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Work Less, Live More

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					                                                                                    Changing the
                                                                                   financial lives of
                                                                                    Idahoans, two
                                                                                   cents at a time!

                                                                                    May, 2008
      Volume 3, Issue 5
                                                  Work Less, Live More
                                                           Luke Erickson
ITCT contact info:                  The top ten retirement activities for Americans according to a recent
  Luke Erickson—Rexburg
   erickson@uidaho.edu              poll are: traveling, family activities, hobbies, gardening, fishing,
                                    golfing, volunteering, reading, exercising, and home improvement.
    Lyle Hansen—Jerome
    lhansen@uidaho.edu              What? Are you serious? After 40 years of working that’s what I
                                    have to look for ward to? I saw a movie recently called the “Bucket
    Karen Richel—Latah              List. ” It’s a story of a couple of old timers played by Morgan Free-
    krichel@uidaho.edu
                                    man, and Jack Nicholson, who find out that they have only a matter
   Marilyn Bischoff—Boise           of months before they are both going to kick the bucket. The story
   mbischoff@uidaho.edu             follows them as they go out and accomplish a “bucket list ” of
                                    things they wanted to do before they died but never did. So while
                                    the movie follo ws their skydiving and mountain climbing adventures,
                                    the real story is about how neither of them really did what mattered
                                    to them during their younger lives.
                                    Maybe it’s part of my generation’s cynicism, but the whole game
                                    seems sort of pointless doesn’t it? Work your whole life and hope
                                    that you have enough money, time, and health to do the things that
                                    really matter to you when you retire?
1. Manage Spending                  Bob Clyatt is a leading author on a book about a new “ American
2. Prevent Financial                Dream. ” He points out that in theory our modern amenities, and
   Emergencies                      unprecedented efficiency in the workplace should have put us miles
                                    ahead of where we were 20-30 years ago. And though that was
3. Become Debt Free
                                    the theory, can we honestly look back and say that American’s are
4. Prepare For                      happier or better off than we were 20-30 years ago. No. In fact
   Retirement                       it’s quite the opposite. Many American’s are feeling over worked,
5. Teach Kids About                 overstressed and over committed.
   Money                            There are several quiet movements taking
6. Pay Off Your Home                place, mostly represented as online blog-
                                    ging communities. One is called the
   Early                            “Work Less, Live More” idea spearheaded
7. Build a Legacy                   by Mr. Clyatt. Another is called “Take
                                    Back Your Time” which in their own
                                    words challenges “The epidemic of over-
                                    work, overscheduling and time famine
                                    that threatens our health, families, rela-
                                    tionships, communities and environ-
                                    ment. ”



        Receive Idaho’s Two   ¢ent Tips every month by sending an email to erickson@uidaho.edu
                               with the word “subscribe” on the subject line.
                                                    Email “subscribe” to erickson@uidaho.edu

                                                               Extension professionals work with the people of Idaho to ad-
                                                               dress youth, community, family, environmental, natural re-
                                                               source and agricultural issues.

