Trends are reversing with men and women entering the work force deciding to live small now and save big so their retirement is funded first. When I first started reading of this mind set it caused me to take pause. I like it! We are beginning to see a shift; small footprint i.e., tiny houses; marriage later in life; saving more now; spending more later.
Our parents are living to be much older now. It is common to see at least one parent living into and beyond their 90’s. This has an impact on the children who may be entering what should be their high-income years. “Honor your mother and your father” is not a suggestion. It is the children’s responsibility to be available to assist aging parents. By accumulating wealth early in the life cycle, it gives opportunity for family values and obligations later. For an example, you have accumulated enough early so you are able to take a break from career to focus on family without the panic of loss of income or depleting retirement savings.
So how do we accumulate wealth early? Regardless of your wage, if you begin to save 50% from your first pay check and live within your means, you will accumulate at a much faster pace, and with time invested, it will also compound at a much faster rate. Living at home may not be an option but if it is, do it! Make yourself irreplaceable; clean the house, mow the lawn, run errands, cook meals. If you make yourself a blessing instead of a burden, you and your parent(s) will benefit.
If living at home is not an option, try to rent a room or board with someone else to share expenses within your budget after saving 50% each pay. If your income and other assets enable you to save more, increase savings and live small. You do not have to buy the big house on the hill just because you can. If that purchase is not an investment that you can turn or “flip” for a profit, it is an expense.
Imagine if we teach our children purpose over property; peace over prosperity; family over fame. Life is not a competition. Wealth is not measured by the zeros in your bank account. Some things are worth more than money. Family, especially parents and children, should be a priority. The memories of time shared with those closest to us cannot be purchased or replaced, and you have to show up to get them. Have you ever signed up for a door prize and it was announced “must be present to win”? Be present in your family, invest in relationships and show up when you are needed. Who will be impressed with your big house, career, clothes, barns and bigger barns if you have neglected to take care, loving care of people?
Planning your life is a good thing to do: Setting goals, reaching for them. Bumps, curves, and yes, catastrophic events can cause plans to be revised, but keep moving forward. Plan for a long, long, life but also prepare for tomorrow as if today is it. I believe in this time of technology and digital social media, we should be careful to save some time for family, board games, knock-knock jokes, dinner around the table talking (not texting). I enjoy the voices when everyone is home and I just close my eyes and listen to the voices. Yes, while you are saving for the future… save some time. 50% sounds good to me.