By PAT BOONE, Author, Entertainer

By Craig R. Smith, Author, Swiss America Chairman

By David Bradshaw, Idea Factory Press

THE BIG SHIFT: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife
By Marc Freedman, Book Review

FALLING UPWARD: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
By Richard Rohr, Book Review

By Lowell Ponte, Author, Former Roving Editor, Reader's Digest

By Susan Boskey, Author, The Quality Life Plan

from Swiss America

Index of Free Resources

Author, Entertainer

Hi friends! Here's a word to the wise about retirement planning in the 21st Century.

As a proud member of the "Greatest Generation" - with four daughters and 15 grandchildren - I have a vested interest in preparing wisely for their future.

People ask me all the time: "Pat, will you ever retire?"

My answer is simple: Never! Unless someone can show me the word "retirement" in the Good Book!

Truth is, in our second half of life we're free to discover and live our higher purpose. And to leave a legacy based on either shifting ground or a solid foundation of golden rules (and gold coins).

Today Americans' trust in our leadership and institutions seems to be in free-fall. Many Baby Boomers are now fearful they may outlive their savings and become dependent upon family or the kindness of strangers.

But I have good news for Boomers today: Fear not! You are standing on the threshold of a new era of productivity in your life IF you make wise choices. Wise choices create improved habits - healthy habits create an inspiring lifestyle and a fruitful destiny.

Come on Boomers, the Generations X, Y and Z need our help to become all they can be! Let's shift into gear, use our many gifts and move from surviving to THRIVING! We must demonstrate to every generation how to become a NEW Greatest Generation!



"Prime of Lifer" Boomers Arise!
By Craig R. Smith, Author and Swiss America Chairman

More than three decades ago I began a journey of serving the public with time-tested asset protection strategies amid changing economic and financial trends.

During that time I have financially supported numerous charitable organizations that are dedicated to serving and uplifting young and old alike, from celebrities to the downtrodden.

The time has now come to also focus on serving the purposes of my generation, Baby Boomers, in a new and exciting way: 1) To help Boomers discover their unique calling, dreams and visions and then 2) To help them connect with the resources needed to make these inspired dreams come to fruition.

Webster defines "retire" as: "1: to withdraw from action or danger, 2: to retreat for privacy, 3: to move backward, 4: to withdraw from occupation, conclude working or career."

All four of these "withdrawals" mark the end of a season of life. But where we should go from here is the question millions of Boomers are now asking.

We hope that Primelifers.net will help you on your exciting new journey. Our goals, outlined below, include diverse educational tools and resource links to assist in the emotional, mental, spiritual and financial planning for the second season of life.

Primelifers.net Mission Statement Outline
"Discover Your True Calling in the Second Half of Life"

A non-profit networking resource to help Baby Boomers unlock:
1) Their true passion, purpose and life calling;
2) Self-sustaining income, new job skills, fund raising;
3) Profit & Non-profit networking of resources, time, talent;
4) A bridge over troubled water: from 1st to 2nd season of life;
5) Crisis intervention counseling, suicide prevention resources;
6) Serving the next generation by mentoring and internships;
7) Financial preparation, stewardship & cultural restoration.

Craig R. Smith

Serving the Purposes of Our Generation

Today another 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn sixty. That's over 3 million Boomers a year entering a "new stage" of life - for the next 17 years! I am one of them.

Only a small minority are prepared for their "second half of life" - financially, emotionally or spiritually. This presents a tremendous opportunity for the faith community to demonstrate that - to our generation and the next - love is our soul purpose.

Ready or not, soon one-third of the U.S. population will enter this new season of life - scarcely imagined 50 or 100 years ago - without a rite of passage or road map.

At the dawn of the 20th Century, average life expectancy was age 47. By the 1950s the average was age 68, which, prodded by the Social Security Act in the 1930s, helped give birth to the now-fading 20th Century American "dream" of entering retirement at 60 or 65.

Statisticians report U.S. life expectancy in the 21st Century will be ninety years, or more. This new epoch requires Baby Boomers to begin plotting a new life course, with a fresh road map to help us steward and fulfill our destiny's right destination during our "prime of life."

Author and founder of Encore.org Marc Freedman, is described by the New York Times as "the voice of aging baby boomers seeking meaningful and sustaining work later in life." His book The Big Shift makes an impassioned call to accept the decades opening up between midlife and old age for what they really are - an entirely new stage of life, which he dubs the "encore" years.