                                                                     What we’re really talking about is a paradigm shift. It’s the idea
                UPCOMING                                             that working harder is not inherently noble, and that a tireless work
                                                                     ethic is not necessarily commendable. Indeed it is not often that
                CLASSES!!                                            you will hear someone say that they have to work less to get
                                                                     ahead. But for many that is exactly what is needed.
          “Your Money, Your                                           I recently talked to a friend who took a big pay cut to work for a
        Future—Secure It Now”                                        university. He no w has less stress, works fewer hours and spends
           Tips to Good Banking                                      more time with his kids, even to the point that his wife said he was
          Community Workshops                                        around too much! No w she spends more
               Pocatello Area                                        time on her goals. He takes classes at the
         Shoshone-Bannock High                                       university on topics that really interest
                   School,                                           him, not to improve his marketability or for
        Saturday—June 14, 2008,                                      the potential income growth but for a
           8:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.                                      fuller life. And what was the cost of this
              Idaho Falls Area                                       decision to take back his life? A couple of
          Idaho Falls High School                                    new cars and eating out on weekends.
         Saturday, June 21, 2008                                     This is what is called Semi-Retirement.
           8:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.                                      Semi-retirement starts with diminishing
      Free and Open to the Public.                                   the amount of money that leaves your fin-
      Call Partners for Prosperity to                                gers. This is a lot easier than it might first
      reserve your spot - (208) 785-                                 appear, but it requires a paradigm shift.
      0059.                                                          One that says you don’t need to own a
            Customer Service                                         large house or a new car, or work for the
           Employee—Training                                         largest paycheck possible. It’s finding lo w-stress work that you
                                                                     truly enjoy, on a schedule that give you time for what really mat-
               Workshop                                              ters, like family and goals.
      Sponsored by University of
      Idaho Extension and the Rex-                                   Cynics may dub these ideas as hippie-esque with a Gen-X make-
      burg Chamber of Commerce                                       over. And in a way they might be, because it is a rejection of the
               June 18, 2008                                         traditional “put in your time and live when you’re done’ plan.
                 9 to 11 a.m.
            $25.00 per company                                       Semi-retirees are simply reclaiming their sanity and zest for life.
                                                                     They reenergize their communities as volunteers, stay fit, and are
          (maximum of 5 people).
                                                                     accessible parents. The cost is often being considered an outcast
      Call the Madison Extension                                     among most “normal” Americans because they live simply and in-
      Office to register—356-3191.                                   expensively.
         Couples and Money
      A class on making money work                                   Indeed it is hard to flaunt intangibles such as family harmony, job
             in your marriage.                                       satisfaction, and a sense of purpose and fulfillment. But friends
               June 25, 2008                                         and family will notice.
           7 to 8 p.m.—Rexburg                                       For some, semi-retirement will lead to a change of careers, change
      Free admission! But you must                                   of location, selling of certain “beloved” but cash draining assets
        reserve your spot by calling                                 and discarding certain spending habits. For others it will simply be
                 356-3191.                                           a change of outlook on life. Either way, we ain’t waitin’ 40 years
                                                                     to get there!


               University of Idaho Extension is your source for unbiased financial Information.
The University of Idaho Extension System does not sell, promote or endorse any financial product or institution. Our programs are strictly educational. Seek professional advice
from your accountant or financial advisor for specific product information. The University of Idaho provides equal opportunity in education and employment on the basis of race,
color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, as required by state and federal laws.
Electronic copies of this newsletter are available at http://extension.ag.uidaho.edu/madison

 How to Save Money on                              The company we identified had a local office, and
   Auto Insurance!                                 I decided to go to the directly rather than using the
                                                   internet link to purchase the auto insurance policy.
              Lyle Hansen                          When I went to the local agent, I saved even more
                                                   money because they made sure I took advantage
With rising costs of gas, food, energy and         of any discounts which I was qualified. They sug-
many other expenses, everyone is looking for       gested that if I wanted to save even more money,
financial relief and shopping for auto insurance   I could raise my deductible. On average a person
may be an opportunity to find relief. Financial    can save 30% by raising their collision and com-
professionals recommend you compare your           prehensive coverage deductible to $500 and up to
auto insurance every two years to make sure        40% by increasing it $1000. People shopping for
you are getting the best price. It had been al-    a new auto insurance policy should shop ahead a
most three years since my wife and I had com-      few months before their current auto insurance
pared auto insurance quotes. We had also           policy expires. Many auto insurance companies
watched several ads for auto insurance on TV,      offer discounts of up to 12% for early shoppers.
like the one with the caveman dancing and
other commercials that promises saving              After completing my auto insurance application
money. Add that to a recent bad experience         and getting my final quote, I called my current pro-
with customer service from our current carrier;    vided to give them a chance to requite my policy
my wife and I decided to see if we could really    and try to beat the lo wer quote. Auto insurance
save some money.                                   companies are often lowering their premiums on a
                                                   year to year basis and as a customer you can re-
                                                   quest a requite to lo wer your cost. My current
                                                   auto insurance provided was unable to match or
                                                   beat the lo wer quote, and I went ahead and ap-
                                                   plied for and received auto insurance from the
                                                   other company. Before cancelling my old auto in-
                                                   surance policy I made sure that my new one was
                                                   issued and in place. Make sure you’ve got your
                                                   new coverage in place before cancelling your old
                                                   policy so you don’t have a gap in coverage. After
                                                   everything was said and done, my wife and I
                                                   ended up saving almost $120! Not bad for a few
                                                   hours of our time.


