It’s been a long year. We all got behind on something — lots of things!
So today is the day we’re going to catch up. We’re going to
- update our To Do List so it actually reflects what we need to do when
- clear the stack of old projects off our desk
- start investing for the future
- empty our our 5 email inboxes
- call our college friends to catch up
- hang up-to-date photos of our family
- finally start to (re)learn Spanish
The List Can Be Overwhelming
Whole books have been written on how to get things done, how to prioritize. Some of them are great — the website Develop Good Habits list 27! such books. Some of them are just another thing to put on your to do list to, well, not do.
If You Have Time for Just One Thing Today
Call a financial planner — a real financial planner. You need someone to help you align your time, your resources and your goals. This isn’t just a shameless plug. Through the miracle of compound interest, money compounds — that is money you invest today grows so that you have more money tomorrow, which in turn will earn even more money. And so on. And so on. But if you don’t start today, you’ll experience no growth tomorrow.
There’s a classic illustration of this point. It goes something like this: Suzanne invests a $1,000 per year every year from age 20 to age 30. Then she stops putting in new money, letting the existing account grow until she retires. Her sister Jasmine invests a $1,000 per year every year from age 30 to retirement. They both earn 7% per year. Suzanne will retire with more money than Jasmine, even though she only put money into her account for 10 years and Jasmine put money in for 35 years!
Many people think, “oh gosh, I’m 40 years old and I haven’t started investing for retirement yet. I’m doomed.” Noooo! That’s not the intended lesson. The lesson is to get started TODAY.
Almost everything else on your list can wait, at least a day or a month. The power of compounding means you should start now.