I understand the struggle: I’m a very right-minded person in a left-minded career and the conflict of interest in my brain is quite stressful at times. Finance for right-brained people often is ignored or simply doesn’t register as something interesting, so it’s no wonder why talking finance with my creative, artist and musician friends is a real suck on the fun.
"Some make it big and never have to worry about having a retirement account, but some never become famous to the point of opulence - nevertheless, they are not exempt from saving for retirement."
But it does not have to be; in fact, artists and musicians are often overlooked as unimportant in the investing world because brokers either assume that:
- They’re too poor to make a difference oR
- They will keep doing what they are doing until the day they die and therefore will keep making a consistent income until that day.
The reality is there are millions of artists and musicians out there who do not practice their craft full-time. Most of them hold part-time or full-time, decent-paying jobs in order to survive while waiting and hoping for their big break.
Some make it big and never have to worry about having a retirement account, but some never become famous to the point of opulence. Nevertheless, they are not exempt from saving for retirement, if anything they need to more than any other occupation. Below I will address what I think are the three best arguments for artists and musicians to invest and save for retirement:
1. You have a money cushion to do what you love until you die
Since most artists and musicians – sad to say – never become as notorious as Warhol or The Beatles, odds are you will take a part-time or full-time job in order to keep paying the bills and to live comfortably. However, by the time you reach your 50s or 60s, are you going to keep on taking part-time jobs to fund your passion?
If you save for retirement you won’t have to! You can make music and art full time until you die and not worry about the daily grind to stay alive. You can finally devote the rest of your life to pursuing your artistic passions full-time.
2. Easily be able to afford expensive upgrades
If you are an artist or musician, you know that to acquire quality products for your trade is not cheap. A painter may spend upwards of $300 on quality art supplies just to sell a painting for $1,000 and end up paying a gallery a commission to sell it there.
A musician knows how must maintenance has to go into ensuring their instruments function properly, and could easily spend hundreds of dollars on replacement parts or for new equipment altogether. If you just have a plain old savings account, you may be able to keep making those purchases, but if you invest money in the stock market you can potentially make those upgrades sooner.
3. Investing can allow you to open your own gallery, studio, club, or agency
Just for real simplicity sake, if you started a part-time job when you turn 20 and put $1,000 each year into a brokerage account, by the time you turn 30 you will not only have $10,000 but an extra 13% on average, for a total of $11,300. Even with this simple amount, you could easily rent out a gallery or studio so you won’t have to pay a commission to a third party.
At the same time, you could help other artists get discovered by charging them a commission. If you are in a band and you and each of your bandmates did the same, in 10 years you’d easily have a down payment to own your own bar or club. Be creative, think big, and be ambitious in not just the artistic realm but in finance as well!