12 Things I Learned By 42 That I Wish I Knew At 22

by Ron Haynes

My, how time flies. Seems just like yesterday that I was a 12 year old kid, going for long bike rides in Sherwood Forrest, the subdivision just around the corner from where I lived. Playing with William, Edward, and my little brother, climbing in the tree house, looking forward to Brent coming over to visit. Those were all good times and my only dread was finding out that we were having liver for supper.

By the time I was 22, I knew who I wanted to marry, was in the process of quitting college, going into debt, and thought that I would be a millionaire by the time I was 30 because I was so smart. Hey, it might take me until 35, but that was the top end. In reality, I was quite ignorant.

If I could go back in time, here are a few items I would tell my 22 year old self.

1. Stay in school. Don’t quit. Sure you’re bored now, but wait until you’re in a dead end job that you can’t stand but you’re afraid to lose. Getting finished with your degree will open up many more opportunities than you realize. I always wanted to go to law school, but without that sheepskin, I didn’t have a chance of even being considered. The lesson learned here is finish what you start by throwing yourself into it fully. Treat your college experience as if it were a job. Arrive on time, do your homework, study, and treat your learning process as if you were at a real job.

2. Money doesn’t spoil, it keeps. Start investing early. How much stuff do you have to show for the money you made in high school and college? If I had invested half of what I made during those years in a plain old, broad based mutual fund, I would have well over $192,000 with no other investments made since then. I’m still kicking myself. Invest early.

Start your FREE search for over 500,000 pre-foreclosure and foreclosure homes at ReatlyTrac.

3. Don’t buy the first house you look at. Buy the cheapest house in the nicest neighborhood. No, I didn’t actually do this, but it was close. We were so excited to be approved for a mortgage, having just come out of Consumer Credit Counseling Services that we jumped at the first house we found that met our minimum requirements. I still love that house today, but I wish we had gotten a better inspection, had looked into building, or had found a way to buy a house that was closer to work and school. The lesson learned, don’t be desperate with a large purchase.

4. Establish the habit of living within a budget. Could anything be more important to insure you are living below your means? I tried on several occasions but I was never as faithful to this ideal as I should have been. Today, I make a salary high enough that a budget is a “yeah, we really ought to do that” kind of thing. My goal is to get that done. If I could do it over I would get myself in this habit at the earliest possible age. The lesson learned: budgeting is a freeing process, not a limiting one. If I had lived on a budget, I could have circumvented many painful events.

5. Learn how to negotiate a better deal on everything. Having read several books on negotiation just a little too late, I’ve recognized how I was duped by many people, mostly used car sales people. I wrote a review on Secrets of Power Negotiating that you can read here. Learning these skills would have saved me thousands. The lesson learned: prepare by educating yourself and always be willing to walk away.

cuStudentLoans - 468x60 Blue

6. Keep your medical insurance in force at all times. Several years ago, I quit one job and took another that didn’t offer medical insurance until you had been there for 90 days. You guessed it, my wife had to have emergency surgery at 89 days. True story. 89 days. Do you think the insurance company cared? I’ll let you guess. Thankfully, we were at St. Vincent’s Hospital and they had mercy on us. The business manager told me (after looking over my financial situation) that someone paid our bill. I still get choked up thinking about it all these years later. It took us years to pay off the doctor and anesthesia bills, though. If I had just kept my coverage in effect for a little while longer. The obvious lesson: keep that insurance in effect. It is cheaper than the medical bills.

7. It’s quality of time at work, but quantity of time at home that matters. Your boss really doesn’t care whether you have a family or not. Trust me. Unless you work for family members who DO understand that you need to pick the kids up early, or that you DO need to spend some time with your spouse, you are just a replaceable cog in the machine. When people are trying to grow a business, your need for personal time is secondary, so is the quality of your marital and family relationships. Just remember that when you’re old, sitting in a chair at the nursing home with a blanket on your lap and eating mush, you won’t regret that you didn’t get to spend more time at the office. The lesson learned: family will be there after the job is long gone. Value and treasure them.

