Confessions of a Rich…
By John J. Checki Jr. CFP®
Boomers used to be the largest generation in United States history that time has passed, and that’s okay with me. We are older, and if we’re lucky we have the education, experience, and seasoning to be wiser. Let’s get to the rich part, shall we?
Throughout my research and experience, movies, magazines, TV, and now Facebook, YouTube, and other media outlets, keep telling us about overnight successes. Further reading reveals a very different story. The quickest way to financial riches seems to be “start early and never stop.” Spending less than we make, while saving, investing, getting and remaining married, buying one home and staying put, and keeping and maintaining cars, health, family, and friends helps too. It also helps to work hard and smart, work long and with skill, have a goal, plan and work the plan, and get and follow good advice.
“Oh, I thought this article was going to give me the magic bullet.” Here is what history and current trends indicate: Many families with at least one million dollars of investable assets were or are business owners who have invested in their businesses and outside their businesses. Some long-term employees of major companies are lucky enough to have a pension as well as a 401k––if they saved and invested over a long career, some of them finished up with over a million dollars.
Meanwhile, school teachers in Texas, thanks to the Texas Retirement System pension, can have a lifetime of income. Many of them have also saved and invested during their careers and ended up with income and assets to support them along with health insurance. Yes, that teachers’ program is being modified. Engineers who worked in the defense industry seem to have pensions and 401ks. Some of them saved 10 to 15% percent of their gross pay, had diversified portfolios, and retired with over one million dollars, plus a pension.
What do most people do? None of the above, is the short answer. What can we do? If you are one of us who have saved and invested during your long career and it worked out, congratulations. If not, get started now saving, investing, and spending less than you make. How? Glad you asked. If you are employed and your employer has a 401k and you are eligible, participate. Contributions will be pre-tax and automatic in most plans. If you are not employed, or if you’re self-employed, you can establish an IRA. If you are over 70 (like I am), sorry we can’t make a contribution to our IRA. We have to take required minimum distributions. Still, we can spend less money than we make, save and invest. (We still do, despite being financially independent.)
What does rich or financially independent mean to you? To me, it means we have enough assets or income without having to work to support us in our current lifestyle. Oddly, many of us who still enjoy our work, will work, study, go to conferences, pay coaches, read, research, volunteer, dance, exercise, laugh, and enjoy life.
Closing advice? Spend less money than you make, save and invest. Don’t forget to enjoy each breath you take and enjoy the journey.
Securities are offered through Securities America Inc., member FINRA and SIPC, Advisor services offered through Securities America Advisors., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. John Checki, Jr. Representative. This is not a CPA Firm.
John Checki Jr. and his firm have been helping some of the nicest families in North Dallas, Richardson, Plano, and Frisco for about 30 years. They specialize in Baby Boomers Wealth Management and have a unique and complete Wealth Management Process. You can read the rest of their story on their website. (John’s proudest accomplishment is his family: Children, Grandchildren, and Wife.) They love to travel, scuba dive, take pictures, study, and attend family and church gatherings.