Many people in their 40s are facing an uncomfortable fact: They simply aren’t where they’d hoped to be financially. Fortunately, all their life experience can help correct for past mistakes.
“There’s a different trigger moment for everybody,” says Jay Howard, financial advisor and partner at MHD Financial in San Antonio, Texas. “But regardless of when it comes, people find themselves looking down the barrel of a gun as they consider retirement.”
One challenge is that it’s impossible to advise 40-somethings based on tidy “life stage” demographics. Some are just starting families, while others are sending offspring to college. They’re married, single, divorced, and just about everything in between.
But for those still grappling with financial instability, these four principles can help in moving forward with confidence:
1. Acknowledge what you’ve done right.
It could be one great decision sandwiched in between some fails, or just a single good habit that can mitigate the impact of a host of wrongs.
Take the example of Kiera Starboard, a 46-year-old controller at a San Diego software firm. A mom to two adult sons and a teenage stepson, she always made having sufficient life insurance—both term and permanent—a priority, the result of her previous training as a financial advisor. “Even if it was tight, I made the payments,” she says. “It was a priority for my family’s sake, and for my own peace of mind.”
Unlike the 40% of Americans who have no life insurance, Starboard was protected when the unthinkable happened last August. Less than two years into her marriage, her husband, Steve, was killed while riding his motorcycle to work—one month after they purchased a small, additional life insurance policy to supplement his employer coverage.
“To have had to deal with financial stress on top of everything else, it would have been unbearable, incapacitating,” says Starboard. “My stepson and I are certainly in a much better position today than we would have been, had Steve and I not followed the advice I used to give to others.”
2. Take action to shore up the decades ahead.
For many, the hardest part can be learning to put your own long-term future first—sometimes for the first time in your life.
“I see people focusing on their kids’ college savings, and not enough on retirement or an emergency fund for themselves,” says Starboard. Many advisors point out that kids can borrow for college if necessary, but no one can borrow for retirement.
The most important step is clear, says Howard: “You must have a written financial plan, period. Because that plan will dictate what you must do to be successful for the entirely of your life.
“The financial plan is your road map,” he continues. “In it will be your portfolio requirements, your savings goals, and your insurance-related needs.”
Finally, make sure your plan takes inflation into account, commonly estimated at 3% a year. Says Howard, “Inflation is the silent assassin that eats away at your nest egg.”
3. Apply the hard-fought wisdom you’ve gained.
“Treat the numbers determined by your plan—such as monthly savings—as bills that need to be paid,” advises Howard. When money comes in, it’s easy to start thinking of a new kitchen or a trip to Tulum. “Just be patient and keep the bills paid.”
Using that wisdom also applies to the big stuff. As the executor to her husband’s estate, Starboard has held back making any major decisions. “In a prior loss, I committed to real estate transactions and other things prematurely. At the time, it really felt like the right thing to do but my grief clouded my perception. I had a painful, expensive learning lesson.”
4. Focus on your shining future—really.
Forward thinking is an essential part of your financial plan, says Howard. “Get help really envisioning what kind of retirement you want. For each aspect, really drill down. For instance, where do you want to live? Do you want to be near your grandkids? Will you have the money to go see them? How often? It’s not just financial planning, it’s life planning.”
If all that forward thinking feels presumptuous, Howard recalls the eminently quotable Yogi Berra, who once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”
And finally, remember the simple refrain: it’s never too late.
UPNIN has passed many milestones in 2016. As proud as I am of our progress and our services, I know that we will make mistakes along the way- some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors. Our passion for pioneering will drive us to explore narrow passages, and unavoidably, many will turn out to be blind alleys. But, with a bit of good fortune- there will also be a few that open up into broad avenues. I’d like to begin by giving you update on some of our current assets.
