Saving $ 10 a day - Can't Retire on that.

in investing •  last year 

Recently I read a couple posts that got me thinking about saving money, budgeting and retirement.

TL;DR save around 33% of your income for 25 years to retire. Unless you are making $33 a day and living fine, $10 a day ain't enough.

@financialadvice was talking about Budgeting Basics. He said do you want to retire early?

Yes I do!

@tarazkp was mentioning Every little bit adds up. He wrote that if you add up the price of small purchases over a long time, things really add up.

Indeed they do!

So I thought what if I put these two concepts together and add a little math magic?

Instead of talking about how to budget, why I need to budget, or thinking of all the small things, I'm just going to go with:

I can save $10 a day, but how much do I need to retire?


How to save $10 a day?

Get an income/job and don't spend all your momey....duh!

In any case, many people can easily save $10 a day which is $3650 a year. That's like 10% of an average income in many developed countries. Not bad in your 20s, maybe aim for $25 $ a day in your 30s and $50 a day in your 40s until retirement if you want an easy and early one.

This is an example made to be easy.

10$ a day parameters

Let's say we are 40 years old. Let's say we retire at 65.

The Math:

$10 x 365days x 25 years = $91250

I'm not gonna calculate leap years, but there will be 6 or 7

But wait, we ain't just gonna keep that under our pillow. Let's dump it into a bank at 2.5% interest (this is possible in many places after tax). Also, let's say we are paying in once a month (3650 ÷ 12= $ 304.17).


End Balance: $126,099.43
Starting Amount: $0.00
Total Contributions: $91,251.00
Total Interest: $34,848.43

As you can see for saving a total of $91251 over 25 years we earned $34848.43 in interest at 2.5% a year. We are 65 and it is time to retire!

Two cases emerge:

  1. Let's say we die 25 years after retirement at 90 years old. This is sufficiently beyond average life expectancy now. It will give us more than 10$ a day to spend which is important because inflation sucks.

  2. Let's say we go the distance and live as long as 10$ a day will take us. Life extension is for real.

Time to get an annuity!

Spending $126,000 over 25 years

Sorry folks I rounded down a little. Let's say we treated ourselves to Applebee's. (No reason other than I heard old people like it there from South Park)

So we have 2.5% interest again, monthly payouts for 25 years until we are 90 and don't really expect to be living it up.


Case 1 (fixed length):

You can withdraw $563.47 monthly ~ ~18.52 a day.
After 25 years, $563.47 is equivalent to $303.93 in purchase power (more on this later).
Total interest earned: $43,040.86.

Case 2 (fixed Payment)

We saved 304.17 a month for 25 years and we want to spend this much ~ $10 a day.
You can withdraw $304.17 monthly for 77.72 years.
After 77.72 years, $304.17 is equivalent to $44.63 in purchase power (more on this soon).
Total interest earned: $157,689.46.

77.72 years! Holy crap, we could live to 142! that's more than the world records unless you count mythology.

But there are other variables, most important with fixed payments is inflation.


For the record, I set it at 2.5%.

For case 1 (fixed length) After 25 years, $563.47 = $303.93, which is very similar to $304.17 which we were contributing monthly. This is alright.

For case 2 (fixed payment) After 77.72 years, $304.17 becomes $65.27 a month this is starting to hurt.

Remember we were saving for 25 years and there was inflation during that time, too.

We need another calculator to find out what inflation will feel like.


$10 with inflation rate 2.5% = $2.91, 50 years ago in 1969. Moon money!

I'm not in the mood to get into too much detail, but there is a historic CPI in the link in the heading. Put it this way, in 50 years 10 dollars a day won't be very much even with modest interest. I think the easiest way to look at it is things double in price every 25 to 30 years. There are exceptions, sadlt.

Saving is Hard

$10 a day will be worth around $ 5 a day in 25 years and $ 2.90 a day in 50 years assuming inflation averages around 2.5%. If you get 2.5% interest a year in interest that will be manageable.

Most people will invest in funds and such which tend to average at least double inflation, more of a consideration. Fortunately we have better calculators, unfortunately we have taxes.


Not on $10 a day unless you live somewhere cheap where making 10 dollars a day is tough.

