Most people are desirous of retiring rich and early. Unfortunately, not everyone succeeds at it before they grow old and die. Many work hard their entire life and never get the chance to enjoy much. Some retire with a meagre pension that sometimes is denied them.
To avoid turning out this way, take practical steps towards making your dreams of financial freedom a reality. But how do you do this?
The easiest way is to monitor your net worth at various stages of your life and career. After all, wealth creation is all about growing your net worth methodically.
What is your net worth?
We often hear about the net worth of CEOs and some of the world’s richest people. You might think that discovering yours is unimportant. But trust me; net worth calculations is not something reserved exclusively for a select few. Everyone should know theirs.
Whether you make a living as an entrepreneur, a government worker, or as a staff in a private institution, it’s a good idea to keep track of your net worth. You really need to start if you haven’t already.
To find out your net worth, subtract your liabilities from your assets.
Net worth = Assets – liabilities
It’s true that some people may not be able to tell the difference between the two. Most acquire lots of liabilities and think of them as assets. So, before we proceed, let’s distinguish what your assets and liabilities are.
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What is an asset?
An asset is anything you own that can put money in your pocket. If you sold all your possessions, what would they yield?
Your assets include:
- Current market value of your real estate holdings.
- Current market value of your business.
- Cash in your savings and/or current accounts.
- Current market value of your investment accounts, including mutual funds, individual stocks and bonds, insurance policies, and so on.
- Your retirement savings.
- Current value of your cars.
- Other items of value, such as jewellery, furniture, artworks, and so on.
What is a liability?
You guessed right… A liability is anything that removes money from your pocket. Liabilities are debts, basically. They include:
- Personal loans
- Business loans
- Car loans
- Mortgages on your home and/or rental properties
- Credit card debt
- Student loans
- Medical debt
- Judgements or liens against you
It is not advisable to measure your financial progress based on your monthly income alone. Why? Most of what you earn might not be going into your savings or used to make investments. They could be used for expenses, in which case you really don’t have much to your name.
However, there is an easy way to quickly calculate your net worth:
Net worth = (Age X Pre-tax income)/10
The flaw in this formula is that it doesn’t consider your debts.
What good is it to track my net worth?
Your net worth reveals your overall financial health. It helps you figure out how much to spend and save every year till you reach your retirement age.
Tracking your net worth makes you more purpose driven. How? You’d realize whether you are making progress, retrogressing, or just financially dormant despite breaking your back working hard all the time. Afterwards, you can decide on what changes to make so as to improve your current financial status, be it good or bad.
If you’ve been making, say 500, 000 naira yearly for the last 10 years, and you have a net worth of 2 million naira, it shows you have some serious financial issues.
Therefore, tracking your net worth will let you know when you are deviating from the path towards achieve your goals of financial freedom and make timely decisions on how to get back on track.
Net worth benchmarks based on your age
After you have calculated your net worth, as described above, it could turn out to be negative or positive. If it is negative, the best response is to not fret. At least you’ve taken the first step in the right direction and can start making plans to change your status quo.
If you have only just left school or recently begun your career and haven’t gone far in it, it is expected that you may have a low or even negative net worth, especially if:
- You pay rent, bought a house on mortgage, or make other considerable expenses.
- Recently just started saving for your future.
It is advisable to set net worth milestones at different stages of your life, right from your 20s till the day you retire.
In your 20s
It’s a brutal wake-up call for most people when they step out into the real world. It’s even worse if you don’t have anyone to support you financially.
At this stage, you should focus more on managing your expenses and debt. After you’ve got your first job, begin immediately to build your net worth.
Although it may sound too soon, it is also a good idea to start saving for your retirement once you are able to. Even if the firm you work for provides a retirement plan for employees, you should open an account for your retirement savings.
In your 30s
The financial decisions you make in your 30s determine the net worth you can achieve later in life. Most people get married at this age and have a family to take care of. The wise thing to do is create a budget to keep track of your spending.
