I love the song Dear younger me by Mercy Me.
“Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me.”
This morning when driving to work, this song came on the radio. I decided to write a letter to the dear younger me on some $ tips I wished I had known.
I slept no more than 4 hours/night since I was 17, for 15 years. It worked well in college when I was double majoring and had 7 odd jobs, worked well when I was single mother with 2 job in medical school. But I should have gotten help sooner and started sleeping more.
I recently increased my sleep by 50% from 4 to 6 hours and have become a much better person because of it.
· Roth IRA when you got your first paycheck at 15.
I’ve been working since I was 10, but got my first pay check at 15. If I had been maxing out my Roth IRA since 15, I would have already been financially independent by now 🙂
This is why I’m maxing out my daughter Mini Wise Money’s Roth IRA this year, knowing that she will have more than 300k by the time she retires with just 1 time contribution of 5.5k in 2016. The power of time!
· Cheap education.
_____ is like sewer; you get out what you put in. I did not need a 400k medical education when I could have rock the boards and matched where I want anyways spending ¼ of the money by attending an out of California medical school. I didn’t know better and applied to too few medical schools (California schools + 1 Ivy League med school.)
We are what we eat. Don’t skimp on food!
· It’s OK to not be #1.
I was #1 in my medical school for 3 semesters. The fear of falling was worse than anything else. I could have smelled the roses so much more and enjoyed more time with my kid if I learned earlier that being #1 really means nothing.
· Set yourself free: geographically.
In my opinion, California is a “sh**hole” compared to the beautiful Tucson, AZ where I live now. But I didn’t know any better, I was a fresh off boat with all my extended Chinese family in California, no one in the rest of the country. I should have known that each person’s paradise could be a different geographic location. I regret greatly the premium I paid to live in the crowded, congested, polluted cities in California where living was so stressful that little time was spent with the family I was close by.
Explore the country, be open to where you study, train and practice. I found my dream city Tucson, 14 years after I immigrated to the US. If I had been more open, I would have happened upon this great place sooner and saved 300k in medical education!
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