Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 25?

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Day9
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Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 25?

Post by Day9 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:36 am

Mature Bogelheads out there,

What are some things that you wish you knew as a young man, just starting out in the world of self-reliance?

EDIT: I posted this here because I wanted people to answer in terms of investing, but people gave all sorts of answers and these are really great!
Last edited by Day9 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by john94549 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:47 am

My goodness. At age 18 (1965), I wish I had known better than to leave my wallet on the dorm room dresser when un-packing at college. It was stolen. At 25 (1972), I wish I had known better than to try to walk back to my ship after a night on the town in a liberty port without the shore patrol (I lost a shoe, and almost fell in the drink). But it was a great evening, all things considered. I was just somewhat new to a rather potent libation called "ouzo" being offered up by our Greek naval counterparts.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:11 am

To a great extent I'm glad I didn't know what I know today. Knowing, or thinking you do, creates limits that can hold you back. One of the blessings of youth is that you often don't know or care about limits. That fact allowed me to accomplish most of the things that I attempted.

I do wish that I would have had a greater understanding and appreciation for my parents and what they did for me. The examples they set, sacrifices they made and values they instilled in me are the primary reasons for my successes in life as well as my Boglehead tendencies. By the time I understood that they were gone.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by john94549 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:48 am

FrugalInvestor wrote:
I do wish that I would have had a greater understanding and appreciation for my parents and what they did for me. The examples they set, sacrifices they made and values they instilled in me are the primary reasons for my successes in life as well as my Boglehead tendencies. By the time I understood that they were gone.
I was lucky enough to appreciate those values early on. My Mom, now 97, was a teen when Jack Bogle was born, yet she always practiced balance (and still does). Have a balanced portfolio, have a balanced lifestyle, practice moderation in all things. I think she and Jack could have a very interesting conversation about long (as in "very"-long) term investing, "stay-the-course", and "age-in-bonds" (although, actually, to this day, my Mom is more "risk-on" than I, as she is age-15 in bonds, while I am age-in).

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by 555 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:55 am

I wish I knew everything I know now.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Stryker » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:25 am

To put into practice in the investment portfolio one word, and one word only. "Focus".

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by donall » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:25 am

I wish I knew everything I know now.
+2

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:29 am

What are you talking about? I thought I already knew everything at 18!!
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by yahoo » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:37 am

I've found that the single most important decision you will ever make is the choice of a mate. Knowledge of what's inside you, motivating that choice, is the key.
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Vanguard

Post by EyeDee » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:21 am

.
I wish I knew more about Vanguard.
Randy

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by wander » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:38 am

555 wrote:I wish I knew everything I know now.
+3

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Anon1234 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:40 am

Three things
1) End romantic relationships as soon as you think they are not "the one"
2) Pick your job based on the boss and the team. Good people make jobs worth it, and, they lead to better jobs.
2a) Make efforts to keep in touch with old colleagues. This will be valuable.
3) Don't underestimate how much kids will change your life.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:12 am

At 18:

What a Roth IRA was.

At 25:

1. That the real estate market was about to crash.
2. Even if she says that she'd live in a tent and subsist on rice & beans just to be with you, if princess grew up in a McMansion she is more than likely not really willing to give up that lifestyle.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by sage_joch » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:24 am

You can save yourself a lot of grief if you're just direct with people.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by leo383 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:25 am

That the perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

I wasted a lot of time preparing and fretting instead of living.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by steve_14 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:51 pm

Make sure the oven is off before you leave the house :)

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by soaring » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:21 pm

Long long ago, in the 60's, I wish

I understood what rebalance meant...
the value of an index fund or other total coverage type funds....
I didn't buy individual stocks...
I knew what I know now...
Desiderata

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Taylor Larimore
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Three important things

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:46 pm

Hi Day9:
What are some things that you wish you knew as a young man, just starting out in the world of self-reliance?
Very good question. I'll offer three very important things that will enrich your life:

1. Always do what you think is right.

2. Never lie.

3. The Golden Rule; Do for others as you would like them to do for you.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Sunflower » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:49 pm

You really will want to own a home when you're older, so keep it in mind and work toward that goal no matter how out of reach it seems.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by frose2 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:24 pm

I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:25 pm

frose2 wrote:I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.
Why is getting a government job what's important?
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Day9 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:56 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
frose2 wrote:I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.
Why is getting a government job what's important?
I'm guessing job security, pension, and other benefits. In some counties besides the USA having a government job is one of the major marks of success.
I'm just a fan of the person I got my user name from

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by johnkidding » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:58 pm

jenny345 wrote:1. The importance of getting a job with a DB pension.
Young person here. (23). Is this necessarily true today? With pensions dissapearing, or best case lessening benefits, I don't know if I'm attracted to pensions at all... My career has best been served by moving companies every couple of years for substantial raises and the last few places I've been at have matched 100% of my first 6% 401k contributions... My wife's pension from teaching public schools looks ok, but we could maybe come out ahead by investing her pension payments ourselves ...

