Early and Often
Today we live in a complex world, and the realm of saving and investing for our future is just as complex. Gone are the days where we could retire early or rely solely on a company pension or social security. There is now, more than ever before an added expectation of beginning to save and invest early and often in order to ensure financial security.
When you take advantage of compound interest and the time value of money, you are leveraging your dollars in ways that cannot be accomplished in the future without added risk. Many times people think that they don’t have enough money to save and invest, but this is a common miscalculation. It is less about the absolute dollar amount and more about establishing habits around saving and investing early in your life.
Peace of mind, financial security, and a general sense of well-being are all things that are afforded a person who has an adequate emergency fund. The general rule of thumb is to have three to six months of your fixed expenses secured in a highly liquid, interest-bearing account.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need more or less in your emergency fund, but regardless of your situation, you need to be thinking about building your emergency savings. By having these financial resources at your disposal, an emergency in life becomes more of an inconvenience.
When you begin to think about goals and plans when it comes to saving and investing one size does not fit all. A sound investment strategy includes asking your self about the specific goal, the time-horizon, and the level of risk you are willing to assume to achieve your goals.
Too often, individuals think about saving and investing as a two-pronged strategy. They have a savings account and a retirement plan. Although this is a good starting point, it misses the mark on having a true strategy to achieve various goals. The ideal strategy will have you holding different “money buckets” that are tailored specifically to the desired outcome or need you may have.
You are never too young to be thinking about what you want your life to be like when you are no longer working and earning money. By having the knowledge needed to make sound retirement planning decisions early in your life, you are able to maximize your returns and position yourself for long term success.
IRA, ROTH, 401k, SEP, defined contribution and defined benefit should be things that are easily understood from day one of your professional lives. When you decide early in your professional life to acquire the knowledge necessary to take advantage of retirement options available to you, financial success is sure to follow. Remember, early and often helps to ensure success.
If you would like to hear more about this topic, please feel free to contact our office for a presentation, workshop, or individual coaching session. You can also access the Green to Gold Learning Modules for further self-directed learning and content.