The parents of the American baby boomers are the wealthiest generation that has ever lived. It is estimated that people over age 65 control more than 70 percent of America’s wealth.
How is that possible? Many lived through the Great Depression. They did not make huge incomes. They did not earn high interest. In fact, the interest rates varied between 1 percent and 3 percent for most of their lives. So how did they become the wealthiest generation under those circumstances? It was actually very easy.
First, they were great savers. Not investors, savers! They saved money and kept it saved. They had long-term goals for their savings. Their most important goal was to never be dependent on anyone but themselves. Ever.
Second, they had a plan. Save first, and spend only what was left over. They never bought anything they could not afford. They learned to live within their means. In contrast, we often buy things that make us feel like we wasted our money or like we did not get the value we paid for. Think about how many times you bought something and then never used it. Would you have spent that money if you had already saved it?
We must have conversations like these with our prospects and clients.
Ask whether another shirt or an expensive coffee or a bigger television is as important to them as intellectual, emotional, physical and financial independence. Ask whether they would rather save for something that they will truly appreciate. Or would they rather continue to waste their money looking for instant gratification that usually provides no satisfaction? You won’t know until you ask.