Preserve, Protect, and Defend
by Raymond J. Ohlson CLU, CRC
Every four years, on January 20th, Americans and millions of people around the world hear these three words during the inauguration of the President of the United States. These same words also ring loud and clear at Fourth of July celebrations all across our great country. The events of September 11, 2001, reinforced American’s pride in their country and their belief in its system of government. Unfortunately, it took this tragic loss of life to see “Old Glory” flying once again on so many of America’s front porches. 9-11 reminded all of us that this is a country and a way of life truly worth preserving, protecting, and defending!
We called our brave soldiers, and those of our allies, into action in Iraq and Afghanistan. We once again mourned the loss of life that accompanies such a campaign. Because we are a society based on independence and freedom for all, so many have given the ultimate sacrifice throughout our history.
It’s easy to lose focus, however. We’re all extremely busy with our everyday lives. We are consumed with so many responsibilities that we often forget those who are defending our freedoms around the world. Now, I’m not suggesting that we dwell on either the past tragedy in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, nor on the “war on terror.” I’m just suggesting that we can never forget that we – all of us – are responsible for our country’s safekeeping.
. I’m also not suggesting that we all are supposed to bear arms and join a militia. However, we are defending our way of life when we defend and honor free speech, freedom of religion, racial tolerance, the importance of family, and the entrepreneurial spirit that made our country what it was, what it is, and what it will be tomorrow.
Defending our way of life also has financial ramifications. Our country experienced a financial “war” in 2008 and 2009. We endured the bankruptcies of some of America’s most venerable institutions, near bankruptcy of our auto industry, 40% reduction in equities, the unbelievable drop in home values, foreclosures, high unemployment, and much more. Fortunately, as fragile as our economy is, markets did rebound and (if you remained in the market), most of us recovered much of our losses in investments. But unfortunately, we have short memories, and along with that problem is the fact our time lines have shortened as well. The question is, “Do you have the time to recover financially in the event of another attack on your financial portfolio? And, do you have the stomach to withstand the emotional disturbance you may experience?”
The answer for most Americans, according to most polls, is a resounding “no!” So, what should the baby boomers and older generation do? The answer is to “preserve, protect and defend.” You may be asking, “How can I do this?” Here are some suggestions.
Start with a plan that separates your essential income needs (mortgage payment, food, electric, living expenses, etc.) from your discretionary income needs (vacations, gifts, etc.). There are guaranteed financial instruments that can provide a stream of income (paycheck) for as long as you live. And, it won’t be reduced in the event of a financial calamity. Have a CD appetite? There are also guaranteed products (not bank FDIC) that are currently paying double CD rates. I urge you to talk with us to discuss these and other safe options. The call is yours. Take a look at your nest egg and your goals. Determine which portion you want to keep safe and take action.
Preserve, Protect, and Defend – each of us holds this responsibility when considering our American freedom and way of life, and the same holds true for our financial freedom. Contact a member of the Safe Money Places™ Agent Network for a free, no obligation individual assessment and plan.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!