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5 Ways to Maximize Your Work Commute image

5 Ways to Maximize Your Work Commute

Much has been made in the last weeks about the steady drop in the unemployment rate. The latest numbers have unemployment down to 8.3 percent, which is much better than the 9 percent a year or so ago, but still historically high.

While many celebrate that the job market is seemingly going in the right direction, the reality is that numbers can be deceiving. Unfortunately, things are not as good as they seem for U.S. workers — especially those under 30.

Missing workers

While 8.3 percent unemployment seems high, when you take into account the number of workers who have stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate jumps to 17 percent according to a recent report in The Boston Globe. That equals to 5.4 million fewer people in the workforce over the last three years, which is a lot of lost productivity.

The potential consequences of the hidden unemployment are high. “Losing the productivity of more than 5 million people over the past three years means a slower recovery, with fewer people contributing to the nation’s economic output, buying products, and paying taxes,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies. “These missing workers are more likely to become poor, rely on government assistance, and develop mental health issues.”

Translation: 5 million more people are now consuming rather than producing, and most importantly, they are increasingly likely to require money from a government that already spends nearly a trillion more than it brings in.

Record breaking unemployment

Despite the rosy reporting on unemployment, the reality is that for one important demographic in the U.S., unemployment is at an all-time high.

For those between the ages of 18 and 24, the unemployment rate is at a staggering 46 percent according to a recent report by the Pew Center. That equals the highest unemployment rate for this demographic since reporting began in 1948.

As a result, “Among adults ages 18 to 34, more than a third say they have gone back to school in the face of a tough labor market, the Pew study notes. Nearly a quarter have taken an unpaid job or moved back in with parents. One in five have put off having a child or getting married due to economic concerns,” according to The Huffington Post.

Translation: Our kids are not growing up, not producing, and not ready to take over for their aging parents or care for them when they retire.

Heading home

According to The Atlantic Monthly, the same Pew Center report cited above indicates that 34 percent of those between the ages of 25 to 29 have moved back in with their parents in the last year.

With the previously mentioned historic unemployment rates, “Add college loans and entitlement programs like Social Security that transfer wealth from the young to old to young people's woes, and you see why twenty-somethings in 2012 are fleeing back to their childhood bedrooms.”

Translation: Rather than preparing the next generation to support our country, we’re taking their wealth, their jobs, and instead we are still taking care of them.

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid

In an election year, the rhetoric regarding the “improving” and “recovering” economy will only heat up. It could be tempting to drink the Kool-Aid and pretend that everything will be all right. But I’m afraid that tough times are still ahead. Our spending is still out of control, housing is still weak and getting weaker, the Fed is still printing money, we’re still facing an avalanche of debt from unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicare, many people still don’t have a job, or have enough money to retire.

Those with a financial education will prosper.

Given all this, it might be easy to give up hope. My encouragement to you is, don’t. You are uniquely positioned to prosper in the rough times ahead. While many people are content to put their heads in the sand, you have an opportunity to face the realities of our economy head on and gain the knowledge required to act intelligently and accordingly. Knowledge is power, even if it’s depressing knowledge.

In the end, every storm is met by two kinds of people—those who have accepted the fact that a storm is coming and have prepared, and those who ignored the warnings and are taken by surprise.

A financial storm is on the horizon. How are you preparing?

Provide your comments below and for more information, check out our financial education resources here.

