The majority of people think they’re better-than-average drivers, and mathematically, not everyone can be above average. Being optimistic is excellent, and too much may impair your judgment on many things, especially when planning for your financial future.
Being optimistic is valuable as we live our life. Frequently, overconfidence bias leads quickly to confirmation bias, and both of these biases are problematic, especially when combined. However, sometimes our abilities begin to skew toward unrealistic, which can impair decision-making behavior.
Either alone or combined, these biases are often linked to us believing we can avoid negative things from happening to us. When it comes to retirement planning decisions, you need to separate your biases from reality; this can present a challenge.
Overconfidence in your retirement planning may cause you to overlook potential risks, underestimate the time spent in retirement, and misjudge how long your income will last. Seeing the bigger picture through another set of impartial eyes is crucial and will help you sidestep the influence of biases. Finding ways to work around these biases will allow you to see the value of long-term planning.
Let’s be realistic about the financial future:
Over 50% of retirees retired before they planned; the most common reason was health problems. Illness can occur at any time and may lengthen your retirement requiring savings to stretch farther than planned.
50% of retirees said their health care costs were higher than expected.
Almost 40% said all other expenses were more than they thought.
It’s essential to understand no one can avoid retirement risks; however, careful planning can help mitigate them.
While overconfidence can undermine the success of a long-term financial plan, clients who are secure in their decisions will likely be satisfied customers. It would be best if you found a balance between an optimistic yet realistic approach to planning.
For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”
The government wants to reduce expenses by using a different CPI version of the (Consumer Price Index). Their new attempt, known as chained CPI (Consumer Price Index) (aka C-CPI-U), this alternative formula reflects how consumers change their purchasing habits when prices rise or fall for a broad range of services, including food, housing, clothing, and medical expenses.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that government spending on Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits would decline by about $300 billion over ten years if this less-generous index were in place.
The idea of switching to a chained CPI has garnered bipartisan support to rein in entitlement spending. But at what cost? There will be plenty.
Many elements of the federal tax code — including tax brackets, personal exemptions, standard deductions, limits on contributions to 401(k) plans and similar accounts, and critical parameters of the earned income and child tax credits — are also adjusted annually for the CPI. According to the CBO, switching to the chained CPI would raise an additional $150 billions of tax revenue through 2026.
The chained CPI grows on average by about 0.3 percentage points per year more slowly than the official CPI (which is weak at best gauge to the actual cost of living). The Social Security actuaries, in their projections, assume the gap between the two CPIs will continue to average 0.3 percentage points per year in the future.
The Chained CPI will chain you to a lifetime of higher taxes. According to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, if individual income taxes had been indexed to the chained CPI starting July 2013, by 2022, 69 percent of the gains in revenue would come from taxpayers with incomes below $100,000, while those in the highest income brackets would barely be affected. In other words, raise the taxes on the middle class while leaving the rich alone.
Higher taxes are coming; start planning now!
For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the federal law establishing standards for 401(k)s and 403(b), some employers may poorly
By full compliance with 404(c), companies can have no liability for poor investment results, losses to plan participants, or not having enough money to retire. However, full compliance is a vague term subject to much interpretation and lawsuits.
ERISA set forth rules to exempt employers from liability understand plan requirements. for losses plan participants incur due to their investment choices.
To qualify for relief under ERISA Section 404(c), the plan fiduciary must provide participants the chance to:
Choose, from a broad range of investments, how their accounts will be invested, which allows participants to diversify their investments and have the ability to make frequent changes among them.
This sounds simple enough. However, the regulation clearly specifies that participants also must have sufficient information to make informed investment choices. If not, the Department of Labor can revoke companies’ 404(c) protection. Four specific categories of participant communication that do not constitute investment advice:
General financial and investment information
Asset allocation models
The objective is not to lead the employee in choosing any investments—the critical question to ask to comply with 404(c) fully and sadly, where most legal challenges arise:
When using employee education, is it on generally accepted investment theories?
Do they clearly disclose the “What if assumptions on which they are based?
Is the plan surveying participants to determine their level of investment knowledge?
Are plan communications written so that participants can clearly understand them?
The above four lead to so many problems and legal challenges for companies. Most of these problems can be avoided by providing employee education through a Personal Financial Proficiency (PFP) course. This course gives the employees all the tools they need to understand, prepare and adequately save for retirement. More can also be found in my July 2022 Linkedin paper: An HR guide to: Financial Literacy vs. Financial Proficiency.
