Two things are for certain – age does bring wisdom, and youth is incredibly dumb. I often have asked myself, “ how different would my life be now if I had only known then what I know now?” If only life could give each of us a chance to rehearse and try out a few scenarios before making any major decision, or let us erase or redo a monumental mistake after it happened, how great would that be! Unfortunately, bad decisions often happen because we either didn’t take the time to do our homework, or we forgot to factor in the variables or circumstances we couldn’t control.
Learning how to manage your own finances effectively can be extremely challenging, especially if you were never taught the basics either at home or in school. It isn’t just about being savvy about money, but being disciplined enough to be willing to sacrifice today for a bigger payday later; this is often referred to as “always pay yourself first.” It is important to not only create a substantial emergency fund for those unexpected expenses, but how about also establishing a “rainy day” fund that is there to occasionally splurge or spoil yourself with zero guilt?
Putting in place automatic deductions weekly or monthly will take away the temptation to spend every last dollar sitting presently in your checking and/or savings account. Investing consistently, taking advantage of concepts like “dollar cost averaging,” will give you a true sense of accomplishment, especially when you see the balances steadily rising, and know you bought your shares at a price lower than your peers, which translates to a higher profit when you eventually sell!
Staying on top of yearly tax changes, taking advantage of the different programs available, and keeping yourself educated and updated on current money matters will assure that when it’s time to retire, you will have more than plenty of monies to spend, and not have to cut back even though you are now on a “new fixed income status.”
Investing in the Market is smart, but never put in more than you are willing to lose. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Bear Markets will and do eventually occur, and Sequence of Returns plays a much bigger part in your future income when you are older vs. younger. Yes, age does bring wisdom, and if we could only know at 20 what we know now in our Fifties or Sixties, we would all probably be further ahead, whether it is emotionally, physically or financially.
Check out this great video recorded during a recent live Virtual Webinar I hosted with a co-colleague on how to "Finish Rich!"
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