As we look back on our life we can only think about things we would have done differently. So here is a list of a few things that we’ve learned over the years that we think others may find value in:
- Work as many jobs as reasonably possible.
There’s a caveat here: there’s a fine balance with this. Don’t leave jobs too soon or too often, because it can reflect poorly on you and make it more difficult to achieve your dreams and get new jobs. The idea is to not get married to your job. There’s no reward for a lifetime of commitment to one company. Most companies don’t have pensions, and the retirement plans they do offer are entirely portable (usually after a vesting period). If you’ve worked at a job long enough to be able to take all your retirement savings and 401(k) stuff with you, you should probably be thinking about making a switch, either within the company (to a new position), or to a new company entirely. You’ll notice that you progress much faster in your career and in life when you don’t allow yourself to become complacent.
- While we’re on the topic, invest in your company’s retirement plan / 401(k)!!
This is the biggest thing young people seem to forget or don’t seem to understand. If a company has “5% matching” on their 401(k) plan, that means that they’ll give you 1$ for every 1$ you put towards retirement, up to 5% of your pay. So if you make $50,000 / year, the company will give you $2,500 for retirement, and all you have to do is put $2,500 aside for retirement yourself. Not contributing to a 401(k) is essentially giving away free money. Don’t neglect this. Take advantage of this early and often!! It adds up massively over time and will greatly enhance your quality of life once you’re older.
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