Space Flight and Roth conversion

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Topic Author
Neutron_Star
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:50 pm

Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Neutron_Star »

So... they told me:
"Always be yourself... Unless you can be an Astronaut, then just be an Astronaut"
And thus:

This thread is to be about how to manage money when working around an unusual constraint. It is not about the politics or practicalities of the constraint. I'm here to ask about and discuss How to do a thing; not why to do it or even whether it can be done. I'll Take PM's about the technical or political stuff but forum rules say not here.

The constraint:
SpaceX Starship is on track to put humans on Mars in 2026. If that goes well they could sell Mars tickets to the public by 2030. I plan to be ready to buy one of those tickets ASAP and never come back. I'm 33 years old. This means I want to be able to liquidate everything before I hit any of the special ages for penalty free withdraws.

To meet the constraint I require three things
1.) Health.
2.) Training and expertise.
3.) Roth Money.

For requirement 1 I work out for 45 minutes a day. This is enough for now but I will increase it about a year before flight time.

For requirement 2 I plan to enroll in SCUBA classes. The critical part of operating a space suite is almost identical to operating a SCUBA tank so this should be an easy win. I also work in automation on robotic systems (servos conveyors ect.). This skill set seems vital for operation of construction industry in a non-shirt-sleeves environment.

For requirement 3 I come to you fine folks to ask if my current investing strategy is optimal or if I can improve it somehow. Please advise.

Here's what I'm currently putting in VTSAX each month:
$500 to a Roth IRA maxing it out
$1625 to a Roth 401k maxing that out
$1500 to a Taxable account

This has gotten me roughly the following:
$320,000 of VTSAX in a taxable account
$20,000 of VTSAX in a tax differed account (from a 401k rollover)
$360,000 of VTSAX in a Roth IRA

I would prefer the tax differed money to be Roth so that I will be free to liquidate it without penalty when the time comes. I expect at least a year of warning during which I can maneuver to lower penalties and maximize recoverable funds. The more money I have when I cash out the more equipment I can take with me to Mars so every penny counts. I am making $110,000 a year with no debt and no dependents (so 24% tax bracket). Should I do a Roth conversion and just pay the tax now or should I leave the tax differed as tax differed.

Musk has claimed he wants to get tickets down to $200,000. His numbers are always a little... off, so I'm betting at least $1,000,000 for an early ticket but again mo-money mo-equipment and the colony is gona need all the hardware we can afford so investing efficiency counts.

Does anyone know what level of government writes the rules governing qualified distributions? Does anyone know who I should talk to if I want to push for "Tickets to the Mars colony" to be on the qualified distribution list? It feels like the kind of thing that could be a national priority right?

Many thanks for any suggestions on strategy I always learn a lot when I ask you folks things. Yes, I know I'm crazy, lets talk crazy together!
Onwards and Upwards TO MARS!!! :sharebeer


PS. I would enjoy PM's regarding the technical aspects of the Starship vehicle and program or the political aspects. If you must insult the program I only enjoy creative insults as I've heard all the standard ones, like seriously use big words and be exotic in your bile you owe it to your side to put on a good showing but most importantly KEEP IT IN THE PM's.
HomeStretch
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HomeStretch »

I believe the Roth earnings will be subject to 10% penalty if withdrawn before age 59-1/2 or satisfying other exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty. Last I checked, ‘space travel’ was not on the exception list. :D

The amount of hardware you may bring on the trip will probably be limited by physical space/weight restrictions by SpaceX.

Best of luck! Please update your thread if you make the journey!
MaskelyneW
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by MaskelyneW »

I am a huge fan of space travel and exploration - I would love to purchase a trip to space if and when it becomes affordable. My preference would be a trip to lunar orbit and short visit to the surface. I am very envious of what Jeff Bezos is about to do in 40 minutes from now. There are many naysayers about space tourism, just as I'm sure there were many naysayers about tourism by airplane when it first became available. With that said, I envision that colonization of Mars will in our lifetimes remain restricted to a very small group of researchers, similar to the research stations in Antarctica. My question is, would you be willing to live at an Antarctic research station and never come back? Conditions on Mars (as far as temperature extremes, weather events, and other hazards) are many many times more severe than those on Antarctica. At any rate, best of luck to you. Ignore the naysayers - ad astra.
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anon_investor
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by anon_investor »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am So... they told me:
"Always be yourself... Unless you can be an Astronaut, then just be an Astronaut"
And thus:

This thread is to be about how to manage money when working around an unusual constraint. It is not about the politics or practicalities of the constraint. I'm here to ask about and discuss How to do a thing; not why to do it or even whether it can be done. I'll Take PM's about the technical or political stuff but forum rules say not here.

