I recently was speaking with a young man in his early 20’s. I asked him what was his concern about today’s society. He thought for a moment and said he thought people worried the most about “stability”. He elaborated that nothing seemed very stable. He felt people were trying to create a more stable environment for themselves but that it seemed much harder to do. He went on to say that there are more than enough tools out there to help us but people need to learn how to use them. They either don’t know how or won’t put out the effort to learn how.
I think I’ll pick his brain some more at another time but he was right on the money with his comment. We all want more stability in a world that is more chaotic, uncertain and scary. Alas, we keep going back to the old models of our more stable times. We look to the government to save us through some sort of scheme or subsidy, we look to the banks, insurance companies, medical system, education system, religious system and the pension system to save, protect and soothe our fear of the future.
Almost 40% of our workforce is now “freelancing”—meaning they have become independent contractors and forced entrepreneurs. They can only “eat what they can kill” and the profile for this freelancer is brokering services or providing the service or product. No clients equals no food, shelter or clothing. We are the new “self-employed” learning to live with instability, uncertainty, accountability and fear as we head out into the brave new world.
Since everything has changed and will continue to change rapidly for the next 8 years, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep looking at past pillars of stability. Even “guaranteed” pensions can’t be guaranteed—even if written in a state constitution. Loopholes exist in just about everything—except death. That is one thing you can rely upon for your future.
In the meantime, begin looking at all the various new models that are available to you. Learn about them and how they can benefit you.
The models for lending are changing, stay current on what’s new. Health care has changed and will change a whole lot more before it settles down. Government waste, fraud and mismanagement will result in cut-backs in some programs and insurance companies will put all kinds of tiered levels in their policies to increase profits and minimize risks. Even religions are continuously being eclipsed. Look, Pope Francis came out in favor of environmental protections and respect and love for gay and lesbians. Change or become irrelevant is the motto for more religious institutions.
Use courage. This requires you to become uncomfortable and perhaps look foolish. Do it anyway. Pretend you are a company and you must create opportunities for it to grow. Don’t look for stability in institutions that are in flux and for heaven’s sake, don’t invest in Iraqi Dinars, anything that comes in the mail, your 3rd cousin’s tip on buying gold or betting against the USA. America has its’ problems but it has a great birth chart. It is just experiencing its’ first Pluto return (which happens only every 240 years and lasts 16 years from start to finish). It has to revolutionize itself and get better. Old systems are dying. You don’t have to! Get out of this notion that you can retire at 55 and go off and travel, visit the grandkids and get fat. Your goal in life was never to acquire a safe pension, it was always about learning, growing and serving. Pretend your pension didn’t exist, what would you do? You are the source of your stability. That’s a good place to start looking.