Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How Not to Be Rich

"The most expensive advice is free advice" -- this is actually from Robert Kiyosaki's book, Retire Young, Retire Rich. In a previous post, I mis-attributed it to Gary North. My apologies to both.

But Mr. North did say, something to the effect that most people want to be rich, their way, which I gathered to mean, the effortless, quick, exciting way. He offers several strategies (gold, opening a day care, moving to a cheaper state) but as he's likes to point out, most won't do it. It's hard. It's not a Get Rich Quick enough. So they plod along, doing the same things, wondering why they don't have more money, wishing how great it would be to be rich.

I mention it because of a post from I Will Teach You to Be Rich, who writes about Wanting to Be Rich and Being in Love with the Idea of Being Rich. He's so right. Most people just won't even do the basic things like:
  1. Pay yourself 10%
  2. Make it automatic
  3. Live under your means
  4. Pay off your credit cards every month

The oldest cliche comes to mind: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him save or invest for the long term."

Example

There's a co-worker. Let's call him Bob. He's been at the company three years when I got there. Never signed up for his 401k. After a year and half of my nagging and badgering, he finally signs up, elects 8%. After another year and half, I cannot convince him to up his contribution 1%. One measly percent. He won't see it or miss. Yet he just won't do it.

He's not ready. Or as Kiyosaki would say, he needs to change or enlarge his "context". I think most people need a catalyst. Something personal and meaningful. My worry is that be that time, it'll be too late.

I'm not rich, far from it but I feel I've got a long-term plan in place. I feel my financial ship has just left the dock, headed in the right direction. And that I will be constantly tweaking and adjusting in the years to come, depending on the winds.



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