The constraint:
SpaceX Starship is on track to put humans on Mars in 2026. If that goes well they could sell Mars tickets to the public by 2030. I plan to be ready to buy one of those tickets ASAP and never come back. I'm 33 years old. This means I want to be able to liquidate everything before I hit any of the special ages for penalty free withdraws.

To meet the constraint I require three things
1.) Health.
2.) Training and expertise.
3.) Roth Money.

For requirement 1 I work out for 45 minutes a day. This is enough for now but I will increase it about a year before flight time.

For requirement 2 I plan to enroll in SCUBA classes. The critical part of operating a space suite is almost identical to operating a SCUBA tank so this should be an easy win. I also work in automation on robotic systems (servos conveyors ect.). This skill set seems vital for operation of construction industry in a non-shirt-sleeves environment.

For requirement 3 I come to you fine folks to ask if my current investing strategy is optimal or if I can improve it somehow. Please advise.

Here's what I'm currently putting in VTSAX each month:
$500 to a Roth IRA maxing it out
$1625 to a Roth 401k maxing that out
$1500 to a Taxable account

This has gotten me roughly the following:
$320,000 of VTSAX in a taxable account
$20,000 of VTSAX in a tax differed account (from a 401k rollover)
$360,000 of VTSAX in a Roth IRA

I would prefer the tax differed money to be Roth so that I will be free to liquidate it without penalty when the time comes. I expect at least a year of warning during which I can maneuver to lower penalties and maximize recoverable funds. The more money I have when I cash out the more equipment I can take with me to Mars so every penny counts. I am making $110,000 a year with no debt and no dependents (so 24% tax bracket). Should I do a Roth conversion and just pay the tax now or should I leave the tax differed as tax differed.

Musk has claimed he wants to get tickets down to $200,000. His numbers are always a little... off, so I'm betting at least $1,000,000 for an early ticket but again mo-money mo-equipment and the colony is gona need all the hardware we can afford so investing efficiency counts.

Does anyone know what level of government writes the rules governing qualified distributions? Does anyone know who I should talk to if I want to push for "Tickets to the Mars colony" to be on the qualified distribution list? It feels like the kind of thing that could be a national priority right?

Many thanks for any suggestions on strategy I always learn a lot when I ask you folks things. Yes, I know I'm crazy, lets talk crazy together!
Onwards and Upwards TO MARS!!! :sharebeer


PS. I would enjoy PM's regarding the technical aspects of the Starship vehicle and program or the political aspects. If you must insult the program I only enjoy creative insults as I've heard all the standard ones, like seriously use big words and be exotic in your bile you owe it to your side to put on a good showing but most importantly KEEP IT IN THE PM's.
OP for the best advice, you probably should probably also share some important details such as your annual income, Fed/state marginal tax rates. Depending on your tax situation the advice you may receive may be different.
Missed those details in the OP.
Last edited by anon_investor on Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
Neutron_Star
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Neutron_Star »

@MaskelyneW
I envision that colonization of Mars will in our lifetimes remain restricted to a very small group of researchers, similar to the research stations in Antarctica. My question is, would you be willing to live at an Antarctic research station and never come back? Conditions on Mars (as far as temperature extremes, weather events, and other hazards) are many many times more severe than those on Antarctica.
Possibly, I however do not see this as likely. The reason the Antarctic research station has remained hilariously small is political. All the big nations tell the little boys "DON'T MINE", or else. The Mars program seems different in that commercial exploration is the point from the get go. Mars's remote location will force a level of self sufficiency from the get go far beyond what has been going on in Antarctica. The only fly in the ointment as-it-were is weather the 1/3 G is bad or not and we just don't know yet because we haven't launched a bolo station... yet.
Ignore the naysayers - ad astra.
TRUE DAT!!! :sharebeer
Topic Author
Neutron_Star
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Neutron_Star »

