NOT BUYING LUNCH CAN CREATE $90,000

#LunchMoney #savings #retirement
On average, Americans eat out lunch twice a week.
It could be more than that, if you buy your lunch at work every day.
The average American forks over $11.14 twice a week for lunch, according to a Visa survey.
If a person skipped that meal – or made or brought his own lunch – and redirected that money into an investment account earning 6 percent, he’d have an estimated nest egg of $88,500 30 years later.
These numbers were quoted in an article by Adam Shell for USA Today, also published in the June 8, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
OK, sometimes dining out for any meal is a nice treat. And, one does not want to live a life of deprivation.
But if you are having trouble saving for retirement, or you believe you don’t have the money to do so, perhaps one can find the money in places he never thought to look.
As a child, if your parents gave you an allowance, it usually was meant to teach you how to make the most of your money.
If you got a weekly allowance, did your spending habits cause you to run out of money before your next allowance installment?
Ask the same thing, now that you are an adult, about your paycheck. Are you accustomed to cashing the check and spending the money until you run out? Put another way, how much of your money do you spend without first giving it a thought?
Some people are well off in retirement because they had a great job, with great benefits and a great pension plan or 401(k). Others have a nice retirement because, from the beginning of adulthood, they earned a paycheck, and knew where every cent was going. These folks also made sure that a certain percentage went into savings.
Once they saved enough money, perhaps they parlayed it into a house, which, for them, was probably a good investment. As they kept saving, they then began to invest in other things so that, when they reached retirement, they didn’t have to worry how they were going to live.
The younger you start this process, the more you will have when you get older.
So, let’s pose the question again: is skipping a couple of lunches out every week worth close to $90,000? Some might say that $90,000 won’t go far in retirement, which is true. But eating lunch at home, or bringing your own lunch to work, is just one way to build a bigger nest egg, even if your job is hardly lucrative.
Another way is to use some of your non-work time to find, and work on, other great ways to make extra money. There are many such vehicles out there that don’t involve taking a second job. To check out one of the best, message me. Perhaps you will also find other ways to save money, besides not buying lunch.
So, it is possible to have a nice retirement, even though your income is hardly a rich person’s tally. You may have to do without some things that give you a moment of pleasure. Naturally, don’t cut ALL fun out of your life, but just take great care in your spending habits. Perhaps you could not only bring your own homemade lunch to work, you could brew and Thermos your own coffee.
Then, you have to be disciplined enough to put that money into safe savings at the start. As your nest egg grows, you can graduate into investing, without being overly aggressive at first. Then, as the money grows you can parlay it into more diversified investing – all with the help of a trusted adviser.
So, to borrow from Stephen Sondheim, here’s to the ladies (and gentlemen) who lunch – without spending $11 a pop.
Peter

