I often use a 40 year career as an investing time frame in my examples and I get the question “but what if I am starting later in life?!” Fair enough! Here’s a look at what starting at 40 with zero saved and debt looks like.
This post makes me a little uneasy because I worry it’s not realistic. The math works for sure. But this example paints a picture of someone who has spent the first 15 years of his career spending every dollar to his name and living in debt, then suddenly starts committing $2,000/month towards paying debt, then investing.
That is a monumental shift in mindset. The kind of behavioral change that is extremely difficult and you rarely see. Kevin has to change things up dramatically. He has to stop borrowing all money on the spot. Get rid of the car payment. Downsize his house. Drop his subscriptions. Start cooking at home. Forget the expensive trips. No more upgrades. No more luxuries. No more buying rounds at the bar. Kevin has to become frugal if he wants this to work.
AND EVEN WITH that monumental change in mindset and behavior, the math still isn’t that great. Dumping all that money into debt and investing he still doesn’t crack the million dollar mark. Even in retirement he can’t be spending $100K/year or he’ll go broke.
So if you’re reading this and you’re in Kevin’s situation, it’s time for drastic action. If you let it go another 10 years the math becomes virtually impossible. That’s not where you want to be. Get on it now.
If you’re not EXACTLY like Kevin, go check out a retirement investment calculator and enter your own numbers. I have one on my website that will give you an idea of where you’re at.
As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.