The average American is at least one to two paychecks away from being homeless; one in three is in debt. The average American cannot handle a $400 emergency, and millennials have very little savings. The first decade of the new millennium was a lost decade for so many families. They suffered a huge loss in home values, savings, retirement accounts, and worst of all their employment. A large number of people went into bankruptcy and foreclosure. Millions gave up hope looking for work. While these turbulent times may have been more pronounced in the U.S. than in Canada, average Canadians were not immune to the impact of declining markets and a less certain future.

Photographer: Birdie Thompson

Many of us don’t wait to become a statistic to know that we’re in trouble. Ironically, we live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but we always have money problems. We can work hard all of our lives but retire poor. We put so much effort into providing a bright future for our kids just to see them finish college and buried in debt.

Debt becomes a way of life. Nobody teaches us how to manage our money in school. Financial issues are not often discussed; financial products are not always explained. Most people have trouble balancing their checkbooks and reading a financial statement. Credit cards are used daily without a clear understanding of hidden charges. We contribute to our retirement plans with the hope that someone else will grow it. People don’t plan to fail; they just fail to have a plan.

Financial literacy is a must. People must learn how to take care of their financial selves or prepare to suffer the consequences. Vast amounts of millennials are training for a career that is fading away as a new industry is coming in. It is imperative that the information that is right under the noses of millennials are brought to their attention.

Although education is key, especially now in this climate of disparity due to COVID-19, individuals must allow their imaginations to run wild and pursue their purpose through entrepreneurship and creativity. We must get our SHIFT together and quickly. This new industry requires a new mindset. Independence and entrepreneurism are needed like never before.

I would encourage readers to take full advantage of the unlimited opportunities that are available today. Always remember that opportunity and access is greater than money. We have to remove ourselves from the mentality of trading time for money and the rat race of the 9-5. Start thriving as opposed to surviving. Don’t be discouraged as success is often found in a pile of mistakes. Do not allow your circumstances to shrink your dreams, and most certainly do not allow fear to rob you of your destiny. If readers combine their faith, belief, and passion with their education, financial literacy, and entrepreneurism, they will have money for a lifetime and not money just for lunchtime.

Currently, I am hosting and sponsoring Free Financial Literacy Webinars twice weekly via Zoom. Some of the topics include creating your own back, how to avoid market risk, estate and trust planning, and retirement. To register for these free Financial Literacy Webinars, please visit

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