September 18, 2015 — According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) if a TS rep is now 46 years old then for every $100 his/her parents shelled out towards taking care of Baby Rep’s needs when s/he was born (plus paying the family rent or mortgage, the utilities, buying all the household goodies, paying the car & insurance payments, etc. ) then in 2015 it now takes $658.11 to pay for the same basic stuff. And what does that have to do with timeshare reps you ask? Well, during the last 46 years the cost of living has increased each year by 4.18% and if TS working-stiffs care about their income and family’s future then they must heed the following caveat.
So Here’s The Scoop: The first thing every TS rep needs to understand and then accept is that based on those last 46 years it is a pretty safe bet that the years ahead will continue to mandate and require the same minimal average annual income increase every single year just to keep pace with the purchasing power and lifestyle a TS rep is enjoying in 2105.
Sure, most TS reps know that but this is a documented record that cannot be disputed and must not be ignored. And looking back prior to 1969 I discovered that over the last 75 years the average annual ‘raise’ needed by all workers each year is more like 4.25% – just to break even! Miss one or more years and all ‘workers’ including TS reps are losing money – Period!
I’ll be the first to admit that when I was young and began my journey in Timeshareville I didn’t pay much attention to retirement let alone the annual income increases I required each year to keep pace (financially) because the commission checks & SPIFFS were damn good, the times were wild and fast and back then I foolishly thought, as many others did, the ride was forever.
The adage “If I only knew then what I know now” comes to mind.
Of course as it turned out for all of us that damn compounding thingy that we warned a zillion sales guests about over the years and how they needed to protect themselves from rising vacation costs each year actually applied to our own incomes as well. Who would have thought?
And though I don’t know how many people there are in our industry working in various marketing, sales and management capacities today who are either over 46 years old or under 46, what I do know, without any doubt, is that anyone today who is 46 years old will likely have about 20 more working years ahead of them before they can potentially retire.
And that simply means that in 2015 if a 46-year-old TS rep earns $60,000 (or whatever) in commissions then 20 years from now that very same rep will have to be earning $137,934.38 annually just to maintain their 2015 lifestyle.
Now if someone is much younger, say (e.g.) 26 years old and just starting their adventure in The Land of Time and if they, too, earn $60,000 (or whatever) in 2015 then when their ‘Golden Years’ roll around they’ll need to be earning $317,098.21 during their final year just to match their 2015 lifestyle!
Regardless of any TS rep’s age everyone surely needs to save money for that rainy day and invest wisely towards their futures; but the thing about savings accounts, as we all know, is they rarely, if ever, keep pace with the real inflation numbers.
As for investing (after saving money), enough is needed each period to be invested wisely into one or more ‘vehicles’ with the greatest likelihood of being safe and a possible after tax ROI (return on investment) greater than 4.25% in order to get ahead.
And if any TS rep thinks there is plenty of time to ‘get it together’ then I would highly recommend that they quickly look back over the last 2, 5, 7, 10 or 25 years of their lives to see just how fast that time really went by. Guess what? The older we all get the faster the time passes!
But TS reps don’t need to believe me. Instead they can all get online and use a basic inflation, compounding, investment or retirement calculator and see for themselves. If a TS rep has the courage and cares about their financial security then all they have to do is punch in their numbers and peer down the road for a glimpse of what is soon coming their way.
Meanwhile for all you marketing, sales and most management folks still foolishly working for developers that offer no benefits and especially no (e.g.) employer-matched retirement plan. And assuming you aren’t being paid yuuuuge ‘points’ (percentages) way above industry norms to compensate for the lack of those standard and ordinary ‘perks’ then I have a question for you and it doesn’t’ matter your age, how good you are or how many more years you have to work.
With only so many working days each week and with only so many sales guests that can be generated that you can possibly ‘meet & greet’ each year, how in the hell are you going to increase your annual income – hopefully, at least at the 4.25% pace that is absolutely necessary – just to break even each year?
And while TS reps ponder their answer also keep in mind that just like in professional sports (or most ‘jobs’), the day will arrive when the coach won’t let a ‘player’ suit up and sit on the bench during a practice game. And unlike an (e.g.) ‘Old Soldiers Home’ – there is no such place for TS reps to kick back many years from now, free of financial stress, and talk about those good old days.
But if none of that is hitting home then try this on for size. If a TS rep earns that $60-K (or whatever) in 2015 and if the 4.25% cost of living increase holds and if said rep doesn’t get a raise this year then, in real money (purchasing power), that rep lost $212.50 every single month during 2015 for a total loss of $2,550.
That is fact, not an imaginary tale.
This loss will continue and within just the next 60 months the TS rep will lose about $11,712.00 dollars in purchasing power (real money) meaning they’ll be living a few years from now, if they are still earning that $60-K then, on what will amount to $48,288.00 (USD).
And the losses the next 5 years and beyond ain’t pretty either!
And that is why benefits and especially a company-sponsored retirement plan are critically important for all TS reps (management, too) because having one at least gives them all a shot at some sort of financial security as each day, week, month and year quickly passes by.
So come on in for the ‘Big-Win’, gang, while there is still room with the best developers and as corny as it may sound, take action today, begin that journey of 1,000 miles with that first step because it is also true that today can be the beginning of a whole new outlook, life and a much brighter ending to your journey in the Land of Time.
Good Luck Out There
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry (but always spot on!), Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services — and, of course, all the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’.