Keys to a secure financial future - opinion

“I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ ” –Steven Wright

Calculating taxes (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Calculating taxes
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
 Time flies. It seems like just yesterday our oldest was born, and now she is turning 20. She’s doing great work in sherut leumi (national service) doing Israel advocacy and earlier this week she got her driver’s license, a sure sign of growing up and maturity. No question we are really proud of her. On the other hand certain things haven’t changed in 20 years, like the fact that she still lives at home and is financially dependent on her parents! She hates when I say that. I hope she knows that I am joking when I speak about her moving out or paying us rent.    
A few years ago I wrote, “While her birthday present will remain a surprise I must admit that I was contemplating doing what Mark Rioboli CFP at Independence Advisors, wrote about his birthday gift to his daughter. “I recently asked my daughter, “Guess what you’re getting for your birthday?” “A car? Jewelry? A new phone”, she guessed excitedly.  “Nope”, I said, “estate planning documents.”
“Seriously Dad?” she said. “Seriously”, I said. “You can’t enter adulthood without the proper documents.” Such is the life of a wealth advisor’s child.” I may be cruel but I am not that cruel.”
While we all just finished celebrating Yom Haatzmaut, (Independence Day) her milestone birthday falls out this Shabbat, the 5th day of the Hebrew month Iyar, the real day of Yom Haatzmaut. Instead of a BBQ I plan on celebrating with a huge plate of Cholent! What could be a better birthday meal than that? Her milestone birthday, driver’s license and Yom Haatzmaut share the same theme; independence. I am going to give a few keys that will help put any young adult on the path to a secure financial future. The earlier you can start good money habits the better off you will be. It’s very hard changing bad financial practices when you’ve been doing them day in and day out for 20 or 30 years.
My first tip is to keep it real. Like many of you, I spent hours working the grill for a family BBQ on Yom Haatzmaut. We are now in the midst of smoke season. That’s the two weeks between the national barbeque on Independence Day through Lag Ba’omer- national bonfire day! I have met with too many people whose financial reality is based solely on smoke and mirrors.
Don’t believe their social media posts and pictures. They appear to be living the good life, but are really loaded up with debt and have no plan to pay it off, which means it keeps on getting worse and worse for them. The earlier in life that you can start budgeting and living within a budget, the easier it will be when you get older and your expenses ramp up. 
There is a famous political saying in the US that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before. Often ideological youth enter adulthood with a certain utopian economic worldview. Add  that in Israel we have just finished up our fourth recent election season where we were exposed to numerous pledges on how the government will be there for us and take care of us. 
Don’t believe it. It’s incumbent on each and every one of us to take care of our own future. No one else will do it for you. Parents never know if the way they try and educate their children actually sinks in or not. Well I can truly say that our birthday girl has a good head on her shoulders and has a great understanding of the benefits of freedom and the government staying out of our lives. For me, that is true nachas, pride.
How to take care of your financial future? Start saving. Get into the habit of putting something into savings from the money that you earn. As I have written numerous times, the earlier you start saving the more the wonder of compound interest will help you create a secure financial future. 
In 2021, especially for a 20-year-old, everything is instant. Don’t like something - just swipe it away. Wifi a bit slow and your Google search takes four seconds, get angry that it’s sooo slow. 
The key to growing wealth is patience. You’re not going to suddenly become a millionaire. You need to realize that good financial habits are the real keys to becoming financially secure. Live within your means, save and invest, and focus on a slow and steady approach to building wealth. That’s the ticket.
I want to wish you a very happy birthday and you should merit a year of health and happiness and may the Lord fulfill all your requests, for good. 
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. 
The writer is the author of Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing.;