We all want to “make it.” The funny part, though, is that even though that sentiment is nearly universal, there isn’t really some agreed-upon definition of what it means. And there probably never will be.
For all of us, it’s a bit different. It depends upon your background, expectations, and overall priorities in life.
Still, we live in a world where money can make a major difference in how comfortably you live and how much freedom you feel you have to make decisions about your future. So we almost all definitely, at least to some degree, want to reach a certain level of financial security.
And let’s be honest: It’s nice to show off a bit to the world and have others recognize the hard work and planning you’ve done to become successful. But even if there isn’t an exact definition, the following three milestone financial achievements represent a few surefire ways to prove to that you’ve made it in life.
1. Gaining Access to Credit
The wealthiest and most well-off people have access to a ton of credit. But here’s the ironic part: They hardly ever use it. What an enviable status to attain indeed! Don’t get it confused though; People with a lot of credit do actually use their credit cards all the time. Financial services companies give you benefits for doing so! They just pay off the bill very quickly and never carry interest-generating debt.
Getting to that level might take a little time. But the first step to progressing down this path is by qualifying for and attaining a consumer-friendly credit card from a company like USAA that is generous with perks. Hopefully, you will be able to get a sizable line on a card that offers excellent rewards. And, this way, you’ll be gaining some great benefits even as you build up your overall credit profile.
2. Paying Off Your Home
There are a lot of big steps when it comes to buying property. When you get a first mortgage and drop a down payment, that moment will always be an unforgettable, incredible feeling. Congratulations! You are officially a home owner.
The next step may seem far off at this stage. But what really will put you on that next level is actually paying off the mortgage. At this point, you will reach a new tier of financial freedom. This might not allow you to retire tomorrow and never work another day in your life. But you will now be in a phenomenal position to build wealth — and one that many people never even reach.
3. Living Off Investments
Another secret of actual self-made rich people — and not those who just act rich or inherited their way to the top — is that they usually live humbly and invest a lot. The less you spend, especially early in your working career, the more you can put into the market and other stable investments. And compound interest is the true key to accumulating wealth.
Most people won’t ever get to the point that they can stop working until they hit retirement age. That’s fine and very normal! But if you do well enough in your 20s and 30s, you might just be on the path to making it for real. This doesn’t mean you need to fully retire once the money starts doing all your work for you. But if you can get to the point in your 50s — or even 40s — where you are able to take a year or two off for yourself? Well, that truly is achieving financial freedom. That is making it.
Hitting Financial Goals — For Yourself
It’s great to show the world that you’re doing well. But you don’t want to fall into the trap of achieving success only to prove yourself to other people. We all of course want the approval of others. The greatest achievements are the ones that will actually empower you to live a better life.
That said, there are some clear milestones that we can all recognize. Getting access to credit on advantageous rewards cards is a big step. Another major landmark is paying off your home. Then, if you do very well and get a little lucky, you may be able to pile up enough savings and investments to gain full financial independence from any 9-to-5 income.
Many of us will never actually “make it” to this final stage. But we all need something to aspire to. So set your goals as high as possible and don’t stop until you’re living your dream.