"Millions are already in the midst of inventing a new stage of life and work - the encore years - between the end of midlife and anything resembling old-fashioned retirement," writes Freedman. "We're envisioning this chapter as a time when we make some of our most important contributions, for ourselves, for our world, for the well-being of future generations. Each generation has its task, its opportunity, its moment of truth. Let us be remembered for what survives of us, for living our legacy."

Rather than pitting youth against elder, Freedman explains this second season of 20+ years in a way that makes complete sense. The young bring energy, vitality and genius of conceptual creativity to the culture; while elders bring the genius of experimental creativity born of decades of life experiences.

"Call it a midlife epiphany. After decades of pursuing money, titles and ever more stuff, baby boomers are coming to a big realization: Success and security just aren't enough anymore. They want something more fulfilling out of life, something that feeds their spiritual side and connects them to a bigger purpose. For many, the answer is embracing faith - and devoting their lives to serving others," reports the Wall Street Journal, "Some Second Careers Are a Leap of Faith."

The number of Americans aged 55 and older will nearly double in less than 20 years - from 1 in 5 in 2013 (60 million) to 1 in 3 in 2030 (100 million!). Forty million Baby Boomers will hit this milestone in short order, which provides a huge opportunity as well as an ominous danger.

Helping Boomers Transition

Today we still seem to live in a "first-half-of-life culture," mostly concerned with surviving life successfully. Why? Because that's all our predecessors had time for. Now medical breakthroughs and healthier lifestyles have created a new era of life after midlife (50+) but before old age (80+).

"For many Boomers, the old concept of retirement just doesn't register; experts say most either plan to continue in their current job or envision a new career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21% of the USA's civilian workforce was 55 or older as of April 2013; by 2020, it projects a rise to 25%. In 2000, just 13% of the workforce was age 55 or older. MetLife Mature Market Institute's survey of 1,003 people born in 1946 shows that 52% are retired, 21% are employed full-time and 14% work part-time. Another 4% are self-employed," according to USAToday.

For decades psychologists and futurists have encouraged Baby Boomers to create a vision for this new stage of life between midlife and old age, characterized by directing one's life experience toward service to others.

Most of us have been too busy to listen, often caught up in pursuing our personal-financial dreams to notice this approaching tidal wave of change that leads many to increased government dependency.

Today nearly two-thirds of Americans 65 and older receive at least half of their income from Social Security, and more than 20 percent live on it entirely. Economists warn that Social Security and other 20th Century-lifespan entitlement programs are not sustainable in the future.

"Between inflation and consistently pitiful yields, retirement planning has become a Herculean task," reports CNBC.

But there's a bigger problem on the horizon - "A large majority of Baby Boomers on the cusp of retirement won't have enough assets to last them for the duration. Many will need to work longer in order to accumulate the funds necessary to retire."

"The unemployed and over-50 need help," screams a recent Marketwatch headline. "When the stigma of being unemployed is added to the stigma of being old, the chance of getting a job becomes very, very small. This outcome is not only unfair, but also wasteful from a national perspective as a substantial amount of experience and talent goes unused. We need a jobs corps for these individuals and we need it fast."

Worse yet, "Rising suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm," warns the New York Times.

"The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in the last decade," reports AP. Trendy online publications Slate and Salon have published articles that, critics say, encourage aging readers to think positively about self-inflicted death as a life option.

"Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add that final weight to a whole chain of events. Some of us think we're facing an upsurge as this generation moves into later life," says Dr. Eric Caine, a suicide researcher at the University of Rochester.

"The good news is that an alternative already exists," writes Susan Boskey, author of The Quality Life Plan(R).

"Retirement's 21st Century extreme make-over is REINSPIREMENT. Reinspirement has been born from the ashes of the exponential loss of purchasing power in a debt-based monetary system. It is an idea whose time has come. Similar to conventional wisdom that tells us to begin retirement saving when we are young, reinspirement offers a similar journey of a lifetime."

Boskey adds, "In order to access a comfortable independent life in later years, the willingness to re-tool how we think about money and plan for the future is called for. Reinspirement asserts that you (with the help of friends, colleagues and professionals) can design and implement a work-path to fulfill current and future needs starting simply from where you are and what you have today."

