Baby Boomers have entered the latter phase of their life. They now bring a significant amount of experience and perspective on many areas of life, including money. If you had the opportunity to sit down with a Boomer and get their financial advice, it would probably sound something like this:
- Start early. Every aspect of your financial health will be better if you start now rather than later. Want to avoid a lifetime of throwing away money? Start paying off debt now. Want to take advantage of compound interest? Start saving money now. Want to take advantage of the upticks in the stock market? Start investing now. In all areas, start now.
- Get rid of debt. It is one of the great hindrances to your ability to manage your money for God’s purposes. Debt is a generosity killer. Debt makes your financial picture a burden instead of a blessing. Get rid of it.
- Be consistent. Planned consistency is one of the keys to a financially healthy future. Be consistent with paying down debt, saving, and investing for the future. Even if you are only able to do a little at a time, create habitual patterns for taking care of your money.
- Hold on. Especially if you are investing in the stock market. Boomer have been through Black Monday, the dotcom crash, the post-9/11 crash, and the 2008 crash, to name a few. And in the long-haul, their money grew. Certainly, there are tragic stories of individuals experiencing these crashes right before they needed to retire. But as a general rule of thumb, stay consistent and hold on.
- It will be here before you know it. Life is fast. With every blink of an eye, it seems we arrive at another milestone. It was not too long ago when Boomers were in your shoes, with seemingly years upon years ahead of them. But now they are retired or quickly approaching retirement. And there is no turning back. For better or worse, they are living with their financial decisions of the past. In the blink of an eye, you will too.
- It is just stuff. All generations have their strengths and weaknesses. One of the Boomers’ weaknesses was materialism. Obtaining possessions drove many Boomers. But I have heard a different story from Boomers lately. Many have gained a new perspective on possessions. They are downsizing their lifestyle. They are realizing it is just stuff, and God has a greater, more exciting purpose for their resources. They are searching for eternal investments, and, in the process, finding greater satisfaction than any car or house could ever bring them. And you don’t need to wait any longer to discover the same thing.