An old Darwin connection tracked me down during the week. Man, did we have some laughs. In between tall stories, (let's call him Bill) reminded me of a casual conversation we had about wealth creation nearly 20 years earlier. I can’t remember it, but in the end he went with a conflicting approach from a competitor. It went a bit like this:
“The trouble with you guys is that each one tries to sell you on their solution.” he said. “The sharebroker will tell you shares are the answer. The real estate guy will tell you property is the way to go. A bank johnny told me managed funds were king”.
“So what did you think I was trying to sell you”, I asked.
“I know now you weren’t trying to sell me anything. You spoke about getting the basics right, and while that might not be very sexy and even cause some pain, it was a foundation that would work” he said.
“I went for the miracle cure instead and have been paying the price pretty much ever since”, he told me.
Sometimes the quite simple goal of having enough money to retire comfortably can get muddled up in the hurly burly of investment markets. We fantasise about timing the next property market boom or spend way too much time looking for that miracle share that we hope will double or triple in extra quick time.
I suppose we are just looking for the easy way out.
As my old footy mate found out the hard way, for most of us, there is no easy way. Success is a result of planning and hard work.
It takes discipline. It takes sacrifice. It takes time.
With retirement just around the corner, Bill now has some difficult lifestyle choices to make.
“Gritty, I wish I had made those uncomfortable choices while I could still afford it. I’m going to have to watch every penny, it will be damn sight more uncomfortable now” Bill lamented.
The good news for Bill is that it’s nowhere near as bad as he thinks, there are always things you can do to improve a situation.
But Bill’s message is a powerful one, and one that deserves repeating.
"Choosing to be occasionally uncomfortable along the journey is a much better option than being permanently uncomfortable later in life because there’s not enough money”
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