During the past presidential campaign, the Keystone XL Pipeline became a political football. Since that time, the pipeline’s planned route has been changed to avoid potential harm to the Ogallala Aquifer and is currently awaiting final approval from the State Department.
Many Americans, however, are surprised to learn that the Keystone Pipeline already exists, transporting since 2010 590,000 barrels of “heavy” crude oil a day, 2,148 miles from the oil sands surrounding Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska and subsequently to holding facilities in Patoka and a ConocoPhillips refinery at Wood River, Illinois. The Keystone, owned by TransCanada, is one of many crude oil pipelines currently crossing the border between the United States and Canada, including the Express and Enbridge lines.
In the last half-century, the names of Ross Perot, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have appeared at the top of the lists of wealthiest Americans, all of whom have been the subject of biographies chronicling their rise to the pinnacle of riches. A reading of those life histories provides no evidence of membership in secret societies, no teachers or advisers who may have passed along confidential knowledge about savings or investments, no super-human skills, and no extraordinary abilities or qualities beyond intelligence and a strong work ethic.
If there are no secrets to wealth-building, what do successful wealth-builders have in common? What personal attributes are equally valuable in industries as diverse as retailing, software development, and investing? Are these identifiable common traits, in fact, the secrets to their success?
Parents share a universal hope that their children will live happily ever after, with minimal worries and the ability to be successful as adults. Every parent tries to give their child a strong moral foundation, as well as the necessary life skills to thrive and be independent.
Unfortunately, raising a child is akin to painting a picture stroke by stroke, in strange combinations of colors and hues, without knowing how the final image will appear when complete. We have our children for only a brief moment, and can only hope that our gifts to them will be sufficient to sustain, protect, and comfort them when we are gone.
For most people, the ability to retire early is a result of choices made in their early working years plus the choices about the desired lifestyle they hope to enjoy after ceasing employment. The combination of the cost of the lifestyle you desire and the years remaining after you stop working drives the amount of investment capital you need in order to maintain the lifestyle you want.
The age at which you can enjoy freedom from full-time employment with some degree of security is dependent upon the following life choices: