Now Available: Debit Cards Backed By Actual Gold & Silver!

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Put Yourself on the Gold Standard. Get the World’s only True Gold & Silver Debit Cards.

Precious metals have historically been excellent ways to preserve one’s purchasing power over the long term.* However, in today’s world, they do not act well as a medium of exchange. To solve this problem Peter Schiff and his teams worldwide have worked out a totally new service: the first Gold and Silver Debit cards that gives bank customers access to their gold and silver*holdings.

So says Peter Schiff ( in edited excerpts from his online promotion* for his new offering in an article entitled Peter Schiff Reveals CPI Propaganda By Calculating Real Price Inflation.
*This article is presented compliments of (A site for sore eyes and inquisitive minds) and (Your Key to Making Money!) and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

Schiff goes on to say in further edited excerpts:

Below are the unique features these*debit cards*offer:

It looks like a traditional debit card, but it has some unique features that help people protect their purchasing power and profit from the real benefits of precious metals:

Purchasing power is stored in gold or silver, protecting holders against price inflation.
Ease of access to the metal: the holder can easily buy and own precious metals
Metals are stored outside the banking system, solving the risk of safe storage.
The holder is protected against capital controls.
The risk for confiscation is minimized as the metals are stored in Australia at the Perth Mint.
Delivery of the metal can easily be requested.
The cards are accepted by millions of merchants worldwide
The cards can be used*in over 210 countries except in the U.S.
Unfortunately this card is not available to American citizens, or foreign citizens residing in the United States.
Euro Pacific Bank’s gold- and silver-backed debit cards give bank customers access to their gold and silver*holdings that has not been offered in any service before. It is an example of innovation in a way that stimulates usage of the metals.

If you are interested in learning how the program works and would like to receive an application please email us at

More about the Gold Debit Card* |* More about the Silver Debit Card Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.

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1.*You Can Now Buy Gold & Silver on eBay!

Bay thinks there’s potential for its marketplace to be a trusted seller of gold, silver and other precious metals and is making a major bet on this vertical as a sales generator via a new exclusive partnership with AMPEX Bullion Center which they introduced just this past Wednesday. Read on for more deals about this introduction. Words: 257

2. BullionVault Has 43,000 Customers: Now They’ve Cut Their Fee By 37.5% So You Will Buy From Them Too!

believe it is important to mitigate the risk of loss with your physical bullion by diversifying the locations where you hold it.* To this end, I think it is wise to have some bullion on your property, some in secure storage off site, a portion stored with an ETF like CEF and ideally at some stored at a location overseas. In order to obtain the overseas diversification, I [recommend BullionVault* because, while their 43,000 customers have already done business with them at some of the lowest costs available, they have just reduced their initial commission fee by 37.5% – from 0.8% to just 0.5%! Let me explain further some of the advantages of doing business with Bullionvault.] Words: 796

3. These 2 Sites Are the* BEST Places to Buy Gold & Silver Online – Here’s Why

One of the most common questions I receive is about where to buy gold. There are countless small and large sized dealers, each claiming to have the best prices, best inventory, best service, etc. Of course, you can’t take them on their word — you need outside analysis and a good old-fashioned review. In this article, you’ll find just such a review. Words: 532

*4. Compare & Save When Buying Gold: Check Out These Dealers First!

Compare and save! Who is the most reputable, cheapest and most reliable precious metals dealer to buy your physical gold and silver from? Their are hundreds of dealers touting their wares but when it comes to direct comparisons only a few rise to the top of the list. Here they are. Words: 262

5. What Do Gold Measurements “Troy” Ounce and “Karat” Really Mean?

You have no doubt read countless articles on the price of gold costing x dollars per “troy ounce” or perhaps just x dollars per “ounce” but the difference between the two measurements is significant. For that matter, what’s the difference between a 24 karat gold ring and an 18 karat gold ring? Let me explain. Words: 863