This is the time of year when we slow down enough to contemplate how our year went and what’s ahead for us. It’s also a time of year for layoffs, as companies do the same. That means that a lot of people will be looking for new job opportunities in 2023, either by their own choosing or because their role has ended.
If you are in the latter category, do allow yourself some time to grieve. Whether you loved that lost job or merely tolerated it, being without it is a major change in status, routine, income predictability, and access to colleagues.
When you’re ready to launch your search, here are some things to keep in mind:
You still have your skills and your experiences
Your skills and experiences will allow you to do jobs similar to the one you had (or are contemplating leaving)
Your skills and experiences can be applied in new ways to a totally different role
You are worthy
When I work with someone who is seeking a new position, I share my analogy of the kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscopes create their captivating images using the same pieces (think skills and experiences), combined in different ways each time you change the position of the wheel. This is an especially helpful analogy for people who have determined that they don’t want to keep doing the same kind of work until their retirement and for people whose industry is retrenching.
My own kaleidoscope story
For 20 years I worked with a Fortune 500 company as a marketing communications consultant across two of their divisions, writing the kinds of written collateral that would launch new medical devices around the world. Through my own choosing and to avoid any conflict of interest, they were my sole client. My primary skills were active listening to my clients explain about the new device, discerning what each of their audiences (physicians, patients and third-party payers) would want to know, and writing messaging that would resonate with each. Of course, I had deep content knowledge and a strong understanding of branding as well.
Then, in 2011, my phone no longer rang. My in-basket was empty. I learned that in response to an economic downturn the company had outsourced whole functions under retainer arrangements, including marketing communications.
I was out of business.
Because I knew practically no one outside the company and no one knew of my skills, I turned to LinkedIn to grow a network and to attract new clients or a new position. I knew that my writing skills would allow me to write about my skills effectively but I felt I needed to know more about how the platform worked. So I began to study LinkedIn intensely, attending webinars, reading articles, and following thought leaders. Along the way I reached out to my former clients who had also lost their jobs and helped them with their profiles. They were so impressed with my new content knowledge that they sent me their friends who needed help with their online branding, too.
Now I am honored to shine branding brilliance on people instead of products. I listen actively to my clients – where they’ve been and where they’re going. I discern how to most effectively communicate to their intended audience. And then I write authentic and powerful marketing story for them, using my new deep content knowledge of how the LinkedIn platform works.
Look again at the paragraphs above and note that the words in boldface are common between the two paragraphs. You see, the key skills from my prior job are now being used in my new career. The new image created by shifting the shapes in my own kaleidoscope turned out to be even more satisfying to me than the last.
My own journey is one of the reasons I am very effective and successful at working with others whose job has ended or who no longer find their job to be satisfying. In fact, this year The American Reporter named me one of the six “top personal branding experts to watch.”
Use Kaleidoscope Thinking for Yourself
To use kaleidoscope thinking, concentrate on identifying your skills. Start by examining and modifying your Skills inventory on your LinkedIn profile. We all have skills that we don’t enjoy using as well as skills we are passionate about using. When you identify a skill that you don’t enjoy using, just delete it from your list. Then look over your list again. The chances are that although what is left on your list are skills you enjoy using, they don’t fully capture all the value you can bring to a workplace. It’s time to add additional skills you enjoy using that are not currently represented on your Skills inventory. LinkedIn allows you to list 50 skills, and using all 50 slots is the best practice. You might find it helpful to do this exercise with a trusted advisor familiar with LinkedIn’s skills inventory.
When you’ve completed subtracting and adding items on your Skills inventory, identify your three most important skills and pin them in the top three positions of your inventory.
Expand Your Horizon
Now that you’re warmed up, think of places that need those skills. If doing a similar position for a competitor is not going to meet your needs, it is time to think expansively. Make yourself a list. Do any of these possibilities make you smile? If so, you’re ready to re-engineer your LinkedIn profile and other job search collateral to target those right-for-you opportunities.
Job transitions are difficult. Please remember that the world of work still needs your skills and you are worthy. And, if you could use some help along the way, I’m here.
About Carol Kaemmerer
Named one of six top branding experts in 2022 by The American Reporter, I’ve helped countless C-level clients over the past ten years to use LinkedIn to frame conversations, impress customers, and introduce themselves before their first conversation takes place.
