This may seem like a weird topic for me to write about but it is super important for the well rounded person who cares about their future – RETIREMENT. It’s on my mind because I went to an informational talk about my job’s retirement benefits today, but honestly, I am obsessed with Personal Finance right now, so it’s always on my mind. I can’t get enough of learning about investments and wealth strategies that will provide security and freedom in my future. How beautiful is that concept? FREEDOM!
I’m really passionate about this topic because you wouldn’t believe how many people blow off planning for retirement (or just having good wealth habits). I believe it is not even entirely on purpose, but just a lack of knowledge. Personal finance is REALLY intimidating… all this talk about mutual funds and brokerage accounts, seems foreign to the average young adult. Someone please tell me why this is not taught as a subject in high school! It is huge tragedy! People graduate high school, get school loans which immediately put them at average $30K in debt, and are never taught proper money management so they are racking up credit card debt, and not opening retirement accounts. What a way to begin our bright futures!
If I could say anything to my 18 year old self, it would be, “PUT $100 PER PAYCHECK INTO A ROTH IRA, YOU IDIOT, AND STOP SPENDING MONEY ON STUPID CRAP!!!”
I know this is starting to sound like a rant, so I’m going to stop. But honestly, no matter your age, I want to encourage you to take a look at your personal finances. How do they look? How does your future look? Are you set up for emergencies? Do you have proper insurance coverage for all areas of life? What is your spending like? Are you over-paying for any bills? What retirement plans does your job offer? Have you signed up for any? If your job doesn’t offer retirement plans, there are still plenty of options for you.
I would encourage you to begin learning about this stuff. It is actually really easy once you get the courage to dive in. I say easy because it doesn’t have to be complicated, especially for the majority of us. The simpler you keep things the better.
There are some really great resources out there to get you started. I personally love listening to podcasts, and there is a great one called Listen Money Matters that breaks tough concepts down to the bare bones. They have really great experts on for interviews and they even have episodes where they interview millionaires and discuss their strategies (usually surprisingly simple). I would recommend them to the younger crowd if you don’t mind a few cuss words. For the readers out there, check out Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover if you are struggling with debt. I also really like The Automatic Millionaire. Mind you, these are basic personal finance tools, and you will find the more you read and research, the core concepts are the same. I have many more recommendations, so if you are interested, let me know.
So how does this tie in with a marine biology blog? Well, no matter your field, it applies to everyone and many biologists have state or federal jobs, which offer great benefits. Learn all you can about them and take full advantage. Don’t blow this off. Be kind to your future self and take care of this now. The sooner you start the better.
Best of luck,