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School is underway and I'm taking 2 courses. One of which is how to be a ninja with Microsoft Excel. An early assignment was to build a spreadsheet to calculate retirement savings. The real lesson being that "Compounded interest in the most powerful force in the universe". Sage advise to youth but well understood to middle-aged & middle-class like me.

I'm pretty good with saving by which I mean I put away money and then forget all about it. I'm not a day-trader, stock analyst, power broker. If I were, I would have lost it all by now. My strategy is to squirrel away a little at a time and never give it a second thought until the time comes.

Still, it's good to assess investments every so often. Especially when the economy is favorable. I recall an early lesson from Economics 101. When the economy is good, save. When the economy is bad, spend. (Most Americans tend to do the opposite) So lately I've been putting as much money into retirement as I can afford.

"A penny saved is a penny earned" isn't the whole story. A penny saved is actually worth more than a penny earned since the saved penny earns interest (and may not be taxed).

It feels odd to be thinking about retirement at my age (40) but nobody wants to work forever. In truth, if I could retire tomorrow, I would. I'm not there yet though an early retirement seems oddly within reach were I to save aggressively and the market performs. I know that markets are cyclical so such a plan is unlikely. Well, it's worth a shot right?

April 2019

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