For the last 7 years, my mother-in-law has talked about winning the lottery. Yes, she has won some money at the slot machines at the casino resorts in Louisiana. She has even won some money playing bingo and betting on the scratch-offs. However, winning the lottery is a totally different story.
I once read a book on gambling, it gave a humorous definition of the lottery: “God’s way of punishing people who are bad at math.”
Research has proven that most of the lottery tickets purchased, are bought predominately in the poorer sections of many cities. Mainly the ghettos and the barrios.
According to lottery statistics, as sometimes printed in the fine print on most lottery tickets; the odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot are said to be one in 175 million.
After good health and peace of mind, and positive family relationships, one of the best gifts that you can give yourself is a retirement plan that is based on your creativity instead of on the chances of winning the lottery.
Probably the best plan for black baby boomers, is to have a diversified retirement nest egg, which can include Social Security, Medicare, a work pension plan, a tax-free savings account and other forms of savings or income. This plan, is something which black baby boomers should start contributing to as early and as often as possible.
Millions of black folks line up for lottery tickets every week, hoping to realize their dreams of being rich, independent, and carefree. A lot of the black baby boomers, whom are not saving for their retirement are standing in those lines to buy a Powerball ticket. It’s a lot more easier and seductive than instituting a progressive retirement savings plan.
Listed below are some tactics and strategies better suited for gaining riches and wealth in your retirement, that are not a matter of someone pulling your lucky number out of a basket.
1. SPEND LESS THAN WHAT YOU MAKE.
Two or three percent less, 10% less, 20% less – whatever the number, it must be calculated from a comparison of your monthly income based on your monthly budget. Keep in mind, that comparison may take 20 minutes, or an hour, or all day, but it is time well spent. In effect, you will be paying yourself ‘X’ dollars a month – and paying yourself first, rather than your creditors, or betting on the lottery. This is a basic and fundamental move for financial independence.
2. DIRECT THIS MONEY INTO SAVINGS/INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS.
It is vital to build up savings so that you can have an emergency fund – a good, strong emergency fund amounts to a minimum of 3 to 6 months worth of salary. Another portion of the money can go into retirement savings accounts, such as an IRA or 401k, preferably to be invested in stocks or bonds or mutual funds.
OK, so 2017 has shown some record highs on Wall Street, but keep in mind, that is not the norm for the market, and based on historical evidence; what goes up, must come down.
3. ELIMINATE THE BAD DEBTS.
There are some “good debts” in life – debts that we take on in pursuit of a worthy outcome, such as a home loan or an education loan or perhaps rental real estate. Bad debts far outnumber them, and the average credit card statement will prove it. Some financial professionals and consumer advocates will tell you to try and pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, then the one with the next highest interest rate, and so on; others will tell you to eliminate the smallest debt first and work your way up to the largest.
One way or the other, one of your goals should be less debt and you want to pay off any credit card balances in full each month.
4. SPEAK WITH A PROFESSIONAL.
When will you have enough savings to retire? When should you claim Social Security, and how long should you keep working? How much monthly income might you need when you are retired? Most people retire without any answers to these questions, mostly wild guesses. As black baby boomers, it is important to know not only what you are doing, but also where you are going – and through a long-term saving and investing strategy, you can set some realistic objectives and measure your progress toward them over time.
The fantasy of receiving great wealth with no effort inspires people to play the lottery and try out other forms of gambling. The honest reality is that saving for retirement takes planning and commitment. While some may not want to acknowledge this reality, those who do may find themselves making financial strides as others struggle all their life.
In a 1999 survey by the Consumer Federation of America and financial services firm Primerica, 40% of Americans with incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 — and nearly one-half of respondents with an income of $15,000 to $25,000 — thought winning the lottery would give them their retirement nest egg. Overall, 27% of respondents said that their best chance to gain $500,000 in their lifetime is via a sweepstakes or lottery win, the survey said. – MSN Money
50 percent of Americans and 30 percent of Canadians think they will retire rich by winning the lottery – Are you one of them?