Generations X, Y & Z Need to See Boomers Serving

"Gen Xers May Never Be Able to Retire," warns a recent news headline. "Younger retirement savers face an uphill battle."

This reader comment about the above story reflects the view 80% of Gen Xers (30-48 year-olds) hold that Social Security will not survive long enough for them:

"It's the boomers who left the Xers with the bag, and you know it. Retirement has become a myth due to the malfeasance of the previous generation. I'm not planning on retirement. Hyperinflation is on the way, and will take care of all of us well before I could ever retire." - Joshua

Joshua makes some good points, but also consider this inspiring blog post from another Gen Xer, Sammy, from Nigeria, currently the Young Adult Pastor at NorthPoint Church, and a Food for the Hungry guest speaker:

"Dear Older Generation,

On behalf of my generation, can I just tell you that your retirement plan does not inspire us at all? In fact it bores us. You know what gets us fired up? Passion. Risk. Sacrifice. Selflessness. Vision. All things we need to see from you to be all we can be.

What a tragedy. What a wasted life. Congratulations, you stored up treasure for yourself on earth. You worked your whole life so you could sleep away the last 20. Not me. I'm going down fighting. I'm laying up treasures in heaven where moths cannot destroy. We will give away more [percentage wise] at the end than we ever gave in our prime. We will love, fight and dream.

"I hope at the end, whenever that is, we can say like the Apostle Paul, we have fought the good fight, we have finished the race and now awaits for us a crown. I hope we can say that and I hope you can too.

This is a young man who is already preparing wisely to enter the second half of life and is hoping his elders will lead the way!

"Our parents left us with the legacy of The Greatest Generation. It would be ironic for our generation, which has profoundly influenced social change for the greater good, to leave a legacy of self-centeredness that leads our nation to financial and social ruin. A bit of that self sacrifice that our parents showed would go a long way to ensure a different historical judgment," opines The New Republic

Richard Rohr's important book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life explains, "In my opinion the first half of life task is no more than finding the starting gate...the warmup act, not the full journey."

"The usual crossover points are a kind of 'necessary suffering' and 'homesickness'. Our unique little bit of heaven is installed by the Manufacturer within the product at the beginning! We are given a span of years to discover it, to choose it, and to live our own destiny to the full. If we do not, our True Self will never be offered again."

Tommy Barnett, bestselling author and founder of Phoenix First Assembly, puts it this way: "Find a need and fill it!".

A new vision of the future requires a new road map to get there.

Primelifers arise! Let the service begin! Need help with a job or skills training? Stay tuned for plenty of resources links.

Modeling a Fruitful Second Half of Life

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God:
see all, nor be afraid!'

-- from "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

It has been a true joy for me to witness my closest business associate and dear friend Craig Smith making the transition from the first to the second half of life in recent years.

Craig founded Swiss America 30 years ago and served as its CEO for over a quarter century, building the firm into a national leader and model in his industry. But his leadership domain stretched far beyond the boardroom, to include the prayer room - both in his home and business.

In 1986, Craig began hosting twice-weekly prayer meetings open to all employees and brokers. The spiritual cohesion fostered by these meetings and built over the last 25-plus years has helped to mold the firm into a team who serves customers with excellence, integrity and a higher purpose.

Craig's life is an excellent example of a Primelifer. He began reinventing his life following a one-year sabbatical "retirement" in 2009.

His new, refocused life is already producing fruit, including three excellent new books on geopolitics, economics and business trends - just in the last three years! He plans a new book per year this decade! Fox News now turns to Craig Smith regularly for commonsense commentary and free market analysis of current events.

Both Craig and I believe, as the poet Robert Browning wrote, that "The best is yet to be!"

Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife

by Marc Freedman
Reviewed by David Bradshaw

The Big Shift is a must-read for Boomers in search of a sweeping panoramic view that comprehends the massive cultural shift now unfolding before our eyes - and the role we Boomers can choose to play in it.

Author and founder of Encore.org Marc Freedman makes an impassioned call to us to accept the longevity decades now opening up between midlife and old age as an entirely new stage of life, which he dubs the "encore" years.

This book is written for the tens of millions of Boomers about to reach the intersection of midlife and this new "encore" stage. More than half of today's Boomers seek continuing income, deeper meaning from life, and increased social impact.

