When describing Alan McMillan, several words come to mind: hard-working, successful, and, well, blunt. At 7:00 last Monday night, Sales Centre Candidates—both new and old—gathered in Walter Hall Rotunda waiting to hear about “Transitions.” I had no idea what it was going to be about, but several things were for sure: it was going to be about working hard, obtaining success, and listening to the harsh, blunt facts that make up the realities of life. Who better to sound the alarms than Alan McMillan, a reputable EMC businessman who has made it his goal to help advance members of the SSC any way he can.
He began by asking the crowd, “Why are you here,” a question which spurred many insightful answers, and ended with one of my favorite quotes of the evening: “To create awareness that spawns action, which creates repetition that over time becomes habit.” Of course, while the seminar was about finances, the same idea can be applied to anything.
The seminar began with a real-world example of financial shortcomings as they pertain to the senior citizens of our nation. Then things got real for the 50 undergrad college students in the room.
According to him, many of those 65 or older in the U.S. rely on government programs like Social Security and Medicare to get by—much less than necessary to survive comfortably for upwards of 20 years after retirement.
He then proceeded with a presentation teeming with many facts and statistics. For instance, if you set aside about $2,000 a year at age 25 and distribute it amongst a properly diversified financial portfolio, then you have potential to be a millionaire by retirement. Other things, like taking advantage of your 401k benefits, making good choices when it comes to taking on debt, and cutting back on daily cups of Starbucks are other things that could benefit not only your waistline, but also ease your transition into the “grey lobby.”
At the end, we were all a bit lost and felt hopelessly defeated in the battle to gaining our own financial freedom. Luckily, McMillan was prepared and told us that if we wanted to have a chance at winning the war of staying on track, or just do some good reading on the topic, we would have information available at LearnEarnRetire.com—a website he’s creating just to help us out.
At the end of his two hour speech, I came away feeling immediate action was needed. The facts were there, and it’s time for me now to capitalize on at least one advantage I have in life, time. I have time to spend pursuing my goals, and even better, time to save my way into freedom from having to spend my whole life working. I thank Mr. Alan McMillan for that security and for transitioning my thought process on finances from the “later” to the “now.”