(Note: All calculations and charts rendered with OnTrajectory.com)
Let’s say you’re 25 (pretending is fun, right?)…
If you place a quarter a day into a tax-deferred, moderate-risk-jar – and because you’re awesome, you give that jar to your favorite great-grand-nephew upon your eternal “rest”: How much is in the jar?
About $43,000, here’s the chart…
Or how about something a little trickier to calculate. Let’s say you replace your car about every 10 years (until you turn 70), how many extra years of retirement can you afford if you pay $400 per month versus $500?
About 6 years — here are the charts…
Or a latte per week? About $100k of inheritance.
Or a bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas? About a semester of college for your unborn daughter.
Or not taking the 401k match at your job? You don’t even want to know.
And we’re not saying you shouldn’t do these things (except the 401k thing, please do that). Not only because financial models are built on assumptions and assumptions are uncertain, but because lattes are delicious. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to see the information – to easily adjust various criteria, and display the results all in the context of your own situation?
Consider this scenario:
You’re a middle-aged adult with 2 young kids. Your house/apartment is too small and maybe the schools aren’t so hot. You’ve got a decent job and a growing 401k. But now you also have to think about 529 Plans and maybe an IRA for your spouse who only works part-time – perhaps an HSA too, maybe? How do you know ‘how much house’ to buy, or whether you should buy one at all? Is it better to put the cash in the HSA, the 401k, the IRA, or the 529?
How can anyone do serious planning with so many variables to consider? How can you map the interplay of these choices and run scenarios to clearly see the results?
Well, that’s why we exist – so give us a try at OnTrajectory.com.