All posts by Mickey Ellison

Mickey Ellison has over 18 years experience in the financial industry and has dealt with debt for over 22. He wants to use this experience to help improve the lives of others. Mickey also has a love for baseball and God. He plans to use what he's learned in baseball, finance, debt and life as a catalyst to helping others.

Tragic Story of Johnny

Johnny was the All-American boy. He was smart, good looking, athletic, and seemed to be well-liked by everyone. When he graduated from high school, he was accepted into an Ivy League school. His teachers and parents were proud of Johnny, and he didn’t want to let them down.

After four years, he graduated and was told by many people that his future was bright because he had an education from such a prestigious school. As luck would have it, he was hired by a company, not because of what he knew, but because of the name of the school on his diploma.

Within a short time,  Johnny realized that he didn’t like the career path that he was on. The people that he worked with were good to him, and Johnny liked them, but he knew he would be miserable if he stayed.

One night, by chance, Johnny was introduced to a great opportunity. It was his chance to start his own business, but he didn’t have the money and no one would loan him money outside of the few credit cards he had. He had to find a way. Johnny didn’t want to be rich, he just wanted to be free.

Johnny presented his idea to people he knew, and finally someone was willing to co-sign on a loan to help Johnny. With great excitement, he went with his friend to the bank, and walked away with a check for $30,000 to start the business.

He knew the business would take time to start turning a profit, so he was frugal, and only used $20,000 of the $30,000. He planned to use the other $10,000 to make the payments on the loan and pay the rent for the retail space he had rented. This, he thought, would buy him a few months until the cash flow from the business started paying the loan back.

The space was leased. The location was good, but he needed inventory to sell, so he used the credit cards to buy the inventory. What he didn’t know was that this excitement would turn into 20 years of hell.

Within 6 months, he was out of money, but he knew he could be successful. Heck, he had to be successful because his friend’s name was on the first loan.

A year later, it was obvious. The business was going to fail. His original debt of $30,000 had ballooned to almost $100,000 and he couldn’t file bankruptcy for two reasons. Johnny’s friend was on the hook for $30k and he had always been taught to do what’s right. He borrowed the money, so he had to pay it back.

Dead broke and probably clinically depressed, Johnny was approached by a business man. The business man didn’t know how broke Johnny was, but he knew that Johnny had a great personality and a degree from a prestigious university. This man asked Johnny join his company. Heck, no one knew the misery Johnny was in because he was always smiling in public.

Johnny accepted the opportunity from the business man. Within a few years, Johnny was finally experiencing some success. He didn’t really like the business, and there were some things that he questioned, but he was finally making money.

Soon, Johnny was paying off his debts. One year, he had almost all of the debt paid off, then he got his tax bill. Almost debt free, Johnny had no money left to pay taxes and was forced to borrow again to pay dear old Uncle Sam. The sum was large enough that he was right back where he started, and the cycle would continue for several years.

Then, something happened. Johnny became extremely leery of the business. He saw things that he just couldn’t be a part of. He had to walk away or become something or someone that he didn’t want to be. Johnny tried telling people what was going on, but no one would listen, and finally, he walked away, but Uncle Sam did not!

For the next several years, Johnny scraped by. He still smiled in public, but inside, he was dying. By this time he had a wife and kids. Johnny was scared. He wanted to talk to someone about the debt but he didn’t because he felt like a failure and a loser. Publicly, no one knew.

Johnny would wake up in the middle of the night. His heart was pounding because he loved his wife and kids, and his worst nightmare was that they would have to suffer because of him. They didn’t deserve that.

Again, he wanted to talk to someone but he felt like no one cared. Whenever he talked about debt to some of them, they would say things like, “they did it to themselves” or “they made their bed, they can sleep in it.” He smiled, and wondered if they knew they were talking about him.

Finally, one night when he was all alone. He was crying as he walked through the house looking at the kids and wife that he loved so much, and thought, “they would be so much better off without me.” He thought, “with the money from my life insurance policy, they can start over, and have no debt.” He was tired and didn’t feel like he could fight any more. So, he pulled the trigger!

People didn’t understand. Johnny was always smiling. He would do anything he could to help other people. Johnny had so much to live for.