Freedman leads readers on an exciting guided tour of the growth of "Third Stage of Life" thinking over the last century - marking the end of the "retirement" era popularized over the last 60 years - and the birth of a new "reinspirement" era.

Growing economic uncertainty has helped to kick the slats out from under Boomers, exposing a major "purpose gap." Freedman feels we are entering the aftermath of "The Great Bloating" of America that lasted from the 1980s-late 2000s. This era's "McMansion lifestyles were both unsustainable and unattainable for most."

"Baby boomers are killing themselves at an alarming rate," reports the Washington Post. But why?

"Psychologists and academics say it likely stems from a complex matrix of issues particular to a generation that vowed not to trust anyone older than 30 and who rocked out to lyrics such as, 'I hope I die before I get old.'" writes Freedman. "Bob Knight, Professor of Gerontology and Psychology at University of Southern California says, 'We've been a pretty youth-oriented generation. We haven't idealized growing up and getting mature in the same way that other cohorts have.'"

In light of the longevity revolution, Freeman argues that we must forge a new road map both individually and as a society. "The future is already here, it's just distributed unequally." He sees this emerging encore stage as a win-win situation for all ages, announcing that it's "a windfall of talent, a new crown of life - a second chance at fulfillment and contribution - a time to grow up."

Intergenerational motivations can be clearly discerned in this book.

"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit." Rather than bemoaning what Harvard Review calls "career menopause," Freedman correctly explains that morality stands at the core of midlife crisis, which he calls "midlife chasm."

What Freedman does bemoan is a society extraordinarily wedded to the idea of endless youth, which Richard Rohr's Falling Upward calls "first half of life identity building." The result is a confusing, chaotic new second stage of life void of individual identity, coherent institutions or policies - and a lack of understanding in society.

Despite strong headwinds he offers scores of examples of how to make this transition successfully away from an "infantocracy" to more of a "gerantocracy" - a nation led by elders rather than by juniors.

In Chapter four, "New Stage Thinking," he underlines the emergence of a new stage of life with the publishing of the monumental work Adolescence by Grandville Stanley Hall in 1904. This groundbreaking book described a new stage of life between childhood and the adult world of work, a stage we now call "teenagers." Amazingly, this stage did not exist prior to the 20th Century (and some may wish it did not exist today, LOL!).

Freedman brings to light Hall's final work, completed at age 78, entitled, Senescense: The Last Half of Life and refers to it as a lost masterpiece. Hall was convinced that modern man is meant to do his best work after age forty.

"Grown up brains are good at connecting the dots because they see more dots," quoting Sara Lawrence Lightfoot's important book, The Third Chapter.

"At age 60 we have about 25 years to do what counts most ... and this realization will produce a boomer-led elevation of purpose greater and more enduring than our self," writes Freedman, quoting Daniel Pink's Drive. This compression of time during our Encore years gives us the possibility to create a positive "generativity" in the culture.

Freedman offers "10 Steps Toward a New Stage" in which he presents his recommendations for a smoother transition. He urges us to finally put the notion of a second childhood behind us. Instead of trying to be young, we should invest in the truly young; rather than trying to be them, we ought to be there for them.

"Millions are already in the midst of inventing a new stage of life and work - the encore years - between the end of midlife and anything resembling old-fashioned retirement," Freedman concludes. "We're envisioning this chapter as a time when we make some of our most important contributions, for ourselves, for our world, for the well-being of future generations. Each generation has its task, its opportunity, its moment of truth. Let us be remembered for what survives of us, for living our legacy."

I cannot recommend The Big Shift strongly enough to those seeking to comprehend what is going on right now in the Boomers' external world and Western culture.

To better understand what is going on inside the heart, mind and soul of Boomers, I recommend Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. Reading Freedman and Rohr together doubles their impact!

A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

By Richard Rohr

Reviewed by David Bradshaw


Every once in a while a new book comes along that speaks to your circumstance so clearly that it has the ability to transform, expand and elevate your worldview for the rest of your life.

Falling Upward was such a book for me.

My research on redefining "retirement" was accelerated in the summer of 2012. I was asked to discuss the topic, "Will You Ever Be Able To Retire?" on several radio talk programs, as a part of my duties as publisher of a new economics book (The Great Debasement by Craig R. Smith & Lowell Ponte).

Comics joke that "80 is the new 65," but for millions of Americans, it's no longer a laughing matter.