MILLENNIALS: MORE SAVERS AND SPENDERS THAN INVESTORS

#millennials #investors #savers #spenders
Millennials don’t see themselves as investors.
According to the 2016 Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study, 46 percent of the millennials surveyed considered themselves as savers, 44 percent considered themselves spenders and only 9 percent considered themselves investors.
This study was quoted in an Adam Shell article for USA Today, which was published April 27, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Despite Wall Street’s attempts to woo the nation’s largest generation into the stock market, millennials have yet to embrace investing, Shell’s article says. Only one in three say they invest in stocks, the article quotes a Bankrate.com survey.
A Black Rock study says nearly half of the millennials surveys found the market “too risky,” the article says.
And, four in 10 say they don’t have enough spare income to put away for the future, the article quotes a financial literacy survey from Stash, a financial app.
Let’s break down the facts. If you are a saver, and are putting money away, where are you stashing it? In a bank? Under your mattress?
In this market, the rates of return on that money between those alternatives are not far apart.
Secondly, there is wild and crazy – “risky” – investing, and there is careful investing. Each requires consultation with someone you trust , but here’s a good rule of thumb: as you start investing, look for more conservative vehicles, i.e. relatively safe mutual funds. As your wealth grows, you can diversify and take a few, well-thought-out risks. If you really do well, and want to play, take a very small amount of money and invest aggressively.
Here’s another rule: it’s difficult to have a nice nest egg for retirement just keeping your money in a bank. There are very few, if any, traditional, regulated banking products that are paying decent returns. Banks are wonderful institutions for your checking account, and perhaps a small savings account to cover unexpected expenses.
But to really be a saver for retirement, you have to take SOME risk. And, make no mistake, EVERYONE has to save for retirement. As stock-market-loving baby boomers can attest, you never know when your job is going to go away.
For those of you in the category of not having enough spare money to save for the future, there are ways to solve that problem. First and foremost, you have to make saving for the future a priority in your life. Even if you see yourself as a spender rather than a saver, you have make SOME saving a priority, or the fun you are having today will turn into poverty when you retire, or when that good job goes away.
A suggestion might be to look at the many ways out there to use your spare time to earn a secondary income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, saving is not just prudent, but necessary. The more you save when you are young, the more you will have, and the better your life will be, when you are older. If you are a millennial, talk to your parents about what to do. However their lives have turned out, there are lessons in their lives that will apply to you. Don’t underestimate their story, or their advice.
As you save, some risk will become necessary. Though the stock market looks scary, over time it has proved to provide the best returns. Find a trustworthy, knowledgeable adviser to help you get started, and who will continue to work with you. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about fees, returns etc., so that you will have a clear picture of how to proceed.
Finally, watch what you spend. Don’t deprive yourself, necessarily, but look for things you can eliminate to allow you to save more money. Remember that a dollar in your pocket generally is better for you than a dollar you put into someone else’s pocket.
Your future could well depend on decisions you make in your youth. You don’t have to depend on things “going right,” if you make good choices now.
Peter

CONFUSION IN THE STOCK MARKET

#stockmarket
“Main Street” is dumping stocks.
Professional investors keep investing, as the market, as of June 2014, was hitting new highs. The Dow since has passed the 17,000 mark.
Adam Shell, in an article June 12, 2014 in USA Today, writes that average investors in mutual funds are getting out of the funds heavily weighted toward stocks and moving into bonds and bond funds. That obviously hasn’t stopped the stock market from hitting records.
Shell’s article theorizes that the average investor, after going through the downturn starting in 2008, believes that the stock market can’t keep going up forever. On average, Shell writes, the stock market goes through a correction every 18 months. So far, it’s been 32 months since the last correction.
Yet, professional investors pumped $5.5 billion into U.S.-based exchange-traded stock funds.
It’s true that professional investors are accustomed to the ups and downs of the market, and have plenty of money to lose. Average investors could lose everything, and are more cautious.
But perhaps it’s more than that. Average investors are probably having to dip into their nest eggs sooner than they had planned. Perhaps they’ve lost a job, and can’t find another that pays as well. Perhaps they were forced to retire early – before they could build a sufficient nest egg.
If you consider yourself an average investor, it’s certainly OK to be cautious. It’s certainly OK to take your profits if you are not comfortable with the risk. Still, it may be unwise to let fear govern your decisions.
Sure, your investment adviser may be a “professional.” But if you trust your adviser, let him or her guide you through this time. Interest rates and inflation are still low. The hyper inflation that the naysayers predicted a few years ago has not come to pass.
Make no mistake. Interest rates and inflation can’t stay this low forever. The Federal Reserve has stopped pumping as much money into the system as it has been, which may signal rising interest rates. Rising interest rates are not all bad. If you are not borrowing money, but have cash on the sidelines, rising interest rates will help you.
In short, if your trusted adviser is telling you to stay put, it’s probably OK. If he’s recommending that you move your money, he may have an inkling that something is coming, and may be exercising caution with your precious dollars.
If you are among those who is going through an economic pitfall, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You certainly won’t get investment advice, but you may find a great way to put more money in your pocket.
Obviously, the more money you have, the more risk you can tolerate. But try not to take what you believe is desperate action. Desperate action can just make a bad situation worse. Make sure you are making decisions rationally, rather than emotionally. Let your trusted adviser guide you.
No one wishes for another stock market crash. Still, they happen. But most advisers say that timing the market is unwise. It might be best to find investments you are comfortable with, and roll with the ups and downs. If it goes down, put more money in. If it goes up, let it keep growing. Most of all, follow your adviser’s guidance.
Investors operate on fear and greed. Make sure your fear is justified and rational. Try not to get too giddy with greed.
Peter