Experts guess you need 70 to 80 % of your current income. Why less? Well you pay less tax, you probably have less costs commuting to work, less mortgage or none, less family expenses, not saving for retirement, etc.

I think 100 dollars a day is cool, especially if you own you home. You will need a 500 dollar a month pension and 1 million dollars to start, more is better. It's possible to get $1 million saving around $ 50 a day for 25 years.

More on that later.

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It's really hard to just live on savings as you said...inflation sucks. And, the worst part is, it happens everywhere, so there's no escape lmao.

I guess my friend will be interested in these calculations, he had been thinking about retirement even if he's at the same age as me (brb sharing it to him). On the other hand, I have little to no idea about money except for "just save what you don't need to spend", but reading the calculations on it still feels fascinating.

I don't understand it all either. I try to learn more and more every time. Most people love spending their money or thinking how to make more. But thinking how to use it best or keep it is also important.

lol wow I wish. I think that model works but there's so many variables... like most people that I know simply can't do away with 10%... at 30k a year that goes a long way (kids in school, kids in sports, much needed vacation) . And then my experience with the middle class and below is such that literally no one has any money in any type of fund whatsoever... except for a mortgage 😂 😅

lol my family still thinks that my broker is some sort of scam... and crypto? My family friends would just laugh me out of the house... there's really a huge disconnect actually.

If you can't save $10 a day long term, why not start with $3! There are so many expenses. Frankly paying off the mortgage is a good one because eventually, you will finish, then you can start saving for retirement and even consider selling and downsizing later. I live somewhere with goood transportation into work and I pay a premium for this. I won't need it if I stop working and I can use the difference to suppliment my income.

I will have to do some work until the day I die. Unless my investment in steem pays off! 😂

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Nothing wrong with working during retirement as long as you are happy and healthy. I personally want to work less, but probably not stop entirely.

Relying just on personal savings is difficult and requires a high income and a tight budget. Luckily we have work pensions and the government. A poor retirement would be relying solely on the government or charity, it's like riding a unicycle. Having a private pension plan puts you on a bicycle. Add Personal savings to your pensions makes retirement like riding a stable tricycle. Elderly often have difficulty standing on just two feet!

With a long enough time horizon, $10 per day is more than enough if you have a decent private pension, a government pension and a low cost of shelter. Government pension plans cover maybe 20% to 30% of your needs. Private, work-related pension plans can cover up to 60% of your needs (or 70% if you work for some governments). Saving 50 dollars a day for retirement is unrealistic unless you have great income or already own mortgage free property.

$ 10 a day is a wonderful start and depending on other investments and pensions it may very well be enough especially if you save for more than 25 years, say starting at 20 years old instead of 40.
I like using the example of $ 50 because this will make certain you are well off in retirement even without a private retirement package.
In Korea the government likes telling the pension plan what to do and this is scary because frankly its performance is poor.

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Maybe if you made 10$ a day extra with a supplemental income? Maybe you invest in something that will inflate in value 3x? 10x?

Eventually I will be at 10$ a day posting on steem and it will be worth 3$ ($7.77?). Steem is part of my. Retirement which is why I power up every penny I earn here

Ah who is kidding who, I can’t see powering down. Too much fun here.

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If you can make $10 a day in passive income when you retire that is great. Websites and blogs, or good stocks paying dividends are great. Owning some rental properties is even better. I know a few people who make good passive income that involves very little work.

I really hope Steem does well, too. If it lasts 25 years and doesn't devalue too much we will all be really well off, especially those of us just reinvesting our 50% liquid. If the price goes up to $5 or something we will be laughing. I don't see this model dying either, but I am watching the development of other platforms like Voice, etc to see if I should double-dip so to speak.

I'm earning more than $10 a day playing Prospectors. Maybe I'll retire early.

If that game lasts 25 years, you probably will have one hell of a retirement story. Hope your investment goes well.

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@abitcoinskeptic - LOL at latching onto a government worker for your retirement plan. I was able to retire at 58 after 30 years with the US Postal Service - you make a good point!

