What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

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Taylor Larimore
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The Golden Rule

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

The Golden Rule is as good as any advice I can think of:

Do To Others As You Would Have Them Do To You.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
DavidW
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by DavidW »

Nectarineman wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:44 pm Don't get married before you are 32
Max out 401k and IRA
Live WELL below your means
Learn to get along with others at work
Pursue an education that will allow you to enjoy what you do for a living
Don't worry about what others think, especially financially
Agree with these points

I left college with some stuff. Now my house has enough stuff for to start multiple families. That money could have been invested.

Resist the temptation to keep up with the Jones...
stm
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by stm »

"I know you think you're too smart to learn from others' mistakes... be damn sure you learn from your own".
Lonestarz
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Lonestarz »

I wish I learned about backdoor Roth earlier. I also wish I learned more about people (hidden intent - not everyone is transparent)

Just keep saving as much as you can while you can. I see a lot of posts from single/kidless people making a lot of rosy projections about future spending levels and retirement dates.

That the most important part of your job is who your manager is (how do you two get along).

I started off a bit less than you earn now but maxed 401k, (could have maxed Roth if I knew about it) and saved a good amount on the side. I also had state tax but didn’t purchase an expensive house. You can for sure save more than 10% and consider getting a roommate. 90-18=72 (15k? Tax) about 57 -5.5roth = 51 and $4250/mo should be fine to live on with half of that going to the house. A roomate would give you several hubdred in fun money.
Noalani
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Noalani »

1) I'd have made sure we built up our taxable accounts more, rather than jumping into a vacation condo in Tahoe/Truckee area. We were early 30s when we did that and it sure sucked up a lot of time/energy/expense when we could've been stashing the money into a few index funds. Think hard before you make that leap.

2) Take great care of your physical and mental health. Both are your most valuable assets as you age.

3) When/if you have a wife/partner and family, spend money on making memories, not on buying things.

4) Stick to buying smaller houses! Less to clean, insure, paint, repair, etc. I envy my friends with smaller homes and yards.

You are way ahead of the curve. Good for you!
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Watty
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Watty »

comspe09 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:10 pm Tax Rate: Fed 24%/ CO 4.63%
.......

If I stick w/ the Federal govt, I would be eligible for a pension when I retire. If I work until 62, based on the current computation rules, the pension would be roughly 45% of my salary. Due to this pension, I've seen a lot of talk about putting more money into a roth acct as opposed to a traditional acct.
That tax bracket is likely incorrect but even if it is a bit lower I would not use a Roth with your income. You are a long way from being in a high retirement tax bracket and lots can happen before then. You are also single and single people get into the higher tax brackets real quick, there is a chance you will be married some day and in a lower or zero tax bracket which would be a better time to do Roth contributions or conversions. See this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=239899

What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?
1) Commit to saving half of any future pay increases. Not only will this cause you to save a lot but it will also help avoid lifestyle inflation. (I pretty much did this.)

2) Be open to moving to a lower cost of living area. (I did this.)

3) Have 2% of your paycheck automatically deposited to a seperate account as your travel and splurge fund. (I did this.)

4) Spending discretionary money on experiences is better than spending it on "stuff". Two years ago you likely got some birthday or holiday presents or spend money on yourself on splurges. Can you still remember any of these? You also likely did a lot of things like trips, parties, concerts, etc that you can still remember, and will still remember years from now.
kenoryan wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm Enjoy your 30th birthday and take some pictures so you can remember when you're 58!
Enjoy your 30th birthday and hope there are not any pictures. :D

Being young before cell phones did have some advantages.
student
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by student »

I was still a graduate student at that age. I did invest in mutual funds but unfortunately active mutual funds with high expense ratio. So I would have told myself to use index funds.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Sheepdog »

Marry the love of your life if he/she is there waiting for you. I did 57 years ago at age 27. :D
Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.~ Delmore Schwartz
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Dottie57 »

Wildebeest wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:45 pm
tesuzuki2002 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:09 pm
Dyloot wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:23 pm
BlueRidgePro wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:44 pm Don't marry her.
+1
+2
- 3 and I raise you. Marrying her was the best decision I have made. Actually I am very lucky she was willing to marry me after everything I put her through. Prenuptial etc.

