Do you put off some things indefinitely?  Are there some things on your ‘To Do’ list that have been there for more than month?  More than a year?  Five years?  If so, perhaps you should consider the potential cost of further procrastination – but please don’t put off reading this short post on the topic!
Procrastination can be costly

There are many reasons why we put stuff off – work, school, pick-ups, drop-offs, meals, exercise, paying the bills, cleaning the house, keeping in touch with family and friends, and maybe a little bit of ‘me’ time.  The ‘To Do’ list (if there’s even time to create one) may barely get touched when your life is filled with all of its day-to-day demands.

Here are 5 tips on how to create an effective ‘To Do’ list from award-winning blogger, Kim Garst:

  1. Don’t list all the stuff you’re going to do tomorrow or soon or someday.
  2. Get specific.
  3. Make sure your list includes only items that you can actually “do.”
  4. Keep today’s list short.
  5. Take care that negative imagination doesn’t derail your ‘To Do’ list before you start.

If one of your perennial To Do’s is saving for retirement, read on…

You may have heard of the two twins – one who started saving for retirement at the age of 22, and the other who put it off for a while.  If you haven’t, here is an excerpt from The Wealthy Barber (David Chilton) that lays out why time matters:

“Twenty-two year old twins decide to start saving for retirement. One opens an RRSP, invests $5,000 a year for 10 years, and then stops.  His RRSP compounds at 7% a year. The second twin procrastinates and doesn’t open an RRSP until the ninth year – the year before his brother stopped.  He then contributes $5,000 a year, every year for the next 34 years, until he is 65 years old. He, too, earns a rate of 7% a year.  At age 65, they go out for dinner to compare their RRSP holdings.  The second twin, who is fully aware that he contributed more than three times as much is confident that his RRSP will be worth far more.” 

What do you think?

The answer… “At age 65 they would each have approximately $690,000”.

[Note: I have adjusted all of the numbers and years here to allow for more realistic long term rates]

The point here is that while some things on your ‘To Do’ list (like cleaning out the garage) may just be an annoyance that never seems to get done – there are some things that can’t afford to be put off any longer.

Retirement is a significant worry for many Canadians.  With this year’s CPP and OAS paying out a maximum of only $18,749 it is obvious why this is the case.  Worrying is not enough though – acting is the most important thing you can do to avert an uncomfortable financial future.  So consider putting your retirement planning on the top of your ‘To Do’ list for this coming week.

Ben Hogan once said “The most important shot in golf – is the next one.”  What matters is not your past, but your future.  The final score cannot be affected by the holes already played, but only with the holes yet to be played.

If you’re not sure if you are on track for your retirement goals, it might be worth talking to a financial professional.  I can help you with the remaining holes to be played – and who knows, you might just wind up with a result you didn’t think was possible!  www.yorkregionmoneycoaches.com