anon_investor wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:29 am OP for the best advice, you probably should probably also share some important details such as your annual income, Fed/state marginal tax rates. Depending on your tax situation the advice you may receive may be different.
1 see OP
2 Income: $110,000
3 Tax bracket 24%
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anon_investor
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by anon_investor »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:39 am
anon_investor wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:29 am OP for the best advice, you probably should probably also share some important details such as your annual income, Fed/state marginal tax rates. Depending on your tax situation the advice you may receive may be different.
1 see OP
2 Income: $110,000
3 Tax bracket 24%
Apologies, I missed that. Do you think your income will go up? If so, you may run into income limits preventing you from making direct Roth IRA contributions. Also since you have a rollover IRA, you are going to be subject to pro-rata tax implications making backdoor Roth difficult.

Also, have you considered doing tax loss harvesting in your taxable account? If so, you will want to watch out for wash sales and loss of qualified status on dividends.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Noobvestor »

Betting entirely on one country (US) over a short time frame could have great or terrible results. Judging from present US valuations, I would expect the latter is more likely than the former. Why not VTWAX? Of course, stocks could be down in 5-10 years too. Some bonds as well, maybe?
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aristotelian
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by aristotelian »

The ticket to get there might be $200k but I would imagine sustaining life on Mars is going to cost a lot more. Food costs in Hawaii are like 25% more than mainland. Might be 25000% more on Mars. Alternatively, you may not be allowed to purchase one way ticket with no return date.
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HomerJ
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HomerJ »

If you're never going to come back, and you have skills they need, I assume you would get PAID to go...

i.e., You'd be applying for a job on Mars.

If you just buy a ticket, you're going to be a tourist, and you will have to come back.

It seems like you should be working towards getting a job in SpaceX now, or in the next few years.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by anon_investor »

HomerJ wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:49 am If you just buy a ticket, you're going to be a tourist, and you will have to come back.
Unless the OP has enough money to FIRE (factoring in "Mars Inflation").
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Watty
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Watty »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am For requirement 3 I come to you fine folks to ask if my current investing strategy is optimal or if I can improve it somehow. Please advise.
.....
This has gotten me roughly the following:
$320,000 of VTSAX in a taxable account
$20,000 of VTSAX in a tax differed account (from a 401k rollover)
$360,000 of VTSAX in a Roth IRA
I will play along.

100% stocks is too aggressive for money that you expect to need in about ten years. If you do not reduce your stock asset allocation now then you should do that soon.

I do not know how it would work for space travel but many people who want to live overseas find that a good way to do it is get a job with an employer who will pay for it and arrange all the details. You may want to consider trying to find a job with an employer who will be in the middle of this that would pay for you to go into space.
Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am Onwards and Upwards TO MARS!!!
I know that you do not want to negative comments but going to Mars is orders of magnitude more difficult than going to a space station or to the moon. Not that I think it would be a good idea but you might want to focus on going to those some day.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by F150HD »

deleted
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Jags4186 »

My recommendation is to plan like this is never going to happen.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Watty »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am To meet the constraint I require three things
1.) Health.
2.) Training and expertise.
3.) Roth Money.
One more thought. I mean this in a constructive way.

You might add a fourth thing to your list.

4) Mental preparation.

To be accepted into a program like you want you would no doubt need to go through a detailed psychological screening process. To be prepared for that you might want to start talking to a physiatrist start getting prepared for that step.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by RootSki »

You should just get a job working for SpaceX. Hopefully in a decade, they will offer an employee discount to Mars as a part of their compensation package.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HootingSloth »

HomeStretch wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:23 am I believe the Roth earnings will be subject to 10% penalty if withdrawn before age 59-1/2 or satisfying other exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty. Last I checked, ‘space travel’ was not on the exception list. :D

The amount of hardware you may bring on the trip will probably be limited by physical space/weight restrictions by SpaceX.

