LETTER: Hoping you make the right choice

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

Is your money going up in smoke?

How would you like to have $1.276 million by the time you retire? According to Dave Ramsey, financial advisor, this goal can be achieved simply by putting $100 a month into an IRA account. The trick is to start early, by the time you are 25. If you get a late start, you will have to add $1,200 for every year that you missed saving the required amount, or maybe settle for a little less than the million dollar amount.

Where will you get this $100 a month if your budget is already stretched thin? You could eat out less, drive an older car, skip the manicure, the coffee, sodas or even stop smoking. Why gamble on the lottery? This is a surefire winner. If you stop smoking a pack a day, that would be $150 a month and would give you about $2 million by the time you retire. If your spouse also quits smoking, the net gain could be about $4 million. If you take 15 minutes to smoke each cigarette, that would take five hours a day. How can you get all your work done? That's 76 days a year devoted to smoke breaks. Over a lifetime, that's 12.5 years of time lost that you can't get back.

OK, so smoking is your only vice. Well, your kids and loved ones need you. They need to spend quality time with you. They care about your health and want you to live a long time, and your kids want to grow up to be just like you. Maybe the money you save could help them go to college or give someone a hefty inheritance after you are gone. What or who do you love the most?

I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but I am trying to get you to look at all your options and what you are missing out on. When you get a paycheck, pay yourself first, and then pay all your other bills.

I hope you make the right choice and I wish you the best of luck.

Arlene Jackson