This is a deviation from my usual blog posts, but I’ve been meaning to touch on this topic. It is something that affects everyone, yet not everyone deals with it. It is usually tucked away in a New Year’s Eve check box with “I need to eat healthier”. I’m bringing it up now because lately I’ve had some co-workers ask me questions about saving for retirement and personal finance in general.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the best in this category by far. I’ve had a couple close friends who are very good with their finances constantly advising me to do a better job with mine. I didn’t listen and boy do I wish I had. One of these friends, Kiyong wrote a topic on his blog. He goes over the fundamentals. This is the perfect stage 1. Here’s a link to what he wrote: Personal Finance 101
Most people will see this topic and quickly click away….do not click away! This is important stuff. The longer you delay in saving for retirement the more it hurts you later. People say, “I can’t afford to save now, but I will later“. I said the same thing. Save now! The thing is later usually happens too late or never. Even if it’s $50 a month is better than not saving at all. The trick is you don’t need more money in order to save, you need to save now based you make now. So if that means 1 less Latte a day, then make the sacrifice. A $4 latte bought 5 workdays a week is $20 week, which then times 52 weeks is $1040. Imagine if you do this for 10 years, that’s $10,400 for just a latte! This could have been invested money, earning interest for you in the long haul.
I started reading various personal finance books, and watched finance shows. I read and watched Susan Orman, and other financial gurus. But I wasn’t implementing the lessons they taught. I started doing my 401k savings. I got a personal finance advisor. When I met my wife, she helped drive home the mentality to fully convert to being savings and retirement oriented. I’m not sure how I first stumbled on it, but I starting reading blogs on a different mentality of personal finance, Financial Independence. The whole concept is what can I do in my life to lower your expenses, cut out debt, save more, and live on less. The more you do this the quicker you will become Financially Independent!
Great blogs on this idea and some articles are:
Mr. Money Mustache is another.
Mike and Lauren have a great you tube video series and blog.
The short answer is the quicker you start your 401k or an IRA for your long term retirement the quicker your money is working for you, instead of against you. Don’t put off tomorrow, what you can do today. Time, compound interest, and consistency are your friends when dealing with long term retirement savings.
So save today! It’s not too late.