What is Posterity?…What Colonial Williamsburg has to do with Wealth Building

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So there we were on a humid May evening marching to the drum beats of the Continental Army. As a chaperone for my wife’s annual 5th grade trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, I had the pleasure of taking part in a program entitled, “In Defense of Our Liberty” right alongside all her excited students.

Raising our right hands, we pledged allegiance to the 13 United States of America audibly led by professional reinactors dressed in the traditional garb of soldiers in General George Washington’s army.  We then formed rank, marched, pivoted as a unit, and were instructed on basic military tactics and weapons.   Experiential learning at its finest.

To culminate the occasion, the commanding officer gave a powerful speech as we all stood at attention. His message was posterity.

The soldiers of the Continental Army endured incredible risks, hardship, fatigue, death and destruction in order to ensure freedom and independence for their children, their grandchildren, and their grandchildrens’ children in this great country.  No, they weren’t fighting for themselves.

They were fighting  for the sake of posterity….for all future generations.

What an incredibly powerful thought, people.  Surely, the difficulty of saving money and investing pales in comparison to the incredible weight borne by the soldiers of every generation that fight for this country. They fight for the sake posterity, to ensure a free and safe world for the generations that follow.

We save, invest, and build wealth for the sake of posterity, to ensure freedom and safety for the generations that follow us.

We don’t save, invest, and build wealth for ourselves alone.  We are always forward thinking, laser-focused on providing a better world for the children we raise, schools and churches we attend, and communities that bless us. Wealth generation blesses all.

What does posterity mean to you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Best,

Wes

Wealth Building Haters – 3 Ways They Try to Undermine Your Resolve

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In all walks of life, we’re going to be dealing with some sort of opposition to our goals. Why? Well, maybe it’s just life’s way of challenging us in order to make us stronger and more resolute.  You might even say that much of our growth as human beings on this earth comes from the trials that meet us every step of the way.

But, we always push harder. We always persevere.

Our path to financial independence is straight yet narrow, and as I’ve discussed in previous posts, it certainly ain’t easy! Other people we know, even family and friends, will surely question and doubt our path and our desire to be wealthy and financially free.

Mark my words, temptation to deviate from our dedicated wealth journey will be aggressive at times, and we may even find ourselves believing what doubters keep telling us.

So, I want to nip these haters in the bud once and for all. We need to address the wealth building naysayers so that we can remain determined, calm, and confident disciples of the wealth building generation. Don’t let these haters cloud your thought or hamper your conviction! So here we go:

1.) “What’s the point in having money if you don’t spend it?!”

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The mother of all naysayer comments! We’ve all heard this statement from someone close to us.  The scenario might go like this:

Your friend, Trixie: “Crazy sale at Lululemon today!”  (this is crazy because I know personally that they NEVER have sales!  But I digress…)  Let’s go grab some workout outfits!”

You: “Sounds like fun, but I already have plenty of workout gear, so I don’t really need to spend the money right now”

Trixie: “C’mon, what’s the point in having money if you don’t spend it?!”

For the love of Pete, people! Don’t give in to this nonsense! Trixie is clearly feeling guilty that she’s not strong enough to resist the  pull of the instant satisfaction that comes from binge shopping.  So she’s taking it out on you…if you shop too, she’ll feel better.  It’s just human nature. Ultimately, she knows you’re smarter for resisting the temptation and saving your money, but she doesn’t have the discipline.

“What’s the point?”, she asks. Here’s the obvious kicker – the point in having money isn’t to spend it! The point of having money is to provide financial freedom for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities!  We don’t use wealth as a means to acquire material possessions. We use wealth as a means to grow more wealth (through investment), achieve a stress free quality of existence, and then give back to mankind through charitable or generational bequests once we move on from this life!

 2.) “Quit worrying about saving and investing money now…you can just do that later in life when you’re older!”

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this statement in the past.  Unfortunately, most Americans are wired to think that it’s ok to simply wait until we are older to begin saving for retirement, or better yet, financial freedom.  Sure, we could possibly be making more income later on.  But, this is a horrible excuse.

As I’ve discussed in other articles on compound interest, procrastinating in our savings and investment plans can cost us huge dollars in the long run.  For example, let’s say you wanted to have $3 million dollars saved up when you retire at age 65 (a nice chunk of change, for sure!), and you’re 25 years old right now.  Assuming you make a 10% return per year on your money (roughly the average annual U.S. stock market return since the 1950s), you’d need to invest roughly $475 per month.

But since you feel you’ll be making more money in 10 years when you’re 35, you decide to wait until then to begin investing for retirement. You still want the same $3 million at age 65.  With only 30 years until retirement, you’d need to invest roughly $1,330 per month…almost triple the amount per month!  Will you be making triple the amount of money at 35 compared to 25? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.  Furthermore, you’re expenses will undoubtedly be much higher in your mid 30s vs. your mid 20s (kids, a mortgage, a couple cars, etc).  Don’t be the average 20-something spender (or 30-something spender!) living paycheck to paycheck.  Instead, make something of your financial future with a little discipline.

Don’t wait, start investing now!

3.) “You’re just greedy and way too obsessed with money!”

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This one is tough to stomach, but truthfully, you’re going to get hit with this often throughout your journey. It may even begin to resonate deeply within you, making you feel guilty about your desire to be fiscally prudent.  Please, please, do not feel guilty. Never apologize for financial prudence!

As long as your motives remain sound (remember: we don’t seek wealth simply to buy material possessions), there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting a high priority on your financial future.

Unfortunately, our society is plunging deeper and deeper into a “have” vs. “have not” mentality, where a growing population of “have nots” feels destitute and somehow victimized by those of us who work hard and remain financially savvy.

This is America, baby…a nation forged from the entrepreneurial spirit of capitalism and wealth-seeking behavior. Without individuals’ desire to be wealthy, we would not live in the most prosperous society in the world.  Wealth seeking behavior cultivates innovation, creates jobs, and inspires charity.

Anyone who snubs his or her nose at you for being “greedy” is just plain un-American….tell them to go fly a kite and move to France.

America is for wealth-builders, not wealth-haters.

Anyone hating on your wealth-building plans?  Let’s hear the story…

All the best,

Wes