Have you ever asked yourself why is it that is some people can retire by age 50? Have you ever wondered why it is that certain people don't lose everything when the stock market crashes? Why are some people able to earn a higher income, or better yet, have multiple sources of income for their family? Why is it that some people can afford to retire to a life of luxury and travel, while others barely have enough to feed and house themselves?
There is an obvious and not so obvious answer to these questions. One part of the obvious answer is that some people are simply more intelligent and more industrious than others on the face of the earth. No matter what science says about our DNA, we are not all wired the same in the brain. Some people are smarter, or work harder than others. Some people were taught better financial habits by their parents. A lot of what you acheive in life relates to how hard you work and how smart you are with your money.
Another part of the obvious answer is that some people do a great job of considering all the risks they will face in life and do the right things to mitigate the losses they would incur. One way of doing this is by buying proper insurance to protect your home, auto, and health. You should have life insurance just in case something happens to you. This ensures your family will not suffer financially after you are gone from this earth.
The less obvious answer, but still very helpful advice, is that you can become an expert in your field. This should make you, and your role with the company, indispensable to your current or future employer.
The not so obvious answer to these questions is simply having a financial plan as you progress in life. Some people get up in the morning and let the day dictate what is going to happen. Your more successful acheivers plan what they will do with their life and stick to the plan they have mapped out. If they get off track somewhere, they re-evaluate what happened and get back on their plan.
Successful people will learn about investments and how to use their money to buy assets, so that they have different streams of income. Some others will hire financial profesionals to do their investing for them since they are making it faster than they can handle it.
Really successful people save as much money as possible every paycheck. They use every loophole legally allowed. They pay for professional legal and financial advice when they need it. Most millionaires drive a used car rather than new. They all live well within their financial means. They use a budget and stick to funding their business or retirement plan. Some famously wealthy people, like Warren Buffet, live far below their income level. They do not carry credit card balances each month or use a lot of credit for anything other than growing their wealth (read: buying more assets).
Successful people invest in businesses, rental real estate, or the stock market. They do not diversify their holdings, rather they focus on what they know. Often they work part time on their dream, while maintaining their full time job to pay the bills. They work extremely hard so that they have more money to invest in their business or retirement accounts. They like having multiple streams of income so that if one disappears then they are still financially solvent.
Libraries are filled with free books on how to invest, how to insure yourself, how to set up your financial plan, or how to open and run a business (Cheap plug: Books By Donnie). It is no one's fault other than your own if you do not take advantage of the material available to you.
Many employers will help you pay for your education. They might have tuition reimbursement plans, for example. Some community colleges offer free adult education courses to help you learn new skills, such as financial management.
The internet now makes it really easy to set up an online business while you continue working your day job full time.
The bottom line, and the whole point of this article, is you have to rely on yourself to earn and save as much as possible during your working years. If you plan your finances, and execute on that plan, then you can be one of the “lucky” ones who retire at a young age with money to survive on.