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January 06 newsletter

Did You Achieve Your 2005 New Year's Resolution?

Our page on becoming a lotto millionaire is one of our most popular.

While it's a little misleading, because it doesn't actually show you how to become a lotto millionaire, it does show you how just a little savings, made regularly over the long term, will set you up with a moderate level of retirement savings.

To recap

  • Save just $20 a week, or $87 a month, (that's where the lotto comes into it - give it up because you're never going to win, and save the weekly bet instead)
  • Save for 35 years (it's all about regular, long-term investing)
  • Based on a 4.5% return, you will have a nest egg of approximately $87,000.

Sure, many people will retire on substantially bigger sums than that but, rest assured that most people will retire with nothing but their debt-free home. And, I suspect we will see increasing numbers of people who reach age 65 still owing a mortgage.

But, remember that the $87,000 nest egg was achieved by saving just $20 a week. Or, as our friends at Consumer and Sorted like to point out, you can save that by giving up one of your daily lattes. Personally, caffeine is as important as oxygen to me, so I've found something else to give up.

But what's the point of this recap?

As we grapple with New Year's resolutions for 2006, I wanted to pose the question, "Who made a start on saving for their retirement last year?" If we look at the above example again, and assume that we can save $87 a month for only 34 years, instead of 35 years, then our nest egg will be approximately $82,000.

By postponing the savings plan by just one year, the nest egg is reduced by $5,000.

The key themes to consider are:

  • Just a little savings each week will yield a handy-size nest egg,
  • Bigger savings (for example $50 a week) will yield a bigger nest egg ($217,000 over 35 years using a 4.50% return),
  • Start today - stop procrastinating, and
  • If you don't have 35 years to save, don't despair. Begin saving something anyway, and pass on these tips to your children, who will benefit from the longer timeframe.

Random page of the month

Begin preparing for next Christmas by purchasing Christmas club vouchers from your local supermarket.