Today I am celebrating the mini milestone of the 100th post on Nickels, Dimes and Quarters. If you have been following only recently, this is a good time to recap the purpose and vision of NDQ.
Building wealth for most people is a lifelong quest. For many, by the time retirement comes around, they realize they are coming up short. When you see people in their 70s and later working at low-paying, low-skilled jobs, it becomes clear that we have failed in preparing people for the realities of retirement.
Now, enter the new mindset of retiring well before the golden years. There is a large movement of young people who are working hard and saving 50%-75% of all they earn so that they can retire in their mid-30s, then work on their terms for the rest of their lives. Some might start their own businesses, others may only want to work sporadically or in a free-lance capacity. Many want to travel and live a more nomadic lifestyle and possibly work along the way.
Then there’s me. I am somewhere in the middle. I am not in my 20s or my 70s, but a few years ago I came to the realization that I needed to speed the process of building wealth so that I could retire on my own terms, not be forced to work into my 80s. To this end, I started reading everything I could on the subject of investing, retirement and building wealth. I learned all that I could about my employer’s retirement plan, hired an investment adviser and started a money-market account to start holding money until I came up with a real plan.
My plan took shape and the account grew and grew. My credit score kept going up because I have my bills and expenses under control. My annual tax prep appointment now goes smoothly because my financial house is in order and my paperwork is organized. Managing my money and building wealth has become a hobby, not a bother.
I don’t make an enormous salary. In fact, I earn about the national average. Setting aside as much as I do wasn’t easy. I had to give up things like TV, shopping sprees, and eating out daily. But guess what? I don’t miss any of it! I actually have more than enough, more than I need and more than I could possibly ask for. I am happier, more relaxed and I sleep better than ever.
And here’s the point: I am saving my money and buying only income-producing assets. I know my number, the amount of money I need to replace before I can retire, and I am on track to see an early retirement. Each day, I try to find ways to save even a few cents so that I can keep increasing my investment account. That’s where the mantra “It all adds up” comes from — my daily goal of finding new ways to build wealth.
Thanks for reading!