Best of luck! Please update your thread if you make the journey!
Yes, have you modeled out the consequences of the penalties vs. the tax savings? It is not obvious to me that a Roth is necessarily what you want, especially as we get closer to the date.

As far as who to ask about adding space travel to the list of exceptions in section 72(t)(2), I think it needs to be your member of Congress.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by firebirdparts »

[Distracting embedded image removed by admin LadyGeek. Here's the link: https://i.imgur.com/vLK5Osy.jpg]

I think Roth makes sense, but taxable would also make sense. You're kind of in a no-win situation, but if 10% is what you're really giving up, then I think it's worth taking a chance that would be waived down the line, or who knows, maybe it'll turn out that the tickets aren't really available until you're 59.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by JupiterJones »

Yeah, I'm with the rest of the gang here that planning on being able to get around the early withdrawal penalty is probably not sound. I'd just assume that I'd either have to eat the penalty or do all (or most) of my future investing in taxable, and see if the plan still works that way. If you do manage to avoid the penalty, that'll just be gravy.

As for the other parts of your plan, I don't see a downside there at all. If 2030 rolls around and there's no flight to Mars, you'll be in great shape and you'll know how to do a bunch of cool stuff. Nothing wrong with that, no matter what planet you're on.

All that said, you're missing one more requirement:

4.) Go nine years or more without developing a reason to stick around on Earth
Stay on target...
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by LadyGeek »

You're missing a very important point. Leaving the US (not only in latitude and longitude, but altitude as well) means you will be a US ex-pat. That has huge implications. Not only for taxes, but the ability to continue investing with your current providers.

See this wiki article: Taxation as a US person living abroad

There are no tax treaties between the US and Mars, so you'll bear the full brunt of the taxes.

Also see this article: Why US Brokerage Accounts of American Expats are Being Closed

Vanguard says "No":
Each of the investment products and services referred to on this website is intended to be made available to U.S. residents.
Fidelity says "Maybe":
Our product and service offerings for customers and prospective customers who reside outside of the United States are limited.

...There are also additional restrictions that may apply, depending on the country where you now reside. Customers in certain countries may be limited to selling their existing holdings and withdrawing the proceeds from their accounts. They will not be able to make deposits in their accounts, or buy any additional securities.
^^^ Read the PDF file for the complete picture.
Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am PS. I would enjoy PM's regarding the technical aspects of the Starship vehicle and program or the political aspects. If you must insult the program I only enjoy creative insults as I've heard all the standard ones, like seriously use big words and be exotic in your bile you owe it to your side to put on a good showing but most importantly KEEP IT IN THE PM's.
If anyone receives an "unwelcome" PM, please report the PM using the ! in the top-right corner of the PM. See: REPORTING VIOLATIONS AND UNWELCOME PMs
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by 456M »

I'm here to subscribe and to let you know we will watch your career with great interest.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Investments forum (portfolio help).

Be sure to update your Investment policy statement for space travel.

BTW, the Bezos flight was a success. :thumbsup
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HootingSloth »

LadyGeek wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:00 am You're missing a very important point. Leaving the US (not only in latitude and longitude, but altitude as well) means you will be a US ex-pat. That has huge implications. Not only for taxes, but the ability to continue investing with your current providers.

See this wiki article: Taxation as a US person living abroad

There are no tax treaties between the US and Mars, so you'll bear the full brunt of the taxes.

Also see this article: Why US Brokerage Accounts of American Expats are Being Closed

Vanguard says "No":
Each of the investment products and services referred to on this website is intended to be made available to U.S. residents.
Fidelity says "Maybe":
Our product and service offerings for customers and prospective customers who reside outside of the United States are limited.