At this age, aim to have at least half your salary saved up in your retirement account. Assuming you make 500, 000 naira, have 250, 000 naira stashed away.
In your 40s
At this age, you should have two times your annual salary saved up. If your salary is 500, 000, your net worth should be 1, 500, 0000 naira.
It is expected that you make real estate investments. Aside from putting money in your retirement account, real estate investments are a great way to boost your net worth. Your real estate holdings can appreciate in value over time.
In your 50s
By the time you are in your 50s, your wealth should be growing exponentially based on several other investments you’ve made in addition to buying real estate and your retirement savings over the years.
Aim to have a net worth of four times your annual salary at this age. This is possible if you began saving and investing right from your 20s. If you began much later, the solution would be to save more aggressively.
You may have children that are in their teens or early adulthood. Encourage them to cover some of their expenses on their own. Not only can you to save more towards your retirement, your children will also start off on the right path as they realize the importance of saving and money management. This might not be the case if you give them whatever they ask for whenever they ask for it, even after they’ve reached a certain age.
In your 60s
Your net worth target in your 60s should be set at 6 times your annual salaries, or more, based on what your needs will be after you retire.
Your expenses should be less now, since you might be living alone with your spouse. The last of your kids could be in college or even making a living already. If so, you can save about 85 per cent of your income for your retirement. You might need to save more if you would like to travel the world when you retire, or will need money to carter for some health issues you may have.
On the other hand, if you are as strong as an ox and don’t expect you will be making much expenses after your retirement, you can save less than 85 per cent of your annual income at this age.
Also, if you would rather retire early than keep working when you are 70 or older, ensure you have a considerably high net worth in your 60s. To help you reach your goal, capitalize on your investments and find ways to lower your cost of living.
Consider getting disability insurance. This is very important, especially if you have health issues. The insurance replaces the income you’ve lost when you are no longer able to work during these years leading up to your retirement. This way, you can avoid depleting your net worth even as you cover your medical bills.
After you’ve retired
When you are retired, you can stay comfortable with the resources accumulated all through your work years. Even then, still keep on building your net worth.
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From your 20s to when you clock 30, you are at your extreme net worth growth phase. When young and unmarried, it’s possible to double your net worth quickly. You have plenty of time to learn from your mistakes and therefore should take a lot of calculated risks.
When you are between the ages of 30 and 35, you have either achieved financial freedom, or you know you are on the right path to it. Your income should be much more than it was in your 20s, which means you can increase your savings and investments.
Between the ages of 35 and 40, you must have gained a lot of experience and respect in your line of work. Reduce the risks you take because you have many dependents now. You may also need to create an extra budget for the upkeep your parents, who may have reached retirement age. Acquire many risk free assets. Diversify your net worth in real estate, stocks, bonds, and your own business.
From 41 to 55 years of age, you’ve grown your wealth to a sizeable value that needs to be protected. You may begin to be more conservative and hoard your cash. But you should avoid being too conservative. Find ways to generate passive income streams and optimise your existing investments.
By the time you are 56 to 70 years of age, you should have achieved your financial dreams.
To ensure that you can meet your net worth benchmarks, be more interested in taking action to improve on your current status rather than fold your arms and complain about how harsh the country is.
Use these net worth-building ideas to achieve your financial goals and have a wonderful life:
- No matter how much you earn, always have spending, savings, and investment budgets. Even if you don’t have anything to invest in yet, still make an investment budget and keep the money till such a time you find something to invest in.
- Always save at least 20% of your monthly income.
- Get a job that pays more.
- Start your own business.
- Have a side hustle, and build multiple streams of active and passive income.
- Cut your expenses
- Avoid or reduce debt as much as possible.
- Make investments and take calculated risks.
- Set actionable goals every year.
We hope you’ve found this content useful as you work towards making your financial dreams a reality.
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Tobenna Nnabeze.
Millennials changing the definition of work; doing the most with freelancing
Given the numerous number of changes in today’s world, millennials are gradually changing the definition of work, and beginning to embrace freelancing.
