As the generation who popularized the phrases YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), millennials have earned something of a reputation for impulsivity. How do you square this emphasis on immediate gratification with the slower business of planning for your financial future – a tomorrow that may be decades in the offing?
We loved this answer by Huffington Post contributor and retirement coach Jacob Gold. The smartest approach isn’t to fight the YOLO / FOMO mentality but channel it to your advantage. Here’s how Gold puts it:
What young generations do not realize is that their youth is their most valuable attribute for retirement planning…
It helps to picture your future self – not just how you may look physically, but what you do with your time, where you live, how you vacation and your income. This can help crystalize your retirement vision and give you motivation to start planning today.
Gold’s article offers millennials 3 solid directives: 1) pay your future first, 2) stop spending money you don’t actually have, and 3) build a cash cushion in case of emergencies. Heed these concise rules as a young adult, and you’ll set yourself up for a worry-free future – all while thoroughly enjoying life day-by-day now.
We think the smartest approach for millennials and money boils down to automaticity. Get used to living on less than you earn; it’s much easier to get used to that than tighten your belt uncomfortably later. Streamline your bills with online bill-pay to build a good credit history. Set up automated saving and investing plans that do all the work for you. You may even stop noticing you’re saving – until you see that money adding up in your investment account, that is.
It’s a great feeling to know you’re taking care of your future now. Millennials aren’t invincible, but having the power of youth and time on your side is tremendous. Use it to your maximum advantage.