6. There is a MUCH Better Way to Own Gold Than Via ETFs and ETRs – Here’s How

Late last year the Royal Canadian Mint intoduced an Exchange Traded Receipt (ETR) in another long line of paper-gold investments that are now trading on securities exchanges worldwide. It, like all of the other programs, comes with a slew of fees and risks. [Why not take personal physical possession of your gold or silver, store it in an allocated and secure non-government vault, be able to have any or all of it shipped to you immediately upon request – and for dramatically less than any ETF or ETR? Let me explain how easily it is to do just that.] Words: 1601

7. Vaulted Gold: What Is It and How Does It Compare With Other Gold Investments?

The infographic below on vaulted gold explains what vaulted gold is and visualizes key facts relating to investments in gold that is stored on behalf of investors in high-security vaults.

8. Before Buying a Gold-related ETF Check Out These Alternatives

There are many legitimate reasons to trade in gold and its derivatives. Gold has been proven time and time again to be an excellent “safe haven” investment, a holding that will appreciate in value during times of economic uncertainty. As such, gold may offer some valuable hedging and diversification benefits for a long-term portfolio. A number of exchange-traded products offering exposure to gold prices but not all gold ETFs are created equal. Here’s a quick rundown of factors to consider when making an investment in a gold ETF. Words: 1268

9. Surprise! A Close Look at GLD Reveals What it IS and is NOT

The most common misunderstandings regarding the primary gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) is that it buys and sells gold. That is not the case. It is just a paper asset. It is not a way to buy gold and have someone else store your holdings for you. It is just an innovative way to “own gold.” [Below I outline more of just what GLD is and is not:] Words: 1470

10. All Gold & Silver ETFs Are NOT the Same: a Lease vs. Own Comparison

I have always been leery of the two big exchange traded funds, SLV and GLD, because they lease the gold and silver that they sell you. I much prefer the ETFs SGOL, CEF, PSVL and PHYS which actually own the gold and silver they sell you and store it for you segregated vaults. Words: 717

11. All Gold and Silver ETFs are NOT Created Equal! Here’s the Best

Whole oceans of ink have been spilled detailing the good and not-so-good points of the closed-end fund CEF (Central Fund of Canada) and the twin ETF’s GLD (SPDR Gold Trust) and SLV (iShares Silver Trust) funds. My goal here is to distill the salient points down to the fewest words possible to help make your due diligence task somewhat less…well…tasking. [Let’s go!] Words: 650

12. Protect Yourself From Inflation With Gold or Precious Metals Funds

Investing in some form of precious metals is the preferable way to protect oneself from rising inflation/decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar and here are 10 ETFs and ETNs and 5 mutual funds to do just that. Words: 879

George Soros: A Professional & Personal Profile

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While George Soros*spent over 40 years managing funds at Soros Fund Management, racking up an incredible average annual return of 20%,*he is arguably most known for the huge bets he made against the British pound in 1992. He felt that the European Exchange Rate Mechanism overvalued the pound and that the system was inherently unsustainable so he bet $10 billion on this view and*reaped more than $2 billion in profits from his trades. [This article outlines his the life – both professional and personal – of this epitome of a hedge fund manager.] Words: 972

So writes Stephen D. Simpson ( in edited excerpts from his original article* entitled Commodity Fund Profile: George Soros.
This article is presented compliments of (A site for sore eyes and inquisitive minds) and (Your Key to Making Money!) and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

Simpson goes on to say in further edited excerpts:

It is impossible to write the history of hedge funds or American investors without including George Soros. Though Soros*did not invent the hedge fund, he was among a very select group to show how a well-run fund employing significant leverage could generate outsized returns for prolonged periods of time. Due to a particular combination of success, aggression and willingness to speak to the press, Soros found his name tied to two major financial events of the 1990s and he became, for many, the epitome of a hedge fund manager….

According to the most recent Forbes numbers, Soros*is the 15th richest person in the world, with a $19 billion net worth.

