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Old 02-19-2016, 10:36 AM   #141
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I will chime in with something appropriate to the conversation that may help some in their mid-20's or younger but is already too late for others... join the military.

Specifically, if you have a college degree, join as an officer. If you can get a ROTC scholarship or acceptance to an academy or officers school and be commissioned by 23, with guaranteed promotion and yearly raises, retirement as an O-4(Major/LCDR) or O5(LtCol or CDR) at the 20yr mark with a guaranteed paycheck forever, plus cheap medical insurance for life, and the unlimited bennies of being a veteran, having base access, social networking, friends everywhere, etc... you're not doing yourself any favors by not looking into it.

If you ever get stationed in a state with no income tax, get a drivers license and register to vote there... and never pay state income tax again no matter where they send you. All Naval Aviators are residents of either Texas or Florida for that very reason.

If you manage to stay single, you'll be downright rich at the end of 20yrs if you're smart and don't buy a new M3 every time they offer it in a new color (Air Force ****).

Sure, there are plenty of downsides, including deployments, lots of moving, tough on families, long hours, etc... but **** man, 40 is the new 30. I come from seriously excellent genes and barring catastrophe, should live to 100 and still slayin' it in the bedroom. I will be retired from the Navy in July of 2020 at the age of 43, and collect +/-$40k yr right away for doing nothing. Yes, $40 ******* thousand dollars a year as long as I'm breathing... and I even get a raise on that every year too, though it's not very much.

Yup, I'll need to get another job and work for another 15 or so, but as a retired military guy, just about anybody will pay me $75k yr to do just about any damned thing just because. Don't get me wrong, we save a ****-ton of money, and my wife goes back to work full-time next year as my youngest hits 1st Grade and can now ride the bus to/from with her sister. Here's another helpful life hint from a Navy guy...MARRY A ******* NURSE, THANK ME LATER.
Not a bad point. My Father in Law was in the Chair Force for 29 years, retired as a Captain, then worked for Army...uhm 'intelligence' as a 'Computer person' retiring from there at 62. He makes as much money from both his pensions as I do (well did) and never has to touch his ridiculous amount of investments. Oh and they lived all over the world which was cool.

SO yeah, military and then do government work. There are not many places you will get a pension anymore....mine was rolled into my 401k :( But I am a dumb computer geek.

Also if you work for a railroad company like BASF or something, you will get 2 pensions after 5 years. Yeah 2. One from the company and one from the Railroad....I am in the wrong business.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #142
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I'm trying to start a savings plan for a downpayment in the next 5 years. I invest as much as my employer will match in my 401k but am looking into other savings/investment vehicles.
If you are saving for a down payment with a time horizon of 5 years or less I would keep it all in cash. short term market fluctuations could easily put you in the red over that time frame.

On a complete side note: I have recently changed my strategy for attaining financial independence to a portfolio with a heavy real-estate tilt. I am currently closing on my first house which is a single family with a 2/1 mother-in-law suite above the large garage. I plan to house hack by renting out the main house for more than the mortgage while living in the mother-in-law and using the garage for myself! Winning!

I plan to purchase more properties in my area that should provide me with both cash flow and capital appreciation. I decided to take this route because I believe I am able to use relatively safe leverage to increase my return above the market indexes. I have a lucrative W2 job that will provide great starting capital and continued cash flow while I build up my portfolio. Anyone considering this route should obviously do a ton of research so that they understand the numbers, all the costs, the associated effort involved with different strategies, and the risks. My job is related to analysis, controls, and risk management so I have the skill set to make this work in a relatively safe and consistent manner but YMMV.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:36 PM   #143
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I have a buddy who is great with money and another who is terrible with it. Ryan G is great with it, but my other buddy keeps his cards maxed and spends like a Marine on shore leave. He joined The Corps at age 17 right out of high school and retired as a gunnery sergeant at age 37 and gets a pension check every month. He works a regular management job, too. He just refinanced his house he's been in for 10 years, for another 30! He's single and has a nice truck and sports car financed, has a company truck provided to him, and is building a racecar. He even finances furniture, including leather sofas and a 72in television.

It drives me nuts but it isn't my life. He probably couldn't stand the way I do things either, lol.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:38 PM   #144
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Craigslist furniture bro. Its all free.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:42 PM   #145
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Craigslist furniture bro. Its all free.
And come with fleas, bed bugs, and *** stains from your mom.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:43 PM   #146
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Just more free features
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:36 PM   #147
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So basically growing up a poor immigrant I have issues with spending money that I have, I could not have shiny things when I was young so want shiny things now. My wife is an American Air force brat with parents that never had a budget. To curtail that we hide money from ourselves.

1. We only keep enough in our Checking account to pay monthly bills. Only use CC's with like 2 or 3% returns for any purchases and pay them off monthly.

2. The wife and I have a savings account in Ally since it has a good return. Pump money into it from every paycheck automatically and every time it reaches 10k move it to Fidelity and buy moar Vanguard total market funds.

