6.10.2007

My Very Own Pot of Gold

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I was watching a show on CNBC on how to “Retire Rich”. There were some good tips and it got me thinking a little about whether or not I am following the correct path. Will I be able to retire rich?
According to the show, 70 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Seventy percent! That is a lot! And of the remaining 30 percent who are not living that way, are they investing and saving wisely?
So today I went to Google to find out more about the subject. According to The Motley Fool, it is simple to retire rich. You can do it in five easy steps and here they are:
1. Start now.
2. Save more.3. Take full advantage of employer contributions.4. Allocate your assets to make bank in the stock market.5. Don't rely on someone else to do it for you.
Ha! So it is easy! Then why aren’t we doing it? I think it is because many people are not being educated about this early on in our lives.
Not only did my father teach me to work hard and to put my money in the bank while I was in high school, but I also got much of the above advice when I was 18. I had just started a new job where they had pretty good benefits. At that time, they would match 50 cents to my dollar, up to 6 percent. A good family friend told me to invest 10 % of my paycheck (at this time, I was making about 5 dollars an hour). I wouldn’t miss the money in the long run, it was being taken out pre-tax and my company would match 6 percent of it. What did I have to lose? He also suggested putting part of it in high risk and part of it in low risk (at the time I had no idea what that meant). Luckily, I listened to him. Thanks Mike! Ten years later, I am still investing 10 % of my paycheck and I have built up a fairly good portfolio.
There is still a lot that I have to learn. I am still hesitant to put too much money in the stock market, I sometimes pick mutual funds with the “eeny-meeny-miny-moe” method, I haven’t rolled over my 401K, I am scared to buy property and I am quite conservative, even for my age. However, I think that, little by little, I am starting to learn what it takes to…retire rich.

Do you have what it takes?

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