Friday, August 28, 2009

Retirement Planning: Start to Invest When You're Young

Is it really important that you start to plan for your retirement early in your career? Does it really make that much difference? Starting a saving and investing program when you're young is likely more important than you think. Take a look at the charts below.

Starting to Save & Invest for Retirement at Age 25 vs. 35 vs. 45

Start saving for retirement when young: compound interest

The solid blue line above shows the results for a hypothetical investor who begins saving and investing $3,600/year at age 25. If that investor earns 8% per year, at age 65 he will have about $1 million (that's actually why I picked $3600). Readers will not be surprised to see that the hypothetical investor who starts investing at age 25 has more money at age 65 than the investors who start at age 35 and 45. However, many readers will be surprised once they fully

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are You Having Trouble Downloading the Spreadsheets?

July 25, 2020:
There has been a problem with some of the spreadsheets that have to be downloaded. I am in the process of fixing the problems, starting with -- the INFLATION CALCULATORS/SPREADSHEETS, and PLANNING TO BUY A HOUSE SPREADSHEET (which is also used in the Benchmark Buyer post). Please try those calculators/spreadsheets first and let me know how it goes in the comments on one of those posts.

The on-screen calculators should all work; just enter your data and see the results on-screen.

For spreadsheets, first click on the link for the spreadsheet you are interested in. If you see a green tab above the speadsheet that says "View Only" you are already in Google Sheets. If you do not* see that, click on the message that says "Open with Google Sheets." Once you are in Google Sheets, at the top of the page, click on File-Download-Microsoft Excel. That should let you download the spreadsheet - then click on the downloaded file in your downloaded files. You will need spreadsheet software on your computer.

If you don't have spreadsheet software on your computer (or the above doesn't work for some reason)....
Create a new blank spreadsheet on Google Drive. (If you don't have one already, you will need to create a Google Drive account.)
Click on the the link for the spreadsheet you are interested in.
Copy my spreadsheet onto the new spreadsheet you just created
You should then have your very own copy of the spreadsheet that you can enter your own data into.

Let me know how it goes, and if you need additional instructions.

Since I have been on an extended hiatus, I am not sure of the status of the other spreadsheets. If this process works for others as well, please leave a comment for me.


This blog rarely gives advice, partly because I don't know the particulars of your specific situations. More often, I will share data and/or analytical tools with readers in order to help them make their own decisions, based upon their specific circumstances. Sharing my spreadsheets is an important part of this process. However, apparently some readers are having difficulties accessing the spreadsheets.

This post will provide a central forum where I address problems that I am informed of. If you are having a problem, PLEASE let me know; otherwise I probably won't fix it. However, it is best to leave your comment on the post where you encountered the problem. Otherwise, I won't know which spreadsheet is causing the problem.

Can't Download Spreadsheet

You can never download my spreadsheets by clicking on the image in the post; that's just a picture. Clicking on the picture will normally give you a larger, clearer version of the picture, but not download the associated spreadsheet. To download the spreadsheet, look for a link -- generally near the end of the post.

Google may deny access to Google Documents/Spreadsheets if you do not have a Google account. If you don't have one, go here (they're free). Let me know if you're having problems.

In some browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer) you'll see a dialog box asking you to either OPEN the spreadsheet, or SAVE it to your PC. In some other browsers (e.g., some versions of Chrome) you may need to click on a link that appears at the bottom of your browser screen -- or at the bottom of a new blank screen.

Note: In all cases you must have a spreadsheet program on your computer -- either Excel, or a program that can read Excel files.

Downloading From Google Documents/Spreadsheets

Some of the links take you to Google Documents/Spreadsheets. If you end up there, while in Google spreadsheets click on File - Download.

Can't Enter Data

To enter data you must actually download the associated spreadsheet; clicking on the screenshot will expand it, but not allow you to enter data. The link to download the spreadsheet and enter data is usually at the end of the post.

Multiple Worksheets

Many of the models are Excel workbooks containing multiple worksheets. To navigate between worksheets,