8. Don’t listen to those who think there is a shortcut to wealth. NEW FLASH: there is no shortcut. Might as well get that out of your 22 year old head right now. Wealth is created when you provide something interesting, unique and valuable to people who demand it. Until then, you will be trading hours for dollars and you’ll always think you’re underpaid. “Find a need and fill it” is the old mantra and it is still quoted because it’s true. In today’s world it should read “Create a need that only you can fill.” Then you’ll be on your way to wealth. The lesson learned: figure out where there are unmet needs and figure out a way to fill those needs.

8a. Stay far, far away from any Multi Level Marketing “business” that requires you to sponsor new distributors. They are all scams. You are not “CEO of your own distribution network”–you are a commission-based salesperson relying on the liquidation of your social capital (i.e. alienating your friends and family) to make any money at all…and 99.5% of people in MLM’s lose money, as has been shown again and again in numerous studies. The only profit you can ever make is by turning what would be called “customers” into “distributors” and then taking the money from the 99.995% that lose money in the organization and giving it to the 0.005% at the top (the people who started the whole “business” in the first place). Stay away!

Start your Scottrade portfolio today and get your investment plan in gear!

9. Make sure your spouse’s values line up with your own. This one step can single handedly determine your level of happiness more than just about any other. Scary isn’t it? If everything seems so right, yet he or she thinks credit should be used at will (and you don’t) or thinks that home schooled kids are strange (and you want your children to be home schooled), you are setting yourself up for heartbreak. Work these things out before you say “I do.” They say love is grand . . . and divorce is 50 grand. The lesson learned: talk to your spouse or potential spouse about what is important to you and the values you think should be taught to your children, even if you don’t plan on having children.

10. Learn how to network. Learn to stay in touch with old friends from high school and college. Learn the skill of asking for help without seeming to be asking for help. Watch how others network. Remember it’s not what you know, it’s not even who you know, it’s how you USE what you know and who you know. One step further, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows YOU. Get in the practice of networking without expecting anything in return. Make sure you don’t come across as a brown nosing leech who is always trying to get an angle, but stay in touch with people. You never know who you may be able to help. The lesson learned: stay in touch and make sure you come across as helpful rather than helpless.

11. Never accept a job just because the pay is higher. Life is more than money. There’s a reason they’re offering you more. Yes it may be that you’re the most qualified. It may be that you have the most experience and the most education. It may be that no one can stand to work for that particular department head and a high salary is the only way to fill the position. Always ask where the person who last held the position is working now. Ask to speak with them, but always do it away from the office. People will give you more information outside of the office than inside. Inside the office, they’re committing treason, outside, hey – they’re just chatting with a friend. The lesson learned: Get the full scoop before jumping out of a frying pan into the fire.

12. Trust, but verify. You can’t believe everything you hear, read, or were taught as a kid. You should always check references, ask probing questions, search out answers, and find ways to learn more about what you’re being told. This is a catch all but it is important. The world is full of schemers who are just waiting to take you for a ride. Don’t become cynical, but verify everything you can. The lesson learned: make sure you know who it is you’re dealing with and what their motives may be.

Learn who you are and what motivates you. Learn what motivates your spouse and children. Learn what motivates your friends. Learn what motivates your co-workers, your boss, and your boss’s boss. Never stop learning, never stop growing. By the time you reach 42, kid, you’ll be a millionaire! ;)

What would you tell yourself if you could go back twenty years?

 

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


If you enjoyed what you just read and would like to get FREE email updates with the freshest articles from The Wisdom Journal delivered right to your inbox, subscribe today! It's ridiculously easy and you can unsubscribe at any time. Since your email address is never sold or abused, you can subscribe with confidence, PLUS you'll get free reports/guides/eBooks, subscriber only benefits, and other perks.


{ 62 comments }

Patrick

Ron, Great article. In many cases there is no substitution for experience, but your observations here are things everyone can incorporate regardless of their personal situation or experience level. This is the kind of article that every high school senior should have handed to them *before* they graduate. And again when they get to college, and again when they graduate and enter the workforce. In short – timeless advice.

