MOST people in their 20s are way too busy to think about retirement. Most of us have experienced the starving student lifestyle, and it was not fun. When your first paycheck rolled in, I’m sure you had a list of things to spend it on.
Young people these days also have large student loans to contend with, and it’s difficult to find any extra money to put toward saving leave alone retirement. I’m sure most new university graduates who just started a new job are not ready to even think of retirement. Most of us focus on working and enjoying that money when we can.
So I have decided to define the odds and get ahead in finding ways of preparing for my retirement in my 20’s;
Avoid consumer debt. It’s difficult to avoid debts at any age, especially some of us (ladies) who are shopaholics (speaking from experience) but it’s worth the effort to start out right. While we young people often live in the moment and enjoy going out and having a good time, it is very important to spend less than you earn so you can avoid debts. The interest will chip away at your income, and it will be much more difficult to save if you take on more debt.
Avoid lifestyle inflation. Most of us are unable to avoid lifestyle inflation after we start making more money since we think it’s the whole essential of waking up early morning and going to work! Who wants to drive an old jeep around when a car dealer is offering a new car? Spending money is fun and our consumer culture encourages that. However, it’s difficult to reduce monthly expenses once they creep up. It’s best to avoid lifestyle inflation as much as possible.
Grow your income. People in their 20s do not make as much money as older folks (no research can prove me wrong on this one!), but their compensation has a lot of room to grow. If you work hard, you should be able to get promoted and grow your income quite a bit early on in your career, one way to go around it.
Buy income producing assets instead of a new car or other stuff that will break. Think about depreciation before spending money. If you buy a new car, it will be worth much less in a year. If you buy some dividend stocks instead, you will receive dividend income and the stocks might gain in value. Another example of an income producing asset is a house. You can buy a house and rent out some rooms to generate income.
It’s not easy to think about retirement when you’re in your 20’s since saving is a burden enough, but your older self will be very grateful if you do it now.