Early Career

Soros*grew up in Hungary, surviving both the Nazi occupation of Hungary and the intense fighting in Budapest between Soviet and Nazi forces near the end of World War II. Soros emigrated to England in 1947 and attended the London School of Economics, graduating in 1952.

Soros*emigrated again, to New York City, in 1956, and began his career on Wall Street. Soros’ first opportunity to run money would come in 1967 with First Eagle Funds. He left to establish Soros Fund Management in 1969, launching the Quantum Fund later in 1973 with Jim Rogers, another now-noted commodity investor.

Modern-Day Career

Soros*spent over 40 years managing funds at Soros Fund Management, racking up an incredible average annual return of 20%, while the Quantum Fund itself boasted returns in excess of 30%.

For better or worse, though, most of Soros’ investments garnered relatively little individual notice. Soros was an omnivorous investment opportunist, willing to invest in stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies and virtually any other financial instruments that seemed mispriced according to the firm’s models. Soros made extensive use of leverage and was willing to invest with both very short and longer time horizons.

Soros*is arguably most known for the huge bets he made against the British pound in 1992. Soros*felt that the European Exchange Rate Mechanism overvalued the pound and that the system was inherently unsustainable. Betting $10 billion on this view, Soros reaped more than $2 billion in profits from his trades, with reportedly $1 billion coming on a single day….

The Bank of England capitulated on September 16, 1992 (now known as “Black Wednesday”), and Soros*henceforth carried the nickname of “the man who broke the Bank of England.” It was later revealed that the Bank of England lost about 3.3 billion pounds defending the pound, and while there were other investors besides Soros involved, the event was a visible sign that international financial markets now carried more ultimate power than individual governments.

Soros’s name would again appear prominently during the Asian financial crisis during the summer of 1997. A full retelling of the crisis is beyond the scope of this article, but Soros was publicly named by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir*Mohamad*as a prime cause of the crisis, and Mahatir further alleged that he was attempting to ruin the economies of Southeast Asia through currency speculation. According to Soros, his firm and funds were involved during the crisis, going both long and short Southeast Asian currencies like the Thai baht and Malay ringgit at various points….

Jim Rogers left Soros*Fund Management in 1980 and Soros began to hand over more day-to-day responsibility throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s before officially retiring in 2011.

Future Growth

With all due respect to Mr. Soros, at age 82 there are probably not too many chapters left to his story. Soros*officially retired in 2011, returning about $1 billion to investors. Soros currently devotes his time to his charitable and foundation endeavors, as well as writing projects and speaking engagements.

Personal Life

Soros has been married and divorced twice, with five kids between the two marriages, and is presently again engaged to be married.

While Soros*earned his professional fame as a bold trader willing to make huge bets on binary outcomes, Soros has increasingly received notice for his extensive charitable efforts. Forbes estimates that he has donated more than $8 billion since 1979, with substantial sums going towards fighting poverty and supporting democracy and human rights around the world. So successful were some of these pro-democracy efforts in places like the former Soviet republics that Soros’s actions reportedly compromised U.S. foreign policy….

Soros*has also incurred the wrath of conservatives in the United States for his vocal support of the Democratic Party, and Soros can claim the questionable honor of having an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to various conspiracy theories tied to him.

The Bottom Line

Though Soros*has officially retired from the professional investing world, he still has a lot of projects that keep him busy. Outside of his philanthropic work, Soros has also taken a financial interest in professional sports, and in the last 10 years he’s been involved in everything from the Washington Capitals baseball team to the English football club Manchester United.

Regardless of Soros’s professional involvement in the investing world, as an outspoken financial critic–with a successful and prolific career to back up his theories–Soros’s public pronouncements can give insight into the markets and investors should pay attention.
Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.