Ron

You’re right Patrick. I wish I had known some of these things way back then. Whether or not I would have listened . . . that’s a different question. I was pretty hard headed :) some would say I still am.

CiaranFromChance

Great post, I really enjoyed it. I think I’ve seen a few of the points made before, but not as eloquently. After reading it, I reflected on a lot of the things that are going on in my life and little things like this help to put things in perspective.

Liked the little quip about, “Love is grand… but divorce is 50 grand.” Never heard that before.

Putting you in my Reader, look forward to future posts.

Shauna

I’m 22 now and have had that advice instilled by my loving mother. I guess I’m a rarity, but I’m doing my best to share it with my fellow-youngin’s–by blogging about money!

Gradon

Great article. Unfortunately, I was nodding my head with just about every one of your points. Fortunately, I’m turning the ship around at 30, instead of later in life.

Keep up the good work!

Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Ron, you are right. If I had known these things back when I was 22, then I might be a millionaire now. I would definitely be a lot closer than I am. Of course, if someone had told me these things back then I probably would have ignored most of them and learned the hard way regardless. It is amazing how life teaches us all so many of the same lessons. Why can’t we learn from other’s mistakes?

Karen

Ron,

Whoa! I wish somebody had let me know this stuff when I was 22. The past 30 years would have been very different! But, I can pass this along to my kids.

Thanks for the valuable info.

Joshua

Ron,
I agree with you all the way except for MLM. Yes many of them are nothing but funnels for the top dogs, but some do offer a way to own a legit business and earn an education about running a business especially networking. I am involved with a company called Market America and one of the first thing my (sponsor) business partner told me was this is not a business for those who think there is quick way to get rich. He informed me up front that I would have to sell products and find new partners. He said it will be hard work but if I persevere I will make a significant income. For me that is 1500 wkly, an achievable goal. Now that amount is not a killing, but I would able to work my own schedule and from home, which has, it’s benefits. There are people in the Milwaukee area that earn that in a wk some earn more. I also have a website development business from market America and I earn any where from $600 to $2000 per website I sell and help develop. It is work and it is profitable I sell on average 2 to 3 sites a month. So not all MLM companies are evil Market America is an exception to the rule.
Just check out the links below
http://www.marketamerica.com/joshuaandmonica

http://www.jbesnahwebsiteconsulting.com

http://thepowerprofiles.com/index.cfm?action=main.psHome

Travis

Great post Ron. I’m closer to 22 than 42 so I’ll take these tips to heart!

Greg

Really liked the article, I’m 17 now, and I’ve been looking around a lot lately because I want to start saving money/investing it. Maybe you could mention a few ways of wisely investing some money for the long term. I live in Canada if that makes a difference.

Thanks,

- Greg

Izabael

I agree with all these except the first one. School is not always the answer. Sure 90% of the time it is a good answer, but the business world is riddled with successes who dropped out of college (I can probably even find some that dropped out of high school if I searched too!).

I think the real trick is never sell your dreams short. You have to stick them out whether it is school or your crazy invention idea that means more to you than anything.

John

I agree with the heart of this article but in reality it depends what you do, how much intuition you have, and what your goals in life are. In the simple form, Get Rich Quick, doesn’t work. But when you have a thought out plan and have many people backing your ideas and are becoming successful, it is OK to take a risk. You can always hit it big, or miss, but that is life, and there is no guide to living.

Early Retirement Extreme

Nice! I had a similar list in the queue with 10 points of ‘wisdom’ (collected during the first 30 years) which just went out this morning. We have many overlaps, so I guess there are some “universal truths” to it. Here is my list in case anyone is interested. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/2008/01/how-to-be-happy-in-the-long-run.html

Sky

I’m 18 and completely agree on all of this, some of it I have even been figuring out on my own lately, especially the MLM thing. You know when you go to a doctors office or dental office or something of that sort, and there’s always a bunch of random framed pictures on the walls, I was involved with the mlm that supplied those for about a week (that’s how long it took for me to realize it was a bunch of BS). Actually the only reason I even went and put in an application was because I mistakenly thought it was a small signage or graphic design firm, but quickly realized otherwise.

