Home >> How-to-build-a-fortune >> Appropriation to What Can The Man_p2 >> What Can the Man_P1

What Can the Man of Fifty

WHAT CAN THE MAN OF FIFTY DO? Whatever I have tried to do in my life, I have tried with all my heart to do well. What I have de voted myself to, I have devoted myself completely. Never to put my hand to anything on which I would not throw my whole self, and never to affect deprecia tion of my work, whatever it was, to find now to have been my golden rules.—Charles Dickens.

No one will deny that there are distinct ad vantages in beginning to save early in life. And for two reasons : i. the habit, early established, grows in strength.

2. There is a longer period of distribution; and a larger portion of the ultimate capital is earned by the money itself.

This latter reason is well illustrated in this way : One dollar a year deposited in advance, at 4%, compound interest• from the 223 age of twenty-five to sixty-five amounts to $98.82.

The same plan of deposit from thirty-five to sixty-five amounts to $58.32.

From forty-five to sixty-five it equals $30.96, and from fifty to sixty-five, $20.82.

Thus a young man or woman at twenty five can accumulate nearly $io,000 by deposit ing $ioo per year over a period of forty years. The actual amount of money deposited is $4,000, and the interest thereon is nearly $6, 000. (To be exact, $5,882.) Therefore youth finds its advantage in time. But several conditions favor the older man. He is more settled in life; he has found him self ; and others have found him; that is, they know his worth and reliability. There are (or should be) fewer temptations to draw him aside from a purpose. He is more ca pable of decision and of concentration. Much of the necessity of life is behind him. He has learned to work, has established his skill, and has chosen the few enjoyments he de sires.

Beyond these apparent facts, he has worked up his earning power to a much higher level than it was in his early years. He has prob ably raised his family and feels that hence forth he can devote his energy to protecting the last years of his wife and himself. All

these qualities and circumstances are in his favor. If it be that his health is good and his working capacity not perceptibly diminished, he has before him a score of years of pos sible activity. In itself, unimpaired health at fifty is a pension, for it means, in the natu ral order of things, years of fruitful activity.

If the man who has not saved much, but who has reached the age of fifty, bringing with him such qualities and the higher for tune we have described, he need not hesitate to begin. His health, skill, and mental at tributes are all potent forces in his favor. Out of a moderate income the actual amount of money he sets aside may not be large, but he has so well conserved himself that it will be, in all human likelihood, ample.

It must not be forgotten, in planning to protect old age, that a sound body, a clear mind and some capacity to take the world good-naturedly are as valuable assets as money; and they often pay far more satis factory dividends. It has already been pointed out that if a man or woman has mental re sources, being able to find pleasures in the better things of life, only a small amount of money is actually needed for individual ex penses. An American scholar of small means lives in Oxford, England, pursues his read ing and study, lives well as to the kind of room he occupies and the food provided him, for thirty shillings a week, or $7.5o. And he is living in a degree of comfort far above what necessity would dictate.

An amazing number of men have married, raised a family and enjoyed neighborhood life on a few hundreds of dollars a year. In cases where health has been cared for they continue to live, as they have, to old age, and with no thought of retiring at sixty-five or at any other age. To the vast majority of men, no such thing as retirement from work can be considered. And yet all men—did they realize it early enough in life—could by a little self-denial attain some degree of free dom.

Page: 1 2

life, sixty-five, money, age and health