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Old 01-01-2018, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Find a loving spouse. Two-earner families do better. If you have kids stop at two or one. Save money. Live below your means. Don't be unwilling to move if it suits your career goals. Used cars are fine. A trophy house is a wasted expense. Find a financial advisor you can trust who is knowledgeable. Travel wisely. Protect your health. Avoid too much risk. Choose friends wisely.
I've definitely gotten good at the moving part lol
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
southkakkatlantan, I haven't read all of the responses. The advice that I would give you is to read Choose Your Retirement by Emily Guy Birken. She has a very good chapter at the beginning of the book which explains that people have different views ("feelings") about the use and importance of money. Her chapter explains Dr. Bradley Klontz' (Financial Psychologist) theory of Money Scripts which people apply to their financial lives... and thus to how they are going to live throughout their lives. We each need to know our internal dialog about this in order to be able to build our own individual retirement plans, because our "Money Script" is going to affect how we spend and save our resources now and in the future. If we are trying to save enough for retirement but we are doing it in a manner that is inconsistent with our natural behaviors we will become overwhelmed and won't do it.

The 4 types of Money Scripts are:

Money Avoidance - people who fall into this category do not place value on money. For these people money is more a source of anxiety or disgust. You will see multiple examples on this board of people who are very proud that they can live on very little money and they proudly and happily share information about how they do this. For people who are Money Avoidant their life-style gives them pleasure, a sense of accomplishment and virtue; even if someone who is not in this category of thinking cannot understand this.

Money Worship - people who fall into this category believe that money leads to choices, happiness, and feelings of achievement. People in this category of thought believe that you can never have too much money and that poverty is an unpleasant and unhappy state to live in. These people tend toward being Workaholics.

Thank you for the book recommendation! This was reallllly really helpful. I actually hadn't heard of this book before. To be honest, I am not sure which one I fit best into but I know I have traits of both the Avoider 'and' the Worshipper actually. Which is weird because they have some opposing values.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
Reputation: 2026
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillRoaming View Post
Lots of good advice in this thread. Oldsoldier1976 is right. You are doing well now. You have savings and a good paying job that may have a pension and you have no debt. The best thing is that you are getting serious about your future at a still young-ish age.

Sassygirl18 has given you great advice on real estate. OP, it seems to me that buying a home is more of a reaction to what others are telling you to do than what you want. Only buy a home is it is something you truly want to do and feel ready because it can be a lot of money and work. If you do continue renting, though, you should be saving more to make up for having no home equity.

You may also want to look into buying a place that has two living quarters, the smaller one for you and the larger one to rent out. It's more work and headache than renting, but you'll find the renter will be paying for the majority of your mortgage. Then if you feel the need to move, you can always rent out the second unit, keeping the place as a rental investment and as a backup for you should you need to return in the future.

When I was young and single, I had a condo. It was very cheap and because the HOA was owner controlled, fees were low. When I left the area, I rented it out for a few years. Eventually I sold it because I was so far away, but sometimes I wish I had kept it.

My big advice would be to take very good care of your health. Several years ago when I just turned 49, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. No one in my family had it, and the only risk factor I had was that I had never been fortunate enough to have children. It was found on my first mammogram, which I had put off for a few years -- stupid! Anyway, it was still early stage but had I had the mammogram when first suggested, treatment would have been lighter and everything would have been better. So don't put off tests your doctor suggests.

I have my own anti-cancer diet to try to keep it from coming back, but it is also a very healthy diet that will keep your weight low. In a nutshell, I limit dairy, meat, and sugar. I have anywhere from 5 - 9 servings of veggies and fruit daily, and one must be a cruciferous vegetable and another must be a serving of berries. I fill in with healthy grains like oatmeal and have eggs and beans as my biggest protein sources. I'm big on organics because of trying to avoid pesticides, but I buy them on sale. With careful shopping, my grocery bill is $125 monthly for probably 75% organic food.

A few extra health tips. Strength training twice a week and walking tons keeps me in shape and feeling great. Filter your water even if it's something as simple as a PUR pitcher. It will help to get rid of pharmaceuticals that make it into our water supply as well as your basic lead, mercury, and contaminants. Keep plastic use to a minimum, especially those with BPA. Clean up your cleaning and personal products by finding the best products at ewg.org. I use tons of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.

Spend your money on those things that are most important to you and go cheap for everything else. With the changes you're already making, don't stress about your financial future. That will break you down. Just keep upping the savings. Have fun and take care of yourself first.
Lots of great advice here...thank you! As far as buying a place with separate living quarters, "if" I bought, that is what I wanted, however, the ones within my budget would usually be duplexes. Now, I understand from a friend of mine in real estate that we do not really have duplexes in my city which I realize now is the case. I guess the other choice would be a home or townhome with an in law suite? Honestly I figured at this point if I bought to just go as close in the city as I can (since real estate estate is all about location and I'd love to continue living car-less for as long as I can) and going as small and inexpensive as comfortable.


