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Old 04-09-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,772 posts, read 1,769,707 times
Reputation: 3479

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Hello friends,

I realize I can Google this and read any number of topics of self-proclaimed 35 year old financial "experts" (aka bloggers) telling me to invest 10%, 15%, 20%, invest in a roth after my match, don't use a roth at all, invest everything I can to be comfortable, be risky, be safe, automate, save more now, spend more now, etc. I also realize there will be conflicting opinions here, but what I'm after are those who are maybe late career, or already retired, who've been there and made good choices and made mistakes.

What decisions, when it comes to retirement investing, are you happy with or do you regret? If you could go back in time to meet your 28 year old self, what would you tell him or her? Are you comfortable now? If so, why? If not, what would have made you comfortable? Do you wish you'd have saved less and enjoyed life more when you were young?

Any advice would be awesome! Thirty-five years from now I want a comfortable retirement in a nice suburban home with a $50,000 sports car and yearly vacations to somewhere new, just like all of you wonderful planners!

PS, let's keep this non-specific to me (which is why I provide no personal income/investment info) so any younger person can read and benefit from it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,064 posts, read 9,527,749 times
Reputation: 5790
I needed a dozen years or so to recover from my childhood before I could manage university. Since I started my retirement savings that many years late in life, I decided to make that my highest priority. I'm not at all stingy with myself, but I do pay into my retirement accounts first. And I've always made the maximum allowable payments (where that applies).

Now, just shy of retirement age, I've caught up. If I had been able to start earlier, I'd be looking at a more luxurious retirement.

So one bit of my advice to a 28 year old is to save for retirement as a priority.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:06 AM
 
2,593 posts, read 5,289,910 times
Reputation: 5188
First thing: if your employer offers ANY match to 401k, contribute enough to max out the match and put it in an indexed stock fund.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Rosa’s Cantina
177 posts, read 193,972 times
Reputation: 412
Yes start early and invest as much as you can. Keep it simple. Invest in low cost index funds. Learn about asset allocations and have a plan for adjusting that as you get older and never panic sell when the market drops hard and fast. I suffered a minor (big at the time) loss back in 1987 by selling in a panic. A lesson that allowed me to stick with my plan through this most recent mess and for all of the drama I am financially now where I expected to be 10 years ago. I have been very fortunate to have had an uninterrupted employment situation. Don't spend lots of money on cars either. I am about 18 years into my current one with no end in sight (yay Honda!). Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,018 posts, read 1,420,209 times
Reputation: 1994
Save your money! In 35 years a $50,000 car will be a Kia.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Rosa’s Cantina
177 posts, read 193,972 times
Reputation: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpoonalt View Post
Save your money! In 35 years a $50,000 car will be a Kia.
This is so true. When I was 16 I lusted after a new late 1970's Corvette but could never imagine myself ever earning enough to afford the $15,000 price tag!
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,209,546 times
Reputation: 14611
my regrets -too many cars including bmw and trying to time the market w/ mutual funds....
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,133 posts, read 12,383,606 times
Reputation: 13956
I am pretty well set and while it would not rise to the level of a regret I wish I would have worked a little harder at saving a little more money than I did.

From 1980 to 1990 I could have always saved $200 per month raising that to $400 per month from 1992 to now not by cutting back but being just a little frugal. If I would have done this I would have around $300k more in the bank than I have now and that would be from a very low investment risk.

The lesson I learned is it doesn't take being an investment guru, being associated with investment gurus but just being diligent about putting the money away every month, month after month, never missing because "things got tight that month".

I got lucky, I made it to full retirement age without ever suffering the ravages of unemployment and while I am still working I have made it to the point where I don't have to anymore. I want to, I like the extra money, I want to increase my monthly social security check but if I didn't work tomorrow it wouldn't be a disaster. Fact is some days it might feel a blessing not having to go to work. Guess I am getting tired.

While I am extremely fortunate some my age, especially those in their 50's or even early 60's, haven't been so fortunate. Age discrimination or whatever they find themselves unemployed at 58 with the knowledge few of them will ever find a job earning what they did. Their savings will dwindle and being forced to take social security early, what else money could there be, their social security check will be cut by 25 to 40%.

Note to those quick to point out mistakes, taking social security at age 62 will cause a 25% decrease in benefits but if you are out of a normal wage job from 58 to 62 that will cause further erosion from less earnings. That is where I came up with the 25% to 40% range.

To someone your age I would suggest you not make that mistake. Save now, save regularly and plan for a mid 50's retirement because you never know what will happen. Avoid all debt like the plague and forget keeping up with the Jone's if it takes gong to the bank to do it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:12 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,728,705 times
Reputation: 46028
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
First thing: if your employer offers ANY match to 401k, contribute enough to max out the match and put it in an indexed stock fund.
This.

Oh, and have a budget and stick to it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:10 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,336,164 times
Reputation: 15493
When I was 28 I spent 75% of my money on sex, booze, parties, reefer, restaurants, and gambling.

The other 25% I wasted on foolish things.
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