Some were more critical. They called him selfish. Maybe he was. What they didn’t see was that he had become hopeless and alone. Alone, yet surrounded by people.

If you made it this far, thank you. The story of Johnny is fiction. Unfortunately there are millions of Johnnys around us. Johnny could be you. Johnny could be me.

Today, we have millions of kids falling into this trap through student loans. They are making decisions at 18 that will haunt many of them for the rest of their lives. They saw a great opportunity through education, yet college was too expensive for them or their parents to pay for out of pocket. So, they borrowed!

Forty Four million Americans share $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. It’s almost impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, and many of their parents are on the hook if they can’t pay. Sadly, some have become Johnny.

My hope and prayer is that through this mission, millions of these people will be reached. They already know the hell that the debt is putting them through. What they may not know is that as long as debt is used to go to college and it’s easy to get, the cost will continue to rise. Government is not their friend either. In fact, they made the problem worse!

Then, we join forces to start eliminating as much student loan debt as possible, and through education, we will learn to stop borrowing money for college, and if enough people do this, the schools will be forced to lower tuition or go out of business.

MISSION FREEDOM

Cut the Crap: Debt Especially Student Loans

Debt sucks! If you are interested in preaching to us about how bad our choices were, shut up and go away. We already know! If you are interested in being a part of the solution, stay!

What we have lived through is hell, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I may smile when you see me, but the turmoil inside is killing me.

Debt has been a part of my life since I was 24 years old. I’m 47 now. Who would have ever thought that a decision I made 23 years ago would still be haunting me today?

I’m not looking for sympathy. At least I was 24 when I shackled myself. That being said, this isn’t about me. It’s about our kids and this corrupt financial system that is enslaving them. Heck, it’s enslaved all of us, but we’re too blind to see it.

By the time they reach the age that my debt hell started, millions of them are significantly more indebted than I was. What the hell is wrong with us? They have been told since they were in elementary school that their education is priceless and to be successful they must go to college.

The rest of this is written to those that want to solve this problem and just maybe through education, this next generation will save more than themselves. Here are a few stats to try and wrap your head around. These will be the only stats I show because they don’t tell the story of the individuals behind the numbers.

  • This year, 2018, total student loan debt grew to over $1.5 trillion. In 2012, student loan debt was $870 billion. That’s a $630 billion increase in less than 6 years.
  • In 2012, the average balance on student loans was $22,000 per college graduate. In 2017, the average student loan debt was $39,400
  • 44.2 million Americans have student loan debt. Some are over 60 years old.

This is beyond stupid. You think the government should do something about this? Wrong, they did by making the loans easier to get and making it almost impossible to dismiss in bankruptcy. Thanks!

If we are going to do something about this, it’s going to be us that solves it. We can create a community of people to fight this. Together we can fight for our freedom.

In doing so, we can educate ourselves on this corrupt financial system that is enslaving all of us through debt. Heck, it should be criminal. Don’t expect many in my generation or the generations before me to help. Unplugging the matrix cable from their heads will be difficult because they don’t even know they’re in the financial matrix.

First though, we need to build the community. Please pass this blog on, and let’s connect.

 

 

 

 

Youth Will Have to Lead

If we are to be free, the young will have to stand. With youth comes an open mind. As we age, we tend to become closed minded and stubborn. Stubborn is another word for arrogant and uncoachable.

Let me give you an example. The media and adults will fret over the ticking time bomb that is the national debt. Very few have ever asked the question, “How can we be in debt if we create our money? And, who are we in debt to? The government that can responsibly create its own money should never be in debt.”

As a young person, you are taught from early childhood that you must have a college education to be successful. For most, it’s not a question of whether you’re going to college, it is assumed. Just this year, total student loans reached over 1.5 trillion dollars with the average student loan balance being over $34,000. (Forbes Student Loan Statistics)

Welcome to the 21st century version of indentured servitude. You can’t write student loans off in bankruptcy, but you can work for “qualified employers” to receive student loan forgiveness. Usually for 10 years, and the government decides what is qualified.

At 18 years old, you did what you were told to do by going to college. It cost too much, so you borrowed money because you were told that you could pay it off later, and many of you will have to work for 10 years at a qualified employer to be forgiven. You are going to pay this back one way or another!

