How to Waste Your Life (Part 2)

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Read Part 1 here.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you went totally broke today?

This is not a rhetorical question. Answer it before you read further.

What’s the very worst thing that could happen if you went dead broke today?

Think about it for ten seconds.

For most people our age, the answer is something like: “A lot would happen, but it would not totally destroy me.”

Why?

Because when you’re in your early to mid-twenties, let’s face it— being broke happens, a lot.

And we survive it, because we are still young, with few responsibilities beyond ourselves. The most that would happen is that you move back in with your parents, spend a week thinking about your life, get over it and move on.

Taking Risks

Consider the life of a guy in his thirties. He is probably married with kids or a baby-on-the-way. He has to pay for family food, rent, school fees for his kids, medical expenses for his wife and kids, clothes for his kids, PHCN (or whatever) bills, car fuel, generator fuel, little snacks his kids like, car maintenance and on and on.

Going broke at this time is a disaster.

That’s why the best time to take risks is now.

Life is never going to be easier than this. You will never have more energy than right now. For many of us, we are in the best physical shape of our lives. We don’t have arthritis, severe back pain or any of the health problems older people face.

It will never be easier than now.

The best part of being young is that we have more time on our hands than we’ll ever have. Once you get married, visiting friends becomes a luxury. Your kids fill up your time and thoughts, almost completely. Is that when you want to start your dream business?

Investing For The Future

These are the best years to accumulate compound interest on a retirement investment. The easiest way for most people to get rich is to start early. The time and money we have in our twenties is extremely valuable. Most people who are rich and comfortable in their thirties are that way because of the decisions they made in their twenties.In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson shows this better than anyone else I’ve read or listened to:

Let’s say you and your best friend are both twenty-four years old. You both […] decide [to put] away $2000 a year into an IRA, so you’ll retire at age sixty-five with over a million dollars.

Your friend starts doing it now.

You wait. You don’t get around to it this year, or next, or the next. In fact you procrastinate for the next six years.

At the beginning of year seven, you ask your friend how his IRA is doing. You are stunned when he tells you that he has finished. After investing $2000 a year for six years at 12%, he’s all set. By the age of sixty-five, the little financial ball he started rolling would have snowballed into over one million dollars, even if he never puts in another penny.

“That’s it,” you decide, it’s time for action. You start putting in your $2000 each year. How many years will it take before you’ve caught up to your friend? In other words by what age will you be able to stop investing your annual $2000 like he did? You can’t believe your eyes when you see the answer.

You’re going to have to keep investing that $2000 every single year until the age of sixty-two. Your six years of procrastination have cost you thirty-three years of investing. That’s twenty-seven more years and $54,000 dollars more invested just to arrive at the same place.

[Note from Uchendu: Naturally, I was shocked at this. So I checked out the numbers myself. They’re correct. You can do this yourself using Financial Calculator app on Android. Set compounding to “Quarterly”.]

Now think of our parents, who live in a time when the Federal Government has handed over pensions to private firms. Some of them didn’t start their pension contribution on time. When they retire, their monthly pension from such firms will be too little for them to live comfortably.

It’s not a beautiful situation.

But we can have a different future if we start now.

What Can You Do Now?

1. Tell me (in the comments) what you learnt from this and what you can use it for in the future. Also check the box marked “Check before you leave your comment to get these in your mail”

2. Think about a friend who really needs this. Copy the link from the address bar and send it directly to him or her or scroll down and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

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For speaking enquiries, send an email to uchendutalks@gmail.com with your details.

Photo courtesy Keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Comments

  1. echebi Joe says

    All you’ve done so far with this your blog is to push me to give my best or nothing in life and also not to be afraid of taking risks. I don’t know if you know this but, the five minutes I spend reading your posts teach me a lot more about life than the five years I spent in you-know-where. Thank you.

    I have started my pension contribution, yes and I got a PIN and started my contribution before I got a job. So, if you are reading this and have not started, it’s time you started too.

    • says

      I’m honoured, Joe. You’re most welcome.

      You started your pension contribution before you got a job? That’s amazing. Keep it up. The bright lights of success are moving closer to you.

    • Muhammad says

      That’s amazing.. How did you do that? Can you give me an insight? I have a job by the way, it doesn’t pay that much, but I don’t wanna wait till I start earning six digits pay. Thanks

      • Echebi Joe says

        I hope this is not coming too late.

        According to the Pension Act, An employee and employer contributes 15%of the employee’s basic salary and housing towards the employee’s Retirement Savings Account(RSA) . The employer contributes 7.5% while the employee contributes the other half. But for you to do this, the employee must open a RSA with a pension fund administrator(PFA) of his /her choice (I recommend ARM), but you are free to look for better options.
        After opening the account, you’ll be issued a unique Pension Enrollment Number (PEN) a.k.a pension Pin. You now give this pin to your employer, who in turn makes the deduction from your pay, adds its own and makes the contribution. You will get an alert whenever your employer makes a deposit.

