It’s an interesting question and one that triggered a few responses to a blog site I run when I wrote this article in 2012. I’ve repeated sections of the blog here as it is worth reminding readers about the statistics.
Several years ago, a class of teenagers with dreams and aspirations for their futures became part of a study group where they participated in a lifetime study. This is the basis for the statistics stated below supplied by Harvard University.
The students selected were from similar backgrounds. They did not come from privileged backgrounds or have above average incomes or above average intelligence. They were ordinary teenagers who went on to live their adult lives.
The results of the study are very interesting as of 100 pupils coming up to their 65th birthday – the then retirement age – the statistics were;-
38 were dead
62 were still alive. Of those 62 still alive
38 were financially broke
16 still needed to work just to survive
7 had retired and had a liveable income in their retirement years
1 was wealthy
Only 8 achieved financial independence and only 1 was wealthy out of 100 participants of the study.
This study raised a lot of questions for me such as why did only 8% achieve financial independence, when during this period people tended to work with the same employer for most of their lives and retire with a golden handshake and pension for life. The other question is why did only 1% become wealthy.
It is very rare that wealth just happens. You have to plan for it.
I was in my teens when I became fascinated with wealth and lifestyle. I studied wealthy people, what they were doing and how. I worked in the Inland Revenue and Banking so had an understanding of money but it wasn’t until I was 39 years old that I realised the reason I didn’t become wealthy was because there was no plan.
I created a plan and some action steps and retired by the age of 43 wealthy enough to never have to work again.
There is still a stigma in society that people shouldn’t talk about money, should be seen to be wealthy and as a consequence very few people actually put a plan together and action steps to ensure their wealth and dream lifestyle are achieved.
Since the Great Recession of 2008-2014 the world’s governments have been slowly passing the responsibility to the general public to provide for their own futures. They have amended work pension schemes and entitlements to state pensions while failing to provide the education for people to be able to make their own informed decisions.
Amendments to legislation for IFA’s have seen a big hole develop in the market where IFA’s have to receive payment from the customer so the IFA is no longer tied to specific products. This means the IFA or even the banks, who used to provide advise are looking for clients who have a substantial amount to invest. The person with £1000 or £5000 with no financial education are suddenly left with no support, no education and no understanding of how to provide for their futures.
Karen Newton International was created to fulfil that role of educating clients, who have little or no financial education and little or no money and teach them how to understand the markets and how to think about providing for their futures.
Rob Kiyosaki author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books came up with a fantastic description which easily explains the difference between assets and liabilities. An Asset is something that puts money in your pocket. A Liability is something which takes money out of your pocket. A very simple yet effective way of understanding Assets and Liabilities.
Once you start acquiring income producing assets then money flows in on a regular basis and provides an income for the life of the asset or as long as you hold it. The more assets you acquire the wealthier you become.
Lack of Confidence or Desire to Prepare for Retirement often Expecting the Government to Provide for the Future.
Governments have lulled people into a sense of false security by repeatedly stating part of the taxes you pay are for your retirement so you receive a pension at retirement age. Sadly, all models the government come up with for setting the taxes aside either don’t eventuate or do not provide the returns needed to sustain a pension fund.
As each new government realises there is lack of funding for the ever increasing, older population, the panic sets in and they start tinkering around reducing the level of payment and increasing the retirement age.
All the while taxpayers believe they have contributed enough to a pot to receive a good pension when in reality there is only a very basic pension which often doesn’t even cover property taxes, utilities, food or clothing let alone provide for the lifestyle retirees were expecting
The best time to start preparing for your pension is at the youngest possible age. Parents who realise this often start savings plans for their kids which can be contributed to when the kid becomes an adult. Adults immediately they start work should be thinking of setting aside a percentage of their income, around 10% if possible, to ensure they have a fund for life’s emergencies, redundancies and retirement. The only person who will look after you in your old age is you. The sooner you prepare for it the better.
Investing is very simple. Learning to invest is very simple. People make it seem complicated so you will buy their products and services. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to succeed at investing. All you need is a plan to become wealthy, education so you know what you like or don’t like and an action plan to get you there. Don’t let other people rob you of your faith and ability to become a very successful investor and live the lifestyle of your dreams.