Saturday, 14 January 2017

Retirement calculator

Inspired by Aussie Firebug's early retirement spreadsheet, and my own frustrations with excel, I made a calculator with Javascript.

Most American FI calculators work on a single value, because their tax system includes 401ks and Roth IRAs and a bunch of other things I don't quite understand, but are quite similar to the Australian Superannuation system. The difference between Australia and America is that they have legitimate methods to withdraw from their Super, with or without penalties. In Australia we cannot touch our Super unless we're in some serious financial strife. And honestly, no one wants to plan their retirement on the basis of "If I declare myself broke I can crack open the Superannuation piggybank". The Australian government will make you burn through all your accessible assets before they let you.

As for why you would bother investing in Superannuation if you intend to retire before preservation age, it all comes down to taxes. You can salary sacrifice into your Superannuation account before taxes - so if you make $1,000 a week (a nice round number for doing maths with) then you would be paying $162 tax. If you could salary sacrifice half of your income, then you're only paying a measly $28. By placing half your income into your Superannuation, you get to 'take home' $972 a week, as opposed to $838.
(Numbers using the 2015-16 income tax rates from the ATO simple tax calculator.

Admittedly there are a few other complicated bits and pieces behind that (you pay 15% tax on everything in your Super account) but it's a big savings. The obvious problem is that you can't access that money until 65. Hence why Australian's need to consider both their Super account, and their accessible portfolios when doing the calculations on what they need for retirement. The total required in your portfolio doesn't change by a significant amount, but what you save on taxes is the kicker.

I'm still not thrilled with how this looks visually, but all the calculations behind it are quite nice. In a nutshell, once you've entered you current age, the age you can access your super and your annual spend you'll be able to see exactly how much money you would need if you wanted to retire tomorrow.

The blue column is your Superannuation balance, the red is your accessible (and heavily taxable) portfolio. Hover over any column for more details

If the amounts you enter for Inflation and Safe Withdrawal Rate add up to less than your expected return, then your portfolio should last forever. If you want to retire earlier you can fiddle with those percentages. The calculator will tell you how much wiggle room you have in each situation.

Without further ado, I present to you...

Insert obvious disclaimer that I'm just a blogger who happens to code, not a financial expert. Don't trust this calculator before handing in your resignation and jetting off to Hawaii, do your own maths!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

You look fine!

It's no secret that I ride into work every day. In fact I pretty much ride everywhere, if I can't get there on my bike, I probably don't want to go. And it's made possible by the fact that the building I work in has some pretty decent showers available. I lock up my bike, climb up to the first floor, have a quick wash, brush my hair and get down to my desk in about 10 minutes. As long as I'm clean and tidy no one gives a toss what I look like. Sometimes my shower takes 15-20 if it's cold and I want to stand in the warm water. My hair dries in the first half hour of the day, and I tie it up when I get sick of it getting in my eyes.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Learning to code (encourages you to do ugly things)

 The upside to learning to code is that you get to learn a new thing.

The downside to learning to code is that it actively encourages you to make things really ugly, just to prove you can. Like putting backgrounds on text. Or changing the font size and colour.

This thing I've created isn't really ugly, but it's a thing, I did it, using code, not using any WYSIWYG (What you see if what you get) editor.

Yay for me!

Every day should be like Wednesday was

I took Wednesday off work to celebrate my partner breaking in to a new decade. Congrats, now you're properly grown up! Here's a rough rundown of the day.

I got up when my body told me to. Screw you alarm clock!

Mike made me a coffee, and we sat outside enjoying the almost-but-not-quite sunshine. I poked a couple of plants and checked on my chickens. Blyss (aka Monster-cat) didn't get tangled in her leash for once.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Excellent work moments

It's the little things that make the day brilliant.

Email from me:

HI Jeff,

This request is (mostly) complete.

There is a slight snag with the Learning Materials – I’ve removed the link on the A-Z and replaced it with a new one, but I can’t find where the file was originally uploaded. There were links to it on the main A-Z but there seems to be another original version floating around somewhere. For now the A-Z has the new version, and I’ll get Ian to help me find the old version on Monday.

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the completing of this publishing request.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

'Small' deaths are scarier than the big ones

"Daniels notes that contemporary examples of the defense of white womanhood look horribly similar to the murder of Rubin Stacy [In 1935]. She points to the 2013 shooting of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte, North Carolina as an example. After crashing his car, Ferrell extricated himself, and knocked on the door of the first house he came upon, to ask for help—as any of us might do in such a situation. “A white woman, thinking it was her husband knocking, answered,” Daniels writes. “When she saw Ferrell she shut the door, hit her alarm and called the police. Ferrell, who was unarmed, was shot ten times by a Charlotte police officer.”

Another shooting massacre has happened in America and the internet is filled with opinions. Most of them are (thankfully) rational discussions on how these occurrences can be stopped. They touch on racism, feminism, mental health and legal powers. Terrifyingly, these reports don't shock me.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Afford Anything's 1% Challenge

Hi, I'm Scrooge McDuck,

And since I'm thiiiiiis close to not being able to pay my bills this month, I'm also starting to really resent being called that.

I don't understand this philosophy where having a diversified portfolio of shoes and dresses you never wear is okay, but saving money for stocks, bonds, a new hot water system and knowing that I don't have to panic if my contract isn't renewed is not okay.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Personal Finance Blogs that made me crazy

Whenever the topic of personal finance and my savings come up I generally get a few sideways glances, and get told I'm a little crazy. The spreadsheet I use to track my savings and account balances is jokingly referred to as my 'Scrooge McDuck' spreadsheet. But I didn't get crazy on my own, I had a little help from some (internet-famous) bloggers.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Long Weekend, Freedom, and all the games you can squeeze into eight hours

Hey hey! I've had three weeks off the pressure of blogging. At first it was great, then I started to get this creepy sick guilty feeling. Like I was blowing off work, or avoiding visiting grandparents. You know it feels good when you do it, but it's also sort of inconvenient, and there's better things to do, and look puppies! I kind of got myself into a rut where I felt like my first blog back was going to have to be an apology for being away for three weeks. Then I realised that it's my life, and if I don't live it my blog will get really boring.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday Reviewsday... or not!

I confess, I'm quitting. Kind of. I'm very proud of myself for blogging weekly for a month, and then twice a week for three month, but I can't keep it up. I'm a little ashamed of some of the half arsed effort that I've been putting up in the last month-ish. Since Roller Derby started up again in January I've been feeling a little overwhelmed. I work 8:30-5:00 Monday to Friday, head out to roller derby training Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday for a total of 8 hours a week, cook, clean, half-assedly renovate my house and sleep. With this blog I've been sacrificing Monday nights and Thursday nights to writing. Maybe sacrifice is a little melodramatic since I do enjoy writing it.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Tuesday Reviewsday: Small World

Players: 2+  
Playtime: 45minutes+
Replay Value: 10/10
Small World (released in 2009) is a brilliant example of a game that has been play-tested, balanced, re-tested, re-balanced, critiqued, and trialed, then put on a shelf for six months before being play-tested again with fresh eyes. There may be overpowered combinations, and 'weaker' combinations, but after just one play through you'll learn to lynch whoever is winning at the time as you fight to control most of the Small World.
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