$300K Nest Egg

Okay, so I realize that a one million dollar nest egg is impossible for most people to save for, unless you’ve started saving at the age of 20. Therefore, here’s a more reasonable goal that I know most of you wi ll be able to achieve. As in the one million dollar nest egg blog post, the data here is broken down for easy reading. These numbers are based on a zero dollar amount at the beginning of investing, an 8% rate of return, and you working till the age of 65.

  1. For 20-year-olds:  $32.00 biweekly or $64.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $307,569.09.  
  2. For 25-year-olds:  $47.00 biweekly or $94.00 monthly. Your account will amount to  $302,781.46
  3. For 30-year-olds:  $71.00 biweekly or $142.00 monthly Your account will amount to $304,244.60.
  4. For 35-year-olds:  $107.00 biweekly or $214.00 monthly Your account will amount to $301,429.83
  5. For 40-year-olds:  $166.00 biweekly or $332.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $301,785.00. 
  6. For 45-year-olds:  $264.00 biweekly or $528.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $300,431.51
  7. For 50-year-olds:  $445.00 biweekly or $890.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $300,469.61
  8. For 55-year-olds:  $833.00 biweekly or $1666.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $300,087.04.
  9. For 60-year-olds:  $2057.00 biweekly or $4114.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $300,094.29. 
As you can see, the younger you are when you start saving, the easier and more affordable it is to save. I’m not a financial guru.  I’m just a regular person, who wants to encourage everyone, especially you young ones who are reading this post, to start saving as soon as possible.  For you older folks, I hope that you already have some amount invested already so you don’t have to add as much as the amounts listed above. 
The best place to invest, of course, is into your 401K, especially one where your employer will match a portion of your investment. Matchings are anywhere from 4% to 8%, depending on the company you’re working for. Take advantage of those matchings. Even if you don’t aim for the $300K or $1M nest eggs, at least invest the amount that your employer matches. This way, you’re not losing out on this great benefit that is afforded to you. 
If a 401K is not offered to you through your employer, you can always use a private financial investment firm in your area or online to set up a savings/retirement account for you. 

Well, folks, that’s all for now. I hope you all succeed in building your retirement nest egg.


Want To Be A Millionaire At The Retirement Age of 65?

 Here are steps to follow in order to achieve this goal.  The examples below are based on an investment you put into your 401K or into any personal investment account with a 6% rate of return. 

1. For 20-year-olds:  Invest $190.00 biweekly or $380.00 monthly.  Your investment will amount to $1,001,358.

2. For 25-year-olds:  Invest $262.50 biweekly or $525.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,006,406.

3. For 30-year-olds:  Invest $362.50 biweekly or $725.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,000,710.

4. For 35-year-olds:  Invest $511.00 biweekly or $1022.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,000,800.

5. For 40-year-olds:  Invest $736.00 biweekly or $1472.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,000,343.

6. For 45-year-olds:  Invest $1100.00 biweekly or $2200.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,002,421.

7. For 50-year-olds:  Invest $1735.00 biweekly or $3470.00 monthly. Your account will amount to $1,000,430.

     These are the minimum investment amounts to reach your million dollar nest egg goal, however, you could obviously add additional money to reach your goal even faster. Conversely, you could invest less but would need to work additional years to get to that million dollar mark.  The least controllable factor is the rate of return - so, if it goes higher than 6%, you’ll reach your goal sooner - if it goes lower than 6%, then you’re back at investing more or doing it longer.

     There you have it, folks. On a personal note, I wish I had this information given to me when I was 20! 


The Age of Disbelief


A pretty, young woman was seated on a bench, waiting for a friend, who was shopping at Bath and Body Works.  At the same time, a tall, lean, and handsome young man was walking laps in the mall with his two friends.  Each time he and his friends walked by her, he smiled at her and she at him.  On the third lap, he went to sit next to her on the bench. 

“That’s a pretty jacket to go with your pretty smile,” he said. 

She looked down at her pale-green North Face winter jacket and then at him. “Thanks,” she said.  She has a smiling, friendly face. 

“I haven’t seen you at Central. What high school do you go to?” He said, his voice confident.

She’s quickly disappointed to learn that he’s only a kid. A high school kid! “East, ten years ago,” she said. 

Surprised, he looked at her more closely. “No way! Are you just saying that because you want me to leave?”

“No…Really…I’m old,” she said.  It’s only relative, of course.  She’s only 28 years old, but compared to this 18-year-old, she feels old.  If looks, alone, are considered in gauging someone’s age, she could easily pass for 18 or, perhaps, even 16.  

He smiled at her. His eyes, glinting.  “I can dig older girls.” His voice, playful.

She felt amused by his comment, but she didn’t feel right continuing the conversation either.  “I think you should go back to join your friends,” she said, smiling kindly. 

