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?

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,