Given the numerous changes in today’s world, millennials are beginning to embrace freelancing. It is not just about thinking outside the 9-5 work hours, they are gradually changing the definition of work. This signals a new relationship between the worker and the economy; it is not just where they are working. It is what they are working for.
Millennials do not see companies as salary machines and do not also see themselves as ‘another chair-filler’. They actually see themselves as having the power to make choices, and their decision to work in one place or another is about finding value, not just the luxurious life attached to a conventional job.
How Millennials make the most of freelancing
Skills over degree
Nearly half of millennials have tried freelancing, and nearly three-quarters of freelancers say it is getting easier to find work. Most millennials begin their journey into freelancing by discovering their passion and finessing their skills in order to look unique. They often find time to develop themselves outside the scope of their disciplines by attributing more values to skill acquisition than conventional degrees. With unique skills like photography, graphic design, content creation, etc. millennials are able to make enough money to pay their bills and afford their lifestyles.
Millennials are taking advantage of working remotely. Working remotely affords millennials the much-needed flexibility they need in their daily routines. Working remotely also helps improve the productivity of millennials, unlike conventional workers. This way, they are free from distractions that cannot be taken care of. It is amazing that working remotely can have millennials working straight for 8 hours without thinking of food or break.
Gigs rather than restrictive job functions
Millennials use freelancing as an opportunity to harness their creative abilities rather than focusing on restrictive job functions. Millennials get certain jobs called side gigs which can help them explore their creativity. They figure out who their clients really are and what they want from them. More importantly, is that millennials find an untapped market and then quickly build a huge customer base on it which will be making enough cash in short notice.
Networking for Growth
Gone are the days when business cards were fashionable. This is because people do not really remember business cards. Millennials use networking as a way of getting to know the persons behind the business. They look for a spark in any conversation that a relationship can be built upon. Also, through the use of social media platforms, millennials are also able to collaborate to ensure the growth of the freelance economy.
Finding a freelance platform that affords skilled professionals flexibility and opportunities to grow is a concern for millennials. TERAWORK is a highly recommended freelancing platform that provides freelancers with an opportunity to work on flexible schedules, get rid of the daily commute process and have a perfect balance between work and professional life; not only because it affords local and international millennials opportunities to harness their skills, but the platform also allows these skilled individuals to showcase their past work experience and provide them with the access to new jobs every day.
12 lessons on business strategy from the game of Chess
Are you a chess player? Well, not a lot of people are. Therefore, if your answer is no, you really need to try it. After all, it is called “the game of kings and queens” for a reason.
Are you a chess player? Well, not a lot of people are. Therefore, if your answer is no, you really need to try it. After all, it is called “the game of kings and queens” for a reason.
Chess is a board game that has been around for centuries. It has to do with the art of war. It’s all about strategy, tactics, and the ability to outmaneuver your opponent; the final aim being to checkmate them (that is, capture their king). Once that happens, the game is over.
Chess has been shown to:
- Improve IQ
- Build confidence
- Improve problem-solving skills
- Teach planning and foresight
- Improve concentration
- Exercise both sides of the brain
- Improve memory
- Enhance creativity
It’s quite obvious that these benefits are indispensable when it comes to successfully running a business; especially if you are in a highly competitive market.
What goes on in the game is the perfect metaphor for business competition. In fact, you can learn a thing or two by playing chess. These lessons will prove very useful to you if you are an entrepreneur trying to plant your feet and control considerable market share. It will surely improve your ability to make sound business decisions.
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No wonder you can find a Chessboard in the home or office of top CEOs (Bill Gates, Peter Thiel), world leaders (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton) and even famous TV personalities (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julia Roberts of Pretty Woman).
How does playing chess relate to running a business?
The parallels between chess and business are clearly evident. The game is about war; specifically about protecting the invaluable piece (the king), and outthinking the opponent who’s trying to defeat you.
There are different strategies for both offensive and defensive play, and the best chess players should have experience with both. As a business person, you need to successfully navigate defensive and offensive positions in your industry.
