Let’s face it we will all retire, but on what? As an investment specialist if I had $1 for everyone that said to me “if only I had started investing in my 20’s” or “I wish I had knew twenty years ago what I know now”.
What caused me to question the “she’ll be right” attitude is that recently I had coffee with a friend I hadn’t seen for years, and surprise surprise, during our chat I earned another dollar.
Chance meetings with old friends you haven’t seen for years can happen pretty easily in this information age, as all you have to do is click a button, type in a name and boom, you’ve found them. Sometimes what you learn about old friends is not what you expect, and this was my experience with Casey.
As Casey and I chatted about the old days of having fun, dancing, skiing and nights out meeting cute guys. We were smiling and laughing about the carefree old times, when all of a sudden bam, a reality check occurs and it was like hitting fast forward on the remote control.
We are not young kids anymore and we have wrinkles and all the problems that go with getting older to prove it.
As we reflected, I saw how our lives had taken very different paths from what we planned. Casey moved from job to job, without ever finding something she was passionate about. Being popular with the guys, I thought as did she, that she would find the man of her dreams, settle down and everything will be “right”.
Well after some twists and turns in her life, Casey like so many girls with the same idea, is now living life alone and so differently to what either of us had expected. Worse still, she revealed that she has little to show for her years in the workforce except some great experiences and holidays along the way.
She is renting, has very little super, no real assets and so the idea of retirement is not one she can entertain for a very long time. Her “she’ll be right attitude” to life has cost her the security she wanted, and now the pains of inaction are growing stronger by the day.
Accustomed to living in a chic neighbourhood close to the city she is now faced with the hard decision of living further out where she could afford to reduce her cost of living and hopefully buy her own home or continue to life in hope with the “she’ll be right” attitude.
Her situation is so different to mine and as I listened I tried to hide my concern, sadly I suspect not much will change, because as she spoke Casey blamed everyone else for her situation.
In my industry you get to chat to a lot of people and it’s common for me to hear the blame game from both men and woman that have practiced the she’ll be right “ attitude who leave building wealth and planning for retirement to later in life.
That said, I’m a believer that anyone can change their situation if they want it, and I hope after our chat that Casey is one of those. I have worked with some inspirational people that through terrible circumstances became paraplegics and worse, however, their situation didn’t stop them from learning and working towards goals to become independent and generate an income stream. These beautiful people have put many I know without disabilities to shame, as such I believe that whilst you have a brain that functions you can choose to do something to change your situation.
Ask yourself what have you done in the past and what lies ahead for you? Let’s hit your fast forward button to ten years from now. What do you see? Statistics suggest Australian’s leave planning their financial future until their 40’s, which is why 80% retire broke and on some sort of government pension. If you are not already there probability suggests you are likely to leave planning till then. But it need not be like this.
I want to encourage you to do something as soon as you can, because the law of compounding will work wonders if you let it. Many rich people you have met without knowing it, and they got their wealth not by being smarter, they got there through three things.
1) They spent less than they earned
2) They invested wisely both in themselves and growth assets
3) They allowed the law of compounding to work for them by re-investing
Don’t be a Casey and leave your future to chance.
Janine Cox is the Senior Analyst at Wealth Within, a private investment company specialising in managing direct share portfolios through their Individual Managed Account Service. The company is also a government accredited specialist share market educator, where Janine is one of only two lead trainers educating people how to invest and trade the share market.