You can default on a home loan, and you lose your home. Default on a car, and you lose your car. Default on a student loan, and you lose you! Deep in your soul, you know something is wrong!

Money is the lifeblood of an economy, and there are very few that understand money. Whoever has the power to control the supply of money has complete control of a country.

Common sense moment: If your government is trillions in debt, then they can’t be the ones controlling the supply of money. Political fights are nothing more than a sideshow.

The supply of money now is controlled by those that loan us money and charge interest on the money that they loan. Think of the things we buy that we commonly use debt to purchase: house, car, land, business, and college tuition.

When interest rates are low, people tend to buy more houses, cars, land, etc. This drives the price up. When interest rates are high, people tend to buy fewer houses, cars, land, etc. The result is lower prices. Having the power to lower or raise interest rates would possibly give you the power to control the prices of housing, cars, land, and businesses.

Common Sense Moment: If you default on these loans, the person that loaned you the money gets your house, car, land, or business. You’ll notice that I left off student loans in those two scenarios because you are the collateral on a student loan.

Too often we assume that how it is now is how it’s always been without asking questions. We’ve heard it said that the borrower is slave to the lender. Our economy is built on the ability to borrow money for houses, cars, businesses, and education. What should be your next question?

The Love of Money – Cancer

“For the love of money is a root all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Do not overcomplicate this. Just think!

You have the power to create money, yet you are in debt? How is that possible? If you had a money tree in your back yard, would you sell it?

This is the beginning of understanding our cancer, and we are only treating the symptoms. There are many theories, some conspiracy. At the root is the love of money fueled by envy and selfish ambition.

Jesus overturned whose tables?

Envy and Selfish Ambition

If there is a lot of money, prices go up. When money is short, prices go down. Where does the money go when it’s short? Where does it come from when there’s plenty?

When it’s plentiful, the money comes from loans. When money is short, someone stopped offering as many loans or started charging more for those loans.

So, if I were evil and greedy, and had control of the money, here is what I would do. I would offer to loan money at low rates. People would borrow to buy stuff; houses, cars, land, buildings, and even stocks. As long as I did this, prices would continue to rise. The money I loan actually has very little value, but what it buys does. I really want the stuff.

Now, I raise interest rates to borrow new money. In some cases, I offered to loan them the money at a really low rate, with the understanding that if interest rates go up, I can raise the rate I’m charging them. Money is now tight or too expensive to borrow. You can’t afford the new interest rate, you default, and now I have the stuff.

Some Things to Think About

  • Your government can create money, but is in debt. That make sense?
  • If the government isn’t creating money, then who is?
  • Houses, cars, companies, and other property are the collateral to back up most loans. What is the collateral on a student loan?
  • What can we do about it?

 

 

 

Faith in God

I’ve hesitated to write this blog because I’m not a preacher and I’ve not been to seminary. Yet, I feel like something has to be said.

Recently I read this on Facebook. “God is up to something big just for you. He is preparing to bless you. No matter what, stay focused and stay the course. You’re going to be blessed because of your persistence and faith.”

Another from a wealthy pastor. “Understand that if God planted you somewhere, he’s established you in the proper soil to facilitate prosperity,” T.D. Jakes.

Others have used verses of scripture out of context or left words out of a verse. Why? You’d have to ask them. Let me give you an example. The Newsboys have a song that says, “You make all things work together for my good.” Sounds great but they are playing off of Romans 8:28 that actually says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” You decide if those say the same thing?

Another is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In this passage God was talking to Jeremiah at a specific time and place.

Rather, Jesus  said this, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of this world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:14-16

Later in the same chapter Jesus prayed, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:24

God is eternal. This world is not. The things we have here will rust and deteriorate. Understanding God is something that we are not capable of. His power and wisdom, we cannot fathom.

There will be people that are going through things that will not make it. Believers that live in unbelievable poverty. Followers of Jesus that will be killed simply for believing. Disasters that are impossible to understand.

Taking scripture out of context and making promises such as prosperity in this world that may or may not happen cheapens the gospel. Faith in God is so much bigger!