Our investment in PitchMan Apparel has been a great success in less then a year. We exceeded expectations in Omaha for the booth we had at the College World Series. We made numerous relationships with people in the sports retail business that will be very advantageous for business in coming years. We also took home the Award for “Newcomer of the Year” out of the 10 booths that made an appearance there for the first time. We learned something new everyday and have no doubt our presence in Omaha will get bigger and better in coming years. We also will be rolling out our own brand of baseball gloves with the PitchMan Logo. We hope to offer the highest quality gloves and the free cash flow from sales will help us expand into many other items in coming years. If you haven’t yet, check out our website and remember “Wear What the Pros Wear” #PitchManApparel
Although we have the capabilities to build sites & maintain social media accounts for others, we rely on our Media Company to handle our marketing in house and save the expenses of outsourcing. We know how to do all the things media companies do for others such as SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Advertising, Commercials, etc. At the end of the day, no one cares more about our business then I do and the team assembled. Media is a crowded space, but we have found a niche in snapchat advertising for other companies. Snapchat is currently valued at 17 Billion dollars, and the metrics we get by advertising through this avenue greatly exceeds any other avenue available for a fraction of the cost. It’s cheaper, more effective, and exactly how I intend to operate things at UPNIN. Check out UPNINMedia.com and see our progress.
Our insurance site is live and doing very well. By building our site in-house we now have the ability to license out our platform to other insurance agents. The profit margins for this model are extremely high and very easy to implement now our site is finished. We have the ability to gather more Intel to get a quote then any other insurance site I have came across. Recently we have done several life insurance policies, but as more people in our network go out and start their own businesses, we hope to focus on the various policies businesses need. We also foresee a lot of multi-family property policies being written in coming months with the great resources and companies in our network. Eventually your Network is very close to your NetWorth!
We recently added a legal division on our UPNIN.com site. We have the capability to write wills, form new businesses, and write hundreds of contracts for any legal transaction imaginable. We encourage you to check out our progress on the site so far, and we will be implementing new features and more capabilities in coming months.
Although, the sale cycle for this venture has taken much longer then we anticipated, we recently closed our largest sale ever last week. This was a big milestone for this business and we remain very optimistic about the future of Seat Caps. Once more people see SeatCaps at more events, we are confident the network effect will help us continue to grow Seat Caps and expand into other states around the nation.
We recently changed the name of our crowd-funding site to UPNINFund.com. We believe our UPNIN brand will help the site grow at a faster pace. We have made numerous adjustments over the last year and recently reduced our rate to 2%. In the coming months we have some very low cost innovative marketing tactics we will be implementing to greatly increase the brand awareness of what we have built over many years.. The main advantage we have over Go Fund Me, is our 3% lower cost. That is HUGE and now its imperative we let, as many people as possible know about it. Check out the site and next time you need to raise money for a cause give us a shot! We will take care of you and promote your campaign to as many people as we can!
It’s All About the Long Term
We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership positions. The stronger our market leadership is, the more powerful our economic model will be. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger returns on invested capital.
Obsess Over Customers
From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We have much lower prices then our competitors who only offer one service, and this greatly increases customer value. Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful for the trust our customers/clients have placed in us.
Recent Networking Events
Over the last month we have had some incredible opportunities to go to a few really unique places. By keeping in touch with our people and utilizing our knowledge we got a chance to go see Jeff Bezos’s space exploration operations in Van Horn, TX. Although, we can’t discuss what we did there, it was incredible experience and have no doubt Blue Origin will be taking people to space in the next few years. We also went to a political event at Harlan Crows house in Dallas for 3 politicians that were in town. His 30M House backs up to the Dallas Country club and is by far the most impressive house I have ever seen. From his statues in backyard, his 77-car underground parking garage, and his office being a replica of the Oval Office, it was something special to see. A little over $860,000 was raised, so we got to meet some big time movers and shakers.
Goals for 2016 and Beyond
We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our customers through the Internet and commerce. We now know vastly more now than when UPNIN.com was founded, but we still have much to learn. Our goal remains to continue to solidify and extend our brand and customer base. We will balance our focus on growth with emphases on long-term profitability and capital management. At this stage, we choose to prioritize growth because we believe that scale is central to achieving the potential of our business model.
