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Old 08-10-2016, 01:58 AM   #181
Pat Glenn
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Originally Posted by ajbigwood View Post
When everyone talks about these low cost Vanguard funds; which ones are you using? I'm holding VOO.
Mutual Funds rather than ETF's

VFIAX - S&P 500 Admiral fund up 8.12% YTD

VSMAX - Small Cap Index Admiral fund up 10.70% YTD

VGSLX - REIT Index up 16.37% YTD

VWESX - Investment Grade Corporate Bond fund up 15.49% YTD

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Old 08-10-2016, 05:24 AM   #182
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^^^ what Pat said.

I now save up a lump sum to invest outside of my 401k, each year. The lowest cost funds have some steep minimums, $10k, $50k... So, you can't just buy into a fund with $500. Some you can, but for obvious reasons, the lowest cost funds are a bit more exclusive.

When you consider the $5500/yr for the ROTH IRA, it takes years to get into several of these funds, and be truly diversified.

Actually, my employers 401k is really doing well this year... It is up 10.5%! Considering how severely limited the options are in the plan, it is really performing well. ROTH 401k, and a 6% match...

I revisit our funds once per year perhaps, but do very little moving around. I've spent a lot of time choosing the funds we are in, and they were not chosen for their short term outlook, so they rarely change.

I feel like we are finally accruing a large enough investment portfolio to see real movement when the market moves. My goal is a net worth of $500k by age 40, so I've only got 9 months left!
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:25 AM   #183
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These are the ones available to me. I need to move some stuff around. Any advice?
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:51 AM   #184
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^^^ what Pat said.

I feel like we are finally accruing a large enough investment portfolio to see real movement when the market moves. My goal is a net worth of $500k by age 40, so I've only got 9 months left!
Been at this for 30 years, up and down market movements in my investments often exceed my monthly income. Not fully sure if that is because I have a nice portfolio or because my job's pay sucks. A bit of both perhaps

I have accounts with Vanguard and Fidelity. I like Vanguard's products, but Fidelity has low cost products too. I much prefer Fidelity's website interface. Without being overwhelming, it offers a lot of tools and I just like it better.

Now in my 50s, I have dialed down my aggressiveness. Was 100% in stocks for a long time via index funds. That worked out well but it makes sense to me at this stage in life to adjust that down. The great thing about investing - you can write your own story and see the fruits of your work over many years. Pilot is kicking butt. Good for you man!
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:03 AM   #185
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The key for us, was 100% how we chose to manage the day to day cost of living. I work along side folks who earn the same income, who make very different choices, who are flat broke.

In this country, it's not what you are born into that matters, it is what is born from you. You are the special ingredient to your success. That is what makes this country so great.

Our net worth has grown from $270k three years ago (debt freedom) to nearly $500k today. Not because the market has been SO good, or because of inheritance, or an insanely high income... Anyone can squander any size income. It's managing the day to day.

I've loosened up the reigns a bit, but I still have a goal that drives the day to day choices we make. I want to be working for ME when I am 55, I don't want to be working FOR anyone.

Yeah, I drive a 2004 Saturn, manual, no A/C... My neighbors get a good chuckle, but when I lay my head down at night, I'm the one laughing.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:08 AM   #186
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These are the ones available to me. I need to move some stuff around. Any advice?
Fidelity 500 Index Fund. I own that one myself. Over the long haul it will be tough to beat.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:10 AM   #187
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The key for us, was 100% how we chose to manage the day to day cost of living. I work along side folks who earn the same income, who make very different choices, who are flat broke.

In this country, it's not what you are born into that matters, it is what is born from you. You are the special ingredient to your success. That is what makes this country so great.

Our net worth has grown from $270k three years ago (debt freedom) to nearly $500k today. Not because the market has been SO good, or because of inheritance, or an insanely high income... Anyone can squander any size income. It's managing the day to day.

I've loosened up the reigns a bit, but I still have a goal that drives the day to day choices we make. I want to be working for ME when I am 55, I don't want to be working FOR anyone.

Yeah, I drive a 2004 Saturn, manual, no A/C... My neighbors get a good chuckle, but when I lay my head down at night, I'm the one laughing.
Well done! You are exactly right: you have to pay yourself (in savings) first and live on whatever is left. If you do that from the time you are young you will be in GREAT shape when you get older.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:27 AM   #188
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A friend of mine is an IT exec and makes 200K a year. He is my age (54) and we ride dirt bikes together. My HH income is around 100K a year, but my net worth is probably 5x his, even before I inherited my brother's 401K. Mrs. Duke drives paid in cash for '07 Kia, I have a company car (a nice money saver there!). My FZ1 is an '06. In contrast, he just bought a new KTM 350 for over 10K and is talking about trading in his finally paid for Tundra for a new one. I guess that $800 a month car payment he no longer has to make is burning a hole in his pocket. He has several kids and leases cars for all of them. I joked one time "there is not enough money in the world to carry the nut you are carrying". His adult kids in their 20s need to fly on their own, time for Dad to take a break. I try to talk sense to him, but it just won't work.

