This is the question my wife and I have been saying quite a bit lately. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I could have, should have. If only….When it comes to financial planning and early financial independence, you do need to act sooner rather than later. You are thrown into the working world after high school or college, trying to make a living. You’re excited to receive that full-time pay check. Why would I think about saving or investing?
What you do with your pay check is important and what you do with any leftover money you have is important as well. Knowing what I know now, I would have done the same thing I did when I first started working. I maximized my 401K since my first full-time job. 25 years later, I’m so glad that I did it. The growth I’ve had plus the employer contributions and pre-tax incentives make it worth while. I’ve heard comments like why would I want to put away money now and not be able to touch it until I’m in my 60’s. My defense is that once you get older, you’re not going to want to work the rest of your life. Plus, you can access your retirement with or without penalty. You just need to know the restrictions. For example, withdrawing from your IRA early, the early withdraw penalty can be waived if you’re going to use it for higher education.
There are things I wish I did sooner though. I wish I had gotten into real estate investing sooner. I wrote about my real estate investing experience here. I didn’t know much about real estate even when I purchased my first condo. I didn’t know the potential real estate has when it comes to investments, appreciation, rental income, and capital gains.
I wish I had started a blog earlier. I’m grateful that I was able to at least start this one. Building websites is much easier than when I learned HTML in college. If there’s anything you want to share with the world and you have a passion for, why not create one? I told myself, there’s a lot of blogs out there that already talk about financial independence, saving money, and investing money. Why would anyone read mine? My answer is you never know who you’re going to connect with and how much of an impact you might have on someone. Why not?
I’m sure after I publish this post I’ll think of another thing I wish I did, but the last thing I wish I did sooner was to stay updated on the latest news. Not just financial news but all the news. Every event around the world could have a significant impact on your investments. If there was an issue with oil drilling, oil companies could be impacted. If there was a travel restriction, airline companies could be impacted. Keeping up with what is going on globally is something I wish I had started earlier. That way I could have kept a closer eye on my investments. I wrote about how often I check on my financials and this includes keeping up with the news.
Don’t catch yourself asking why didn’t I do it sooner. When it comes to investments, no one can predict whether a decision you make today is good for tomorrow. What I can say is learn from those who’ve been through it. Learn from those who are doing it. Learn from those who know more than you. Make your financial decisions based on the knowledge you gained. This is just one small step towards your financial independence. If you are interested in following my journey, email subscribe to get alerts of latest posts or follow me on Facebook.