The 40-Year-Old Savings Virgin: Will this be you?

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In the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin Andy is a guy who has never managed to have sex.

How did he end up this way? Like a lot people he figured the window of opportunity had closed. So he simply gave up.

In love and money set backs are standard fare. Perhaps you have already had a few financial false starts; you may have had commitment issues and now dwell on lost opportunities.

We all have pangs of regret about the ones that got away. But; don’t let anxiety over past performance stop you in your tracks like Andy. Inertia is an investor’s worst enemy.

Take the classic example of saving for retirement putting away $2500 each a year over 10 years. The only difference between the women below is the age at which they took the plunge.

These figures are net and assume earnings of 11%*

Even though they invested the same amount of money ($2,500) the end result at retirement age is drastically different. Trish began at 25 and stopped at 35 – her retirement nest egg dwarfs that of the late bloomers.

Now I know that at 40 you might still be able squeeze on a pair of skinny jeans and look hot, but a savings virgin at 40 – not a good look!

Remember Andy enduring some torturous grooming to prepare for his reentry in to the dating scene? The financial equivalent of chest waxing is for you to look at your financial situation – what you own and what you owe. It could be painful – but not as painful as that awful “p” word – poverty.

So: get down to business! (even if you are a 40-year-old savings virgin) and improve your future financial good looks. The new KiwiSaver scheme makes things even easier – read our article here to find out more about it.

Sheryl Sutherland

* A return of 11% requires equity exposure, which is essential for long term saving. The annualised compound pre-tax return from capital growth and income the period 31 December 1970 to 31 December 2006 for NZ equities is 12.6%, Australia, 13.1% and world equities 12.6%.A carefully crafted portfolio could therefore easily return 11%.
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