Hi folks! It’s Jamie here again today to talk about another way to Improve Your Life This Year. Today’s topic – your personal finances.
I randomly remembered a conversation that I had several years ago with a friend. It was back before the era of smart phones, so we debated it over beers and then left it unresolved by the end of the night.
The idea was simple: If you set aside a dollar a day, invested those dollars in an index fund, how much would you have at retirement?
The thing is the math is a bit tough to do, so we roughly tried to approximate the math and then argued whether it was very much or not.
So today I played around with the numbers and I want to share both the results as well as my interpretations.
Really, this problem is pretty simple math. You only need to know how much you invested, how long it was invested, and what rate of return you received.
If you start at 30 and retire at 65 and earn 5% per year, a dollar a day will give you about $35,000.
If you start at 30 and retire at 65 and earn 8% per year, a dollar a day will give you about $63,000.
If you start at 20 and retire at 65 and earn 5% per year, a dollar a day will give you about $61,000.
If you start at 20 and retire at 65 and earn 8% per year, a dollar a day will give you about $152,000.
- Start Early. There is a huge difference in the final outcome if we can start earlier rather than later. No matter how old you are now, start saving. If money is tight, find a way to save just a dollar a day.
- Interest Rates Matter. Small changes in interest rates have a huge impact. That means low-cost or no-cost index funds are best because lower costs mean higher real rates of return for you.
- Every Little Bit Helps. Even a dollar a day leads to a huge sum in the end. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t skip savings just because you feel you can’t save a lot. Even a dollar a day matters greatly.