Oh to be young again. To know what I know and have an opportunity to start over. Many of us wish we could turn back time and change the course of our history. Maybe it was a career we didn’t pursue, or maybe we gave up to too easily when the “one that got away” got away. Most of your missteps you can over come later in life, but one that is most difficult to recover from is finding yourself older with financial limitations. Being young and broke is bad news, but with time you can recover. Being old and broke is nothing but bad news because there is no time to recover. Whatever your regrets in the past, don’t let these money misconceptions adversely affect your financial future:
You think becoming a Millionaire is out of reach.
If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you can be a Millionaire if you want to be. There’s no trick to it. It’s pretty simple. Wealth building is less about how much you invest and more about how long that money is invested. Time is what makes invested money grow. If you’re not saving and investing while you’re young, you’re making a mistake you may regret. I came into this knowledge later in my life, but if I had known it in my 20’s, I’d be a Millionaire by now and laying on a beach somewhere.
You think saving is enough.
While saving is important, investing is essential to building wealth. Take these scenarios:
- Saving $100 a month, at the end of five years you will have $6000.00.
- Investing that same $100 a month in an index fund yielding just 5%, at the end of five years you will have $6962.30.
- That same $100 a month, if it was invested over the last five years when the yield was 13.2%, today you would have $8837.81.
Basically invested money grows, saved money just sits there. Saving is safer, but at a significant cost.
You think you have time.
Ever hear the story of Jack & Jill? Trust me, waiting to save is doing SERIOUS damage to your potential net worth. The majority of that gain in the last five years in the example above was made in only four quarters over that stretch in time, which confirms the theory that leaving your money invested and staying the course will give you the best opportunity to build wealth. Don’t try to “play the market”. it’s too unpredictable. Stay the course and time will pay you well. Starting early gives time the opportunity to pay you well.
Saving is not a priority.
If you’re not saving and investing because HBO or a new Iphone is more important than your future financial freedom, it’s certainly your choice to make. It’s a dumb choice, but it’s yours to make. As Amy Tiemann, Ph.D., Author of “Mojo Mom” says, “I’m pretty sure that no one on their deathbed has ever wished they had watched more television or surfed the internet more.”
It’s really up to you to decide what’s important in life. Money’s not the key to everyone’s happiness. Not everyone wants to be rich, but who doesn’t want to be financially free?