Cornerstone Blog

Set Your Financial Journey

A Letter to My 25-Year-Old Self... Don't Delay

  • October 20,2023
  • Abound Staff Authors
  • 5 Minute Read

The longer your term, the higher your return.

Dear Younger Self,

As I sit here, reflecting on the past and the choices I've made, I can't help but wish I could turn back time and have a candid conversation with you. You see, we didn't start saving for retirement until much later in life, and the consequences of that decision have been a harsh reality to face. I hope that by sharing my story, you can avoid making the same mistakes.

First and foremost, I want to emphasize the immense importance of starting to save for retirement as early as possible. I know that when you're in your twenties or thirties, retirement seems like an eternity away, and there are always pressing financial needs and desires vying for your attention. But let me be painfully honest with you about the consequences of procrastination.

1. Lost Time Cannot Be Regained

The most significant regret I carry is the time I lost. The power of compounding interest is not to be underestimated. By delaying retirement savings, I missed out on years of potential growth. I'll never be able to recapture those lost opportunities, and it has significantly impacted the size of my retirement nest egg.

2. Playing Catch-Up Is Harder Than You Think

When you start late, the burden of catching up becomes overwhelming. I found myself having to contribute a much larger percentage of my income just to have a shot at a comfortable retirement. The financial sacrifices I've had to make in the present to secure my future have been substantial.

3. Limited Flexibility and Choices

Starting late has limited my retirement options. I can't retire as early as I would have liked, and I'll likely need to continue working well into my late 60s or early 70s. This lack of flexibility has impacted my ability to pursue other interests and enjoy life to the fullest in my later years.

4. Financial Stress Lingers

The weight of financial stress still hangs over me. I worry about whether I'll have enough to cover medical expenses, maintain a comfortable lifestyle, and achieve the retirement I had envisioned. It's a constant source of anxiety that I wish I had taken more seriously when I was in your shoes.

5. Missed Opportunities for Enjoyment

Finally, I've missed out on many opportunities for enjoyment in the present. While it's important to save for the future, it's equally vital to strike a balance and savor life's experiences along the way. I wish I had found that balance earlier. I want you to understand that your future self deserves financial security and the freedom to retire on your own terms. The sacrifices you make now may seem significant, but they pale in comparison to the challenges you'll face if you delay. Start saving for retirement today, no matter how modest the contributions may be. Your future self will thank you, and you'll have the peace of mind knowing that you've done everything you can to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Please, learn from my mistakes and prioritize your financial future. I believe in your ability to make wise choices, and I hope that you'll heed this advice and build a brighter retirement for yourself.

Your Older Self


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