Chocolate: $17,000. That's an estimate of how much we'll need in retirement to support our chocolate habit. (Don't get me started on alcohol.) I don't know about you, but that's good enough reason to get planning.
Money Week arrives once again next week, although this time it's "Show me the Money Week".
It's the yearly opportunity to focus on our finances and chart ways to get ahead, and there are excellent events being held around the country. Of course this sort of thing could always use more than a week of attention, but having a few days flagged for it really boosts the collective conversation around money.
This year's focus is on the future and planning for it, which, if you're like me, drives you to either run for the hills or duck your head under a pillow. It can be overwhelming, especially when you start to consider the costs for everyday essentials like, ahem, chocolate.
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Some of us try to dodge the planning thing in crafty ways. You really can't fob this off by saying you might get hit by a bus.
That mythical bus that's coming down the road to rob you of your future is running late, actually... you may as well plan your destination and get on it instead!
Secondly, if you didn't get the memo, lottery tickets do not count as a plan. There are winners every week, but a one-in-38-million chance of winning Powerball is less likely than standing in a paddock and waiting to be struck by lightning. If the lottery win happens, great; if it doesn't, you need a plan.
Finally, we are not talking about taking out a loan to pay for a $3,000, 60-page, bespoke financial plan, either. Let's keep the Google map model in mind for simplicity.
There are just three elements, after all: the blue dot where we are now, the red pins showing where we might want to go, and the squiggly blue lines that show ways to get there.
That's the core of any plan: our current position, our goals, and what we're doing to reach them. (Some protection along the way, like insurance, is essential, too.) Some of us are good with goals, or better at tracking where we're at now. But it takes all these to get you from A to B.
So next week, for Money Week, which elements of your plan will you focus on? Even if it's just on funding 30 years of chocolate, it will be a worthwhile step in the right direction.