Insurance giant AIG has already warned that the U.S. and other indebted Western governments will soon be pushing up retirement ages to as high as 80. This presents a new window of time and opportunity opened for a very non-traditional "retirement" by the vast Baby Boomer generation.

What I discovered in researching this topic was that more and more headlines were appearing asking a different question; "Do You Really Want to Retire?" This is the key question many boomers, largely unprepared for a traditional retirement, are now asking.

Then, in the Spring of 2013, a Sunday morning guest speaker at Paradise Church in Phoenix, AZ named Mark Bankord (Founder and Directional Leader of The Trajectory Institute) introduced the idea that this monumental migration of Boomers presented the culture in general - and the community of faith specifically - with a new and exciting challenge.

Bankord highly recommended two books to understand this topic further - The Big Shift by Encore Founder Mark Friedman and Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. Which leads me to my book review.

A Visionary Book About Growing Up Spiritually

A book about growing up spiritually, Falling Upward, is by visionary Franciscan pastor/teacher/author Richard Rohr. It offers a fresh road map to guide Baby Boomers through the next vital rite of passage they face. Rohr offers readers his flashlight to help us find our way out of the dark and into a joyful, bright second half of life.

"Falling Upward is fresh way of thinking about spirituality that grows throughout life," says GoodReads.com. "Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite."

Rohr's inclusive writing style is, I suspect, the fruit of his four decades of experience in helping injured souls find healing, feel loved again and acceptance at last - and from this experience becoming free to discover the hidden meaning of the "necessary sufferings" we all face in our lifetimes.

His premise is simple: "The way up is the way down." He sees many examples of this axiom everywhere and in every culture - ranging from Greek mythology to "Man of Steel" modern heroes, and especially in Scripture, such as Jesus' Beatitudes, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and the Apostle Paul's words, "It is when I am weak that I am strong."

Like the U-shaped curve seen in all of the natural world, so our lives are formed by a series of fallings, losses and even failures - in preparation for the next rebirth, rising, gains and successes. "The goal," Rohr writes, "is to make the sequences, the tasks, and the direction of the two halves of life clear."

"The loss and renewal pattern is so constant and ubiquitous that it should hardly be called a secret at all. Yet it is still a secret, probably because we do not want to see it. We do not want to embark on a further journey if it feels like going down."

It is this 'losing our life to find it' that eludes us during the first half of life, but becomes ever clearer in the second half of life. But we all need some help and guidance finding that road less traveled. "You cannot imagine a new space fully until you have been taken there," writes Rohr.

Falling Upward serves as a reminder to Baby Boomers that it is our duty and responsibility as elders to cross over into the second half of life to help guide the next generation down their path toward wisdom.

"In this book I would like to describe how this message of falling down is, in fact, the most counter-intuitive message in most of the world's religions, including and most especially Christianity," writes Rohr.

"We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. That might just be the central message of how spiritual growth happens; yet nothing in us wants to believe it."

The problem we all face is that our rational mind cannot process suffering or setbacks, so instead we avoid them, deny them or blame someone else for them. What we should do, Rohr explains, is embrace them as part of our journey, our pathway to growth.

The Two Halves of Life Explained

In the first half of life we move incrementally from utter dependence upon our mother and father toward independence. In the first half of life we search for identity, meaning, significance and support to create a "proper container," Rohr writes.

"We all need some successes and positive feedback early in life, or we will spend the rest of our lives demanding it, or bemoaning its lack from others," writes Rohr. How true!

In the second half of life we discover the contents that the container was meant to hold and deliver. The old wineskins must be replaced by new, stronger, tested wineskins stretched to meet the changing needs of maturity.

True elders must learn patience with "juniors" because they cannot understand what they have not yet experienced. "The 'True Self' is very hard to offend," writes Rohr.

"In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity," said Pope Paul XXIII, as a reflection of second half of life wisdom.

"The first journey is always about externals, formulas, superficial emotions, flags and badges, correct rituals and special clothing, all of which largely substitute for actual spirituality - yet they are all used and needed to create the container," Rohr writes. He sees that if we do not find a way to do the age-appropriate tasks of the two halves of life, both will be unfulfilled.

Today we live in a "first-half-of-life culture" largely preoccupied with surviving successfully. But, to quote a Native American aphorism, "No wise person ever wanted to be younger."

