Looking at how many of us live today, I wonder how most folks get by. Taxes, cost of living, and a general strain on buying power has put most North Americans in a financial bind they seemingly never escape from.

Those of us who have been successful in network marketing sometimes seem unscathed. That was my feeling until last year in May when my sister called to share how our 87-year-old mother had taken a fall and broken her hip. Surgeries, a long hospital stay, and the inability to return to her home started to compound the serious health challenges she faced. This was complicated by the fact that she has a case of early dementia. Assisted living made the most sense. We quickly learned that sending Mom on a world cruise or having her live at the Ritz-Carlton would be cheaper. Even for someone who has made substantial income in network marketing, the cost for care was intimidating. 

This sad story from one American family made me think and talk to friends both in and out of our profession. I’ll soon be 54 and my sisters are 62 and 58. My one sister has a mother-in-law in her late 80s, and my other sister has both in-laws still going strong in their early 80s. Other friends have similar situations. By the age most of us are now, our parents’ parents were long deceased. Modern medicine and lifestyle changes are keeping us alive longer, but who pays for all this care? A bankrupt federal government? Welfare? Even if they do, most of us would prefer the care option of their parents to be a choice adult siblings make.

Many of us in our 50’s are even called Grandpa or Grandma as well. Hence, the birth of the four-generation family: parents or parent still alive (generation 1); you as the adult child (generation 2); your adult kids (generation 3); your grandkids (generation 4). This can amount to a lot of mouths to feed and diapers to pay for! Now, before you think this is all doom and gloom, there are answers.

Financial discipline and wealth creation are a must in North America today. Many years ago, after my first network marketing business had some issues, I began selling life insurance and focused on retirement planning. My dad had always drilled into my head that I should start saving for retirement at age 25. My short years selling insurance policies proved him correct. The sad news was most people made excuses and didn’t put anything away. Some did—and lived more prosperously as a result. The experience being an eye-opener, I began putting a little money away and it became a lifelong discipline. However, today there are still needs I didn’t anticipate until May 2014.

Have you ever done a financial inventory? Here are a few areas to consider:

Healthcare—Are you aware of the care needs you and your spouse may require? Do you own a long-term care policy? 
Retirement—Have you begun putting away at least 10 percent of your income towards retirement?
College—The sooner you start saving for your kids’ education, the less painful it will be down the road.
Taxes—Are you putting away at least 40 percent of your income for Uncle Sam or the tax man in Canada? Are you paying taxes quarterly to lessen the burden in April?
Life Insurance—God forbid you don’t wake up tomorrow, have you taken care of the basic needs of your family, including your kids’ education needs as well as replacing your income for 5, 10, or even 20 years?

To help yourself, start a financial literacy campaign with you as the first member.

  1. Create an interest in interest. Remember, the rich earn interest, the non-rich pay interest.
  2. Start saving today for any of the above items you see as lacking in your financial portfolio.
  3. Pay your taxes. It’s the law, so why burden yourself by not doing so?
  4. If you have debt, focus on the highest interest rate debt first. Pay off the highest interest rate card in full before you would try and pay off the other $10k on the car payment.
  5. When you pay off that debt, celebrate! Take your spouse out for a reasonably priced dinner and renew your commitment to practicing financial literacy at its best.

As a network marketer, how do you grow your income with this financial information?

  1. Study your numbers and recognize you have a business that when done successfully even part time can help you fund your and your family’s future. Thousands of people around the world are choosing to join a network marketing company every day. Build your team with the idea that each new group you develop will help offset the cost of these financial items mentioned above. Do you need all these items? That decision is up to you and your spouse, or seek the guidance of a licensed investment professional.
  2. Recognize that your future is now. Don’t put off these decisions until a point where the needs become too expensive, or in the case of life insurance where your health may be an issue in being able to purchase it.
  3. Every year in January I use the annual funding of my retirement plan as motivation to build my network marketing business. I challenge myself to earn enough income after taxes and living expenses to fund my plan (future needs) with today’s earnings. I always try to have this one area of financial need fully funded by the second quarter of the year. Find a specific need that motivates you to help you grow your business larger and at the same time build the financial fortress around yourself and your loved ones for many decades to come.

John Solleder has been a top earner with three networking companies over a 32-year career. He also has earned black belts in judo and jiu jitsu, as well as being an active bench presser in power lifting. He is the author of Moving Up: Real Life Secrets for getting from Here... to There, available at NetworkingTimes.com.

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