How much does it really cost to live?

I’m not an economist by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that something isn’t right about our economy.  We are losing are economic freedoms at an alarming rate and we are in the middle of a LeaderShift movement across North America as we discover the daily losses of those freedoms and the need for principle-based leadership in our country.

Almost six years ago I received a call about a leadership group that was expanding in my area.  My wife and I  joined and have been on a self-directed education ever since.  Today, we call that self-directed education LIFE, and it was founded by Orrin and Laurie Woodward, Chris and Terry Brady, Tim and Amy Marks, George and Jill GuzzardoBill and Jackie LewisClaude and Lana Hamiltonand Dan and Lisa Hawkins.

I remember very distinctly seeing a graph titled “The 45 Year-Plan.”45 year plan It visually described the age that people start making money, the “flat-line” of income that occurs during the average working career, how much less money a person makes during retirement, and the discrepancy between the cost of living increases and the average raises.  At the time, I remember hearing that the cost of living was increasing 7-10% each year while our average raises were only going up 3% each year.

I was confused. During this same time, the government was reporting that the average raises were keeping up with the cost-of-living increases, cancelling any negative effects of inflation.  It didn’t make sense to me personally as I learned that more and more families were living paycheck to paycheck and running out of money before they ran out of month.

Recently, I found an answer to my confusion.

Peter Schiff is a well-known economist who recently shed some light on the possibility that our government isn’t accurately reporting the cost-of-living, downplaying the actual increases and therefore trying to create a false sense of confidence and comfort.

Watch the video and then click on the link below his video to read Schiff’s  commentary on this topic.

Click on Schiff’s commentary below to get more details to the problem.

I believe its time for the public to start a self-directed education so we can identify when something doesn’t sound right.  As best-selling author Orrin Woodward describes his latest book LeaderShift as a vehicle:leadershift

“…to provide new thinking to an old problem, using the Five Laws of Decline…….[LeaderShift] isn’t just a book, but a movement to restore the freedoms lost over the last 100 years (read 1913 for more details).”

As my kids play sports, I tell them, “You need to play better than the referees bad calls.”  In the case of our lives, we need to become better informed to make decisions, in case the referees of life (government, teachers, employers etc.) make the wrong decisions that affect us.  Take control of your future and don’t leave it in the hands of someone else.  Start your Life self-directed education today.  Godspeed on your journey.

Matt Mielke

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16 Responses to How much does it really cost to live?

  1. Jammie says:

    Matt, we really appreciate you taking the time to study and share what you are finding with people who are interested in self-directed learning, and having an impact on improving our lives and nation. Thanks for all that you and Michelle do to serve people. It makes a great difference!

  2. rjfisher1 says:

    Matt, Thanks for taking the time to study and share what you are learning. What you and Michelle provide to people who want to make a difference in their own lives and in the nation is wonderful, and truly is helping us all to understand our personal relationships and the world around us in a much deeper more effective way.

    Self directed learners really appreciate you giving the details and sources so they can dig in for themselves.

    Thanks again for all you do and your great talk last night in Pewaukee.


  3. Clint Fix says:

    Awesome post! Peter Schiff does a great job of exposing the wreckless path our economy is on. I’m glad LIFE exists as a way to put our country back on the right path.

    I actually wrote an article not too long ago digging into the 45 year plan and the time we spend working if we follow that path. It is eye opening when we take the time to realize the time we put into a job.

    Here’s the post:

  4. Dave Hall says:

    Thanks Matt, Your talk last night was equally inspiring – a wake up call for sure!

  5. Larry Wieberdink says:

    Thanks Matt for the insight, links, and great example of edification.

  6. Ron Wollner says:

    Thanks Matt. Great information that teaches to chase/pursue/build our own dreams/future.

  7. Great post Matt. That graph is what did it for me too! There is evidence all around us of a failing economy but most of us just don’t want to admit it because it means we do in fact need to do something. I am thankful to be associated with a company who isn’t afraid to speak the truth on real issues. You and Michelle are changing so many lives because of your courage to go out and share information like this. Thank you!

  8. Josh Meinel says:

    Thanks for the great info Matt! I don’t think I’d ever learn any of this stuff if it wasn’t for you 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to pass along what you’re learning to others like me.

  9. Robin S. says:

    Thanks Matt, for bringing information like this to the public spotlight. There is a sense of urgency needed to stir a community and create a culture that is able to think for themselves and not just listen to the gov’t media reports. We all feel the “pinch” of inflation but instead of asking questions and learning ‘why’, many people are willing to accept the false numbers and just hide their heads and depend that the gov’t will take care of them. We all need to share and encourage people in our circle of influence to stop accepting what is happening to them, but begin the journey of self education, discover the truth for themselves, continue to ask questions, begin to think for themselves. Reading the Leadershift book will be a great start for most people. Thank you, Matt, for being a beacon of light and truth.

  10. Mike Schilling says:

    Great post Matt. Thank you being a great student and using your studies to inform the masses. Peter Schiff is a beacon of light shedding truth on some dark economics. Education is the key to our future. As Thomas Jefferson said “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty”. Also from Jefferson “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”. Wise words. Keep the information flowing…

    • Eric Schilling says:

      Well said dad… Great information Matt! We need to do all we can to launch the book “Leadershift” and make a big splash so it can go viral.

  11. Jody says:

    Thank you, Matt for this post. When we found this information we were experiencing life on the flat line. We thought the only way was to send me, currently a stay at home mom, back into the work force. Now that we have found this information and awesome group of people, we have a way for me to stay at home and yet we are preparing financially for a better future. Thanks for all you do.

  12. Josh Bayless says:

    Hey Matt! Thank you for investing your time to put together this blog post. It is crazy how many people hear one thing from the mainstream media and our leaders in Washington about our economy and feel another in their day-to-day lives. It all makes sense when you hear the truth about the facts. I pray that God continues to bless you and your family as you stand as beacons of light in this dimly lit world.

  13. Christo B. Vermeulen says:


    Great topic!

    Here is my 2 cents…

    THE AX – An Inquiry to the People of this World

    If all men and women are created equal and born to be free… why then are most men and women locked inside a financial dungeon of inequality? Succumbed to bondage, they live lives of quiet desperation – equality and freedom only a distant thought!

    Can these financial liberties be freed? Can these financial liberties be secured?

    The ax placed on the root of these liberties must be removed! The time has come! Together, this undeniable conviction must be the force behind the swift removal. Financial Literacy Education for the ordinary citizenry – must become the business of the ordinary citizenry.

    We the People – the Ordinary Citizenry must confronts financial bondage head-on. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, it is clear that the conviction “the business of the state to effect and on a general plan, is to establish the law for educating the common people” has been removed. In other words, I think it is fair to conclude that the conviction regarding personal financial literacy has been removed or even worse – never existed! On a general plan the educational systems across the globe is failing the ordinary citizenry. Today, personal financial literacy is desperately needed on a global scale.

    Financial Freedom: Yes – it matters! According to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 address to congress, the third freedom, “the freedom from want – means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world”… this is precisely where we need to execute the removal of the ax!

    Therefore, if my humble understanding reflects truth, I must conclude that inherently the existence of the 45 year plan(plan?) is not the problem… the problem is rather rooted in man’s inability to (1) understand his own affairs, (2) manage his own affairs, and (3) continuously transmute his own applied human capital into essential needs rather than desirable wants… in addition, the “want” of the new dollar (printed and bought with the same dollar – ?) will eventually inescapably multiply the sharpness of the ax!

    Guys and Gals, this is a call to Action! A call to LEARN, LIVE and LEAD!

    Christo Vermeulen

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