It sounds like he has around 100K in his 401K and he has 80K in parent plus loans for his kids. He is talking about taking the 10% penalty and cashing out his 401K to pay those. I told him "that's crazy, you can't borrow for retirement, and you are not getting any younger". That one stung a little, I think. Hs wife cashed in her 401K to pay for their daughter's lavish (but fun, I must admit) wedding. It is madness. The attitude with him "I can handle the payments". My attitude is "just because you can doesn't mean you should".

There is a balance between hard core frugality and pleasing one's every whim. Leaning toward hard core when you are young like Pilot is doing is the smart move. I lived in a semi crappy rental house with 3 roommates during my post college single years but still manged to have way too much fun. Stashed a ton of money in my 401K, in simple index funds during that time as my overhead was low, figuring I would put time on my side. Best thing I ever did. We did not have student loan debt back in those ancient times. That is such a terrible burden for people today. Its effects magnify negatively across time unless it is tackled with a singular focus, and even then, it is a burden.

As for my friend, poor guy, he is just blowing it. I gently try to nudge him, to tell him he makes good money, why not eat in, drive the Tundra for awhile longer, live cheap for a few years and stockpile it for retirement, but he lives for today. He calls me a "cheap fvcker". I view that as a compliment. Even used it for my riding jersey. That jersey is a whole 'nother dirt bike related story I need to get around to
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:16 PM   #189
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My 401K has had its up and downs (big downer in 2009), but it has been looking pretty good lately (I hope I didn't jinx myself there). My return since inception (of this account) is 7.87%. My 401k actually started in 1990, but was managed by a different company prior to 1997. All of my current contributions (17% of my salary) are going into VANGUARD INST INDEX (VINIX) fund. Plus I get a 4.2% match from my employer. I've still got almost 5 years till early retirement at 55.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:32 PM   #190
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Hey Arkie,

Looks like the bottom blue line is your contributions, the one above it is with employer match and of course the top line is the balance. That is some compound interest going on there. Well done and an inspiration to anyone just starting out.

My employer offers a 6% dollar for dollar match and our plan is with Vanguard and very good, and yet a lot of people at my work do not participate. What a loss...
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:08 PM   #191
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My 401 is with Schwab... I've never been a big fan of 401k options, as they are very limited, and costs run high... however, we added some decent funds, and a 6% match on top of my 16%, is an instant return.

Starting early is the key... or, starting later with a ton of expendable income. Better to start early, and invest small. Let time do the work.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:26 PM   #192
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When everyone talks about these low cost Vanguard funds; which ones are you using? I'm holding VOO.
I hold Vanguard S&P 500 and Large Cap Growth. That's about it. For years I had Small Cap; I might get back into that next year. I only change things up once a year in January, and even then not that much.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:42 PM   #193
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My current 401(k) is not the largest account in my portfolio, but it's growing. Unfortunately, due to IRS rules, I'm limited in how much I can contribute.

Start early, "pay yourself first," and keep at it. Let it grow, and don't take withdrawals or loans from your qualified accounts.

And if you don't have a good wealth management team working for you, you should find one, a firm that is solidly in the get-rich-slowly school. Index funds are a good, relatively low-cost way to invest, but they're not the only solution. The idea that money managers can't beat the S&P over the long term is too simplistic a view.

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Old 08-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #194
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Fidelity 500 Index Fund. I own that one myself. Over the long haul it will be tough to beat.
I threw 30% in it....see how it goes.
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:30 PM   #195
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The key for us, was 100% how we chose to manage the day to day cost of living. I work along side folks who earn the same income, who make very different choices, who are flat broke.

In this country, it's not what you are born into that matters, it is what is born from you. You are the special ingredient to your success. That is what makes this country so great.

Our net worth has grown from $270k three years ago (debt freedom) to nearly $500k today. Not because the market has been SO good, or because of inheritance, or an insanely high income... Anyone can squander any size income. It's managing the day to day.

I've loosened up the reigns a bit, but I still have a goal that drives the day to day choices we make. I want to be working for ME when I am 55, I don't want to be working FOR anyone.

Yeah, I drive a 2004 Saturn, manual, no A/C... My neighbors get a good chuckle, but when I lay my head down at night, I'm the one laughing.
I'm in total agreement to your message. It took me to about 50 years to figure out how to explain it, but me and my wife have lived this way forever.

The key is living beneath your means, and as your income improves, you see savings accelerate and a real path to get retired when you still have some health remaining.

