The High Cost of Clutter

My husband and I just finished moving from a house we’d lived in for 26 years. It took a move to really drive home the fact that we had collected too much stuff over the years, much of it junk. For weeks before the move, we dropped off loads of stuff at Good Will, put furniture and unwanted garden tools out to the side of the road for whoever wanted them and put out several bags of garbage for pick-up. But it wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough. On moving day, we were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we had left to move.

Things that have outgrown their usefulness will, more than likely, end up shoved into a corner in the garage, the back of a closet or in the basement. In our case, the trouble zones were two home offices and a basement furnace room.

via The High Cost of Clutter.

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3 Easy Steps to Retire By 40

Last time I wrote about the Retire By 40 Movement and why everyone should at least think about retiring from their career by the time they are 40. Today, we’ll dive into how this could be done in 3 easy steps. Well, these steps are easy to say, but they are not that easy to do. Most people finish college around the age of 22 and that only give them 18 years to approach Financial Independent. This is plenty of time if you are 22, but if you are in your 30s and are just getting starter, it’s probably too late to get there by 40. You can still shoot for 50. 🙂

via 3 Easy Steps to Retire By 40.

High-flying S&P 500 actually down last three years? Investors think so – InvestmentNews

Forty-three months into a bull market run and, it turns out, most investors still can’t get over the severe beat down they experienced in 2008, when the S&P 500 Index fell by nearly 40%.

According to Franklin Templeton, which is scheduled to release some new research later today, individual investors in general are both way too conservative and/or out of sync with what has been happening in the equity markets over the past few years.

One surprising finding shows that investors are likely so consumed by the negative economic news, including high unemployment and the weak housing market, that they haven’t even noticed the strength of the stock market.

For example, when 1,000 investors were asked whether they thought the S&P was up or down during each of the past three years, 66% thought it was down in 2009, 48% thought it was down in 2010, and 53% thought it was down last year.

via High-flying S&P 500 actually down last three years? Investors think so – InvestmentNews.

Spending Your Money to Make Someone Else Happy – NYTimes.com

In the early 1990s, I went to Philadelphia on a Mormon mission and lived in a tough section of the city. One day I received a letter from a friend. In it was $100 and instructions to spend it doing something nice for someone else. No spending the money on myself.

It was the holiday season, and I figured it would be fun to provide a great dinner for a family we had recently met who was clearly going to go without. We bought a turkey, stuffing, all the fixings, a pie and small gifts. I still remember leaving the box of food on the doorstep, knocking a few times and running.

via Spending Your Money to Make Someone Else Happy – NYTimes.com.

The Two Keys to Investing: Pickiness and Persistence – NYTimes.com

Based on the e-mails I’m getting, I guess that the stock market is getting scary (again). Will someone please remind me why we’re surprised when the market has periods — sometimes long periods — of turbulence and even decline?

We have a word for this: risk. Sometimes, we swap it out with the word volatility. You hear people complain that the market sure seems volatile lately, or they use the market’s ups and downs as a reason (or excuse) for putting all of their money in cash until things “clear up.”

via The Two Keys to Investing: Pickiness and Persistence – NYTimes.com.

A Question That Changes Everything

In 2003, I was named President of Thomas Nelson. It was an extremely busy time. I made some major changes to my executive team and had two vacant positions. As a result, I essentially had three jobs.

One morning on my way to work, I grabbed my computer case in my right hand, a fresh cup of coffee in my left, and headed downstairs to the garage to leave to work.Four steps from the bottom, I slipped on the carpet. Without a free hand to grab the stair-rail, I tumbled forward. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my fanny on the landing.

via A Question That Changes Everything | Michael Hyatt – Intentional Leadership.

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Allow events to change you.

You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

Forget about good.

Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

via Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.