Some encouraging thoughts for those getting a later financial start…

You’ve seen those charts haven’t you?

On-the-go Gary started investing $200 a month as a teen. He deposits this money every month and stops before he is 30.

Slacker Sam starts saving right after college and deposits the same amount each month until he’s 65.

Both assume the same interest rate and Gary ends up with more money. Way more money!

It’s really depressing unless you are in the .2% of the population who a.) had $200 a month to invest from the age of 13 and b.) actually invested it!

My husband and I are getting our financial acts together thanks to Dave Ramsey. We have worked hard following Dave’s “Total Money Makeover” making more progress in the last 18 months than we made in the previous 20 years of our marriage. Dave Ramsey seriously ROCKS!

During this time, we focused on goals and some other things are starting to come together in our lives. We realized that the type of investing I described above is not the only way to financial freedom. Don’t get me wrong – we both invest in our 401Ks and don’t intend to stop. We are not going to progress as quickly as our friend Gary however.

But that’s NOT the only way!!! Don’t let these examples rob you of your inspiration and motivation! Don’t let them depress you! There are so many possibilities around us. Many people in mid-life write their first book, inherit money, start a business, learn to make money on the Internet, etc. On top of that, we are now wiser and more disciplined. We will actually make good use of these opportunities.

Just as an example – My husband helped tonight with some tasks for a business we have on the side. He researched how to buy some software we needed. I had checked briefly and remembered it cost just under $900. George took the time to ask me exactly what version I needed and did some extra research. He learned that the version I could accept was now freeware and available to download at no cost. We had no idea!! That’s an extra $900 for our dreams.

Take that Gary!

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9 Responses to Some encouraging thoughts for those getting a later financial start…

  1. amber says:

    that’s a really good point! i know that chart made me feel behind, but there is limitless opportunity ahead of us :)

  2. Mary says:

    That’s a great way to put it Amber!

  3. gandcdotcom says:

    If there is a will there is a way. I love hearing the stories of those who had more of an uphill climb than those who had certain advantages.

  4. It’s great to know that we are not the only ones with a late start. It was a year ago that we decided to stop using our credit cards as if it was free money. We still have a very long way to go but I’m glad this ship got turned around. :)

  5. leanandgreen says:

    Thanks Dana! Turning the ship around is the hardest part … it gets easier and goes faster after that!

  6. Lauren says:

    Hello! Just found you through a comment on the simple mom blog and wanted to let you know that I am very inspired by your blog. I have read all the enteries and copied some things down for notes. The things I am particularly interested in are cuttin expenses, and increasing health – part of which for me learns including to meal plan.

    Anywho, just wanted to say thanks!

  7. leanandgreen says:

    Lauren – thanks for your comment! It helps to keep writing when you think someone is actually reading! I have lots of notes on healthy eating that I’ll share soon.

  8. Lindsay says:

    Hi,

    I clicked your link on Problogger.

    I think most of us screw up our finances in our younger years. If you didn’t do stupid things when you were young, how would you ever grow wise? :)

    Anyway, On-the-Go-Gary’s portfolio is in the tank right now, the same as everyone else’s.

    I’m more envious of the young pups who had the help or wherewithal to buy real estate or start their own businesses when they were 20. IMO the idea that you can gain financial independence simply by investing in the stock market is govt/Wall Street propaganda with very few exceptions, so I have no regrets about not getting into that early on.

    Anyway, good luck with your goals.

  9. leanandgreen says:

    Thank you for your comments Lindsay.

    If anyone reading this wants an example of something that can be done – at any stage of life – to put real money into your portfolio, check out her blog by clicking on her name. There’s some good stuff in there!

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