Why was a 74 Year Old Man Driving a Semi in Fatal Crash?

74-year-old Olympia man dies in semi truck crash in Pierce County | The Today File | Seattle Times.

semi-truck-fatality

I was struck by this story (above link) when I heard it on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM Seattle this morning. It tells of the death of a 74-year-old man from Olympia who crashed the semi-truck he was driving into an overpass abutment on southbound Highway 167 near Sumner. The truck was carrying 40-thousand pounds of pumpkins and apples. The story reports that the trucks driver’s compartment was intact and the man showed no obvious signs of major trauma, leading the Washington State Patrol spokesperson to speculate that the man died of a personal medical condition that led to the crash.

I was saddened to hear of the man’s death, the crash, the major traffic back up it caused, and the pumpkins all over the roadway. But what I mostly found troubling was that a man old enough to be my father, old enough to have earned a more relaxing period in his life was driving a semi-truck. Driving a truck is hard work. It’s very labor intensive. It’s long hours. And especially in Puget Sound traffic it can be very stressful. A 74-year-old man who is capable has every right to be doing this. And maybe this was something he did for the love of it. Perhaps he really enjoyed his work. I don’t know the man. I don’t know. But what seems far more likely is the man was working into what should be his retirement years because he had to. He and his family probably relied on the income he earned driving the truck, or selling the pumpkins and apples. Not working at his advanced age and with his apparent questionable health is something that should have been an option for him. I don’t want to be working in a stressful labor intensive job when I’m 74. Heck, I no longer want such a job now. I’ve done plenty of that in my nearly 50 years and my body already has its share of aches and pains.

The incident reminded me of a major home upgrade my family undertook 7 ears ago. When we bought our home it had a backyard concrete sports court. After living here 3 years and seeing that my growing kids were not using the 40-year-old sports court with any frequency and that it’s cracking posed somewhat of a hazard for anyone using it we decided to have it removed and to install a lawn. It was a big job and quite difficult. It was far more than I would take on myself. So we hired a firm to do it. 3-4 days of jackhammering followed. Upon breaking up the concrete into 30-50 pound blocks the two men performing the work manually loaded the chunks into a small wheelbarrow-type trailer which was then towed to our front yard driveway by a tiny tractor between the narrow path separating our home and our neighbor’s house. The chunks of concrete were then again manually loaded into a large truck trailer. At the end of each day the truck trailer drove away the broken up concrete, presumably to a concrete recycling location where, again presumably, these men had to once again manually offload the heavy chunks. It was hard grueling work done in the hot sun of Summer time. And the two men doing the work were employees of the contractor. They weren’t even business owners. And they were each old. Each one was at least in their upper 50s and possibly they were in their 60s. I was very concerned for their well-being. But I knew they wouldn’t be doing such intense work if they didn’t feel they had to do so for themselves and possibly their families. 

These men had not prepared for being older and still needing money to live. I vowed such a fate wouldn’t happen to me and my family.

Saving for retirement is talked about endlessly in the United States. And many options are provided for people to do this with some effectiveness. But all of them involve diminishing what you have in order to live more comfortably in your Senior years. To save for retirement (a smart thing to do) you must take some of what you earn today and store it away for some future use. You do with less today in order to have something tomorrow when an income is diminished or nonexistent. You do without today in the hopes of having and spending it tomorrow. And when tomorrow arrives in most cases you are taking from what you’ve earned and saved and gradually diminishing it…making your savings smaller until such time as it’s gone or you’re dead.

To me the only logical solution was to operate a business that will keep generating money for me and my family even when I work less or even if I’m gone. We started Total Broadcasting Service in 2005 and ever since have been working hard to make it a self-sustaining business. We’re getting there.

But not everyone can do what we do in radio voice work, editing and producing audio and video production. Most people can’t start their own business. They don’t know how, they don’t have the financial resources, and they don’t have whatever it is that entrepreneurs like myself possess to work without a net and to risk so much with the belief that they will succeed. It’s hard. I know. Like most business owners we have no one helping us. We have no Sugar-Daddy feeding us money in the event that we’re not bringing in enough of our own. Few do.

We started our AdvoCare business in 2012. To get started it cost us $79. For less than we might typically spend on a trip to the grocery store we had a money earning business. And while working on our Plan B income, AdvoCare, only 5-10 hours per week we have seen our income slowly grow. We have a plan that will see our AdvoCare business bring in over $1000 per month by the end of this year and continue to grow from there. And AdvoCare’s business plan is easy. Anyone of any age can do it. And the money keeps coming in even on weeks when we don’t spend any time on it at all. It will continue coming in years from now when we want to slow down. Also, AdvoCare’s business and it’s income is inheritable. After my wife and I die what income and business we have built doesn’t go away. It becomes our children’s. The business and the money it earns becomes my children’s.

I won’t be working when I’m in my 70s. But thanks to AdvoCare my family will have an income. You can do it to. More importantly, you should. The alternative was shown by grave example on a highway near Sumner yesterday.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

To learn how you can build your own AdvoCare business for now and your future, and your children’s future call Michael or Sonja Schuett at our Total Broadcasting Service office: 425-687-0100

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

 

 

 

The American Dream Needs Revisiting

The Statue of Liberty front shot, on Liberty I...

