Having money is fun, but making it and keeping it is serious business. You go to work every day, and according to a Gallup poll, only about 30% of you are satisfied with your job. This means that not only do you likely not want to go to work, but you certainly don’t want to have to keep going there beyond the age of 65. That alone should be reason enough to start investing now, but in case it isn’t here are five others.
1. Focus On Your Goals
What are your goals for the future? Do you want to own a home? Do you want to make a cross country move? Maybe you want to spend your golden years traveling in an RV. If you don’t have any goals in mind yet, it’s time to make some. By having a goal in mind, it will help motivate you to continue investing and putting aside part of your paycheck every month. If possible, place a picture of what it is you want on your nightstand, desk, or even on your refrigerator (that’s my personal method of choice).
2. Save On Your Taxes
We all know that only two things are certain: death and taxes. While there’s nothing you can directly do to stave off death, there are investing methods that will keep Uncle Sam out of your pocket. For example, if you contribute the max investment in a traditional IRA account for the year ($5,500 in 2016 for anyone under 50 years old), then you subtract that amount from what you owe. In other words, if your taxable income was $45,500 for the year, now it will only be $40,000, and you’ve contributed to your retirement. ,The same is true of 401(k)s as well.
3. Plan For the Future
The future is bright and there’s no reason to assume you’ll hit a streak of bad luck, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. By investing now, you save your loved ones the potential burden of having to care for you. This could be in the form of life insurance that also carries a cash value, like Index Universal Life insurance (IUL) policy, or simply by investing enough money.
Think of it this way: at some point, you’ll likely outlive your ability to do the job you’re doing right now, especially if that job involves manual labor. So, who will have to care for you when that happens? Will you be able to continue paying your mortgage and other bills, or will someone in your family have to find a way to come up with that money? If you won’t invest for yourself, at least invest to protect your loved ones.
4. Learn Responsibility
Paying bills and learning to budget teaches us responsibility, plain and simple. If you want to go out to dinner a few times a week, but know you’ve committed to putting away $100/month in your investments, then cut back to only one or two times a week. In the end, you’ll likely not miss out on much and will be better prepared for your future.
5. Weigh Your Options
Investing will open up new opportunities for you to potentially make more money. For example, if you have a sturdy 401(k) or IUL policy and want to start a small business, you can take a loan out from those — no need to go to a bank to qualify or to ding your credit — and start your business. The only caveat is that the loan will need to be paid back (especially if you leave the job where you have your 401(k)), but it still opens up lots of options for you.