(By Emma Heap, Chief Growth Officer at 10X Investments)

“I wish I’d started saving earlier.” Chances are if you’re over 50 and thinking about retirement you’ve said that once or twice, or 20 times…

So, as you see your children or even grandchildren starting their first jobs and earning their first salaries, it’s understandable that you desperately want them to make smarter choices with their money, and ideally begin saving for retirement from their first pay cheque.

The question is how do you get them to learn from the mistakes you made. How do you get through the gauntlet of eye-rolls, shoulder shrugs, “I’ll do it later” or ‘I’m going to make a fortune on Bitcoin”?

Tackle the ifs, buts and Bitcoins head on:

Occasionally, people have good reasons to delay saving. For example, if they are putting all their surplus cash into paying off debt.

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However, more often than not, excuses are pretty thin.

Common excuse #1:

“I don’t make enough money to save yet.”

Fair enough, most starting salaries leave a lot to be desired. However, as the multi-billionaire Warren Buffett says, “Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.”

Explain to your son or daughter that while their salary will likely rise as they get older so will their expenses (welcome to adulthood). Finding ways to save from the get-go is one of the best ways to ensure success. There are almost always ways to cut back on spending here and there.

Common excuse #2:

“I’m going to start my own business and won’t need a retirement fund.”

Millennials are fantastically ambitious and inspired by the Richard Bransons of the world which is great.

Although you should never rain on their parade or imply their dreams aren’t achievable it’s a good idea to remind them that many entrepreneurs have retirement annuities for tax saving purposes as well being a safety net. Should the business go under, the owner’s retirement savings is one of the few things that creditors usually can’t touch. In the end, relying on your business as your retirement strategy is simply bad business.

Common excuse #3:

“I’m going to invest in Bitcoin/similar instead of a retirement annuity.”

Bitcoin is an unpredictable beast that few people really understand. However, just about all investment experts agree on one thing: It’s a gamble. If your son or daughter has excess money they’re willing to spend at the casino then they should go for it and have fun. However, a decent retirement should not be left up to luck.

A final word of caution

If your son or daughter is fortunate enough to have joined a company with a pension fund, that’s great. But it does not mean they should assume their retirement is now taken care of and that everything will be peachy. Encourage them to interrogate the plan they have joined and do the numbers. If they are coming up short, they should look at setting up an individual retirement annuity.

The team at 10X Investments are always on hand to review policies and help people understand the industry’s mumbo-jumbo. Get in touch for a free investment analysis.