What does this say about modern American culture, driven to find the elusive fountain of eternal youth?

To me it illustrates how desperately our society needs true elders to emerge who have made a conscious choice to live and act like grownups, not like perpetual children who are content living in their first half of life forever.

The usual crossover points, writes Rohr, are a kind of "necessary suffering" and "homesickness" which could include the losses of a job, fortune, our reputation or health. This is the falling down which will end up turning into a falling upward if we allow the circumstance to do its inner work on our soul.

This second half of life also involves beginning to write our own life script, owning it and paying attention to 'the task within the task' of life. Moving from surviving to thriving.

"The familiar and habitual are so falsely reassuring, most of us make our homes in the first-half-of-life permanently," says Rohr. We do not willingly move out of our 'comfort zone' unless circumstances force us to do so.

The song Picture Of Grace (Lyrics Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC copyright) by Sanctus Real expresses a first-half-of-life understanding and path to enter the second half of life...

"Took us 30 something years to see the light
It took a whole lot of tears and sleepless nights
It took the pain of wondering why, wondering why,
Oh why
But now I see every tear we've cried
Is a drop of purpose in the sea of life
And as the water washes over you and I
I can see something holy made of two broken lives
Cause we believe in something bigger than our own lives..."

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "If you have built your castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. But, now put foundations under them."

Connecting the first and second halves of life together is about seeing the world not as either-or, but rather both-and. Falling Upward presents a fresh vision of wholeness that calls us both upward and downward, for we cannot really understand Up until we have first experienced Down.

Regardless of your age, I recommend reading Falling Upward with an open heart, mind and spirit. You will better understand the spiritual aspects of aging and of making a "further journey" to discover your True Self. You will also grow in seeing how to "love thy neighbor as thy self."

By Lowell Ponte
Author, former Roving Editor, Reader's Digest

As a leading-edge Baby Boomer conceived during the month of Victory in Europe Day during World War II, I still remember a poster popular during the 1960s.

It featured the drawing of a Renaissance wooden sailing ship like those Columbus captained. The ship was at anchor beside a stone-walled city.

"A ship is safe at harbor," the poster read. "But that is not what a ship is made for."

Many have thought of retirement as a harbor that, if we can just reach it and drop anchor, we will be safe from the gales, travails and burden of life's work.

In this harbor, we thought when young, life will become perpetual vacation - at least until the unrelenting muscle of our heart decides to stop working, too.

With maturity, we discover that our deepest yearning is not to stop but to go - to discover and fulfill what we were made for, exploring new worlds of our heart, dreams and soul.

What most who brave such voyages of self-discovery and sharing find is how true the ancient wisdom is - that if you do what you truly love, you never really "work" a day in your life.

Every day can bring joy, and we are now prepared to savor each day and opportunity. Even without a million dollars to share, you can give a million smiles and uplifting words to brighten the days of others and make the world more joyful for all.

With half a lifetime of experience and perspective, your second half of life can bring freedom from youthful uncertainties and mistakes, as well as the wisdom and caring to reach out to help others in whom you increasingly recognize yourself.

This is your second chance to grab life's golden ring, and now you know the difference between gold and brass. You have learned the importance of preparing for tomorrow, diversifying your ways of saving, and valuing solid reality over spoken or paper promises.

Most of us have avoided or overcome the kinds of misplaced priorities that cause many to spend the first two decades of their working lives sacrificing their health and marriage to make money - and then over the next two decades to spend all that money, and more, trying to regain their health and family.

We have learned the three statements that should never be trusted or believed: (1) The check is in the mail; (2) I WILL respect you in the morning; and (3) We're from the government and are here to help you.

Most of us now understand, for example, how politicians destroy our ability to save for retirement. Politicians print trillions of paper dollars out of thin air that debase the purchasing power of what we work 90,000 precious hours of our lifetimes to earn and save. Such inflation is their secret means of taxing and looting us, as Craig Smith and I have explained in the four books we have co-authored.

The good news is that by returning to fundamental value, we can escape from this hidden inflation tax. Knowing how to do this can be a lifesaver not only for your life savings, but also for your children and grandchildren who could be taught this life-changing information through an enduring special gift from you. Tangible assets create financial confidence, intangible assets must rely on public confidence. See Important Resource #5 in this booklet to find out more.

