One simple four-letter word is truly the key to your financial success — SAVE. Saving requires discipline, and if you lack the discipline to save, it is virtually impossible for you to succeed, period. I learned to save from my father. He grew up during the Great Depression, so he tracked every penny and every resource. His parents and his brothers and sisters are also very frugal. My father encouraged me to save from a very young age. I remember having a plastic pink piggy bank. I would put my coins in the piggy bank and shake it! I loved the sound of the coins jingling! When I became a teenager, Dad took me to the bank so I could open a bank account. At that time, it was called a passbook savings account. As soon as I received my allowance, I walked down the street to the bank, and deposited a portion. What a great feeling! I felt so proud, responsible, and adult-like. There are 3 keys to saving:
- Start early
- Be consistent
- Think long-term
It is never too late to start saving. Saving is the first step on the path to financial security and financial independence. The Washington Post profiled a 59-year old woman who has been unemployed for the past 2 years. She does volunteer work at her church to stay busy and productive. She was laid off from her Administrative Assistant job, and has had difficulty finding work. As a result, she lost the room she was renting for $600 per month, and sleeps on a living room couch at her sister’s home. She goes to job fairs, receives interviews, but no job offers. In my opinion, she has 3 obstacles:
- Obsolete Skills
- No Savings
One you reach your 50s, career counselors advise that you “camouflage” your age by not listing dates on your resume. They advise that you list the last 10 years of work experience. I remember removing the graduation dates on my own resume when I entered my 5th decade! When employers notice that you are close to “Social Security” age, they don’t want to make long-term commitments to training an employee who may retire in a year or two.
Technology has replaced the Administrative Assistant position. Computer software, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Outlook email, keep managers in touch with their customers, subordinates, and upper management. Email software is so sophisticated now that everyone can manage their own calendars, list of contacts, and networking. Will computer technology make your job obsolete? Can a robot do your job?
Financial counselors advise that we build an emergency fund to take care of 6 months to 2 years worth of bills. If Ms Osborne had saved a portion of each paycheck, she may have had enough to carry her through the storm. She may have had enough funds to pay for training to upgrade her skills. She may have had enough to get her to age 62 when she can claim Social Security.
That is why we all need to save — because one day, we will reach the age where no one will want to hire us … Imagine having no home, no income, no savings, no health insurance, no food to eat … S-A-V-E.
The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the Author/WebMaster. Before taking any action, please consult your real estate, financial, and legal advisors.