The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you. If you’re in NYC, reserve your spot for the Pit Stop on June 8.
It’s crazy that I have to text my kids to get their attention. But that’s probably not my fault. Every new generation creates its own culture, style, taste and “the new normal” from the previous ones. We call that a generation gap.
Technology helps to bridge the gap. But it comes with a lot of rules! What it is and how to use it, whether you have the right tool, or whether you have the right tool but just don’t know how to use it. That’s the one my kids accuse me of – “You don’t know what you’re doing!” That’s probably because I always face time them at the wrong time! But hey, I’m no technology expert, so I’m inclined to agree with them (lol).
One other really large gap between generations in my opinion, is money. And yes, I am an expert in that, though despite my credentials and expertise, my kids are still mysteriously cautious of my advice. Because money is first and foremost a family issue, they forget the expert part and focus on the mom aspect. But in my book, money is way up there with faith, air, food and water.
It drives me crazy that the market crash did more damage than good to people’s attitudes about money. Mostly because it created so many emotional negatives around money for our young people. Whatever happened to Newton’s law of gravity? What goes up must come down.
That’s a good thing because the market is like real estate – buy low, sell high. That’s how many make millions, right? Buy low, sell high. Young people have lots of time to do exactly that.
The problem is that the market just happened to be down when a lot of people needed that money. Particularly the older people. For them, buy low sell high is great too – as long as all of the eggs aren’t in one basket. That’s called diversification. So, the time to diversify is actually before the market goes down. Get some of that into protected asset classes…
Exposure to the down market and watching parents reel from the economic crises put a damper on things for our millennials. So much so, that the millennials are better savers than their parents and previous generations. The young people are avoiding that mistake but the effects of taxes and inflation over time can also effect savings.
So savings is just one mistake to avoid. The people who got hurt the most had a different problem, in my opinion.
The thing is that in this great country of ours most people don’t plan for the long-term. 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 33% believe in college for their children but don’t save for it. Heck, lots of people don’t budget when they can use a credit card to cover expenses (just dig a deeper hole). If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it on credit. But I’m not here to judge, only to offer whatever help I can.
The thing that made your parents crazy is that they didn’t have a good withdrawal plan. After decades of putting money in… there was no thought for the “end of the day”. You know, like when it was needed, how to take it out, how much, what that money would cover…Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy.
My whole aim in life is to get my money back! I want to put money into things that will pay me back – eventually… in the long run. To do that, long-term vision and planning is needed. That’s why I do what I do… to ease the future pain. My kids will never know how many bullets I dodged, because of all of the problems they didn’t have.
So while I’m learning to use technology – ya know, learning what right tool is, what it does and how to use it – I’m encouraging young people to think beyond saving money. Because money is a great tool when you save some, buy low sell high, diversify and get it into protected asset classes. I love this message so much, I’ll text it to you and you can face time me back for more information.