How To Be Baller: Finance Expert Sonari Glinton on Flexing For Retirement
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Finance “father” Sonari Glinton: Flexing to your friends = fine (as long as you save for the future).
YR Media’s Adult ISH co-hosts
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Check out the full conversation on YR Media’s Adult ISH podcast (episode 8 – Future ISH).
Merk: What’s the nugget of, “Don’t forget about this when you retire!” information that we all should know?
Sonari: One of the things that is really important to remember about retirement is that the younger you are when you start saving, the sooner you can get [more] out of the system. If you save $100 a week, in 40 years you would have a $1 million because of the miracle of compound interest. It’s not the first five years that you see any growth in the money. It’s literally in year 36, 37, and 39. So, the very first thing you do before you make any money and start burning it, Young Blood, is to start thinking about saving it.
Merk: I know the term ‘interest’ and I kind of know what it represents, but for someone who might not have an idea what interest or compound interest is, can you say what that is?
Nyge: That’s where you lost me. You said the miracle of compound interest and I just kind of started looking at my phone.
Sonari: There is nothing in your life I’m going to tell you that is more important than understanding interest and how it compounds. Interest is when you put money in the bank. Sometimes they say, “Oh! We’ll give you like a little bit of money for just for holding it over.” Let’s say you buy a car that was $24,000 and you pay it back. You have to pay back more money than you got initially. That’s what’s called interest. It applies to retirement because if you save early, you get way more interest. Your money is making money for you. People talk about ballers. Ballers [like professional athletes] have to work out! They gotta do stuff and their money doesn’t last. You know who I want to be? I want to be like Warren Buffett. He just goes to sleep and his money goes and does three-point shots for him.
Nyge: Sonari, can I be 100 percent honest with you? What if I just want to flex? I’m 22. All my friends are graduating college. Everybody’s posting on Instagram. What if I just want to show all my friends that I’m better than them and not be thinking about the long play?
Sonari: Stop thinking about balling. What basketball / football player do you know that has left multigenerational wealth? Has endowed a university? There’s two of them you know of. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Most of the people who are ballin’, have been fallin’. [Professional sports] is the one of the worst careers and especially for people of color. Things are going to come up in your life, man. I used to work at NPR and I used to joke that everybody [there] had a rich uncle and in my family, I was the rich uncle. And when you’re a person of color and maybe lucky enough to have gone to school and get a job, people could be coming for you. Not in a bad way, but because you just need to help out. The problem is there are a lot of people [who] don’t have a lot of money and it’s really hard. There’s a lot of shame in all of this stuff. [But] here’s what’s great about this. You don’t know about this stuff and I know there are nationally recognized reporters who don’t know this either. Just because somebody looks some way doesn’t mean they got it. And remember it’s not about things. When I look back at stuff [I value from 25 years ago], it was that I spent money to go see James Brown. It [was] really the experience. So, live your life — just think about the future. Keep 10 to 15 percent [of your paychecks] aside so that you don’t have to go back to your parents. That is the essence of ballin’. I don’t have to ask anybody for sh*t. That’s being a grown up, that’s being a man, that’s being a baller.
Merk: Sonari, thank you for teaching us the true essence of ballin’ and for trying your best to keep us from blowing all of our money on food, flexing trips, Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. Until next time…
Sonari: You’re welcome. There’s no shame in it all.