...There are also additional restrictions that may apply, depending on the country where you now reside. Customers in certain countries may be limited to selling their existing holdings and withdrawing the proceeds from their accounts. They will not be able to make deposits in their accounts, or buy any additional securities.
^^^ Read the PDF file for the complete picture.
Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am PS. I would enjoy PM's regarding the technical aspects of the Starship vehicle and program or the political aspects. If you must insult the program I only enjoy creative insults as I've heard all the standard ones, like seriously use big words and be exotic in your bile you owe it to your side to put on a good showing but most importantly KEEP IT IN THE PM's.
If anyone receives an "unwelcome" PM, please report the PM using the ! in the top-right corner of the PM. See: REPORTING VIOLATIONS AND UNWELCOME PMs
It is not clear to me that the tax rules for U.S. citizens living abroad, described in the wiki, would apply to someone living on Mars. For example, in order for the foreign earned income exclusion to apply you must be a "qualified individual" as defined under section 911(b)(1). To be a qualified individual, you must establish, either that you "ha[ve] been a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period which includes an entire taxable year, or . . . during any period of 12 consecutive months, [were] present in a foreign country or countries during at least 330 full days in such period." In Clark v. Commissioner the Tax Court held that international waters are not a "foreign country" for this purpose, and so the exclusion did not apply to someone who lived and worked aboard ships travelling in international waters. One imagines a similar conclusion could be drawn about Mars because it is not a region under the control of a foreign country.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by LadyGeek »

Good point, I stand corrected.

Mars has no post office, so that may present a problem for determining legal residence. How is residency established on Earth if all you do is sail the ocean without touching land? Antarctica has treaties, so I'm guessing that's covered somewhere.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by masonstone »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am So... they told me:
"Always be yourself... Unless you can be an Astronaut, then just be an Astronaut"
And thus:

This thread is to be about how to manage money when working around an unusual constraint. It is not about the politics or practicalities of the constraint. I'm here to ask about and discuss How to do a thing; not why to do it or even whether it can be done. I'll Take PM's about the technical or political stuff but forum rules say not here.

The constraint:
SpaceX Starship is on track to put humans on Mars in 2026. If that goes well they could sell Mars tickets to the public by 2030. I plan to be ready to buy one of those tickets ASAP and never come back. I'm 33 years old. This means I want to be able to liquidate everything before I hit any of the special ages for penalty free withdraws.

To meet the constraint I require three things
1.) Health.
2.) Training and expertise.
3.) Roth Money.

For requirement 1 I work out for 45 minutes a day. This is enough for now but I will increase it about a year before flight time.

For requirement 2 I plan to enroll in SCUBA classes. The critical part of operating a space suite is almost identical to operating a SCUBA tank so this should be an easy win. I also work in automation on robotic systems (servos conveyors ect.). This skill set seems vital for operation of construction industry in a non-shirt-sleeves environment.

For requirement 3 I come to you fine folks to ask if my current investing strategy is optimal or if I can improve it somehow. Please advise.

Here's what I'm currently putting in VTSAX each month:
$500 to a Roth IRA maxing it out
$1625 to a Roth 401k maxing that out
$1500 to a Taxable account

This has gotten me roughly the following:
$320,000 of VTSAX in a taxable account
$20,000 of VTSAX in a tax differed account (from a 401k rollover)
$360,000 of VTSAX in a Roth IRA

I would prefer the tax differed money to be Roth so that I will be free to liquidate it without penalty when the time comes. I expect at least a year of warning during which I can maneuver to lower penalties and maximize recoverable funds. The more money I have when I cash out the more equipment I can take with me to Mars so every penny counts. I am making $110,000 a year with no debt and no dependents (so 24% tax bracket). Should I do a Roth conversion and just pay the tax now or should I leave the tax differed as tax differed.

Musk has claimed he wants to get tickets down to $200,000. His numbers are always a little... off, so I'm betting at least $1,000,000 for an early ticket but again mo-money mo-equipment and the colony is gona need all the hardware we can afford so investing efficiency counts.

Does anyone know what level of government writes the rules governing qualified distributions? Does anyone know who I should talk to if I want to push for "Tickets to the Mars colony" to be on the qualified distribution list? It feels like the kind of thing that could be a national priority right?