Wildebeest.
Have you ever toldher this? Mightbe nice to do so.
dekecarver
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by dekecarver »

Cut back on the golf and goofing off and follow my dad's advise; make as much as you can, as fast as you can, so you can get out as soon as you can, if you choose to do so.
gator15
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by gator15 »

Take more risk with your career and don’t fear failing. Failing at something offers the opportunity to grow. Also, find a mentor. Sure, you can navigate life without one, but it is so much easier to navigate life and your career with a mentor.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by zaboomafoozarg »

I would tell myself to enjoy life in the present, because 27 was the peak for me.
Snowjob
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Snowjob »

Interesting,

I assume you want something that is applicable to your own economic conditions so I will have a go.

The biggest idea is sell your individual stocks and stick with index funds, but not for the reason you may think. You are in a Goldilocks situation -- great income, stable employer, pension at 62. Almost no one in the world has that under the age of 40. Seriously you are on easy street, all you need to do is not screw stuff up. Screwing stuff up is not +/- a few % a year in the stock market. Screwing stuff up is wasting your precious time following the stock market. Your retirement is basically already given to you by the taxpayer. You should simply set aside some money in a reasonable allocation (maybe 80/20 for life -- a vanguard life strategy fund or something would make this even more simple) and then go about living every day to your fullest. The one thing none of us get back is time and spending additional time on something with low value like finance is wasteful in your position. It took me till I was maybe 30/31 to really get this concept. I am close to your salary level now but in a higher cost area with no future pension. Due to my relative uncertainty I spent a lot of time and took extra risks to try and give myself a leg up. Even though it absolutely has to be considered a financial success, I would have rather taken a different path and enjoyed more of my time in my 20's.
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dm200
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by dm200 »

whodidntante wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:28 pm
dm200 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:14 pm For marriage, try to find an "independent" match maker or similar advisor.
Fee only or AUM? :happy
Maybe one with a warranty or guarantee?
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dm200
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by dm200 »

bigred77 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:19 pm I would have told myself to stop drinking so much and cleanup my diet and exercise habits.
Yes -- think "long term"
mptfan
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by mptfan »

runner3081 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm Also, your first house doesn't need to look like one on HGTV.
Or your second.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by mickroark »

I would stay in better health because money means nothing if you don't have it. Join the gym and stay on top of all immunizations and medications, and most of all get a yearly physical.
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dm200
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by dm200 »

mickroark wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:41 am I would stay in better health because money means nothing if you don't have it. Join the gym and stay on top of all immunizations and medications, and most of all get a yearly physical.
Actually there is considerable, credible in my opinion, that the "annual phyical" does no good and (on balance) may be harmful.
runner3081
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by runner3081 »

mptfan wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:32 am
runner3081 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm Also, your first house doesn't need to look like one on HGTV.
Or your second.
True, we are in our 3rd place now, been there 5-years (20 year old house), all is still original builder's grade, haha.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by midareff »

:oops:
Last edited by midareff on Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
runner3081
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by runner3081 »

dm200 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:54 am
mickroark wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:41 am I would stay in better health because money means nothing if you don't have it. Join the gym and stay on top of all immunizations and medications, and most of all get a yearly physical.
Actually there is considerable, credible in my opinion, that the "annual phyical" does no good and (on balance) may be harmful.
Yes, I read a study by Cleveland Clinic and/or Mayo Clinic that only showed 1 physical in your 20's, 2 in your 30's.

Can't find the study at the moment, but did see this from a physician on ABC News:

"Question: How often should men get a physical, and what, exactly, should a physical entail

Answer: Well, there is no consensus recommendations as to how often men should obtain regular physical exams. Typically, I bring men back before the age of 40 every 3 to 5 years, between 40 and 50 every other year, and after age 50 every year."

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MensHealth ... id=7955446
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by LarryAllen »

What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Worry less about long-term finances and live for the day more.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by warowits »

comspe09 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:10 pm
  • A short-term goal of mine (next 5-10 yrs) is to purchase a vacation condo in the Rocky Mountains that I could also use as a stream of income (Air BnB, VBRO, etc.).
Don't buy this condo...
ImmigrantSaver
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by ImmigrantSaver »

PhilosophyAndrew wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:04 pm (1) Don’t lie to yourself (or to others!) about how much you are spending;

(2) Learn to find joy in saving;

(3) Focus on simplicity and consistency In investing strategy;

(4) Don’t fetishize hustling for work and income — learn to limit work in order to maximize the value of non-work relationships and experiences; and

(5) Keep reading and learning. Strive for lifelong intellectual growth.
Love this one!
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by gotester2000 »

My opinion is entirely different - money is the means and not the end - At 27, live your life while having good money saving habits.

Dont overdo the money part and postpone your HAPPINESS because some crazy blogger gave you shocking statistics of how you can be FI early if you cut off XYZ joy you have in life - enjoy small things in everyday life.

You may have a ton of money at 60, but your body wont be able to function well to take its advantage. Visit places,have fun,enjoy your life - having 1 million and lived your life while making it is more worthwhile than 10 million and waiting to live after target achievement - TIME is the only resource all of us have - rest is illusion.
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by TSR »

To answer your specific questions:

1. If I were you I would do three things in your TSP (I'm a fed employee too, for what it's worth). First, go all in on the L2050 fund. This stops your urge to tinker, gives you a little (very little) bond exposure, and will evolve with you over time. Second, go all in on the Traditional TSP. There is a very well known article out there about how most federal employees will benefit from the Roth TSP due to their pension. That article has been highly criticized to the point of being almost debunked, but it still pops up. Take a look at this post, which addresses the federal situation specifically among other things: https://www.gocurrycracker.com/roth-sucks/. I'm not suggesting that it is immune to criticism either, but it'll give a little bit of perspective on that other article. Third, max that sucker out. That's what I'd tell 27-year-old me. Max it out. Forget about your condo, forget about everything else that isn't specifically bringing you joy these days, this is the single best use of your money right now. Don't forego a vacation or fun with your friends or whatever, but put as much as you can in.

2. Yes to the TD Ameritrade commission-free ETFs. I go 100% total stock and I never use my HSA, so the idea of keeping a decent amount of cash in HSA bank seems silly to me. It's just long-term investing for me.

Good luck!
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by triceratop »

I would ask how the next 2 years of my life went.

In all seriousness though, thank you to the OP for asking this question. It provides excellent reading material for us youngs, both for good practices and for keeping things in perspective.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

WhyNotUs wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:07 pm
comspe09 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:10 pm
Emergency Fund - $20.5K
Questions:
  • If I stick w/ the Federal govt, I would be eligible for a pension when I retire. If I work until 62, based on the current computation rules, the pension would be roughly 45% of my salary. Due to this pension, I've seen a lot of talk about putting more money into a roth acct as opposed to a traditional acct. I've also learned more about RMDs and their impact on traditional accts. The first question is would you recommend contributing to a Roth acct? I considered doing a split between traditional and roth tsp this year: $9,250 traditional and $6,500 roth.
A Roth would pair nicely with a pension in retirement to manage taxes but it does not help with your taxes today. As you get older and potentially partner up and maybe even produce offspring annual income taxes may have more pressure on your lifestyle. What might make the most sense is to see what your income and deductions from your 2017 filing would look like in 2018 and then decide, you might find that a traditional IRA is a better deal or Roth. Since your TSP seems to have accounts that you like and decent ER, then you could keep it all in one place for simplicity
  • If I were to go with a Roth, what are the benefits to using a Vanguard Roth IRA for example vs. my Roth TSP? I understand at some point I can rollover the roth tsp into a roth IRA to avoid the RMD issue. I suppose the other benefits are expanded fund options in a Vanguard than what is available in the TSP but how important is that really?
I would not worry about VG right now, seeing everything together is probably more valuable at this point. When your accounts are bigger or if you change jobs, then you can revisit.
  • A short-term goal of mine (next 5-10 yrs) is to purchase a vacation condo in the Rocky Mountains that I could also use as a stream of income (Air BnB, VBRO, etc.). My current thought process is to max my trad TSP (or split trad and roth TSP equivalent to the max trad) and then down the road not feel bad if I use some of that money for a downpayment on this condo. I know this is generally discouraged, but I see it as an investment. Does this seems like an OK plan, or am I better off reducing my retirement contributions and placing this money into a taxable acct (or regular savings acct) to use for a downpayment down the road.
First thing that you have said that does not make sense to me. I have a background in this topic and think you will be much better off letting your money run in TSP and spending leisurely weekends paying for someone else's condo. I would have a lot more money if I learned that at 27 instead of purchasing Hawaii property.
  • Lastly, does it make sense to start investing my HSA funds? I'm with HSA Bank and there are only two options, and I think I'm leaning towards TD Ameritrade's free ETFs. Would it make sense to leave $10K in cash, and invest everything else into the market? The deductible is $1.5K and the catastrophic out-of-pocket max is $5K.
Yes, a balanced fund probably makes more sense than 100% equities

