"If you build it, he will come." Field of Dreams, 1989
Bernice and Morrie were born poor. They want to escape the demands of a personal economy based on systematically acquiring wealth through saving, debt elimination and building equity in investments that are fully paid for. They are always looking for easy ways to get more money and more of the stuff that money can buy.
Bernice and Morrie are the perfect candidates for every scam that comes down the road. The scammers - even the ones with high visibility and having great reputations like Bear-Stearns - know that any product or investment that promises easy money attracts people who are looking for easy money.
Whether it's a dishonest sales rep selling a product, a shady advisor selling an investment, one of the financial pundits on television or radio, an infomercial promising easy wealth in real estate investing, a book or seminar guaranteeing profit without risk or even the US Government promising a comfortable retirement based on current tax deductions (think about that for a minute) - the con artists know that if they build it, some will come.
Bernice and Morrie are trapped in a dysfunctional financial model that incessantly chants its mantra: "You can have everything you need and anything you want as long as you have enough credit!" You can have the sixty inch flat panel TV from the big box store, the new SUV, the dream vacation, the lavish "it-only-happens-once-in-a-lifetime" wedding, the upscale home in the hottest new neighborhood, a perfect retirement based on current tax deductions - a disguised form of credit.
To this way of thinking "I can afford it" really means you have enough income to make the payments - including huge amounts of interest and future taxes. It whispers that you only get to use the things you "buy"; that you really don't own them. But, it shouts that just "having" them proves your wealth and worth. This model is called the Debt Paradigm.
The corollary of the debt paradigm mantra that glorifies credit is the one that says it's easy to become wealthy; just follow the advice of the TV pundits, the financial media and the advertising of the Behemoths and you too can be a Donald or an Oprah.
This model is designed to make others wealthy at your expense. It makes bad decisions feel good.
Bernice and Morrie discovered the fallacy of this approach in 2001 and 2002 when the lost most of their wealth to the completely unpredictable stock market and then lost most of their home equity in 2006 by following the advice to mortgage their home to the max and "invest" - aka gamble - their equity.
Fortunately Bernice and Morrie are still relatively young; in their mid forties. They have restructured their personal economy;
they bought a smaller home
they are using an equity acceleration program to pay off the mortgage in 10 years or less
they are contributing to cash value life insurance policies on themselves to build their personal EUREKONOMICS™ Accounts
they are committed to use only those EUREKONOMICS™ Accounts to borrow for future consumer purchases so they can recapture all of the principal and interest that they would otherwise pay to credit grantors
they are adding money to their children's' EUREKONOMICS™ Accounts and teaching them how to borrow and repay that money when they need it for education, auto purchases and even their homes
Bernice and Morrie have abandoned the Debt Paradigm and adopted the EUREKONOMICS™ Money for Life Model.