3 Lessons from the Greatest Generation

February 03, 2017

Before you get upset, thinking this is just another blog post about millennials, let’s explain. The Greatest Generation, also known as the “G.I. Generation,” are the individuals who grew up during the Great Depression, lived through World War II, and raised families in the ‘50s and ‘60s. These specific time periods were filled with a lot of uncertainty, and forced individuals to make smart financial decisions based on the ever-changing environments they lived through.

We’ve taken three timeless financial lessons from this generation to share with you, giving you the opportunity to integrate these into your day-to-day decisions.

  1. Saving is not a sprint.
    As the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.” This is especially true when it comes to saving for retirement. In ordinary circumstances, you don’t just accumulate gobs of money overnight. A truly robust retirement savings account can be comprised of years and years of small decisions to continue saving, knowing that the end result may be greater than your present reality.

    Long story short, if you’re getting close to retirement and are fearful that you haven’t saved enough, now may not be the time to increase risk on your investments. Hold strong on what you’re currently doing, and talk to your advisor about alternative options.

  2. Avoid debt.
    Much like there are good fats and bad fats (and also delicious fats), there are good and bad debts. Mortgages, for example, would be considered a good debt. Credit card debt, car loans, amongst a list of other non-necessities would be considered “bad debt.” Do yourself a favor and try your best to keep both out of your retirement.

    When it becomes time to put together a financial plan for your retirement, having to compensate for debt can be pretty tricky, regardless of whether it’s considered “good” or “bad.” The more debt you’re able to knock out before retiring, the better off you’ll be. More of your income will go towards the things you’d like to spend your retirement doing – traveling, spending time with family, even pursuing new hobbies – as opposed to paying off your pre-retirement lifestyle.

  3. Live within your means.
    In retirement, it can be difficult to know how much money to be spending. Without a bi-weekly paycheck to show you how much income you have to use, retirement plans are an essential part of ensuring you’re living within your means.

If you’re wondering whether you’re truly living within your retirement means, or need to prepare for when it’s time to retire, we’d love to help. Set up an appointment with one of our advisors today to begin the conversation!

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Adviser. Member FINRA/SIPC.