Thanks a ton!!!!!
Thanks for your insight!!!
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

Dynasty90 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:37 pm I turn 28 in less than a month. I enjoy threads like these. Many thanks to all for posting.
Second this. Thanks for posting! Really appreciate it.
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comspe09
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Re: The Golden Rule

Post by comspe09 »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:12 pm Bogleheads:

The Golden Rule is as good as any advice I can think of:

Do To Others As You Would Have Them Do To You.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Good reminder, thanks!
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

Lonestarz wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:04 am I wish I learned about backdoor Roth earlier. I also wish I learned more about people (hidden intent - not everyone is transparent)

Just keep saving as much as you can while you can. I see a lot of posts from single/kidless people making a lot of rosy projections about future spending levels and retirement dates.

That the most important part of your job is who your manager is (how do you two get along).

I started off a bit less than you earn now but maxed 401k, (could have maxed Roth if I knew about it) and saved a good amount on the side. I also had state tax but didn’t purchase an expensive house. You can for sure save more than 10% and consider getting a roommate. 90-18=72 (15k? Tax) about 57 -5.5roth = 51 and $4250/mo should be fine to live on with half of that going to the house. A roomate would give you several hubdred in fun money.
Thanks for your insight! I actually had two roommates last year (three bedroom house), I was saving at least a $1K/month with those guys. Building back up my accounts after the down payment for the house. Thinking I may get roommates again while it does not bother me. I'm sure in a couple years I'll want my own space.
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

Noalani wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:27 am 1) I'd have made sure we built up our taxable accounts more, rather than jumping into a vacation condo in Tahoe/Truckee area. We were early 30s when we did that and it sure sucked up a lot of time/energy/expense when we could've been stashing the money into a few index funds. Think hard before you make that leap.

I guess I like the thought of it being somewhere I can take advantage of while also making money. But I guess I haven't really considered the time/energy/expense aspect of a 2nd property at my age. Like someone else said, it may more sense for me to just invest my money and spend money on the weekends enjoying other peoples condos.

2) Take great care of your physical and mental health. Both are your most valuable assets as you age.

This has been one of my biggest goals this year. Reminding myself that I'm not invincible and that I need to take care of myself physically and mentally.

3) When/if you have a wife/partner and family, spend money on making memories, not on buying things.

I'll keep this in mind if I partner up!

4) Stick to buying smaller houses! Less to clean, insure, paint, repair, etc. I envy my friends with smaller homes and yards.

Agreed! I've got a 1500 sq ft home and I love it. It's actually pretty big for just me. I know friends with twice the sq ft in cities with a LCOL and don't envy them at all haha

You are way ahead of the curve. Good for you!

Thanks!
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

Watty wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:08 am
comspe09 wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:10 pm Tax Rate: Fed 24%/ CO 4.63%
.......

