Living a rich life, with or without vast riches
Whole books have been written on how to invest; how much to invest; where to invest. But if you're looking for a quick and easy primer, I've yet to find a story I like better than one I wrote with a colleague at Kiplinger a few years ago. The short version is -- it's really simple.
You know that your life would be better if you just knew a little about money -- and you would take the time to learn if it wasn't so incredibly boring. The good news is these little rules of thumb give you a quick and painless way to manage many parts of your financial life.
Investing: Starting small
Poverty used to be a good excuse to put off opening an investment account. After all, if you want to buy just one share of Apple (AAPL) stock, it will set you back about $100 -- $90+ for the share and $7 to trade. And most mutual funds require minimum initial deposits of $500 or more.
No longer. If you have an iPhone and a credit or debit card, you can invest in a smart and widely diversified portfolio with nothing more than pocket change.
That said, if you don't have a handle on your money, everything else can easiIy fall apart. A costly car repair can leave you without the money to pay rent; an illness can drain your retirement savings.
This site is about helping you make sure that doesn't happen to you. It's about living well, but simply. Every page reflects my philosophy about money, which is that you need to get it together to start on a path to a rich life. But that life doesn't necessarily require vast riches. It requires economic security, sure. But, after you've achieved that security, it's about living well in a simple way. No amount of cash will provide the warmth of close relationships. My goal is to take money off the table -- make it something you never worry about -- so that you can focus on what matters..
Nearly every retirement planning article and web-based calculator is going to tell you that you'll need replace 60% to 80% of your final years' pay to survive in retirement. This is, of course, complete bunk. But financial experts -- I'm guilty too -- have said it over and over for the same reason: It's faster and easier to provide this guesstimate than to explain that smart retirement planning is as individual as a fingerprint. To figure out how much you need -- you personally, need -- you'll need to do a little work. .
If you accumulate money for money's sake -- you're hoping to run out of banks to deposit $250,000 in -- you've stumbled on the wrong site. As much as I might wish you well, I can't help you because I don't understand you. In my mind, money is a tool. You use it to make you calm, secure and comfortable. And, when you've passed those milestones, you use it to help someone else.