*…-soros/*(Don’t forget to subscribe to their free daily commodity investing newsletter and to*follow*them on Twitter @CommodityHQ.)
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Related Articles:

1. Soros Fund’s Latest Buys Suggest Gold-related Investments to Move Sharply Higher in 2013 – Here’s Why…;65.jpg” alt=”bullion-coins-stacked_303x259″ title=”bullion-coins-stacked_303x259″ />George Soros’ hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC, states in its Nov. 14th 13-f filing that, among other major moves related to gold, the fund has added a $9 million call option position on the GDX*which means that management of the fund believes that gold mining equities are extremely undervalued on a short-term*basis and that major money to be made over the next 6-12 months, via a sharp move higher in the GDX. Words: 405

2. George Soros’ Speech on the Euro Crisis Has Gone Viral For Good Reason – It’s Brilliant…;65.jpg” alt=”euro” title=”euro” />If you see yourself as someone who ‘thinks for yourself’ and have wealth to protect I strongly recommend you spend time listening to George Soros. I particularly recommend this given that he delivered this address in June, and because I believe we are now getting to the point where we can see the lights of the train as it comes ever closer to where we are standing on the Euro zone (and world) economic track. Words: 655

3. Soros Selling Stocks and Stacking Gold! Should We Be Buying More Gold Too?…;65.jpg” alt=”gold_price_surges_weak_jobs_data” width=”90″ height=”65″ data-lazy-src=”…;65.jpg” data-lazy-type=”image” />When a major global player with direct ties to the White House, Wall Street, and the banking system starts off-loading stocks and starts stacking gold, it suggests a very serious market move is set to happen – and that is just what George Soros has done according to his latest 13-F report filing. [Should we buy more gold too?] Words: 484

4. George Soros Predicts Economic Chaos/Conflict in Europe and Riots in the U.S.!…;65.jpg” alt=”r-EUROPE-DOWNGRADES-large570″ width=”90″ height=”65″ data-lazy-src=”…;65.jpg” data-lazy-type=”image” />George Soros…is more concerned with surviving than staying rich…He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether. [Perhaps] we should be, too, [but as] we have often explained, [such comments ar nothing more than] the fear-based promotions of the power elite to frighten the middle classes into giving up power and wealth to globalist institutions. Let us explain.

5. Words of Wisdom From the Most Brilliant Investors Ever…;65.jpg” alt=”investing4″ width=”90″ height=”65″ data-lazy-src=”…;65.jpg” data-lazy-type=”image” />There’s a bewildering amount of advice on how to invest…so it’s worthwhile, especially in today’s volatile markets, to take a look at what has actually worked, as opposed to what people claim works. We’ve collected some of the finest wisdom on markets from the most respected and successful investors, past and present. Words: 865

6. Soros and Rogers Agree: Greater Returns from Farmland Than Gold! Here’s Why

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Fiscal Cliff Solution Is Nothing But Folly

Observations on a sound retirement and kicking the can.

Dear Reader,

Vedran Vuk here, filling in for David Galland. I had an article ready for today, but at the last moment, our own Bud Conrad sent me his recap of the fiscal-cliff fiasco. To make sure this issue doesn’t set a record in length, I’m making way for Bud’s wisdom and always-excellent analysis. To hear more from Bud, also make sure to check out his recent interview with Jim Puplava on our growing debt and the end result of it, which is baked in the cake at this point.

Then we have an article from Dennis Miller on getting serious about your retirement goals. For those readers who aren’t familiar with Dennis yet, he’s the editor of our newest letter, Miller’s Money Forever. Unlike just about any other newsletter writer, Dennis is already in his retirement years. To take a jab at myself, I’d rather hear retirement advice from Dennis than some writer with thirty years till retirement.

Speaking of Dennis’ new letter, the latest issue of Miller’s Money Forever is coming out soon, in about ten days. Every monthly issue tackles another subject facing those in retirement or planning for it. We recently discussed the costs and benefits of annuities and reverse mortgages. In the upcoming issue we examine the pros and cons of owning real estate while in retirement. Furthermore, we’ve got a new pick in the portfolio with a great yield. Last month, we added a stable pharmaceutical with a 3.9% yield and have a few other good ones paying 5.4% and 4.8% yields. If you haven’t had a chance to do it yet, check out an issue for yourself. Now let’s get to Bud’s take on the fiscal cliff – perhaps it was a bullet dodged in the short run, but an opportunity was missed to hit the real target: runaway spending.

