The State of Young Renters in 2015: What Are Their Prospects for Becoming Owners?

Current statistics suggest that fewer and fewer people in the middle class will own their homes, particularly among the young. But several forces defy that trend.

The numbers suggest a downward economic slide: real estate chain Countrywide predicts another 600,000 people will be renters and not owners by the year 2019. This is on top of the million UK residents – concentrated in the 25- to 34-year-old age group – who have become renters since 2010.

What’s going on is fairly easy to understand. As the UK population has grown in the 21st century, house building has failed to keep up. This supply shortage increases the cost of both ownership and renting. Compounding this was the financial crisis of 2008, which was followed by a tightening of credit on all borrowing. Younger workers were being paid less as the price of housing went up. Now with wages rising, the main challenge is mustering an adequate deposit – which more typically comes from the “bank of mum and dad” than what individuals are able to save.

So what do those with money to invest make of this? Is the best option to invest in REITs, which largely concentrate on the rented sector? To be a buy-to-let landlord?

There are indicators that, despite dim prognostications on the growing renter class, that building for homeowners is still a smart path for all concerned:

• Most people agree, within Government and among economists, that an ownership society is a more economically stable society. Brits who are on the property ladder will accumulate much more wealth over decades that will provide them a more comfortable retirement.

• Shelter, the housing charity, encourages building for all economic strata as it takes a general “rising tide raises all boats” perspective. What the organisation wants is more homes, period, such that those at the lowest levels can find affordable rents.

• Government initiatives that enable buying – Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Starter Homes schemes – have already proven or are likely to prove successful at stimulating both purchase access and increased homebuilding.

• There is a growing consensus that some greenfield and green belt lands might be swapped for brownfield property that would be more appropriately repurposed as urban greenspace (versus residential construction). With more land on the periphery of major cities dedicated to residences, it becomes possible to improve the quality of life nearest centres of work and commercial developments.

• Local planning authorities that are tasked with development goals from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) are reaching for ways to collectively increase the nation’s housing stock, many of which are written with the input of property fund partners whose research show where people want most to locate their homes and where infrastructure will be most cost effective.

• London is no longer the only place to live: anet outflow of 22,000 people in their 30s happened in 2013-2014, a response to soaring house prices there and simply recognising that cities north, west and south have a good quality of living to offer (Birmingham is the favourite, followed by Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford).

Investment capital into property generally follows these migrations, and consequently the healthier supply of homes in those cities means that they are becoming more affordable. Particularly in an information-driven economy, this cultural shift is much more likely over time.

Who can analyse specific investments as well as the general balancing of risk in individual portfolios. There are many variables in real estate and housing investments and as such should they should be considered holistically.

How to Survive and Thrive on a Single Income

Living on a single income is not for everybody for a diversity of reasons and not everyone aspires to become one. I am here to encourage families that has this calling. I became a stay at home wife and mom for the past 5 1/2 years and this decision is in line with the birth of our daughter. Hubby and I both decided on this. For the past 5 1/2 years we have lived on one modest income. It is possible. Living on a single income can be hard when everything is not planned out carefully (especially with kids). We took a lot of willful steps in our finances and decisions. Along the way we made several mistakes, we had some bumps and rough roads but we took it as a learning process. We climbed it and conquered it. Just like with the 2 income families, it requires sacrifices. I gathered a few things of what our family did..realized and learned. I must mention that we both are lucky to have families who helped us when the going got tough.

1. Embrace it. We had to embraced that our priorities needed to change. We knew what really matters. While our kids are not in school yet, Husband and I had made this choice, for me to be a stay at home momma. It is for our family, for our kids. I wanted to be home for them. I knew things are not gonna be easy but we both embraced the change. Acceptance also helps.. what works for other family may not work for you. If one family is living extravagantly, and you just can’t.. (it is normal to wish having “the same” for your family), go visit your what matters list.. Realize that MONEY and MATERIAL things will not define us ( who we are) as a person and family.

2. Communicate. Needs and wants must be separated, communicating is essential for this because what matters for you may just be superficial for your partner. ( or kids) We treat all income as “shared,” not “yours” or “mine.” Hubby and I talked, about our expenses, our budget..our income. Every pay day actually, we need to be on the same page with planning and budgeting.

3. Set Goals. It can be a long term goal ( saving for emergency fund or pay debt) or short term ( saving up to buy essentials for the house), Set your goals. Write it in your family information center or family planner. Make a checklist. There is something good in seeing what you had accomplished.

4. Budgeting. This is very important. There are a lot of Budget Online tools that you can use. We used Microsoft Excel as well. We have formulated our “own way “. I was a novice on this few years ago..crunching numbers is not my strongest suit. We sat down..listed all of our bills, car payments etc.. ALL EXPENSES. We both decided which expenses we can live without and which lifestyle can work for us. (ie: how often should we eat out, dates or do we really need all of these magazine subscriptions)

5. Use Cash. Stop using your credit cards. It is just a recipe for disaster. Having credit cards is not a status symbol. It doesn’t make you richer just because you have a huge debt. It makes you a ” not so smart spender “. Use an envelope system for cash. I’m sure you have read about Dave Ramsey. I’ve read his book, he’s a genius. Just like what he said it is not something new.. our grandmothers, mothers..have used this technique. CASH.

6. Be smart when you shop. Plan when you shop, it takes time but definitely worth it. Wait until the grocery circular are out and see what stores have the most items on sale. Build our menu based on the good deals you see. This doesn’t mean that, you can not opt for healthy foods. You can eat healthy on a budget. SHOP WITH A LIST AND WITH A BUDGET. Make a week’s worth of menu and make sure you follow the list ( of course!) Get in the store..get what you need and get out.

It is easy to be side tracked inside with all the tempting “good deals”. I also use coupons.. There’s a lot of websites that teach good couponing tips. Set aside a little amount of money on your grocery budget for stocking up. Stock up on what’s on sale. You don’t have to be an extreme couponer, just stock up on what your family usually consumes. A penny saved is a penny earned.

7. Use your kitchen and eat healthy. Settle on how many times you can eat out in a week or in a month. Nothing is more budget friendly than home cooking. While it is a little challenging to cook healthy on a budget, it can be done. Be mindful of what you serve, it is much better to invest on good health. Try to get the whole family involve in the kitchen too, instilling positive healthy habits is always good. We seldom eat out and it makes it more special and fun experience when we do. Buy and cook what’s in season and on sale. Do batch cooking as well. Freeze kitchen staples like broths, beans, some vegetables, herbs (on ice cube trays), berries, spinach and peppers.

8. You can have fun in a less expensive way ( free too!). Our weekends are always being looked forward to. There are a lot of frugal and sometimes free ways to enjoy your time with your family. Search for free entrances to museums. We love going to farmers market, parks, go for a scenic drive..or even just a simple walk in a neighborhood. Just a stroll in the park gives us time to slow down and talk inspite of busy weekdays. I also subscribed to National Macaroni Kid. Events are delivered right into your inbox every Thursday or Friday. Some events are free and some cost are just very minimal. Sometimes, national parks have free entrance days. Shopping for things you actually do not need is not your only outlet for fun. Buying toys for our kids, is not the only way to make them happy. It can be challenging, as parents we always struggle with guilt.

9. Pay yourselves too. If the budget is flexible for any pay period or particular week. Do spoil yourself one in a while. It is important so you don’t feel deprived, whatever floats your boat. It can be a dine out kinda day ( who doesn’t love a break from cooking and cleaning the dishes. Just remember it doesn’t matter what you guys do..what matters is the time (quality time) you spend together.

10. Blessing. Know that there is a multitude of benefits in staying at home with young children ( they are the motivation of our decision after all ) stability, consistency, relationship, and experience to name a few.

