i was thumbing through men's health today and came across some financial advice by ben stein, an article entitled millions made simple. i consider myself a fan of mr. stein -- i think he's a smart guy who has probably done pretty well for himself -- so, i dove in and read the article.
for the most part, everything he says is true, but what it really tells you is what to do, not how to do it. for instance, he mentions that if you are 30 and making 50k a year and you expect to live until you are 80, you'll need 270k a year between 65 and 80, or $4,000,000. that sounds like a lot of bucks. of course, he's adjusting for inflation -- 50k in today's dollars will be roughly equivalent to 300k 35 years from now. fair enough, but it's really hard to come to terms with those figures. but, how the heck can i get my hands on 4 million dollars?
i guess the advice in the article that is closest thing to a 'how-to' is his 5th step -- keep on buying. what he is refering to is, of course, buying broad index funds, consistently and essentially forever. based on a 8% average return, this is the way to take part in compound interest and have your money work for you.
hey, it's great advice, and it'll even turn you into a millionaire if you have enough money and enough time, but $4 million still sounds like a lot of dough, and i'm going to need more help if i'm going to make it.