Many thanks for any suggestions on strategy I always learn a lot when I ask you folks things. Yes, I know I'm crazy, lets talk crazy together!
Onwards and Upwards TO MARS!!! :sharebeer


PS. I would enjoy PM's regarding the technical aspects of the Starship vehicle and program or the political aspects. If you must insult the program I only enjoy creative insults as I've heard all the standard ones, like seriously use big words and be exotic in your bile you owe it to your side to put on a good showing but most importantly KEEP IT IN THE PM's.
Unfortunately you'd most likely be too old for interplanetary travel once it becomes available to non-astronauts.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by 123 »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 am ...The more money I have when I cash out the more equipment I can take with me to Mars so every penny counts...
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Nicolas »

masonstone wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:30 am Unfortunately you'd most likely be too old for interplanetary travel once it becomes available to non-astronauts.
They’ll likely only take 20 somethings. Why pay the freight if your lifespan is already limited?
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by RetiredCSProf »

I worked with a young AF officer whose goal was to become an astronaut. She pursued two paths -- application to medical school and flight school. She was accepted into both programs. As I recall, she accepted flight school, with the expectation that there would be more openings for pilots than physicians in the space program.

Also, I worked with a civilian engineer who applied to the astronaut program. She made it into the final interview, but was not accepted into the program. She said that at the interview she was asked if she could sing. She confirmed that other applicants were asked the same question. They concluded that while all the applicants far exceeded the minimal requirements at that point, the extra push was that they would be spokespeople for the program and would be expected to be able to talk about their experience.

I do not know if either of these anecdotes would be helpful in finding your path to prepare for commercial space flight.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HomerJ »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:12 amSpaceX Starship is on track to put humans on Mars in 2026. If that goes well they could sell Mars tickets to the public by 2030.
Musk has claimed he wants to get tickets down to $200,000. His numbers are always a little... off
It's not just his cost numbers are that always a little... off.

His time estimates are usually wildly off too...

So expect 2040 instead of 2030.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by ScubaHogg »

Maybe the most original post I’ve ever read on here. Best of luck!
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Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

This reminds me of that thread a while back that asked how to finance their cryogenic suspension. Going to Mars seems rather more ambitious and interesting than becoming an ice cube. Though if things go sideways, the net result could be the same.
Statistical
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Statistical »

Roth contributions may be the wrong choice for your decision.

Understand that Roth contributions can be withdrawn without penalty or taxes at anytime but the GAINS on a Roth Account can not outside of a 72t SEEP which is unlikely to fit your needs. Not just the gains for far but all the gains which will occur between now and then.

There is a bit of unknowns since you are talking about something which has never happened in the history of mankind but my guess is they would allow payments overtime if you have proof that you have the required assets. That would make traditional (pre-tax) accounts the preferred route. From now until the time you stop working you max out both pre-tax 401k and pre-tax IRA.

You could then stop working have zero income and begin converting the pre-tax balances to Roth which become accessible after 5 years paying minimal taxes (google Roth conversion ladder). You could use Roth contributions and taxable account as a downpayment and pay the balance over time with new Roth conversions being available to withdraw every year starting in year 6. This would allow a much larger portion of your net worth to be accessible prior to age 59.5
Last edited by Statistical on Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Statistical »

Nicolas wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:15 pm
masonstone wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:30 am Unfortunately you'd most likely be too old for interplanetary travel once it becomes available to non-astronauts.
They’ll likely only take 20 somethings. Why pay the freight if your lifespan is already limited?
Because people are paying for tickets (if this ever happens I have my doubts). Most 20 somethings wouldn't have the required assets.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by MattB »

Neutron_Star wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:38 am The only fly in the ointment as-it-were is weather the 1/3 G is bad or not and we just don't know yet because we haven't launched a bolo station... yet.
Radiation may be a problem as well, both from the trip out there and once you would get to mars. But you only life once. So, have a good trip.
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gwe67
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by gwe67 »

Isn't Mars a HCOL area?

The cost of getting there is one thing, but surely there is no free lunch, and you would have to pay huge $$$ to remain there. Maybe that could be offset somewhat if you agreed to be a worker, but once (if) you hit old age on Mars and no longer have any utility, then what?
Last edited by gwe67 on Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by surfstar »

I anticipate SCUBA instructors will be getting a weird new crop of students going forward...

(please don't harass/touch the wildlife and stay off the reefs! as-in do not touch)
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by nigel_ht »

I'm a space geek.

Even if I had my current NW at age 20 I wouldn't expect to be able to buy a trip to mars for $1M by 2030.