11. Less is more. Living simple can give you a happy life. Contented life. Living simple can vary from one person to another. I would encourage you to write down things in your life that you can simply. Is it the over scheduling? How does over scheduling affect your family? If you put too much on your schedule that you end up eating out a lot, ask your self if there can be ways to schedule down. Do you really need to have all the extra subscriptions to entertain your family (Netflix, Red box, Hulu etc). Maybe you can just choose one instead of eliminating all of start with.

12. BE FAITHFUL AND PRAY. Whatever your reason is for deciding on being a single income family, know that it is a part of greater plan from God. It is difficult but it will pass. As for me, our daughters will not be little for long, they will be school, they will grow up. It was difficult at first but is it worth it? DEFINITELY! Our kids are always worth it.

3 Keys to Trusting the Truth of God’s Word

When God speaks, faith has to connect to His Word because if you allow only your feelings to connect, no root can be formed. ~ Mz Liz

Imagine Earth without plants, animals or any living things, just a barren place of soil, rock and water. The Bible said it was dark and void. There was nothing, no Garden of Eden, no habitable place… until a Voice spoke in the darkness. This is the stuff that sci-fi movies are made of – the ultimate ‘special effects’.

Now imagine giraffes and elephants and horses and every kind of animal rising out of the ground, fully formed, unique to their breed. Camels rising out of desert sand. Whales emerging from barren waters. Fish teeming where there were none!

God demonstrated His power and dominion with every word He spoke. God said – “Let there be… stars… fish… animals… birds… plants” and suddenly, things that were not – became! Talk about word-power! Every molecule and atom obeyed His spoken Word.

We see that same power many times in the New Testament. Remember when Jesus told Simon Peter, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Suddenly, ever fish in the Sea of Galilee showed up around those boats, just waiting to be caught! (See Luke 5) I don’t imagine any of those fish said to themselves, “Nah, I don’t want to go over there, I think I’ll just stay here in the shallows.” No, they obeyed the call of the Master.

How many times did Jesus feed multitudes and restore wholeness to lepers, and the lame, maimed and mentally deranged? Can you imagine a leper whose fingers and toes were eaten up with sores, whose face was pock-marked or worse, being restored to wholeness? Suddenly, baby-soft skin covered his entire body with no parts missing! Or imagine the man in Lystra who walked and leaped when Paul said loudly, “Stand upright on thy feet!” (Acts 14:10) That man’s bones and muscles, tendons and ligaments, changed instantly.

The Bible says Paul ‘perceived’ that the lame man had faith to be healed. When Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood, He said to her, “Thy faith has made thee whole.” Apparently, faith is the key to seeing the power of God’s Word manifested in our personal circumstances. Paul explained it this way, For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter into [His] rest (Heb. 4:2-3).

To rest in the promises of God, to trust the truth of His Word, you must have faith to believe without doubt or fear. Since faith cometh by hearing, every time you read the Bible or one of these articles, listen to a Word-based teacher or speak the word to yourself, faith comes. Faith grows in proportion to the amount of Word you feed it. How do I know? Because God said “faith cometh.”

For instance, God told Abraham, “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Abraham believed Him, accepting His Word as Truth. It didn’t matter than he was o-l-d, or that his wife, Sarah, was barren. God said… and Abraham knew it had to come to pass. Admittedly, it took Abraham a while to develop his faith to fully believe God’s Word, but he got there… and ended up exactly where God said he would.

Romans 4:17 explains, God quickeneth the dead and calleth those things that be not as though they were. When God said, “I have made thee” that phrase was past tense. Abraham’s lineage was part of God’s plan before the foundation of the world. So is yours!

The process of believing God’s Word as Truth is the same for you and me as it was for Abraham. After he screwed up with Hagar (no pun intended!) and had a child by Sarah’s servant, he got serious. God said to Abraham that his family would number the stars in the sky or the sand on the shore. Every time Abraham stepped outside his tent, he saw either sand or stars, continually reminding him of God’s promise.

Genesis 21:1 says, And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as He had spoken. Their grandson, Jacob, had twelve sons who became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Think about what Mary, the mother of Jesus, said to the servants at the wedding feast. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” She knew that if Jesus spoke to the situation, something would happen… and it did! The water turned into wine (See John 2). On another occasion, He spoke to a fig tree and it died. He spoke to the storm and it stopped. He told Peter to ‘come’ and Peter walked on water (until his fear interfered)!

God’s Word works. Hebrews 1:3 describes it as the word of His power. That’s what makes it true. His power is in His Word. Paul admitted in his letter to the Thessalonians, For our Gospel came unto you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance (v. 1:5). Paul trusted that whatever he spoke according to the Word of God was assured, certain.

Paul became a mighty man of God, strong in faith. Forgetting those things that are behind, He gave up his preconceived ideas and set aside things he had previously relied on (Roman citizenship, Jewish leadership, education, etc.) He pressed – put pressure on the Word, looking toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The message Bible says it this way: I’ve got my eye on the goal, I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back (Phil 3:14). He was not one of the original twelve Disciples, but he eventually authored almost two-thirds of the New Testament. More than any other man except Jesus Himself, Paul has taught and strengthened the faith of those who believe.

There are two important precepts in Paul’s comment that will help you trust fully in the truth and power of God’s Word.

First, forget those things that are behind. Nothing matters from this moment back. You can’t change it, or undo it. The only thing you can do, like Paul, is move on. That means your failures, doubts, anger, even the joys of yesterday are over and gone. When he said, “I have wronged no man,” he fully believed in his own rebirth from the man he was before that incident in Damascus. Maybe you didn’t see the manifestation of God’s promise yesterday. So what! Today is a new day. Don’t let your faith slip just because the clock keeps ticking.

Next, press toward the mark. Put pressure on the Word with your whole heart and mind. Repeat your confessions with more determination. Get tenacious. I know you want your problem solved, but change your motive. Press toward the manifestation of God’s power so that others may see the result and give thanks to God. Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven (Matt. 5:16). The harder you press, the more sure your victory.

How hard should you press? As hard as you can! I heard of a woman who had pancreatic cancer. She decided to take God at His Word. At least a hundred times a day, she said, “Cancer, you can’t kill me. God is healing my body right now. Jesus bore my pain and infirmities and with His stripes, I was healed!” Day after day for months and months, she refused to let up – and she received her healing! Are you willing to press that hard?

Don’t quit. The only way you can lose is to give up. Strong faith won’t let you do that. Paul explained that in Hebrews: Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised) (v 10:23). God’s faith is not on the line. Everything He speaks happens in His timing and plan. It’s our faith that wavers, questioning ‘why’ or ‘when’ or ‘how’. Strong faith doesn’t care about logistics. It believes God. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:5).

That woman with cancer didn’t stop until she got what she was believing for, just like the woman with the issue of blood. That lady crawled into the crowd believing she just had to touch Jesus’ hem to be healed – and she was! (See Luke 8) If you’d been bleeding for twelve years, would you have the strength and determination to do what she did?

When Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower, only twenty-five percent of the people who heard the word sown received a harvest. Why? Because they were distracted, distraught or disgusted. Some scoffed and rejected what they heard. Others refused to hang on to what they heard. And some got sidetracked with other things. But those who grabbed hold (pressed), ultimately received some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold (Matt. 13:23).

Truth can only make you free if you are willing to trust The Word completely. We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14). Faith is your guarantee, your title deed, to the promise. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Grab hold of His Word and press forward – building faith, patience and determination until you see the manifestation in your life.

Massage Therapy: Vocation and Vision

At the time of this writing, I have been in the massage therapy profession for over eighteen years. From the beginning, my goal has been to become one of the best massage therapists in the world. Whether or not that goal has been met may be questionable from other vantage points, but in the eyes of my loyal clients it is undisputed.

I believe that I have a genuine calling to the healing ministry of massage therapy and that this calling is the reason that I ever set that audacious goal to begin with. Furthermore, I believe that this calling and this goal is what has led to my success.