                                                       Free Money from the
                                                          Government!!!
We started by using the internet and went to                       Karen Richel
websites that would quote several different
auto insurance companies at once like              Spring is in the air...summer vacation is just
w w w.insure.com, w w w.insurance.com, and         around the corner...and gas prices are skyrocket-
w w w.netquote.com. The auto insurance in-         ing. What activities are you planning the next few
dustry is very competitive, and it is important    months? Family vacation? Sporting events? With
to take advantage of these websites and get        gas prices steadily rising, these activities will all
three or more auto insurance quotes. By using      cost you a little more than they did last year. Ac-
websites a consumer can get three or more          cording to CNNMoney.com, the average gas price
quotes in a short amount of time. After receiv-    just a year ago (same date) was $3.07. Today, in
ing several sample quotes, we identified an        Moscow, Idaho, I am paying $3.61 a gallon for
auto insurance company that would give us the      gas. I remember ten years ago I was paying
same coverage as we currently had and would        $1.37 a gallon. So what does this all mean?
save us over $100 a year.
                               Email “subscribe” to erickson@uidaho.edu

   Well, you can modify your summer vacation            If your debts are all paid and you really need that
plans and limit the number of your kids’ base-         family vacation, new car, or big screen TV, $600-
ball games that you attend?!? Or you can use           $1,200 will be a nice deposit on that. It will help
the Economic Stimulus check that you will              lagging sales, fill vacant hotel rooms, and pad a
mostly likely be receiving from the Federal gov-       salesman’s commission. To really stimulate the
ernment?!? Or you                                      economy though in the places that you go, con-
can adjust your                                        sider visiting local stores and businesses. The
budget to accom-                                       “little guy” is always the first to suffer when
modate for these                                       prices go up. Your patronage will help them keep
added expenses?!?                                      going too.
Since the first and
third options may                                       Whatever you choose to do with your Economic
take the fun away                                      Stimulus Payment, remember to use it wisely...gas
from summer, let’s                                     prices are expected to go up even more before the
scratch them for                                       summer is over and you may need a small loan to
right no w and move                                    get back and forth to work. But if you need more
on to the Economic                                     ideas on ho w to make your check go farther, give
Stimulus Payment.                                      your local Extension educator a call. We will be
Many of you have                                       happy to give you some additional suggestions.
or will be receiving
your stimulus check via direct deposit or in the
mail (to find out when and if yours is coming
                                                       Finding Money Where You
and other very important information, go to                Least Expect It…
w w w.irs.gov. Basically, the idea behind this                      Marilyn Bischoff
money is to help “stimulate ” the economy.
The government gives us money back with the
                                                       If I were to offer you $10, with no strings at-
intent that we will spend the money in our
                                                       tached, would you turn it down? Of course you
communities which will help revive the overall
                                                       wouldn’t! That $10 w ould immediately apply to
economy. It is a nice thought...but with gas
                                                       the asset side of your personal ledger and your net
prices as high as they are, wages still very lo w
                                                       worth would immediately be $10 greater. Know-
and the cost of living even higher, the $600
                                                       ing this, ho wever, does not stop you from eating,
Economic Stimulus payment will most likely be
                                                       spending, or driving this same $10 away from
good for one trip to the pump. I know...I exag-
                                                       your assets each and every day and week. Over a
gerate. But there are things that you can do to
                                                       year these decisions can amount to hundreds, per-
make this money go farther.
                                                       haps thousands, of dollars. Here are some ways
Do what you need to with this money. Save              to reduce the cost of items you likely pay for,
it! Invest it! Spend it! Don’t put it under your       while still having access to these goods and ser-
mattress though (not safe). The money is               vices. Sounds like a win-win to me, so let’s begin.
yours to do with what you see fit. Whenever I
                                                       Cell-phone service: How many minutes per
get a landfall, I like to make sure that all of my
                                                       month do you use your cell phone? If you’re pay-
bills are paid and I am in the black again. Even
                                                       ing 2,000 but only using 400, you might be able
though this isn’t “stimulating” the economy
                                                       to change your plan and save some money. Be
directly, it will indirectly do it. You see...if you
                                                       careful of early termination charges. An economics
