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!