Right now I work for Bob Evans as a Dishwasher and not making much, I agree that it never feels like I get paid enough but for me, it’s not even just that, I make $200 a week and that pays for what I need (My girlfriend and I rent a studio appt., so we split everything pretty even), but it’s that I don’t want to work with food, I know I don’t for sure and without a question, I’d like to work with computers or just general electronics, for example at Best buy or Circuit City or even a Lowe’s/Home Depot.

I suppose what I’m getting at is if working in that field is at all a good way to go, I’ve literally got the mind for it, but I don’t go to school for it (yet).

Haha, so for spilling, can’t help myself sometimes. Just seemed like the right place, ya know?

Karen

Thanks a lot, Ron!

Full Grown Single

I’d say, “Lighten up. The stuff that’s happening right now doesn’t matter much. Don’t take it so seriously!”

Ron

@Sky
Have you ever looked at FREE online college courses? Try Googling it. There are hundreds of possibilities for you to explore. Try this one http://education.jimmyr.com/

I wish you the best.

Ron

@Greg
At your age, you have a very long time horizon for investing. Not being from Canada, I’m hesitant to offer any advice other than to educate yourself about different investment vehicles. I would assume that index based mutual funds are available to Canadians and you should do some personal research to get this information. I would also add that if you’re interested in investing in individual stocks, try reading “Rule #1″ by Phil Town. It’s available in paperback and is a fantastic way to get involved with investing.

@John
If you have a well thought out plan and many people backing you, I’m cheering you on! I agree with your idea on taking a risk, just make sure it’s a calculated risk.

Ron

@Izabel
I understand where you’re coming from and believe me, I agree with what you’re saying. These were things that I wished I could go back and tell ME. Bill Gates doesn’t regret dropping out, I’m pretty sure:)

What I wish I had done was finish what I started. I always knew that I should have done that down deep. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you should pursue a different course, by all means, I will cheer you on.

Your last paragraph says it all: “I think the real trick is never sell your dreams short. You have to stick them out whether it is school or your crazy invention idea that means more to you than anything.”

Great comment.

supermom_in_ny

#9 is why one of my blogs/sites is called:
Getting Out of Debt!

The consequences of marrying Mr./Mrs. Wrong can last a looooong, loooong time. It can feel like forever.

I’m still picking up the pieces and raising the kids..

jerry

BRILLANT!!!!!!
for a young man, brilliant observations!!!

Early Retirement Extreme

@ full grown single – I’m so going to steal that quote and use it the next time some yuppie tells me to seize the day :-D

Ron

@Ciaran
Hey, thanks! I appreciate the encouragement. Fifty grand is probably an underestimation! Now, off to check your site!

@Gradon
Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad to hear you’re turning your ship around at 30. You have about a 10 year head start on me! I’m off to read your site, too.

@Jeff
Hey, thanks my friend. Why do we not learn from each other’s mistakes, my guess is good old pride. No one wants to admit they NEED to learn anything. I have to work on that.

@Shauna
Listen to your mother! My mother was telling me many of these same things when I was 22 but I didn’t listen. I heard her but didn’t listen. Now all these years later, those lessons are coming back into my mind.

@Karen
Hello and welcome to The Wisdom Journal. I agree with you, but it’s never too late to learn and hopefully you CAN get your kids to learn this. A green limb is easily bent. I wish you much success. (LOVE the “Shotgun Rules” on your site)

Chad

This advice is only applicable to someone trying to consume more. Terrible advice as far as I’m concerned for living a full life. Your basing a lot of your advice on what would benefit you right now and not on what is the best way to live a life. Big diff.

Ron

@ Joshua
OK, I did paint with a pretty broad stroke, but that has been my experience and the experience of millions. There may be discussions about hard work, and that it isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but most people don’t even hear that and they get taken for a ton of money.

