Sunday 12 November 2006

How to Make an Extra Million for Your Retirement in three easy steps

1. Start when you are 20

2. Earn an extra $3 each and every day

3. Invest it via a regular savings plan with 100% gearing ($100 borrowed for every $100 invested) into the following asset mix:

40% Australian Shares
20% International Shares
20% US Shares
10% Property Securities
10% Australian Bonds

Based on the historic returns for the past 20 years, and typical margin loan borrowing costs of 3% above the cash rate, this would result in $3,687,250 by age 65 - or $975,000 in today's money (assuming inflation averages 3% pa).

OK, this may not work out exactly as planned, but finding an extra $3 a day should not be too hard for anyone. And, as this is "extra" money, there shouldn't be any problem using a geared savings plan and a high-growth, high-risk asset allocation. For those that are risk-averse, just close your eyes and don't check the balance on your annual statement until you turn 65. In practice you may have to save up the $21 a week into an online savings account until you have enough to start such a geared savings plan - probably an initial amount of $1000 and then regular contributions of around $100 each month. Also, if you don't live in the "lucky country" you should probably change to asset mix to include your local shares and bonds instead of the Aussie versions, and switch the others as needed eg. from US shares to Asian for US readers who would be including US shares as their "local" share component.

There may be some tax due when you cash in a 65, but there shouldn't be much tax impact along the way, as the interest on the gearing loan will consume all your dividend income (more or less).

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