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Re: Three important things

Post by staythecourse » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:46 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Hi Day9:
What are some things that you wish you knew as a young man, just starting out in the world of self-reliance?
Very good question. I'll offer three very important things that will enrich your life:

1. Always do what you think is right.

2. Never lie.

3. The Golden Rule; Do for others as you would like them to do for you.

Best wishes.
Taylor
I was hoping you would chime in on your advice. Short, succint, and as usual spot on. Thanks.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by bengal22 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:15 pm

I wish I knew at 18 or 25 that being self-reliant is over-rated, that there is nothing common about common sense, and that "love" really is the greatest thing of all.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by celia » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:20 am

Spend less than you make. Pay yourself first by putting a part of every paycheck into long term savings/emergency fund. Who knows what the future holds for us?

I can't believe that some people never plan for being sick, the car breaking down, or losing their job through no fault of their own.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by House Blend » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:26 am

555 wrote:I wish I knew everything I know now.
Bob Seger wishes he didn't know now what he didn't know then.
Against The Wind

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by midareff » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:11 am

wander wrote:
555 wrote:I wish I knew everything I know now.
+3


+4

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by 6miths » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:12 am

I would agree with Taylor's sentiments. And add the thought that the words of 'I shall not pass this way again' add a certain air of urgency to living well and living well with others. Carpe diem!
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:11 am

Excercise daily forever and dont eat crap.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by FlyHi » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:50 am

Don't get married young!

Wait until you grow up up before having children!

Take school seriously and go to college!
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy”

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Default User BR » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:44 pm

These questions are very difficult. The decisions you made at 18 or 25 are what brought to where you are today. If you're basically happy with that, then how much would you want to change it?

There's not much I would tell the me at 18. For the most part, his decisions worked out one way or another. I might tell him not to share an apartment with his best friend, as that will irrevocably damage that friendship.

For the older me, if I could shift it to 24 I'd tell him not invest in that racehorse. That's not going to work out. I could tell him that he could finish the MS is Physics if he wants, but it's not going make any long-term difference, as the PhD will never happen. The number one thing for him is to get fully invested in the 401(k) immediately, with a simple stock/bond allocation. Otherwise, keep going.

Trying to explain to either that your future lies as a software engineer would be futile. The 18YO wouldn't understand what I was talking about, and I wouldn't have good advice of how he should proceed anyway. The 25YO wouldn't believe me. He hated programming, based on an unpleasant experience in a Fortran class.


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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by market timer » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:51 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
frose2 wrote:I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.
Why is getting a government job what's important?
It's like saying, "I wish I understood the importance of a bond-heavy portfolio." Government employment is generally low-risk, low-return. The US economy hasn't lived up to expectations, so people who took a conservative approach with their lives and investments are in relatively better shape.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:04 pm

1) It's okay to take alot of risk with a small sum of money. Had I done that, I would not have to worry about funding retirement - instead, I've taken the slow and steady approach - that works until black swans appear like today's economy where employers act like you should be grateful you have a job and continually withold just compensation, reduce benefits or worse yet, fire people whilst continually awarding themselves rich raises, restricted stock, executive guaranteed parachutes and pensions.

2) Work for the government. The defined benefit plan is unlikely to be frozen or cut, private employers have no such difficulty, they cut with impunity. Therefore, joining an employer with a pension plan is NOT enough, short of having a guarantee in writing - assume the benefit does not exist.

3) There is ALOT of cruel and evil people in this world - Trust is to be earned, do not give it freely. Jealousy is rampant.
There was a time when someone's word was their bond - that is almost never the case today. Same as above, the person's actions must reflect their words, otherwise one would be wise not to associate with them.

4) No one will watch your money and take care of it more appropriately than you can.

5) You can count the number of friends on one hand. Nevermind that you are on a social site and have 2000 friends, do 2000 people call you, write you and care about you on a regular, recurring basis? Do they call you up out of the blue? I thought so.

6) Thre are only two things certain in the United States - Death and Taxes. Everything else is pretty much based on the choices you make or didn't make each and every step of the way.