pay your bills with the money no w, you will
                                                       professor recently surveyed Spring plans, as an
have money in the future for other things
                                                       example, and found that if one were to reduce
(assuming that you have a sound budget and
                                                       their minutes from 1,450 to 1,350, he would save
you stick to it). In addition, you won’t be pay-
                                                       $10 per month, or $120 a year. Not a bad start.
ing all of those interest charges and finance
fees to get there...more money you can spend           Checking Account: Have you compared the
later. And you will gain the piece of mind             charge on your checking account with other op-
knowing that you are debt-free.                        tions, since you opened it? Have you ever looked
                                                       at a credit union to see what interest you will re-
ceive and at what cost? Ho w many checks do         a local coffee shop spending $2.00 for a cup of
you write and would paying a small fee per          coffee they could purchase elsewhere for $0.85.
check cost as much as the lost interest from        I’ve asked them why they do this and they say
the “free” account that requires you to keep a      that the coffee is better at Starbucks. When I ask
b lance of $2,500 earning today’s lo w rates?       them ho w they kno w that, they admit that they’ve
Compare this to the 3 percent per year that         never purchased coffee at a less expensive alterna-
you could earn at an alternative bank.              tive. This problem is greater if you like to buy the
                                                    chocolaty, sugary concoctions (besides the empty
Auto Insurance: Don’t expect your insurance         calories). Think what saving a little over $1/day
agent to ask you if you’re eligible for a dis-      can mean at the end of the month and what it
count; you should ask them. Are you a good          could do for your ability to pay for the things you
driver? Did you take a driver’s safety class?       really need. Advice: Save the lattes for when
Do you have a clean driv-                                                you’re truly able to afford
ing record for an ex-                                                    them. Then, with your savings
tended period of time? I                                                 over the years, buy stock in
you can answer yes to                                                    the company that sells them!
these questions, you
might save some money.                                                    Credit cards: Your credit card
GET YOUR EMERGENCY                                                        is a convenient way to pay for
FUND ESTABLISHED and                                                      purchases; don’t carry a bal-
raise your deductibles to                                                 ance and pay high interest fi-
$1,000 from $250. This                                                    nance charges. If you do
can save you 30 percent                                                   carry a balance, shop around
of your premium dollars,                                                  for a card with a lo wer rate of
amounting to $500 per                                                     interest. An interest rate of
year, according to the                                                    14 percent instead of 16 per-
Insurance Information                                                     cent can make a difference. If
Institute. If you have an old car, drop your col-   you have a balance of $2,000 and, assuming you
lision insurance and cover the loss from your       make the minimum payment of 3 percent of the
emergency fund. These savings can be saved          original balance or $60 per month, you’ll spend
each year to maintain your emergency fund or        $547 in interest, compared to $662 in interest at
to add to your savings for other financial goals.   16 percent. Moreover, you’ll repay the loan
                                                    2months sooner. When you get the balance paid,
Clothing: Reduce your clothing expenditures         try very hard not to accrue a new balance on your
by shopping around for items that you need.                       credit card. We need very few things
We can all think of some-                                         badly enough to apply 30 percent
thing that is hanging in our                                      more for them ($662/$2,000 =
closet that we don’t wear                                         33%)!
that we wish we hadn’t pur-
chased on impulse. How                                           These six ideas can save you $1,380
many of you have ever                                            per year, an amount which could add
shopped at a used clothing                                       up to more than $300,000, if you
store for clothing items that                                    invested the savings at a modest rate
you wear infrequently like                                       of 7 percent for the next 40 years.
ski s weaters, umbrellas (lose                                   Moreover, with more of these
them often), or costumes                                         changes in behavior, no one will no-
(usually worn once)? Many                                        tice—except your banker, investment
Idaho communities have                                           advisor, or significant other!
Idaho Youth Ranch, Good-
will, or Deseret Industries stores that sell good   Source: Adapted from Weagly, B., April 14, 2008.
quality, slightly used clothing for a fraction of   “Finding money where you least expect it. ” Elec-
the cost charged at the mall or Main Street         tronic Financial Tips of the Week, Personal Finan-
stores.                                             cial Planning Department University of Missouri.

Drinks: Occasionally I see colleagues in line at

				
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