Start Saving Money For Retirement

automated-savings-planHit snooze.  Hit snooze again.  Pretend you have nothing going on.  Convince yourself that your bedhead is so bad that even a shower, rinse, or blow dry can’t tame your hair.


You get up, but then you are … Stuck. In. Bed.  With some funky breath.


Send someone out for coffee, tea, or a mimosa.  Or maybe get a little breakfast in bed. 


Now your phone is buzzing – with all the things you have to do today.  Your alarm goes off again.  Emails and texts are coming in rapid fire style.  You already have 62 emails this morning.  Everyone wants a piece of you.


You start to think what life would be like if money wasn’t an issue.  But money is an issue.  You sometimes feel defeated by money.  It limits you.  Right?  I’m with you.  I can relate.


In the back of your mind you wonder how much money you have to save for retirement – for your future – some day where you have money in the bank.  The day where you can do what you want because you have money.


Everyone wants the magic retirement calculator.  


Get of bed by figuring out how much money you could save every month.


Start small.  Start with anything.  Get going.  See how your monthly saving affects your current lifestyle.  The earlier you start saving, the better. 


You’ve gotta come up with a number, one that you can achieve consistently, month in and month out.


Otherwise you will be financially stuck in bed.


Not quite sure how to do this?  Email me.  I’ve got some good stuff to show you how.


You are meant to live an abundant life.  You are meant to have an abundant life.  Lets do this.

Bad Gas at Macy’s

good choice-bad choiceMy wife and I had to buy our shmegeggy (crazy) kids some nice clothes for a Bar Mitzvah this weekend.   So we decided to go to the mall and hit up a few dept stores.   

First stop.  Macy’s.  What a disaster that place was.  It wasn’t well lit.  I shoulda brought a flashlight.   

There were clothes and racks everywhere.  It was a total obstacle course.  The Macy’s presentation was a hodge podge. It looked like my garage.  Mondo bizarro. 

Plus there was no one really there on the floor to help us.   It was like someone had bad gas and just cleared everyone out!

We were done.  Gonzo.  In about 3 minutes, we just bailed. 

We worked our way over to Nordstrom.  Wayyyy nicer.  Well lit, the clothes were neatly hung on the racks.  It wasn’t that schlocky. 

There was more space to look around, and there were actually people there to help us.  Pah-tay

Nordstrom’s got me – within 10 seconds, I was subconsciously ready to buy – and I hadn’t even made it up to the kids section! 

It was all in the presentation.  I felt more at ease inside the store.  They had great music.  I was singin along in my head – rockin my stuff. 

Someone from Nordstrom came up to help me right away.  She asked me what I was looking for, gave me some options, and boom – in 5 minutes, I was done.   


It was easy peasy lemon squeezy, and I felt good about my purchase.

For me, it was all about the experience, the buying experience.

This made me rethink again what my clients’ and customers’ experiences are.  I want to up-level my stuff – and make my peeps feel even more amazing about their experiences. 

I want them to feel at home.  I want them to get jiggy with it.  I’m talking easy like Sunday morning.  Lionel style.  Krane style.  

So whatchu got?  How are you making your buyers and prospects feel?  What kind of experiences are you giving them?

Consider taking some of these steps:

1.  Spy on your competition.  Go out and buy your competition’s stuff.  Seriously – do it this weekend.  Go through the whole experience.  Think about what you could do to make your clients’ experiences better.

Your stuff must be different.

 2.  Wow your peeps.  Go over the top.  With a total OMG factor.  Then they will tell their friends.  Seth Godin talks about this all of the time.   If you cant create your way out of a paper bag like me – go hire some people to Kranestorm with you.

 3.  Make a financial investment in your business.  Make your peeps feel like milk chocolate.  Do you even know how much money you are investing in this particular area?  My guess is, very little.  Step up.   Make it happen. Giddy-up!


You Hot or Cold?

Hot and ColdYou get in your shower at the hotel. You turn the water on – and it is crazy hot. You turn the knob the other way, and it gets even hotter?

You can’t figure out which way is hot and which way is cold.

Next thing you know, it’s been 10 minutes – you’re still in the shower – and all you have is a bunch of steam and no cold water! Ya gettin’ burned up in there. It’s ya own private steam room.

There is no trend either way with that crazy water temp.

Let’s talk about trends fo’ a sec. Your money trends.

When you make more money, do you spend more of it? Or do you save it?