7) Don't live in a high-tax state, you almost never receive the a like-for-like exchange of benefits.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:05 pm

market timer wrote:
FrugalInvestor wrote:
frose2 wrote:I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.
Why is getting a government job what's important?
It's like saying, "I wish I understood the importance of a bond-heavy portfolio." Government employment is generally low-risk, low-return. The US economy hasn't lived up to expectations, so people who took a conservative approach with their lives and investments are in relatively better shape.
Really? I know government workers walking out with free healthcare for life plus 200K annual pensions with a COLA. Does that sound like low-return to you?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by market timer » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:26 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Really? I know government workers walking out with free healthcare for life plus 200K annual pensions with a COLA. Does that sound like low-return to you?
Those people are at the far right tail of the distribution of public sector compensation. At the far right tail of private sector compensation, I could point to billionaires. Generally, when you enter a career in the public sector, you have a much better sense of what your lifetime earnings will be than in the private sector.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by LynnC » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:31 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:To a great extent I'm glad I didn't know what I know today. Knowing, or thinking you do, creates limits that can hold you back. One of the blessings of youth is that you often don't know or care about limits. That fact allowed me to accomplish most of the things that I attempted.
Oh, I agree with this statement. The one thing about being a young man or woman, is you think you are invincible and attempt things you would NEVER do as a "seasoned" adult.
There is a special joy about being young and carefree and I always loved the motto, "We can do anything we want, we're in college"

Enjoy, the time goes fast!

Lynn C
"seasoned female Boglehead

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by market timer » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:34 pm

Ecclesiastes wrote:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by 3247 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:49 pm

I wish I had known I would live so long. As Mark Twain said, "If I knew I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself"....both from a health perspective and a wealth perspective.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by beardsworth » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:09 pm

I'm not sure what counts as "mature" for purposes of this thread, but

(1) I wish I'd realized that, in a first job or two lasting a few years each, being in one's 20s is not "too young to think about retirement," and a holding (even if small) in an employer plan is not something best used by cashing it out as "free" spending money upon leaving said job; and

(2) I wish I'd had more clarity on the fact that "home equity loan" is simply the banking industry's feel-good (It's your equity, so use it!) Orwellian term for "second mortgage." (We did, however, actually use the loan to improve the house.)

Fortunately, each of these was a long time ago, and a learning experience which we never did again.
3247 wrote:As Mark Twain said, "If I knew I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself."
Actually that was said by jazz great Eubie Blake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eubie_Blake

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Mister Whale » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:59 pm

That it didn't make sense to be invested in stocks when I was hoping to use all of my money as a downpayment for a home at some unknown but not-far-off point in the future.

Particularly, it didn't make sense to be invested in a tech fund in the late 90s. Ouch.
" ... advice is most useful and at its best, not when it is telling you what to do, but when it is illuminating aspects of the situation you hadn't thought about." --nisiprius

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:51 pm

I wouldn't tell my 18 year old self much of anything different. Even my 25 year old self was doing well enough. But I would go back to my post-PhD self (late 20s) and give two pieces of advice relating to the fiscal decisions that still haunt me now:

1) Know how much your skills are worth and negotiate to get paid equitably. Don't just get wowed that the dollars are more than your father ever made, because your father is also horribly underpaid for his skill set. Know when you're being low-balled on that job offer and don't be afraid to tell them just how much they've insulted you with the low offer.

2) Ignore everyone saying to buy a house "now now now!" and wait until you have a 20% down payment plus plenty left over for renovations and repairs, in addition to an emergency fund. Regardless of housing prices and interest rates, being "house rich, but cash poor" is a really miserable way to live.

Both of these pieces of advice stem from the fact that my parents are horrible with money and did not give me the appropriate skill sets needed to tackle these two rather major decisions post-graduation. My father is hopelessly adverse to confrontation and doesn't even entertain the notion of negotiating for anything. And my parents think nothing of being in massive amounts of debt with no money saved in the bank, as long as they can make the minimum payments with their monthly paycheck. I'm still amazed at how well I've managed to turn things around for myself in a few short years of effort, given the circumstances.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by GregLee » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:14 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Really? I know government workers walking out with free healthcare for life plus 200K annual pensions with a COLA. Does that sound like low-return to you?
If you could turn back the clock and get a government job 40 years ago, that could work out pretty well. My wife and I did get state jobs, and wound up with a comfortable retirement. It might still be a good deal, but benefits for new government employees are being reduced, so it's not obvious. And, thinking back, it actually never was obvious. Back in the 80s, looking at the cash value of my DB pension growing at 1%, looking at 15% of every pay check being deducted for pension and SS, and comparing to private sector employees' DC pensions invested in stocks, at the time, I thought I was getting robbed. I was envious.
Greg, retired 8/10.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by billjohnson » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:45 pm

