Always Look Forward, Never BackTake everything that you've done in the past – including your inaction – and throw it out the window. It didn't help you in the past, and it won’t help you now. Instead, focus on the future that you want to create. One of my favorite quotes is from Dan Sullivan who says, Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past. Once you have a good handle on that, it becomes easier to set the financial goals that will enable that future to happen. And once you set the goals, you can establish an action plan. That plan should focus on what you are going to do, and you're not going to ruminate on the past. Reaching any level of financial independence requires a commitment to the future, and to the processes that will get you there. Once you've got that set your mind, you can work on a plan for how to make it happen. Let’s talk about that plan.
Join Your Employer Retirement Plan and Max Out Your ContributionsFor most people, the easiest way to invest by far is through an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Participating in one gives you the advantages of:
- Automatic contributions, payroll deducted so you won't even know it's happening
- Automatic investing in pre-determined asset allocations
- Professional management – you don't have to do the work
- Tax deductibility of contributions, and the ability to ignore the tax consequences of your investment activity
- The possibility of an employer matching contribution, if they provide one.