The Benefits Of The Outputs
@Whatisaname had a terrific list titled Personal Financial Rules. The list was very good and I'd say could be thought of as inputs toward playing the long game and/or doing things for the future you. At some age, 45, 50 or whatever age is relevant to you, you hopefully begin to reap some of the benefits of those inputs, that is to say benefit from the outputs. This list is outputs from "rules" like the one in the above linked list.
1. You can change jobs if you want
More specifically, it is not uncommon to decide after 20 or 30 years in one field that you want to do something much different than you could have ever imagined when you were younger. And what if that thing you now want to do pays much less than you've been making. It'd be nice to be able to pursue this sort of choice and some good financial decisions early one make that more likely.
2. Take a sabbatical
This is related to number 1 in terms of figuring career stuff out, the answer might be take a couple of months or whatever to go some place completely different to reboot or maybe think of it as an adventure. That costs money but if that's something you have to do, it'd be nice to be able to afford to do it.
3. Financial freedom to volunteer
Another example where figuring out some financial stuff early on can give optionality for whatever it is you might want to do now after working hard and making good decisions for the last 30 years.
This was not included in the list but this is high on my priority list and there is a direct financial component to it. Medication to treat chronic maladies can be very expensive. That medication is not intended to cure those maladies it is to manage them, the idea is that you take them forever.
The output of good decisions here is having a robust healthspan, having some life experience, some financial freedom and still being able to get it done physically.
5. This isn't about being rich
Number 10 on their list talked about budgeting and cutting spending on things you don't love. My take on that is to live below your means. Buy less house than you can afford with a 15 year mortgage, drive your cars for a long time and don't rack up credit card debt. Do those things and when you're 50, your monthly expenses are going to be very low, at the very least you'll probably be mortgage free at that point.