Not sure if you saw my other post about rents rising in my city and being concerned that continuing to rent means I won't have much additional money to invest. (I gave the example that the last apartment I had here in 2012 doubled in price between 2012 and 2017. And that I currently rent a 625 sq ft studio for $1150 that's currently priced at $1300+ for new renters coming in.) There are still some opportunities to get small 1 br condos in the city for under 150k (in few cases under 100k) so I have been thinking long and hard that maybe I should consider this end of the year.


Thank you for the health and other additional tips. That is really scary what you went through but I'm glad you are doing well and it's awesome that you took such good charge and are so disciplined with your diet. I wish you many more healthy cancer-free years to come
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
One mistake I made, of many, is buying individual stocks, luckily Apple turned out ok & neutralized all my stinkers but I thought I was smarter than I really was - just get S&P 500 & other index funds... I'm still waiting for all those AOL & Oil stocks to make me rich
Thanks for the advice...I remember AOL
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Originally Posted by cordata View Post
If you make the assumption that your tax rates are lower now than they will be in retirement, then a Roth IRA is better. If you make the assumption that tax rates are higher now than they will be in retirement then a 401k or traditional IRA makes sense.

Prove this to yourself with a simple spreadsheet. "You can pay me now or pay me later." But either way you will pay taxes.

A 401K has two possible advantages over a Roth - first, a company match. If you count a company match with a 401k it's difficult to imagine a scenario where a Roth beats a 401k. Again, use a spreadsheet or calculator to prove to yourself. The second is simply convenience - if you have automated deductions this takes the work out of it for you and makes you more likely to stick to your goals.

Of course if your employer had a Roth 401k with matching that would likely be the best option. Of course a roth has lower contribution limits, etc. but does have more flexibility on withdrawals.

Point being that ignoring or lightly funding your 401k in favor of a Roth IRA may or may not be the best plan.
I 'should' still be able to up my 401k to 15% this year and still max a ROTH. I know I can at least keep the 401k at the current 10% and still fund a ROTH...
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyhockGarden View Post
Good friends are a huge thing in life; spend some time making friends. They can help make your "Golden Years" more "golden".
I agree...I've noticed multiple posters mentioning the friendship part. I've always been an extreme introvert and keep a very small circle of friends but now that I'm back 'home' I hope I can do better at working on that. It gets harder as you get older it seems...but it is something I need to put more time and effort into doing.


I like the thought of being able to travel and also move around more but at this point in my life I am starting to question if I need to stop the moving around part so that it's easier to maintain friendships and form new ones.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple47 View Post
1. Keep reading from this Forum!
2. Most Americans are concentrated on financial issues in retirement. However, several papers point out the importance of friends/relatives/social connections in retirement. The subjective "well being" in retirement depends on these factors more, than on your bank account value. The kids you do not plan to have now can be your best friends/support in later years. Do not take me wrong - money is important also.
3. Keep saving money with your 401k plan, even very small monthly deposit can do miracles.
Thank you for your advice/insight.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
A lot of good ideas have been presented.

At 38, I was 4 years short of reaching my pension.

Invest; you can not invest too much. I was burned early by stock market investing, so I focused on investing in apartment complexes. When I reached 42 and I was forced onto pension, I owned a home and I had enough capital to buy a farm [without a mortgage].

I have been living on pension, messing on my farm for 16 years now. I am still another 8 years away from drawing SS.

If you invest enough now [while you are working] then things will be easier for you later.
42 is so young...


I hope that you have been enjoying these last 16 years on your farm.


I am about one year shy of vesting in a private pension and after a fair amount of moving around job-wise I am more on the hesitant side to chase a higher salary and forgo the pension. Even though I know there's no guarantee it'll be around when I retire, if it is around it would be reallllly really nice to have.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
Reputation: 2026
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
A house is very much a forced savings program, and with that and equity people can come out ahead. I did, here. But in other places itís a break even. However ó If you can put away money easily and enjoy the benefits of renting, keep renting. I know a number of people who own and they are miserable owning. Every little bump in the road is an utter catastrophe not for lack of money, but the fact is they donít want to handle that stuff. Itís just too much, they donít know how to, who to turn to. Just all too much.
That so sounds like that would be me in home ownership lol


I'm not a handy woman...not saying I can't learn to be but it wouldn't be out of interest lol.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,201 posts, read 3,194,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockyman View Post
It was out of my hands but oh how I wished I was a Government employee. The best gig in the world if one is not looking for riches but an easy, monotonous secure job that gives a person much more time in the prime of their lives. I'm so envious when I talk with people who are retiring in their 50's since they already put in the time.

Like some have said apply if you can and get that pension. It's a godsend.
I don't know if you saw but my current employer has a private pension. *Nothing* comparable to what a government pension would pay out but still...


And I understand...I have a best friend how is a Fed Reserve Bank employee who's looking to retire soon at age 42 as she started with them when she was like 24
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