In keeping with this week's them of saving, today's throwback is a newsletter Nancy wrote in the first part of 2005. Her message: time makes a difference -- both for pop culture and in the size of your savings. You may not be able to stop time -- and I think Cher has taught us all that we can't turn it back -- but we can develop good financial habits today that will make it less likely for us to look back in regret at the years we spent spending rather than saving.
Not to say that you should be all thrift and no thrill. Everyone will have something to look back on and wish they'd done differently: saving more earlier, getting to know your parents better, staying in touch with friends, dedicating more time to family... There's going to be something to regret. But, taking the time NOW to really look at where you are and what is important to you will likely help you narrow that future list of regrets.
While we're on the topic, let's all take a moment to remember to think before we tweet. One less minefield of regret to dodge.
Enjoy today's throwback!
I grew up watching American Bandstand on television on Saturday mornings. I loved hearing the latest music, seeing the up and coming hot acts, and watching all those teenagers wiggle to the beat. My Baptist parents frowned on such activity. They saw dancing as a dangerous thing. Maybe, that's why I liked it so much!
One of my favorite parts of the show came when they let some of the audience members rate new records. "Ummm... I'd give it an 85. It has a good beat, and you can dance to it."
Of course, what would American Bandstand be without the ever youthful Mr. Dick Clark? Always smiling. Always handsome. Always fun. He was an icon of my youth, the parental figure who acted nothing like my stern parents.
Imagine my surprise to learn of his stroke. In 2005, the New Year's Eve Ball in New York City will be dropped without him. How could it be? Suddenly, my image of him is replaced by a frail and aging gentleman, and I realize that, despite our best efforts, youth is a fleeting thing. Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me it isn't so!
The baby boom generation is made up of over 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964. Over 24 million of these are already over the age of 50. In the year 2030 (note that's only 25 years from now), these boomers will be aged 66 to 84 years and will make up 20% of our total population.
Despite our best efforts, we all get older and face the same challenges. How do we insure a decent retirement? How do we protect ourselves in old age against ever rising medical costs? How do we make sure we have enough to make our last days comfortable?
First, we must recognize that the days of our youth are over. It's time to get serious. Evaluate your current situation. Pull together all the pieces you've accumulated... employer plans, IRAs, regular savings, etc. Look at projections for what you will need as you age. Take a hard look at current debt and how this impedes your progress. Develop a plan to reach your goals. Then, resolve to stick with it.
While the time to get serious about saving is while we are young, for most of us, the reality is that this "reality" doesn't hit until mid-life. Don't let another year slip by. Dance, while you still can!
--Nancy's New Perspectives Newsletter, Volume 40, January, February 2005
"The difference in 30 years--- Then: Acid Rock. Now: Acid Reflux."