If you’ve seen people play chess, or maybe you play, you’ll notice that the opponents patiently wait their turn, study the board, anticipate their next move, and go through potential scenarios in their head. This is not so different from what is obtainable in the business world.
Both are based on SWOT analysis. That is, recognizing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Chess also involves an opening, a middle game, and an endgame. This is quite similar to the business cycle (expansion, peak, contraction, and trough).
What lessons does chess teach?
To play the game you first have to master the rules, understand the players, and ultimately, play to win.
Master the rules
Before you can take part, you have to learn the rules. That’s also the way it is in business.
If you jump in without first understanding the dynamics of how things work, including consumer demand, market regulations, pricing techniques, and what have you, you are most likely headed for failure. That is why it’s important to start small and grow gradually, expanding your reach as you get more experienced.
Understand the players
Just like in chess, you need to understand your competition if you want to succeed in business.
Chess players spend time studying how their opponents think. This way, they can device countermeasures that will enable them to stay ahead, withstand an attack, and make a counter-attack.
That’s exactly what you need to do as an entrepreneur. Learn what your competitors are doing. Who are they? What are they offering consumers that you are not? How can you make your products, services, and marketing efforts better? These and many more are important questions you have to ask yourself.
Play to win
In chess, you have to keep the ultimate goal in mind. If you play emotionally or succumb at the first signs of hardship, you won’t win. You have to be ready to make tough choices.
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Some people play conservatively. They hang on tight to their pieces and refuse to make sacrifices. That’s also the way it is in business. To achieve your goals, you have to stay flexible. Know when to make adjustments, whether in your product combinations, management techniques, or marketing efforts.
Always keep your eyes on the big picture.
Don’t rush to make a move; there might be a better one.
Inexperienced players stop searching for a move once they’ve located a good one. They forget there might be a better one.
In business, you have to make sure you make choices based on the complete set of information from the whole landscape. Don’t jump into the first option that looks good. Consider all your options.
Plan several moves ahead
Chess players plan their moves and consider potential responses to those moves. Experienced players foresee moves several turns ahead. That’s how they manage to outwit their opponent.
This is what you must do as an entrepreneur. Making a good forecast is crucial to business success.
You also need to device contingency plans for situations that may arise in the future. “We’ll figure it out when we get there” might be a risky proposition you won’t be able to afford.
Don’t play the plan; play the board
When playing chess, your opponent constantly devices measures to undermine your plans.
While it is important to make plans, it’s even more so to know when to abandon them or simply make adjustments.
While you have your business strategies in place, competitors are also applying their own to capture more market share than you do. Your aim should not be to follow a rigid set of plans. What determines your success or failure is your ability to adapt well and on time and respond effectively to counter what your competitors are doing.
Know the value of the pieces
Each chess piece has a specific value. By knowing them, you are better suited to make decisions on how to place them across the board.
Similarly, when you know the value of your employees, customers, and associates, it will be easier to make wise decisions regarding job responsibilities, consumer targeting, and many more.
Manage your resources
To win, learn how to manage your resources.
In business, this applies to cash. If you run out of cash, you are done. You need to make sure you are not overspending. Every single expense you make should earn profit. Nothing should be wasted. You also need to ensure you are raising money appropriately as you go. Your expenses should never exceed your revenue.
Keep an eye on the clock
“Time is material” – this is a common saying in chess.
You not only have to manage your pieces, you also have to manage time.
In a tournament setting, the games are timed so you have a limited period to make a number of moves.
It doesn’t matter if you are beating your opponent on the board, once you run out of time, you lose and your opponent takes the game, although you were doing exceptionally well on the board.
To prepare, players spend months or even years memorizing potential strategies and moves. This way, they can recall at a moment’s notice the move they have to make so they won’t spend too much time thinking.
This is why it is important to prepare in advance. A wise entrepreneur can make decisions which appear to be quick, but in reality, are a result of months of study and preparation.
