Fribble Tuesday, December 14, 1999

And the Beat Goes On...


When I was a recent college graduate (1970 -- ahhhhh, good times) and on my first of many career tracks, an "Old Guy" (who was about the age then that I am now), gave me some very Foolish (unsolicited) advice.

He told me that if I wanted to work the rest of my life and be dependent upon the whims of others, keep on living from paycheck to paycheck and having a good time.

If, on the other hand, I wanted to be able to live a good future life, start saving all the money I could. Invest in tax-sheltered investments where possible, but invest and leave it alone for the long term.

I started low and slow (annuities were one of the few tax-deferred back then) and IRAs came along soon thereafter. I found a future spouse that was already a saver and we continued to save and invest.

Now we have the option of working or not. Working for the pleasure of the job, not the size of the paycheck. Living by our own means -- not dependent on others.

So I will pass on the best advice I ever received: Save all you can and leave it to the magic of compounding to make your future full of options. Don't use your long-term savings to buy that car or take that cruise. Leave it alone, and your future will be so bright that you gotta wear shades.

[Looking for stocking stuffer ideas for loved ones who aren't Foolish yet? Buy 'em The Motley Fool 2000 Calendar at Foolmart,, or any finer bookstore.]

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