market timer wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Really? I know government workers walking out with free healthcare for life plus 200K annual pensions with a COLA. Does that sound like low-return to you?
Those people are at the far right tail of the distribution of public sector compensation...
Public sector workers in US now earn (on average) twice as much as the private sector. This has reached three and four times in countries such as greece, spain, etc. Doesn't take much financial savvy to see that continually increasing transfer payments from productive private sector to public servants eventually leads to financial ruin. Any further discussion on this matter is not allowed on this forum, but all information is readily available online.

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Toons » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:54 pm

That it is wiser to buy Budweiser "stock" than Budweiser beer :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Nathan Drake » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:09 pm

Currently under 30, but have been wondering about switching jobs to find one of the rare ones that offers a pension and 401K match.

I started my first job a year after they got rid of the pension program. As a result, I have an extra 1% match that those receiving a pension will not get. But doing the numbers, what's clearly evident is that I am taking a huge pay cut relative to my coworkers by not having a pension.

Assuming the extra 1% results in ~1000 extra 401K contributions each year, and assuming growth of 5% real in a stock-heavy portfolio, yields about $100,000 after 30 years. This is inflation-adjusted amount I would have as a result of the extra 1% match.

Meanwhile, those in the pension program has a defined benefit that = 1.5% x years of service x average of the best 5 years of salary. For 100k average highest salary, working for 30 years, that amounts to a 45k per year pension.

It would only take a little over 2 years of retirement for the pension to start dwarfing the measly 1% extra 401K match.

To be honest, I am insanely envious of my coworkers that have this pension, and feel like there's no reason to have any loyalty to the company if they are not providing me the same benefit, and I'm better off looking elsewhere.

401K replacement programs for pensions are nothing more than a sly way of slashing employee compensation. Most won't even realize the profound impact it can have on your retirement.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:16 pm

Nathan Drake wrote: 401K replacement programs for pensions are nothing more than a sly way of slashing employee compensation.
Nathan, they're actually a way to recognize the reality that defined benefit pensions are no longer affordable. They really never were. Most companies, unions and governments that still offer them are ignoring reality and hoping that the stock market or the taxpayers will eventually save them from the inevitable.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Nathan Drake
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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by Nathan Drake » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:46 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Nathan Drake wrote: 401K replacement programs for pensions are nothing more than a sly way of slashing employee compensation.
Nathan, they're actually a way to recognize the reality that defined benefit pensions are no longer affordable. They really never were. Most companies, unions and governments that still offer them are ignoring reality and hoping that the stock market or the taxpayers will eventually save them from the inevitable.
Before they replaced pensions w/ 401K matching, they set aside about 15% of the person's salary to put towards the pension (at least for corporate pensions). They replaced these with 401K matching, at around 4%.

Effectively, it was a cut in salary compensation. New graduates don't really know any better.

All things being equal, I'd much prefer having 401K matching (as I trust my own ability to invest rather than some pension fund manager), but that's not what they've done. Pensions have been cut, and the match for 401k is a pittance in comparison to the compensation they set aside for pensions.

Sure, some pensions were not tenable (those that assumed consistently high stock market returns), but not all.

dewey
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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by dewey » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:57 pm

billjohnson wrote:
market timer wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:Really? I know government workers walking out with free healthcare for life plus 200K annual pensions with a COLA. Does that sound like low-return to you?
Those people are at the far right tail of the distribution of public sector compensation...
Public sector workers in US now earn (on average) twice as much as the private sector. This has reached three and four times in countries such as greece, spain, etc. Doesn't take much financial savvy to see that continually increasing transfer payments from productive private sector to public servants eventually leads to financial ruin. Any further discussion on this matter is not allowed on this forum, but all information is readily available online.
Sources would be helpful with these bold generalities--especially comparing apples to apples (e.g. CIA agents in the private sector). Nice hit and run tactic to boot...now the conversation has ended. No?
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…”

ruanddu
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Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

Post by ruanddu » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:28 am

I am still relatively young at 30 years old. A few things I have learned -

* Wait to buy a house until you have 20% down. Remember there's no hurry. Make sure you are really ready for all the maintenance in terms of money and time.

* Choose a career path that provides you with fulfillment.

* Start investing ASAP. I wish I would have started in my early 20's.

* Spend more time with friends/family instead of constantly working on our house.

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