Over the years I have seen massage therapy become much more mainstream. I have seen an increasing wave of people entering the profession, and for a variety of motivations. I have watched quite a number of them get through school, graduate, and go on to do nothing whatsoever with their training. I have seen others graduate, become licensed, make a start at setting up a massage practice, and give up all too soon when they discover that they aren’t immediately earning enough income to support themselves.

Let me encourage you who are reading this: while building a successful massage therapy practice takes devotion, time and dedication, I believe that if you have a calling to this work, you will succeed. Don’t expect it to be easy or immediate, and don’t let go of your dreams too soon.

Do give your practice the focused cultivation and the time it needs to grow into something beautiful. Do learn as much as you can about the practical matters of operating a successful business. Do be open to grace and synchronicity, and know that you are not alone. If massage therapy is your vocation, I believe that you have the entire universe at your back, helping you to succeed. Believe it, too.

It is the power of knowing and being who you genuinely are that will attract the people who need exactly what you have to offer. You really will be the best massage therapist on the planet for those clients. To know who you are and to recognize what it is that you personally have to offer, it is very helpful to compose a vision statement.

What is your vision?

Your vision is the most important ingredient of your business. Without it, your business will be like a boat without oars out on the ocean, floating around aimlessly. Your vision is what steers your business in the direction which you intend.

Your vision statement is the big picture: it is your whole philosophy of life and your purpose in this world and why you are entering into this profession, all rolled into one and condensed into two or three sentences. This should take hours to compose.

Begin by blocking out planning time for this. Choose a time when you can be alone and undistracted. Keep this appointment. Write it on your calendar. This is not optional. This is vital to the growth and direction of your business. It is helpful to keep in mind this analogy: you are the sculptor of your own unique business. You will be continually honing it to become more what you envision it to be. As your business grows and matures, so will your vision. In all that you do, you will continually come back to your vision to make sure that what you are doing is in alignment with what you intend.

How to Formulate Your Vision

A good way to develop your vision is to begin with brainstorming: write down words, phrases, images, anything that comes to you while you think on the questions: What do I think is important in life? Why am I choosing the massage profession? Why do I do what I do? Who am I? Where am I going? Who are my ideal clients? What do they look like? What do I have to contribute to their wellbeing?

If you have already made a start in the massage profession, take a look at what you are already doing. Assess what message is being conveyed. Go back to your vision brainstorm list and integrate. If you already have clientele, focus on the core group of your clients. Who are they, what are they like? That may help to clarify your purpose. When it is clear to you, it will resonate to others.

Once you have your vision honed down to one or two sentences, print it out and hang it up where you will see it daily. Read it often. Keep it in the forefront of your intention. Revisit and rewrite it annually. Expect it to evolve as you evolve. In the universe nothing is static; nothing just stays the same. It is either increasing or decreasing. You get to decide, by the attention you put on your vision, whether your business will ebb or flow.

Your vision will change and grow, as your business changes and grows. At one time, my vision statement was “I work toward world peace, one person at a time, through massage and bodywork.” In order to express this vision statement to my clientele, I added it to the heading of my welcome/information sheet that I give to every new client, right under my name: “Working toward world peace… one person at a time.” I also wrote an expanded version of my vision statement for the same welcome/information sheet, and posted it on my website. In it, I used many of the words and phrases that had come to me during my vision brainstorming session.

After sharing my vision in this way with my clientele, and with any prospective clients who were interested, I was surprised and gratified to receive very positive and heartfelt feedback. Many people could relate their own experience of massage exactly to what I was putting forward. They realized the holistic and spiritual nature of massage as well as the physiological benefits and they were hungry for it in their lives. More people scheduled more regularly as a way to bring about balance for their body, mind and spirit.

This is my own true-life example of learning that it is true that once you get clear on what you are doing and why you are doing it, and express it clearly in all of your marketing materials, your vision will resonate to others and they will be attracted to it. You will be the best massage therapist in their world.

How To Handle Sudden Wealth

Sudden wealth seems like the exact opposite of a problem. But for many, an abrupt change for the better in their financial lives can create a host of unexpected pitfalls.

Most people who successfully build wealth do so slowly and steadily through work, investment and planning. But windfalls large enough to change one’s financial life certainly aren’t unheard of. Arguably the most common way in which people’s financial statuses suddenly change is through a large inheritance or bequest, but that is only one scenario. You may also receive a large lifetime gift from a parent or grandparent. You may win a large divorce or other legal settlement. You may be a professional athlete or entertainer signing a large contract, or an early employee of a tech startup that goes public. Occasionally, someone even wins a huge lottery jackpot.

Depending on how you come by your newfound wealth, you may or may not have expected to receive it. If your parent makes you a large lifetime gift, for instance, ideally you have discussed the transaction in advance. On the other hand, if you are a young athlete who has just been drafted by a professional team for the first time, you are unlikely to have experience handling anything like the amount of money suddenly available to you. Regardless of background, anyone who receives a large windfall is at risk for what is often called “sudden wealth syndrome:” the stress and uncertainty that accompanies moving from one lifestyle to another.

If you have never managed a large sum of money before, it is much easier than you might think to squander your newfound wealth. Before you go on a spending spree or stuff the entire amount into your mattress, it’s crucial to pause and instead prepare a comprehensive plan to handle your new financial reality. Taking a calm and measured approach can help you to avoid common pitfalls and to make the most of your resources in the long run.

Traps To Avoid

HBO’s new football comedy “Ballers” focuses on Spenser Strasmore, a former NFL player turned financial adviser, and the pro athletes he advises. While the show incorporates all the heightened drama you would expect, the struggles with financial stability it depicts are all too real. A study published in the spring of 2015 found that about one in six former NFL players end up filing for bankruptcy within a dozen years of retirement.

And it isn’t only football players who run this risk. There is a long list of lottery winners who burned through large winnings in a few years, and 70 percent of affluent families lose their wealth by the second generation, according to the Williams Group wealth consultancy. So where does all the money go?

Conspicuous consumption is the default answer, and sometimes spending unwisely is indeed the culprit. But while it is easy to judge football players who buy huge mansions and young adults with outsize tastes for designer shoes and the latest Apple gadgets, the reality is that people suddenly handling much more money than they are used to can easily fall into the trap of believing their newfound wealth will never run out, no matter what they do.

For instance, buying a house with the proceeds of a large divorce settlement may seem like a reasonable choice. However, expenses such as property taxes and upkeep, not to mention plans to remodel or expand, can quickly tie up a great deal of your resources in a way that is very hard to undo if you later realize that you don’t have enough cash to meet your day-to-day expenses or that you are not on track to meet your retirement goals. And if you buy something that will depreciate quickly, such as an expensive car or a boat, your prospects of reclaiming much of the original capital through a sale are even worse. The best way to avoid such outcomes is to make a plan before you make large purchases, not after.

Family and friends may also have a hard time understanding that your new wealth has limits. Many of those who have lost their wealth did so in whole or in part because they provided funding for risky ventures or faltering businesses. Your loved ones may also fail to understand why you cannot just pay off their debt or buy them better homes, and it can be difficult to say no to such requests from people you care about. One possible solution is to designate your financial adviser as a “gatekeeper,” so he or she can be the one who actually says no. Your adviser should also vet all business and investment proposals, even those that come from people you personally trust. This is not to say you can’t provide any support to family and friends, but such support should be part of an overall plan to make sure that it doesn’t undermine your own long-term financial well-being.

Making A Plan

So if planning is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of sudden wealth, where should you begin?

First, you should assemble a team of professionals. One of these should be a fee-based Certified Financial Planner (TM) who is transparent about his or her compensation. This helps to ensure your adviser’s interests are aligned with yours. You may also want to consider a separate accountant or tax expert and a wealth manager, depending on what services and expertise your adviser offers. An estate planning attorney will also be helpful. Researching and vetting these professionals may take some time, but it is the first step in making sure your choices are shaped by those with sufficient experience to offer you the best advice possible.

