Excerpt: 'Million Not Enough'

In his new book, author Michael Farr aims to help you save enough money for your retirement.

Farr gives tips on how consumers can begin building $1 million in liquid assets they'll need to support themselves for the 20-plus years they'll survive after their retirement.

"A Million Is Not Enough: How to Retire With the Money You'll Need" offers tips for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. While the goal may seem unattainable, Farr believes it's possible.

Read an excerpt below of this book below.


A Million Dollars Isn't What It Used to Be!

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ended on December 25,1991. I was there in June 1991, helping to lay the groundwork for that fall.

George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev were playing nicely. The heated Cold War rhetoric had cooled. Gorbachev had endorsed the idea of a stock exchange, and Bush offered to help. I'm not sure how the call to the CEO of Alex. Brown & Sons, the oldest investment banking firm in the United States, ultimately reached my desk, but it did. There I was, a thirty-year-old former high school teacher and now vice president of the old, revered banking firm, teaching communists how to be capitalists. In many ways I myself had just made that transition: from altruistic schoolteacher to Wall Street financier.

My Pan Am flight arrived in Moscow before heading on to Leningrad. We taxied to a lifeless-looking brown brick terminal, an enormous red flag emblazoned with yellow hammer and sickle billowing ominously overhead. As the plane stopped, a dozen young men in Soviet uniforms with machine guns ran toward us from all angles. They stopped in unison, stared at the windows with their angry, peach-fuzzed baby faces, and turned on their heels with their backs to us, keeping guard. The Cold War was still alive and well, and I was wondering if I had been sent because I was young and dispensable.

I lectured to three hundred people from the various Soviet states and Eastern Bloc countries for ten days. Their questions and desire for knowledge and information seemed insatiable. The tough part was teaching culture and not content. Intellectually, they understood me, but culturally, they did not. There were shortages of most staples in the USSR at the time, so I used a local example. I suggested, "If you are at the front of a long line to buy butter and are able to buy the last two pounds for two rubles per pound, you might declare yourself a butter broker and sell one of your pounds of butter for five rubles to the remaining crowd." The reaction of these nascent brokers was remarkable: They were outraged. "You would not do such a thing to a comrade." "In difficult times, all comrades should help one another." "A good Russian would share his butter with the rest of the crowd." Do you see the hurdle presented? For the rest of my examples, I suggested profiting from trade with other countries and profiting from investments from which your comrade would also profit.

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