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.
- Pensions and social security may be a thing of the past when it's your turn to retire,
so one should plan as if they contribute negligably to your retirement income.
- I found that I was spending so much that I wasn't going to meet my
retirement goals. One good way to avoid this is to set your monthly
spending before retirement equal to your monthly spending during retirement.
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!