I’m getting a late start with retirement planning.
I reached the potential mid-point of my life, which had me both excited and terrified. The sub-life crisis felt like it was setting in. The main cause of my anxiety was the sense of hopelessness I felt because of my lack of financial planning.
I’m not alone.
The mix of stagnating wages, high rental prices, student loan debt, low-quality jobs, and outsourcing is making it quite difficult to sustain here in the United States. Many of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck and no we’re not all spending our money frivolously.
Something must change.
The Gradual Mindset Shift
I think what kept me (and others) back in the 20’s was that it was hard to commit to something you felt wouldn’t be there.
· Job security felt like a joke
· Higher education felt dated vs learning via the Web
· An immediate need to work and survive
The big shift for me came gradually… it was letting go.
It was the thought of “they were right, what’s the worst that could happen?”. The fact that there’s more time but at least you’re doing something positive.
What’s Changed (and What I Recommend)
I hope I’m resonating this message to your core.
I can’t convince you to go after retirement planning unless you’ve convinced yourself to commit. That’s okay, because at least if you read the rest then you’ll have some glimmer of guidance.
1. Eliminating credit card debt using the snowball method (small to large)
2. Decluttering and selling items (and recouping money toward debts)
3. Reaching out and taking on microloans from friends & family ($20-$50 to “float”)
I know not everyone is able to tap into friends & family, which is why I’d say give crowdfunding a try as a replacement. The others you can totally do.
As for where money began to go (and what I'd recommend) for retirement:
1. I opened and started funding a ROTH IRA through Betterment ($20 a week)
2. Used Credit Karma to get my score and dispute old accounts (credit bump)
3. Explored odd-balls like cryptocurrency and Forex to invest in the Vietnamese Dong
The last of the list was one of the most beneficial.
Because it was small amounts that let me have greater control over my investments. Sure, Betterment was easier because of the robo-advisers, but with crypto and Forex, I was able to set on a path to learn the ins and outs of the markets.
Like they say: knowledge is power.
And in this instance… it was the inspiration.
Coming to Terms with Finances
I wasn’t going to stand for these years being riddled with financial follies.
We’re not dumb.
We have access to plenty of financial resources and guides. I’d say most us knows what to do but lack the capital to do so. We know to save for retirement but how could we when we’re living so tight?
I think the problem stems from a lack of patience and foresight.
It’s why we need to shift our financial investments to match our age. We’re mature now. We’re finally developing stability and with it comes the ability to eliminate debt and fund these investments.
Late Start, Whatever
Despite the challenges, a lot of us are in a pretty good position.
Our adoption of tech has let us avoid spending tons of money from movies to services. We lucked out in that regard. Though, now’s the time to use this minimal lifestyle to our advantage. To get real with it.
It sucks making sacrifices but it must happen.
There’s still decades to turn our small investments into a respectable retirement fund due to the beauty of compound interest. It doesn’t have to be a lot, $5-$10 toward an IRA goes a long way.
I’m sure you can manage.
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