The Fiscal Cliff: An Opportunity Avoided

By Bud Conrad

The label “the fiscal cliff” evoked the fear that something terrible was about to happen if the previously legislated spending cuts and tax increases came into effect. From my point of view, our nation’s deficits and debt are growing at an alarming rate and need to be cut back. The reason these laws were enacted was to offer markets some hope that we would eventually work toward eliminating our serious deficits. But the prevailing opinion that such drastic decreases in our deficit would slow our economy and bring recession created the impression that this “cliff” must be avoided.

The chart below indicates the size of our federal government’s budget deficit. The blue bars reflect what would have happened if there were no legislative changes, and the harsh measures of tax increases and spending cuts occurred. The red bars reflects potential tax increases, the green spending cuts, and the purple is additional interest paid on the expanded debt as a result of bigger deficits. The cliff is seen in the rapid drop of the deficit in the first few years of the blue bars.

(Click on image to enlarge)
The result so far is that tax cuts have been extended for families making less than $450,000 per year (for individuals, it’s $400,000). Spending cuts have been delayed for two months, and the debt ceiling will have to be raised at that time. Compared to last year’s structure, the main result is a relatively modest increase of $650 billion in taxes on the rich. Spreading this over 10 years means that the budget is roughly $65 billion less per year because of the higher taxes. In essence, after all the political discussion and finger-pointing, the politicians did what I expected: they kicked the can down the road and made very little change compared to last year.

The next chart shows the same baseline blue bars with the rather large extension of Bush-era tax cuts to the lower-income households, plus some small additional spending items. Since the blue baseline includes the expectation of sequestering of spending, it is my expectation that the actual deficits could be higher when no cuts are made with some future exercise of government can-kicking. While this chart appears to have lower deficits than shown in the previous range of possible outcomes, the more accurate conclusion is that we are still facing huge deficits, and the politicians really achieved very little in managing our long-term deficit problem. When they get back to meddling, the final deficits could be a lot worse than this analysis.

After the markets closed on Friday, January 3 (when we were less likely to be watching), the Congressional Budget Office released an updated calculation on the size of the cost of the new legislation: it is now $600 billion worse than discussed. They left out the accounting for paying interest on the increased debt for the period of the calculation. I’ve included the interest-rate cost in the chart below where I estimated it as being larger in the later years of the chart. $600 billion turns out to be only a modest addition. It will turn out to be higher when rates rise.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Here are a few more details on what was decided:

• Employees will have up to $2,000 more taken out of their paychecks annually due to the expiration of the temporary payroll tax cut

• The estate tax will increase from 35% to 40%, with the first $5 million worth of property exempt from being taxed

• Capital gains and dividend tax rates will increase from 15% to 20% for higher-income earners

• Alternative Minimum Tax will be raised to affect only higher-income households

• Doctors will not see big cuts for treating Medicare patients

• Unemployed workers will receive extended benefits

It is also sad to report that Washington has been operating as business as usual, including extending many strange programs like support for NASCAR racetracks, rum import duties, and even special support for buildings in New York City near the World Trade Center. While deplorable, these items are small in the macro picture. One new emergency-spending measure that was not included is $60 billion for hurricane Sandy relief, which will surely be added to the deficit soon. The beat goes on, with the inevitable result that the deficit continues. Fiat currency systems have no built-in limit.

World markets applauded this relatively modest package, because it confirms the short-term positive results of government deficit spending. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 300 points the day after the crisis was “eliminated.” That means that the Federal Reserve will back up the federal government with more QE to keep the government rolling for the time being. Another result should be further downgrading of the US government debt by the rating agencies. Can you see a progression over another cliff? Downgrading raises the interest rate required by investors on US Treasuries; that increases the cost and the deficit. See the purple in the above chart? It will get worse than the CBO is letting on when rates rise.

