Sunday, May 18, 2008

Financial Hostage - Oil, Credit & Retirement

Need some oil?
The Saudi king rebuffed President Bush's request for higher oil production.The Saudis' cool response Friday to the volley of American pleas and threats underscores that the U.S., which relies on imports for about 60% of its 20-million-barrel-a-day oil habit, has no near-term prospect of managing prices down.
Wall Street Journal
Being hostage to a need, addiction or situation is never pleasant. As a country we have to bargain and plead for our energy needs - sometimes unsuccessfully. Similar challenges confront us at a more personal level.

  • Credit: Whether it is your credit card company, mortgage company or bank - don't give them the upper hand by taking on more credit than you can afford. Credit if used wisely is good - otherwise it is stress, worry and regular financial badgering.

  • Job: Don't get cornered into a situation where you cannot leave. Cannot because you lack skills, lack credibility or lack market understanding. Enjoy your job, work at the same place forever (if you wish) but be marketable so you can walk away - if the need arises.

  • Retirement: Just read the headlines about the baby boomer retirement challenges - not enough income, diminishing social security, housing issues, shrinking equity portfolios and escalating cost of health care. The question is will you be better prepared or are you gambling with your retirement? Are you funding your 401(K), actively managing your IRA and other retirement assets, keeping an active and fit lifestyle?

Your financial future is in your hands. You can give others control of your financial situation or you can keep control and work towards financial freedom - the choice is yours.

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