In chess, you learn to make necessary sacrifices that will give you the upper hand, or enable you to capture the king (Checkmate!). There are situations where you have to offer up a piece with intentions of gaining an advantage later on.
Learn the value of patience
Before you can attack effectively, you have to take time to place your pieces in effective positions. A premature attack might backfire. The same idea is obtainable in business. Avoid making rash moves. Only make a move when everything is in place. For instance, don’t be in a hurry to start a business or launch a new product before conducting market research, no matter how excited you are about it.
Create a balance between skill and intuition
There’s a balance in chess between intuition and analysis. There is always a human element that can’t be replaced by months or years of study and preparation. Chess is an infinite game with millions of possible moves. Therefore, it’s not possible to know and plan for every contingency. There are moments when you have to make a move based on intuition.
Once a player finds the balance between intuition and skill, their game improves remarkably. Many great chess players have come out on top a number of times when they went with their gut rather than their skills.
As an entrepreneur, you need to find this balance. It is what thinking outside the box is all about. It is also the key to creativity and great achievements and may be the difference between success and failure. Be it unique marketing campaigns, new and unique products and services, and other products of intuition.
If you want to succeed in business, you have to be ruthless. This is exactly what chess is about.
Side hustles you can start in 2020
Finally – This is the ultimate guide to side hustles for 2020.
A new year and a new decade have just begun and there is no better time than now to start a side hustle if you do not have one.
As you take out time to relive your achievements of the previous year while preparing new goals for the new year, Nairametrics brings you an outline of side hustles you can do that have unlimited clientele as well as great monetary gains.
The importance of having a side hustle cannot be overemphasized, this is due to the needs that keep piling as well as the cost of living that keeps escalating. One sure way to overcome the twin problems of lack and poverty in Nigeria is creating multiple streams of income rather than solely relying on your 8-5 job. Here are 5 side hustling ideas that are worth considering;
Start a lending Business
The lending business is one hustle that would go particularly well in 2020, this is because people need money for so many reasons and as such, they are going to have to lend if they do not have it.
However, secured lending would be ideal as it is the only way to ensure guaranteed returns and not investing in stocks.
Sell Baby Products
The baby product business provides one of the most lucrative business opportunities. The fact that Nigerians will always give birth to children presents an endless opportunity for entrepreneurs as they can never run out of business. Baby food, baby clothing, diapers, baby body care products, and general baby equipment are all examples of what one can consider selling.
Start a health-related business
Health-related businesses is a lucrative side hustle idea simply because people would always need medical services. Drug stores, Maternity home, Medical laboratory, Massage therapy services, fitness centre, medical transport services and so on are examples of choices you might want if you are considering the health line of business.
Start an education business
Becoming a tutor is big business especially now that the demand for specialised lesson teachers is on the increase. If you have a skill in any of these subjects, you can join a freelance tutoring ring, where you can be called upon to teach children or anyone looking to write an exam. Online tutoring is also an option where you can use skype and other online platforms to teach people who desire knowledge and information in some specific fields and are ready to pay for the information.
Apart from tutoring, opening up a bookstore where you can sell students’ textbooks and other materials needed to study is equally lucrative.
Startup a barbershop, hair salon or a food transport service
Once you build clientele base, professional services such as barbershops and hair salons are good business. As long as hair continues to grow on our hair, this business continues to be profitable. The same thing applies to the food business. However, starting a food transportation service is far more profitable than being in the food value chain itself. Once you have a car, you can transport foods from certain areas or villages where you can sell at higher prices.
Food like eggs and chicken thrive in this business although there are times best for transporting certain farm produce. Live chicken is best transported at night for instance. This helps to prevent the heat from killing the animals during the hot afternoon.
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In conclusion, one thing you should have in mind when opting for business ideas whether as your side job or your main one is that business opportunities exist because people have a need or demand for particular products or services. This is therefore what you should look into when choosing.
Also, note that your side hustle shouldn’t interfere with your job. The aim of your side hustle is to help cater to those needs that crop up unexpectedly.