Monday, October 22, 2012

What Percent of Your Salary Should You Save for Retirement? (by Starting Age)

Here's an easy-to-use graph that suggests the percent of your salary you should save for retirement depending upon the age you start saving. It's based upon the commonly used 4% withdrawal approach to retirement savings, and is independent of your salary. Waiting too late to start your retirement planning & saving, or saving too little, can make the difference between having a secure, comfortable retirement and spending your golden years in poverty.

What Percent of My Salary Should I Save for Retirement? Some Benchmarks by Starting Age


Retirement Planning: percent of salary to save each year -- by age you start saving
Annual Retirement Savings Percentage Needed
Note: This chart is for those who do not expect to receive Social Security. See also Percent to Save With Social Security, saving percents for higher income earners, and the final section of this post.

Start Saving & Investing When You Are Young, And Don't Invest Overly Conservatively

This graph (click to enlarge) proposes some benchmarks for those planning to retire without a pension or Social Security. While your specific circumstances may differ from what I have assumed (see "Key Assumptions" below), they won't change the basic messages that I think this chart sends, namely:
  • The earlier you start planning & saving for retirement, the better off you are (i.e., the less you will need to save each year)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Using Your Android Phone GPS to Find Friends in a Crowd

How do you find your friends in a crowd of 75,000 people?

DRAFT

Tailgating at the Texans - Packers Monday Night Football Game

The Houston Texans have sold out every game in their 10-year history. Thus, the Texans-Packers Monday Night Football game will have over 70,000 football fans in attendance. Thousands of additional fans bought "tailgating" tickets, which admit them to the parking lot, but not the stadium itself. How do you find someone in that mass of humanity?

Don't Rely on Your Cell Phone

If you do not arrive at the parking lots with the rest of your tailgating party, finding them somewhere amidst 75,000 fans can be a problem. Under normal circumstances, you'd just whip out your handy cell phone and have them give you directions and describe key nearby landmarks. Unfortunately, this method may be problematical in this situation.

A crowd of 75,000 people in such a constricted area may well overwhelm the local cell phone tower capacity -- even with the additional capacity that the league trucks in for the occasion. It's very difficult to

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My All Ex-Houston Texans Team

All Ex-Houston Texans Football Team
Not many years ago, if a player couldn't make the Houston Texans, his chances of making some other NFL team were... well, let's say "slim."

How far the Texans have come! Now, the Texans see ex-Texans on the opposing side virtually every week -- often as starters. In fact, it occurred to me that you could put a pretty good football team together consisting only of current NFL players that the Texans had released. Here's my team (and where they are now).

My All-Ex-Houston Texans Team: Offense

  • QB: Rex Grossman (Redskins)
  • RB: Chris Ogbonnaya (Browns)

Monday, October 1, 2012

September 2012 Stock Market Performance

Stock market (DJIA) monthly performance / closing prices for last 12 months
Dow Index Monthly Closes Through September, 2012

Dow Inching Closer to All-Time High

As you can see from the chart above, the Dow has recouped the overwhelming majority of the losses incurred during the 2008-2009 stock market crash.

On September 6, the market jumped over 200 points to four-year highs, based upon the latest encouraging news regarding the European debt crisis.  A week later, the Fed announced new plans for spurring domestic growth -- primarily by buying mortgage-backed securities.  The intent is to boost the housing market by lowering mortgage rates even further.  The result was another 200-point day on the Dow.

Exactly a week later, the Dow closed at 13,596.93 -- not only a new 52-week high, but its highest reading in almost five years.  To find a higher reading, you have to go back to the fall of 2007, early in the decline following the October 9, 2007 all-time high.