Let’s get to my favorite decade, the 40-somethings. This is the decade where, look, you’ve been at it for a while. You know you’re no longer in your 20s or 30s. Those are Captain Obvious statements. But here’s what you need to know: look at your GPS. Are you ahead of the curve, behind the curve, or right where you’re supposed to be? You’ll never know unless you take the opportunity to kind of look around and take a measurement.
One of the questions we get asked all the time is, ‘Okay, I hear you guys. You say I need to know if I’m ahead or behind or on the curve. How on Earth can I know where the curve is?’ We actually built a course for you that you can use. We call it the ‘Know Your Number’ course. You can go learn about it at learn.moneyguide.com. You can basically say, ‘Okay, if I want to have this standard of living and I want to make these inflation assumptions and these rate of return assumptions, and I’m going to be saving this much, this is how much I need to be able to live the life that I want to live, when I want to live it, on my terms.’ Well then, you can play with this. Okay, well what if I save a little bit more? Or do I do it faster? What if I’m not on track? How much more do I need to save to be able to do that?
So, if you’ve not spot checked yourself, if you’ve not done your GPS Test, go to learn.moneyguy.com and check out the ‘Know Your Number’ course.
This next one… this one sounds like a touchy-feely or soft type goal, and I know a lot of our audience is very analytical. But it’s very important: you gotta know your why. And here’s what I mean by this. In your 40s, this is the decade of the middle-life crisis. This is all, you know. So, a lot of people are going to realize they are behind, or some will go realize they’re ahead. But this is also, I want to challenge you, this is the decade that your kids are probably getting close to the point that they might be leaving the nest, or at least going off to college. So, I’m going to challenge you to kind of focus on what’s important, what brings you happiness, what do you truly enjoy spending money on. And then I want you to take a legacy memory challenge, where you start thinking about, ‘Hey, I know I don’t get to take this money with me, but I do get to keep my memories and thoughts of trips and other special things I’m doing with my family.’ Take an inventory, make sure you know your why, and all those things are lining up appropriately.
It’s really interesting, Brian, you mentioned kids, and we know that from Dr. Stanley’s book ‘The Millionaire Next Door,’ he talks about one of the traits of millionaires is that their adult children are financially independent. They’re not counting on them for economic outpatient care. Well, it’s really, really interesting when you think about the life cycle with which we get to spend time with our kids. We spend a lot of time with our kids in our 30s and 40s as they’re rearing or nearing adult age. Make sure that you’re setting them up well for success. Make sure you’re teaching them the things that they need to know, so that when they do leave the house, when they do get out on their own, they’re equipped to not continue to be a financial burden for you into the future.
Well, also I think, as we’re looking at this point, on knowing your whys, that hopefully you are now. You’re not just working to pay the bills, you’re working with a purpose. This way, you really are getting to allocate your resources, your time the way you want to live your life. Yeah, that’s a great segue, Brian. Are you making decisions now that will allow you to begin enjoying the fruits of your labor? Are you taking the things seriously now that you need to take seriously, so that yourself 20 years from now, 30 years from now, can still enjoy this? I think Brian, you had someone in your life who’s given you some amazing advice. I was in my mid to late 30s, and I was in a small group. It was actually I was in a small group with the pastor for my church, and he was in his mid-40s at the time, and he goes, “Guys, I gotta go and tell you, um, you know when you get in your 40s, you can’t take for granted that you can go run a quarter of a mile or half a mile or do anything physical unless you’re actively working.” And I’m now in my late 40s, so I’m well beyond this, but he was spot on as I’ve had to make a very heavy decision that I’m going to exercise, I’m going to try to eat well, because every decision you make now definitely has a physical impact on my body. And I’m trying to create a legacy not only financially but also to make sure I can experience the fruit, the memories that come with that.
So don’t just take for granted that you’re going to be healthy and everything’s gonna work out. Actually take an active role in keeping your physical health good as well. I’ve tried to think about this and really drink this in, Brian, because I know it’s not completely binary, but I try to go through this litmus test of all the decisions I make, whether it be around finances or health or anything else. Is the decision right now I’m making going to help me or harm me in the future? I’m either going to be moving towards my goals or moving further away from my goals. And you can do this exercise when it’s going out and drinking and partying on the weekends. Is that moving me towards my ultimate goals or away from it? The way that I eat, is it moving me towards my goals or away from it? The way that I make consumption decisions, is it moving me towards my goals or away from them? If you start focusing on this in your 40s, I do think that your 50 and 60-year-old self is gonna be so thankful that you began making those life streams. I would challenge you, look, if you go to counseling or anything, they’re going to talk about that inner voice that’s inside your head, that while you’re taking a shower, that’s sitting there talking to you. I know I sound crazy, but we all have it. If you’re being honest with yourself, do exactly what Beau just said, but go ahead and train that internal voice and say, “Hey, when I wake up in the morning, what small incremental decision today am I doing this go maximize not only today, but that great big deal for tomorrow?” If you can think in those incremental terms and shape your inner voice, I think you’ll be shocked at the movements you’ll have in your life.
All right, Brian, let’s talk about the millionaire math in the 40s again. Remember, the goal is, if I’m in my 40s, how do I tell if I’m on track to become a millionaire? Or if I want to keep saving, how do I add millions to that bucket? This is what’s really interesting. At age 40, if you’ve only accumulated $136,000, by 40 you have set yourself up so that $136,000 will likely turn into a million dollars by the time you get to age 65. If you want to add another million to that, start saving a thousand dollars a month at age 40. To add another million to that, at 45, the sum you will need to have accumulated by age 45 to reach a million is $224,000. And then by the end of this decade, age 49, if you want to make sure that as a 49-year-old, you’re on track to millionaire status, you need to have accumulated $322,000 by age 40. Now look, those numbers, this is the part where it seemed very easy. Obviously, for 20-somethings, it was almost like, “Look, if you just quit eating fast food and coffee, you can be on your path to a millionaire with the cost savings.” When you’re saving over a thousand dollars a month, saving and investing over a thousand, that’s a lot of money. So that’s why I would encourage you, a lot of you are coming into this and watching this content not at zero. And that’s what those numbers assume, that you’re starting at zero. But there is going to be some hybrid approach where you take where you currently are with what you’re saving, living, and you need to kind of marry those. And this is where I would encourage you in your 40s, because you go ahead and push the accelerator to save more. Or if you’re behind, you know, just make sure you’re taking inventories back to that GPS. Please check out the “Know Your Number” course to kind of accelerate and know exactly where you are in this savings process. If you want to spot check, our deliverable: Are you on track to be a millionaire? And you can actually see at every age in your 40s, 41, 42, 43, 44, how much do I need to have saved? And every year when you do your net worth statement, you can see, okay, where am I at this age? Am I on track? Am I where I need to be? And allow that to keep you accountable to keep making great financial decisions.