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Old 05-28-2007, 02:12 AM
mkflsam mkflsam is offline
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Default Just starting out, keeping it simple...

I'm 23, just graduated with an electrical engineering degree and picked up a solid job.

I bought a $240k house (6.125% fixed, 30 yr, 0 down), $14k car (1.9% fixed, 3 yr, 0 down), and I'm currently putting away 10% (7% company match for 17% total) of my salary pretax into a 401k at 75% S&P index fund, 25% small/mid cap. Not counting side income, I have a small ($200-500) cushion every month.

Is there anything I should be doing differently or should consider doing in the near future to help set myself up for an early retirement, say 35? If I had an extra $2000 a month to save what are some investment options you'd recommend?
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:32 AM
superadvisor superadvisor is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

You want to retire in 12 years? Do you want to ever have kids?
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:06 AM
captZEEbo captZEEbo is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

thinly veiled brag post

however, you need more foreign investments. right now you are pretty tied to the us. If you have vangaurd you should get something like Total International Stock Market Fund
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Old 05-28-2007, 11:30 AM
mkflsam mkflsam is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

nah, trust me, this is the last forum on the internet i'd brag about having a modest house and one of the cheapest new cars you can buy when everyone seems to be pulling in 10k+ a month.

i just thought my situation was a bit different in that i have some options in either paying house/car off, putting more into 401k, or what to do with 1-2k a month in side income at a younger age, not to mention i'm not even looking at iras right now.

thanks for the advice though, i'll look into putting 10-15% into an international fund. i just figured since all the markets are pretty heavily tied together anyways it wasn't that big a deal.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:06 PM
Sniper Sniper is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

mk,

First, if you are looking to retire early, it is important that you build a substantial port, in addition to your retirement account that will carry you from early retirement to normal retirement age. So if you wanted to stop working at 35, you should run some numbers on how much you will need by then, to actually accomplish that.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:44 PM
maxtower maxtower is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

First off, you need a Roth IRA.

Sniper is right, the 401k money will not be easily accessible at 35, so you'll need some extra savings to cover the difference while you are 35-59.5.

Unless your side income is very good, it will be difficult to retire at 35 in this country. If you are able to pay off your house by then, you'll need a minimum $1500/mon in today's dollars for living expenses after taxes for an extremely modest, no wife no kids lifestyle. To make that kind of money purely from investments (like 4% dividends) you'll need $600,000 saved up outside of your 401k.

If you need to access your 401k money before age 59.5, you should look up the rule of 72T.
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:33 PM
jively jively is offline
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Default Re: Just starting out, keeping it simple...

[ QUOTE ]
First off, you need a Roth IRA.

Sniper is right, the 401k money will not be easily accessible at 35, so you'll need some extra savings to cover the difference while you are 35-59.5.

Unless your side income is very good, it will be difficult to retire at 35 in this country. If you are able to pay off your house by then, you'll need a minimum $1500/mon in today's dollars for living expenses after taxes for an extremely modest, no wife no kids lifestyle. To make that kind of money purely from investments (like 4% dividends) you'll need $600,000 saved up outside of your 401k.

If you need to access your 401k money before age 59.5, you should look up the rule of 72T.

[/ QUOTE ]
All of the money from the Roth is not available at 35, only the original contributions. The 72(t) rules are pretty complex, and inflexible, and I do not recommend trying to take substantially equal payments over 24.5 years. If you mess up, you end up paying a 10% tax penalty on all of the distributions.

A 17% savings rate is pretty good but probably not nearly enough to be able to retire at 35. If you retire at 35, your life expectancy is about 58 years to age 83. That is, about 50% of 35-year-old men live to be 83. Note: 50% live longer than that. So you are talking about a very long retirement. You won't get social security until 62, and then it won't be that much. So, you will need substantial savings for retirement.

For such a long retirement, 60+ years, you should not consider more than a 3.5% initial withdrawal rate. So, it you wanted to spend $35,000 per year, you'd need $1 million in investments. Each year you could safely increase your withdrawals for inflation. However, 3.5% is not very much - you need about 28.5x your first years spending in investments.

Are you in a position to have that much in investments by the time you are 35?

-Tom
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