I’m So Glad I Listened to My Father’s Financial Advice
Like many fathers, my dad offered me volumes worth of advice as I was growing up. Like most sons, I followed very little of the advice my dad gave me. There was, however, one piece of advice that my dad gave me when I first started here at Fun 107, and I am so thankful that I followed it.
The year was 1995. Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" was the "it" song here at Fun 107. I was 21 years old, and I had just achieved a dream: I had landed my first full-time job in broadcasting. Among the other benefits (like 100 percent health insurance coverage, can you imagine???), full-time employees were offered a chance to participate in the company's 401K plan.
I had no idea what a 401K plan was, but my dad sure did! The authoritative voice that I had tuned out as a teenager turned to a more pleading tone when he brought up the subject.
"I'm telling you, listen to me on this one, start contributing to your 401K from day one. You will be so happy you did!" said my father.
I noticed the urgency in my father's voice. He made me promise to contribute 10 percent of what I earned. Back in those days, I didn't make very much money. I was just starting out. To be perfectly honest, I would have paid Fun 107 to let me work here. So, needless to say, I wasn't bringing home a lot of extra cash. The idea of saving 10 percent of what I was making to make some future, 65-year-old Michael Rock happy sounded like a fairy tale, but I sucked it up and did it.
My quarterly statements were a joke. My savings were measured in the hundreds for a long time, but it was only a few years before I broke the $10,000 mark. I had to admit, I was a little proud. A few years later I achieved another goal when I had saved the equivalent of one year's salary.
One thing that my dad told me was that I "wouldn't feel it" if I started saving right away. He was so right. To this day, I have never "felt" a single pain from saving for my retirement. After I became a little more financially stable, I started to increase the percentage as I got raises throughout the years. If I got a nice bump, I'd increase my savings by one or two percent. I'd end up feeling a raise, but so did my savings. It doesn't take too many moves like that before you start to see a serious change in your retirement savings.
Now that I've been in the working world for nearly 25 years, I now offer advice to new hires. I take on the same "pleading" tone that my dad did back in the day and encourage them to start saving for their 401K immediately. Don't wait. The longer you wait to start saving, the more you'll feel the pain. Do it now! I'm confident the 65-year-old version of yourself will thank you.
About First Citizens’
First Citizens' Federal Credit Union is one of the premier financial institutions in southeastern Massachusetts. Today, with over 80,000 members and assets over $750 million, First Citizens' has full-service offices in New Bedford, Raynham, Taunton, Mattapoisett, Wareham, Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis, Orleans and a lending office in Plymouth, MA. For more information, please click HERE.