Now that’s long term

Ramit Sethi

My parents celebrated their 31st anniversary yesterday.

I thought about that for a while and a few things came to mind. “They made the ultimate investment!” “What a long-term horizon!” And other dorky things. But I think my mom put it better than I ever could have when I asked her how she did it. “You just don’t give yourself any choices,” she said. “You’re in it forever and you know that going in.”

Maybe when we talk about long-term investments and asset allocation and time horizons, we should step back and get the perspective of what it really means to be Rich. And despite all the magazines and all the TV shows and pundits that give us ideas of what we “should” be doing, sometimes the very best ideas come from right around us.

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Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.

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  1. breck

    Congratulations to your folks. What a great accomplishment. Hope they have many more years.

  2. Enrique

    Your Mom is right. Once I got married, that’s it.

  3. Alichino

    I love what your mother said about marriage! If more people had that perspective when walking down the aisle, there wouldn’t be as many divorces as there are today.

  4. Kat

    I agree with your mother, in terms of long-term commitments – you don’t give yourself any choice.

    Thats exactly how I feel about my retirement savings. I refuse to be screwed when I am older, so I am going to start now. I put 7% of my income (my goal is to get up to 20%), and 50% of my Cafepress sales towards retirement/investment savings – without question. I act like it isn’t a choice, it’s something I must do, and I will sacrifice other things in order to make that savings payment.

    I’ve recommended this to all my friends, and one in particular always gives the excuse that she has too many other expenses, so she can’t afford it. She has her credit cards, business to start and a house she wants to buy. But… thats how life is. You’ll always have expenses in life. Thats why you have to treat retirement/investment savings as if it’s not a choice.

  5. mansoor

    happy anniversary to your mom n dad!

  6. Greg

    This is great and great advice as it pertains to investments. Though there certainly are some people who should never be married/divorced, so it doesn’t always work applied in that context. I think having that attitude can help though.

  7. Wen

    cute post ramit!

  8. Eduardo

    Ramit, very nice post.

    It’s good to step back every once in a while and reassess what is most important.

    Congratulations to your parents!

  9. Fashion Industry Ceo

    tell i said happy anniversary..Ramit…thats one hell of a commit 31yrs…congratulations

  10. Mohamed Ajmal

    I’d like to add a point to ramit. Ideas not only come from around us, but from within us. Think of the times when u achieved success, think of the attitude you displayed to achieve, apply the same attitude during testing times, it sure helps overcome any failure. From my experience, i’ve realised that the more committed you are to your goal, you relate it to everything you come across, and some where from one of the most unexpected source, a brilliant idea pops up. This sort of commitment is what it takes for one to make it big. Cheers!

  11. NLG

    Awesome, it sounds like your parents are very exceptional people with high integrity.


  12. Susan

    Very inspiring blog! Intuitively your ideas make sense but some of us thirty-something “adults” have forgotten that boundless capacity in ourselves for growth and taking (calculated) risks. Thanks again!!

  13. Matt

    I just wanted to let you know why I’m not visiting your blog anymore. I enjoy your writing, but the format is just too much strain on my weak-ass computer. I thought I remembered you saying that you would fix the excessive load time by changing the format, but I just got tired of waiting.

    So, this isn’t so much a complaint as it is my honoring your awesome blog by telling you of my reason for eliminating it from my list of daily reads. Consider it an FYI– keep up the good writing, and congrats to your folks!

    Fixed. -Ramit

  14. Mario

    My girlfriend (who i am planning on proposing to this weekend) cried when i read this to her last night.

  15. rkt88edmo

    Your post reminded me of a poli-sci professor I had who said, after studying the statistics, that you just need to do just 3 things in life to reach a comfortable middle class lifestyle.

    1. Get a 4 year undergraduate degree.

    2. Only get married once and stay married.

    3. Have no more than one child.

    His view was that if you did those three things anyone could have a piece of the “American Dream.”

  16. Eric

    Great post – I’ve been married for just over a year and a half and it’s the best decision of my life. She’s right – you have to know it’s for life going in. That’s the only way it works.

  17. Eugene

    I just got introduced to this blog by a good friend. Boy…. It has tickled my mind big time. Great stuff here and more Congrats to your Parents.

  18. Ravi

    Hi Ramit,
    Came across your blog recently and I keep dropping in regularly for all the tips and tricks in managing money. I’m actually doing very well on the savings & investment front. The Sensex here is steadily rising, I have been with it right through its lows and boy, today, I’m smiling every day, in and out! But, heck, this comment was more to say CONGRATS to your folks. 31 is a milestone…woohoo! I’m half way there already and one day, I hope to read my kids blogging about it!
    Cheers & thanks!