I was talking to one of my best customers this morning and we got on the subject of retirement.. I told him the biggest mistake I had made in my life was the failure to put money back for this time in my life. He agreed and said that was his biggest mistake as well.
We all live crazy when we are young. If you have a dollar you spend a dollar and a half. My Father for all of the wonderful things he was, a financial planner and advisor he was not. He gave me lots of advice but not in this area. I was left to fend for myself. Much like sex education where no one really talked about it you were just expected to know. And much like sex education the advice you got was someone’s idea or guess and rarely a firsthand experience, please pardon the pun!
As we sat there this morning feeling sorry for ourselves, in our self made situations I began to wonder what can I do to help my son avoid the circumstance I now am living. I have tried to explain to him he needs to save at less one dollars of every ten he makes. He, being 21, loves the bars and eating out and chasing the ladies. The Apple didn’t fall from the tree I have been told. So how do I break the chain and make him understand how important today is for his tomorrow?
I have heard its not how you play, its how you finish. My son needs to finish. He is a smart young man and a real go getter. He is going to be successful I just know it. What is the advice to him? How do you stress the finish line? How much easier would it be to cross it when your 55 than when your 65?
I would like to tell you the story about my ex father in law. He was the man that cut the first grain deal with the Russians. He ran Cook Industries for a brief period of time. Then he went to a firm in Kansas City where he worked for 3 years and boom he was out at 49. He bought a small farm in the Ozark Mountains and has been there ever since. He has made it. But here is the real deal. I can remember my ex wife talking about how she grew up. They gave a new name to frugality. She said it was one piece of chicken and her parents always got the good pieces. Her mother made all of their clothes. The family had to give up a lot for him to arrive at the finish line. So here’s the $64,000 question; where is the middle ground? How do you save for the finish line and still live a full life getting there. Suddenly I feel like a teenage again talking about sex. Knowing what I want and also knowing there is no way to get it!
There must be a way, and I am sure my son will find it. I am also sure that I have no regrets now. Do I wish I had saved more, absolutely! Am I going to retire one day to my little piece of heaven, no question!
I guess at the end of the day it is still about the finish line. How do you want to finish? I want to finish being able to get along in retirement, and my son still thinking it was cool to grow up around me. Does that make me work a little longer? More than likely. Is that OK with me? You bet.
Well guess I had better get back to work I will never retire sitting here writing on this blog!!!
The Blessed Man