My philosophy ... *) Don't take unnecessary debt. Sometimes debt *is* a necessity (e.g. housing, education, transportation). *) Educate for your talent. If you are good at what you do, an education will compound that talent into wealth (even if you have to go into debt). *) Eliminate debt as soon as possible. *) Be the bank (when possible). Me personally ... At 45 (2011), I realized I needed to get serious about planning for a retirement. Met with a financial advisor and asked him, "what will it take for me to retire at 55". He thought I was nuts, but ... My "ignored investments" that I only really added to while 25-35, plus the cap gains after selling my house, provide a base to build from. I now have a significant income stream to contribute because of the "philosophy" above.