It’s Just A Numbers Game

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What You Choose to Do Today

Have you ever considered that Billy (8 years old), or Billy (30 years old), just might not be a good friend to Billy (who is 70 years old)? Often times we look at the habits or the purchases of others and make some sort of judgment on whether their actions are appropriate or not. We all come from different backgrounds, experiences, and economic situations and make these judgments based on where we are coming from.

So let’s be a bit more specific and measure people's’ decisions from a mathematical point of view. We want to see how financial choices made today, can impact tomorrow’s retirement plans. The chart below shows several common decisions we are all familiar with. We want to ask the question, “if I do this today, what impact will that have on me in the future.

Event Cost Per Event Times Per Year Interest Rate Years of Activity Approximate Value
Starbucks® Coffee $5.00 360 10% 30 $343,000
Golf Membership $2,500 1 10% 25 $297,000
Boat $75,000 1 10% Pay Cash – 20 years later $504,000
Dessert $6.00 3x Per Week 10% 20 $60,000

Yesterday’s Decisions; Today’s Impact

So does all of the above lead to the conclusion that saving every penny is the right thing to do? The math would suggest that every dollar you can put aside and invest will reap many rewards in the future. And by the numbers alone, that would be correct.

But I think several caveats are in order here. Quality of life and standard of living are not the same, and I believe quality of life should be the priority. I’m certain many of us know personally, or least through the media coverage, many individuals who enjoy magnificent standards of living. However, based on their divorce and suicide rate, their quality of life must leave much to be desired.

I’ve also learned that making memories is so important to that quality of life. These events can bond families and cement relationships permanently. Little things like the comfort and consistent cup of coffee in a warm and cozy environment, even if more expensive, may be just the medicine needed to get through life with joy in your heart.

So I’m not saying spend the money, or don’t spend the money, on certain things. Simply understand the magnitude of your decisions from both the financial and the personal point of view. An remember as well, that the $5.00 per day you are currently spending at Starbucks®, if you quit spending it at Starbucks, would most likely find a way to separate itself from your wallet anyway.

Let’s do one more comparison for kicks:

Typical Eating Habits
2 people x 3 meals/day x $5.00/meal x 7 day/week x 52 weeks/year x 20 years = $218,400
How about the Ramen Noodle Diet?

2 people x 3 meals/day x $0.10/meal x 7 day/week x 52 weeks/year x 20 years = $4,368

I’ll probably pay a little extra to forgo the Ramens…….

To discuss the impact of Your Numbers Game, contact us at 855-753-8776 to set an appointment.