February 16, 2016

Poverty at 40 is not cool

When I was 20 years old, somehow I lived off $50 a week and still managed to eat, go out and mingle with the ladies. I probably managed this because – other than my own education – I had few responsibilities, shared a tiny shack with roommates and mooched off various people.

Now that I’m in my 40s I often joke that I make much more money but have much less to show for it. The truth is I earn a lot and have a lot: a house, car, kids, etc. I am doing things I could not have done during my sardines-on-toast-eating 20s.

Let’s look at this another way. How would I be living today if I had the same income as I did in my 20s? I’d probably be living exactly how I did in my 20s: sharing a small apartment, no car, dirty kids (if any). Would I have a wife? Maybe I’d have a sugar-momma, because that’s probably the only way I could afford anything beyond peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. But what kind of sugar-momma material is a 40-something year old, balding guy with a little extra weight and eczema on his hands? I think most sugar-mommas cut off their boy toys at age 30.

Poverty at 20 is cool and artsy. The value of youth makes up for it. Poverty at 40 is sad – especially if you’re trying to infinitely extend your youth.

If you’re in your 20s, I suggest you invest in your brain and body. Because you’re going to need at least one of those things when you’re my age.

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