Once you are satisfied with your advisers, the next step will be to determine whether your windfall has tax implications. While an inheritance or life insurance proceeds are not typically taxable, an exercise of stock options, the sale of appreciated stock and a lottery payout are all taxable events. Your accountant will be able to tell you whether you owe taxes, and if so, how much your total tax bill will be and when it will be due. Set aside any money you will need to cover state and federal tax liabilities before you start planning how you will spend and invest the remainder.

After setting aside the portion to cover taxes, a logical next step is to consider your debt. In most situations, it will make sense to pay off any outstanding “bad” debt right away. What makes debt bad? Generally, it is when you use debt to buy something that immediately decreases in value. The most common debt of this type is credit card debt, but if you have a line of credit at a particular store or an auto loan, those are also forms of debt it typically makes sense to pay off quickly.

“Good” debt is debt that creates value. For instance, educational loans, business loans and mortgages are all forms of debt that can produce long-term wealth and may offer tax breaks in some situations. Work with your financial adviser to get a more complete picture of what repayment schedule makes the most sense for these sorts of debts. For instance, you may do better to repay your student loans more slowly while investing more for retirement; in other situations, especially if your income phases you out of tax benefits such as interest deductions, paying off loans more quickly to reduce overall interest paid may make more sense.

Once you’ve set aside funds for your tax liabilities and assessed your debt, you should work with your adviser to develop a budget. This will serve as a road map that will allow you to preserve your new wealth and ensure you don’t outlive it – or even watch it grow, if that is your ultimate objective.

Just like any budget, your new plan should start with your income, including earnings, investment income, retirement benefits or any other income source you expect over time. It should also include your living expenses. The common adage, “don’t live beyond your means,” applies here: Use your budget to make sure annual living expenses don’t exceed annual income. If they do, you will need to reduce your expenses, increase your income or both until the income exceeds the output. Otherwise, you will need to dip into savings or sell investments to cover your shortfall. In certain situations, such as in retirement, this may be necessary; in these cases, you will still want to avoid invading principal too quickly, and thus risk exhausting your wealth during your lifetime.

Your new budget will necessarily make certain assumptions about inflation and the rate of return on your investments. Of course, no one can predict these with certainty, which means your budget will need some built-in flexibility. More importantly, your budget should be flexible because that makes it more likely you will actually stick to it over time. Set a budget too rigidly, and you run the risk of abandoning it altogether. A budget you ignore is useless, no matter how well it balances on paper.

A good budget will do more than simply ensure your income exceeds your living expenses. It should also allow for any large purchases you would like to make in the near term, such as a residence, a vehicle or a vacation. By including such big-ticket items in your budget, you can evaluate the implications before you actually make the purchase. This will allow you the confidence to move forward with an understanding of any adjustments or trade-offs the purchase may require.

Your budget will also help you with your next planning step: a long-term financial strategy. First, look to the future. Everyone’s financial goals will be different, and it is important to articulate what you specifically hope to accomplish in the years ahead. Some common concerns may be funding your own retirement, paying for a child’s education or future support, starting your own business or supporting charitable causes.

With the help of your financial planner and wealth manager, you can use these goals, your existing budget, and your tolerance for risk to develop a long-term investment strategy. While everyone’s particular financial plan and time horizon will be a bit different in the particular details, a well-diversified approach focused on the long term will be the best way to secure your financial goals. Your budget will be helpful in determining your target asset allocation (the mix of stocks, bonds and other investments in your portfolio), as well as the amount of risk you are comfortable assuming in pursuit of your objectives.

For example, if your budget in retirement will require you to draw down your investment portfolio, you may need to adopt an aggressive strategy – one heavily-weighted in stocks – to meet your goals in your later years. However, if such an aggressive allocation will be too much for you to bear, you may need to adjust your goals and the amount of money you plan to withdraw from your portfolio each year to settle on an allocation with which you will be comfortable.

Finally, your estate planning professionals will help you ensure that the wealth you worked hard to preserve and grow will pass to your intended beneficiaries upon your death. At a minimum, you should update your will – or create one, if necessary – to reflect your new situation. However, depending on how your wealth came to you and your long-term plans, you may want to consider more complex planning techniques, such as creating trusts or reconfiguring insurance arrangements. Competent professionals will be able to advise you on the best ways to go about making sure your wealth is protected beyond your lifetime if this is important to you.

Sudden and major shifts in your financial life can be a shock, and most people will need time to adjust to their new “normal.” But by taking the time to make a comprehensive and forward-looking plan, you can ensure that you make the very most of your windfall and take all the time you need to settle in and enjoy meeting your goals in the years to come.

Churchill Versus Hitler: Their Shocking Similarities

History spawned two great opposites on the spectrum of good and evil. Without one we couldn’t have had the other. After reading many books on history’s greatest antagonists it’s clear they shared personality traits, behavioral issues, peccadilloes, and family histories. Without further ado, let’s peek into the curious similarities and differences of character between Winston Spencer Churchill and Adolf Hitler.

The Similarities-

Strained Relationships with Parents:

Winston had a difficult relationship with his father. Randolph viewed him as an undisciplined layabout who refused to apply himself in his studies. As with most ruling-class children he was sent to boarding school. His parents never visited, his father involved in government, his mother involved with society’s leading men, most notably the future Edward VII. Starved for affection, Winston developed a close bond with his nanny.

Adolf feared his father, receiving unwarranted beatings. The Hitler children sought refuge in the mother. His teachers reported so-so results. His aged father died when Adolf was a boy, creating a difficult financial situation for the family. His mother died of breast cancer when Adolf was sixteen. The family doctor hinted that mother and son were unnaturally close, without specifying details.

Both fathers had died when their boys were undeveloped. Winston’s father died of syphilis. Both mothers died tragically. Churchill’s mum died after a broken leg went gangrenous. She had the leg removed. During recuperation, the leg started leaking blood. She died before help arrived.

Weak Relationships with Women:

Hitler had difficult relationships with women. His first, at forty-two, was his niece Geli Raubal, nineteen years younger. Locked up in an apartment, forbidden to leave, she shot herself. Some say because he controlled her life, others say she was forced to get naked, squat over his face and perform acts of a scatalogical nature. In either case, not the ideal romance. With his next girlfriend there’d be a greater disparity in age. His late marriage to Eva Braun ended shortly after with a bullet to the head. He was 56, she 33.

Churchill also had strained relationships with women until he met his wife Clementine at thirty-five. Aloof and boring, when introduced to Clementine he was literally speechless. Knowing how garrulous and self-confident Winston was with men, his fear of women explains his behaviour. He’s lucky she came back for more.

Both Self-Educated:

Winston was a poor student. Disruptive in class, he found Greek, Latin or Math boring and useless. Never applying himself, he fell into disfavor with his father. Attending military college, he struggled with the material except for matters martial. Between this poor start and his career as a journalist, through voracious reading of history he taught himself an engrossing manner of writing, although critics ague his view of history is self-serving. Throughout his life his main interest would remain military history, especially England’s.

Neither was Hitler a good student. Interested only in military history, he delighted in crossing play-swords with mates. His political education began after his mother died. Homeless in Vienna, he visited libraries and read political discussions. At a shelter, he read to keep busy but discovered a penchant for military histories and polemics. These formed the basis of long diatribes in the WWI trenches, boring comrades to distraction. With his mouth running politics all day, it’s possibly the reason he was made a courier – to give the troops in the trenches a break.

Both Painters:

After becoming homeless in his teens Hitler took up painting. He sold bland watercolors of houses to the tourists of Vienna. His ambition was to become an architect but was denied entry into university due to low artistic ability. Later, he would idolize and befriend an architect – Albert Speer.

Winston began painting in the Twenties to relax from politics after it dealt disappointments. Upon his death, five hundred paintings were at the country mansion Chartwell. Many others had been given away during his life.