I had been trying to ignore the massive, blanketed coverage by our media of this political circus. I knew ahead of time what the result would be from this deficit-cliff exercise. When it comes to holding the line against more government deficits, spending, and taxing, our government is dysfunctional. This event is more seminal than the results indicate: we can expect the politicians to repeat this process in a couple of months, and so on until there is a major loss of confidence in the dollar. There will be no return to fiscal responsibility. My point is simply this: we are already beyond the point of ever returning to a sensible, balanced-budget system. We may be distracted by wars, some crazy or false-flag terrorist event, or by even a natural disaster, but the conclusion is already inevitable: The US dollar will be toast; Treasuries are a dangerous investment; interest rates will start rising; and even the massive Federal Reserve manipulation supported by the banking cartels will be unable to overcome that. We will likely start in a slow fashion his year and will escalate out of control in the decade ahead.

We need to understand the implications of this recent event, and – as this small step confirms – that promises of future fixes will be complete shams. Remember when President Johnson said that there would be no repercussions from removing silver coins from our currency? A silver quarter alone is now worth around $5.50. And that’s not because silver is different; it’s because dollars are heading into the toilet. Protect yourself!

In the long run, the fiscal-cliff deal should not be celebrated as if it were a positive event. It is far from balanced, considering the much bigger government-debt problems that we face as a nation. In essence, this action was an opportunity to take real measures to curb our deficits, but the action taken has drifted us further along the path of fiscal irresponsibility.

How Can Baby Boomers Reach Their Retirement Goals?

By Dennis Miller, Editor of Money Forever

In May 2012, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released its 13th annual Retirement Survey. A survey of over 3,600 workers showed that 56% plan to work after age 65, and 54% indicated they would continue working after they retire. The lead paragraph of the press release states, “American workers, shaken by the realities of the Great Recession, have adjusted their visions of retirement…”

In the detailed research report, the authors offered a new definition of “retirement readiness”:

A state in which an individual is well-prepared for retirement, should it happen as planned or unexpectedly, and can continue generating adequate income to cover living expenses throughout his/her lifetime through retirement savings and investments, employer pension benefits, government benefits, and/or continuing to work in some manner while allowing for leisure time to enjoy life.

Over the Christmas holidays I had several discussions with my baby-boomer-age children on this subject. My youngest son commented, “If I had been called for the survey, I would have responded like the majority.” He feels that his peer group is very much aware of the fact Social Security is a big question mark when they get to retirement age. He pointed out that the baby-boomer generation is different from their parents’ generation before them. Many married much later in life and did not have children until they were in their thirties.

He saw his parents accumulate the bulk of their retirement savings after the nest was empty – the time I refer to as the “sprint to the finish line.” By the time boomers’ nests are empty, they will only have a few years left to accumulate their retirement savings.

In effect, he understands that saving for retirement is a huge problem. At the same time, starting in the 50s one may be moving into peak earning years, but they are also faced with their peak family-expense years simultaneously.

His response was, “Understanding the problem is one thing. Many feel they are unable to do something about it.” Much like the generation before him, the here and now takes priority over something down the road 20 years from now. “Dad, it is really tough to try to save money with children who will soon be driving and then off to college. That costs a lot of money.” On that issue we agree.

So where do you start?

I struggled with that question for quite some time. They were looking at Dad for answers.

The first thing that came to my mind was to define saving. For many of us, we were brought up with the phrase “save up,” meaning we were saving our money so we could purchase something we wanted. One of my children’s friends was proud of the fact that both husband and wife both stopped stopping at Starbucks twice a day for coffee – they now make coffee at home and carry it in a thermos. They went on to say that the money they save equals their current boat payment. We agreed that may be one type of saving; however, it really was nothing more than a reallocation of capital.

