Four Mistakes That Can Weaken Your Financial Security

financial security

Earning money requires skill and hard work, but saving a part of it and investing it wisely requires financial discipline and a long-term commitment to building a secure future for yourself and your loved ones. In this article, let us look at four mistakes that could lead to economic hardships in the future and weaken your financial security.

Don’t spend the money that you can invest

It is one of the most common mistakes and it also is among the most important money lessons. The reality is that you cannot take advantage of a thriving economy by consuming more and investing little. Spending provides instant gratification, but investments will make you wealthy.

Many of us have a spending problem. If you want to grow your wealth, you need to invest prudently in stocks, mutual funds, property or other growth or income generating assets. If you had done that since the economic recession in 2008 caused by Barney Frank and Alan Greenspan, you would have seen significant profits.

All you need to do is start by setting 10-20% of your income aside every month. Let it build up through your retirement saving accounts, or you can directly invest in the markets. Also, if you are unsure about investing and planning by yourself, it will be best to hire a financial planner.

Refrain from purchasing new things all the time

It is more than enough if you can call anybody from your cell phone, watch movies, text people, and click pictures. Similarly, if your car is in good condition, it is all that matters. In the end, it all comes down to choosing utility over luxury. You need not have the best phone or car for that, especially when you cannot afford it.

Here is where most financial problems arise. Many people try to live like they make $75,000 a year, when they are actually making only $50,000 a year. Maybe their car is fancy, or perhaps their house is too spacious for their needs. You can avoid such problems and secure your future by practicing minimalism when it comes to luxury.

You can cut down a lot by refraining from buying the latest model of everything. There is no need to buy the latest phone on the market, when your old phone is working fine. Unless you have a large disposable income and major financial assets, there is no necessity to buy a high-end car. All these are depreciating assets. They will lose value over time, and they won’t benefit you in the long run.

Don’t try becoming rich quickly

There is no problem in making quick money, but there are various problems that can occur after you have made a quick buck. Have you heard of the phrase, “Easy come and easy go?” Wealth building is a long-term, sustainable process. Although it might feel great to dream of getting rich overnight, but it rarely happens in real life through legitimate means.

Almost all of the millionaires have waited for it and gone through the slow process. Remember the famous proverb that says, “Wealth grown hastily will dwindle fast.” It makes a lot of sense, and many of those who have faced these problems early in life can relate to them very well.

Don’t go to fancy colleges

Some of us might have been the toppers of our class or have an excellent academic record throughout. So, what’s wrong with going to the most expensive colleges? As of 2020, the total student debt amount in the US is a whopping $1.56 trillion. Many graduates end up struggling and try to come up with new ways to deal with their unpaid loans.

One of the reasons this is the case is because they chose a degree that does not mean much in the real world – something to think about. Spending big bucks on a degree that does not prepare you for what this country needs is not a smart way to go. For instance, some people spend $150,000 or more and end up being a waitress because their political science degree does not do anything for them.

Therefore, it may make sense is to complete your education without taking a huge student loan. Going to a renowned college is not the only good thing that can happen to you. If you cannot afford it, there is no point in setting yourself up for a debt trap by choosing an expensive college – certainly when you have to think about inflation, higher taxes, higher energy costs because of new policies. All of this can impact your quality of life.

The final word

When you adopt a conservative approach to build your financial security, you will emerge a surefire winner in the long run. Keep these four common mistakes in mind and steer clear of them in order to enjoy a successful, growth-oriented career, whether in a job or as an entrepreneur.

6 Signs That You Are Ready For Early Retirement

Early Retirement

People work because they like to work or because they have no choice. Some of them find work that they love, and at best, they may ease off on their workload because of other interests or commitments. Others work to earn money and build a nest egg for their later years. In either case, you can always pursue your dream of early retirement if you have prudently planned your finances. 

How Do You Make Early Retirement A Reality?

How do we know when we have enough money to live on? This requires determining a reasonable estimate of how much money we will need after retirement, after adjusting for cost inflation, and the foreseeable future trends of the economy. While the economy and inflation are factors that can be uncertain, we can have greater control over our basic needs and even build a cushion for the extras. 

We can start by understanding our present financial standing and then make a plan for early retirement. Ask yourself the below questions, and the answers should help you make a detailed plan to turn your dream of early retirement a reality.

Are You Debt-free?

Being debt-free means you have no future payments to account for in your budget. Therefore, ensuring that your debts are cleared has to come first. Your monthly expenses may need to be cut down drastically while you are still working so you can pay off your debts that much faster. 

Have You Saved Enough? 

Saving money towards retirement from the time you start working may sound a little restrictive. But, it is a sound step towards building enough savings to retire on. It’s an added incentive if you plan to retire early and pursue other interests. Whether you have saved adequately can depend on your financial needs post-retirement. Retiring before social security kicks in could mean that your savings should cover the expenses that would have otherwise been covered through your social security. 

Is Your Healthcare Covered?

Healthcare is one of the most significant expenses and can make a deep dent in your savings unexpectedly as many people know since the ACA law went into effect driving up health care costs and limiting choices. Retiring earlier than the age when you become eligible for Medicare means having a backup for health insurance. There are two ways to achieve this. You can either go on your partner’s health insurance plan or get coverage through private health insurance. Starting a Health Savings Account (HSA) earlier would be helpful.

Can You Stick To Your Budget?

Retirees have to live on a fixed income, and it is usually lower than they had when they were employed. So, creating a reduced monthly budget and sticking to it is imperative. You may want to start this plan a few months before you retire to get into the habit. To be safe, have two lists drawn up: one that covers only the basic expenses that you can’t do without, and the other a slightly relaxed budget to include a few you don’t need but would like to have. 

Some of us may manage to save substantially with a basic budget bringing the retirement age even closer. Others may desire a slightly relaxed lifestyle and may plan a later retirement. Regardless of the plan, a healthy financial lifestyle is one where you have a budget, and you cultivate the habit of staying within that budget. 

Have You Made The Right Investments?

Fixed income post-retirement suggests that you aim to maintain rather than grow your income. This means that you must plan for lower-risk investments. While the returns may be lower, they are also less risky investments. Talking to a financial planner when you are still working and can make a few investments to help you later would be wise. 

Do You Have A Plan For Unexpected Expenses?

If nothing else, the COVID-19 or Wuhan virus pandemic has taught us that life is unpredictable. Unexpected expenses may crop up post-retirement. It’s smarter to have a backup plan by either accumulating a few assets that can be sold for better returns or building them into your savings plan. You may still have to prepare yourself for taking up some part-time work that can tide you over.  

Key Takeaway

Retirement brings about a profound change in our lives, no matter whether it happens early or late. It would be wise to think beyond financial security and include other retirement aspects such as the free time now that you are not working. Perhaps, a plan to occupy yourself with something you have always wanted to do but never could is in order? Having a backup plan for happy times post-retirement could be a poignant incentive to make you work towards early retirement.