Recs

0

Starbucks Stole My Retirement!

We finance types love to call out those daily expenditures that fritter away hard-earned paychecks. (Guilty!) Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) in particular takes a beating in these oft-cited budgeting scenarios.

As I sit here sipping my deadline beverage of choice -- venti java-chip (with whip and chocolate topper) -- I'm not going to tell you to forgo your daily performance-enhancing cocktail. I won't even rail on that stale deli sandwich and those half-read magazines clogging the recycling bin if these daily vices truly add to your quality of life. What's $6.49 here and $3.50 there?

How about $4,950? That's a number that deserves a bit of attention. Here's how easy it is to blow that kind of coin in a year, with nary a coffee expenditure in sight:

Cash Drain Annual Cost

Not shopping around
for best car insurance

$200
Missed tax deductions
and credits
$600
Useless tools, clothes,
or trinkets
$400
Rarely watched premium
cable stations
$120
Ignoring employer
401(k) match
$1,000
Neglecting to refinance
the mortgage
$2,400
Accepting credit card's
interest rate
$400
College savings in
tax-unfriendly account
$200
Ignoring medical flexible
spending account
$150
TOTAL $5,470


Maybe you don't see yourself in the above scenario. You live by your cable subscription and the kids have a full ride to Kidult Camp U. After you pick up our lunch tab, let's discuss what else might be beating down your budget.

Your "latte factor" -- a phrase coined to describe the daily cash drain -- may be less obvious. After all, what's 59 basis points (just a smidge more than one half of a percentage) here and there?

It's $300,000, actually. That's not the kind of cash you're likely to let slip.

If you don't watch the little things, something like a few basis points can add up to mind-blowing amounts over the years. Take this example from author Jeremy Siegel: Compare a $1,000 investment earning a compounded average annual return of 14.42% with one earning 13.83% -- that's right, 59 basis points less. After 53 years, the investment earning 13.83% will amount to $961,000. Hold your touchdown dance. Add in that trickle of extra returns over the years, and you end up with $1.26 million.

That's the difference between investing in ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) . Both were great stocks for shareholders who held for decades. But Exxon turned out to be just a little bit better -- assuming your definition of "a little bit" includes "$300 grand."

There are lots of little things besides daily lattes or online speed shoe-shopping that can kill your retirement. I recently counted fiveidiot IRA moves -- many of which can go unnoticed -- that can ravage a well-planned retirement.

More retirement killers
If only we could charge Starbucks for stealing our retirement savings! But the blame game would not be complete if we failed to call out our own stupid human tricks. Resident retirement guru Robert Brokamp has done the self-flagellation for you in "9 Retirement Killers."

Grab a cup of Joe and take a gander.

For more on asset allocation, keeping the most money for yourself (and not Uncle Sam), and safe withdrawal rates, giveMotley Fool Rule Your Retirementa 30-day, no-obligation free trial, and receive our "10 Monster Stocks" special report.

Dayana Yochim owns none of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a speed-read -- after you've finished your Mountain Dew.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 496313, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/24/2014 7:37:49 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dayana Yochim
TMFSchool

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,083.80 -2.83 -0.02%
S&P 500 1,987.98 0.97 0.05%
NASD 4,472.11 -1.59 -0.04%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

7/24/2014 4:00 PM
IBM $195.24 Up +1.61 +0.83%
International Busi… CAPS Rating: ****
SBUX $80.45 Up +1.31 +1.66%
Starbucks CAPS Rating: ****
XOM $104.28 Up +0.03 +0.03%
ExxonMobil Corp CAPS Rating: ****

Advertisement