Let's look at the math. The cost for a sub-orbital will cost $250K when Virgin actually lets you buy more. There's a waiting list.

My expectation is that the total number of suborbital flights in 2022 is going to be low double digits. Maybe.

While Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 is crew rated Starship isn't yet and it took a long time...

NASA is paying for Starship to be crew rated but I would be mildly surprised if it appears by 2030. 2024 to the Moon is a pipe dream. Mars is right out.

Without NASA money paying for Starship development it'll take longer. Sooooo...yeah.

If by 2030 we could actually pay $1M to live in a commercial orbital habitat for a year I'd be hugely surprised.

But anyway the financial part is simple. Plan as if you were going to buy a $1M house in cash by 2030...
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Maverick3320 »

Statistical wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:34 pm
Nicolas wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:15 pm
masonstone wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:30 am Unfortunately you'd most likely be too old for interplanetary travel once it becomes available to non-astronauts.
They’ll likely only take 20 somethings. Why pay the freight if your lifespan is already limited?
Because people are paying for tickets (if this ever happens I have my doubts). Most 20 somethings wouldn't have the required assets.
Most won't, but the ones that will have the assets will be able to outbid OP.
TheTurtle
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by TheTurtle »

Never expected to read this on Bogleheads.org, but glad to see people thinking big and thinking long term.

I must admit my first stray thought (reinforced by Lady geek's discussion of expat status on Mars) was: in the even further future where humans can travel close to a black hole (a la Interstellar), retirement ages, RMD ages, etc. could be gamed by time dilation 😀🤣. Just go take a quick lap near one and voila, you're 59.5 (although your body hasn't aged).

I would recommend learning to fly. Granted you are not going to get high g experience in a small private craft, but it might be useful along with the other training you mention. I agree with whoever said mental training would be essential: it'll be a long trip.

I have similar vague ambitions although I have not planned in as much detail as the OP seems to have. If it ever happens, My path will likely be as a mission specialist (I work in a science lab).

I have no financial advice or comments, just wanted to encourage the OP to keep at it. All the best!
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HomerJ »

TheTurtle wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:38 pm I must admit my first stray thought (reinforced by Lady geek's discussion of expat status on Mars) was: in the even further future where humans can travel close to a black hole (a la Interstellar), retirement ages, RMD ages, etc. could be gamed by time dilation 😀🤣. Just go take a quick lap near one and voila, you're 59.5 (although your body hasn't aged).
It's not about aging to 59.5... Take 3 quick laps near one, let your money back on Earth compound interest for 200 years, and come back to Earth a trillionaire.

Like good old Fry in Futurama being frozen for a thousand years, then checking his old bank account.
$4.3 billion dollars may seem a ludicrous amount for Fry's bank account, but it is correct. Starting with 93 cents, compound interest of 2.25% over 1000 years comes to exactly $4,283,508,449.71.
Silly Futurama writers... 2.25% interest... Such dreamers... Don't they know that interest rates will be low forever? That's what I've been told here.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by lurkman »

LadyGeek wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:16 am Good point, I stand corrected.

Mars has no post office, so that may present a problem for determining legal residence. How is residency established on Earth if all you do is sail the ocean without touching land? Antarctica has treaties, so I'm guessing that's covered somewhere.
Also, if the American flag is planted on Mars, I expect some territorial claim may be implicitly established. I mean that's how countries were formed in the past. They'd have to take a number and get in line to be considered for statehood. Similar delays can be expected on the question of legal residence.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Carousel »

Awesome post.
Wouldn't the early colonists--the brave and adventurous souls eager to sign up for a one-way flight--be selected and enrolled as company or gov't employees? I just can't imagine they're going to be shaking the millionaire tree for colonists.

Also, SF fan here. Have you read any novels that you feel are more realistic representations of what it will be like?

Thanks. Very eager to see this happen!
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by ncbill »

"The more money I have when I cash out the more equipment I can take with me to Mars so every penny counts."

Nope.

The mission planners will be the ones determining what equipment goes to Mars for the best chance of success of the mission.

