Space IL

I just saw some of the fantastic “selfies” sent back from Space IL’s Beresheet. As of this writing, it is set to land on the moon on April 11th.

While this is certainly a giant step in Israeli aviation history, it is also a powerful lesson in the power of small steps and compound interest.

Beresheet’s landing on the moon teaches two powerful lessons: incentive and compound interest.


If you have enough incentive, you can do anything. While originally motivated by the Google Lunar XPRIZE Competition, SpaceIL founders continued in their quest even after the contest ended. When something is meaningful and important enough, focus on your goal and you may be surprised that you can really achieve it.

Beresheet’s budget is much smaller than the amount spent on space exploration by much larger countries, proving that it is possible to live within a carefully constructed budget. Governmental funding for the project was limited to 10% of the total cost, and the rest of the budget was raised privately. Think of this like your retirement income: Your government and work pension plan will only cover a small percentage of your retirement budget. The rest needs to come from personal savings.

Compound interest

Compound interest may be one of the strongest forces in economics.  If you fold a cloth napkin on itself (1/32 of an inch thick), it becomes 1/16 of an inch thick. Folded a second time, it becomes 1/8 of an inch. By the fifth fold it is one inch. In order to reach the moon 237,305 miles away, you only need 39 folds!

A small amount of money compounded through time can be worth a fortune. Putting aside savings, and reinvesting the growth, will help you reach goals quicker.

To learn more about how time can boost your retirement planning, read my blog Even if space travel isn’t your retirement goal, call my office if you need help managing your American retirement accounts from Israel.

Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the Director of Profile Investment Service, Ltd., which specializes in helping people who live in Israel with their US dollar assets and American investment and retirement accounts. He helps olim meet their financial goals through asset allocation, financial planning, and using money managers.

Published April 11, 2019.

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