What should I know before turning 25 years old?

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It is important to recognize that at your current stage in life, you still have much to learn and experience. The person you are now is just the beginning of your journey towards adulthood. While you may not fully grasp this at 25, it is crucial to understand that the decisions you make during this time can have long-lasting consequences. Many individuals in their 40s and 50s have faced significant challenges as a result of choices made in their early adulthood. Therefore, it is advisable to use your 20s as a period of learning from your mistakes, without allowing them to derail your future. The aim is to reach your 30s with those lessons behind you and on a path that will shape the rest of your life.

Despite feeling confident and knowledgeable in your mid-twenties, it is common to underestimate the complexity of the world and overestimate your own abilities. This is a natural phase that most of us go through. The goal during your 20s is to gain valuable life experiences that may occasionally be embarrassing but not overwhelming. Trust me, by the time you reach your 30s, you will gain a better understanding. In your 40s, you will reflect on your 25-year-old self and feel a sense of embarrassment at how naive and overconfident you once were.

During this period, it is essential to absorb the wisdom and guidance offered by older mentors and peers. They likely possess valuable knowledge that can benefit you. Don't hesitate to ask questions and recognize the vast amount of information you have yet to learn. Many individuals in their twenties often lack guidance on essential life skills, so it is wise to seek advice from older individuals like myself in order to avoid major mistakes.

One piece of advice that I consistently give, whether to my nephew in his mid-twenties or my interns in their early twenties, is to plan for the future. By "tomorrow," I mean retirement. The years between 25 and 40 can pass by rapidly, and the pace doesn't slow much from 40 to 50. Therefore, it is crucial to consider where you want to be and what kind of life you want to live when you reach your forties, fifties, and beyond. It is important to have a realistic outlook rather than entering the workforce at 25 with ambitious but impractical goals of becoming a billionaire by 35 or retiring as a multimillionaire by 30. Instead, focus on mapping out a career path and making choices that align with your long-term vision.

Starting to save money at 25, even if it is just $100 per week, will make a significant difference by the time you reach 35. If you can save more, it is highly recommended. You will be grateful for this advice. I speak from experience when I say that I could have been contemplating retirement in my 50s had I received such guidance at 25 and understood its impact. So, plan for tomorrow and thank me later.

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