        Apart from the Mandatory RSA, you can still make Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC).

        For more info, go to http://www.pencom.gov.ng

        Finally, like I said you don’t necessary need a job to get a PEN because technically, we are all personally employed, just walk into any PFA and start contributing. When you eventually get a job, you can give the same PEN to your employer to continue the contribution where you stopped. And yes, what if you change to a new job? Ahaa, remember your PEN is unique, just give it to your new employer and they continue contributing.

        Errmm, this is all I think I know about pension, I encourage you to research more. Goodluck.

  2. Blessed Kemka #MrBee says

    Aptly said! rightfully put!
    After Reading Part 1 and now 2!!
    I must say i find this article HELPFUL…why??? This generation needs HELP and you just served it to them on a plate. ” A word aptly spoken is like Apples of gold in silver setting” Prov 25:11. Keep TALKING bro, we are listening.

  3. valentine says

    I don’t know how you knew this but thanks for sharing.

    I must confess this is the greatest article i have seen in any blog so far.

  4. Medupin Olusegun says

    “That’s why the best time to take risks is now.”
    How I wish the wisdom to apply this knowledge at 23 was here…….but thanks all the same. The right time is now.
    Bro..please watch out for me.
    thanks for the good work

  5. Henry says

    I must say your post is inspiring. But lets all think about this. Has it occurred to anyone that a job is governments way of keeping young people out of the streets? Wouldnt you rather start living your dreams today no matter what it might be? The very first day u give this a thought, that’s the first day of ur life.

  6. Okey says

    Dear Mr. Uchendu, this must be a miracle write up. I will say its an inspiration from above.

    So many times we think in deceit that we’re up to something, only to be deluded by much-ado-about-nothing.

    Yes, the must difficult thing a young person can do is to take action. We are always in the motion side of activities, doing absolutely nothing. No action. Stay in the internet, read all the how-to-get rich-quick ebooks that are littered all over the place, yet wondered why your condition has not changed for the better. Read on how another person made 50,000USD per day posting ads on google etc.

    Naturally, you will become excited, but does it lead you anywhere? No is the answer. All these and many others are time wasting tools in the internet, which will make one think he/she is doing something. Although no time is too late, how I wished I had read this post (article) earlier like 10 years ago. I’m above 30yrs now. Still a graduate still struggling, going broke almost all the time, no savings discipline. You have provoked me to holy anger, and that is why I’m sounding like this.

    Please keep these articles coming. My email is professorgome@gmail.com

    • says

      Hi Okey,

      Thank you for your comment.

      It’s evident you’re coming from a place of regret about the state of your life.

      Changing your life is simple, but not easy. All it involves is taking the first step in the right direction and moving in that direction without ever looking back.

      Depending on what you want from your life, there are certain daily and weekly routines you should start today. It’s possible to make money on the internet, but you should understand the business of doing it.

      Study the people you want to be like. Don’t study what they are doing now, study what they did to get them there. And start copying them. With time, you’ll develop your own unique strategy.

      There’s money to be made through twitter. Brands seek to promote themselves. You can also study this.

      Remember, Linda Ikeji cried when she was 30 and broke. She didn’t know what she had in her hands. Now she makes 10 to 20 million naira per month from her blog.

      Let the anger burning in your heart push you to greatness. I await your story.

      I wish you the very best, Okey.

    • says

      Hi Afeez,

      If you’re on your phone, you can scroll to the bottom of this page and click the Facebook follow button.

      On your computer, check the sidebar on your right. At the bottom, click the Facebook follow button.

  7. ademola says

    Aptly written…motivation is not enough to get results but taking deciscive actions to change the course of our lives can do more wonders than we can imagine…

    If only we can pull the trigger of action now, this moment, today without hesitation…

    Lovely writeup..keep up the good work Uchendu.

  8. says

    With all the many luxuries and distractions we face as youths, at the end of the day, we need to plan for future because that is what will make us live a good life. A life that even the unborn generations when born will be able to make reference to us.

  9. says

    Hi Uchendu, your posts on NL finally got my attention ;)

    I love this article, very apt I must say and exactly what youths need to read. Setting aside that regular savings to invest in something productive can save you from financial frustration tomorrow. It’s surprising the things we can do to make money once we start building capital at an early age.

    The internet like everything else can be a force of both good and evil; it depends on how we choose to use it.
    Like the psalmist said, “teach us Lord to number our days, that we may apply wisdom”. I hope we apply wisdom in everything we do.

  10. Shady says

    Ok. Joe is talkin about pension contribution. What’s that? I’m not workin yet, let alone expecting pension. That’s Joe’s, how can I start mine?

  11. taiwodaniels says

    I need to start taking bold steps/actions that will compensate for my wasted years. But what I’m faced with is, I don’t know how to begin. I’m totally clueless.

  12. says

    May I simply say what a relief to find a person that really understands what they
    are discussing on the net. You definitely understand how to bring
    a problem to light and make it important. More people must check this out and understand this side of your story.

    I was surprised that you are not more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

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