What’s your intention? What’s your plan? To spend more when you make more? Or to save the extra money?

I’m all for doing what you want. Spending, saving, whatevs baby. But do you even know what you want to do?

I’ve looked at so many people’s money spending habits – and many people spend more when they make more – and are always playing ketch-up.

They try to get back on track to get back on track. They never figure out the water temp. They take a bath with their money.

What’s your plan? Whatever it is, stick to it – but be aware of what y’all actually do.

You. Your Kids. Your Business. Success….

Personal Note from Justin

Back to school!  What? Didn’t summer just start?  Maybe you are getting back from a vacation, and trying to get back into work mode.

Check out this short post from my friend Hayden Lee about SUCCESS.


Caribbean paradiseI can’t believe that it’s already Back to School time! Here are 3 tips about success that can help you and your kids have the most fulfilling and purposeful school year yet.

1.Success is a state of mind.

Success is a journey, not a destination. Success is about how you choose to think about your day regardless of how the end result will be.

Our thoughts have a huge impact on our actions.

If you’re a parent, you can choose how you want the workday to be. If you’re a teen, you can choose how you want Back to School to be even before you step foot on campus!

Instead of relying on external factors (i.e. I will be successful when I get a 4.0, or make a million dollars) to determine your success, you need to rely on internal factors. Internal factors like focusing on seeing failures as opportunities to learn, committing to staying positive, or putting in your best effort no matter what comes up.

There is only one person who can control your state of mind…and that is you.

2. Success is a choice.

Your kids can choose to learn something new, think positively, and feel better about themselves, or they can choose to think that school is pointless, be convinced that their teachers are out to get them, and let one negative thing (like not getting their ideal schedule) ruin their whole day.

It is great for both parents and their children to remember that only you can choose to put in your best effort today. Only you can choose to strive to be the best version of yourself in all areas of your life.

There are a lot of things in life that you cannot control.

What is in your control though, is how you choose to handle the situation.

3. You are successful right now. 

If you believe that success is a state of mind and that it is something that you can choose, then you are successful right now.

If you have the ability to think and have the desire to grow, learn, and challenge yourself, then you are already successful.

A successful student always focuses on learning, growing, and improving regardless of the grade.

Success is about how you choose to think about your current situation and how you take action moving forward toward your goals.

This Back to School season, what is possible if you act, think, and make choices like the successful person that you already know you are?


Hayden Lee Headshots May 2009Hayden Lee is a certified Academic Life Coach for teenagers, certified Life Coach for adults, a TEDxTalk speaker for youth, and a consultant for LA’s Incubator School. He is a cum laude graduate from UC San Diego. A former SAT and writing tutor, Hayden became a certified Academic Life Coach because he realized that at the heart of many teens’ academic struggles weren’t about capability, it was about sustaining motivation and confidence. He now helps teenagers empower themselves with the self-awareness and life skills in order to achieve academic and personal success by linking a sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment to their work.


For Krane Financial Solutions’ loyal readers, please click on the link below to get your FREE Back to School Success Tool.

Yanni Meets John Tesh

largeIt was the worst hold music ever.   The same song playing over and over. I was trapped in a Yanni & John Tesh vortex trance. I would have taken Milli Vanilli over Yanni and Tesh. Maybe even a little Michael Bolton.

I couldn’t hang up the phone. I had to deal with some health insurance stuff. I had to be patient.  Yanni and Tesh were killing me!!!!

The guy who put me on hold never came back on the phone to let me know that he hadn’t forgot about me. The only info I found out was a whole lotta nothing.

At the 35 minute mark, I threw in the towel and hung up. I was DUN.   I invested my time, and it was a total waste.  All I got was an amazing Yanni and John Tesh bootleg!

We all run out of patience at some point. It’s like, if we don’t see some results at some point in time, we just bail. It’s human nature.

So how patient are you when it comes to investing your money?

Are you willing to buy green bananas and wait and wait and wait until you make money? While listening to Yanni?

You need to be aware of how patient you are, especially as an investor.

If you are not patient, and you want results right away – then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Your patience will be tested big time. You have to stay in the game of investing to make money. You can’t just sit on the sidelines – muting out Yanni and Tesh – and get in right before everything goes up.

Ask the people that bought stock mutual funds from 2000-2010. They made very little money. They had to listen to Yanni and Tesh for 10 years!!!

