Most people I’ve heard turning 26 rue the day because they’ve already “started to feel old.”
There’s a lot of funny things that start happening around this age, such as my favorite radio station in Austin plays, “Old hits from the 80’s and 90’s” which of course makes anyone feel a bit old.
However I find it odd that anyone in their 20’s can be considered “old.” Whenever I walk nothing hurts, I can still take a fall without breaking anything, I can for the most part eat whatever I want without any significant weight gain and I still have my dashingly good looks (subject to verification).
I can’t imagine the number of people in the world who would give ANYTHING they have to be back at my age. As I wrote the aforementioned sentence I instantly remembered some passages in Felix Dennis’ book How to get Rich (Felix Dennis is a very wealthy publishing mogul):
Ask me what I will give you if you could wave a magic wand and give me my youth back. The answer would be everything I own and everything I will ever own.
He then goes on to say:
If you are young and reading this then I ask you to remember just this: You are richer than anyone older than you, and far richer than those who are much older. What you choose to do with the time that stretches out before you is entirely a matter for you. But do not say you started the journey poor. If you are young, you are infinitely richer than I could ever be.
Wow….hard to express that in any better way. It’s my opinion that being “old” is a state of mind, or state of life. For example:
- Edison was 32 when he invented the light bulb and was just getting started.
- Gandhi was well into his 60’s and 70’s when his most famous works and movements were done.
- Nikola Tesla was 32 when he got his patent on the induction motor and was just getting started.
- Felix Dennis didn’t become a millionaire until he was 35 and continued building his businesses well past that.
- My dad got his pilots license at 58.
- At my age Henry Ford was still farming and running a sawmill and hadn’t even begun experimenting with gasoline engines or quadracycles.
Also at 26 I seriously doubt I have come even close to experiencing the joys/frustrations of marriage, the birth of a first child or raising a teenager. I once heard my dad tell someone half-jokingly, “When they turn 16, go find a good cardiologist.”
I remember my parents telling me that when I was born, the doctors said I couldn’t breathe correctly, so they hooked me up to an oxygen tube and tied my baby hands together with a rubber band (because I kept removing the tube). My parents said that sight was the most terrifying thing they ever saw. It’s doubtful I’ve ever experienced a fear like that…yet. I think that’s when they grey hairs get their cues for appearance.
…anyhow, up till this point in my life I’ve been concerned mainly about my own life and survival, which I think is FAR easier than worrying about others….and that part of my life has yet to begin.
As I write this entry, I realize that four years ago to this date, the eve of my 22nd birthday, I was creating this very blog as a means of tracking my financial goals.
The goals I setup then have been preserved, untouched since then:
I was still in school back then, and didn’t quite know what I wanted, but those goals were the ones I set that night. The important thing I learned from those goals is that HAVING A GOAL is the most important thing. I did not meet the first “ideal” short term goal I had of making a dependable $7,500/month just one year later, that came a little later, but I did meet the “minimum requirement” goal of being able to pay all my expenses and savings through my own businesses in the allotted time.
The “Medium Term Goals” are of more interest to me, let’s see what we’ve got:
Have at least 4 different sources of income, balanced in different industries to survive good and bad markets.
I currently make money from a full time business, this blog, royalty trust dividends and consulting. That’s exactly 4 different sources of income. I used to think making money from a million different small sources was better, not sure if I fully believe that to this day.
Accumulate somewhere near $1,000,000 in liquidable assets by age 27. This includes cash savings and stock.
What I meant by “liquidable” back then was “Not including the house or property I live in.” Technically speaking a house is an asset, but I never liked it when people figured the remaining value of their house as part of their net worth. I always thought it was a cheap way of making someone who has $15,000 in the bank look like they were worth $450,000. Anyhow, I think this goal should be pretty attainable. Of course this sharply falling economy over the next few years isn’t going to help, but it does offer (or force) the opportunity to be more creative.
Get mentioned in at least 5 of these sources by age 27: CNBC, New York Times, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Register, The Financial Times, Yahoo News, Google News, Bloomberg, BBC, Wired, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics.
This goal was completed years ago, almost promptly after it was written on this blog. I’ve also been in lots of foreign news sources since then too. It sounded like a cool goal back then, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly when you realize how easy it is to get into a newspaper or magazine.
Well, looks like it’s time to create some new and updated goals for the coming years. These might take a little more time since I’ll properly think them over, rather than just type some stuff out for the sake of having some goals. I’ve officially been alive for 9,498 days, I look forward to accomplishing more in the next 500 days than I have in all the past days combined!