow ---

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Retirement-Freedom.com Website Launch is Getting Closer

The Story Behind Our Website Development ---

I have been working with one of the very best web-designers.  He and his partner are artists and perfectionists when it comes to cyber stuff.  You will enjoy the beauty of the site.  I hope the content is helpful to all of my friends and followers.  Here is the first installment of the story of why we have chosen to become part of the cyber-world as we prepare for "retirement".  My younger friends will benefit by developing a brand and Internet Presence and thereby preparing to "retire" at a much younger age, if they so choose.  

OUR STORY ---- Part #1 

I started working at age 10 as a paperboy in Libertyville, Illinois. At age 13 I worked as a caddy at Knollwood Country Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. I was supposed to be 14 but I lied so I could earn better money than my paper route which made $15 per month. If I carried two golf bags twice a day it took 10 hours and made $20, in one day. I thought I was rich. Along the way I got two college degrees and now make much more than $20 per hour.

At age 26, my last year of college, I worked as a night clerk at a hotel. I got home from work at 7:15AM, slept for three hours, and went to school full time taking 18 credit hours per semester. Five years previously, my wife and I were married and within a few years were supporting our small family on student jobs.  

We look back at those years with pure nostalgia.  We were paying $80 per month on groceries and $45 for health insurance.  We chased mice out of our one-bedroom, crumbling Victorian house apartment.   We put cardboard in a window pane as the land-lord took months getting around to fixing things.   I got blown across the room when I was re-lighting the antique heater for the umpteenth time.  I had no eye-browse or lashes for weeks.             

One of my mentors said the love of work is success. I have enjoyed my working life but am ready for significant change. In a year I will be at 50 years of employment: 34 years with the same corporation as an educator and administrator.  As I approach retirement, changes in our country concern me about health care and social security. The “feds” have already changed my prescribed “full” retirement time to age 66. But if I wait until I am 70 before starting to draw Social Security, I will get so much more on a monthly basis.  

Now don’t get me wrong---we have prepared for retirement as though Social Security would be bankrupt. If we get any of the money we “invested” in S.S. back, it will be extra funds rather than absolutely essential. We are not wealthy but we have been careful and prudent over the years with investments and savings.

When I read about the worries of my fellow Baby-Boomers, I empathize deeply. Right now I tell people that I will retire at age 60, and start my 2nd career. But at the same time, we want to be free to travel and spend time with children and grandchildren. We dream of serving our community and church. Corporate employment just won’t work for us any longer.  Being our own boss is absolutely essential.

We know what works for us and have boiled it down to a set of principles that can help anyone in any circumstance do likewise. We intend to share the principles via a new website we will launch soon.  Many hours of research and testing are going into our preparations. This is all done outside of my 40+ hour per week current employment commitments. We are enjoying building our dream for the future. We look forward to sharing our experience.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Check the Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

Check the Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages---Click on the title for a good link to trustworthy information. They have even compiled a list of trustworthy banks to consider if you are about to do a Reverse Mortgage. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Single Best Retirement Strategy for Everyone regardless of Age

CLICK on the title to learn more----I have been thinking about my younger readers recently.  I had a conversation with my youngest daughter who is 23 years old and just graduated from College.  She now has her first professional job as a mental health specialist at a local hospital. We talked about her benefits package and I could tell she was still thinking like a "broke" college student rather than a professional preparing for her future and eventual retirement someday...so this post is specifically intended to help all 2300 friends in my Facebook Group, particularly the younger ones who could start saving now for their future.  I have a friend who did this in his mid-20's and he says he will have $1,000,000+ in his 401K when he retires. 

The Best Strategy is to save what kicks in the maximum matching funds from your employer.  In our case it is earning us 66% interest, or in other words my employer matches my 6% savings with 4% from them.  And since we are saving in a pretty aggressive mutual fund of our choosing, it earns an additional 6% - 15% most years. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it is definatley true.    Click on the title to this post for more information.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Four-legged Retirement Plan, Becomes Five

A response to my Four-legged Retirement Plan, a genuine concern from a friend named Greg on Facebook. 
"All four of these legs seem to sit squarely on the presumed security of the dollar, or some form of currency. Are you sure this is wise? If the dollar fails, and with it likely all other nation-based currencies, there goes your pension, your SS, your savings, and your internet biz."
So now my response to the comment---

Social Security could disappear, but I doubt it, especially for those already 55 years and older.  Youngsters will probably end up with an adjusted benefit as we struggle to reduce deficits and balance the national budget.  In order to protect our “dollar” investments or the other three legs of the retirement formula, we plan to own our retirement home without a mortgage.  We also plan to have an aggressive food-storage and production life-style.  Thus, we are looking for a property with at least an acre or two, perhaps more. 
Another “security” we will have is a self-directed Internet Business that would continue to produce dividends/income whether the dollar survives or not.  If all else fails, the barter system will always bring a flow of goods and services.  I should call my formula a five-legged plan, adding what I refer to as Provident Living or Production Life-style.