Retirement savings are one of those goals that’s a tiny bit harder to convince yourself to save for, because it’s just sooo far away. But this past week, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: I increased my retirement savings amount, and it was all because of Wealthsimple.
The Backstory: Why I Needed to Increase My Retirement Savings
I’ve been using Wealthsimple for about a year now, and if you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know I’m pretty much in love with what it’s done for me and my money.
Before I figured out the whole investing thing, I was so reluctant to actually put my money in the market. I had a bad experience with my Big Bank when I first tried to start investing, and ever since then it had been on the back burner as I went through my list of Money Things To Do As An Adult.
(Speaking of, I’m pretty sure “Money Things To Do As An Adult” is going to be like, the title of my first book.)
It was almost a year ago today that I stumbled on this whole robo-advisor concept, and jumped in with both feet. If I were going to do it all again, I’d definitely make sure to check out the things you need to know before you choose a robo-advisor, but in retrospect?
Absolutely no regrets.
It’s been a hell of a year, with huge market fluctuations starting to feel like just another day at the office. But as we turn the corner on my one year mark, my investments are finally starting to reward me for my good behaviour – like not selling when the markets were down, and sticking to my DIY Investing Plan, which you can spy on as part of Zero to Investing Hero.
As if that wasn’t great enough news, I also just had a major breakthrough moment with my investments.
This week, I finally convinced myself that yes, I do need to amp up the amount I’m saving for retirement every month. Since I started investing, my contributions have been steady, but my income hasn’t been, so it was time to increase my retirement savings amount.
And I’m not exaggerating when I say that Wealthsimple’s amazing new interface is the only reason I finally got around to it.
The Old Interface: A Good Investment Dashboard
Now, it’s important to note that I never had anything but good things to say about Wealthsimple’s old interface. It was nice, and gave me everything I thought I needed to know about my investments. As a hands-off investor, that was basically limited to…
- How much money is in my account?
- How do I add more money to my account?
Figuring out both of those things was bonkers easy, so I was a happy camper.
Bonus: Want to figure out what investment style is a good fit for you? Jump on in to Zero to Investing Hero, a free five-day email course that walks you through that and so much more!
But I had no idea what I was missing.
The New Interface: Everything You Need to Plan for Your Future
When I first saw the new Wealthsimple interface, I had a pretty immediate reaction, and zero chill about the whole situation.
Be still my heart the new @Wealthsimple account interface is so gorgeous.
— Desirae Odjick (@half_banked) July 12, 2016
I assume there’s some kind of special nerd level reserved for people who get this excited about financial tech interfaces.
But it was just so clear, and for the first time it gave me a full view of my entire portfolio, which is divided between my regularly-funded RRSP and my poor, neglected TFSA .
It also showed me what my current savings would grow to by the time I’m 65, and clearly showed me their assumptions – which were comforting, since they weren’t assuming a bonkers 10% rate of return.
I was so delighted with that account view, I entirely missed what is – for me – the most powerful tool in the entire new interface.
Check Out This Funding Tool
I’ve been a bad personal finance blogger, and hadn’t yet set up automatic contributions to my retirement accounts.
Don’t get me wrong, I use and love my automated savings contributions, and have them set up for literally every other savings goal, but somehow I just never ended up setting one up through Wealthsimple.
With a paycheque coming up, and this snazzy new interface, I decided that yeah, I would finally get on it and set up some automated payments.
And what I saw when I did blew my mind.
Wealthsimple has built in a tool, right beside where you’re entering in your payment details, that shows you the impact of the payment you’re setting up over time. Putting in my automated contributions made a huuuuuge difference in terms of what my projected portfolio will look like when I’m 65, but nothing prepared me for what I did next.
Just for fun, I added in a $25 contribution to my investments, twice a month.
That $50 a month additional investment sounds like nothing in the scheme of my monthly budget, so I figured it wouldn’t make a huge difference in terms of my accounts.
I was so wrong.
If I, at 27 years old, put aside an extra $50 a month starting right now, that one change will be worth over $58,000 by the time I’m 65.
And all I have to do is find an extra $25 in each of my paycheques.
Honestly, had it not been for this new calculator, I probably would have left my automated contributions as is, even though I’m well aware that I could – and should – be saving more for retirement.
I just never would have guessed that an extra $25 every two weeks would have made that big of a difference – and this is coming from someone who just wrote an entire how-to-start-investing course, including an entire lesson on why compound interest is the best thing since sliced bread.
It turns out, we could all use a wake up call now and again.
Mine came from Wealthsimple, so like, thank yous are very much en route to them, but if you’re not ready to dive into investing yet, or don’t know how to choose the approach that’s right for you?
Start with Zero to Investing Hero. It’ll point you in the right direction and help you feel confident in your choice.
And then if you end up using Wealthsimple like I did, we can geek out about how freaking fantastic their new design is, and how much it helps us both save for our futures.
It’ll be fun, I swear.
PS. Want $50 fo’ free? Sign up for Wealthsimple using this link, invest your first $500 and they’ll hook you up – and it’s available in the US and Canada these days, too!