What do you fear about retirement?

Jun 2, 2011

Let Gary McPherson Inspire Your Retirement Planning

Gary McPherson

A recent survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute indicates that over half of American workers (55 percent) in their 60s have less than $100,000 in their retirement accounts. One in four Americans age 50 or older said they had exhausted all of their retirement savings during the recession, while 67% at least reduced their retirement savings account balances during the previous three years.

Are you one of these American or Canadian retirees who don't have enough money to retire on? Do you think that Social Security Is a Secure Way of Getting Great Pleasure from Being Terribly Deceived? Then get off your butt and do something about it. Create a retirement plan that works for you even if it just takes creating one of many possible retirement jobs. Whether it's like my retirement plan or one that is completely different, you have to take 100 percent responsibility.

If you feel that you don't have the ability or the resources to create more retirement income, let me tell you about Gary McPherson (see photo above), who passed away a little over a year ago. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary through my friend Mark Anielski, who asked me to make a presentation at a University of Alberta "Social Responsibility in Business" class that Mark and Gary designed and taught.

Gary spent over half of his life in the hospital breathing with the aid of a respirator before he learned to frog breathe (something the doctors had said was impossible). In spite of being severely handicapped, (a quadriplegic since he was nine), Gary accomplished 10 to 100 times as much in his life as most people would be able to do in five lifetimes without the limitations that Gary had.

As my friend Graham Hicks wrote about Gary in the Edmonton Sun shortly after Gary passed away:

"A quadriplegic since he was nine — one of the last full-blown cases of polio paralysis in Canada — Gary did more in his 63 years on this Earth than most of us would do in several lifetimes."

"Who and what was this Gary McPherson, that on his death he is so lauded?

"The Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence, Honorary Doctor of Law, social activist, political strategist, political candidate, superb organizer, administrator, health nut, sports addict, a great dad and a loving husband."

This I can tell you: Gary McPherson never considered using an excuse such as
not having the ability or not having the time when he wanted to write his book "With Every Breath I Take." Gary just wrote the book — in spite of being a quadriplegic — and left the excuses to people with 10 times the abilities and resources that Gary had. (See my Redroom Blog Post Write a Best-Selling Book — Just Cut Out All Your Excuses!

Here are a few more things about Gary:

  • Gary didn't allow his well-being to be contingent on anything external to himself — not the weather, not the economy, and definitely not the government.

  • Gary would never indulge in silly conspiracy theories or in thinking about devious ways to get governments or other entities to take care of him.

  • Gary was a truly a free man and was not imprisoned by the absurd idea that someone had taken away his freedom. (Don't get me going on the lunatics in this world such as the Freemen who lament about their not having the freedom they deserve. If anyone has taken their freedom away, it is they who have imprisoned themselves with their preposterous thinking.)

  • Gary didn't dwell on illness or disease. He lived his life as if he was in perfect health.

  • Gary didn't have time for self-sabotaging stuff like complaining and criticizing the successful people of the world. Instead Gary chose to become successful himself.

  • Gary came from excellence, integrity and honor — not from a sense of entitlement. He would never have thought of Winning the Lottery as a Retirement Plan.

Interestingly, the online articles in the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun that paid great tribute to Gary are no longer available. Gary may be gone and the articles may be gone but Gary's Spirit lives on with many people — including me. His Spirit will continue to inspire me to create great retirement books such as How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not Working and to operate out of high intention instead of mediocrity that is the norm in North American society today.

Here are the links to two articles about Gary McPherson that are still available online.

Gary McPherson: A stubborn hero who saw ability, not disability

Remembering Gary McPherson

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