In the modern world we live in, there only seems to be one way of making money: by earning it yourself. This is primarily done by working for yourself or working for someone else and receiving a salary; however, there is another way in which you can earn money: investing.
I'm sure growing up, many of us have heard, whether from an old gentleman or young man filled with spirit, the word invest. "Invest! Invest! Invest!" they say. Although this seems like good advice, the average person does not actually invest. Why is this? Well, this is because many of us follow the predetermined course that society creates for us. That predetermined course looks something along the lines of: 1) Work hard. 2) Go to college. 3) Get a well-paying job. 4) Live happily ever after. While I do agree with parts of this plan (as I am a college student myself) I will say that this plan is somewhat vague. I guess what I am also trying to say is… well… this plan is not a reliable one.
I know, I know; this is a very pessimistic viewpoint of the world—especially since many of my readers are in the United States or the "land of opportunity." Allow me to put things into perspective for you. According to CNBC, the median household income in the United States is $56,516. While this is good money for some people, a salary of $56,516 annually is not much, especially when we think about retirement, which we will cover later. With this salary, you must cover all your basic expenses such as: housing, food, insurance, telephone, car payments, entertainment and more; the list can, honestly, grow indefinitely depending on the spending habits of a specific person.
Again, allow me to put this into perspective for you. Rent prices across the country average about $1,231 each month, which totals to $14,772 each year; this price only increases when you own a home and must cover utility costs and mortgage payments. Subtract that number from the average American salary and that leaves us with $41,744 and we still haven't even fed ourselves yet. According to a poll conducted by the Gallup, the average American household spends $173 per week on food. This totals to $8,996 per year and when subtracted from our remaining annual income, we're left with $32,748.
Great, so now we've provided a roof over our heads and fed ourselves, but NOTHING else. Oh, but wait, there's more. We still need insurance just in case something were to go wrong. According to CNBC, the average American spends $321 per month on insurance. This means that insurance costs the average American $3,852 per year. Again, subtract that from our remaining annual income and we're left with $28,896. With only three basic expenses, we've cut own annual salary down by $27,620. This still does not even include potential car payments, payments for public transportation, car insurance, entertainment, eating out or unforeseen expenses; LET ALONE, trying to save for retirement, which leads me to my next point.
To many of us, retirement seems like that one aspect of life that is so far away; it almost seems as though it will never come. This is until it does; you now are expecting to reap the benefits of working hard all your life. Well, this is more difficult to do than many people realize. According to Business Insider, the average person above the age of 75 has $11,000 in their bank account.
How are you expected to live off of this, especially with the expenses listed above? Thank goodness for the American government (not really, but kind of.) The implementation of Social Security has alleviated a large amount of stress from the average retiree by paying out monthly sums of money to recipients—sums that were saved throughout the course of working. However, despite Social Security having a good effect on people's lives, it is not going to last forever.
Time has predicted that the trust is on track to be depleted in 2034, meaning people won't have that extra income to offset retirement costs anymore. I don't know about you, but I'm only going to be 35 years old in 2034, which means I have a lot of work ahead of me. This is where investing is especially important.
By investing, you can allow your money to work for you.
This can be done in a multitude of ways. This includes: putting your money into specific funds, investing in real estate, investing in the stock market and more. For simplicity reasons, you can find more information on the different types of investments here. There's a reason why people tell you to invest; the richest 10 percent of Americans now own 84 percent of all stocks. It is never too late to start investing, although the younger you are the more benefits you'll see. By investing, you can build substantial amounts of wealth; this wealth allows you to focus more on other things in your life and allows you to be more prepared for when the big retirement day comes.