Executive one-on-one assistance with your online brand
Professional speaking engagements on personal brand and LinkedIn
An autographed copy of my book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2ndEdition
My self-paced, online course
To receive my articles in your email mailbox monthly
My award-winning book, LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive-2nd Edition received BookAuthority’s “Best LinkedIn Books of All Time” award. It was named one of the “Top 100+ Best Business Books” by The C-Suite Network, and it is an International Book Awards winner. For your author-inscribed and signed book or for quantity discounts, order at: https://carolkaemmerer.com/books
Did you know that only 9% of b2b companies rate their digital promotional efforts as highly effective? So chances are that’s you (and me, and everyone else too for that matter)…
So than what do we do when our marketing isn’t working? When no one is clicking our stuff, liking our posts? Just crickets…
According to marketing expert Adam Erhart, 90% of businesses ARE NOTposting near enough content (what he calls the minimum effective dose to trigger the algorithms) for anyone to notice.
Don’t you skip this part, it’s way more important than you think.
Erhart explains that most businesses dabble in too many things and totally fail to find their sweet spot online.
In a recent video, Adam Erhart breaks down where most businesses fail online and covers 7 effective strategies to finally take your online presence by storm in 2022 (or skim the full summary below for the highlights).
Adam Erhart’s 7 Effective Marketing Strategies for 2022
#1 Most Businesses Don’t Post the Minimum Effective Dose:
When competing online, you’re not simply competing against your competitors, or even simply inside your industry for that matter. Instead, you’re competing with Youtubers, Twitter, CNN, Fox, Disney, Pandora, and millions of other sources of content distractions all fighting for the same attention.
So like Adam mentioned, as simple as it sounds, 90% of b2b businesses simply aren’t creating enough content on one single platform to stand out from anything else. A couple posts a week isn’t going to cut it.
Not even close…
Most companies “try social” or will spend $100 on ads and won’t see any sales and thus conclude…”the platform doesn’t work.” Spoiler alert, it doesn’t work that way.
If you’re not standing out, it’s almost always the case that you haven’t created enough content or a minimum effective dose to stand out on a particular app (let alone all of them). This is where 90% simply fail.
#2 The Marketing Rule of 7
Okay, so then how much content and how many touch points does it take to stay in front of someone long enough to get them to buy?
Fair question…That’s where Adam’s “rule of 7” comes into place.
The rule of seven works roughly like this; if your product is inexpensive, say $1-$20. You will likely have to get someone to see your message 7 times before they will open their wallet to grab their credit card. Higher ticket item? Plan on 14 or 21 touch points.
The higher the ticket price the more times you will likely need to be in front of your prospect. Just like a sales person doesn’t close someone usually on the first call, it’s even harder for a marketing message to close a sale to cold traffic post.
The average digital touchpoint to close a sale online is typically between 17-29 touch points!
That’s why volume is so important and again why 90% of companies are not producing enough.
But it’s admittedly a bit more complicated than just social posts, you will most likely need to create a subscription to create what Adam calls the “Mere Exposure Effect”.
Here’s what that means…
#3 The Mere Exposure Effect Explained…
The mere exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon where people develop a preference for things that are more familiar to them than others. Repeated exposure increases familiarity.
In short, it’s the familiarity effect. The more often people are exposed to your brand the more they will trust you and willing to buy from you (or recommend you to others).
Post enough to reach a minimum effective dose.
Keep increasing the volume until you see results.
Implement the rule of seven until you discover how many touch points it takes to generate a lead.
The most effective way to get to the rule of seven is by getting your customer to join your communication list (email, newsletter, podcast, youtube).
Then finally continue to nurture them to create the Mere Exposure Effect.
#4 Go Deep on a Subject, Not Broad
Rule #4 is short and sweet. There’s billions of people on the planet, you can’t and don’t want to serve them all.
In fact, the broader your content, the easier it is to fail.
Instead, focus on making better connections with fewer people. The easiest way to do that is to find people that see the world the same way as you and who have the same goals.
Find them by sharing your beliefs and values in your content. Share your story of how you overcame the gist hurtle your customer is experiencing (as it relates to your product or service).
Sharing is caring…
#5 Develop Your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar)
Get clear on the demographics, geographics, and psychographics beliefs, values lifestyles that make them who they are. What are their fears and frustrations, goals and aspirations?
The easiest way to develop your core message is to write down the top 5 things your customer wants to achieve and the 3 things that are stopping them from achieving their goals. Choose the top obstacle to focus your story around.
That’s where you will identify your brand story. Adam refers to this as knowing your customer’s miracles and miseries…
#6 Know Your Customer’s Miracles and Miseries
Dean Graziosi always says; “customers don’t buy from you when they understand what you sell, they buy when they feel understood.”
