The idea of having a comfortable, worry-free retirement has become a distant dream for many boomers - even for those who did "all the right things" that Wall Street and the financial gurus told them to do. It's become increasingly clear that conventional financial and retirement planning methods aren't working.
Are you tired of relying on hope and luck to achieve your financial goals? If so, how likely do you think it is that following the same strategy that got you where you are today will get you where you want to be?
To take back control of your financial future, you must bank on yourself. That means not relying on an employer or on failing government programs for financial security.
The government is proposing ways to increase Americans' retirement security. Unfortunately, this will simply herd more people into a retirement system that most experts agree is broken.
If enacted, these proposals will essentially force people into relying on the same investment strategies that have lined the pockets of Wall Street and dashed the retirement hopes and dreams of millions of Americans.
In addition, proposed tax credits for retirement savings contributions mean you will be paying for other people's investment mistakes!
Is there a way to have financial security and grow a sizable nest egg safely and predictably?
The answer is a resounding "yes," although you probably won't hear about it from your financial advisor or stock broker.
I've researched over 450 savings and investing products and strategies over the past two decades, as a consultant to financial advisors. I ultimately concluded that Americans have been brainwashed into believing we must risk our money in order to grow it.
Wall Street and the financial planning industry have led us to believe that "saving" and "investing" are the same thing. However, they are not. The money you have in "savings" is money you don't want (or can't afford) to lose. Money you "invest" is subject to loss.
Most people today "invest to save," and as a result, have no idea what their nest egg will be worth when they hope or plan to tap into it.
This is not a financial "plan," which the Merriam Webster dictionary defines as "a means of accomplishing something." It's gambling. And it has led to a nation of boomers wondering if they'll ever be able to retire, and what they'll have to give up in order to do that.
The Power of Rationalization
Remember the scene from the 1983 movie classic, "The Big Chill," where the character played by Jeff Goldblum asks, "Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?"
Well, many boomers today are trying to rationalize away the fact that they won't be able to retire when and how they had planned by trying to convince themselves that retirement is overrated.
They now talk about continuing to work in some capacity as long as they can.
While there's no question that this can give you more of a sense of purpose and fulfillment and keep you from dying of boredom, the reality is that many people are being forced to retire earlier than they can afford to. Job layoffs and health issues are the primary reasons for this.
I love what I do, and I hope to be doing it for a long time. But shouldn't the decision to retire - or not - be a matter of choice, not necessity?
If you believe it should be a matter of choice, what's the best way to invest your money?
Look beyond the traditional financial and retirement planning strategies and consider proven and time-tested ways to grow a substantial nest egg - without the risk or volatility of stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and other investments.
For example, there is an asset class that has increased in value during every stock market decline and every period of economic boom and bust for more than a century.
That asset is dividend-paying whole life insurance.
A dividend-paying whole life policy grows by a guaranteed and pre-set amount every year. In addition, the growth is exponential, meaning it gets better (more efficient) every single year you have the policy, simply because you stick with it.
This gives you some protection against inflation and provides peak growth at the time you need it most (retirement). And no luck, skill, or guesswork is required to make that happen.
Furthermore, there are little-known options that can be added to the policy which turbo-charge the growth of your equity ("cash value") in the policy. When your policy is structured properly, you can use it as a powerful financial management tool from day one.
Once credited to your policy, both your guaranteed annual increase, plus any dividends you may receive, are locked in. They don't vanish due to a market correction.
These policies also give you peace of mind for retirement planning, because you'll know the minimum guaranteed income you can take in retirement, and for how long you can take it.
You control the money in your policy, not the government. You can use the money to "bank on yourself" and become your own source of financing, so you can reduce or even eliminate the control banks and financial institutions have over you.
In addition, it's possible to take retirement income from these policies with little or no tax consequences, under current tax law.
During the financial crisis, even as the experts lamented there was no place to hide, no one lost a penny in a dividend-paying whole life policy, and their policies continue to grow safely and predictably.
There are a great deal of myths and misinformation about this powerful financial tool, and no shortage of experts who will tell you to avoid whole life policies.
That's why I created the $100,000 Challenge. It lets you test your knowledge of the facts about dividend-paying whole life. And a $100,000 cash reward awaits the first person who has a different product or strategy that can match or beat a properly structured dividend-paying whole life policy.
Pamela Yellen is author of the best-selling book, Bank On Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future. For more information, visit: www.BankOnYourself.com and to take the $100,000 Challenge, visit: www.BankOnYourself.com/challenge