It’s easy to categorize retirement in the “I’ll figure that out later” column, especially for millennials who have a good thirty to forty years before reaching the traditional retirement age. In fact, it is a lot easier finding reasons to NOT save for retirement as a millennial, whether it’s having a mountain of student loan debt, saving for a down payment on a home, other life expenses like weddings and starting families, or simply that investing is a complicated and maybe intimidating subject area. Since most retirement saving that DOES happen is done through employer plans like 401k’s or 403b’s, millennials who are self-employed are probably even less likely to be saving for retirement.
2020 has been a transformational year for America so far, and it’s only June. COVID-19, going into our third month of lock-down, police brutality, unnecessary deaths, riots… There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty in the air. Being on a writing platform, it’s hard to ignore these things. I see a lot of white people apologizing and throwing their hands up. I see a lot of black people being honest about their daily fears, and reading them is heartbreaking. I see a lot of much-needed education and empathy. I also see frustration on both sides, and see an uncomfortable divide. When problems like this arise, it can be easy to feel like you can’t really do anything about it. I’m torn between trying to find the right words, and feeling like I should just keep my mouth shut.
I’ve settled on discussing an area today that my experience from working in the financial industry can help, at least I hope it can. The wealth gap between black people and white people in America.
The most important ingredient in investing is, surprisingly, not money.
Money is certainly important, but when you look at how compounding interest works when you're investing, you'll quickly learn that time is everything.
Not timing, like when you try and decide the best time to buy or sell, but time, as in the amount of time we have. Time in the market is crucial when you’re invested, but this is also a lesson that applies to many things in life, sometimes painfully.
The preciousness of time is lingering in my head today, ever since my boyfriend woke me up with the announcement “The treasure was found.”