Both Writers:

Winston augmented his meager subaltern’s salary by writing news articles. A cavalry subaltern was expected to provide his own horse, uniform and pay mess dues. Elected to Parliament, he had a similar dilemma caused by an MP’s yearly salary of £150. His writing soon expanded to histories that were well received. Churchill signed contracts for books and, having been in government and well connected, he created authoritative bird’s-eye views for his readers. First-hand accounts of military engagements were popular with the public. He wrote hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, syndicated world wide. When it became lucrative, he bought an estate, naming it Chartwell. Eventually he won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Hitler, on the other hand, wrote only two volumes, both of them autobiographical, but mostly outlining his political vision for Germany. The first was entitled My Four Year Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice, compiled while confined in Landsberg prison for treason. Convinced by his editor to shorten the title, My Struggle (Mein Kampf) first had modest sales. After coming to power in 1933, the book was read by new party members, selling millions each year. He followed up with a poorly selling update, a repetitious harangue against Jews and Bolshevism. With the millions he made from Mein Kampf he bought a mountain retreat in the Alps, calling it the Berghof. Although Mein Kampf sold millions, it wasn’t enjoyable reading. Given away at weddings and military promotions, it was similar to the ubiquitous Gideon’s Bible found in hotels everywhere, taking a revered place on shelves but mostly unread.

Both Courageous:

Churchill served with distinction and bravery in war. Physically very brave, as a cavalry subaltern in the Boer War, he took charge of a troop train that was under attack. Exposing himself to rifle fire, he got the damaged train in running order and moving again. In WWI he resigned from Cabinet, taking responsibility for the Gallipoli disaster (later exonerated in a secret report) and marched to the front lines. Resented for not having earned his rank, he soon gained the respect of his men, leading patrols to inspect the wire under extremely dangerous circumstances. Running the Home Office during an anarchist shoot-out in London, newspaper photos portray him directing operations at the scene. There’s no question of his courage.

Adolf Hitler would be awarded the Iron Cross in WWI. Twice wounded while serving as a courier in the trenches, he was temporarily blinded by poison gas. During early Nazi street brawls he was shot at several times. He carried pistols in his trenchcoat pockets, probably using them during street clashes.

Both Powerful Orators:

Elected to Parliament in his twenties, Winston rehearsed his speeches thoroughly, staging when he should stammer, correct himself, or look skyward for better words. Even gestures were annotated. He made certain he had room from the lectern to gesticulate. At the start his nerves betrayed him while ‘acting’ out speeches, but through experience learned better delivery. He developed into such a good orator and a sharp critic of anyone who opposed his views, that when he rose in the House to speak the word went out that ‘Winston was up,’ causing absent members to rush back to the House to witness a spectacle. The House was always packed to hear Winston, not so the other members, many of them senior. At his peak, he motivated the nation, making them believe in themselves as superhuman, sacrificing all for England.

Adolf Hitler began speaking in the trenches. He endlessly harangued comrades with diatribes about the Jews, so much so he was universally disliked. After WWI the army decided to employ him, delivering anti-Bolshevik speeches to demobilized troops. He took over the Nazi Party leadership based on the strength of his oratory. He began his speeches slowly, quietly, folding his arms and waiting for the hubbub to stop. He made room for his flinging arms, wild gesticulations, and doubling over when pointing down, lifting a knee as he did so. Soon he would spellbind the nation, allowing them to believe in their superiority, the individual should sacrifice everything for Germany. Both leaders motivated their countrymen to believe in victory.

Both Supremacists, Nationalistic:

Churchill held the view, common among Victorian patricians, that darker skinned peoples were incapable of self-government. He opposed Indian self-government, leading to his isolation. Imperialists, in whose camp he clearly stood, were often racist, believing England stood for civilization and enlightenment, a view often held in complete denial of English domestic inequities, English lack of justice for the poor, downtrodden classes, lack of literacy, education, social benefits, basic hygiene, food and housing, lack of medical attention, lack of political representation, exploitation of the working poor, etcetera. If one were outside looking in, it would have been hard not to regard English people holding these views as utterly and contemptuously arrogant.

Hitler’s arrogance towards other races was plainly evident in his treatment of non-Germans. The list of crimes towards the Untermenschen (sub-humans) is endless. The Jews were equated to vermin in propaganda films in order to justify their extermination. The Slavs were slave labor, deliberately worked to death – their lands de-populated for German ‘living space’. Hitler took it badly when Jessie Owens and Joe Louis gave him two clear demonstrations of Black superiority over Germans.

Both Meddlers:

A back-seat-driver in every sphere of involvement, Winston was loathed for constantly criticizing colleagues and superiors. From Kitchener in Khartoum, to every Prime Minister he served, he dominated conversations with criticism and corrections. On committees he controlled the room. In Cabinet, he waded into others’ portfolios without regard to the proprieties of turf. As First Lord of the Admiralty or as Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance) he strayed into all territories, critical of any and all holding opposing views. Many would warn their Prime Minister, ‘I won’t serve if Winston is in the Cabinet’. As PM, he made himself Minister of Defense. He meddled thoroughly in the affairs of generals, sacking one after another until he found one he liked. Montgomery was a character equal in obstinacy to Churchill and couldn’t be pushed. Monty had successes early on, and a mentor in Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff. Churchill’s meddling was responsible for ludicrous ideas being investigated, ie: aircraft carriers made of ice, and a steel cable anti-aircraft device. But many ideas were used, such as the Tank, Mulberry (artificial harbors), Pluto (Pipe Line Under The Ocean), and magnetic mines. FDR once said ‘Winston has about fifty ideas per day, three or four of them good’. Undoubtedly, the other forty-six were a source of limitless irritation to experienced staff required to investigate and report on their usefulness.

In June 1934, Hitler himself arrested his party rival, leader of the Sturm Abteilung (Storm Troopers). Without a trial or basis in law, Röhm was executed shortly thereafter, along with 250 people who disagreed with Hitler. Der Führer often involved himself in low-level details of military planning, believing that no one was more competent than he, incredibly frustrating for experienced generals. It’s no wonder that assassination attempts were orchestrated by the military hierarchy.

Both Geniuses:

Given alternatives by planners, Hitler would choose the correct one. Meddling led to successes, especially in France and the Low Countries. He correctly gauged the Western Democracies’ unwillingness to fight for the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and in the end, themselves. England sent under ten divisions to fight alongside France’s 75 mobile divisions. During ‘la Drôle de Guerre’ (Phony War) France refused to allow England to bomb Germany from French bases, refused to allow mining the Rhine, and didn’t permit shooting at Germans across the boundary. When overwhelmed by 136 German mechanized and air-supported divisions, the British quickly evacuated France. The French threw down their weapons en masse after symbolic fights. The defeatist graffiti slogans of ‘Pour qui et pour quoi?’ were only matched by England’s appeasers. In suicidal charges against machine guns a generation earlier, England had lost her manliness on the fields of the Somme, commanded by brain-dead, upperclass twits. France had been bled white in countless other battles, pitting flesh against bullets and shells. Hitler knew the Democracies had no fight in them.

Although Churchill was slow to appreciate dominance of air power over battleships, he saw the bigger picture clearly. England’s life-line to the world was through shipping. Winston knew he had to defeat the U-boat. The Battle of the Atlantic was his greatest worry. When 10 centimeter radar was combined with long range aircraft, the U-boat menace was defeated. Critics argued that sinkings of U-boats hadn’t increased, how could that be called a victory. Churchill said they had missed the point; more shipping was getting through. Radar equipped airplanes were causing U-boats to dive; easily discovered or being in hiding they were unable to stalk their prey. It wasn’t necessary to sink them to render them ineffective. Furthermore, Churchill saw quite clearly that the USSR and Americans had to be allies, that Germany could not sustain a two-front war. Despite his profound distaste for Bolshevism, he supplied Russia with info from Ultra decrypts (Top Secret Intel). He diverted weapons and supplies to Russia once they were at war with Germany, and convinced Americans that Germany must be defeated before Japan. His predecessor, Chamberlain, had spurned alliances with both the Soviets and the U.S. Both then were men of grand vision, seen as geniuses by their followers and constituents.