The OP would have a "personal allowance" determined by weight...likely no more than a few pounds.
Last edited by ncbill on Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HomerJ »

Carousel wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:58 pm Awesome post.
Wouldn't the early colonists--the brave and adventurous souls eager to sign up for a one-way flight--be selected and enrolled as company or gov't employees? I just can't imagine they're going to be shaking the millionaire tree for colonists.

Also, SF fan here. Have you read any novels that you feel are more realistic representations of what it will be like?

Thanks. Very eager to see this happen!
Red Mars is a great book about the first days of a Mars colony. The political stuff and relationships between the colonists is okay, I guess... but I really liked all the technical stuff about the first days of establishing a working colony.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by Carousel »

HomerJ wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:02 pm Red Mars is a great book about the first days of a Mars colony. The political stuff and relationships between the colonists is okay, I guess... but I really liked all the technical stuff about the first days of establishing a working colony.
I read Red Mars and enjoyed it! (Didn't read the others.) Made me a bit nostalgic for the space race ...

EDIT: coming back to say, I LOVE it when Elon talks about focusing on optimism and rejecting limitations. "You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about." Love it.
Last edited by Carousel on Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by HootingSloth »

lurkman wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:52 pm
LadyGeek wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:16 am Good point, I stand corrected.

Mars has no post office, so that may present a problem for determining legal residence. How is residency established on Earth if all you do is sail the ocean without touching land? Antarctica has treaties, so I'm guessing that's covered somewhere.
Also, if the American flag is planted on Mars, I expect some territorial claim may be implicitly established. I mean that's how countries were formed in the past. They'd have to take a number and get in line to be considered for statehood. Similar delays can be expected on the question of legal residence.
The United States is a party to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967), often referred to as the "Outer Space Treaty." Article II of the Treaty provides that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." As a result, I believe we would be violating our commitments under international law if we were to make a territorial claim on Mars.

If we go to Mars, there will surely be lots of interesting legal questions and rapid development in space law with uncertainty reigning in the interim.
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by nigel_ht »

HomerJ wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:47 pm
TheTurtle wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:38 pm I must admit my first stray thought (reinforced by Lady geek's discussion of expat status on Mars) was: in the even further future where humans can travel close to a black hole (a la Interstellar), retirement ages, RMD ages, etc. could be gamed by time dilation 😀🤣. Just go take a quick lap near one and voila, you're 59.5 (although your body hasn't aged).
It's not about aging to 59.5... Take 3 quick laps near one, let your money back on Earth compound interest for 200 years, and come back to Earth a trillionaire.

Like good old Fry in Futurama being frozen for a thousand years, then checking his old bank account.
$4.3 billion dollars may seem a ludicrous amount for Fry's bank account, but it is correct. Starting with 93 cents, compound interest of 2.25% over 1000 years comes to exactly $4,283,508,449.71.
Silly Futurama writers... 2.25% interest... Such dreamers... Don't they know that interest rates will be low forever? That's what I've been told here.
Of course a burger cost 5.25 galactic credits or $5.25B...
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cchrissyy
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by cchrissyy »

I question the assumption you need to sell/withdraw everything when you go. Wouldn't it be better to stay invested with whatever money wasn't spent on your initial costs?
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by LadyGeek »

Those wishing to read up on Mars can find a number of reviews in this thread: Good Modern Science Fiction
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Re: Space Flight and Roth conversion

Post by lurkman »

HootingSloth wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:05 pm
lurkman wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:52 pm
LadyGeek wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:16 am Good point, I stand corrected.

Mars has no post office, so that may present a problem for determining legal residence. How is residency established on Earth if all you do is sail the ocean without touching land? Antarctica has treaties, so I'm guessing that's covered somewhere.
Also, if the American flag is planted on Mars, I expect some territorial claim may be implicitly established. I mean that's how countries were formed in the past. They'd have to take a number and get in line to be considered for statehood. Similar delays can be expected on the question of legal residence.
The United States is a party to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967), often referred to as the "Outer Space Treaty." Article II of the Treaty provides that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." As a result, I believe we would be violating our commitments under international law if we were to make a territorial claim on Mars.
Of course. That’s how these things get started.

Meanwhile, somebody invents the Backdoor Roth.
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