We have learned in the School of Hard Knocks that the values that have sustained people for thousands of years are the bedrock foundation on which humankind survives - honor, duty, integrity, trustworthiness, community, sound money, self-reliance, respect, honesty, friendship, family, love and faith - and that societies based on cheap, tawdry values, debased currency, and divide-and-conquer polarizing politics soon go morally bankrupt and are swept away.

It's said nowadays that when you reconfigure something or re-give a gift you have received, you are "re-purposing" it.

The Second Half is your God-given chance to re-purpose your life, to share with others the gifts and wisdom you have earned through often-painful experience, and by so doing to enrich (and usually extend) your own life by expanding the love within you to others.

A vast and wondrous ocean stretches before you to be explored. The anchor that once tied you down is lifting, and the tide of opportunity is rising. Raise your sail and let God's wind fill it. This is what you were made for. Your time and purpose are now.

Reinspirement Replaces Retirement

By Susan Boskey
Author, The Quality Life Plan(R)

"Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples." - George Burns, Comedian (1896-1996)

I saw a bumper sticker a while ago that said, "RETIRE: I was tired yesterday and I'm tired again today." It was the most literal definition of the word retire I had ever seen! It struck me as profoundly interesting. Perhaps more importantly, retirement itself may have reached the end of its useful life.

The conventional understanding of retirement rests on the premise that one's earnings will cease when work ends and a new lifestyle will be made from the ingredients of Social Security, company pensions and personal savings to pick up the slack. Once the transition has been made, time and money will at least be sufficient to do many of the things not possible during one's working years.

Like the mouse after the cheese at the end of a tunnel, most Americans work throughout the prime of their lives with one eye looking forward to that magical moment when they can leave it all behind to golf, fish and garden. Even though people might suffer through jobs they hate and spend hours away from their families shouldering stress of professional responsibilities, they persevere towards the reward of their golden years. They hope not to lose their job to outsourcing or downsizing and to finally receive their company pension. That is if they are fortunate enough to have one!

The only problem is, this tried and true retirement formula has come apart before our very eyes and especially since the 2008 economic meltdown.

Millions of Americans are now "maxed out." They find they must increase credit use simply to make ends meet to cover the rise in the cost of living for basics like health insurance, transportation, energy, food and housing costs. Furthermore, the idea of saving more money has become a complete joke for most middle class and formerly middle-class families in the New Normal of the 21st century. According to the Department of Commerce in October 2005, the overall personal saving rate (not including pre-tax saving instruments such as a 401(k) was charted as 0.07% and 8 years later, April 2013, it had risen to a whopping 0.1 percent.

The outcome of all this? Passive earnings, whether from pensions, savings, Social Security, stocks and bonds or some combination thereof, are no longer as reliable as they once were to meet the financial needs of later years. Social Security checks have become insufficient for most anyone to depend on exclusive of other sources of income. Whereas 40% of companies offered pension plans to their employees in 1980, in 2006 only 21% did and in 2013, far less.

Even so, most people hold fast to the very same 40-years employment to retirement model; one that today seems more like a fantasy and less a ticket to later-years security.

You're probably asking what choice do we have? Actually, you do have a choice. As part of the latest transformation of American society, the conventional concept of retirement is in the process of reinventing itself. Reinspirement replaces retirement! REINSPIRE: I was inspired yesterday and I am inspired again today!

Though certainly a transformation of necessity due to economic reality, reinspirement speaks to the overriding value of staying productive and begins the moment you choose it (not just for older folks). Those who choose to be reinspired enjoy the benefits of ongoing, private cash flow to shore up their financial plan. They apply creative thinking to their unique situation in order to make it happen.

Part of the challenge of reinspirement is to learn how to leverage your hard assets (not fantasy digital numbers on a statement) to work for you into the future. Each person's unique talents, interests, assets and skills offer the key to unlock and unfold a customized reinspirement strategy.

A commitment to reinspirement means you will blaze a trail beyond current societal expectations about when to hang up your saddle; i.e. when private monies will stop flowing into your life.

Should you accept this mission, you will lead by example to provide a critically-needed role model for future generations. Since given a central-banking system in 1913, the value of currency will continue to be devalued. That means young people will need viable options for their later years even more than we do.

Change is the way of the world. To stay ahead of how the American economy has changed, and to sustain the quality of our lives, we must also change the way we think and behave regarding financial security and well-being in our later years. It's time to get reinspired!