Saving for retirement is much different. We define it as “accumulating capital for the sole purpose of creating wealth, to accomplish the goal of being able to achieve what the survey called ‘retirement readiness.'” This was capital earmarked for 20 years down the road and would be used for no other purpose. This is capital that must be accumulated above and beyond your normal living expenses.

How do we accumulate this retirement capital?

Being particularly bored on a long-distance international flight many years ago, I decided to make a list of all the material things I wanted out of life. I had just departed the United Arab Emirates and had seen some of the ostentatious wealth enjoyed by the sheiks and was thinking that it would be cool to have that kind of money. It turned out to be a two-page list. Then I figured out the cost of acquiring all the items on the list, plus the cost of maintenance. I came to one conclusion: I needed to win the big lottery annually! It was time for a dose of reality.
Understand the difference between needs versus wants. One does not have to be a miser to keep things in perspective. Baby boomers were taught to buy the biggest, most expensive homes they could afford because it was guaranteed to increase in value. For a few decades that was true, but not anymore. By the time you can really afford the McMansion, do you really need it? How many folks have we seen buy a McMansion as their children are becoming teens? A decade later, the nest is empty and maintenance, taxes, and just keeping it clean becomes a real challenge.

Do you really need all the latest computer technology, particularly when your current computer is working just fine? Do you have to have a new car the minute you pay your old one off? When your closet is so full of clothes that you have to start hanging some in the guest bedroom, it might be a clue.

My children agreed that much of what we discussed was a different way of thinking. Many in my generation realized that living within – and below – your means is a good thing when we retired; better the baby boomers get a 20-year head start.
Pay yourself first and learn to live on the rest. As I look back, the single greatest words of advice from a mentor about how to save would be that simple sentence. My wife and I would be living from month to month, but doing OK, and then a nice promotion or raise would come along. Two years later we would ask ourselves, “Where did the money go?” Once again we were living month to month, hoping for the next raise or promotion.

We finally ‘fessed up to ourselves and determined that the piano which is seldom used and the pool table that was now primarily used for folding clothes were perfect examples of our theory: “The more you make, the more you spend.” I will also readily admit that I was probably the worst culprit; if money was available, there was always something cool I could find to spend it on.

When my friend discussed the sentence with me, he really emphasized that you have to pay yourself first. By that he meant save the money where it is not easily accessible, or you will not accumulate any wealth – just more stuff. He was right.

The first step was to look for ways to save money as he suggested. For baby boomers, there are two obvious places to start. First is this: if you have a mortgage, can you make extra or larger payments? At the time, I was paid a monthly draw and then got a commission check each quarter. One thing my friend taught me was to write an extra house-payment check the minute the commission check was deposited; then we could figure out what we would do with the rest.

The second area is some sort of IRA or company retirement plan. The goal is to maximize your contribution to that plan as quickly as possible. Doing it all at once may not seem possible, but you can incrementally increase your deductions. My son told me of a friend’s wife who went back into the job market after being a stay-at-home mom. They immediately upped his contribution to his company’s 401(k) plan by 10% of her salary. They knew they could live on his salary; they had for years. In addition, she’s setting up her own IRA.
Commit yourself to being committed. I borrowed that line from a book written by Dennis Connor called The Art of Winning, in which he talked about winning the America’s Cup yacht race. It was a book I particularly enjoyed and profited from. There were times in my life where my wife and I would have to both discuss an issue and jointly make a commitment to do something different. Then it became our job to encourage and reinforce each other as we embarked on our new challenge.

Saving money for retirement is a process, not an event. Baby boomers don’t have the means to do it all at once, but they have to start somewhere. Start small, but make the commitment. As you watch your savings grow, the natural process is to find ways to make it grow faster. Many savers have told me it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more it grows, the more excited they become and the more it accelerates. One advantage of saving is the compounding effect. Many folks look forward to the day that their savings earns 10%, then 20% above and beyond what they are contributing.
Invest prudently. As you see your wealth begin to accumulate, you need to continually educate yourself about how to invest wisely. This too is a process, not an event.