Both Committed to Fight to the End:

Winston, at England’s darkest hour, made his ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ speech and ‘so let us bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and her Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say this was their finest hour’ and ‘Hitler knows that he will have to break us on this island or lose the war’. Winston was a fighter; he’d take England to a smoldering end before capitulating. There’d be no more running from Nazis. Publicity photos portray him brandishing a Thommy gun at his hip, daring Hitler to come to England. Hitler fought to the end, leaving his country a smoking, bombed-out ruin.

Both Innovators:

Under Hitler’s aegis, the Third Reich spawned many technical innovations which could have been decisive. The V1 and V2 are notable but most menacingly was the first operational jet aircraft and radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns. It’s an Allied myth that Germany didn’t develop radar as quickly as England. The facts are the reverse. Germany also tested remote, radio-guided bombs against Allied ships invading Italy in 1943. Furthermore, some German tanks were equipped with infrared gun sights in 1944. Developed in 1942, the Messerschmitt 262 sped by P-51 Mustangs at 540 miles per hour. Luckily, there weren’t sufficient numbers to change the balance. At war’s end, all German aircraft production was exclusively fighter aircraft and had been moved to bomb-proof caves.

Technical innovations by the Allies were many and decisive, some even originating from Churchill’s own fertile mind. Mulberry, artificial harbors to supply the D-Day beachhead, was towed in sections to Normandy to create two artificial harbors. Window, another Churchillian brainstorm, was instrumental in fouling German radar with strips of floating tin foil, first used in bombing Hamburg. He encouraged other technical innovations that were decisive as well. Hobarth’s Funnies were tanks adapted to special purposes for D-Day, chain flailing to detonate mines, flame throwers, carpet laying over soft ground, or vaulting tank traps with wood bundles. The development of the cavity magnetron making radar sensitive enough to spot a periscope over the horizon was all-decisive in the Atlantic. As a result, America safely ferried over 2.2 million troops to England. On D-Day only two submarines were encountered by an armada of 7,000 ships. Churchill sent scientists to work on the Manhattan Project, which successfully produced the A-bomb, proving decisive against Japan. It was a war between the scientists of the military/industrial economies.

Both Banned Defeatism:

Hitler’s regime made it a capital offence for a soldier to be defeatist. Citizens who mentioned defeat, or negativity about the war were reported to the Gestapo. Dissention was effectively suppressed, usually by violent means. Generals speaking of defeat in any terms were dismissed immediately. Leaders who retreated without permission were let go. With Germany in a state of imminent collapse, Berlin lying in ruins, Hitler dismissed generals who didn’t have that gung-ho, can-do spirit against massive Russian opposition. As Hitler’s bunker became the focus of fighting in Berlin, he permitted himself the ultimate defeatist act: for fear of being captured alive he shot himself and his wife, Eva Braun.

England had many defeatists, in government (the Appeasers, the Clivedon Set, and Socialists), the media (editors sympathetic to the Appeasers and opposed to Churchill, notably Geoffrey Dawson of The Times), foreign allies (France), foreign embassies (Joe Kennedy, Sr.), influential foreign spokesmen (Charles Lindbergh), former adversaries (Ireland), political agitators (The British Nazis) to name a few. Churchill wanted them muzzled since defeatism is infectious and largely responsible for England’s shocking lack of preparedness against an aggressive dictatorship. During the war, Churchill almost suffered a breakdown of the coalition government in a dispute with Labourites over suppression of the press under section 4D of the War Measures Act. Citizens guilty of spreading defeatism were reported and tried if the case was serious enough to consider.

They both took steps to silence the opposition. England had camps built on the Isle of Man for the collection of enemy aliens and the imprisonment of members of the British Nazi party. Censorship was established for all newspapers and radio broadcasts.

Good Judges of Character:

Each assessed the character of the other astutely. Churchill, alone and with few friends in parliament, predicted accurately what Hitler would do once he was in power, what countries he would threaten next, and how dangerous he would be to world peace. Hitler assessed correctly that Churchill, without influence at the time, was the real enemy of Germany. He also predicted Churchill would become the next prime minister and focused much of his government’s vitriol against Winston, although he was merely an isolated backbencher at the time. Hitler would make peace speeches after each conquest (Friedensrede) whereby he attempted to calm the nervous appeasers in neighboring countries in order to keep them from reacting. “We want nothing but peace and have no further territorial ambitions in Europe. War is the furthest thing from our minds,” he would say. Winston retorted, “A snake will slather a dead carcass in saliva before it swallows the meal whole.”

Instilled Loyalty With Speeches:

In the days before professional speech writers, Churchill and Hitler inspired their followers with radio addresses. Churchill’s were moving calls for the freedoms of subjugated peoples of the world and appeals to the common decency of man, meant mostly to inspire his countrymen but also with an eye to motivating Americans. Hitler made speeches that inspired hatred against outsiders, Jews, and Communists, some of which garnered sympathy in the countries he invaded. Most of Europe was anti-Semitic to the core, and he used that hatred to his advantage. Bad weather? Jews. Bad economy? Jews. Americans not on our side? Jews. Bolsheviks in the navy? Jews. A disenfranchised middle class made poor by the Versailles Treaty were only too ready to accept it. Joseph (jr.) and John Kennedy touring Germany in the late 30’s were confronted and jostled by angry Nazis for not raising their arms in the Hitler salute. The seduction of Germany into Fascism was complete.

Both Felt Righteous:

Churchill and Hitler were both devoted to their respective causes. Each was imbued with a sense of rightness of their cause, obsessiveness that kept them going long after ordinary men would have given up or retired. Winston became PM six months after he was eligible to collect a pension. Hitler viewed himself as the savior of Germany. Both were obsessed with a sense that they were born for the purpose of leadership, that it was their destiny to govern.

Churchill was very often rude to his valet at Chartwell, and the valet stood up for himself, returning the rudeness to Churchill. Winston said, “You can’t talk to me like that, that was rude.” The valet replied, “But you were rude too!” and Churchill without much contemplation said, “But I am a great man!” In the Twenties he had not yet become the heroic leader, indicating that he had a sense of his own worth to the future.

Neither Intimidated the Other:

Each having experienced real combat and having placed their lives in the ante in the Big Gamble of War, neither was intimidated easily by saber rattling, unlike Churchill’s three predecessors. When Germany re-occupied the Rhine in 1936, Hitler had been nervous and ready to withdraw at a moment’s notice, since with her small army Germany was not prepared for prolonged conflict with the Allies. But what he didn’t know and would only learn later was that his adversaries were also quite timid about confrontation.

Winston was perhaps the only parliamentarian whose knees did not shake at the sound of sword clattering Nazis. He would need to be confronted by real force of arms, not imagined. Had he been in power then, or had his speeches inspired the least backbone in Stanley Baldwin or Neville Chamberlain, the Nazi hand would have been forced. Instead Hitler got what was wanted through intimidation and knew from that point onward England would not lift a finger. Unfortunately for the world, Churchill stood alone, ridiculed by the Press (friends of Chamberlain) for his aggressive stance. He was unfairly labelled “The Warmonger”. They lacked the courage to call Hitler that though, they were afraid to insult the regime in Germany, and so ganged up on Winston instead. Winston had said of World War One that ‘Victory had been obtained at such a cost as to make it indistinguishable from defeat.’ Clearly the appeasers were allowing their judgments to lean toward the latter.

Both Seen as Warmongers:

In Winston’s case, war or having a strong military was seen as the only way to confront a dictator on a rampage. While the Germans were constructing a huge re-militarization program it would have been the only sensible path to take, but the pacifists in England wanted to appease the Germans through a reduction in arms. The two countries embarked on diverging paths. In Hitler’s case war was seen as the only way of redressing the wrongs he felt were done to Germany after her defeat in WWI, and the only way to conquer neighboring countries for ‘living space’. The pacifists in Germany, such as Albert Einstein, were forced to leave.

