I don’t normally write about the finance books that I read, but George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” has some really sound financial principles that I want to pass along. It’s a tiny little book, only 140 pages and since it’s older you should be able to pick it up at your library or on Paperback swap if you want to read it yourself.
“The Richest Man in Babylon” is the story of Arkad, a man who started out as a simple peasant and has now become extremely wealthy. From his castle the king of Babylon sees the poor in his country continue to suffer as they mismanage their resources. He asks Arkad to teach the citizens the secrets to achieving financial security.
The lessons Arkad teaches them he calls the “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse”. While they are not revolutionary, their simplicity makes them very valuable information.
Cure # 6: Insure a Future Income (A Frugal Chick’s Translation: Don’t Plan on Winning the Lottery for Retirement)
Almost 40% of Americans are not saving for retirement. So unless a generous rich uncle passes away or a winning lottery ticket is purchased, rough times could be ahead for many Americans.
Arkad believes in saving for the future. “He (any man) should plan certain investments or provisions that may endure safely for many years, yet will be available when the time arrives which he has so wisely anticipated.” In economic times where some people are barely scraping by, saving for retirement seems impossible. But it is vitally important to begin saving ANYTHING soon. And the younger, the better.
Many companies have a 401k program (or an equivalent) where they will match contributions you make. That’s FREE money regardless of the stock market performance! Try as hard as you can to take advantage of that money- after all, they are just giving it away.
For more info on saving for retirement, check out this post from The Simple Dollar.