Want to increase your net worth quickly? Pay off your high interest debt (credit cards, payday loans, etc...). Take that money and split it between paying off other debt and savings. Below are quotes that should help motivate you and show current state of American finances.
Wired magazine, "In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy. ... On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries."While some may argue that this does not apply to them, the concept is still the same. Any investment, whether in stocks, forex, gambling, binary options, that promise high returns with low risk and with little investment are most likely scams. Due diligence is required when it comes to investing. Get rid of the thoughts that high rewards can come to you via "risk-free" investments with "little or no money down". Also, gambling never succeeds in the long run, only the house wins. Prudent investing equals good returns with moderate risk.
According to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal, Americans "spend about half of their food budgets at restaurants now, compared to a third in the 1970s."I like going out to eat. I love the idea of not having dishes to clean up afterwards. It allows me to talk with my wife and enjoy the night out, but not long ago we use to spend around $500 per month going out to eat! Imagine what I could have done with 500 dollars a month? Pay off high interest debt, invest in mutual funds, donate to charity, but I decided that eating at Cracker Barrel was better investment. I don't suggest to become an ascetic and never go out to eat, or buy lattes again, but I just suggest to cut back. We reduced our restaurant budget to 100 dollars, and with the extra $400 dollars we paid off our two credit cards.
In the 1960s, wages and salary income made up more than 50% of GDP. By 2011, it was less than 44%, as dividends, interest, and capital gains made up a growing share of the nation's income.Who are the wealthiest individuals in the nation? I can tell you they are not wage earners, so what does that say to you? Pursuing a higher wage works out in the short term, but in an increasingly global environment wages will continue to drop. Why pay $20 per hour for an American worker while I can pay someone $5 for the same labor. Look on freelance job boards. People in other nations charge rates below the USA minimum wage for skills that would land an American a decent job, like programming. This all leads that the only way to retire wealthy is to invest, and do so constantly.
According to ConvergEx Group, "Only 58% of us are even saving for retirement in the first place. Of that group, 60% have less than $25,000 put away. ... A full 30% have less than $1,000.This is self explanatory. The sooner you invest, the more rich you'll be later.
On a final note, don't rely on some government pension. Only you know what is best for you and your family.