Late Risers:

Both men had schedules that took them late into the night, and very seldom got out of bed early. Hitler had given strict orders that reserve armored divisions were not to be moved after the D-Day invasion except on his personal authorization. Only he could decide where the main Allied thrust would be. Von Rundstedt tried telephoning him but was informed that Hitler could not be disturbed for any reason. In the event he slept until 10 o’clock. When he awoke he still did not believe that the main Allied thrust had come, and so withheld permission for the movement of reserve tanks.

Churchill slept almost every day until 10 a.m. napped in the late afternoon, and worked well into the wee hours of the morning. He managed his time effectively, sometimes by being stark naked in front of typists and secretaries, while dressing or taking baths. He surprised FDR by disrobing completely at the White House and FDR suggested he would come back to finish their conversation but Churchill, tongue in cheek, assured the president he had nothing to hide.

Both Used Intuition:

Both Winston and Adolf used intuition in assessing political or military situations, not relying on the rational. At least that’s the way it appeared to the outside observer. In Winston’s case his judgments would have been formed by his martial knowledge steeped in military history. In another facet, he had many insiders reporting government secrets to him because they were disgruntled with the appeasers habit of suppressing disturbing reports about Germany’s re-arming. In succession, Prime Ministers MacDonald, Baldwin, and Chamberlain buried the truth about Germany’s rapid military build up, withholding it from the country, so much so that Churchill appeared to be a barking lunatic ranting off facts and figures, the source of which he had to keep secret or betray his insiders. In a conspiracy of silence, the government knew the reports were correct, it was the same information they had chosen to suppress.

Hitler correctly constructed many strategies and gambles based on gut feeling. He had an intuition that the British were trying to get into Norway to block German imports of steel. He had a gut feeling that Stalin would be amenable to signing a non-aggression treaty, if the Soviets received a guarantee of spheres of domination in the Baltic States. His intuition completely failed him with regard to the invasion of Russia less than two years later however, and the decisive impact that America would have on the war. Hitler in essence was gambling with his armies and his intuition kept telling him to roll the dice one more time.

Both Believed in Absolutes:

Both Hitler and Churchill saw things in absolutes, either black or white. Churchill did not like to paint with anything but vibrant reds, blues, greens, and yellows. Absent were any closely related shades of gray or brown. Churchill only made friends with people who held his views of the world, other viewpoints not being worthy of consideration.

To a visiting British dignitary Hitler offered a solution to England’s Indian question: “Just shoot Gandhi”. Hitler prescribed death and destruction to anybody not on his side. Opposition ‘was to be crushed’, “Czechoslovakia will be eliminated”, “the Jews will cease to exist in Europe”, “Poland will be wiped off the map”. Hitler’s solution for the mentally handicapped became murder in September 1939. Since they didn’t contribute to the supremacy of Germany over other races, they took valuable resources away from German society, and so had to be executed. One by one, they were shipped off in busses to a killing center, their families sent fabricated notices of death by illness, looking much like a commercial form letter with names penciled in. Seventy thousand mentally handicapped people were disposed of in this manner, along with recidivist criminals, prostitutes or the chronically unemployed. Using these methods the Nazis learned how to commit the systematic murder of European Jewry – efficient, planned, orderly, and above all thorough. One of the captured German generals said when viewing films of British soldiers bulldozing mountains of emaciated dead Bergen-Belsen Jews into a pit, “If anything about the Third Reich lasts a thousand years, it will be this.”

The Differences:

Although they had many similarities in their development, what is crucial is where they differed. Adolf never drank, smoked or ate meat, but one can’t help thinking he could have been quite different had he indulged in the occasional human weakness. Hitler said in Mein Kampf “the bigger the lie the more they believed” which became his credo. He lied monumentally to his people and foreigners alike, and in the end to himself. Subjugation, enslavement and murder were the tools in his arsenal to achieve the German hegemony. Inflexible in the face of contrary facts, he annihilated opponents of his vision as would a medieval king – with brutality, imprisonment, banishment or death. He singled out weaker or neutral nations, conquered them with violence, digested them, enslaved their peoples to build bulwarks against counter-attack and then selected his next victim. As the Messiah, only he could lead his people to a glorious future, anyone else claiming an alternative way was possible would be murdered. In the shameful last days of the war he sent 13 and 14 year old lads to their deaths to save his empire rather than call it quits. He dealt only in the currency of death.

Winston Churchill, for all his faults (went to WWI with suitcases filled with liquor and cigars) firmly believed in democratic principles. He submitted his viewpoints to others, soliciting ‘comments and corrections’ and tirelessly struggled for consensus. For nearly a decade he held views that were contrary to the majority but kept a civil tongue, even though he in turn was very badly mistreated. When world events finally vindicated him, he never once took the opportunity to say ‘I told you so’. He allowed his former opponents to enter his camp and all was forgiven. Courageous to a fault, he told the truth, or at least what his convictions told him was the truth, however unpopular, whatever the personal cost or repercussions to his career and prestige. Nancy Astor, (Clivedon was her country home and headquarters for the appeasers and Nazi sympathizers. Her visitors were known as the Clivedon Set) a member of parliament but perhaps the dimmest light for democracy ever voted to represent it, the consummate appeaser, said many times ‘Winston is finished’. Yet his faith in the righteousness of his cause kept him fighting her and the Clivedon Set long after lesser men would have retired, beaten. He was malleable enough to change his opinions if justified by facts, but no one had better access to facts than Churchill, even as a backbencher. He worked tirelessly into the night but would never ask of man or woman what he wasn’t prepared to do himself. Most importantly, of all his differences to his alter ego and nemesis, he found abhorrent the concept of the enslavement of freedom loving peoples the world over and served to maintain and protect the peace. In opposing Hitler with all he could muster, allying himself with friends (America) and ideological foes (Russia), he restored and preserved peace for the modern world. Without his indefatigable strength of character and limitless energy the world would have descended into darkness, and almost did.

The Different Between Real Estate Taxes and Personal Property Taxes

It is often extremely easy to confuse the various taxes related to real estate, particularly when the terms used to describe each are so similar. For example, real estate tax is often referred to as property tax, which means it is easy to think that personal property tax must fall under that banner.

However, it is important to note that personal property tax is actually a completely separate issue, and thus needs to be treated as such and accounted for when you are filing your taxes.

Here we will take a look at the differences between real estate tax and personal property tax, so that you are no longer confused when dealing with either one of them.

Real Estate Tax

As mentioned, this is often also referred to as property tax. The lack of the word “personal” ahead of the phrase “property tax” is important because that indicates that you are actually talking about real estate tax.

In the simplest terms, this type of tax refers to any money that you have to pay on an immovable property. This can refer to any land that you own and any of the structures that are built on that land.

As such, it will apply to homes, commercial buildings and any other properties that have a permanent location. If you own the property directly this type of tax will usually be paid directly to your local tax assessor, or will be included as part of your monthly mortgage payment so that you pay it indirectly. The rate you pay is also liable to change based on the judgement of your local authority, so it is important to stay on top of any changes in policy.

Personal Property Tax

Personal property tax is different because it applies to any of your movable assets, rather than ones that have a permanent location. Like real estate tax, it is an annual tax that may change based on the judgement of the local government, so it is still important to stay on top of this kind of tax and budget accordingly.

As for what it covers, personal property tax is paid on everything from mobile homes, through to vehicles, boats and planes. Essentially, any item that you own that can be moved will be subject to this type of tax.

However, it is similar to real estate tax in the sense that the amount you pay is often judged based on the value of the item. For example, your vehicle license fee is based on the value of the vehicle itself, and is thus a personal property tax. The same goes for the other types of homes and vehicles mentioned here.

