"From saving comes having" is an old Scottish proverb.
One just as applicable today as when it was first uttered. Many want to move straight to the having without doing the saving though. We live in the "now society" – must have, now. But at what price?
Some oft quoted statistics run as follows:
Take 100 people aged 16 today, and in 50 years time:
- 27 will be dead
- 68 will be dependent on social welfare (or still working)
- 4 will be financially independent
- 1 will be rich.
I cannot verify the source of these statistics, but they are apparently based on insurance company statistics. Whether the numbers are absolutely accurate or not is not as relevant as the question:
"Why are so few self sufficient?"
We live in an era where education and knowledge is readily available. "Millionaires" are created more quickly than ever before, and there's more of them. Money is no longer in the hands of only a few – and more importantly, the opportunity to create personal wealth (or personal options) is available to all. So why is that 68% dependent on government handouts?
Being blunt – the 1 percent (the Rich) achieve their security usually without a financial adviser – they are entrepreneurs who create incredible wealth through innovative ideas, or perhaps have been smart enough to grow a significant capital base even further. They do incredible things, and get incredible results though.
Most of the 4% do follow practical advice – a plan - over a period of time. From saving comes having. Perhaps for many of the 68% in 50 years time it is because some of the basics were neglected. Perhaps they didn't know the basics.
So how does one increase their chances of moving into the top 5% - the financially independents?
- Save 10% of everything you earn. (Read "The Richest Man in Babylon for a fantastic guide).
- Don't spend what you don't have (e.g. accumulating credit card and personal loan debt for consumables).
- Protect the assets you do have already (income earning ability, house, cars, etc). Eliminate non-wealth creating debt (there is good debt and bad debt).
- Build an investment portfolio, then continually diversify it and spread your risks.
- Grow it.
- Keep spending less than you earn.
- Minimise costs such as tax (legally and legitimately, not "creatively").
- Work out the best ways to own (and keep) your assets.
It is possible to plan for financial independence, and possible for most to achieve.
... And according to a Chinese proverb: "money gives a man 30 more years of dignity".
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