Personal Finance

Be a “Time Traveler” to Help Your Money Grow

When it comes to financial planning, time is on your side

Don Milne Dec 5, 2017

You may have heard of National Hugging Day (January 21) or International Talk Like a Pirate Day (April 29) or maybe even May the Fourth Be With You Day (May 4). Here’s a fun one – Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, which is December 8.

This unusual day of observance was originated back in 2007. At least that is what we are led to think.

It could have originated earlier or it could have even originated in the future. After all, what if the idea was originated by a time traveler who thought up of this day of observance in the time period from which she or he came and it was only announced in 2007?

Here is what to look for on Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day:

  • People who are wearing clothes that look to be a little bit odd. Time travelers probably wouldn’t get fashions down to a tee, so how they dress could stand out like a sore thumb. Their clothing might not look just right. Hmm, is grandpa possibly a time traveler?
  • People walking around without being glued to their smartphone. This is a clue that you may be looking at a time traveler from the past who would not know that you are supposed to walk around with your eyes glued to your smart phone screen or with earbuds blocking out the sounds around you.
  • People looking at today’s headlines with astonishment. This is another giveaway that you are looking at a time traveler from the past. Even if you are not a time traveler, some of today’s news is almost too hard to believe.

Before you discount this whole time travel thing, you need to recognize that time travel does work and you can do it. Try these three time travel tricks.

  1. Identify the day you will be getting your annual raise next year. Leave this message on your calendar for that day: “I’ve decided to add 75 percent of my raise to increase my monthly 401(k) contribution. My 2017 self found a way to live on my income so my 2018 self should be able to do the same.” When your annual raise day comes up next year, you will find this message that time travelled from 2017 waiting for you. Act on it and you are improving the chances of retiring with enough to live on.
  2. Calculate how much social security you will collect when you retire. Just visit https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html and fill out the information about your future self through the age you decide to retire. You will learn your projected monthly retirement social security income.
  3. Make your money time travel. If you put a $100 bill in a box and came back in 40 years, guess what? You would still have a $100 bill. Boxes are very poor time travel machines. Instead, if you put that $100 bill in an interest-bearing account, in 40 years you could have 10 or even 20 times that amount — and maybe much more. Welcome to compound interest, the engine of monetary time travel.

One last recommendation if you really want to get into Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. Walk up to random people and ask them, “What year is this?” After you get your answer, rush off yelling, “Great Scott! There’s still time!”

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