As such, if you have plans to purchase a recreational vehicle of any sort, it is important to speak to an expert so that you can determine how much tax you will need to pay on the vehicle. Whatever you do, don’t confuse the two and assume that paying for one means that you have paid for both.

Traditional European Destinations

Many people take at least one trip to Europe in their lifetime. Others keep returning and enjoying the variety of offerings. Whatever your motivation is for traveling there, you have many options. Travelers to Europe experience history, art, modern architecture, landscapes and great people. Affordable traveling between countries is possible by train, car and air. Here are a list of traditional European destinations.


Italy is a country with amazing experiences for any traveller.

Rome known for its old (like Sistine Chapel) and new buildings, shopping in unique shops and other attractions. There is no end to the art and sculptures that can be discovered.

Venice is a beautiful city known for romance. Many newlyweds find their way to this exciting destination that offers connecting bridges over mesmerizing canals with boats of all shapes, romantic-filled nooks and crannies with opportunities to purchase interesting memorabilia,, and intriguing Venetian architecture.

Visit Florence with its quaintly decorated buildings and enjoy the trendy eateries and gift shops.

If traveling in autumn, visit Tuscany and Umbria and see the vibrant colours and enthralling history.

United Kingdom

London is a must-see destination. The attractions and available opportunities to explore are almost endless. Take a tour of the Thames and soak in the history and the beauty. Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral are simply divine. See the medieval architecture of the Tower of London, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.


Visit Amsterdam and see the amazing way that the Dutch people have protected and extended their land by the use of canals and gates. Visit famous “flower and bloom markets” and enjoy the fragrance of freshly picked flowers as you travel to places of historical interest.


Berlin is the capital of Germany. It has had an interesting past but now the city is thriving with businesses, talented artists, and historical points of interest. The public transport system is easy to use and provides several options between most destinations.

Munich is considered an important city and great to visit during Oktoberfest or the weeks leading to Christmas to see the annual Christmas Markets. Also, an easy city to travel on public transport.


Vienna is sometimes referred to as one of the greatest capitals in Europe. Experience art history and wonderful people any time of the year


Helsinki the capital of Finland is a small city on world standards but has all the requirements for a comfortable stay. Travel there by ferry or air from many places and enjoy a young history of a friendly people.


Barcelona offers spectacular samples in Spanish art, fashion, lodging, and dining. Travelers can enjoy a great value holiday in Barcelona and Spain when planned well.

Were ever you travel in Europe, it will be different from home. Plan well so that you can enjoy the best that Europe has to offer.

Managing Travel Phobia

Unless you have suffered from an anxiety attack of any sort, it is difficult to understand that mind of a person who suffers from a travel phobia. Travel phobia is triggered in a person when they experience an accident, maybe a road, or rail crash or even an airplane scare. Often there are no physical impediments from the incident, however they might feel that they suffer a threat to their wellbeing of life in some way. Hodophobia is the latest term used to describe travel phobias.

Hodophobia is the irrational and intense fear of travel. Some people may fear going certain places while others may fear certain types of transportation airplanes, trains, boats, ships, road travel. Physical symptoms include sweating, shaking, stomach aches, diarrhoea, headaches or shortness of breath. Anxiety is also a major cause of concern.

Here are a few tips for managing hodophobia – always seek medical advice, if unsure!


(a) Plan trip with the person giving as much information as you can. Answer all the questions, honestly. Build a trust with the person so that you can comfortably travel together.

(b) Consult your doctor for more hints (and medication, if necessary) to make travel a success. Do not give sedatives unless prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.

(c) If traveling by car – show the route on a map so that they can see the travel in their mind. If traveling by plane, discuss and arrange the preferred seat and the rules in the plane. If traveling by train, explain the arrangements. In all cases clarify the boarding procedure, the disembarking procedure and any other important facts, like meal choice and eating arrangements. The more information the better!

(d) Go to bed early the night before to avoid tiredness. (Avoid alcohol and drugs) Go early to the departure place to avoid rushing. Arriving early will also beat the crowds and cut anxiety. Explain where the washroom, coffee places and any other points of interest are. The more the hodophobic knows about the travel plans, the better!

(e) Maintain the right hydration levels and give snacks when necessary before traveling, during traveling and after traveling. Dehydration and hunger can trigger negative feelings.

Managing travel phobia or hodophobia is extremely important when attempting a trip. Careful planning and explaining the journey are great ways to cut anxiety. If managed well, the person may gradually cut the propensity to suffer from hodophobia and become an accomplished traveller.

The Top 3 Reasons People Don’t Pursue Their Dreams And What To Do About It

We all know someone who has talked about pursuing his or her dream “one day”… could that someone be you?

What stops us from pursuing our dreams? What keeps us procrastinating?

1) Not Enough Money

The number one reason we don’t pursue our dreams. We need money to live day-to-day, and the cost of living in most “developed” countries is considerable. We’re taught that money + possessions = success. We are encouraged to go into debt to get the things we want. We use credit to buy cars, homes, furniture, education, and vacations. It’s the normal approach in our society. When we ponder pursuing our dreams, we wonder how can we afford it? Starting something new, like a business, going back to school, a career change, etc., will require money to make the change, we’ll potentially stop making the money we’re used to, and it will take some time to re-coup the money spent to make the change. As a result, our debt may increase, while we still have our current debt load and our day-to-day living expenses (and maybe supporting family members).

2) Taking the Easy Way

It’s easy to do what everyone else does. We don’t have to figure out anything new. We go to school, have a career, get a house, have a family, and plan for retirement. Life may be difficult or monotonous at times, but it’s predictable and understood. There’s a lot to be said for following the crowd so you don’t stand out, and so it doesn’t feel like you’re swimming upstream. This path is well worn and easy to follow.

3) We’re Afraid of Being Different

Judgment is a big part of our lives. It starts early. As a child we are compared to others. There is competition in school, sports, hobbies, jobs, and comparisons with the car we drive or what neighbourhood we live in. So we conform. We do our best to fit in. We don’t want to feel different. We want to feel like a part of a community. So we talk about common societal topics: the weather, our next vacation, how the kids are, the job, sports, TV shows or movies. Fit in, and don’t talk about or do anything that may “rock the boat”. Pursuing our dream would make us feel different than the norm.

So what can you do to solve this dilemma?

1) Create the Money You Need

Start by simplifying your life; buy less stuff, decrease your expenses, cook at home, ditch the TV, get a smaller home, get rid of your car, or get an older car or join a car share, ride a bike or take the bus. Decrease or eliminate your debt. Make a 6-month and 1-year plan to save the money you need, and stick to your plan.

2) Take Small Steps on the Path Less Trodden

By taking small, manageable steps towards your goals, you will increase your confidence and build your motivation. So read some books, take classes, or take a trip to a place where your dream is already alive (try work/volunteer vacations). If you want to be a writer – start writing, a painter – start painting. You can do it, but it will take time. Learning anything new takes practice, patience and persistence. Remember learning to ride your bike, tying your shoelaces, or playing an instrument? It takes time to become proficient at something new. Be gentle on yourself.

3) Be Different

Find your tribe. Find people that can relate to your dream. Surround yourself with supporters, not detractors. Join local meet-up groups, Facebook groups, and Internet sites with people that have similar passions. Within these groups you’ll find camaraderie, encouragement, motivation, and inspiration. You’ll share successes and challenges in a safe environment, one without judgment, which is crucial for taking positive steps towards your dream.

The number one recommendation is to start now. Stop procrastinating. There will never be a “perfect time” to start. If you’re not moving forward, you’re stuck. Do you want to settle for the known, the comfortable? Or, do you want to take a chance and move towards a life of possibilities? There are two voices we hear. One voice is fear, doing its best to protect us, and it says, “What if I fail?” The other, the one born of courage and dreams, says, “What if I succeed?”

You get to choose. Be well. Be fulfilled.