I always start my New Year's Resolutions after my birthday. One of my resolutions is to be a responsible adult and do fancy banking things with my money.
When I moved to Oregon, my plan was to leave a big chunk of my money in California. The money would get lots of interest, and when I came back, there'd be a huge pile of money waiting for me. It wasn't easy, but I finally managed to get the highest-earning interest rate the bank offers.
After a year, my money earned...wait for it...fifteen whole dollars. At this rate, it will take over 600 years for the original amount to double.
So I'm switching to a new, better money plan this year. Part of that plan includes getting a Roth IRA, which is bank for "retirement fund". According to Discover's IRA calculator, if I dump a third of all my money into the fund now, I will have about half a million dollars when I retire at age 68.
Sounds good to me! I like the idea of owning half a million...wait a minute...
I'm sorry, I made a mistake. According to Discover's IRA calculator, the only way I can have half a million dollars at retirement is if I add $800 to my fund every single month for the next 40 years.
Okay, let's try this again. Discover offers a 1.8% interest on IRAs, and that interest compounds, so after forty years of them holding my money...
...The original amount of money doubles.
How do people retire?! This is the best forty-year plan available?! In 2054 dollars, my retirement fund will last approximately one year!