Just 2 Hours a Year For the Rest of Your Life
IT WOULDN’T KILL YOU TO SACRIFICE TWO HOURS A YEAR, WOULD IT? What would that amount to? One movie? A couple of TV shows? Some useless time surfing the web? Watching your local sports team lose again (if you live in Minnesota, at least)?
ARE YOU WILLING TO INVEST 2 HOURS A YEAR TO REVIEW YOUR FINANCIAL OR INVESTMENT PLAN? In a normal year, that is all the time it really takes to make sure you have saved what you can, that your investments are, well, still invested, and whatever you else you need to review. For your lifetime, from age 20 to 80, that is a total of (60 X 2) 120 hours. You can handle that, can’t you? And once you get your plan going and have established realistic goals, two hours might even be more than you need!
BUT NOT ALL YEARS ARE NORMAL. Life happens. New job, unemployment, move, career. Personal changes – children, marriage, divorce, or developments with your extended Family. You develop health changes. Maybe your goals change and you need to reassess your plan – adapt to your new situation. Estimate that you have 20 of these years and add two hours for each one. You are now up to 160 hours for your lifetime. That’s one month – for your whole life.
TO GET THIS DOWN TO JUST TWO HOURS A YEAR, SET-UP A SIMPLE ORGANIZED APPROACH. Realize that using a low-cost, well diversified portfolio of investments probably works best for most people. Don’t worry about trying to outperform the market – keeping pace with it for 50 years, through all the ups and downs, should produce better results than more complicated, expensive strategies.
INVEST WHAT YOU CAN FOR YOUR FUTURE USING AVAILABLE PRE-TAX AND TAX ADVANTAGED PLANS and other straightforward options. Saving ten to fifteen percent of your income throughout your lifetime is good for most. Keep your costs under control and live within your means. Budget and monitor your cash flow when necessary and get your debt under control or eliminate it.
YOU MAY FIND THAT USING A PROFESSIONAL ADVISER HELPS YOU MANAGE THIS. Fine. That is a great choice for many people. Just make sure that their interests are fully aligned with yours and how they are compensated does not affect their motivations and recommendations.
CAN YOU FIND TWO HOURS A YEAR?