“If you save money in the bank as you’re buying into the sure risk of inflation, If you only rely on your savings for retirement, you’re risking everything on the assumption that things will go to plan.
As you grow older and emerging to your 50’s, two dominant fears rule the next phase, sit back and enjoy all what you have earned over the years or settle into that long term dream of fulfilment
Fact of life is; it doesn’t always work out as planned and here is where these question has propped up; Can I still make any impact at 50’, Is it possible to build wealth at this stage of one’s life, having walked through the thin line of middle-class income status, of salaries, short term jobs in the midst of skilled and non-skilled jobs.
Well, here is a poser; Most of the richest people in the world came from working and middle-class backgrounds. Only in some places where inherited wealth dominated, like some parts of Europe, America or even in East Africa.
Here are some classic examples providing answers to your question;
This man was a UPS driver for years. He made a maximum of $14,000-$15,000 a year:
Theodore Johnson died with $70million after a friend told him about investing, which is why he got into it.
Yes, you read that right. $70million. Now sure, when he started investing, 14k-15k a year was worth 50k-75k in today’s money.
Yet it still wasn’t a huge salary. So, how did he manage it? Well, he invested very smart, long-term.
He wanted to make a difference when he died, so he gave it to charity.
He isn’t alone. This man was a janitor called Ronald Read who accumulated $8million:
You might think these are one-offs. However, stats show that 14% of the world’s millionaires are teachers, and about 50% are middle-income professionals.
The reason is simple. Income doesn’t always rise exponentially with time. Wealth can.
Buffett was once asked why he was so rich. He said three reasons:
Being born in America at the time he was, which gave him business opportunities.
Good genes. So, he has lived a long, healthy life.
Compounded returns, which have been aided by those compounded returns.
He didn’t make his first billion until he was about 55. Now he has $100 billion.
He would have had more if he hadn’t given so much to charities since the mid-2000s when he started to donate to the Gates Foundation.
Same with many of these people above. Plenty of them probably only had $1m at say 60, but the extra time allowed them to accumulate more.
So, leveraging time is one way to get wealthy, although not the only way.
Another way is to leverage tax advantages you might have, for example, if you become an expat.
As a final comment, I will speak about risk, as it is the most misunderstood subject.
Do you assume that you are playing it safe with money in the bank?
You are fooling yourself and here is exactly why:
1. If you save money in the bank as you’re buying into the sure risk of inflation.
2. If you only rely on your savings for retirement, you’re risking everything on the assumption that things will go to plan.
But life doesn’t always go to plan. Some sort of risk is inevitable, it’s everywhere.
It is far better to:
Put your eggs in numerous baskets and not just the bank or property
Pick the risks you will take. It gives you more control.