That’s a real long time. Many investors sold and got out of stocks. They left some serious money on the table. Stocks have done well since 2010. Big time.

You need to have a patient investing mindset.

You need to be able to ride out the Yanni and Tesh hold music. Who chose that terrible song to loop again and again and again!!!

What was I thinking, holding on for 35 minutes!!!   I bet right when I hung up – the health insurance guy came back on the phone. I better send him some backstage passes to see John Tesh.

Slow Down

justin and Suzanne jumping-smallHi There!

This was the first time in about 10 years that I went on a vacation and really unplugged.

I guess it was because I was on my honeymoon!

I really slowed down.

No checking email every few hours.  Less time on Facebook.

More naps. More meditating.  Going on walks. I Also read 2 great books – Defending Jacob and The Timekeeper.

I really gave my mind a chance to unwind. And ya know what happened?

After the first few days of email withdrawal – I became aware of what I wanted more of in my life.

How I wanted things to be different when I came home.

My main takeaway is that I want to be wayyyy more intentional. How I spend my time – from everything to what I want to focus on in my business – to the food I eat – to the no more running around being crazy busy and feeling overwhelmed.

Slowing down makes you actually speed up.

You need to strategically plan your life.


What is it that you want more of in your life? And what are you really going to do to get more of it? Really?

And… How are you going to spend, save, and invest your money to get you where you want to go?

You only get one life. Travel. Jump. Explore. Yawn. Breathe. Fly. Nap. Tell a joke. Be a kid.


You Gone Gump?

bigstock-Athlete-runner-feet-running-on-34709693“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.”

You know that scene when Forrest runs across the country?  He just decided to go for a run.  He felt like running a little more, and a little more, and then boom – he’s running across the country.

That scene really touched me.

It was all about Forrest making a decision, and then literally, running with it.

He was authentic and real in what he wanted to do.  Forrest made up his own mind, and took action.  He didn’t ask anyone else. He just did what he wanted.  And he felt good doing it.

Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we are faced with our own identity challenges.
Why not challenge ourselves to – GO GUMP – and play as authentic as possible?

Here are 4 takeaways you can learn from Forrest Gump:

1)    Be the real you.  Get comfy with who you really are.  People want to do business with someone who speaks from their heart.  When you put a mask on and try to be someone who you are not, people will see right through it.  Be true to yourself.

2)    Stand up for what you believe in even if it’s controversial.  Your audience will view you as distinct, unique, and real.  They will believe in you and form a community around you.   You could be their leader.

3)    Don’t be afraid to tell your story.  Use it to distinguish yourself.  Trust your skills and expertise. Be willing to pave the way and be the first to do something even though it has never been done before.

4)    Have courage and take action.  Taking action in spite of fear is what courage is about.  It’s about facing obstacles and challenges and going through with things anyway.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.  Don’t wait for the perfect time to have all of your ducks in a row.  The stars will never be perfectly aligned.  The most successful entrepreneurs take massive action and make decisions as they go.

So what is the first action you want to take?  Need a little nudge?  Read this quote from Steve Jobs.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Do You Double Dip?

guac and chipYa know those people that double dip? The ones that dip their chips in guacamole, take a bite, and dip the same chip back in the guacamole? What’s up with those cocktail party crazy people?

We don’t want their germs in our guacamole.

Don’t they know about double dipping? Nope. They have no idea. Seriously. They aren’t aware of what they are doing. Someone needs to tell them.

This same principle of being aware of what you do applies to so many things about your money.

If you want to get ahead in your financial life, you must be aware of what you are doing – or not doing. You need to “know what you don’t know.”

Holy guacamole Batman! Here I go again with all of this money stuff!

Start with this. Your monthly nut (living expenses).

You must know how much money you usually spend every month.

Maybe your expenses are too high – like outta control too high. Maybe it’s not enough in some areas that bring you some fun times. So why not take a peek at where your money is going?

If you don’t, you will be double dipping your way to a whole lot of nothin’.

Once you know how much money you spend every month, you could create a savings plan for things like:

  • An amazing beach vacation
  • College for your kids
  • A much needed shopping spree
  • Paying down some debt – especially that one credit card that just won’t go away
  • Some guacamole for your double dipping party – everyone will have their own bowl!

One last question, if you do see someone double dipping at a party – and they are by themselves – do you call them out on double dipping?

Or just let them do it and have no idea that their germs are in the guac? Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and enter in your comment. Mwah!