3. We both do about 10% to our 401k. Should do moar but meh.

While I wasn't quite poor, and certainly not an immigrant (gross...), I had a very humble upbringing, financially speaking. I was taught the importance of saving while still balancing hobbies. I never really had anything fancy or expensive. I never quite balanced the hobby aspect, and can barely talk myself into buying FM VMaxx coilovers...

Fast forward 34 years, I make a decent salary for my area, have zero debt, one very low limit credit card, pre-paid cell phone, no car payment, no cable TV, cook 90% of my meals, and my share of rent is less than a BEGi SGDP.

I don't participate in my employers 401K, as it's a lowly $0.13 on the dollar match, but I can contribute up to 50% of my salary and they'll still match that. I don't have a Roth IRA, IRA, and have no investments other than an old 401k making ~7% (~$15k currently). Instead, I've programmed my brain to automatically send 40% of my take-home pay directly into a savings account. Currently, I could buy a brand new Z06 in cash.

This is an awful investment strategy, and I know this. It's better than nothing, but I know I could be making a bunch of cash with some basic investing. I need some help, and am clearly risk averse where money is concerned.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:52 PM   #148
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That's where funds like Vanguard can help. They manage the portfolio based on your risk tolerance using a mix.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:23 AM   #149
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While I wasn't quite poor, and certainly not an immigrant (gross...), I had a very humble upbringing, financially speaking. I was taught the importance of saving while still balancing hobbies. I never really had anything fancy or expensive. I never quite balanced the hobby aspect, and can barely talk myself into buying FM VMaxx coilovers...

Fast forward 34 years, I make a decent salary for my area, have zero debt, one very low limit credit card, pre-paid cell phone, no car payment, no cable TV, cook 90% of my meals, and my share of rent is less than a BEGi SGDP.

I don't participate in my employers 401K, as it's a lowly $0.13 on the dollar match, but I can contribute up to 50% of my salary and they'll still match that. I don't have a Roth IRA, IRA, and have no investments other than an old 401k making ~7% (~$15k currently). Instead, I've programmed my brain to automatically send 40% of my take-home pay directly into a savings account. Currently, I could buy a brand new Z06 in cash.

This is an awful investment strategy, and I know this. It's better than nothing, but I know I could be making a bunch of cash with some basic investing. I need some help, and am clearly risk averse where money is concerned.
So this is a very good start and you have the mentality to save but you are basically putting your money in a sock under your mattress. In a short time that money is actually worth less and less because of inflation. Make it work for you by putting into the Vanguard vehicles that rleete just mentioned. Something that is a total market index fund or something like that. It will at least grow with the economy and in the long term you are making more of it.

If you a crazy survivalist you can buy silver, gold and ammo...you know for the end times.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:40 PM   #150
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I think if you're hedging your bets on gold and silver, then you're limiting yourself. Gold and Silver are worth money in a functional society, so by hoarding them, you're holding out for a functional society after the dollar inflates itself into oblivion - while it certainly is possible that the dollar inflates itself into oblivion, I think it's a far less likely "end game". Among other possible end games are the military destruction and collapse of the state. If the U.S. were indeed physically forced into psychological, social, governance, and electronic collapse by the combined power of the rest of the world, then what do you do with your gold and silver? You're probably not going to be able to walk/drive it to Canada - they are either with us or against us, and if they are with us, then they have fallen as well. Selling your gold to the mexican cartels? Good luck - once they understand that you're selling gold, it's "bye bye, head". What about other scenarios - a disease wipes out the global population and lets say you're one of the few to survive - what are you going to do with that gold? Plant it and hope it grows into apple trees? Cook it and eat it? Use it as a weight in a deadfall trap? (At least that's a practical use for it) What if you're one of the real knuckleheads who has *invested in gold* without having it physically present with you? How do you get your gold when the EMP takes out the computer systems that say you own the gold in someone else's possession on the other side of the continent?

I think if you invest in ammo, you're also limiting yourself. I admit in a SHTF scenario it's value and use is far greater than extremely heavy precious metals, but how well does ammo appreciate in value? How well do you turn your ammo back into cash when, in an almost certain-to-happen scenario, **** doesn't hit the fan in your lifetime?

I would say that the wisest use of money is to invest in slaves - now black people don't get all amnesia-ey and say "You're a racist" and stupid **** like that - slaves come in all colors - white people were slaves wayyy before they got the idea to turn black people into slaves. Slaves can earn you money in a non-SHTF situation in order to return your original investment in a very short time period. Slaves can then continue working and earn you a sizeable profit. If you are ever in need of a quick buck, experienced and fit slaves stand a chance of repaying their initial investment instantly if you ever need to sell them (especially if they were originally bought young). Slave reproduce and make more slaves (again, another source of income generation). If you ever are in a SHTF situation, correctly disciplined slaves will provide defense so you can sleep at night. If you ever are in need of a food source, slaves make for a great lean meat that you can eat as steaks, cook in a stew, or smoke into a delicious jerky. You can then use the less edible parts for fish bait or predator bait. The absolute best part about slaves (in my opinion) is that they can carry your gold and silver and bullets for you when you need to leave for Canada (and they don't even need their own horses!)

