21 year old Nick Bradley was a young man full of vitality and life. But despite his good graces and his good common sense, he could no more relate to retirement than he could relate to walking on water. He could hardly even imagine how the next 2 years would unfold. Can you imagine retiring?
So when Nick's father sat him down to talk about retirement, Nick couldn't help smiling at the futility of such a conversation with him. First of all, he was NEVER going to be old and secondly, he was going to be so rich that retirement would become a moot point.
Mr. Bradley knew his son well... "let's take a worst-case-scenario. Nick, suppose something happened to Mom and me, leaving you to fend for yourself in this world. And suppose any money I might have left to you was eaten up by indebtedness. You would be forced to think outside the box."
Nick did not like the direction this conversation was taking... he was supposed to meet Sarah in 10 minutes and Sarah wouldn't accept being stood up. Despite himself, he was intrigued by his father's words.
Mr. Bradley continued, "I'd like you to think outside the box in terms of retirement, Nick. Imagine that you have the power to design your senior-years into something of your own choosing. Imagine that fate would have no hand in what becomes of you in your later years... imagine you are master of your fate. Nick, this is the position you are in, right now, regarding your long-away retirement."
Nicholas Bradley was caught up in the moment, both fascinated and leery. His meeting with Sarah faded into the background as his anticipation of his father's words grew... "You may not want to think about retirement because you are so young but I'd like you to investigate an Individual Retirement Account. IRA."
"You may be a slob when it comes to your laundry and all those Starbucks cups in the backseat of your car. But when it comes to your finances, you can't allow yourself to be disorganized. Open an IRA and try to put, at least, $25 into it each week until you retire. You will be a prosperous man no matter what else happens"... Mr. Bradley clearly emphasized "at least $25."
Thank goodness for cell phones... Nick excused himself to reschedule his meeting with Sarah and when he returned his father handed him $25 in cash. His Dad told him to make this the last twenty five dollars he ever spent frivolously.
Nick didn't know if he was depressed or ecstatic over their conversation. The idea of retirement was a for-real downer but the idea of being wealthy was enticing. He recalled the occasional ads he'd seen about individual retirement accounts. He would carefully think over the things his dad said.