Our Vision is to use our platform to build Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can bank, get insurance, manage their investments, access legal services in a way no other company has ever offered before. We see substantial opportunity in the large markets we are targeting. This strategy is not without risk: it requires serious investment and execution against established franchise leaders. We must be committed to constant improvement, experimentation, and innovation in every initiative. We love to be pioneers, it’s in the DNA of UPNIN, and it’s a good thing, too, because we’ll need that pioneering spirit to succeed. We believe we are still in the early stages of the Internet and that 10 years from now everyone in world will be connected and a potential customer with all the services we offer and will offer.
2016 has been an incredibly year so far. We at UPNIN are grateful to our customers for their businesses and trust, to each other for our hard work, and to our shareholders for their support and encouragement.
“Work Hard, Have Fun, and Make History”
Brian A. Blackwell
Founder and CEO
You finish work at 6 pm, go to bed at 12 midnight.
Within these six hours, how do you spend them?
Watching TV? In fact, the activities you do between 6 am and 12 midnight,
the importance of it is beyond your imagination. Too many people believe that,
your career is determined by the 8 hours of hard work and effort you put at work,
and your future and career progression depend on the boss and the company.
But the reality is that for most people, this thing, you are on your own…..
“Cultivation”, it’s forever dependent by yourself. If you found yourself not progressing in life, you cannot blame and put the responsibility on your company for not grooming you.
1. What you do every night is important
My major in college was marketing, but I expect to become a designer. So I practiced day and night,
picking up some freelance work to improve my design skills. It took me a long time.
When I became a boss, I no longer need to involve myself in design work,
So I went back to the Marketing field. Every day, when my children are sleeping, I began learning to gain more knowledge, this again took me a long time, But I begin to realize my returns.
If I rely on my working hours to gain skills, then I will never have become a creative director and a product manager, or like today, teaching MBA students on Marketing. What I rely on, is myself giving myself “lessons”. And the most successful people I knew, walked the same path as I am. I have a friend who is a History graduate, but he is interested in technical sales,
In the day, he does telemarketing, at night he learns how to code,
Finally, he became the vice president of sales in a startup company. Now, he’s a CTO. I have another friend, he received a degree in political science. But he’s very interested in entrepreneurship. he learnt a lot of knowledge on how to start up a company, eventually, he founded a company and sold it, Now he has reaped the rewards.
For them, what they do between 6 pm till 12 midnight,
is what determined their future. Clearly, we need to balance life and work.
If you have a wife and children, every night, you have to stay with them.
Even if you are single, you also need a reasonable allocation of time to go to the gym, to meet with friends, or be alone to meditate and so on. Of course, watching movies, playing games is good.
But there are things you do not need to do.
For example, watching the new season of a Netflix drama,
14 hours per week watching television (This is the average amount of time watching television).
The time spent playing the game Candy Crush.
Or spending time stalking your high school alumni on Facebook, it does not seem to be good.
So what should you do?
2. Read more, anything will do!
My college mentor was born in Alabama,
A poor African family. He was admitted to West Point Military Academy, and he became the first person in the family to go college. Before going to Havard for his MBA, he’s a trained officer.
When I met him, he has already developed his career in the city of Colorado Springs.
I asked him, what’s his biggest success? He replied, because he kept the habit of reading,
and he never stopped. He believed that if you want to get what you want in life,
knowledge is the key. He often asked his interviewees what book are they reading now,
the excellent ones can give an answer immediately. Reading can give you a good headstart,
this is often what your peers cannot obtain. Compared to others, you are more likely to know other industries strategies and tactics, and that may be helpful to your company. You can transfer your knowledge within the organization, create new possibilities for your company.
Moreover, your conversation topics will become more interesting.
Anthony Robbins said: “If you spend one hour a day to learn about a topic,
a year later, in this regard, the knowledge you gain will be more than 99.999% of the world’s people.”
Even if you have 30 minutes every night, each week you can easily read a book. You may not be an expert, but I promise, you’ll know more than what your peers know.
