How about that for an FAQ? I hear this question a lot. The alternate sounds like, “It sure would be nice to have a million dollars. It’s easy to get frustrated, even mad at times that you aren’t further ahead.
1. You’ve played by the rules.
2. Went to the right schools.
3. Got a good paying job.
Now where are all the riches you were promised???
First, we need to define how much it takes to be “rich”. How much money do you need? A million? Two million? Keep in mind: there are many things money can’t buy. So, the truth is, the number is different for everyone. It all goes back to motivation and goals. If you think rich is having a house on MTV Cribs (am I aging myself with this?), your number is going to be a lot higher than someone who just wants enough to retire comfortably.
Set a Simple Goal.
Let’s start there, a simple and clear goal of retiring comfortably. It’s certainly a common enough goal. How to get there? Study people that have done it successfully. If you’re a stats person, you can’t beat a read through of The Millionaire Next Door. It’s a comprehensive thesis of 20 years of studying the affluent of America. If you’re not a stats person, here’s the summary: spend less than you make and save at least 15% for your retirement, avoid debt like the plague.
Simple advice isn’t always the easiest to implement. There’s a difference between simple and easy. But it can be done. The scary thing is this: most Americans don’t even come close. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the median American family only has $5,000 saved for retirement. They also couldn’t handle a $500 emergency without relying on credit cards.
Where do you start?
Call me! If nothing else, I can show you what it takes to get to your goal. Taking the steps is always up to you. If you don’t do that,
do this: track something.
Anything. Track your spending. Track your net worth. Track the number of times you bring lunch to work vs. eating out. I don’t care, just track something. Once started, it’s hard to not compete with yourself to see if you can improve.
Rich doesn’t happen by accident.
Even when it does, like the lottery, most people are back to broke in 5 years. Their money habits didn’t make them rich; those habits certainly can’t keep them rich. Here’s the best thing, it’s simple to get rich and stay rich on purpose. You just have to pay attention.