Your Best Debt Relief Solutions
What would you do with a $10,000 no-strings-attached windfall landed in your lap?
Would you do something fun, like take a well-deserved vacation? Or would you go on a long-overdue shopping spree. Perhaps you’d even speculate on a cryptocurrency…
These ideas seem like a lot of fun…
But wouldn’t it be more practical to pay off some debt? How about putting some more money into your 401(k) or buying shares in a stock you think has moonshot potential?
How do you know whether or not you’re ready for some luxury or need to keep saving first?
I’ll show you…
How Old You Are Matters Most…
According to a new survey from LendEDU, which choice from the lot above is best for you largely depends on how old you are.
The No. 1 answer (27%) was pay down debt.
Reducing debt is always a good idea, but paying off debt gets much more important the older you get.
The LendEDU numbers show 22.4% of millennials would pay down their debt. But the percentage rises for Gen Xers to baby boomers from 25.3% to 33.1%, respectively.
I don’t mean to pick on millennials, but those responses tell me that the older you get, the better you get with handling money.
The next most popular answer was to buy real estate, at 13%. This number seemed small to me…
With a record number of young adults living with the parents, I thought the answer would be much higher. There’s more to this story…
The Heavy Debt Burden
Seventy-five percent of millennials say they cannot afford to buy a house because of the double-whammy of low savings and high debt.
A whopping 76% of millennials cite their lack of home ownership as due to too much debt. The bulk of this debt is made up by auto loans, credit card debt and massive amounts of student loans.
Look, I have two millennial-aged daughters and it wasn’t that long ago I was a struggling 20-something myself…
I know what it feels like to run out of money before your next paycheck comes.
And I am sorry to tell you that the odds are very, very low a no-strings-attached $10,000 will fall from the sky and land in your lap.
Moreover, even if it did… $10,000 is not going to make you financially independent.
The Only Solution — and You Won’t Like It — Is Austerity
Spend less than you earn… It’s not always easy, but there are simple things you can do to do it.
Try to eat a brown bag lunch EVERY day. Also… NO MORE $5 lattes. On top of that… steer clear of the shopping malls and Amazon and go out less. Alcohol is expensive.
Then take all that money you’re spending and start aggressively paying off your debt and padding your savings. Because…
Forty-two percent of Americans will retire broke, and I refuse to let you be one of those Americans.
Most people in their 20s piss away their money without thinking twice about it. Heck, people in their 30s and 40s aren’t much better.
Sadly, most don’t figure it out until their 50s, when it is too late.
Why do I say this? According to a survey from GoBankingRates.com, 42% of Americans will retire with less than $10,000 in savings. And considering how expensive retirement is, you can best believe these folks will be broke very soon.
Two Simple Steps to Financial Independence
I don’t care how old you are, the TWO things you HAVE to do — no matter what — to achieve financial independence are:
- Put at least 6% of your earnings into your 401(k). Note: 6% is OK if you’re in your 20s, but you need to bump that up to 10% if you’re in your 30s and 15% if you’re 40 or older
- Put at least $100 a month into a rainy day savings fund if you’re in your 20s, $200–300 if you’re in your 30s and $500 at minimum a month if you’re over 40.
I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way you can afford to save that much money.
Get a second job or start a side hustle and be sure to live within your means.
A little belt-tightening now will mean a much more pleasurable life when you hit your retirement years.
Here’s to growing your wealth,
Chief Income Expert, Mike Burnick’s Wealth Watch