• Frank Font

Always Consider the Downside

This post was mainly brought about after talking to my coworker while I take him to work. Long story short, his moped engine blew up, and the location that he bought it from did not have a replacement engine and was not willing to fix it under warranty at first. So, for this week and likely next week, I will have to be taking him to and from work, which is not an issue since he gives me gas money. He told me that he once got a ticket or, most likely, his license suspended because he was street racing. That made me realize that he was street racing without thinking about what would happen if he were caught. That was a similar situation that I found myself in when I got pulled over for doing 25 over the speed limit. At the time, the only thing I thought to myself was that I would get to arrive at the house faster. I never thought that cops would be doing a speed trap on the road that I had gone past for the past two months. It never went through my mind that I would have to pay for a ticket, but that is what happened.

That leads me to say this; most people do not think of the consequences of their decisions. The only thing that most people think about is the best possible outcome and never develop a backup plan. This eventually leads to hardships that can end up ruining the rest of your life. For example, at 20 years old, you move out and rent an apartment thinking of all the new freedom you have, but it never occurred to you that you now have a new set of responsibilities: the money for rent, cost of food, and cleaning products. These do not seem to be an issue while you have enough money to pay for them, but they sure will if you end up being out of a job. That one downside that most people do not consider is retirement. When people think of retirement, they do not believe that they will only get a fraction of their income while employed, even with social security. They are thinking about all the things they will be able to do when given freedom, but they do not consider that those activities may cost money, money that they do not have. Most people do not think that they will no longer have the strength or energy to do what they were doing 20 years ago as they age. My coworker is almost 50 years old, he does not have a stable living situation, and he has knee problems and must work in a job that requires him to walk 10 miles each day. Do you believe that he once thought to himself, man, by the time I am 50, I will have a degrading body and be forced to work for 15 more years until I can retire? Hell no, he probably never thought about that; he was thinking of the amount of fun he was having with the money he did earn when he was in his 20s or 30s. If he had just thought about investing 1000 dollars each year over the time he worked, he would have been able to retire at least ten years before the retirement age if you considered the amount he would have in the account with an 8 percent return rate over 35 years. That is something that I believe I need to do better with my trading plan and what others should do in my own life.

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