I am thinking of retirement: what should I do?

Congratulations! The fact you are thinking about or asking questions about retirement is a significant step that many people are never able to get to let alone put a plan in place to enjoy.

One of the biggest questions that people have is: Will I run out of money? and how can I stress test this. Over the past few years, I have done a lot of reading and learning about what needs to be true for retirement so I thought I would share some of the resources and or learning I have gained over this time.

  • To retire, you need to understand how much you plan to spend each year. This will help you understand how much of a nest egg you need to have saved up to fund your lifestyle. As you go through many of the categories, for a 6-12 month period, you will also be able to identify areas of spend that will not be as high in retirement for example, clothing, commuting costs, lunches etc. There may also be some areas that increase vs. your working days for example travel, entertainment etc. To track Expenses, I use Mint where I link up all of my accounts and credit cards that with a little help learns categories over time. This will help you trend your spending and understand variance year over year in a very easy way.
  • Fees: if returns are 6% per year and your advisor or the funds you invest in are 2%, then you are giving away 1/3 of your earnings. ETFs can be put together by a computer and cost significantly less while still providing exposure to the equity markets. If you are investing this way, it is not likely that you need a highly paid money manager.
  • Wealthica (Canada) or Personal Capital (US) are great tools you can use to evaluate your net worth over time and understand the fee structure associated with your investments.

Resources

  1. Mint.com – track and categorise your spending
  2. Wealthica – net worth tracking
  3. Personal capital – net worth tracking.
  4. Mister Money Mustashe
  5. Choose FI / start
  6. Choose FI for kids
  7. Big Ern and the Safe Withdrawl rate series.
  8. Quit Like a Millionaire
  9. Your Money or your Life
  10. Playing with Fire
  11. The mad Fientist
  12. https://firecalc.com/
  13. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2017/01/25/the-ultimate-guide-to-safe-withdrawal-rates-part-7-toolbox
  14. https://jlcollinsnh.com/calculators/
  15. https://www.financialsamurai.com/
  16. https://www.gocurrycracker.com/
  17. https://www.donebyforty.com/
  18. https://princeoftravel.com/
  19. https://earlyretirementnow.com/
  20. https://www.newretirement.com/planner/plus-signup?nr_a=ern
  21. https://engaging-data.com/early-retirement-calculators-and-tools/
  22. https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/
  23. https://whitecoatinvestor.teachable.com/p/fire-your-financial-advisor
  24. https://www.caniretireyet.com/the-best-retirement-calculators/

Did you stop learning when school stopped?

open books on wooden table

In university or any school, the term “hit the books” is used synonymously with learning.  That said, there is a major difference in the amount of learning and the amount of reading people do if they are not in school.  If you are trying to improve, get better, become more effective at your job, or contribute more to society, relationships, family and friends, then learning is key.

The biggest single barrier I hear to reading is “I don’t have the time”.  So often we spend the time we could be learning on our social media feed, watching TV, or just overall time-wasting.  If you have ever had to accomplish something significant over a few months and actually focus on it, you would be shocked to learn how much time we actually have: lots; if we don’t waste it!  I also hear that the cost of books is just so high these days so here are a few ideas that could help you overcome those barriers:

  • Use Audiobooks – imagine you could read books on your commute or when you are working out?  30 minutes to and from work in a car = 1 hour/day, 5/week, 20/month, 240/year with an average audiobook being 8 hours that if listened to at 1.5X speed = 45 books you could read per year!  Some services that are available include Audible, but there is a cost to that – read on about how to eliminate the cost.
  • Listen to Podcasts – there are experts in your field that pump out many different podcasts that may include other experts that you can listen too – all on your commute.  They also come with show notes where the producers put links to all kinds of content as well and most of this content is free.
  • Use predictive services to suggest your next read.  I like the Ap called Goodreads to do that for me.   It analyzes all of the books I have read and then suggests books that I may be interested in.  You can also go to a section in a bookstore or library that you like and see what else is adjacent to your favourite books.
  • Use an RSS Feed reader like Feedly. You can get the links to any blogs that you are interested in, organize them and get collated content from experts in that area.  I subscribe to lots of blogs where I am provided the headlines and I can double click to get the content if I think it could be useful.
  • Use your local library! Did you know you can get and read any book you want for free and that your library has an app where you can put books on hold and renew them from your phone? This can save lots of money and even a $0.60 late fine is far more economical than buying that book for $25.
  • Your library has audiobooks that you may have had to pay for through apps or subscriptions like audible but I have found I seldom go back and listen to a book I have already “read”. You can use the ap Overdrive or Libby to connect to your library and do the same thing as audible for free.
  • Your library can offer academic research or if you are alumni of a university, your alumni card can get you certain levels of access to the university library.
  • Lynda.com is a learning service with online courses from experts on almost any topic you can access this through your local library website!  If not in your local city, or town, just go to another city or town and sign up for a library card there.
  • Percipio is also an online learning service that may be offered by your employer with all kinds of content relevant to your job.
  • Get abstract is a service you may have access to where you can access the “Coles notes” book summary version if any of those business or leadership books that you may just want to explore at a top-line level.

In summary, you will never lose when you invest in yourself and your learning; also note that your wealth will only grow to the extent that you grow yourself!

Happy learning!