Living Under a Bridge

Heather Kobler


For years, I have said that they should stop teaching geography and start teaching young people how to prepare for a meaningful, productive life. Understanding as early as possible about the importance of getting a good education so that you build a good foundation that will sustain you throughout your life.

Without proper planning, you may already be laying the ground work so that you can live under a bridge, but I don’t think you’re going to like it. There are books being written on “How to retire happy”, but these books assume that you’ve already done everything right to retire happy and be financially stable.

If your parents have a home and you think you’d be happy living there for the rest of your life that could be a plan. But most of the people I have known throughout my life prefer their own space with as much privacy, peace and tranquility as they can manage.

Unless you start saving money as soon as you start working, the quality of your later life will be in real jeopardy in your retirement. I believe the only reason we work, is to be able to play. But what you consider play, and how much you spend on play may determine how the end of your life plays out.

If you plan on being single all your life, you’ve got your work cut out for you because you need to make a better than average living to afford retirement on a comfortable scale. If you marry and have a family, it’s imperative that you plan for college tuition as well as retirement. And that assumes you don’t have any BUMPS!  Life can sometimes feel like being on a roller coaster.

Buying a home early in life that will be paid for before retirement is one of the best ways to invest in your future. At retirement, when your income goes down, you will be free of a mortgage and only have to pay upkeep and taxes. If a couple is always fighting over spending money or being in debt, it can end a marriage. If you have established priorities and discuss all purchases BEFORE buying anything, you will make much better decisions together.

Establishing ground rules early is important. Many couples use credit cards to buy things they could save up for, and the consequence is high credit card balances with 28% interest attached. Being in debt is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a couple. A short term sacrifice for a long term goal makes complete sense.

So much of our lives are based on good fortune. Keeping your job, not having a serious illness, not having an accident, staying married instead of divorcing which most couples never recover from either financially or emotionally.

There has to be a strong foundation for everything you try to build.  Whether you’re building a skyscraper or a relationship with someone, it’s the foundation that is the most important. Choosing someone who has the same value system you do is a good place to start. Rushing into things without having a strong enough foundation to sustain you throughout their lives is not a mistake you would want to make.

Who wants to live under a bridge? Not me.

Posted under: Heather

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