I am 48 years old right now and I just started saving for my retirement. I think back and wonder what my retirement would be like if I started in my 20's. The interests rates were around 8 percent back then. These rates were available in the banks on one to two year investments. Now you are lucky if you get 2 percent when you open an IRA at your local bank. I know this because I started my first IRA three years ago when I should have started my retirement savings in my 20's.
When you are in your 20's, you never think you are going to die. You think you are going to be young forever and you want to party. I remember being like that. I spent my money having fun and spending time with my friends. The funny things is neither lasted. My money disappeared and I haven't seen old friends for twenty years. I wished I invested my money in stocks or prepared for my retirement. I can't imagine the thousands of dollars I wasted trying to be a part of the crowd.
Now I am older and smarter. I am finally investing in my future. Yes, I wasted twenty or more years of saving, but I have finally settled down and realized what the most important things in life really are. My children, my wife and my faith in God are most important to me. I know I have to save for my own retirement right now if I don't want to work until the day I die.
A friend of mine told me something that has come true in my life. He told me you will meet a lot of people, but only a few are the people you can call real friends. The people I knew in my 20's were people I met, spent time with and never talked to again. We had our fun and all of us wasted our money on things we did not need. Now that I am 48 years old, it is time to catch up because of all of the stupid mistakes I made in my youth. This is the reason I work two jobs and run a blog. I am making up for my past mistakes and hoping my retirement will be able to sustain me when I am no longer able to work.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.