3. Do some projects
You can apply the knowledge learnt to real work scenario, this is only an ideal state. If your company did not give you this opportunity, create opportunities for yourself.
You can do some volunteer projects. They can bring you fame.
Working with a team, you’ll understand how things work. In the practical application of the industry,
and how it ultimately affect actual customers. You’ll learn how to perform the task and meet deadlines,
and get feedbacks on what you are doing, and benefit from it. When you are not strong enough, these experience may not have any value to you. But you are still a novice. These experiences are far more valuable than the miserable pay you are getting. If you can really convince others of your pockets of fruits of labour, Then go try it. But do not let these private jobs affect your work.
4. Actively build your connections
In your career path, a strong network of connections will make everything accelerate.
If you have not set up your own personal connections, you’ll need to divide a portion of your time to do this.
A strong network of relationships, can enable you:
If you are an entrepreneur, your network connections will be your early customers, your staffs are a source of capital rather than go home, or going to a bar, you should find some inner circles.
There are many small groups which are highly relevant to your career.
You should try to integrate into these circles. Every week, you can drink coffee together with new friends,
go drinking or have breakfast. You can also look into everyone’s career developments on LinkedIn.
And establish a network with mentors in those professional industries.
They may be your next job employer, who knows? Your connections will be your most powerful asset in the workplace. Since you have time to watch “The Voice of China”, you have time to build a social network.
5. The CHANGE of your LIFE starts TONIGHT
6 pm to 12 am, you go home, though physically and mentally tired,
you are free to do anything and do not have to take orders from others.
During this time, you can switch off like switching off your computer at your workplace, switch off your brain. But you can also do something, make you smarter, stronger, have a wider network of people.
From the start tonight, take an hour a day to do these things, I guarantee that after a year, your career, and life will change.
By: Kalyana Sundaram, Business Development Executive
The modern smartphone is a remarkable device. A single device that fits in your pocket can do all the tasks that once required cameras, camcorders, GPS devices, watches, alarm clocks, calculators, and even TVs.
But the next change might be the most radical of all—it could eliminate the need to carry cash and credit cards.
The growing importance of the smartphone as the go-to computing device for every digital activity is having a profound effect everywhere you look, but it’s only the biggest story among many exciting developments in the world of payments:
Among the big picture insights you’ll get from this new report, titled The Payments Ecosystem Report: Everything You Need to Know About The Next Era of Payment Processing:
A startup called Verifly is making insurance on-demand, and per-flight, available to drone users today with a new mobile app and service that’s been in the works since late 2014. The service launches just in time to support a burgeoning consumer and commercial market for unmanned aerial vehicle use in the U.S.
Over half a million drones that weigh more than half a pound have been registered with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration since December 2015, when it made registration mandatory. And while the regulations are evolving, the FAA also set new rules for small UAVs in June that industry insiders are saying will bring even more drones into domestic airspace.
Verifly co-founder and CEO Jay Bregman said that he and co-founder and CTO Eugene Hertz wanted to design something simple, easy to use and tailored to the particular type of risk associated with flying a drone.
Consumer drones have hit power lines in Southern California, crashed into the stands at major sporting events including the U.S. Open in 2015, and most famously onto the White House lawn.
The Verifly app draws a quarter mile circle around users, analyzes information from the startup’s proprietary geospatial and weather databases, and shows the user their estimated risk. It then sets a price for the drone pilot on a policy they can buy on-the-spot. If they agree to the price, users pay with a credit card to get $1 million in third-party liability coverage with $10,000 of invasion-of-privacy coverage.
Previously Bregman founded ride hailing startup Hailo, the Uber challengers now majority-owned by Daimler, and merged with MyTaxi and Hertz was CIO of the e-commerce startup Quidisi. While Verifly is a licensed producer, its policies are underwritten by Global Aerospace Insurance, which has been providing aviation insurance policies well before consumer UAVs hit the market.
Verifly has had to get approvals to operate state-by-state, since insurance is regulated by state-level government, not the FAA or any other White House office, where drones are concerned.
By Lora Kolodny