Personal finance gurus, who write books and give seminars, can be great resources when you’re starting your financial journey — but they are not gospel.
Often, the advice they give is meant to be as palatable as possible, rather than realistic. If that helps you get started, that’s great. But as G.E. Miller at 20SomethingFinance explains, it’s just a start:
These days, just about everywhere you look, the mainstream personal finance gurus all uniformly recommend a 10% personal savings rate (Ramsey is at 15%), to the point where it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. To recommend or save anything more than 10-15% would be considered “extreme”, in part, because it has become the standard. Everyone has something to sell, and when the average personal savings rate is 5%, 10% sells to the mainstream because it is attainable and convenient to present habits.
That’s all fine and dandy, BUT… 10% will never result in life changing money.
…unless, perhaps, you started saving at age 22 and don’t stop, do everything perfectly, and the market does particularly well over those 40 years.
The point isn’t that a 10% savings rate is particularly awful, or that personal finance gurus are evil book-hawkers. Instead, think of their advice as beginner steps — Miller likens it to training wheels — that, once you get the hang of financial stability, you can adjust to fit your own situation (how much you have saved, when you want to retire, and so on).
It’s a good read with lots of good discussion, so hit the link below for Miller’s full article.
The Problem with Mainstream Personal Finance Gurus (and the 10% Rule) [20SomethingFinance]