While perusing through social media last week, I saw a post that caused me to stop and really think. Today we are as close to 1990 as we are to 2040. Ouch! That hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s impossible that 1990 was 25 years ago. I was a freshman in high school. I had grown 7 inches in 6 months and had a mouthful of braces. I was wearing Tommy Hilfiger shirts and rolling my jeans.
The words to a famous Bon Jovi song then came to my head, “Whoa, we’re halfway there. Whoa, Livin on a Prayer.” For a child of the 80s, this was our anthem. But, oh wait, I just turned 40. What’s even more troubling to me is that I’ll be 65 in 2040. Our kids will be out of college, our mortgage will be paid off, and I better be ready to retire.
Life is constantly in motion. Good things happen to us like graduations, marriages and births while sad and difficult experiences such as job loss, illness and death of a loved one also plague us during our journey. We can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, but we can prepare for it.
Planning for the future isn’t easy. It takes discipline, commitment, time and perseverance. Those are all behaviors that need to be rewarded or modified. If you had to pick one, what has kept you from reaching your financial goals? We often talk about birthday risk with our clients. We can’t control where interest rates or stock prices will be when we turn 65. You can control how much you save, spend and what you risk you take on your nest egg.
When you’re 15 you want to be 18, when you’re 18 you want to be 21, when you’re 21 you want to be 25, and when you’re 25 you want to stay 25. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Time doesn’t wait for us. We are all a quarter century older than we were in 1990 and we’re 25 years closer to retirement. If you haven’t planned for the future, what are you waiting for?