If I stick w/ the Federal govt, I would be eligible for a pension when I retire. If I work until 62, based on the current computation rules, the pension would be roughly 45% of my salary. Due to this pension, I've seen a lot of talk about putting more money into a roth acct as opposed to a traditional acct.
That tax bracket is likely incorrect but even if it is a bit lower I would not use a Roth with your income. You are a long way from being in a high retirement tax bracket and lots can happen before then. You are also single and single people get into the higher tax brackets real quick, there is a chance you will be married some day and in a lower or zero tax bracket which would be a better time to do Roth contributions or conversions. See this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=239899

Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely check out this thread.

What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?
1) Commit to saving half of any future pay increases. Not only will this cause you to save a lot but it will also help avoid lifestyle inflation. (I pretty much did this.)

2) Be open to moving to a lower cost of living area. (I did this.)

3) Have 2% of your paycheck automatically deposited to a seperate account as your travel and splurge fund. (I did this.)

4) Spending discretionary money on experiences is better than spending it on "stuff". Two years ago you likely got some birthday or holiday presents or spend money on yourself on splurges. Can you still remember any of these? You also likely did a lot of things like trips, parties, concerts, etc that you can still remember, and will still remember years from now.

This is all great advice. I really like the idea of automatically depositing money into an acct for travel and splurging on experiences. I did a better job of saving when I lived in a low cost of living area, I'll probably get back to one later in my career.

kenoryan wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm Enjoy your 30th birthday and take some pictures so you can remember when you're 58!
Enjoy your 30th birthday and hope there are not any pictures. :D

Being young before cell phones did have some advantages.
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

Snowjob wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:21 am Interesting,

I assume you want something that is applicable to your own economic conditions so I will have a go.

The biggest idea is sell your individual stocks and stick with index funds, but not for the reason you may think. You are in a Goldilocks situation -- great income, stable employer, pension at 62. Almost no one in the world has that under the age of 40. Seriously you are on easy street, all you need to do is not screw stuff up. Screwing stuff up is not +/- a few % a year in the stock market. Screwing stuff up is wasting your precious time following the stock market. Your retirement is basically already given to you by the taxpayer. You should simply set aside some money in a reasonable allocation (maybe 80/20 for life -- a vanguard life strategy fund or something would make this even more simple) and then go about living every day to your fullest. The one thing none of us get back is time and spending additional time on something with low value like finance is wasteful in your position. It took me till I was maybe 30/31 to really get this concept. I am close to your salary level now but in a higher cost area with no future pension. Due to my relative uncertainty I spent a lot of time and took extra risks to try and give myself a leg up. Even though it absolutely has to be considered a financial success, I would have rather taken a different path and enjoyed more of my time in my 20's.
Excellent advice. I guess I hadn't thought of it that way. I should probably enjoy my 20s more while I can instead of being concerned about my finances so much. Thanks, I appreciate your insight.
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

PhilosophyAndrew wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:04 pm (1) Don’t lie to yourself (or to others!) about how much you are spending;

(2) Learn to find joy in saving;

(3) Focus on simplicity and consistency In investing strategy;

(4) Don’t fetishize hustling for work and income — learn to limit work in order to maximize the value of non-work relationships and experiences; and

(5) Keep reading and learning. Strive for lifelong intellectual growth.
This is awesome, thanks!
becoo
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by becoo »

gator15 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:39 am Take more risk with your career and don’t fear failing. Failing at something offers the opportunity to grow. Also, find a mentor. Sure, you can navigate life without one, but it is so much easier to navigate life and your career with a mentor.
+1

To quote J.K. Rowling, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default."
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comspe09
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

gotester2000 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:37 am My opinion is entirely different - money is the means and not the end - At 27, live your life while having good money saving habits.

Dont overdo the money part and postpone your HAPPINESS because some crazy blogger gave you shocking statistics of how you can be FI early if you cut off XYZ joy you have in life - enjoy small things in everyday life.

