Why You Should Invest - Start early, retire early

As an active duty Air Force pilot I know life can be hectic... always on the road, deployment after deployment, endless training at home. It seems like there's never enough time to get anything done. I'm always surprised how many people I fly with haven't given much thought to retirement. There are lots of reasons: "it's too complicated" or "I don't have the time for that stuff."

Getting financially healthy is one thing you can't afford to put off. The truth of it is, the later you start the harder it is to catch up. Ever hear of compounding interest? It's how investments grow. Take a look at this graph.

You don't need a degree in math to see your money grows at an exponential rate if you invest early enough.

Say you plan to retire after 20 years in the military and start investing a modest $5,000 a year for retirement. You can expect a nice nest egg of $280,000 in addition to your military retirement at the end. Your buddy Airman Snuffy decides he wants to party it up and put off investing for six years. After waiting six years to start saving he can only expect $140,000 at the end, HALF of your retirement. See my point? The time to get financially healthy and start investing is NOW.

I graduated with my MBA in 2009 and love financial planning. I've designed a simple 6 step plan tailored to the crew dog (slang for military aviators) but the principles apply to everyone. Think of it as your retirement gouge. My motivation? I want to see all my military brothers and sisters succeed! We all make huge sacrifices for our country, at the very least we deserve a secure retirement at the end.

Do yourself and your family a favor and put the time in now... you'll thank yourself 20 years down the road. Click on the 6 step plan at the top to begin.