If you build it, they’ll come - opinion

The more time not getting your finances in order, the more expensive it will be down the road.

Calculating taxes (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Calculating taxes
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

“If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.” – Donald Rumsfeld

Earlier this week I was privileged to attend the dedication of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s new building. The building is stunning. A big congrats to co-founder and executive director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, and co-founder and chairman Tony Gelbart, as well as their dedicated staff and partners like the Jewish Agency, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund and the Friends of the IDF to name a few. The building is testimony to the emphasis being placed on immigration to Israel, especially by the Jerusalem Municipality led by Mayor Moshe Leon and Council members like Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. It’s amazing that since the founding of NBN they have brought over 70,000 immigrants from North America. That’s the population of the 20th largest city in Israel. That’s not even counting thousands of children born in Israel to those immigrants – incredible.

During the dedication ceremony someone quoted a line from the famous movie Field of Dreams and said, “If you build it, they will come.” Let’s not forget that the famous line actually came true just a few months ago as a Major League Baseball game was actually played in the cornfields where they built the “Field of Dreams.”

I think that ultimately the point is that if you just sit back and wait for things to happen, there is a good chance that nothing will happen. If you start taking control of your situation, have a vision and start taking the steps to achieve your goals, then good things tend to happen. Imagine the possibilities. If NBN managed to bring 70,000 immigrants without an aliyah campus, just imagine how many people will be making aliyah in the coming years now that they have so many more programming possibilities. Very exciting.

Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The concept of “If you build it, they will come” applies to personal finance as well. A few days ago I was Zooming with a young couple, and they were going on and on about the things they “need” to spend money on. I was getting a bit frustrated and decided to do a share screen and show them a compound interest calculator. 

I ASKED THEM if they have $5,000 and they said they did. Then I asked if they have the ability to save $3,000 a year and they answered in the affirmative. I then took those numbers, said they would keep adding the $3,000 for 40 years and plugged in a 7% investment return. I asked them before I hit the “calculate” button how much they think they will have in 40 years. They answered something like $300,000. I then hit the button. Due to the beauty of compounding the actual number is $715,700! Hello. Maybe it pays to forgo a purchase or an extra fancy dinner at a restaurant for the goal of having a financially secure future?

The more time not getting your finances in order, the more expensive it will be down the road. The more time you delay in getting down to business, the harder it will be to marry off your kids without taking loans. Do you want to have to move in with your children when you’re retired because you don’t have enough money? We promise that we will “get to it soon” but never do.

I can’t stress enough the importance of starting to save early on. If you wait until you are 55, you are going to have to completely change your standard of living and go cold turkey on almost any type of spending as you will need to save as much as is humanly possible. Whereas as I demonstrated with the compound interest calculator, if you get started early and put a small amount of money away annually, you should be in a great financial situation down the road. 

Think it’s impossible to save a few thousand dollars or shekels a year? Believe it or not ,most of you are saving more than that just through your Keren Hishtalmut. If you really want to get ahead of the game, in addition to your Keren Hishtalmut, set up a regular savings plan as well. Go online and play around with a compound interest calculator. Plug in a higher saving number and see for yourself what a huge difference that can make to your wealth down the road.

Find the time to get your finances in order. The sooner you do so, will mean a future that you can enjoy doing the things that truly bring you pleasure.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.