Even though her voice was gentle and non-threatening, he still felt dejected but was respectful.  “Nice talking to you and have a great day.”

“Same to you,” she said with a smile.  If only he were her age or older, she would have welcomed their conversation. And, would have even considered a date if asked.

After that incident, she wondered if her young look had been the reason that men her own age or those even older than she are discouraged from approaching her because they thought she was just a kid?  The thought was sadly depressing her, if true. 


Chapter One

On Monday, April 12, 1999, Sandy and her husband, Steve, were having lunch at the Officers Club at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Sandy looked outside through the glass window, while she sipped some of her sweetened iced tea. She noticed how perfect and ideal the weather appeared—sunny, clear blue skies, and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of the trees outside. Inside where she was, however, she thought the atmosphere was cold, gloomy, and stormy. 
  Even though there was plenty of activity around them—people walking past, others talking at their tables, silverware and plates clanking together—neither of them was talking. There was a palpable tension between them. Not even the delicious aroma of the different dishes mingling in the air could soothe nor diffuse the tension.
  After a major argument a month ago, Sandy was determined to spend more time with Steve. She hoped that joining him for lunch, at least once a month would help get them better connected again.
  At the moment, the painful, prolonged silence between them was just too much for Sandy to bear. So, she started talking. “Our lab’s new chemistry analyzers were delivered at work today.” She was forcing a smile and infusing some enthusiasm in her voice, trying to engage Steve in some form of conversation. “They look more streamlined than the ones we have now. They can do BMPs in fifteen minutes and CMPs in twenty-two minutes, which the E.R. doctors will definitely like.”
     Sandy thought the topic would interest him, since he was a doctor. “The best thing about them is that they require very little maintenance,” she continued, all the while observing him for any signs of being the least bit receptive to her. What Sandy saw, instead, were Steve’s openly unresponsive and expressionless face and a general stiffness in his overall posture. He grudgingly uttered the absolute minimum of words in response to her statements, until they had finished with their lunch and were getting up to leave the club.
  “By the way,” he said, “I’ll be a little late coming home today. The hospital commander has scheduled a meeting at seventeen hundred hours.”
  “Don’t know. It’s probably our usual monthly meeting, except that we’re doing it today rather than on Friday.”
  Sandy was suspicious, but she brushed it off. She was all too familiar with the unpredictable nature of military life.
     Since Steve was going to be getting home a bit late, Sandy and the children went ahead and ate their dinner. It was almost 7 p.m. when she recognized the sound of Steve’s Toyota SR5 pickup in the carport outside, followed by the sudden silence of the engine. She heard the vehicle’s door open and close. As she looked toward the kitchen door, she saw the doorknob turn. The door opened slowly and Steve walked in.
  “How did the meeting go?” Sandy said as she met him at the door. Steve didn’t answer right away. He looks distraught, Sandy thought. She hugged him. Steve didn’t hug her back, but he gave her his usual casual peck on the lips. Sandy had to be satisfied with those casual pecks on the lips nowadays. It seemed to Sandy that Steve was only going through the motions with her lately. Gone were the warm hugs and wet kisses he used to give her in the past. Oh, how I miss those loving and passionate moments we used to share with each other, she told herself. 
  Steve went to their bedroom without saying anything. Sandy followed him. Still waiting for his response, she faced him with a questioning look and demanded, “Well, are you just gonna ignore me?”
  Steve heaved a sigh—the kind of sigh that told her he'd like to say something, but was finding it difficult to get it out. “You’re not gonna like what I’m gonna say,’’ he finally said, and then paused. More pause created a rigid pressure in the air. He removed his shoes and socks, and tossed his socks in the hamper. Sandy’s feelings changed from questioning to worrisome. “I hate to tell you this,” he said, and then stopped talking while making a swift change out of his uniform into his shorts and t-shirt.
  Sandy’s heart jumped to her throat. She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the rest of it. With the way Steve had been acting toward her within the last three years—becoming more aloof, unloving, and less caring, she was afraid the day had finally arrived for him to say they were through. She tried to prepare herself for the worst, but it wasn’t helping.
  “But I’ve got orders to go to Kosovo this Saturday. That’s what the meeting was about. It’s not all a secret, but it’s not something we want to be advertising or necessarily be telling people about, either. NATO has agreed to get involved in Kosovo. My group and I’ll be assigned there for medical support.”
  What?” Sandy clasped her heart—even though she was relieved to know Steve wasn’t asking for a divorce. Panic soon followed with the realization Steve was going off to another country and would be leaving her and the children behind. She would die if something bad were to happen to him in Kosovo—or anywhere else in the world. “How long will you be gone,” she asked, when her nerves finally settled a bit.
  “Don’t know for sure. I was told to get all my personal affairs in order before shipping out. One thing they assured me was that this deployment would be for at least twelve months.”
  Hearing the news, Sandy didn’t know if she could survive without Steve that long. It would mean she had to do everything while he was away. They’d been married almost ten years and had never been apart for any length of time. After dinner, she cleared the table and started the dishwasher.
  She took a shower, then sat on the sofa next to Steve and started massaging his neck and back. It was a routine she was always glad to do. Steve was more talkative and social this time, which made her elated. They talked and wondered how the kids would handle the news and whether she could manage work and the whole household by herself. She’d never asked her family for help before, but she decided to ask her sister, Carrie, and her mom for help this time.
  “I’m sure Carrie doesn’t mind moving from the dorm to come live with us for a while until you come back,” Sandy said. “I’ll call her tonight, and also call Mom to see if she could come over to stay with us until Carrie comes back from Florida.” 
  “What’s Carrie doing in Florida again,” Steve asked.
     “She and her class went to attend a two-week study of the Florida Everglades ecosystem.” After the massage, she scratched Steve’s back. His pleasant groaning expressed his appreciation to her. 
“Oh, yeah, I remember now … thanks for the massage and scratch.” 
“You’re welcome.” 
She said goodnight to Steve and then to the children who were playing with their toys in Sheyenne’s bedroom. In bed, after she set her alarm clock, she made her calls to Carrie and to her mom. The news earlier had been as stunning and devastating as stepping on a land mine. She had a difficult time falling asleep, so she tossed and turned. Sleep finally came, but it was seemingly just in time for the alarm clock to sound off.
  Taking her lunch break that night, she ordered a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich with a large-sized Coke. No matter what time of day or night it was, all shift workers at the hospital called their meal in the middle of their shifts, ‘lunch’. She took a seat and started to eat. Besides her, there were only two other people sitting and eating in the entire cafeteria. The three of them were seated alone, each to their own table. The other two were busy reading paperback books while they ate.
I wish the lighting here was brighter. Don’t like it being so dim like this, Sandy thought. 
There was a spooky, ghostly feeling she experienced each time she ate there, but tonight she didn’t feel it. Her mind was preoccupied with thoughts of Steve going to Kosovo and about her and the kids getting by without him. 
I’m thankful Carrie has agreed to move in with us until Steve comes back, she thought, and for Mom to come over for a short while. Otherwise, I don’t know what I would do. 


