Sunday, September 21, 2014

$14 per day + compound interest = retirement

I could think hard about all the different ways to implement a savings plan. I know the mechanics of what I want to accomplish. The goal is to save enough money now to create a seamless transition into a continued future horseabout. The best approach for non-rich Americans with no career is to sock money away in a Roth IRA and invest in index funds.

The hard part would seem to be done. I did the research needed to plan my approach. I know more than enough about retirement savings, index funds, and compound interest. The only thing left is to get actual money into my Roth IRA.

First, I considered setting up an automatic siphoning of money from my checking account into a savings or money market account. I got lost in the details because my brain decided to continue on a different tangent, and getting my brain on track is like trying to get a locomotive on track once it's already taken a wrong turn.

OK - simplify. I need to get approximately $14 per day into my Roth IRA. Or $98 per week. Or $200 per pay period. Or $5000 per year.

$14 is a lot some days. For some stretches of time, that's way more than I'm spending to eat and walk around. At other times, I make a large enough sum all at once that I would hardly notice if a chunk of it disappeared. An average of $14 per day will have me on track for a retirement that is at least as comfortable as my current low-budget lifestyle: and it's an amount that I feel like I can manage.

The time to begin is now. The longer you wait, the less exciting the readout on a compound interest calculator. Once I had $14 per day figured out, I just had to figure out how to put it aside.

This is an explanation of why I have $42 stuffed in a jar with a little printed-out calendar with X's on the past three days.


April Fisher said...

Hello Chris just wanted to say hi and let you know I have been enjoying your blog. I stumbled upon it today through a series of links on sites related to van dwelling. I am looking to live in a van for a while to simplify, let go of attachments and generally avoid all the regular societal expectations of rent mortgage bills etc. I've read a lot of blogs today but yours is the first I felt compelled to comment and say thanks for writing and telling your story. It has honesty and substance and I appreciate reading about your experiences and perspective. Best wishes to you in all your future endeavors and congrats on your new tiny house and engagement.

Chris Harne said...

Thank you for the comment. I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone is reading this. I am so very pleased whenever someone is thinking about moving into a van. It is such a great idea.

I want to extend all of my best wishes and support, and my phone number if you want to talk in more detail. 747-444-1076.

I can barely make toast, but I have so many thoughts and ideas about how to live in the way that you describe. Call or email if you want to know which camp stove to get or what the meaning of life is. (It's not what most people think, and knowing it makes nothing easier.)

I'd love to hear more about your plans and background. Almost nothing interests me more than when a fellow human plans to break a mold.

To Adventures of Any Sort,