As we close the book on another year, I sense that we’re about to enter an era of incredible technological advancement. Information travels at the speed of light and we’re already bombarded with news 24/7. I believe it’s going to get much faster. Financially speaking, I hope we’re all prepared for what’s about to unfold.
From an investor’s perspective, the last ten years have been pretty good for most people; especially those who resisted the headlines and remained committed to their investment strategy.
As we leave the teens and enter the twenties, it’s time to envision your life a decade from now and prepare accordingly. Nobody has a crystal ball, but financially speaking it’s wise to plan ahead.
For example, is it your intent to be in the workforce in ten years? If so, do you need to improve your skillset in order to climb the income ladder? Or are you content to just put in your time and remain at your current income level? Are you contributing enough to your retirement account?
I’ve always suggested that year-end is an opportune time to increase your retirement plan deposits. As you do, calculate what ten years’ worth of contributions might look like. If you made $4,000 a month, saved 10 percent and earned a modest 3 percent annual interest, you’d have over $131,000. After ten years
If your employer matched that 3 percent, you’d have over $170,000. Long-term planning can’t guarantee your future, but it sure can help put you on the right path.
If you have what feels like insurmountable debt, calculate what needs to be done to get it under control. If you have children in the house, start saving for college now, because a decade from now your little ones won’t be so little.
For a variety of reasons, the definition of long-term has become shorter and shorter, especially in the world of investing. Don’t let tomorrow’s headlines knock you off your long-term objectives. It takes fortitude to stay focused. Especially don’t abandon long-term investment strategies after back-to-back down quarters.
I encourage investors to stretch their long-term investment horizon to a decade. What you’re able to do financially ten years from now depends on what financial steps you take today. Day by day, with all the ups and downs, a decade feels like a long period full of financial minefields that, if detonated, could adversely affect your pocketbook.
But, more often than not, when all is said and done, you look back and wonder where the time went. Although history can’t predict the future, financial history has been beneficial to those that are patient.
These days, when technology has the shelf life of a banana, it’s becoming more and more difficult to envision what the next decade will bring. When I was growing up I watched the Jetsons on Saturday mornings and read Dick Tracy in the Sunday comics.
A few decades later, the Jetsons aren’t that farfetched and many are talking into their watch like Dick Tracy. Where technology will be ten years from now? I don’t know, but I’ll bet it will be awesome and require mega-dollars. I do know that now is the time to start planning for it.
So, Happy New Year and Happy Ten Years From Now!