My First Solo Road Trip!

I’m inspired to write this post after reading my friend, Lilly’s post. I encourage everyone who reads this to visit her blog because she’s one funny lady. Her posts always make me laugh.

When my husband and I lived in Bellevue, Nebraska, I learned how to drive there and got my driver's license a couple months before my husband left for Officer's Training School in Texas. On Memorial Day, a few months after my husband left, I had a three-day weekend off. I decided to go on a road trip. I didn't plan for it. It’s just that when I woke up in the morning and saw that the weather was nice, I told myself that I didn't want to just stay at home. I called my sister here in Cheyenne and told her I was going to visit them. She was worried about me making the long trip alone, but I assured her that I’d be okay. I packed a small suitcase, packed a few snacks and drinks, stopped at a gas station to fill up my gas tank, bought a map, and off I went.

The drive from Omaha to Cheyenne is the most boring ever. Okay, that’s not entirely true because from Omaha to Lincoln and a few miles past Lincoln is scenic. But, definitely, after that it's the most boring ever. The landscape is very flat and the highway is very straight. Straight is, however, good for this newbie driver. I don’t think I would have been able to follow so many twists and turns of diversionary roads. Unfortunately, the flat and straight highway was very hypnotic, to the point that I became very sleepy. At one point, I caught myself dozing off momentarily. I knew this because I was driving on the right side of the 2-way, four- lane interstate 80. When I opened my eyes, my car was about to go into the grass median grass, left of the passing lane. Fortunately, in those days, the traffic on that highway was pretty sparse. I got quite startled and was alert after that. My fear was that if I didn’t wake up in time, I could have easily driven into the oncoming traffic on the other side of the interstate. God had to have been watching me that day.

I stopped once for gas in Pine Bluff, at the Nebraska/Wyoming border, about an hour’s drive away from Cheyenne. In 1983, the highway speed limit was still 55 miles per hour. So, to drive 495 miles, it took 9 hrs. Now that the speed limit is 75 miles per hour, it only takes 7.5 hrs. Come to think of it now, my little 1968 Honda car was very fuel efficient. I think my car could only hold 6 or 7 gallons of gas?

I arrived at my sister’s around dinner time. My sister was in awe that I had made the trip alone after getting my driver’s license only a few months before. We had a really good visit that evening. The next day, we went hiking and picnicking up in Vedauwoo.

