Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Life Time of Work, Spending or Saving?

Grandpa was working on the computer one night working with the Excel program. As I watched him I noticed that he never really used numbers and this puzzled me. He explained to me that he was using formulas and that it wasn’t necessary to insert numbers into each cell and that you could expand what you are doing by just copying the cells into additional cells. By the time he was finished he had fives sets of empty columns, each set representing 10 years. He then got up and told me to sit down and write a number to represent how much money you want to make in a year in the box next to the title “yearly salary” which I did.

Grandpa chuckled a bit as he heard me gasp when the whole page filled up with numbers and said,

“That is what mathematicians call a variable, boy. You can change that one single number in that box and the program will change the rest of the numbers on the page to correspond to that number. The rest of the boxes are just filled with elementary algebra formulas.

Now, boy, by putting in $37000 a year for salary you can see that you will have over $850,000 saved up in 40 years or nearly $1,900,000 saved up in 50 years by just saving 10% of your salary every month and that includes a very modest increase of 10% in savings every 10 years. And we must remember that figure you put in doesn’t include any raises a person would get in salary throughout his working years. We have also used a very modest interest rate of 8% a year for our investment throughout these calculations.

Another way of looking at those figures is that is how much a person would spend on health insurance in his lifetime. We can also see that if we did not buy health insurance we could use that for our savings. We have also added into that figure that in a person’s lifetime he will spend $100000 on medical bills on himself and his family.

Now, granted these are just approximations but these figures can give you a better idea of what happens in a lifetime of work if a person plans ahead. And it also can make one see that there can be alternative answers to certain problems such as the health care issue. Self-insurance would be just one way. Self-insurance by people would be one way of bringing down the cost of health insurance too.

So, boy this is but a small lesson of life for you once you decide to leave the nest. The rest will be up to you to carry out any plans you have for your life and the lives of your family when you are ready for that awesome responsibility. I can do no more.”

I sat there looking at the numbers then smiled as I said, “yes, grandpa I understand. Thank you.”


BB-Idaho said...

I use a version of ExCell for budgeting. Worked for me....

The Griper said...

you can find tutorials for excel on youtube too, BB. gives ya a lot of shortcuts etc.

i use that program all the time myself whenever i want to see a projection of something or just like you say,,just to keep track of your budgeting.

The Griper said...

btw,BB, i think it took me less than a half hour to do this fifty year calculation

Rational Nation USA said...

Smiling, Excel a wonderful toll.

Anonymous said...

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dcat said...

EXCEl is great I have money left over for my trip to the Caribbean!

It was 85 there today! Can't wait just a few more and I'm there! This makes trip number 6!


The Griper said...

the point of this post was not to applaud the value of excel. it was to point out the fact that with a little planning of a person's life he could self-insure himself for less than buying health insurance.

Karen Howes said...

Never did learn how to use Excel...

dcat said...

Exactly Griper enjoy till the end and don’t get sick!

I work in health care remember it’s a “practice”. I’m not kidding either!

BB-Idaho said...

Odd thing about investing: greed.
I retired early, having invested conservatively. My peers all had to keep their noses to the grindstone. The attractions of
'bubbles' while silly to us scientists, have a fascination which prompts many to overload to the risk side. They forget that risk entails loss....

The Griper said...

so true, my friend.

but i will also add that not even you would think it just to force you to subsidize the incomes of those foolish enough to overload on the risk side, agreed?

BB-Idaho said...

Foolish to overload on the risk side? That would be our Wall Street friends..given that we bailed them out and they used it on bonuses for themselves, yep we
subsidized them, bigtime. BTW, I discovered an oddity about the market and played the phenomenon by sequestering at favorable fixed rates on annuities
whenever my GOP friends took control, reinvesting in tech and
large caps when my Dem friends took control. Cynical, huh? :)

The Griper said...

you came out ahead in your investments, that is what counts. that is called wisdom in my book.

besides, isn't being skeptical considered an asset to a scientist?


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