Government jobs are great. I have quite a few family members and friends who've worked in them.
Years ago when I worked serving in a restaurant, I got a party of people from the Local National Human Resouces Office Branch (basically it's unemployment insurance). They made it clear they wanted to split the check and I was the only one who decided to go for it because it's a pain in the ass to split 20. Needless to say it was a hell of a lot of work, I was slow and made several screw ups. Were they upset? Not at all, they were having a great time and I don't think I ever met kinder and more understanding people. It would be an absolute pleasure to work at that place, I'm sure.

Saving at ALL is made virtually impossible with the cost of living these days... sadly!

Yeah, it's really hard to save enough. For people who can't do 10, I would suggest doing 3! Having 100 a month when you are too old to work is awesome.

clear resteem.

$10 a day will be worth around $ 5 a day in 25 years and $ 2.90 a day in 50 years assuming inflation averages around 2.5%.

The sad part is that nature or history does not average. Huge discontinuities, boom and busts dominate the landscape. When there is hyperinflation you even lose everything. Its like winning the lottery but die a day after. I wonder how likely it was, if you put the 10 dollars over 25years into venture capital? If you hit a future bubble, 10$ can make you a millionaire even if all the others are fails.

I agree. In the 1980s mortgages and bank loans were above what consumer credit cards are at today.
I've never been in a situation with hyper inflation, but that is why diversifying in global funds and among other things like crypto land stocks and precious metals is a good strategy.

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Interesting analysis. $10 a day is definitely not enough in the U.S., imo.

The average person should learn how to buy an index like the S&P500 that pays dividends and learn to live off of those dividends. They should also diversify into things like crypto (with tiny amounts of their overall portfolio).

Asking the average person to do this though is like asking a boxer to solve math equations while being in the middle of a championship fight... no available attention

I'm 51 years old, make less than $3000 a year income (havent had a job since 2001) and can live fine in the US. The key is who you know and what skills you have that others want. This has worked for me though I would not recommend it to others.

Wow, so you can survive off $10 a day in the US! That's really good. I think in a rural area if you own a couple of acres of land, it may be possible, especially if you have a well-built house a good wood furnace and some off-grid electricity. The only worry is the lack of insurance or when you need to do big things.

$10 isn't enough unless you have a private pension fund from your company. Usually, in the US this means government, union or fortune 500 company.

Money is so important and everyone definitely needs to discuss it and learn more about it cause it ain't going nowhere. I think crypto is interesting and block chains have a ton of applications for traditional finance and investments.

It is definitely tough to discuss investing and such with average people. It drives me nuts that we have mandatory classes in high school discussing social science, geography, history and civics/politics, but not personal finance.


Interesting theory, it's definitely never a bad idea to tuck away some cash... To be honest, I believe the best way to beat the inflation rates is to put $10 per day in crypto, this stuff is around to stay.


About $10 a day in crypto is what I've been doing for awhile. It has been so far so good.
Definitely more exciting than paying off a mortgage or putting money into a 401k, rrsp or whatever your country calls retirement savings funds,but no su substitute.

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Hmmm you've just given me a new target to save for in the next 25 years... £50 per day for 25 years, millionaire time! Assuming I don't have kids, stay single and don't get married 😁

Thanks for the maths calculations here

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The secret is to find a rich and diligent partner. Government employees are a good place to look, too because of their benefit packages and unprecedented low risk of career failure.

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Time to sign up to a few dating apps and apply "government worker" filter 😁

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2.5% ...duh! You forgot to take BTC or crypto into account.

Invest better, retire in paradise!

Haha crypto is too volitilite. Great place to store extra money though.
Best trade some of it for global mutual funds cash and other assets.

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I think over time like say 30 years you can average better than 2.5% in a large cap Vanguard fund. The power of compounding is amazing.

Very likely you can average over 2.5, but I had to choose a number. Go with insured bank interest and you won't get a head of inflation and tax. Go with a low risk fund and you will probably slowly beat it. In my case I have several different things I do. When I have a good year in higher risk investments I move some to lower and medium risk.

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Greetings @abitcoinskeptic

I complete your mathematical analysis, which is accurate as long as the inflation rates are maintained over time.

Thanks for sharing such an interesting analysis

I went with 2.5% because that is bank interest I chose. Year to year inflation is really important. When it tends to be high so does deposit interest.
If you rely on savings probably some foreign investments will be good t9 diversify

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