In growing money, time is an important component. If you grow your money at about 10% a year, this is a great growth rate. Most investors look to average 10% over the long term.
Let’s say you take $10,000 and invest it today. Every year, it grows by 10%. In 2026, that money would have grown to $25,937.42!
If you are in a situation with debt, you are probably paying over 10% to your lender. First of all, you should thank the investors that you borrowed from for trusting you with the money. Second, this exact formula is working against you. This is the quickest way to ruin. My rule of thumb is that any debt with an APR of over 4%, that is not tax deductible, needs to be paid off as soon as possible with all the cash that you have (leave some cash for emergency reserves). Any debt under 4% that is not tax deductible should be compared to investment alternatives (stocks with a 5% dividend would pay the interest on the debt, so it may make sense to buy that stock).
For tax-deductible debt, follow the above advice but that 4% APR should be around 6-8% APR. Most mortgage debt today is around 3.8% APR, and it’s tax-deductible, which means that the real interest rate that you actually pay is around 2%. Inflation of 2% will take care of that 2% increase.
Regarding public pensions…people who look to retire at 55 with a $50,000/year pension + health insurance is looking at a value of that entire package of close to $1,400,000, assuming they live to 75. Are you retiring with $1.4M? Your fellow state workers are, putting enormous burden on state budgets. States should take advantage of the impatience of people and offer to buy out their pensions for $700,000 early.
How much would you accept in a year’s time instead of $100 today? Let’s hope, for your sake, you picked a sum not too much greater.