You may have a ton of money at 60, but your body wont be able to function well to take its advantage. Visit places,have fun,enjoy your life - having 1 million and lived your life while making it is more worthwhile than 10 million and waiting to live after target achievement - TIME is the only resource all of us have - rest is illusion.
Thanks so much! Many times I feel like I'm not doing enough saving based on various books and blogs, but I try to value experiences more. This makes a ton of sense to me especially the reminder about time. I really appreciate your insight.
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comspe09
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by comspe09 »

TSR wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:39 am To answer your specific questions:

1. If I were you I would do three things in your TSP (I'm a fed employee too, for what it's worth). First, go all in on the L2050 fund. This stops your urge to tinker, gives you a little (very little) bond exposure, and will evolve with you over time. Second, go all in on the Traditional TSP. There is a very well known article out there about how most federal employees will benefit from the Roth TSP due to their pension. That article has been highly criticized to the point of being almost debunked, but it still pops up. Take a look at this post, which addresses the federal situation specifically among other things: https://www.gocurrycracker.com/roth-sucks/. I'm not suggesting that it is immune to criticism either, but it'll give a little bit of perspective on that other article. Third, max that sucker out. That's what I'd tell 27-year-old me. Max it out. Forget about your condo, forget about everything else that isn't specifically bringing you joy these days, this is the single best use of your money right now. Don't forego a vacation or fun with your friends or whatever, but put as much as you can in.

2. Yes to the TD Ameritrade commission-free ETFs. I go 100% total stock and I never use my HSA, so the idea of keeping a decent amount of cash in HSA bank seems silly to me. It's just long-term investing for me.

Good luck!
Thanks! I'll definitely check out that post, because up until now I think I've only seen the other article that says Feds should be using the Roth TSP. What do you think about splitting the TSP between trad and roth? I've recently used my HSA for medical expenses but I'm thinking I may be better off just using cash and considering that HSA a long-term investment.
Bacchus01
Posts: 3182
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Bacchus01 »

These things are very personal, but apply what you will. I’m 44 and at 27, which seems forever ago, we just had our first child and I’d been married 3 years. I’m now helping my son decide on colleges.

- eat better
- drink less
- workout now BEFORE you need to
- spend more on things that bring you joy
- take at least one big vacation every year
- spend as much time as possible with your family
- See your grandparents more


Financially?
- cash out those options when you feel they are good enough and don’t watch them go to zero hoping they’ll return
- buy more house than you think you can at the moment
- buy newer cars, but not new ones
- buy expensive shoes, they really do make a difference
TSR
Posts: 932
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by TSR »

comspe09 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:35 am
TSR wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:39 am To answer your specific questions:

1. If I were you I would do three things in your TSP (I'm a fed employee too, for what it's worth). First, go all in on the L2050 fund. This stops your urge to tinker, gives you a little (very little) bond exposure, and will evolve with you over time. Second, go all in on the Traditional TSP. There is a very well known article out there about how most federal employees will benefit from the Roth TSP due to their pension. That article has been highly criticized to the point of being almost debunked, but it still pops up. Take a look at this post, which addresses the federal situation specifically among other things: https://www.gocurrycracker.com/roth-sucks/. I'm not suggesting that it is immune to criticism either, but it'll give a little bit of perspective on that other article. Third, max that sucker out. That's what I'd tell 27-year-old me. Max it out. Forget about your condo, forget about everything else that isn't specifically bringing you joy these days, this is the single best use of your money right now. Don't forego a vacation or fun with your friends or whatever, but put as much as you can in.

2. Yes to the TD Ameritrade commission-free ETFs. I go 100% total stock and I never use my HSA, so the idea of keeping a decent amount of cash in HSA bank seems silly to me. It's just long-term investing for me.

Good luck!
Thanks! I'll definitely check out that post, because up until now I think I've only seen the other article that says Feds should be using the Roth TSP. What do you think about splitting the TSP between trad and roth? I've recently used my HSA for medical expenses but I'm thinking I may be better off just using cash and considering that HSA a long-term investment.
I don't split between Traditional and Roth. I'm 100% trad. I make a little more money than you do (give it time!) so perhaps the tax benefit is even more immediate, but I like the bird in the hand. I have a separate Roth IRA that I try to max out too. I figure that whatever benefits a Roth TSP would give me could be had at a later date with Roth conversions. Do take a look at that article when you have time though.

