Updated: Nov 7
You Don’t Have to Die Broke and Penniless
Are you panicked about your finances? Do you fear living on the street and dying penniless? Welcome to the club, we’ve been expecting you. Forty-four percent of Americans complain that money is the dominant source of stress in their lives. And retirement? Yeah right. You need to invest for retirement starting NOW!
Retirement is not even feasible for a large population of seniors with 48% of Americans having less than $10,000 saved for retirement!
The good news is, while other people may wind up on the street, YOU don’t have to be one of them. In fact, there are simple steps you can take today to help channel the panic of dying destitute (it’s real) to dying with food, clothing, and shelter.
According to a retired millionaire who interviewed over 150 other millionaires, those three steps are:
● Increase your earning potential ● control your spending ● invest now Let’s dive into these three steps and see what evidence dictates so you can make your own informed decision.
Step 1 –
Increase your earning potential. Start a YouTube channel and get ad revenue. Monetize your Instagram. Seek out ways to build your skills (online courses) to position you for higher-paying jobs or help you develop a paying side hustle. Side hustles can add some extra change in your bank account which you can use to invest for retirement.
Education is often tainted as the best medium to increase earning potential. According to the Social Security Administration, “Men with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $630,000 more. Men with graduate degrees earn $1.5 million more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with graduate degrees earn $1.1 million more.”.
One cannot neglect income. There are other options available to increase earning potential through side hustles. Feel free to check out The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss to get a fresh perspective.
Step 2 –
Control your spending. Johnny Depp agrees: this one sucks. Come up with a plan to pay down your debt. Pay down high-interest debt first. Hold the guac, put in place a 24-hour rule to really think through major expenditures and consider whether you absolutely need them.
Step 3 –
Invest NOW. The single most impactful thing you can do to keep yourself off the streets in old age is to start ASAP – yesterday if possible.
Because of compounding interest, an investment made at age 25 of just $450 a month will turn into $2.6 million by age 65. If the same person started at age 35, the investment will turn into $977,000.
Check out the graph below. Essentially, “if two people save $100 a month for retirement, but one starts at 25 and the other starts at 35, the early saver will have nearly twice as much in their bank account by age 65”.
Image credit: Business Insider
There is no way to make up for lost time – even if you pour 100% of your income into investments at age 40, you’ll still be way behind someone who started at age 25 and invested less. Don’t overthink it – if you have $200 hanging out in your savings account, pick an ETF that tracks the SP 500 and buy shares of it. It’s as simple as that. Can’t figure out which ETF to pick? Check out our ETFication tool which allows you to view how that ETF has performed historically.
After controlling your spending and increasing your income, the final step is to master investing. ETFication is your one-stop to find all the information you need to make superstar decisions. We can tailor a portfolio based on your goals and information you provide by answering a few questions.
It is crucial to start investing now. Time is your greatest ally. By investing in index funds, an investor can generate returns that will compound into fortunes down the road.
One of the mistakes investors made was thinking they could pick stocks because they created wealth in other facets of their lives through their knowledge. This does not translate to understanding the markets. Instead, by focusing on time in the markets and starting early, one can earn substantial results.
So, are you ready to take control of your finances now? Start to invest for retirement today! Let the facts guide you.
If you’re struggling with debt, read more on which loan should you pay off first and how to start saving.