What’s your number?

I am not investing for retirement. That is depressing. My motive? Flexibility. I don’t dream of billions of Rands (or millions of dollars 🙂 ). I just want enough to live the good life. For everyone, the good life is different.

My good life consists of:

  • being debt-free
  • sending my kids to good (albeit not over-priced) schools
  • having an annual overseas trip with my family
  • living in an above average house (I don’t need gold chandeliers, though my wife may disagree)
  • health (in monetary terms, this means being able to afford healthcare for my family when needed)
  • pets (specifically dogs, of which I have two precious ones at the moment)

It is not an exhaustive list but as these things popped into my head as I wrote this post. What about you? Have you thought of a list? How much would you need? My number? I have an idea in my head. I need a well above average income for what I want but it is certainly not a JSE-listed CEO or similar salary. I could live happily with a lot less (as long as it grows with inflation!).

My number is also an annual number. For most people, 100% of this annual number is their total after-tax salary. I think this is risky (ask someone who has been retrenched). You need to have a variety of income sources. One of these sources is savings. It is foolish to aim for a total Rand amount to save towards (although a green life insurance company may disagree). It is far easier to invest in things (in this case, companies) that pay you something every year. This is the Forget the Noise goal.