When you run the retirement calculators, they ask for your income, then assume you need 80% of that in retirement. But what if you currently live on 50% of your income? You only need 40% in retirement, which means your target date is MUCH closer.

As previous posters have mentioned, I know people that make the same money or more, but seem destined to have to work forever, or else take a massive hit to their luxurious lifestyle when no longer are working, whether that comes voluntarily or not.

And I'm a really crappy investor - I would have been way better off paying someone to manage it for me. But even with that, being smart about spending (or better yet NOT spending) makes a retirement before 60 very doable (and that's without any pension!)
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:01 AM   #196
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We can live on $2k per month currently... I will be getting a massive raise, in retirement.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:15 AM   #197
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does that $2k include rent/mortgage? my monthly mortgage is higher than that...
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:23 AM   #198
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does that $2k include rent/mortgage? my monthly mortgage is higher than that...
Pilot paid off his house and has no debt. It does help to have a good income and live in a lower cost area, but he intentionally bought less house than he could "afford" and hammered away at the mortgage. He is a "freak" as Dave Ramsey would say. Can't think of a higher financial compliment.

Wait till his kids are teenagers - things can get real expensive then. The challenge there in large part is created by the parents of their peers who do not live frugally. Kids can't help but see what others have and want it. He will handle it though, and the kids will learn. That stage in life is when the real life lessons about money and living within means can be taught.

I live in an affluent area. My then 16 year old daughter hated her '98 RAV4 that she earned and paid 50% of the money for. Many of her peers were driving new/leased cars that their parents are paying 100% for. Now at 18, she has become quite "conscious" both financially and environmentally, and she thinks her old RAV is cute, unique and adorable. The car, which has a bunch of Colorado hiking/park destination type stickers on it, suits the person she has become. I think owning that old but well maintained and cared for car in a sea of entitled "rich kids" in their new unearned cars molded her to be different in a good way. Pretty cool how that all worked out. I love that car - it helped raise my kid right.

Back to you Squid - as you map out your life, perhaps try to find a lower cost area where you can do your work. The cost of living in the area one lives in greatly affects what they will be able to do financially. Maybe stay where you are at for awhile, if the high cost house goes up sharply in value, consider bailing and taking the money and running. I did that when I left SoCal to move to CO in 2004. Still blows my mind that I was able to walk away with that kind of multi six figure money tax free, while trading in the problems associated with living in the 'hood of Long Beach for the rich white people problems of Douglas County CO. Sometimes I actually miss the 'hood, as rich white people and their entitled teenage kids are a PITA

The point of all this is to really try to live intentionally. Life is like riding an FZ1. Intentionally make but hold on loosely to your plans as circumstances will change, give it the gas when a good opportunity presents itself, fly like the wind, be different, and go where few dare
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Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

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Old 02-23-2017, 04:24 PM   #199
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In my youth I never thought I'd live this long and quite frankly have never given much thought about retirement, but I know I need to get started...actually 20 years ago. The fact is I know very little about it and I'm a little intimidated, but I'm reading about it. So I'm going to ask the good and knowledgeable people here what your opinions are.

The scenario:
I'm 42 and the only thing I have is a traditional IRA that I've put $5500 a year in for the last 10 years. I have no debt other than my house. I have $50,000 to invest. What would you do.

My thoughts after reading this thread and links. Putting $10,000 in VTSAX, starting a 401K and putting in the $18000 max and putting the rest ($12K) into either a bond index or using the retirement planner that Vanguard offers that diversifies everything and then adjusts as you reach your target age of retirement. My plan going forward is to try and put $1000-$2000 a month into one or the other of the above while still putting $5500 into my IRA. Would I be better off choosing either the 401K or the retirement planner and not both? Tell me what you would do.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:43 PM   #200
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In my youth I never thought I'd live this long and quite frankly have never given much thought about retirement, but I know I need to get started...actually 20 years ago. The fact is I know very little about it and I'm a little intimidated, but I'm reading about it. So I'm going to ask the good and knowledgeable people here what your opinions are.

The scenario:
I'm 42 and the only thing I have is a traditional IRA that I've put $5500 a year in for the last 10 years. I have no debt other than my house. I have $50,000 to invest. What would you do.

My thoughts after reading this thread and links. Putting $10,000 in VTSAX, starting a 401K and putting in the $18000 max and putting the rest ($12K) into either a bond index or using the retirement planner that Vanguard offers that diversifies everything and then adjusts as you reach your target age of retirement. My plan going forward is to try and put $1000-$2000 a month into one or the other of the above while still putting $5500 into my IRA. Would I be better off choosing either the 401K or the retirement planner and not both? Tell me what you would do.
If it was me I'd be investing in real estate, but I'm different then most...
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