We all have made compromises to create a “comfortable” life for ourselves. Will you settle for “comfortable” in your Second Adult Life?You have worked hard for many years, perhaps raised a family, built a career or both. Your life has become fairly routine. Whether this is good or bad, you have recently begun to realize that you may live another thirty to fifty years or more. That is another entire adult life! The next thought that crosses many minds is, “I can’t go through all this again.”
So what does it take to get out of a rut and make the coming years the very best of your life?
YOU MUST MAKE TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF YOUR TOP PRIORITY.
There seems to be a lot of resistance to this concept. Women have sacrificed their well being “for the sake of their spouse, their children, their parents and even their career or their company.” For whatever reason, many women never realized that they could have “served” everyone around them even better if they had taken care of their own needs first. There is a good reason that the airlines say, “put your emergency oxygen mask on first, before helping anyone else.”
Trying to convince the doubters of this concept takes more words than I have today. So I’m going to concentrate on the one area that almost all agree. “The freedoms and comforts available from having money will help me live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling “second adult life.”
Money is just a tool; a way to make bartering easier. It has no qualities of good or evil. The sole purpose of collecting it now is to help you take care of yourself in the future and make it easier for you to share the very best of yourself with the rest of the world.
So what steps can you take now to ensure this future happiness?
• Personal Savings – You must have a place to accumulate money.
• Retirement Fund – An IRA or 401K or other plan if you work outside the home
• Savings Mindset – “Sock-It-Away” either by habit or auto-withdraw
• Question spending – Do you really need a new __________?
• Avoid & Eliminate Debt – The future is unpredictable but “Cash is always king”
• Avoid having to say, “No” by not telling your friends and relatives about your nest egg.
There are hundreds of excuses not to save. Eliminate them from your mind and replace them with ways and reasons to save. Use your positive thoughts to find ways to add to your account. If it helps, make it a game and add some incentives. Calculate how much the ten dollars you deposited this week will be worth in twenty years. If you want singing lessons, your own apartment, a trip to Tahiti, imagine what that will be like. Remember, this is not a savings account for auto repairs or a birthday gift for your spouse or bail for your sad-sack brother. This is for your future.
Where to save. You want your “pot of gold” to be safe, earn interest if possible and not so easily accessible that you are tempted to dip into it for daily living expenses. Online banks can offer such a place but do your homework and avoid any “hidden” fees, minimum deposits or charges for holding your money. Don’t look for just the highest interest rate. Unless you have a substantial initial deposit, fees and charges can be a lot more that any interest income you might make. Ask questions; call the institution and tell them what you plan to deposit and how you plan to add to it. Specifically ask if there will be any charges or fees. Take notes on each institution you call including who you talk with and when. If you have a few thousand dollars to start with or you have an IRA, you can open multiple accounts with an online broker like E*Trade who will recognize your brokerage account, retirement account, savings and checking accounts as one balance, making it easier to eliminate minimum fees and monthly charges.
You can do this and should DO IT NOW! I’ll let you come up with more reasons to save for your better future years. Here are some ideas for finding and making more deposits to your savings:
• The coins collecting dust around the house
• Cash rebates from product purchases
• Cash birthday or Christmas gifts
• Make sure to use employer matching funds to your retirement account if available
• Automatic deposits from your pay check
• Every time you choose to “brown bag it” instead of eating out, put aside $5 for a deposit
• Sell any “junk” that has been in your storage area for years.
When you start feeling good about doing this for your future you may be ready to start doing more things for yourself. In the years to come, you can keep growing as a productive, happy individual, benefiting everyone around you. If this is a new idea for you, it may take some time to sink in but it is true. It is time to take care of yourself. Remember the oxygen mask…
I’m here to inform and encourage.