                                                      Courtesy of skipharper.com

                                                      Courtesy of pumpfactoryroad.com

Kentucky Fried Chicken was our choice of picnic food at that time. I still love Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is why I can never lose weight. I love greasy, fried foods. But, lets not talk too much about my weight right now. That will be for another post.

On Monday, when I had to leave, my car wouldn’t start. My brother-in-law checked my car over and found my oil dipstick reading empty. He was amazed that I made it all the way to Cheyenne with little or no oil at all! He shook his head at the situation and at my ignorance. All I can say was that God knew I was na├»ve and ignorant; he had watched over me.

My car didn’t have the lights that came on when the oil level was low, you know? Unlike nowadays, there’s a light to alert you about almost everything. When your tires are low on air, there’s even an alert light for that. Every so often your engine light comes on and you think that something is wrong with the engine, right? So, you take it to the shop, only to be told that you needed a scheduled oil change after 30,000 miles of driving. I guess that’s a lot better news that actually having an engine problem.

Car technologies have come a long way. I’m thankful that the car makers had taken into account for ignorant drivers like me when they made the improvements.

I made it back to Omaha safe and sound. I’ve made solo trips since then, from North Dakota and back, when I was still living there while my husband was stationed here in Cheyenne. The drive in that part of the country is more interesting and much more scenic.


Journey Band Update

For those of you, Journey fans, in and around Cheyenne, Wyoming, have I got great news for you!

My hottest blog post, according to Google Statistics is "My Life and Times as a Nudist." My next hottest blog post is "Journey Band." People don't leave comments, which is very sad to me because I really would like to know what they have to say about my posts, you know?

No, this is not my great news that I've mentioned in the opening sentence. I just merely wanted to share a bit about my two hottest blog posts.

This is my great news. The two opening acts for Journey on July 16 at Cheyenne Frontier Days are: Lover Boy and Pat Benatar! I haven't seen all three groups on live concert in their days of glory, but now I'm going to see all of them in one concert. I'm pretty stoked about this and can't wait.

From what I've seen from Journey's concerts in Manila and in MGM Las Vegas, even though I've only watched them on blue-ray, they're awesome. Arnel Pineda has (okay, almost) Steve Perry's legendary voice and has lots of energy on stage. Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, and Deen Castronovo are also amazing at what they can do with their musical instruments. Lots of feeling, emotion, and energy from them as well.  

Yes, Lover Boy and Pat Benatar might not be what they used to be in their latest concerts when I checked them out on You Tube, but that's okay. I'm sure I'll still enjoy their concerts.

Hey, if anybody reading this and know how I can get in contact personally with Journey and the other two bands, let me know. Our Filipino community would really like to give them a welcome party the day before their concert.  

By the way, Lover Boy and Pat Benatar will not only be opening for Journey on this particular concert, they'll be  opening for the entire 2012 Journey Concert Tour. So, even if you can't be at the Cheyenne Frontier Days concert, you'll still have a chance to see them at their concerts near you.

I'm sure I'll be writing a review on Journey, Pat Benatar, and Love Boy after the concert.

That's all folks,


Journey Band

Journey is one of my favorite rock bands. However, I haven't kept up with the band since we moved to Wyoming. Wyoming turned me into a country music fan! Needless to say, the last I’ve heard of Journey was that Steve Perry, the lead singer, had left the band. Then, the band hired another lead singer named Steve Augeri.

It was only three weeks ago that I learned of the band’s fate when Cheyenne Frontier Days, the largest outdoor rodeo event in the world (and located here, in Cheyenne, Wyoming), announced that one of the upcoming night shows will be Journey. I told my husband that I’d like to see a Journey concert. I was shocked to learn from him that the current lead singer for Journey is Filipino, straight from the Philippines. Perhaps, this is old news to all of you, but for me, it was quite a surprise!

Anyway, the skeptic in me told me to check Journey and their new front man out on YouTube. I have to say, the lead vocalist amazed me. When I closed my eyes and listened, all I could see was Steve Perry singing. My heart melted when I watched the video of one of the band’s newer songs, After All These Years. The song is so beautiful and powerful; it gave me goose bumps the first few times I listened to it.

While reading an article on YouTube about the band, I found out that there was another front man for Journey after Steve Augeri left and before the current lead singer came along. His name is Jeff Sotto. According to the article, he didn’t stay with the band for very long.

Neal Schon, the band's lead guitarist, recruited Arnel Pineda, the current lead singer, based on performances he saw on YouTtube! How cool is that? Neal said in an interview that in his desperation to find a lead singer for Journey, he checked out YouTube. After two days of watching YouTtube videos, he was about to give up when he clicked on a Survivor video. That was when he discovered Arnel Pineda. This guy blew him away. He blew me away, too. Here he is. Check him out for yourselves.

Posted by Superjoster on YouTube

Posted by Nocturnalism on YouTube