Occupied

Television Series: Occupied (2015). In this fictional telling, in the near future, Norway is occupied by Russia on behalf of the European Union, due to the fact that the newly elected environmental friendly Norwegian government has stopped the all important oil- and gas-production in the North Sea.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have discussed the need for developing multiple streams of income. I point to the fact that defined benefit plans are undergoing significant fundamental changes which changes the calculus for individuals as they prepare for retirement. In this new economy, within this present business environment, individuals can no longer expect to work for a single employer for 10+ years and they cannot expect that any of their employers will offer a defined benefit plan.

 

Combined with the fact that the second leg of the retirement stool – Social Security pensions – is likely to be negatively impacted in the future, particularly for younger workers, most will be left with one leg of the stool …their personal savings. My take is that the best way for individuals to succeed in this new environment is to develop multiple streams of income during their working years and ensure their plan will generate multiple streams of income in retirement.

As I watched the show, I was struck by the fact that, on a macroeconomic level, Norway was held hostage by Russia and the EU because of their reliance on oil and gas as a means of energy production. In a similar way, on a microeconomic level, individuals and families are held hostage, caught in the trap of limited financial choices because of their reliance on one employer, one source of income.

The lesson – the reminder – to the extent any can be taken away from a work of fiction, is you don’t want to become overly reliant on one source of anything, particularly your income, lest you become a hostage to that reliance.

Occupied is available for streaming on Netflix.

James
 

James retired in 2005 after serving 21 years in the United States Army. During the latter part of his career, James' interest in personal finance was piqued based on his own experiences and observations of the way most Americans plan – or more accurately, fail to plan – for retirement and the difficulty many face in starting the process. His most valued education has been lessons learned from personal experience and through conversations with smart, savvy friends.

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