If you are morally opposed to buying slaves, then I say put your money in a sock under your mattress - or buy farmland in an area certain to be hit by urban sprawl in the next 20-40 years and lease it out to a farmer. The farmer will pay your mortgage payments for you while maintaining the property tax under the lesser of assessed value or CAUV.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:08 PM   #151
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^ I like this guy.

I heard Jack Daniels is a good end times bartering tool. It is also a good way to disarm an end times foe.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:52 PM   #152
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Just stumbled upon this.
I finished my student loans today, so that feels nice. In Iceland we have a mandatory retirement fund owned by the country. But then I put about additional 400$ every month into optional retirement fund with Allianz in Germany. Which means that I have two retirement accounts, the optional one giving me a lot more back, plus my employer pays an extra 2.4% of my paycheck into each retirement fund.

So like things are going now my retirement should be going smooth even if I go into retirement a bit early.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:02 PM   #153
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I just found this thread also. Good read.

Makes me wonder if I made a huge mistake. I just opened a Roth IRA through Ameriprise. Sent them the initial deposit of $3500. It has 2.something% expense ratio. I already have a Vanguard mutual fund, I probably should have just started my own IRA there!

I am currently putting 15% away into retirement, split about 50/50 between my company's 401k and this new Roth IRA. No company match on the 401k.

Beyond that, I save another 10% or so that I split into a bunch of different accounts so I never feel like I have much money because no accounts ever have a balance over $10k. Overall net worth just passed $100k though, which I think is pretty good for being 30 and really only starting to increase my savings rate over the last couple years. I do make it a point to increase my savings percentage whenever I get a raise, though.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:31 PM   #154
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I just found this thread also. Good read.

Makes me wonder if I made a huge mistake. I just opened a Roth IRA through Ameriprise. Sent them the initial deposit of $3500. It has 2.something% expense ratio. I already have a Vanguard mutual fund, I probably should have just started my own IRA there!

I am currently putting 15% away into retirement, split about 50/50 between my company's 401k and this new Roth IRA. No company match on the 401k.

Beyond that, I save another 10% or so that I split into a bunch of different accounts so I never feel like I have much money because no accounts ever have a balance over $10k. Overall net worth just passed $100k though, which I think is pretty good for being 30 and really only starting to increase my savings rate over the last couple years. I do make it a point to increase my savings percentage whenever I get a raise, though.
2%+!! So every year, rain or shine, good or bad you have the privilege of giving someone 2%+ of your money?

Have you figured out how much you need to outperform the market to cover the expenses?
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:57 PM   #155
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2%+!! So every year, rain or shine, good or bad you have the privilege of giving someone 2%+ of your money?

Have you figured out how much you need to outperform the market to cover the expenses?
The historical performance of this particular fund was about 12% if I remember right, and it was my first try picking a fund on my own so I didn't realize just how high that expense ratio was.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:11 PM   #156
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https://www.betterment.com/pricing/

https://investorjunkie.com/8745/betterment-review/


I've been doing a lot of reading on financial planning and investing and have heard a few people raving about this company. 0.15-0.35% fees based on your balance with a minimum of $100 per month auto deposit.

Whats your guys take on this? I'm thinking of moving from my funds from my current adviser to this to reduce my fees.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:11 PM   #157
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https://www.betterment.com/pricing/

https://investorjunkie.com/8745/betterment-review/


I've been doing a lot of reading on financial planning and investing and have heard a few people raving about this company. 0.15-0.35% fees based on your balance with a minimum of $100 per month auto deposit.

Whats your guys take on this? I'm thinking of moving from my funds from my current adviser to this to reduce my fees.
That seems very reasonable. I was with Valic and they charged me 0.60% to manage my investments. Now I got a new job and I am looking at transferring my assets somewhere else. 0.15-0.35% is not bad.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:21 PM   #158
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Skidude, open a Roth IRA at Vanguard and roll that other IRA into it ASAP!
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:27 PM   #159
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Skidude, open a Roth IRA at Vanguard and roll that other IRA into it ASAP!
I literally just opened it, won't I incur some penalties? I think I have to wait a year before I can do anything. Like, my deposit is split into 2 checks and I'm not even sure the second one has cleared yet.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:39 PM   #160
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I literally just opened it, won't I incur some penalties? I think I have to wait a year before I can do anything. Like, my deposit is split into 2 checks and I'm not even sure the second one has cleared yet.
You might be stuck for whatever the minimum is (timewise). Any fund you can invest in through Ameriprise should be available through Vanguard I would guess.
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