Increase Your Current Income and Build Future Wealth
Retirement may be drawing near. Or perhaps it’s not even a blip on your radar yet. Either case preparation is imperative. The longer you wait to begin building assets the greater the risk you’ll have insufficient resources, materially decreasing your wellbeing.
You Don't Need Money to Build Solid Connections
One of the major factors hampering people’s ability to save for their later years is current needs: starting a business, raising children, and helping other family members among them. While overcoming such financial challenges is crucial, there is another asset equally or even more important that you can build starting today. It will not diminish your current life. In fact amassing this asset for the future pays enormous dividends today.
On turning 55, I was deeply touched by how many people took time out of their day to call, send a card, or post to Facebook. When I posted my thanks, noting:
The response was wonderful. I wrote last week about my longest standing friend Rik, who I have known for 40 years. I’m blessed to have several other friends for almost as long. At my stage of life, such long-term relationships are irreplaceable. These people knew me through the formative periods of my life and bring a perspective others cannot.
As friendships grew, we helped each other advance our careers and businesses. We invested in each other's projects. We raised our tides together.
You Control the Quality of Your Relationships
Of the factors that will determine the quality of your life as you age: health, finances, and social interaction; the last one is the only one almost solely in your control. You can live a healthy lifestyle and nonetheless have setbacks to your health. Prosperity can come and go.
Having close, enduring relationships costs you time and goodwill, but often little enough of each compared to the other demands you face. Social media makes maintaining such connections easy. AT&T’s famous slogan to “Reach out and touch someone,” that in its day cost upwards of $1 a minute, can be accomplished today almost for free. Here are suggestions for building lifelong relationships:
- Contact at least one friend per day. Ideally, in person, second best is calling. If time prohibits both of these email, text, or Facebook someone every day. Let people know you have them in mind and are grateful for their friendship. Doing this will make you happier too.
- Always remember birthdays. With an e-card service like BlueMountain.com, you can set up reminders and schedule cards to be sent in advance. Facebook is another great place to say happy birthday although its reminders aren’t as prominent as they used to be.
- Cultivate friends who live life the way you want to. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you lead a more affirming, growth-oriented life. Beware, the opposite is true as well.
- Equally important, have younger friends who hopefully will outlive you. As you age regrettably your older friends and peers may predecease you. To retain your zest for life you must stay socially connected.
Whether you retire with a comfortable nest egg or continue working, stay in robust health or face challenges, friendships will make your life incalculably richer. As well, you’ll make your friends’ lives better now and in the future.
Don’t wait. Start building connections today, right this minute. Put it at the top of your daily to-do list. Turning Shakespeare’s well know warning, “All that glisters is not gold…” on its head, there are things that gleam more brightly than this precious metal. As you accumulate years, you’ll find your most profitable investments are friendships.
How do you stay in touch with your friends?
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