The miracles are all the things the customer wants and desires. Their miseries are all the things stopping them from getting what they want (as it relates to your product or service).
Knowing what’s stopping your avatar from getting what they want will allow you to position your service as the bridge that can help them overcome the misery gap to achieve what they want and see you as the hero.
This is where conversions take place.
#7 Sell the Benefits – Not the Features
When it comes to marketing, it’s not about the features, it’s about how those features will get the customer what they want. The real value is in the benefit.
People don’t buy based on logic, but rather emotions. That’s why promoting features doesn’t work, it doesn’t engage people at an emotional level. But connecting the feature to the outcome will overcome that.
Follow these 7 steps to take your marketing to the next level in 2022.
There’s a growing multi-billion dollar industry that’s sprouting up from, of all places, homeowner’s basements. Here’s a peek inside the growing “Microgreen Industry” that one of your neighbors is probably cashing in on.
The global microgreens market size was valued at $1.3 billion in 2019, and is now projected to reach $2.2 billion by 2028. Growing demand for microgreens, along with recent interruptions in global supply chains have created a local cash opportunity.
Especially amongst innovative homeowners looking to cash in on their un-utilized square footage.
What the Hell Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. Unlike larger herbs and vegetables that take weeks or months to grow, microgreens can be harvested and eaten a week to 10 days after leaves have developed. Like baby carrots but for herbs…
These tiny plants only grow to a few inches and can come in 50 to 60 different varieties. Microgreens were originally limited to fancy dinner plates and boutique grocery stores due to their higher cost. But now they’re a multibillion dollar industry.
And did I mention, you can grow them in your basement? The set up cost is low and the growing cycle is super quick, meaning you can be harvesting and selling your first crop in just a couple of weeks.
Interested in this as a side hustle? Here’s an e-Book to get you started…
Microgreens can be grown in a small space and can sell for $50 per pound or more, making them an ideal crop for small farms and “urban growers”. In an area as small as a shipping container, a garage, or basement you could generate thousands per month growing and selling them.
Here’s the full story on how one couple makes $120k/year selling microgreens from the basement of their urban home.
“All my life I’ve seen murders and robberies. I came from that world where everything was dog-eat-dog. If you had money or jewelry, if you couldn’t defend it or protect it, you’re going to loose it.”
– Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson was first arrested at 10 years old. 38 more times by age 13.
Needless to say, he grew up in a rough neighborhood in Brooklyn. If you couldn’t protect yourself, you got taken advantage of. Mike was in over 400 fights in his life.
He quite literally fought his way through life and still is to this day…
How Mike Tyson Blew a $600 Million Fortune
By the age of twenty Tyson was one of the most famous figures on the planet. Namely for being the most talented boxers of all time. And for biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear off during one of the most televised matches in boxing history.
Here’s that throwback…
During his boxing career he amassed over $685 million and he accomplished to spending all of it. Every last penny…
He not only managed to blow through a half billion in cash, he then eventually owed over $50 million in debts, including another $13.4 million to the IRS.
So What Did Mike Tyson Spend $685 Million On Exactly?
Mike routinely traveled with an entourage so large it rivaled the size of a small country.
He owned Siberian tigers and spent hundreds of thousands/year to care for them.
He bought over $400k worth of pigeons too…it’s a long story
He had fleets of luxury vehicles, a posse of prostitutes, and a 21-bedroom mansion.
He was known to spend over $240k month for entertainment and another $100k/month for Jewelry and clothes.
During his lifetime, Tyson reached the peaks of fame and fortune most of us mere mortals will never know or experience. He climbed from the gutter to the height of success. But even at the top of the world by the age of 20, he still had a darkness inside of him…
Watch Mike explain his incredible life story and lessons of gratitude from his personal experiences literally fighting for his life.
Host of Dropping Bombs podcast and CEO of LightSpeed VT dropped a knowledge bomb on a recent episode of Dropping Bombs podcast. Host, Brad Lea commented on the importance of developing a personal brand for C-Suite Executives.
When talking about the importance of creating a personal brand, Brad stated:
“People don’t follow brands they follow people. So your personal brand is ultimately what’s going to tee up doing business.”
In short, Brad believes everyone should develop a personal Brand for their business, no matter what business you’re in.
With over a half million social followers and hundreds of thousands of monthly podcast downloads, Brad knows a thing or two about how to leverage a personal brand.
