The crock pot is all about planning for the future and understanding that sometimes after a long day at work you are not going to be enthused by preparing dinner. Do you know what else is like the crock pot? Retirement planning. Yes, this post is about slow cooking and investing. The recipe is for a creamy, light, lovely little soup, pictured here:
A retirement calculator available through Bloomberg allows you to plug in numbers for variations on your age, annual contribution, or goal at retirement. Consider how much you want in your bank account when you’re old and just start plugging in numbers. It’s sad that the time in our lives that we are the least able to contribute is by far the most important time for us to do so. The classic example is that putting $4,000/year ($76/week) into a retirement account starting at 25 will leave you with $1 million in that account at age 65 (with an average annual return of 8%), but if you wait until you’re 35 to start contributing, you’ll have to devote $8,800/year ($169/week) to reach the same goal. Have you ever tried to “save time” by baking at a higher temperature for less time? Same problem. Doesn’t work at all.
One of the few good things that have come out of the recession is that most 20-somethings didn’t “lose their shirts” because we had no proverbial “shirt” to lose in the first place. Second, people just about my age exactly were in college when the real estate market tanked in 08. We were able to watch from a bit of a sheltered distance, but with very alert eyes. The result is that my age group has an exponentially greater interest in entrepreneurial ventures than many people just a few years older or younger. Why? Not because we’re brave. Because we are terrified of becoming a “victim” of the economy, untrusting of major companies and whole industries, and underwhelmed by the prospects for a bright kid to rise in the ranks if the company is just going to plummet. Plus since the job market is still awful, many people I know have plenty of time to sit around and think about the whole situation.
In sum, my contemporaries are going to do great things and work hard, I just know we are, and I hope that we realize that part of making our own futures is preparing for what comes next. MSN Money posted a depressing article on net worth in your 20s recently that basically said we are all broke, but we are “lucky” to have time on our side.
I’m slowly “cooking” up a retirement plan that probably involves a small cabin in the woods in Boxley Valley, with finest kitchen appliances in all of Newton County if I am a very lucky girl. While you are out there working hard and contributing to your future, let your crock pot do the same. Wake up, put your dinner together now, and come home to a little pot of gold. Actually, it’s literally yellow-orange in color, so it’s a totally perfect metaphor.
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 15 ounce can whole kernel yellow corn
- 4 oz. (1/2 a normal package) light cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. each sea salt, pepper, seasoned salt, paprika, and 2 tsp. dried parsley
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. each paprika, salt, and oregano