This shit gets real…

From time to time I write about money. Saving, spending, splurging, and thinking about the future. My childhood and lack of having many things as a child has created a passion inside of me that forces me to make sure that we never have a moment in our life where we have to wonder if there will be food on the table. Chris and I always try to have a back up plan. A Plan A, B, C…Part of the passion I have for living within our means, and saving for the future means that I stay interested in current personal finance trends and different ways of thinking about what you might need to do now to prepare for retirement.

This recent article from LearnVest shows an interesting infographic depicting what giving up a few things can mean for someone thirty years from now. If you scroll down to the middle of the page you will see an image of a pack of gum, with the description that if you cut back on a $2 pack of gum a week you would have $16,652 more for retirement. A $10 glass of wine on the weekend would be to the tune of $83,260 at retirement. The last one is mind-blowing (Chris are you reading this)? If you cut back $100 of your cable bill per month it would be $832,597 at retirement. It makes you think, right?

Thinking about retirement at 20, 25, 30, 35 and up is a very real and crucial aspect of our life. Often though we are barely paying our bills or student loans in our 20’s to 30’s and so retirement is the last thing on our list. I can imagine that many of us could cut back on paying $100 on cable each month, or get rid of it entirely. There are so many online options for entertainment. Regardless of what “thing” you could cut back (or eliminate) from a material consumption standpoint, the key is really to make a focused effort to think about what and how you are preparing for retirement. Have you thought about it? Will you be able to support yourself when you retire? Long gone are the days when your company supported you after you retire. These days a 401(k), IRA, and other options are the basic ways we kickstart our path towards retirement.

While retirement, saving money, and cutting back is not the most glamorous of topics, in 10, 20, or 30 years you may just realize how much you will need to put away each year for retirement and how much time you have lost. A good reminder that pertaining to money: this shit gets real… fast.

Random Olio Snippets: 1

I am trying something new. Once a week (on no specific day of the week) I want to share snippets of a few “random olios” or ideas from my week. Often I have random thoughts I want to share, but they are short and so in 2013 I have decided to share small snippets together in one post each week. We’ll see!

More books for me! – Thank you to a work colleague, I just found out that I can check out books from libraries in another county. She made my day. Call me a dork, but it gives me the ability to find books that never make it to my county library locations. For those of you in the Portland area, there is the Metropolitan Interlibrary Exchange (MIX) and they have a reciprocal borrowing agreement with libraries in neighboring counties (I can explain more if anyone has questions). If you are not in Portland, maybe you have a similar consortium in your town or local area.

Facebook Graph Search – Not sure what I think about this yet. It is a beta version, and I have not signed up for this feature. 2012 was the year that I put myself out there in the online community, and this online world is starting to feel limitless. In some ways, as online search capabilities grow, so does the potential of someone’s community to grow. Yet, I wonder if there is point where it all goes to far? There is connection and community, and there is TMI. Too much information exposed to the whole world. I have at times wanted to find something on my own page on Facebook and not been able to find it, but separate from that, what do we really need to search and know more about our Facebook friends? I would love to hear different opinions on this topic!

Social Security – Starting February 15, $61 billion in Social Security benefits are due, but the federal government might only be able to cover 60% of that. Yikes. Yet, CNN Money was the only place I found that was talking about this massive oversight? Why are other news outlets not talking about this? This should be front and center. It would be important to me if I was in the age range to collect benefits. This does continue to remind me that while I am paying into Social Security, I should not expect it to be there for me when I retire. Food for thought.

IRAswe can now contribute $5500 a year (up $500 from 2012), $6500 for those over 50 years old, into IRAs for 2013.

All random I know, but hey, that is why this blog is called Random Olio – you never know what will inspire, bring me to tears, or piss me off!