Here are Brad Lea’s tips on getting starting creating a digital brand presence.
Brad Lea’s Step By Step Advice to Create a Personal Brand:
Let the world know who you are
Get on the big 6 social media platforms and put yourself out there; share your thoughts, opinions, values, beliefs. Don’t just repeat what everyone else is saying.
Don’t be afraid to be polarizing, not for the sake of confrontation, but for the sake of confronting the elephant in the room as it relates to your industry.
But that can often be scary, that’s where tip #2 comes into play…
Don’t be afraid of what other people think
The biggest reason Brad says executives are not active on social is they worry too much about what other people think. Especially on social media where anyone can leave a comment or offer a difference of opinion.
Remember, not everyone will agree with you but that doesn’t matter. You’re goal is to connect with those who do.
As Brad says” “if you never feel the hate, you never feel the love.”
Now for the last and final tip.
Continue to push out content over time
While the actual amount of time will depend on your individual business and circumstances, for a small to medium-sized business, a strong content marketing strategy generally takes between six and nine months to yield real results.
These are just a few of the tips Brad Lea shared in a recent podcast episode. Watch the full clip below.
About Brad Lea:
Brad Lea is the founder of Lightspeed VT, the most advanced training platform on the market. Soon-to-be billionaire and host of the Dropping Bombs Podcast, Brad Lea built LightSpeed VT into a multi-million dollar global tech company from scratch.
As its Founder and CEO, his vision led to LightSpeed VT becoming the world’s leading interactive training system, a system that he’s proud to share with others. In addition to being a CEO, Brad is also the author of The Real Deal.
Brad has helped generate millions for countless companies and individuals, including heavy hitters Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Grant Cardone, Tom Hopkins, World Series Poker, Top Chef, Chase Bank, and so much more. He’s also been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, GCTV, and is a regular guest on several top-rated podcasts such as The $ales Podcast,Success is a Choice and The Inner Changemaker.
You may have even known that he won a Golden Globe and two Emmys for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, the drunk, womanizing black sheep of the Lannister royal family on HBO’s epic blockbuster hit Game of Thrones.
What you might not know, is that a few years ago, he had almost given up on his lifelong dream of becoming a successful actor. He was working at an entry level position at a data company until made a decision that changed the trajectory his life.
His story hits close to home. You can watch him tell it in this video.
But Before He Was Famous
As they say on Game of Thrones, “a Lannister pays their debts”, and long before making an estimated $25 million, Dinklage paid his.
He was a natural performer. Falling in love with it at an early age in plays and skits in school. Peter dreamed and devoted most of his life to theater. He went to school for it. Dreaming to be amongst fellow actors.
It was 1991. He moved to NY to work in theater. He didn’t find any.
The only thing he wanted up until that moment, was to follow his dreams. The only thing he actually had, was no money, no apartment and a NY sized debt.
He worked many low-end jobs. Dusting pianos, pulling weeds, he even went on unemployment once, but not for long, he couldn’t handle the guilt (his words not mine).
Peter Dinklage Was a Data Processor?
After 2 years of job and couch surfing. He finally got a job, in application processing as a data enterer at a company called Professional Application Services.
Where he stayed for 6 years. Longer than he had even studied for his acting dreams. He hated that job. But he clung to it.
From the age of 23-29 he put his real dream on hold. So that he could pay his rent. It afforded him a living. But it paused the real life he wanted.
When Dinklage turned 29, he told himself that the next acting job he got, whatever it paid. From that gig on he would be a full time actor, no matter the cost, for better or worse. He was determined to pursue the life he really wanted.
The Decision That Changed His Life…
At 29 walking away from data processing, he was terrified. It was the only job he felt stuck in. He was afraid of whatever change he had just committed to.
But after 6 years of doing something he didn’t enjoy… Peter gave himself the permission to take a risk.
He landed a low paying theater gig that led to a low paying film which led to several other roles. Which led to other roles. It wasn’t easy, but he kept going anyway.
Overtime, he started to get noticed for one role after another. Until finally breaking through the ultimate dream of being recognized as a leading role on the world’s most popular show (Game of Thrones) with an average of 17.4 million viewers.
Advice on Success From Peter Dinklage
With regards to chasing your dreams and doing things that terrify you. Take it from Peter’s advice:
“Raise your life to meet you. Don’t look for defining moments to change you. They won’t come. The moments that define you have already happened and they will already happen again. Yet they will pass. Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Just do it”