Economy Archives

A Fix for the Economy

I received this e-mail from a friend. Enjoy!

This is from an article in the St. Petersburg Times newspaper last Sunday. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered- Auto industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage — Housing crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that! If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their constituents pay their taxes….

Here’s the link to the original article: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article973953.ece

What do you think?

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Home-Based Business and Taxes

Today my husband and I made our annual trek to our accountant’s office to bring our tax papers. What a good feeling to have that project completed. In a couple of weeks or so, we’ll get the news … good or bad … but for us, it would be a lot worse without a home-based business.

Did you know that Hewlett-Packard started as a  home-based business? They set up shop in a one-car garage behind David Packard’s Palo Alto house. They flipped a coin to decide the company name and because William Hewlett won, the company was named Hewlett-Packard.

Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton in his back yard on May 8, 1886. In 1976, Martha Stewart started a catering business with a friend in her basement. A decade later, Michael Dell started to build Dell Inc. from his dormitory.

Your 401(k), pension, IRA or whatever you were depending on for retirement may be smaller than expected. Even Social Security may run into problems if the number of retirees drawing benefits outnumber workers paying the Social Security tax. Today’s Washington Post reported that in my tri-state area of Maryland, Virginia, and DC, pension plans for local and state workers have lost more than $28 billion since last summer.

What’s the biggest benefit of a home-based business? It allows you to take the same kinds of deductions available to big corporations. The deductions will then allow you to decrease the amount of taxes that you pay. If you would like to read more about the tax benefits of a home-based business, I offer to my United States senior readers above 55 years old, a small paper called, “The Tax Times.” I have only a limited number of copies, so it will be mailed to the first 25 that request it. You need to e-mail me at nora@noranagatani.com. Please include your name and mailing address.

Happy filing!

Grandmother Starts a Business

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Since the start of this blog late last year, I have been “hammering” the need to start a part-time home-based business. Recently, I met a woman who practically lives in my back yard and is putting her passion to work. We met when she attended the networking luncheon I host monthly for professional women in business.

Sonia Sidhwaney has a passion for dates (the fruit) and creates date-nut bars. By day, she’s a programmer with many initials after her name including an MS degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University. But at night and on weekends, she’s busy making her date-nut bars. She’s pictured on the left with her bars before they are cut. She was on a quest for healthy snacks for her family and now she has the recipe perfected.  As a businesswoman, she’s now working on the marketing aspect of her business.

Her energy bars are vegan, soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and no sugar has been added. Additionally, no chemicals and preservatives have been added, but they have a long shelf life. Her company is called Nuts About Dates and more information is available at her website, www.date-nut.com. Most importantly, the date-nut bars are delicious and her granddaughter would concur!

Personally, I prefer the network marketing business model because the income is residual. For an explanation of the difference between residual and linear income, please view my video explanation. But in these tough economic times, it’s getting started on something of importance to you that is foremost.

Retail Job Losses and Retirement

Last year over two million people were unemployed. Isn’t that a staggering number?! It’s in the news every day. We can’t escape it. Yesterday’s Washington Post said that Macy’s will cut 7,000 jobs, but what was even more amazing in the article was the list of retail job losses announced this year (and we’re only in the second month of 2009!)
• Saks 1,100
• Neiman Marcus    375
• De Beers    Up to 1,000
• Harry & David    More than 100
• Circuit City    34,000
• Home Depot    7,000
• Target    1,500
• Macy’s    7,000

If you are close to retirement, what are you doing to protect yourself? I’ve been laid off twice – caught in the cyclical nature of real estate. It is a shock to the system. But thankfully, I always had a part-time teaching job. I’m focused on helping people protect their retirement, particularly grandparents, so that their retirement years can include enjoying their grandchildren.

As I’ve said previously, health should always be your number one priority and I will write more in the future. But next, I will share some websites for jobs for seniors.  However, start thinking of ways you might be able to add to your income. Share your passion. What do you like to do more than anything else? Perhaps one of my readers might be able to suggest something you’d never thought of doing with your passion. I invite my readers to help each other.

Giving Part II

It’s a new year and times are tough. Money is not all you can give. We all know that there are always people in worse situations than we are and there are many ways we can help.

Are there people in your company who are paid the least, but do the most for others? In the last organization I worked for, it was the maid that made breakfast for our department on more than one occasion as a way of thanking us. It cost her money that she did not really have to spare. Now that I’m retired from that organization, I no longer see her, but she calls me just to see how I’m doing. The last call came on the eve of Thanksgiving. It did not cost her anything, but time and thoughtfulness. Is there someone you can call?

Recently I read a book called The Power of Giving. The authors, Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon, say that giving in the form of volunteer work has the following benefits.
1. Enhances the immune system
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
3. Strengthens the heart
4. Decreases incidence of chest pains
5. Generally reduces stress

Furthermore, they say if you want happiness, you need to give happiness. It is only in giving that you receive. However, they warn about balance. If you give too much it can result in negative health consequences. When you’re unhealthy, you cannot give. Take care of yourself first so that you can give to others.

