Opportunity, for most of us, doesn't knock just once; she raps a continual tattoo on our doors. The pity is that much of the time we're either too preoccupied to hear or too lethargic to answer. Benjamin Franklin
I am fortunate to have someone keep watch over me, to help me stay focused stay on course keep priorities in order. No, not my wife. As wonderful as she is, she is also in the trenches with me daily and susceptible to the same myopic vision. I am blessed to have a mentor. I also pay for that blessing, which helps!
My mentor sent me Franklin's quote, and he added this comment:
We will spend hours discussing Opportunity Cost and the impact of what a loss can end up costing us over time. There is
the other side of that same coin, which is Opportunity Gain. It is easy for people to become so busy making money that they do not spend any time learning how money works. Remember, as a professional you bring opportunity where, for many people, there was once little or none at all.
When I follow-up with families who have requested an appointment with me, the most common response I get is, "Yes, we need to do that, but right now we're sooo busy!" My job then is to keep knocking, reminding them of their high-priority matter of unsurpassed importance long-term financial success.
The deceptive words are "long-term." People tend to put it off because it seems to be "put-offable." We do not consider that our greatest financial asset is time. Modest savings, cared for properly over a long period of time, can and will grow to become large sums. Shorten the time frame, and the necessary increase in savings rates usually comes as a shock.
Example: 21 year old saves $5000 per year, every year through age 66. Her total savings has grown (at 5.5% rate of return) to more than one million dollars. Her too-busy-to-be-wealthy sister waits to start until age 30 and, all other factors remaining the same, accumulates less that $562,000. What is only a $50,000 difference on the front end, because of time, ends of being nearly a half-million dollar loss.
My point is, most single, 21-year-olds could probably find a way to save between 15-20% of their take-home pay. Once the habit is established it is easier to sustain. Even if the 30-year-old (mom, mortgage-owner) summons the discipline to begin a 10%savings plan she will never catch up to her more foresighted sister.
Today, opportunity is knocking. Take a few minutes and answer the door.