When a business depends on new recruits to stay afloat, that is a business destined for failure. The problem with most MLM’s is that you cannot get an accurate accounting of where their income comes from . . . until they get sued. Then all the records become public (for the most part), and the ugly truth gets revealed. In examining court cases with MLM companies, I haven’t found one case yet where the money was anywhere near as good as promised. Usually, it was about 10% or less than what was expected.

But it is YOUR time and YOUR money. You should spend both the way YOU see fit. If you investigate an opportunity and it seems legit, by all means, don’t let MY bad experiences prevent you from taking that plunge.

So, keep accurate records on all your expenses and income and get back with me in 365 days to let me know how it’s going. I sincerely hope you make a fortune. The economy needs more fortunes!

Willis Stephenson

Good advice for someone like me I am currently working on doing some of the things listed but is always hard to brake from bad habits. But I will be bookmarking this sight.

Ron

@supermom
Hey thanks! After looking at your site, you’re doing a great job raising those kids. Keep it up.

@Full Grown Single
If you knew me, you’d probably say I was pretty lightened up already.

@Jerry
Thank you. I haven’t been called young in quite a while. Let me bask in it for a minute.

@Chad
I am living a very full life, believe me. Remember, these are things I would go back and tell my 22 year old self after 20 years experience.

@Willis
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you got something good from this post. Give yourself some time to establish new habits and take it one day at a time. Cliche? Yep, but it still works.

Ron

@Travis
Thanks. Check back again and I wish you the best.

Erica T. Barton

I especially liked number 11. That has always been a motto I try to stick too…which is why I ended up just running my own business.

el Duderino ( if you're not into the whole brevity thing )

Hi, i stumbled the blog.
I like the post and most of it because im 22.
Greetings from Monterrey Mexico!

Mike

I am 22 and I would rather not listen to your advice.

Alex Str.

I don’t agree with the one about staying in school. i mean yeah, maybe you need high school but i wouldn’t say the same thing about college. i have quit college so that i could work for IBM and i think this is the bet choice i have done so far. i am only 20 years old and i am now working in network security and learning new things each day (and i am getting a degree after each course that is recognized world wide). In my opinion college is a must if you don’t have better alternatives :)

if you want to discuss more feel free to email me.

Steve

Hey nice article! Thanks a lot!

dale

Well, I’m 53 and almost all of those things were told to me at one time or another by older relatives and family friends. At 22 I thought they were old and senile and I knew everything. Turns out they were right on track and I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought I was. So if you’re 20 – 30 pay attention, a little deprivation at that age makes living much easier at my age. Kudos on a well written article.

Ron

@Alex
If you do have better alternatives, make the most of them for your personal situation. These are things that I learned and would go back to tell me at 22.

@Steve
Thanks for visiting. Be sure and sign up for the RSS feed.:)

@Dale
Thank you. I just wish I had listened back then.

Ron

@el duderino
Hey Thanks!

@Mike
At 22 I didn’t want to hear it either. Check back in 20 years ;)

bob

Thanks Ron, I’m lower 20′s and will benefit from your thoughts.

Andrew C.

I’m 26 right now and already did half of the mistake you mentioned in this page! And the worse thing is I knew now its a mistake, which make me regret why didn’t I read stuff like this before.
Already did the house thing, jumped 2 working position based on money, and NOT putting my money into investment like mutual fund.

At least I didn’t quit college and still spend some time with my parents.

Currently working on the ‘living modesty’ lifestyle :)
I hope more people will understand from your post

A Abranches

I am not yet 42 but not far away either. There is so much truth in your list. In particular I liked # 2, # 4 and # 7.
As I have a nephew and a neice at the 22 age it is a great post to pass along. Thank you.

Your site is much like my own. Share what has been learned thus far.

Scott

Number 10 is a tough one for me; I never know what to say, and I’m not a big fan of small talk.

Don’t forget #13 – put as many ads on your site as possible.

x

It may be a blessing that law school didn’t work out for you. I’m about to start a law firm job “because the pay is higher” that’ll definitely affect my “quantity of time at home.” Unfortunately, those are the only law firm jobs they make these days. Lots of money…Lots of hours.

