Already 59

Within in the month, I will be celebrating my 59th birthday. This seems significant to me because I began my career as an investment broker and still write and speak about financial success. Age 59 is a critical point in personal financial planning because within the year you turn 59½, you can begin withdrawing money from your IRA or 401K without a penalty.

I remember as a young man when I first started explaining to people that they couldn’t take any of their retirement funds until they were 59½, it sounded like forever to me, but as most of us are discovering, time does fly and before you know it, you have reached an age you could not have imagined when you were a teenager or young adult.

I have had great financial success in my businesses and through my books and movies. I outline this in detail in my book The Millionaire Map; however, today I feel that one of my most significant financial successes has come from becoming a millionaire in what I think of as the ordinary way.

A little over 20 years ago, I began investing in an IRA, and then when my company began offering a 401K, I participated at the same level any employee or business owner can. Today, I am pleased that these funds have built up to millionaire status. This means that anyone who works diligently, saves regularly, and invests persistently can become a millionaire if they start early and stay with it.

The fastest-growing group of millionaires in America are not entrepreneurs or corporate CEOs. They are, instead, retirement-fund millionaires who invested in tax-deferred or tax-advantaged accounts that are available to all of us. Most of us wish we had started saving and investing earlier, but that ship has already sailed. The opportunity we have before us now is to get started today and invest regularly.

I highly recommend that you invest through a payroll deduction at work or through an automatic withdrawal in your own self-directed account. In this way, your monthly contributions to your financial future are made automatically and take no thought or real discipline on your part. You will have to make a decision to stop investing instead of being forced to make a decision every month whether-or-not to stay the course.

Whether you have already passed the trigger age of 59½, or whether you are just getting started and retirement seems a million miles away, I can assure you the future will be here sooner than you think. While none of us can stop the inevitable march of time, we can make sure that our golden years will be everything we want them to be financially.

As you go through your day today, invest early, consistently, and persistently.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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