Quartz media yesterday came out with an article stating “Your financial fate is sealed by the time you turn 25”.
That title was so strong that I knew I was going to write it before I read it. I simply couldn’t believe how it could be true.
In fact, I typed all the above before finishing the article. As I read the article, it seems like a case were the title doesn’t match the article’s text completely. Here are a few reasons why your financial fate isn’t sealed by the time you turn 25:
- The text of the article cites averages. Your particular case may not be the average. It might be, but it might not be. It certainly doesn’t feel that everyone’s financial fate is sealed by age 25 as the title seems to state.
- You might meet your mate after age 25. I did and it made a tremendous difference in both of our financial fate. It reduced our living expenses while increasing our income.
- We were mindful about our financial situation – The reduced living expenses allowed us to save and invest more. I put more time into learning about personal finance. Compound interest has been wonderful for us. All of this happened after age 25.
- Percentage gains are not what they seem – The article seemed to show that the average person got their biggest percentage gains from age 25-35. It seems to me that you could at the Salary.com data for almost every profession and see that the biggest change is going from a starting salary to a person with 10 years of experience. It’s easier to make bigger percentage gains when you are starting out at smaller numbers. If you were making $50,000 and got a $25,000 raise, that’s a 50%. If you are experienced and making $125,000 and get a $25,000 raise, it’s only a 20% raise. It’s still the same $25,000, it’s not like your employer became cheap in not giving you 50% raises all the time. After you have gotten a few raises, the raises are naturally going to be a lower percentage.
(I don’t mean to suggest that $25,000 raises are normal, I just wanted to make the math easy.)
I get the idea that the article that the magazine is trying to express. It makes some interesting points elsewhere that may be worth analyzing. However, it got a little dry and it seemed like the numbers were so broad that it was make any useful conclusions.
So, instead, I’ll defer to common sense: Your financial fate is far from sealed by the time you turn 25. In a lot of ways, it might not be formed at all.