If you could go back to December 1980, you’d borrow everything you could to buy into Apple’s float on the American stock exchange and be one of the 300 instant millionaires.
Or perhaps you’d rather go back to Washington D.C. in August, 1963 to stand in the audience for Martin Luther King’s defining “I have a dream” speech.
Maybe you’d want to go all the way back in time to experience the Ancient Wonders of the World, such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
So if we were to give our 20-year-old selves advice that might change our lives for the better, no matter what was happening, here’s what we’d tell them…
Invest in travel
Sweating over a part-time job is a lesson in responsibility that will put you in good stead for your working life and using that hard-earned cash to travel can be just as important.
It is exhilarating leaving your everyday life to experience new places, and the people you’ll meet doing it will expand your mind and change your perspective. It doesn’t matter where or how, just pack a bag and go.
Invest for your future self
At 20, turning 35 might seem ancient and 65 incomprehensible, but take a look at your grandparents and use your imagination.
Even if you only put away $1000 into super when you are 20, in 50 years’ time that will have compounded to $53,000 (based on returns of eight per cent). If you add $100 every month to that amount, it would be worth $847,000 in 50 years (See MoneySmart for more). So, dear 20-year-old self, put extra into your super account, and we’ll thank you with a fine red wine in your 60s.
Invest in your mind
We’re happy to tell you, 20-year-old self, that learning doesn’t finish when your study does.
Take every opportunity you can to learn more. If you think it’s worth it, take a course, go to a conference or use your spare time to learn from a more experienced colleague. It might seem hard, but that extra step will be worth it. And don’t limit yourself to career-boosting education; learn a language, learn to cook, or take a modern dance class. The network of friends you make will be worth as much as what you learn.
Invest in your relationships
This is our most important advice to you, young self; invest in your relationships.
Yes, it’s a cliche, but even science backs it up – people are happier around other people. We also know that time is the hardest commodity for you to spare, but trust us on this, you won’t regret having coffee with your grandparents instead of sleeping in on Saturday. Even though your work day sucked, the family dinners you dragged yourself to mid-week will make you want to replicate the same meals for your own kids. And even the worst dinner with your friends will have a return on investment as strong as Apple’s float.
This content was proudly sponsored by CBUS: an Industry Super Fund.
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