To learn more and to purchase the book The Quality Life Plan: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security by author and alternative financial consultant, Susan Boskey, visit AlternativeFinancialNow.com

Tangible Financial Alternatives
From Swiss America

Real Money Stands the Test of Time!

Today U.S. gold and silver coins represent a timeless store of value in a world of declining paper currencies. Swiss America clients have successfully followed their simple "Swiss Diversification Strategy" road map for over three decades.

Before investing in precious metals, it is important to understand the times in which we live and the market fundamentals driving the globe back toward tangible assets - in a world awash in debt and money substitutes.

The physical gold and silver markets are driven by a variety of complex forces. Since 2001, both internal and external forces have combined to create a major "secular" bull market cycle in all forms of "real" money.

Seven major forces have been propelling gold and silver prices higher in the 21st century:

1. A Falling U.S. Dollar
Gold is sometimes referred to as the 'anti-dollar' because it is a perfect hedge against a falling dollar. The dollar has fallen 40% since 2001 and 95% since the 1950s. Shockingly, few Americans know this or understand why. Smart investors are moving in droves out of U.S. dollars and into foreign currencies, commodities and gold. Even central banks are building gold reserves.

2. Rising "Real World" Inflation
The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Government's Consumer Price Index report inflation at 2-3% a year, yet common sense says real world inflation is likely over twice that amount. "Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation," said Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman.

3. Growing Commodity Demand
A secular bull market in gold, silver and commodities began in 2001, which has driven oil prices up from $25 a barrel to nearly $100 and pushed gold prices up fourfold. According to industry experts, typical "secular" (or long-term) market cycles average 18 to 23 years. Using 2001 as a starting date, this trend should continue for another decade.

4. Rising Geopolitical Uncertainty
Since September 11, 2001 the world has increasingly become an ideological, political and economic battlefield. The threat of a terrorist attack is present every day. Owning portable, liquid and universally accepted wealth is highly sought after in a crisis. Gold coins offer the safest of havens during global uncertainties.

5. The Popularity of ETFs (Electronic Traded Funds)
A gold or silver ETF is a security backed up by allocated metal held in a vault on behalf of investors and is sold at all major brokerages. Gold bullion placed in ETFs has been one of the fastest growing niches in the gold rush despite growing concerns over fund transparency and lack of actual metal held in vaults for all ETFs sold. ETFs are not a replacement for holding physical gold coins in a well diversified portfolio.

6. Increase in Internet Trading
The educational and entrepreneurial impact of the Internet has dramatically changed the coin market in the last decade, both for the better and for the worse. Buying any item from an unknown source is not without risks, such as buying counterfeit or stolen coins or never receiving coins you paid for at all.

7. Growing Interest in Coin Collecting
The U.S. Mint has heavily promoted modern coin collecting since 2000 with its Statehood Quarter program, which has added 140 million new collectors to the market. U.S. American Eagle Gold, Silver and Platinum coins are allowed in a precious metal IRA.

Rebuild Your Nest Egg with Gold
Retirement (and Reinspirement) Plans That Shine!

One of the best ways to protect your savings today is with a Precious Metals IRA. You can save on taxes by rolling over an IRA or 401(k) from a previous employer into U.S. gold and silver coins!

While most investors watched their investments and retirement funds gyrate in recent years, American Eagle Gold coins prices have almost doubled over the past five years!

Swiss America can help you get gold into your nest egg for safety and growth. "Time to Quit Your Old 401(k)s? asks the Wall Street Journal. "When changing employers, many workers leave money in the company retirement plan. But moving the dollars to an IRA might be a better deal."

Did you know that the U.S. Government has allowed Americans to place certain types of U.S. gold and silver coins into retirement plans since 1986? It's true!

Swiss America can help you transfer paper assets into gold with no tax penalties or new contributions by converting an existing IRA or other retirement fund into a "Self-Directed Precious Metal IRA."

Over a decade ago, Dr. Raymond Lombra presented a 40-page report to Congress on the use of gold in IRAs that said; "Given the turbulent economic conditions, holding 5-10% of an IRA in gold is both warranted and prudent."

SWISS AMERICA invites you to call toll-free 800-289-2646 FOR A FREE GOLD IRA EDUCATIONAL KIT with DVD or visit online at www.swissamerica.com/IRA .

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