Money isn’t everything. Money can’t buy happiness. But let’s face it: If you don’t have much money, life can be pretty miserable. If you want to achieve the retirement that you’ve been dreaming of, then you’re going to have to find a way to increase how much money that you take home, save, and accrue over the years. You don’t have to be materialistic or miserly to realize that it’s vital to increase your income and increase your net worth.
That’s easier said than done, though, which is why we’re here with some ideas.
Bulk up your resume with skills and degrees
If you’re going to grow your net worth, then you need to save money. Without decent earnings and careful saving, you won’t have any money to use in our next couple of basic strategies. But what can you do if your career is stalling?
Well, the experts at Excelsior College say, you could seek to improve your employability and earning power by pursuing a new degree. A new degree could make you more employable in your current profession, or if could help you change gears entirely. Excelsior College is known for its Excelsior Nursing program, a great example of a degree program that can open doors. Nursing can be a lucrative career, but it’s not an option unless you hold the degree that qualifies you for nursing positions. Get a degree like that, and your earning power could increase quite a bit.
A new degree isn’t the only option. You could also opt for certificate programs and professional certifications — or even just a course or personal study that adds a skill to your resume. The more you learn (and, ideally, document that learning), the more employers will want to hire you — and pay you what you deserve.
Invest what you save
The beginnings of your retirement strategy are pretty simple: You spend less than you earn, and you save the difference. But what then? If you keep saving under your mattress (or even in bank accounts), your net worth growth will be painfully slow. Inflation will be working against you, and you’ll only get what you save each year. But if you invest some of your savings, it’s a different story.
Over time, the power of compound interest can help you grow your nest egg exponentially. That’s why a dollar saved in your 20s can be worth up to 10 times more than a dollar saved in your 50s.
You’ll need a sound trading method, of course. For most people, a sensible strategy will be conservative and will emphasize buy-and-hold tactics. Index funds and blue chips, plus a lot of time, will add up to a decent return. Of course, plenty more advanced trading strategies are out there. You may decide to put some of your money into a more aggressive trading strategy. It’s up to you.
Buy your home (if it makes sense for you)
Buying a home is generally considered a smart financial move, and with good reason. You’ll be paying every month to live somewhere whether you rent or buy, and buying will ensure that your payments are at least going toward something more (your ownership of a valuable property).
Over time, this can really increase your net worth. But be careful, because it’s also possible to lose money by purchasing a house. Thanks to closing costs and other expenses, it doesn’t usually make financial sense to buy a home that you don’t plan to stay in for some time. Be smart, and always do the math to make sure that your housing situation is as good for your net worth as possible.