Leave A Comment jump to leave a comment
2/20/2012 12:25:07 PM
Another for your work commute is to revisit out aloud to yourself what you've been reading. As with reading you do not absorb all the material and you only retain about 20% of what you read. So make short notes and then while your driving revisit some of those notes to get your mind thinking. That's what I do every morning commute.
3/11/2012 9:01:46 PM
The second paragraph punched a hole in my heart. So guilty
2/7/2012 6:50:01 PM
also if you live in the city you talk with financially smart people going to work, or practise your language skills with them
2/7/2012 7:24:30 PM
I don't work because I'm a university student. However, I do use my idle time to increase my financial education. Here is what I do to increase it: 1. Read Wall Street Journal - I took your advice from one of your books and I have been reading WSJ during my spare time ever since 2011 August. At first, it was difficult to connect what WSJ was saying to what I know but today, I know a lot more than before (still need to learn ALOT more) and it has become easier and habitual to read WSJ and understand what is really going on. Knowledge adds up, and I realized financial education is a life long learning that must be learned over many years to truly master. 2. Use Wikipedia / Books to support my learning - I am really glad I was born in a world where I have access to so much information in front of my macbook air. I realized that to truly know what financial education, I need to learn history. Wikipedia contributed a lot in this way as well as reading books during my spare time. Currently, I am reading "American Conspiracies" by Jesse Ventura, another book you recommended. 3. Youtube / Watching - I found out that in university, I have these 1 hour gaps between two classes which makes so much hassle for me to go home. Instead, I have been going to library and watch anything that is related to financial education. GOP debate, State of the Campaign, even some of your lectures / videos and many others. Even though I spend 40 minutes, these build up to my financial education rather than wasting 40 minutes. 4. Going to gym and exercise - I believe that to learn anything over life time, having a good health is a must. I am usually very lazy person but if being physically active can help me to learn, I figured it's something I must do. These are what I do with my spare time and I love what I am doing in my spare time, more than anything that I would usually do with my spare time before.
2/7/2012 9:35:19 PM
One has 2 make wise use of his matter how brief.thank u sir...
2/8/2012 6:23:46 AM
В машине только аудиокниги и слушаю,с Вашей легкой руки. А так и двигаюсь, приближаюсь к инвесторам.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Your audio of the book too is very interesting to me! I listen to them in Russia! I too come nearer to investors. :-)
2/8/2012 10:12:26 AM
Wow, Denny, your dedication to learning and mastering your own financial self education is admirable. Most college students don't have the drive,determination and maturity that you have. Keep up the good work. I read RDPD in 2000 and it changed my life. That book led me to more books which gave me the framework and confidence to purchase my first rental property. I went on to acquire 13 more over the next four years. The economic meltdown was a learning curve for me as I got away from cashflow as Robert taught and more into appreciation which caused me to loose some properties in 2009. Guess which properties survived? That's right; those that provided a cashflow. As Robert continually preaches, it doesn't matter if the market goes up or down if you have cashlow. His continued inspiration has led me to start writing my own book about self education, not in the financial education arena as I am Robert's humble student, but in the area of overall higher education. There is a tectonic shift occurring and people need to start becoming less passive and more pro-active, as you are. Bravo to you. Marta Libby University of Self Education
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Thank you for your encouragement Marta! I agree with you that educating yourself with the right information is very important. I can't wait until I get out there after graduation and experience what Robert or you are going through!
2/8/2012 11:29:43 AM
Hello! I very much respect your opinion! I would like to know your opinion concerning pyramid МММ-2011! Pyramid МММ-2011 is a financial revolution (or evolution) or a utopia? (If you will interest: I will be yours реферер:
2/9/2012 7:02:06 AM
It's true reading financial books and listen to business news really boost your financial knowledge and prepares you to be a great sophisticated investor.
2/9/2012 11:00:06 AM
Hello! I very much respect your opinion! I would like to know your opinion concerning pyramid МММ2011! Pyramid МММ2011 is a financial revolution (or evolution) or a utopia? (If you will interest: I will be yours реферер:
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2/7/2012 1:39:01 PM
Another way may be to carpool with someone who has knowledge about an area you don't, (and perhaps you have knowledge of an area they don't) and have informative, reciprocal conversations on the way to work.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
rather than listen to the radio, which is typically nothing but 'chewing gums for the ears', I turn my car into a 'university on wheels' and listen to educational audiobooks.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Minä käytän minun vapaa-aikani siten että luen näitä kirjoituksia näiltä nettisivuilta. Opin samalla taloutta sekä englannin kieltä! I use my idle time so that I´m reading these writing from this website. I´m learning as well about finance both english language!
Monday, February 13, 2012
jason carlton
Monday, February 13, 2012
2/8/2012 11:35:43 AM
Forgive me, specification: Hello! I very much respect your opinion! I would like to know your opinion concerning pyramid МММ-2011! Pyramid МММ-2011 is a financial revolution (or evolution) or a utopia? (If you will interest: I will be yours реферер: )
2/8/2012 11:40:21 AM
Forgive me, specification 2: (If you will interest: I will be yours реферер:
2/8/2012 1:39:52 PM
Have you ever heard that TIME IS MONEY. Do you know want to learn how to convert your free time in money.Anyone who has become successful has learned to use his free time effectively. Everyone has got the same amount of time (24 hours) every day but some people become very rich by using this time creatively while others remain poor. For more information
Joshua Gamen
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
No more JOB means no more commute to a JOB :) - none the less, we all have free time, and Rich Dad's point is spot on!
2/8/2012 10:26:09 PM
Another nice article...Education is never ending specially in this dynamic changing environment. Every day brings new insight to enchance your knowledge in each and every aspect of your life. Be a go getter. Cheers Varad
2/11/2012 3:07:16 AM
2/11/2012 3:08:42 AM
my msn id:
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