Decisions people make every day in their 20s have long-term affects on their lives. My wife and I recently looked back at things we did in our 20s that pay us huge dividends today, in our 30s and 40s. Here are some tips to make the most out of your early working years.
Bought a House
We each bought a small property before we were together. When we married, we consolidated our assets, worked to pay off a single mortgage early, and gave ourselves a strong financial base.
Mortgages can look daunting, but the sooner you start one, the quicker you will pay it off.
Avoided Unnecessary Debt
By avoiding debt accumulation in our 20s, we were able to retire in our 30s. We now dedicate our time to our family and not an employer. Neither of us made a habit of buying high-price, rapidly depreciating items, such as technology.
Saved For Retirement
We got in the habit of saving first and prioritizing retirement. The earlier you start saving, the longer your money will work for you. My first retirement investment was with a Roth IRA, it was one of the best things I ever did.
Dedicated Time to Your Profession
Put in the long, demanding hours when you are young, so when your family comes along, you can spend the time with them. Admittedly, I did most of my long-hours in my 30s, but my wife knocked hers out in her 20s. If you aspire to more than early retirement, then of course you will likely keep up the hard work until you become satisfied.
Rainy Day Fund
Have money available that does not involve taking on a debt, in case something bad happens. Companies go bust, employees get laid-off, people get ill, houses and cars break.
We both managed to stay in shape. We remain active, are happy with our physiques, and have energy to do the things we like. If you don’t have your health, what good is money going to do you?
Live for the day but plan for tomorrow. It is true that a bus may squish you shortly after reading this, but odds are that you’ll live a long and hopefully very happy life.
Other articles by C. G. Carey include:
Emotion and Money – the Good and the Bad
Essential Pregnancy Purchases for the Frugal Mother-to-Be
Mother’s Day Gifts – a Procrastinator’s Guide