This is a Guest Post by Fellow Yakezie Member, Derrick from Life and My Finances.
Personally, I love the name of this website, “My Journey to Millions”. Perhaps some of you think it’s egotistical to proclaim that you’ll be a millionaire, but I’d have to say that you’re dead wrong. We should all be on our journey to millions! If we aren’t, then I’d have to say we’re selfish.
If we are not currently planning for our retirement (which should include a nest egg of at least a million dollars), then how do we plan to survive in our elderly years? Will our children be taking care of us? Will we expect that of them since we so graciously raised them? Frankly, I hope this isn’t part of your planning. You are responsible for your own future, your children are not.
Follow These Steps to Wealth
Get Out of Debt
If you currently have consumer or credit card debt, you must pay this off first. There is no logic in paying interest on items that should have been purchased with cash (ie. your car, kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, etc.). Use the debt snowball method and pay off one debt at a time (while paying the minimum payment on all of the others). Once one debt is paid off, put that payment toward the next debt, and so on, until all debts are paid for.
If you still owe money on your house, focus on paying that down as well. A house loan should be taken care of in 15 years or less to avoid obscene amounts of interest payments (with a 30-year loan, you’ll most likely pay more than double the value of your house, even with the low interest rates currently).
After you pay off your consumer debt, begin investing about 10% of your income. Since you are no longer making those monthly payments on your consumer purchases, investing 10% should be no big deal.
If your company matches a 401(k) contribution, be sure to fully utilize this match. After all, it’s basically free money in your pocket. If your company does not have a match, contribute your 10% into a Roth IRA and allow it to grow tax-free.
Most advisors would like you to have at least $2 million in a nest-egg before retirement. I don’t fully agree with this strategy. While I think that acquiring $1 million is wise as a “just-in-case” fund (as previously stated in this article), I think it is foolish to depend on one lump-sum of cash to get you through your retirement years.
Let’s say you retire at age 62 with $2 million in investments. Because you are severely dependent on these funds, they may be placed within bond investments or money-market accounts. These may seem safe, but they are not 100% guaranteed and may only show limited growth. Between your yearly cash withdrawals, increased medical expenses, inflation, and the limited growth of your funds, if you live to be 90, there might not be anything left in that nest-egg! What if you withdrew an average of $75,000 per year (a very modest amount considering all of the factors), your $2,000,000 would be gone in 27 years. Now, what if you acquired a life-threatening disease after retirement (not out of the ordinary)? Those medical expenses could easily rack up to $500,000+ in expenses. That would deplete your savings even faster.
The Better Plan
Since our lives are ever-changing and dynamic, why do we invest as if they were static and unchanging? Rather than investing our money in one big pot, I say we should develop some constant cash flow from other sources (while contributing that 10% into our “just-in-case” fund)!
Instead of investing all of your money in mutual funds or the stock market, create some cash flow through a business of your own! Many of us have dreams of starting our own business and creating an income even when we’re not there. I say do it! Start small (with cash) and expand as your business grows. If you want less involvement, develop a system and let someone else grow it for you. Once you do it once, develop another business. Get as many income streams coming in as possible. The more income resources you have, the less likely you’ll be affected by a financial downturn.
Of course this is not easy and may take some time. This is why it’s important to start now!
This post was written by Derek from Life And My Finances. Since his job did not allow him to utilize his degree in Finance, he has started his own website.