The big lie about the American Dream is the concept of upward mobility through dedicated effort to a career and a job. Statistics and surveys indicate THAT just doesn’t happen any more in America. The fact is great economic upward mobility comes from those who work not only harder, but smarter.

An article in the Seattle Times yesterday made us all aware of how bad things have gotten. “Problem With Paychecks” took much of its content from Parade Magazine’s annual “What People Earn” survey. Here are just some examples of what the story reported. The following list names the person, their location, and their annual income and descends from highest to lowest:

…11. Lorri Froid, Seattle
Office manager
$49,000
12. Heather Murphy
Woodinville elementary school teacher
$39,032
13. Anne Fogarty, Kirkland
Event planner
$37,760
14. Mary Purdy, Seattle
Dietician and adjunct college professor
$36,000
15. Nan Lammers, Skykomish
Forest services snowshoe ranger
$33,414
16. Curtis Hodgson, Burnaby, B.C.
Lacrosse player
$26,500
17. Ned Whalen, Seattle
Car sales professional
$26,000
18. Cara Sullivan, Seattle
Barista
$15,000
19. Betsy McPhaden, Seattle
Artist
$2,000

I didn’t list the Top Ten on the actual Seattle Times list since most of us are not them; i.e. Major League baseball pitchers, NFL running backs, CEO’s of billion dollar corporations, etc.

I know the income that my wife and I earn, and I know how much we struggle to meet our bills and live in what could only be described as a middle-Middle-Class lifestyle (8-10 years ago I would have said upper-Middle-Class, but that’s another story). Nine years ago when we bought our home in the Seattle suburb of Renton, WA it’s purchase price was exactly what the King County Association of Realtors was identifying as the median-price for homes being sold in King County at that time.

Map of Washington highlighting King County

Some up-grades may have pushed its price slightly above the local median price/value; but for the most part it serves as a pretty evident measuring stick for middle-Middle Class. My point is…for the people listed above…I don’t know how they make it.

The American Dream as it is defined by one on-line dictionary is as follows:

a·mer·i·can dream
Noun
The traditional social ideals of the United States, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity.

The term was coined in 1931 by historian James T. Adams. It’s changed over the years but basically came to represent:

Owning a home and a car or two

Raising a family, with kids that grew up to do much the same as you

Working 40 hours per week for 40-50 years in a job or career

Taking 1-2 approximately week-long vacations every year to Disneyland or the big regional beach

Retiring in comfort to regularly play golf, bingo, and visit the grandkids once in a while. 

It became:

Leasing (buying) your home from the bank who charges you a low-interest rate for the right to do so; a home of 2500 square feet or more, 2-3 cars, and an RV.

Have kids raised by someone other than Mom or Dad who are too busy at the office to be home for dinner, let alone after school (whether as a family or not is optional); or raised by your 55-inch tv, or by Facebook. Pay $15,000-$20,000 per year per kid for 5-6 years for them to get drunk at college.

Work 50-70 hours per week for a wage capable of allowing you to save for retirement, or (as with the people listed above) 40 hours per week to barely scrape by and have zero retirement.

Vacation every year for 2 weeks in some exotic location, paying for all of it on your credit cards.

Retiring in your 70s with a reverse mortgage praying the 20-30% equity you’ve managed to accumulate in your primary residence is enough to maintain your lifestyle.

That’s some lifestyle. That’s a lifestyle in which children are sacrificed in favor of “stuff” and “status”.

Today working a job that keeps you from your family, or your recreations, 50-70 hours per week is something people wear like a badge of honor. Why? Wouldn’t you be better off working only 30-40 hours per week, making as much money or more, and devoting the rest of the time to your children, your wife, your husband, vacations, etc?  The obvious answer is, yes. And you can do it. But the key is to get money working.  Get multiple streams of income. The earlier mentioned Seattle Times article points out that median hourly income has rose only 11-percent since 1973. Additionally, in 2011, wages for males with college degrees were JUST 5 percent greater than in 1979. For men with only high-school degrees, entry-level wages were 25 percent lower than in 1979. Your single-solitary job is making you poorer and requiring you to work more hours. The 1-job, 1-career American Dream doesn’t work. You need money coming in from elsewhere.

We used a very large sales-commission check to buy our first home in 1994. Two years later being home owners allowed for us to borrow enough to move-up into a bigger house and keep the other house as a rental. We did the same thing again in 2003. My wife and I acquired nearly all our most valuable possessions, went on our most expensive vacations, and spoiled our kids during the time we had the additional income stream from owning rental property from 1996-2006. Warren Buffett, among others, is one who cites multiple streams of income as key to being successful.

The Missus and I have finally re-learned what we knew before. In our case AdvoCare is already giving us a new income stream. Based on the $20-25-thousand per month incomes our friends achieved with AdvoCare in just 3-years, we expect it to be a sizable stream, growing into a river. We’ve met many others who also are earning over $1000-per month with AdvoCare while working a mere 5-10 extra hours per week. And it’s a growing business. And it has the added benefit of paying us while we aren’t even doing anything. It has the added benefit of only paying us when we genuinely help other people. And it has the added benefit of being a continuing inheritable business and income stream, meaning should my wife and I die the income generated by our AdvoCare business becomes our children’s. Then they will have multiple income streams too.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.