“I can’t go on the same old way
Can’t keep up the same old game
Why can’t you just get it through your head?”
— Boz Scaggs
I know a wealthy, self-made man who made most of his money before age 45. I looked at his financial information and told him, “You are not going to stop working until you drop over dead. If you wanted to retire, you could have done that a long time ago. You like what you do and will never stop.”
My statement shook his inner psyche, and then he realized I was right. He never truly plans to quit.
He realized I operate in the same fashion. The idea of sitting in a rocking chair and playing shuffle board is not in my game plan.
Someone once asked when I would retire. I responded, “Death. My work brings me great joy. I can’t imagine giving it up.”
The great Kentuckian Al Smith wrote his first book at age 84, and at age 85, he just finished his second book, “Kentucky Cured,” which will be released in November.
Al always has something to do and some place to go. Al is an interesting role model in that he had a full-time job for 20 years. Years ago, he sold his chain of newspapers and devoted the rest of his life to helping others.
I’m not privy to Al’s financial information, but I suspect he and his wife set up their finances with a long-term view in mind. Which is what some former professional athletes should have done.
Sports Illustrated did a fascinating study in 2009 titled “How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke.” The statistics are stunning. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL football players have gone bankrupt or under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce. Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA basketball players are broke.
These are people who made millions. What happened?
I see a lot of them blow money on large entourages and wild spending, the same way many lottery winners do. But I see a lot more get burned by getting involved in businesses far away from their area of expertise.
According to the USA Today, my childhood hero Oscar Robertson has a plethora of tax and financial problems related to a chemical company he owns. Robertson is not only a basketball legend, he has been a devoted community advocate who has lived his life in an exemplary fashion.
At age 73, it’s going to be tough for the Big O to make big money again.
People often ask me, “Why don’t some of these professional athletes put their money in the bank or a lifetime annuity. They don’t need to do anything risky or stupid.”
A good question.
I suspect that the same type of confidence and courage that allows someone to become a professional athlete works against them in the business world. They never know when to go to the sidelines.
It’s not that hard to be financially secure. Spend less than you make, save the rest and don’t do anything stupid. Assume you are going to live to an extremely old age and make sure you have money that lasts as long as you do.
It’s not hard, but it’s tedious. And it’s not the least bit glamorous.
I knew of a woman who was always trying to meet a guy driving a new Mercedes. She should have been looking for someone who drives a 10-year-old Toyota. The Toyota driver is more likely to have real wealth in the long run.
The focus on long-term savings is the primary difference between my friend who has real wealth and big stars who have spent real wealth.
My friend accumulated his wealth quietly and protects his money carefully. I can testify that he is intensely frugal and has no inner need to show off his wealth. His money is a byproduct of his focus on putting out a quality product.
He also knows his business. Inside and out. He knows as much about his industry as Oscar Robertson knows about basketball. He goes to work everyday because he enjoys operating at the peak of his potential. Just like Oscar Robertson did when he played basketball.
Oscar got out of basketball near the top of his game. After the Cincinnati Royals made the silly mistake of trading him in 1970, he led the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA championship before he stepped down in 1974.
I hope he works out his financial problems and leaves the business world on top as well. He is a classy guy who needs to ask himself an important question: At what point do you stop taking financial risks?
McNay, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CSSC has Masters Degrees from Vanderbilt University and the American College and was inducted in the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1998. He has four major professional designations and is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
“I can’t go on the same old way
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort
Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.
Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
Funding education is critical for Kentucky and its communities
Kentucky’s latest budget outline makes it clear that our leaders in Frankfort plan to go to great lengths to find more money for education. For communities throughout the commonwealth, this effort to restore funds for our schools is very welcomed news.
Who benefits from ‛AT&T Bill’
Senate Bill 99, the “AT&T Bill,” is a great deal for the telecommunications giants AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell.
It would allow them to abandon their least profitable customers and service areas as well as public protection obligations. But it is a risky and potentially dangerous bet for Kentuckians. Kentucky House members should turn it down.
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