And with all of this, including the HSA, we're just talking about money. So I'm here advocating that you not spend your HSA, you max out your TSP, and you max out a Roth IRA. Please understand that that's a LOT of money, and you may not be able to do all of it. Cut yourself a little slack recognizing that you're still young and have a great start. You can work toward all of those goals.
MOBugeater
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:21 am
Location: Missouri

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by MOBugeater »

I would have bought fewer houses - buy the biggest house you can now, then keep it - pay it off by 42 (i.e., 15 yr loan).
2015
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by 2015 »

Relish this moment in time! It's going to be one of several peak years in your life that you will remember for the rest of your life. Enjoy it Here. Now. While it's happening. You are so freaking lucky to be feeling this way.
stoptothink
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Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by stoptothink »

In the words of Will Smith: "Fail often, fail early, and fail forward." I can't even imagine where I'd be in my career at this point, the possible trials I would have avoided, etc. if I just would not have always had that little hint of fear of failing in the back of my mind. I didn't really begin to understand this concept until the last few years (I'm 36) when I really began researching "mindset" concepts.
tesuzuki2002
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

oldcomputerguy wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:26 pm
Dyloot wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:23 pm
BlueRidgePro wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:44 pm Don't marry her.
+1
Guess I’m luckier than some; I married her at age 22, and am still happily married to the same woman at age 62.
Winner!!!
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vitaflo
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by vitaflo »

Only thing I would have told myself is to do more things that are physically demanding. At a certain point these things become difficult, and the late 20's is the best time to do these.

As for mistakes I've made, I wouldn't tell myself to avoid them. I had to make them to learn my lesson.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23148
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

One more thing - floss, brush your teeth twice a day and use a fluoride rinse. Your teeth/gums and wallet will thank you in your later years. Teeth can be costly. :moneybag
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Snowjob
Posts: 1634
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by Snowjob »

comspe09 wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:20 am
Snowjob wrote: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:21 am Interesting,

I assume you want something that is applicable to your own economic conditions so I will have a go.

The biggest idea is sell your individual stocks and stick with index funds, but not for the reason you may think. You are in a Goldilocks situation -- great income, stable employer, pension at 62. Almost no one in the world has that under the age of 40. Seriously you are on easy street, all you need to do is not screw stuff up. Screwing stuff up is not +/- a few % a year in the stock market. Screwing stuff up is wasting your precious time following the stock market. Your retirement is basically already given to you by the taxpayer. You should simply set aside some money in a reasonable allocation (maybe 80/20 for life -- a vanguard life strategy fund or something would make this even more simple) and then go about living every day to your fullest. The one thing none of us get back is time and spending additional time on something with low value like finance is wasteful in your position. It took me till I was maybe 30/31 to really get this concept. I am close to your salary level now but in a higher cost area with no future pension. Due to my relative uncertainty I spent a lot of time and took extra risks to try and give myself a leg up. Even though it absolutely has to be considered a financial success, I would have rather taken a different path and enjoyed more of my time in my 20's.
Excellent advice. I guess I hadn't thought of it that way. I should probably enjoy my 20s more while I can instead of being concerned about my finances so much. Thanks, I appreciate your insight.
believe me, you can do 95% right on your finances with 5 min worth of work a year. Enjoy the rest of your life, you'll never get it back. I hope you really do consider it and good luck!
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AllieTB1323
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Location: Desert Washington State

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by AllieTB1323 »

oldcomputerguy wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:26 pm
Dyloot wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:23 pm
BlueRidgePro wrote: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:44 pm Don't marry her.
+1
Guess I’m luckier than some; I married her at age 22, and am still happily married to the same woman at age 62.
Ditto, married at 22 and still blissfully married to her some 45 years later.
angelescrest
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Location: Texas

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by angelescrest »

Buy Dominos Pizza stock and hold on tight until 2017.
ThriftyPhD
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

Post by ThriftyPhD »

Quit spending money you don't have. Idiot.
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