That guy

Not shabby advice,however I’ve already learned some of these lessons sadly enough and I’m only twenty. Although if I could go back twenty years I don’t think my six-month old self would understand very much of what I’m telling myself, so I would have to go back like ten years or something….but ten year olds can be pricks, I know I was, so time travel communication just doesn’t seem to be an option for me =/.

Jeremy

Great post! You should make this into a big colorful list that looks like a rolled out scroll and start giving them to every elementary, middle school, and high school in the country. Maybe if we all had this kind of advice from a young age there would be a lot less ppl in the world wishing their lives had turned out different.

Spooner

I never leave comments on these things, but this is very good information. I’ve passed this link out to my younger sister. I really thought the networking part was dead-on. Good luck!

Darryl

I really like this post . . . im 20 now and everybody older at my job keep telling me to start investing now and they wish they would had when they started but im not sure which way to start . . . so be expecting an email from me

p.s. bookmarking this site . . .

good list

There’s a lot of ‘wisdom’ in your list Ron. I liked a couple of things: “A budget is freeing, not limiting.” and the value of networking as just valuing the people you’ve met along the way and being prepared to be nice and helpful to others.

I am 48 now and had just started figuring this stuff out about 4 years ago when I bought a house. Buying a house was so empowering, it was the first time I could actually take in and understand what some of this kind of advice was getting at. You can make your future better! I never really got that before. I’m trying to get on a fast track so I’m paying extra to pay off the house by the time I’m 60. That’s only 12 years! Eep! How did that happen?

I remember I came across some article or something in my 20s that basically said if I started saving $20/week and put it away earning interest for 25 years I could save up a million dollars. I was very excited but it sounded like a fairy tale. It didn’t feel real. Besides, there was fun to be had and idle whims to indulge.

I wonder how the points you make that resonate so much with me now would have sounded to that same kid back then. Would they have gotten through?

If I sent this along to my Starbucks- and eating-out loving niece and nephew, who “can’t afford to save,” I wonder if it would get through?

I loved the comments too. A little deprivation now means a measure of comfort later.

Good worthy post and an interesting bunch of commenters. Enjoyed the blog, Ron, I’ll be checking back in and best wishes to you!

DonRichy

You did an amazing job writing this!
Im 23 now. My bday is at February 7. But, anyway, this article is so good. Thanks!

Julian

Great article! I’d like to think that I’ve taken away the idea that in another 20 years I won’t have read another article, entitled what I learned by 62 that I wish I knew at 42, and agree with it. My point being, I hope I can do whatever it is now that I need to do and not regret missing out on an opportunity when I look back in 20 years.

Rory

Hi,

I think this is the first non-personal blog entry I have ever commented on.

I just wanted to let you know I found your post very interesting, I have several posts similar to this one, but yours is the first that struck a cord with me and had me agreeing with a lot of it.

Thanks

Ron

@Bob
When you listen to others, you’re able to learn from their experience. Keep it up!

@Andrew
So long as we learn from our mistakes, they aren’t real mistakes, they’re just learning experiences. Painful, possibly, but learning opportunities nonetheless.

@Scott
I’ll keep #13 in mind 8)

@ “X”
Everything works out for a purpose. Law school, while that would’ve been great, would have resulted in a completely different set of experiences over the past 20 years. Who knows whether that would have been good or bad?

@That guy
Yeah, six month olds don’t understand too much! But you do. Just remember the Proverb “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.” Seek out advice and wisdom from others. That should have been my #13.

@Jeremy
You’re right. This type of education isn’t available to students unless they have a life experience course . . . and I haven’t seen too many of those.

@Spooner
Thank you. I hope your sister gets something from it.

@Darryl
Thanks for bookmarking. I’ve received your email and I’ll be responding soon.

@good list
Hope your niece and nephew take the advice to heart. And you’re right about a little deprivation now means a measure of comfort later.

@Don Richey
Thanks for the encouragement. And Happy Birthday just a little early!