It comforts a mother who has lost a child or a wife who has lost a husband. Faith gives hope for eternity in illness because this isn’t our home. Knowing that Jesus prayed, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.”

Have faith that gives hope in love. The ultimate love that gives us eternal life with Him.

 

Retiring – How Much Income Can I Take?

How much income can I take when I retire?  Answering this question wrong can be disastrous.

The answer to this question depends on whether you want to be an employee or a business owner. Let me explain what I mean.

An employee has a set salary. A business owner does not. How much income the business owner takes is dependent on the profitability of the company. The employee’s salary is paid regardless.

There are countless studies that have been done to figure out what is a sustainable income a person can take from their retirement accounts. When I started in 1999, retirees were told they could take 6% or higher. Then the dotcom bubble burst followed by the Great Recession of 2008. When I left the business, some had dropped the percentage down to 3%.

Over my 18 years the percentage continuously changed. Those that started taking 6% in 2000 were quickly met with the possibility of running out of money before they die. It happened again in 2008. When will be the next time?

So, what is the correct percentage that you should take? Is there a correct answer to this question? The answer in short to the second question is no. Then, what should you do?

Business Owner, Employee, or Combination

Business Owner:

As a business owner, your income is based on profitability. This retiree will base his/her income off of returns. In a year that their account returns 10%, they will take more income than they will in a year in which the accounts return is zero or negative. Good returns equals higher income. Bad returns equals lower income.

Another option for the retiree/business owner is to own assets that produce income such as bonds or real estate. The owner of a rental property still receives income despite the value of the rental property. The bond still pays income despite the value of the bond.

Both options come with risks such as market risk, interest rate risk, and default risk to name a few.

Employee:

As an employee, your income is set as a salary. What you are doing here is similar to a pension and is usually done with an annuity. Just as with a pension, there are decisions to be made. Do you need income for one life or two. If all the money isn’t used, would you like it to be left to a beneficiary? Each decision made will impact the amount of the income.

The dollar amount paid is set, and running out of income isn’t a risk. The risk comes with inflation because the income typically does not change.

Combination – Business Owner/Employee:

If possible, many retirees will choose a combination. First, they will solve for the amount necessary to pay the bills or slightly higher. The remainder will be run like a business. This option provides inflation protection while covering the necessities of life.

Which retiree will you be? Do you know? Don’t wait until you’re about to retire to find out how much income you can take.

Mickey Ellison

mickey@aegis.insurance or mickey@mickeyellison.com

Office: 316-243-2131 or Mobile: 316-209-9005

 

 

 

Things to Think About

Life can become so cluttered that we find ourselves directionless.  Unless we’re willing to stop, we will wind up somewhere, but where? Here I will share with you some guidelines to help regain control.

  1. First, take a moment to think about who and what is most important to you. The decisions you make or don’t make will have consequences.
  2. Do you take time each day to address your health and physical fitness?
  3. Financially, do you know your income and outflow? If your outflow is greater than your income, we must address that first.
  4. Have you protected those you love? What happens to your family if your are no longer here? What happens to your family if you can’t work? Can you protect them for pennies on the dollar? Do you have children. If so, who will be their guardian if something happens to you and your spouse?
  5. Do you have any emergency assets should you lose your job? How long could you survive as a family?
  6. Non-Retirement Assets: Once we’ve navigated the above areas, this is we build freedom. Think about creating other sources of income and assets or real value.
  7. Retirement Assets: Much of our focus today seems to be here. While it is important for some, it is also the most restrictive. It is also the area where many people fly blind. What do you have? What risks are you taking? How much are you paying? Is there better alternatives.

The earlier you start on these, the better. When should you start? NOW!

Mickey Ellison

(316)209-9005

mickey@mickeyellison.com

mickey@aegisgroupprotects.com

What Qualifies Me?

What qualifies me to be a life coach? Is it the fact that at one time I had the initials CFP after my name on business card? Is it because I was a NCAA D1 athlete? Did having licenses to sell financial securities? Or, that I have a degree from Vanderbilt University.

In my past, I would have used those things in an attempt to impress people, but the truth is, none of those things qualify me. So what does? While those things are real, they only give a perception of success and may hide a reality of failures.

Real life is what qualifies me! I’ve messed up so many things. Yet those failures are only failures if I never use them to help others. If they help others, then they become successes. So, here comes a list of things that I’ve lived through.

  • Failed at reaching my highest potential in baseball – Why? What did I learn.
  • Failed multiple times at losing weight until around 12 years ago – Why? What changed?
  • Failed at a business, and left with a mountain of debt.
  • Watched people lose half of their wealth twice. (2000-2002 and 2008)
  • Saw what happened to people who were unprepared to lose their income. Felt that one personally too!
  • Witnessed what can happen to a family when one spouse dies without insurance to protect those that they loved most.
  • Lived and still living through a child’s illness that isn’t covered by insurance.
  • Failed so many times that I couldn’t sleep. If I could sleep, didn’t want to get up. And, at times just wanted the emotional pain to go away.
  • Wondered where God was, and still do at times.

So, my failures have done more to qualify me than the degree, the initials, or the licenses. Despite those failures, I’m still here. Let me help you!

Mickey Ellison

(316)209-9005

mickey@mickeyellison.com

mickey@aegisgroupprotects.com

 

Landmines (Who’s Most Important)

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and be prepared to be surprised”   Unknown Author

What would happen to your family if you were killed in a car accident today? Would your spouse be able to pay the mortgage? Could they stay in the house or would they be forced to move?  How about your kids? Speaking of kids, if both you and your spouse were in that same car, what happens to your children? Where and who do they live with?

If you were laid off tomorrow, how long would your family be able to pay the bills? What if the car accident mentioned above didn’t kill you, rather it left you unable to work?

The financial industry spends most of its time focusing on retirement planning, yet there are landmines in each of our lives that can make retirement impossible. What are they? Have you addressed them? Can you plan for those landmines?

Retirement is only one aspect of our lives, and focusing too much on it leaves us blind to the landmines of life. Life planning addresses all aspects of life, and protects those who and what is most important to us.

For personal advice and help, contact me.

316-209-9005

Email:  mickey@aegisgroupprotects.com

 

 

 

Life Coach

Thank you Andy Frieze and the Aegis Group for giving me this opportunity.

Great coaches help athletes reach their highest potential on the field. Teachers can be invaluable to students in the classroom. We associate coaches and teachers with sports and academics, but what about life?

For 18 years I worked as a financial advisor; the last 10 as a Certified Financial Planner. Over the course of those years I endured the dot.com bubble and the Great Recession of 2008. Over a 7 year period of time, I watched people lose significant amounts of money, gain it back, and lose it again.

It was in 2009 that I began to question what I was doing for a living. What I wanted to do was help people, but how I got paid was by selling them an investment product or charging them a fee for assets under management.

Real Life # 1

In my time as a planner, here are a few things I saw. A man lost his job. He had significant savings in retirement accounts but very little in personal accounts requiring him to either pull money from those retirement accounts or borrow money to survive. When he returned to work, his income was significantly less than it had been before. By the time he could stop the bleeding, his retirement accounts were decimated. To make matters worse, he wasn’t over 59 & 1/2 requiring him to take out more money to pay taxes and a penalties.

Real Life #2

Just recently, I was contacted by someone who had lost her husband. He was responsible for the majority of their income. She is now faced with selling their home or losing it in foreclosure. Not only did she lose her husband, she lost the majority of their income and she is going to lose her home.

How could I have helped the client in Real Life #1 better? What could have been done to help Real Life # 2?

Nothing could have been done to prevent the man from losing his job. None of us are immune from death. That being said, the disasters that followed were preventable.

What I Learned

The vast majority of those that hold themselves out as financial planners are in reality retirement planners. Why? Because that’s where they make most of their money. Think about it. What’s more profitable? Making 1% of assets under management on  a $500,000 401(k) rollover or helping a couple with two kids create an emergency fund?

Who or What is Most Important to You?

As a coach with 18 years experience as a financial planner, I can help people navigate through the complexity of life, developing a plan to prioritize based on who or what is most important. Then implementing that plan, followed by monitoring and adjusting as needs and priorities change.

We start with one question.

What happens to who or what if _________________ happens?

Mickey Ellison (316)209-9005 or mickey@aegisgroupprotects.com or mickey@mickeyellison.com