Have you ever felt that you’ve given all you can? Azim in The Power of Giving was asked, “How do I give and be kind when I have already done that for twelve hours and yet another customer comes in?” Azim replied: “You have two choices of how to treat the customer – either with a frown or a smile. A smile requires you to use three muscles, while a frown requires sixty-three. You decide: How many muscles do you want to use when you are tired?”

With a smile and a grateful heart, I wish you all the best in 2009!

Please feel free to comment on other non-monetary ways you have given.

Giving Part I

Happy New Year!

‘Tis the season to be giving. But what if you’re retired and on a limited budget. What if you’re ready to retire and your stocks have plummeted? Your mailbox is full of organizations asking for your money; your phone is ringing with organizations also asking for your monetary help. Now that I’m retired from a J.O.B. and no longer need my suits, I’ve donated many of them to an organization called Suited for Change, which helps low-income women with their wardrobe and professional skills, but even they are now saying that their boutique is full and they need money.

If you need ideas as to how you can make more money (like I did), I’m offering my United States readers a gift, How to Get Rich without Winning the Lottery. Simply send an e-mail to me – nora@noranagatani.com — with your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number and I will mail you the booklet. Please put “Booklet” in the subject line. This booklet may help you decide how to supplement your income.

Next, I will discuss other ways you can give.

Breathe After the Shock

December is here. It’s a time of joy and merriment, but this year in particular, it is also a time of chaos and shock. What with all of the dismal news of the economy and millions getting laid off … half a million just last month … and commercials and advertisements bombarding the air waves and traditional print publications telling us to buy this or buy that and holiday decorations everywhere, it’s hard to escape all of the hustle and bustle. I was laid off twice when I was younger. Both times it was with builders and because of the cyclical nature of real estate. When it happened, it was a total shock.

When you get closer to retirement and you receive the dreaded pink slip, you become less employable. Companies are no longer willing to pay for all of your years of experience when they can hire someone younger at a lower salary. Although it’s difficult and you’re upset, stop. Clear your mind. Here’s a breathing exercise you can do. I learned this in one of my yoga classes, but since then, I’ve seen it several times in print publications. As you get better, you can increase the numbers. This is also a good exercise to lower your blood pressure, something that seems to rise in many people as we get older. Do this several times a day. Anywhere.

1. Inhale slowly to the count of 4.
2. Exhale slowly to the count of 8.

Getting laid off turns out to be a blessing in disguise for many people. I would not be where I am today had that not happened. Some people say they will never have someone else write their check; they will become their own boss.

Check out this free report. You, too, might decide to go into business for yourself.

Have you ever gotten laid off? Tell us what worked for you after the initial shock.

A Dream and a Home-Based Business

Welcome back! With Thanksgiving over, have you gotten off your ‘hind and started walking? Doesn’t it feel good to just move? Perhaps you’ve noticed things around you that you’ve never noticed before. It doesn’t cost a penny. Have you thanked someone recently? Again, it doesn’t cost a cent.

Your head would have to be buried in the sand to not know that our economy is in a sad state of affairs. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off or in some cases offered an early retirement package. Personally, I did not know anyone who lost a job … until last week. And a couple of weeks ago, I lost two friends to cancer … women in pre-retirement and retirement. Women who had a zest for life and had their lives cut short.

Do you have dreams? Or do you just daydream? According to Dream Coach Marcia Wieder, dreams are the aspirations, goals, and hopes that you most want for yourself, your family, friends, and business associates. Achieving your dream, she says, is a three step process:
1. Clarify what you want. What are you passionate about?
2. Write it down.
3. Share your dream with others.

My dream is to establish an educational foundation in memory of my parents: The Mark and Dorothy Murakami Educational Foundation. Its purpose is to give scholarships every year to undergraduate students. One will be in the field of elementary education. Mom wanted to be a third grade teacher, but her family could not afford to send her to college. Dad wanted to be an attorney, but World War II broke out when he was a first year law student and he never went back to law school. Instead, he became an entrepreneur in the field of insurance. Coincidentally, my son recently partnered with another attorney and they opened their own law firm, Hixson Nagatani LLP, and his wife is a third grade teacher.

Unlike many foundations that are funded through donations and fund raisers, this one will be funded via a network marketing business (a.k.a. MLM). It’s taken a lot of research to find a right combination of great products and a great compensation plan. In the process of researching, I came across a group called Mentoring for Free. In my last company, I thought I had chosen a company with great products and I liked the fact that I could understand their compensation plan … until Mentoring for Free asked me the $10K question. That was an eye-opener. Here is the question: How many distributors and customers on autoship do you need to make $10K/month? I was appalled at the huge number. They told me it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t making any money and they explained the different kinds of compensation plans. What an education that was. So, I decided to join them as a Mentor and Coach and now I help others in any network marketing or direct sales company around the world.

If you are not familiar with the network marketing model, get a free report on why Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki recommend network marketing. And if you are familiar with network marketing, but not achieving the success you had hoped for, download a free e-book called “Success in 10 Steps” and you will find out why it’s not your fault as well as be introduced to many golden nuggets.

What is your dream? I invite you to share it with others.