the seventeen year old millionaire

Jenna - jamul, California
Entered on February 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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The Seventeen Year Old Millionaire

We are on a collision course with financial disaster in this country. I believe that

if we do not start establishing good, strong saving habits, we as Americans will be in debt the rest of our lives. A survey here shows that every morning about 1/3 of this class walks in with a drink. Whether it is Starbucks, Jamba Juice or Vitamin water. On average your drink is about $3-$5. Now imagine if you buy that drink everyday you would be spending about $100-150 every month. Instead of buying a drink each day, what if you set the few dollars aside, and saved it for 40 years? You would have about $1.2 million at a 12% return! Look how easy that it is to become a millionaire! So now that you have $1.2 million without really trying to save, imagine if you actually tried saving for retirement, how much more money you would have.

Consider this: between 1946 and 1964 almost 80 million babies were born. This group of people is known as “the baby boomer generation.” As these people are nearing retirement, without adequate retirement assets, they are going to look to the government for help. Donald Trump stated in his book, Why we Want You to be Wealthy that if 80 million people take just $1,000 per month in social security benefits that equals $80 billion each month! That is on top of our already swollen federal deficit. That is the size of a Hurricane Katrina disaster every month. Where is this money going to come from?

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It’s going to fall on our shoulders. Unfortunately our generation is roughly half the size of our parent’s generation and cannot possibly support them with our tax dollars.

Many common misconceptions about saving are: “I don’t have enough money,” “how can I afford to save now when I can hardly afford to pay my bills,” and “I don’t need to save now I can wait till I’m older.”

We are on a collision course with financial disaster in this country.

Here are 3 steps to getting started. First instead of drinking away your retirement on Starbucks or Jamba juice, save that money each week. That $3-$5 per day will grow to over a million dollars! The things we spend our money on today such as starbucks, cigarettes, beer, fast food, and snacks have no value accept for the temporary enjoyment of that moment. Choosing wisely how we spend that money and considering if it’s really worth it in the end should be a priority. The old men and old women that we are going to become are going to be very disappointed in the young person that we are today if we don’t send some money down the road.

Another step is to pay yourself first. Before writing a check towards rent, school, groceries, credit cards, or a car payment, write a check towards your saving and investment plan. The simple act of paying yourself first can be the rescue line in your financial needs.

The final step is to get started now. Don’t wait. Suppose you don’t take my advice. Instead of starting to save now, you wait 20 years to get started. So you would only be saving for half of the original time. Most of you would assume that you would still end up with half a million dollars in savings. But the fact is you would end up with

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about $100,000. Waiting those 20 years to get started would cost you 90% of what you could have had.

I believe that time is your most valuable asset. Start now while you’re young when it doesn’t take much. The choice is yours, live for today or save for tomorrow.