A mentor once told me that I would accumulate wealth a lot quicker if I would quit trying to hit a five-run home run… there is no such thing. During the Internet boom, many of us wondered if we were the only ones not getting rich overnight. He used the baseball analogy to say that people who accumulate wealth are hitting singles and doubles regularly and consistently moving toward their goals. He was right.
In summary, for baby boomers the challenge is in front of you. You can control your attitude, your efforts, and your behavior. You have seen both boom and bust times and have learned how to survive in both environments. Savers will always find a way to save; the key is to get started now.

I hope you’ll consider following some or all of my tips above on savings. We all know that setting up a solid, reliable income stream is just as important to a comfortable retirement – and increasingly difficult in a world with 0% interest rates at the local bank. That’s why Vedran and I developed a simple 12-month investment income plan you can follow regardless of how much – or how little – you have to invest. And the best part is, if you follow the plan, you’re guaranteed investment income every month.

Friday Funnies

I’m not sure if this article will make you laugh or cry, but I’m sticking it into the Friday Funnies. The Washington Times chronicles the shock felt by many Democrats – and shared on several social-media sites – after seeing their higher payroll taxes after the fiscal-cliff deal was reached. I’ve copied a few of the choice reactions:

“What happened that my Social Security withholding’s [sic] in my paycheck just went up?” a poster wrote on the liberal site “My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonna’ [sic] hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?”

“My boyfriend has had a lot of expenses and is feeling squeezed right now, and having his paycheck shrink really didn’t help,” wrote “DemocratToTheEnd.”

“_Alex™” sounded bummed: “Obama I did not vote for you so you can take away a lot of money from my checks.” “Christian Dixon” seemed crestfallen: “I’m starting to regret voting for Obama.” But “Dave” got his dander up over the tax hike: “Obama is the biggest f***ing liar in the world. Why the f*** did I vote for him?”

Drive Thru Invisible Driver Prank

Correctly Forecasting Europe

What economic model correctly forecasts the outlook for the European economy: A double-dip recession, a V-shaped recovery, or something else?

The bathtub. A steep decline, then a period of stagnation, then it goes down the drain.

On Greece’s Tourism Economy

The economy of Greece is in ruins… but hasn’t it always been?

The Life of a Stock Trader

The pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The optimist sees the glass half full. The stock-market day trader just adds whiskey.

Bank Robbers and Robbers at the Bank

The good news is that, last year, the FBI reported a 20% decrease in the number of people robbing banks. The bad news is that there was a 100% increase in the number of banks robbing people.

The Banker and the Frog

A banker was walking in the park one day when she noticed a large frog sitting along the side of the pond.

As she was walking by, the frog suddenly piped up and said, ““Excuse me… but… ummm… would you happen to be a banker?”

The banker responded, “Why yes, I am a banker. Why do you ask?”

“Well,” says the frog, “I was a forecasting economist, and my forecasts didn’t turn out so well. The CEO I worked for put a spell on me and turned me into a frog. The spell can be broken if a banker will kiss me. Then I can return to being a forecasting economist.”

The banker paused for a moment, then reached out, picked up the frog, put him in her purse, and began walking along.

After a few minutes the frog piped up, “Hey, what are you doing? If you will just give me a kiss I can walk along on my own and you won’t have to carry me.”

The banker stopped, looked down at the frog, and said, “True… but you’re worth a lot more to me as a talking frog than as a forecasting economist.”

That’s it for today. David Galland should be back next week. But before I go, I have one more thing to share with you today. Upon occasion, David likes to share a cool song with our readers. Well, here’s a singer-songwriter who recently caught my ear – Slaid Cleaves. He might not be famous yet, but when you’ve got 68,000 hits on YouTube, you’re doing something right. Here’s his song Broke Down. Let me know what you think. Thank you for reading and subscribing to Casey Daily Dispatch.

Vedran Vuk
Casey Senior Analyst