"Carry Nation"

Carrie Nation was the voice for the radical members of the temperance movement in America in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the years since then we have often made fun of her dour demeanor and her bible-thumping, hatchet-swinging attacks on taverns and saloons. At the time, however, she was no joke. 

After starting a small chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, Carrie Nation change her name to “Carry A. Nation” to signify her commitment to carry our nation out of drunkenness to sobriety.

It didn’t work. Like so many campaigns before the Temperance Union and the years of Prohibition in this country, the attempt to cure alcoholism by commandment or law is rarely effective. In fact, it wasn’t until December 1935 when a young stock manipulator, Bill Wilson, found himself stranded in Ohio and desperate for a drink that the first effective “cure” for alcoholism was developed. 

What made Alcoholics Anonymous so successful? After centuries of telling drinkers they had to stop, AA showed people how to stop. The 12 Steps are not rules, they are a path. No, it doesn’t work for everyone, but far more men and women have gotten sober by following that path than by listening to the dictates of Carry Nation. By now you may be looking up at the top of the page to make sure this has something to do with retirement plans. It does; believe me it does. 

Maybe you’ve read a few of the hundreds, possibly thousands of articles that tell you you’re not saving enough. “The end is near! Start saving today!” 

Ok, got it. Start saving: good idea. In fact, I’ve been thinking it was a good idea for the last 45 years. Yup. I’m going to start saving…first thing tomorrow morning. But they don’t say how. We all know we should save for our retirement, but very few people know how to save for retirement. “It just takes a little self-discipline,” the savers say in an odd echo of the ministrations of the Temperance Union. “You can do it…” But how?

Below are three links to programs that help you stay focused on your financial goals by providing personal support and advice on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They are past the “why” and “should” of the financial planning process and jump right into the how. Custom built micro-communities supply the support and guidance to each other at every step along the way. Try them. See what you think; think about adding something like this to your employee benefits plan. It may make the difference between wish and reality when that retirement day rolls around.