Saturday, December 15, 2007

Smoking Your Retirement Fund Away

413 days of not smoking! Wooho. Don't worry, I'm not out to sway smokers to stop smoking. Because that's just about the most impossible thing to do; I know it because no one, not even my wife, could stop me. She could only help me stop, but I did the stopping myself. It's mind over matter, baabey!

The MSN Money article 'The high cost of smoking' describes various costs associated with smoking. I didn't find anything new there that I have not read before back while I was smoking. I am sure any smoker has heard them too.

But, a snippet from the article is particularly relevant to my final goal, the end goal of these mini-goals I set out before myself.

Sloan and his colleagues found that the effects of smoking on lifetime Social Security benefits were $1,519 for 24-year-old female smokers and $6,549 for 24-year-old male smokers. This is money paid into Social Security but never collected, because the beneficiary died prematurely of a smoking-related illness.

"You could be paying into Social Security year after year, and if you die at 66 because you're a smoker, it's money down the drain," says Sloan.

What a waste of efforts. After working so hard, enduring various unpleasantness in life, experiencing so many things, one dies without the chance to reap the benefits.

If I am socking away most of my income for retirement, living frugally, not tuning in to the gotta-have-the-latest-iPod insanity, then I better stay around long enough to enjoy it. Deferred enjoyment is possible only if you are still around to do the enjoying.

So, I'm planning to stay around long enough so I don't smoke my retirement fund away.

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