Dan Kegel's Life Advice

OK, so I'm not the most qualified person to hand out advice. But everyone has their blind spots, and I'd like to share a few I discovered in myself and what I did about them. If you have any of these, too, maybe this information will be useful for you.

Other people's Life Advice

Before I get started, here is another site along the same lines, but more so: Tom Chester's Financial Advice

Treat Your Hands Well

These days, nearly everyone needs to type as part of their job.

If it hurts to type, stop typing for a while, and when you do start typing again, type less, even if it means radically adapting your occupation. The consequences of injuring your hands can be lifeshaking. If you're a demon typer, you should start thinking about whether your typing habits are slowly injuring your hands without you noticing.

Be Financially Aware

Even if you're well-off, or you don't really care about money, you should pay attention to money matters. The first few chapters of the book Your Money or Your Life : Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence are a good guide to financial awareness. Go check it out from the library, read it, and follow at least its first few steps; you'll be glad you did. You may not change your habits much, but the financial choices you make from day to day will be better informed.

It is interesting to solve for your retirement income. If you set things up right, you might be able to retire comfortably. If you don't, you might not have a comfortable retirement. Here are two constraints that seem sensible - or even beautiful and powerful - to me:

To solve for your retirement income using these constraints, pick the age at which you wish to retire, count up how much you save each month for your retirement, then plug that monthly investment into a function that yields your monthly income upon retirement. If it is less than what you spend each month now, adjust your spending down and your saving up, or adjust the year you wish to retire, and recalculate. Play around with the numbers to get a feel for them.

If you were to put your investments into CD's or Treasury notes, and assume that the interest you earn evenly balances out inflation, you can use the trivial formula "monthly income upon retirement equals 1/12th the annual interest rate times how much you will have saved up by retirement time". For a more accurate formula, use a retirement planning calculator on the web, (e.g. one that assumes you invest in CD's or one that gives you a choice of portfolios), Quicken, or whatever your bank gives out for online banking customers.

Whether or not you eventually satisfy these constraints, this exercise gives you a greater appreciation for what your money is worth to you!