Back in the 1980’s I was a partner in a pension company that we sold to a public company in 1987. I stayed in the business into the 1990’s and the people I saw and met with were all successful business owners and their advisors. What I saw were people who made plenty of money to take care of themselves when and if they chose to retire.

It wasn’t until the owners began to retire, or sell their business, or terminate their company’s retirement plan that I began to meet with the employees and talk about their financial situations. Prior to the plan’s termination I would meet the employees in groups. I would explain how the employer was contributing to their retirement plan and what their present and future benefits would be.

But when the qualified retirement plans would end, I began to meet with the employees individually. We would talk about what they wanted to do with the distributions that they would receive. That is was when it opened my eyes to the reality. What I saw with the owners and their advisors was NOT what the world looked like. That was only 5% of the population.

The other 95% of the population were the employees and both their situations and mindsets were completely different. I would explain how rolling over their retirement money into an IRA would be the best thing to do. It would avoid both the income taxes and the penalties on their money. Almost all of the employees were younger than age 59½ .

Here are the things the employees told me:

“I’m going to make a down payment on a new car.”
“I’m going to buy one of those new big screen TV sets.”
“It’s time for my wife and I go to on a nice vacation.”

What became obvious was that I had no idea of the mindset of the majority of the population. What I saw was not what was real for most people. In the words of Gloria Steinem “Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.” What I saw was the 5% rich, and not the 95% poor. The people I hung around with had the wealthy mindset, and that was the mindset I chose to adopt.

What do you see?

What is your mindset?

Who do you hang around with?

What do you believe that just ain’t so?