How to Achieve Retirement Freedom – Starting With One Dollar…

Today is day three of ‘Retirement Week’.

For the first two days we’ve focused on the risks.

You may think it’s weird to focus on the negative aspect of investing first. But the truth is unless you understand risk you’ve got no business investing in the first place.

But assuming you understand risk we can now look at the next step of your retirement plan.

This is where the fun begins…

It may seem surprising, but many people don’t know how to save.

Why is that?  Part of the reason is temptation.

With the easy availability of credit many people prefer instant gratification. So they buy something on credit rather than saving for the item.

That’s OK with big-ticket items such as a house (within reason). It’s even OK to buy a car on credit (although when you get to a certain stage of life you really should look at paying cash).

But what about ‘small-ticket’ items such as furniture and appliances? In most cases, but not all, buying on credit is inexcusable. Most of the time you should save for it rather than buy on credit.

That’s easy to say. But it can be hard to save if you’re not used to it.

Now, Now, Now

Let’s give you an example. Let’s say you want to buy a piece of furniture for $1,000. You could either buy it on credit to get it now and enjoy it now. Or you could save $100 per week and buy the piece of furniture in 10 weeks.

But 10 weeks…it seems so far away. That’s two and a half months…and you want it now.

So most people will use the credit option. In a small way this is reflective of why many people find it so hard to save. Remember what we’ve told you before. Saving money isn’t the ultimate goal. When you save you’re simply forgoing current spending in favour of future spending.

In short, if you don’t save today you’ll find it hard to spend in the future.

Not only that, but for many saving seems so futile. We often hear people say, ‘If only I had $100,000 I could start saving.’

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s how many people think. They think in order to save money they need to have a big wad of money fall in their lap. And of course, because a big wad of money isn’t likely to fall in their lap, they’ll never save.

It’s a shame, because in reality saving money isn’t that mysterious or even that hard. In fact, you don’t need to start with $100,000 or even $10,000. Actually, you don’t need to start with $1,000 or $100…

All you need to start saving is a paltry one dollar coin. Don’t tell us you can’t afford to start a saving plan with such a small amount…

One Dollar Savings Plan

About a year ago we introduced readers of our twice-weekly free eletter, Pursuit of Happiness, to a savings strategy we dubbed the ‘One Dollar Savings Plan‘.

It’s a simple and achievable strategy. So simple, we’re certain anyone and everyone can follow it. It’s a strategy I’ll introduce to you today.

One of the biggest fears for those approaching retirement is that they won’t have saved enough to see them through their retirement years. After all, if you retire at 65 there’s a reasonable chance you’ll need to financially support yourself for another 25 or more years.

So anything you can do before you retire (preferably the earlier the better) to boost your retirement savings will be a bonus. That’s why we devised the ‘One Dollar Savings Plan’.

In simple terms, if you put aside (save) one dollar per day for a period of 30 years, taking into account compounding interest, it would give you roughly one year of income in retirement.

But your saving plan doesn’t have to stop there. Maybe you can afford to set aside two dollars per day. If so, over 30 years it will add up to two years of income.

If you can put aside $3, $4 or $5 per day over 30 years it will give you three, four or five years of income in retirement. Do you see how easy it is to put this strategy into action?

This ‘Drug’ is Good for You

But the best thing about doing this is that after a while it becomes a drug. As you see your ‘One Dollar Savings Plan’ balance increase you start to become excited about saving.

Maybe you start off with one dollar a day, but after seeing your nest egg grow you increase it to a two dollar a day plan.

The great thing about this strategy is that you can adapt it. Maybe you’ll have two ‘One Dollar Savings Plans’. With the first plan you’ll put $1 a day into a savings account. With the second plan you’ll keep saving until you’ve got $500 or $1,000 and then buy a dividend stock.

How you structure it is up to you. But our point is that saving and investing from a low base isn’t futile. You’ll get a big surprise when you see how quickly you can grow your savings this way. (This is exactly the type of easy strategy Nick Hubble introduces to his readers in the Money for Life Letter, such as his latest ‘Security Ladder’ idea.)

So here’s our challenge to you. If you’ve told yourself that it’s too hard to save, go back and do the numbers, because we don’t believe you. Go over your daily, weekly or monthly budgets and find a way to put aside $1 a day.

You will be able to do it. It just takes a certain amount of willpower and the desire to do it. Give it a go.


From the Port Phillip Publishing Library

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Money Morning is Australia’s most outspoken financial news service. Your Money Morning editorial team are not afraid to tell it like it is. From calling out politicians to taking on the housing industry, our aim is to cut through the hype and BS to help you make sense of the stories that make a difference to your wealth. Whether you agree with us or not, you’ll find our common-sense, thought provoking arguments well worth a read.

Money Morning Australia is published by Port Phillip Publishing, an independent financial publisher based in Melbourne, Australia. As an Australian financial services license holder we are subject to the regulations and laws of Corporations Act and Financial Services Act.

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