@Julian
I’m sure I’ll probably write that article. I just hope I never stop learning . . . and I hope I’m still around at 62!

@Rory
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. Check back again and hopefully I’ll have another chord striker :)

Neosapience

Some things to consider –

1. There are many people that became rich after dropping out of school. Being self taught has many advantages.

2. Investing money and saving it are not the same thing. It is entirely possible to lose your money in an investment, so be careful where you put it.

3. You don’t have to buy a house at all. Buy the smallest, cheapest thing you can and ride it out. After a few years of saving rent, you can buy whatever house you like.

4. Stop spending money you don’t need. When you’re financially secure, you’ll have plenty of extra cash to get the things you like.

5. If you have to negotiate a price on something, chances are you’re buying something you don’t need anyway. Again, find the cheapest thing that will work for whatever you need.

6. Medical insurance here in America is ridiculously expensive. If I could, I’d move to Canada.

7. If you have a family, it’s going to be very difficult to invest quality time in your job (if not impossible). Don’t get married until you are well situated in your chosen profession.

8. The sad truth is that most people are just your average joe and wont be able to invent anything that’s important to society. The best advice I can give is to do what you’re best at, even if you don’t like it that much.

8a. Stay far away from anyone promising you lots of money for small amounts of work.

9. Find someone that shares common interests, not just common values. Best friends make the best spouses.

10. Help the right people when they’re in need and the right people will help you when you’re in need.

11. You should always look for a job that suits you best. Everyone has to work their way up, and if you like your job, it will be a much easier climb.

12. You don’t believe everything you read, do you?

James

12 truisms in only 20 years. Nice going!

Daniel

Ron,

GREAT article. I’m 22 and love your advice. In fact, I used it as a checkpoint for myself and my wife in my latest blog! I’d appreciate it if you’d read it and let me know what you think!

-Daniel
http://youngandfrugal.wordpress.com

Jerome

That 12 things are very good leason…Thanks God I read it when I am 25. So, I’m not really late…Anyway, I am impressed with #6. Right now, I don’t really care about medical insurance. I don’t even think about it. But, after read this post, I decide to start find a good medical insurance soon…Thank for sharing.

Ron

@Jerome
Hello Jerome, thanks for commenting. It’s never too late to learn from someone else’s mistakes. You can generally find some decent medical insurance for a reasonable rate through your job, sometimes even through your car insurer believe it or not. Ask tons, I MEAN TONS of questions like what is your reimbursement policy, is there a benefit cap, what will I be surprised to find out, what is your appeals process, and the best question–”Can I talk to three or four of your current customers who have had recent claims?” I bet you know how to take it from there :)

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay current with what’s being discussed at The Wisdom Journal.

Four Pillars

Great post – love the comment “Money doesn’t spoil, it keeps”.

Mike

Ron

@ Mike from Four Pillars
Thanks Mike. Love your site btw!

Nez

Hi Ron,

Just “stumbled” onto your blog — great article.

I would add:

To #8: All things that are worthwhile (including wealth) requires hard work, dedication and effort.

To #4: Learn and embrace the power of compound interest — start saving money now — “Pay yourself first” as many financial gurus will tell you.

OOM

Simply amazing. Wish I realized all this way back in time when I was 22. For those of you who just passed over 22, better late than never :)

savingadvice

Barely passed age 22 and I could already relate to a few of those things. I loved the “don’t just take a job for higher pay” “life is not all about money” I couldn’t agree more. I would rather make less and enjoy what I do any day! :wink:

Nicole

I’m currently 21 and although this is all great advice, I don’t even know how I could begin to turn this into reality. Granted, I’m already good at one or two things on the list but the world has never seemed scarier and I’ve never felt more ill-prepared than I do now. What scares me most is that I’m increasingly worried about the debt I’ll be in after I graduate. Lesson one is all well and good but how am I supposed to deal with $40,000 of loan debt? All I can say is thank god I don’t have any credit cards.

christina

i am 22
married
a housewife
a homeschooling
and a online university student

…thanks for the tips

Previous post:

Next post: