Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
CoastLawyer2030
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:44 am
Location: The Buckeye State

Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by CoastLawyer2030 »

There is currently one of the best threads I have ever read on this forum about Bogleheads in their 40s -- viewtopic.php?f=11&t=150764

I am 33, but I have bookmarked the thread for continuous reading.

It got me thinking about my own current decade, the 30s, and not wanting to screw it up. My 20s were a blur of finishing undergrad, then law school, then working for pretty low pay at a small firm. I regret not accelerating undergrad, law school, and starting my own practice sooner. I also took a gap year. I could have started my career at age 24 instead of 27, and I'd be so much further ahead.

For about the past year, I have generally viewed this decade as the time to build wealth. Right now I have $225k invested for retirement and believe I can quite comfortably get to $1M by age 40, but obviously with some sacrifice.

I am currently working two jobs -- one very easy city government job with great benefits, as well as my solo law practice. I have posted about quitting the government job, but with one kiddo and another on the way in August, I can swallow a couple more years to have the comfort these benefits provide.

In any event, I don't want to regret my 30s. And I don't want this thread to be about me.

So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
Osterix
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:55 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Osterix »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am There is currently one of the best threads I have ever read on this forum about Bogleheads in their 40s -- viewtopic.php?f=11&t=150764

I am 33, but I have bookmarked the thread for continuous reading.

It got me thinking about my own current decade, the 30s, and not wanting to screw it up. My 20s were a blur of finishing undergrad, then law school, then working for pretty low pay at a small firm. I regret not accelerating undergrad, law school, and starting my own practice sooner. I also took a gap year. I could have started my career at age 24 instead of 27, and I'd be so much further ahead.

For about the past year, I have generally viewed this decade as the time to build wealth. Right now I have $225k invested for retirement and believe I can quite comfortably get to $1M by age 40, but obviously with some sacrifice.

I am currently working two jobs -- one very easy city government job with great benefits, as well as my solo law practice. I have posted about quitting the government job, but with one kiddo and another on the way in August, I can swallow a couple more years to have the comfort these benefits provide.

In any event, I don't want to regret my 30s. And I don't want this thread to be about me.

So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
I am very interested in this thread as I recently turned 34. I still have low six figures in student loan debt. I will be following this thread closely. Great idea!
Somethingwitty92912
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

Hi! There is no further ahead, or behind. You are on a finite time scale. You will die one day. All labors an efforts are pointless on the largest scale, therefore; do what you want. Free yourself of the concepts of comparison, it is the root of misery.

Think about personal development. Where do you want to be in 10 years. Okay in 8 years where do you need to be to achieve that, than 5 years same thing. I am sure you get the point.

Stop caring/start living, your life is what happens when you are not planning for the future enjoy that moment. I know all this sounds hokey, I went after the money my entire 20s, worked horrible jobs to achieve wealth an made myself miserable, while I know this is not the same for everyone, follow the principles of save diligently, invest wisely, live frugally, and ignore the rest.

Small edit: do other things that are not career oriented.if you draw a picture everyday by the end of your life you will be an amazing artist. You may love the law, but don’t be a one trick pony, you will be amazed at how this can change your life. Replace drawing with music, painting, paddle boarding, kayak instruction, photography, you get the point have hobbies. This is another one of those things I neglected till later.
mbasherp
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:48 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by mbasherp »

My thirties have been the time to finally get on track. Entered with negative net worth and renting, had just made a big move to a new city and new job. Now married and with a small family, nice house and likely on track to hit a million by 40. We do okay in our careers but we aren’t high earners by most metrics (most of our 30’s we’ve had a $110k-130k combined income).

One year isn’t that much time, but ten years is a lot! You’ll be shocked at how much you can accomplish with consistent efforts toward a goal. But don’t make your only goals financial - ENJOY each year you have, because 35 doesn’t feel like 30 and 40 won’t feel like 35. Live life!
Topic Author
CoastLawyer2030
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:44 am
Location: The Buckeye State

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by CoastLawyer2030 »

mbasherp wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:29 am My thirties have been the time to finally get on track. Entered with negative net worth and renting, had just made a big move to a new city and new job. Now married and with a small family, nice house and likely on track to hit a million by 40. We do okay in our careers but we aren’t high earners by most metrics (most of our 30’s we’ve had a $110k-130k combined income).

One year isn’t that much time, but ten years is a lot! You’ll be shocked at how much you can accomplish with consistent efforts toward a goal. But don’t make your only goals financial - ENJOY each year you have, because 35 doesn’t feel like 30 and 40 won’t feel like 35. Live life!
The bolded is about my track as well. Entered my 30s with basically a zero net worth, bought a new house, started a family, and have increased income from about $110k/year to about $190k/year.

Now at age 33 (almost 34), NW is a little over $250,000. We have paid off all consumer debts except my $104k remaining on student loans. I am sitting on $102k excess cash so I am close to getting rid of these.
ponyboy
Posts: 1111
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by ponyboy »

Im 38 now. When I started working a real job around 26 years old, I maxed my 401k and roth accounts from day 1. I never made over $63k/year. I currently make around $55k/year...but I continue investing (no longer maxing 401k, still maxing roth and throwing some towards taxable.) When I turned 30 my accounts totaled around $200k. 8 years later, even with my paltry salary, im hovering right around $900k. Obviously the market has been good to me/anyone who invested.

My wife finished grad school when she was 28. She's 36 now and makes around $140k/year. She started maxing her accounts when she was 31. I have around $200k more than she does at the moment. Well, mine is hers and hers is mine...but you get the point. Im guessing her accounts will pass mine in the next 4-5 years due to her much larger salary and being able to contribute more.

Moral of the story, you do not need to have a large salary to accumulate money. Just live below your means, save as much as you can while still spending and having fun. Moderation and more moderation. We never went without. We always took multiple nice trips each year. We also drive older vehicles. We do not keep up with the jonses. We're not ones to flash our money around. And, we never carry debt, minus mortgage which is down to $90k.
cableguy
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 3:34 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by cableguy »

My 30's were very busy years. All 3 of our kids were born in those years. I switched jobs / companies in those years, and then got promoted a few times in those years. I went from our first starter home that had an apartment in it for extra income to a larger home. Y2K, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Euro was introduced, wars, storms, market melt downs and melt ups, etc. Throughout it all....I saved for our retirement and I saved for our kid's college. Today I'm in my 50's. College is paid off. No mortgage. I could stop working today if I wanted to. This website and all of you have been a major influence in my life. I thank all of you...
stoptothink
Posts: 9782
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by stoptothink »

I entered my 30's in the middle of a (financially, emotionally) devastating divorce while I was subsequently completing my PhD. I literally spent my 30th birthday in mediation. It was a trying time, I gave away pretty much all my worldly possessions (divorce was almost solely about finances and differences in expected lifestyle), parked my truck in the garage and didn't drive it for a year (commuting ~150 miles per week by bike, in Houston), and began challenging myself to see what I was made of. I did some things most people would think insane (ie. lived without electricity, a bed, showered at the gym, spent all day at school library for AC and internet, etc. for almost an entire year despite having plenty of money) and at times I did think I was losing my mind, but I came out the other side a much stronger person. Within a few days of completing my PhD (at 31) I decided I couldn't live in the city I had moved to solely for my wife (Houston was her hometown, she was returning to go to dental school at UT), so I quit my job, threw my bike and two plastic bins (all my possessions) in the back of my truck and drove towards Utah where I had previously lived (I had an uncle and a few friends). I had moved to Houston at 26 worth ~$450k, recently married, and with a good idea of what I was doing with my life; I was leaving ~5.5yrs later with ~$100k in total assets (thanks to bad investments in real estate crash, cash-flowing all of wife's dental school, and divorce), no job, and not even a place to live. When I got to Utah I bummed on my uncle's couch for a few weeks, found a job, and then moved into a house with 4 roommates, all guys in similar situations (mid 20's - early 30's single professionals). It was a blast and I made 4 lifelong friends. I started dating a lot and randomly met my (now) wife on the internet. She had left her drug addicted ex-husband 2yrs earlier when she found out she was pregnant with our daughter. She was 27, with an infant, an ex in-and-out of rehab and jail, living on her own, a college drop-out (at 19, right after marrying ex), with less than a penny to her name and making like $12/hr at a dead-end job. I had no interest in stepping into that drama, but she was persistent. Within 4 months she had moved to be closer to me (she was living ~70 miles away) even though we weren't exclusive yet...3 months later she texted me in the morning to tell me to meet her at an address (a judge's home) because we were getting married that evening. I jokingly told her that at the judge's home that I would give her the best 8yrs of my life, but I fully intended to be dead by 40.

In the last 7.5yrs:
-We had another child (my now 6yr old son).
-I found essentially my dream job (started 4 days after the birth of my son) and my wife took a job in the call-center of a local small tech company just to pass time (we were expecting her to eventually be a stay-at-home mom).
-After deciding she didn't want to be a SAHM and 4 promotions in 3yrs, wife is now the top producer for the enterprise sales team for said tech company. She also just finished her undergrad degree last December (working full-time and going to school full-time the last 3.5yrs). She now wants an MBA.
-Exercise and sports had pretty much been my identity (played college football, former competitive powerlifter, than triathlete, my MS is in exercise physiology and PhD in related field) but age and injuries have taken it's toll. I keep myself in good shape (I'm an obesity research and metabolic health program director), but now live vicariously (athletically) through my wife (who had never done anything competitive before we met) and kids who compete in Brazilian jiu jitsu and muy thai. My wife and son won their weight classes at the recent state NAGA (North American Grappling Association) championship and my daughter got second. I am finishing a ~16 month recovery from a broken back and hope I can start training with them before the end of the year. Not being able to do anything too intense or load bearing, I have developed a love for hiking and mountaineering and summitted most of the prominent peaks in Utah.
-Our income has nearly tripled in the last 5yrs, we bought a home 5yrs ago (paid it off in 4yrs), and sailed past the 2-comma club about a year ago. We're currently saving ~60% of gross HHI. Having both grown up in poverty and then meeting with little between us, we are far wealthier than we could have ever imagined. We are pretty much lean FIRE now and there is little chance I am working past the age of 50 (wife, who knows?)
-I just turned 40, my 30's were AMAZING, and somehow I'm not dead.
Beach
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Beach »

Just exited my 30's and was very productive but took some big risks. Had first child at 30 and then another at 32 and realized how expensive and time consuming they were. Got into a new career after the 08 downturn which allowed me to work OT to help begin to dig ourselves out of debt. Got on the Dave Ramsey/Bogleheads train, realized that we needed to do something radical to really get us out of the hole and wife landed a much higher paying job out of state so we packed up and moved. Used the sign on bonus and house profit to pay off student loan debt. I then also got on board with same company (and was able to leverage my skills from the new career I had started) and have increased our wages by 100% from 2010. Went from 40K in the 401K to now close to $1M.

Living away from family and being isolated from friends has taken its toll. We are at the point where we are ready to use our skills and move back close to family, which likely means a paycut. However, its more important to me now we do this before our boys are out of the house and now that we have some financial freedom we are ready to do it.
Neil289
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:23 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Neil289 »

I'm a little more than half way through at 35 and change.

My 30's entailed having 3 kids which made me realize that whatever budget I had in mind would invariably change. My ability to live frugally personally is more than outweighed by necessities (and wants) of my family. Diapers, preschool, childcare, 529 contributions, etc have all been a big part of the annual budget.

It has also been the decade of seeing those that might big sacrafices in their 20's paying off. i.e. those Investment Banking hours people put in have been rewarded with high paying jobs. I did not go that route, but do feel more established than I was in my 20's. I have tried not to compare myself to others as there is always someone doing better, or has something nicer. Coming to terms with being okay with what we have has been a maturation. I have also seen people 'appear' to be well off, and then the tide goes out and you see that leverage and lack of savings was propping up an image.

We have been maxing out our 401ks for about 10 years, and made roth conversions when we were at a lower bracket. I wish I realized the benefit of making foundational moves before we moved up the tax brackets.

We started the decade with around $300k in savings, $500k in retirement accounts. I made a job change in the beggining of the decade that helped us materially. Income went from $200 to $300k/year to $500k to $650k a year. Because we purchased our home before our income went up, and before we had 3 kids... we have been afforded the opportunity to set ourselves up a bit. We have about $1MM liquid, $300k in home equity, $200k in 529s, and $1MM in retirement. We will likely upgrade to a new home in the next 12 months, but I am extremely tempted to stay put and continue saving materially. For us, we feel we have to start enjoying life though. We have lived so frugally at this point that we fear mortality will make us question our decisions if we continue on this path.

On that point above, I am not sure if others have hit that impasse of the conservative mindset coming up against comfort to take a risk on a bigger house, or whatever the splurge may be. We view the splurge as an inflation hedge, in addition to the need to have more space for our growing family. Anyone that has experienced a similar impasse - we would welcome advice... and anything you did differently the second half of 30 relative to the first.
backpacker61
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed May 20, 2020 6:36 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by backpacker61 »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am For about the past year, I have generally viewed this decade as the time to build wealth. Right now I have $225k invested for retirement and believe I can quite comfortably get to $1M by age 40, but obviously with some sacrifice.
CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
In my 30's, I was working my backside off in my job. Crazy hours sometimes. I contributed steadily to my employer's 401K plan, a tIRA, and participated in the company's ESPP program, but I really didn't "focus" on financials. I was trying to earn a reputation for my work, and learn the tools needed for my job. I also built and moved into my first house.

I would suggest focusing on your work and your family in your 30's. You won't have young children forever; that time is precious and it will be over before your know it. Take some trips with the family that all of you will remember (camping trips provide wonderful memories and don't cost much).

Once the kids are "launched", you can double down on building the nest egg for retirement a lot more easily. I really started slamming it into retirement savings after 50.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1696
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Somethingwitty92912 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:22 am Hi! There is no further ahead, or behind. You are on a finite time scale. You will die one day. All labors an efforts are pointless on the largest scale, therefore; do what you want. Free yourself of the concepts of comparison, it is the root of misery.

Think about personal development. Where do you want to be in 10 years. Okay in 8 years where do you need to be to achieve that, than 5 years same thing. I am sure you get the point.

Stop caring/start living, your life is what happens when you are not planning for the future enjoy that moment. I know all this sounds hokey, I went after the money my entire 20s, worked horrible jobs to achieve wealth an made myself miserable, while I know this is not the same for everyone, follow the principles of save diligently, invest wisely, live frugally, and ignore the rest.

Small edit: do other things that are not career oriented.if you draw a picture everyday by the end of your life you will be an amazing artist. You may love the law, but don’t be a one trick pony, you will be amazed at how this can change your life. Replace drawing with music, painting, paddle boarding, kayak instruction, photography, you get the point have hobbies. This is another one of those things I neglected till later.
Great post.
OP, quick response. I'm 42. In my 30s I was raising two young kids. Luckily spouse and I had good jobs we held onto. These were high spending years, but always socking away max in retirement. This was the decade the investment portfolio really grew to where now it seems big enough to plow on itself even without any additions. Stressful decade personally with work and young kid raising for sure. Spend time with spouse and family is my #1 advice. No point working your tail off if one outcome is the family is not happy. Good luck, 40s for me seem more carefree now. I'm reaching a point of not stressing about work much cos it's not that important in the grand scheme of things. Being close to FI helps.

Financially it was the decade I refied to a 10 year mortgage. Risky at the time, but paid off for us imo.
One thing we never skimped on was vacations. Priceless time away for us.
Last edited by Wannaretireearly on Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
flyfishers83
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:08 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by flyfishers83 »

The quick view is that our 30s have set us up for sustained financial success. However, really looking back, most of my 30s have been a blur. Trying to support my now wife through school and trying to find a job in a new city in a trying time. Staring at a negative 300k net worth at 34-it was significantly worse, but this is when I first started tracking. Spending a lot of time going through IVF-I drove 6,000 miles in one year back and forth to Dr. appointments (we like the rural area in which we live, but having to drive 120 miles one way to that doctor was painful). After multiple rounds with one viable embryo, we were blessed with a now 22 month old. Thought we wouldn't be able to have any more kids and, amazingly good surprise, another on the way in 6 weeks. We've also moved a couple of times and landed in house that we love. Through all of that, we've managed to make real financial progress. Less than 70k in student loans left, which we could pay off at anytime. Living well, but being intentional with our money has put us on a path to financial success. When looking back at where we've been, everything seems so easy right now. A lot of that is due to making hard, but right, choices over the last few years.
mikejuss
Posts: 1034
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:36 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by mikejuss »

ponyboy wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:48 am Im 38 now. When I started working a real job around 26 years old, I maxed my 401k and roth accounts from day 1. I never made over $63k/year. I currently make around $55k/year...but I continue investing (no longer maxing 401k, still maxing roth and throwing some towards taxable.) When I turned 30 my accounts totaled around $200k. 8 years later, even with my paltry salary, im hovering right around $900k. Obviously the market has been good to me/anyone who invested.

My wife finished grad school when she was 28. She's 36 now and makes around $140k/year. She started maxing her accounts when she was 31. I have around $200k more than she does at the moment. Well, mine is hers and hers is mine...but you get the point. Im guessing her accounts will pass mine in the next 4-5 years due to her much larger salary and being able to contribute more.

Moral of the story, you do not need to have a large salary to accumulate money. Just live below your means, save as much as you can while still spending and having fun. Moderation and more moderation. We never went without. We always took multiple nice trips each year. We also drive older vehicles. We do not keep up with the jonses. We're not ones to flash our money around. And, we never carry debt, minus mortgage which is down to $90k.
Very well done. I wish I had starting investing as early as you. Your success is a testament to the Bogleheads' way.
Tingting1013
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Tingting1013 »

Neil289 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:19 am
It has also been the decade of seeing those that might big sacrafices in their 20's paying off. i.e. those Investment Banking hours people put in have been rewarded with high paying jobs. I did not go that route, but do feel more established than I was in my 20's.



I made a job change in the beggining of the decade that helped us materially. Income went from $200 to $300k/year to $500k to $650k a year.
Curious what “paying off” looks like when you don’t consider $500-650k in income at 35 to be fully “paid off”

:shock:
econalex
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:44 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by econalex »

Thank you OP! I'm 31 and will continue to watch/read this thread. (Just posted my own thread a couple days ago as I hit my birthday).

I also started very late, getting my first real job at 27 after dropping out of PhD and getting another more marketable master degree. I'm still at my first job but actively interviewing for data scientist positions. Quite secure at current job but feel underpaid/underemployed at VHCOL. Also dreading the entry price of $1m for an SFH in a nice area (in Boston metro).
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 6111
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by lthenderson »

In my view, the 30's were the prime time to decide how one wants to live financially. It is a time when we bought our first home, had kids, got our first new vehicle instead of cheap used ones. etc. For us, we did a lot of soul searching about whether or not we wanted to keep up with the Joneses of the world. We made the decision not too. We bought a smaller house than all of our peers and one that required a fair amount of sweat equity after we moved into it. We bought basic new cars. For our kids, we mostly bought quality used stuff for pennies on the dollar of what it would cost brand new. We passed most of that stuff on as we got, i.e. garage sales, so we got almost all our money back. Now almost out of the 40's, we are financially independent and could retire if needed while most of our peers are still paying for those large houses, expensive cars and top of the line household goods.
sid hartha
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:17 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by sid hartha »

It was the best time of my life so far other than maybe my years in college (probably a tie). No responsibilities, traveled the world, was totally free, had tons of fun and learned a lot. I had both the means and the energy level to do anything and everything that I wanted, and I went out and did it all. In my opinion this was an important factor in avoiding the whole mid life crisis that seems to happen to some people in their 40's or 50's.
Neil289
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:23 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Neil289 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:02 am
Neil289 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:19 am
It has also been the decade of seeing those that might big sacrafices in their 20's paying off. i.e. those Investment Banking hours people put in have been rewarded with high paying jobs. I did not go that route, but do feel more established than I was in my 20's.



I made a job change in the beggining of the decade that helped us materially. Income went from $200 to $300k/year to $500k to $650k a year.
Curious what “paying off” looks like when you don’t consider $500-650k in income at 35 to be fully “paid off”

:shock:
The IB jobs that turned into HF jobs or PE jobs making between $1 and $2MM/year is what I consider a big payoff. I did not have the desire to trade nights and weekends for one of those seats, but have seen it pay big dividends for others.
User avatar
anon_investor
Posts: 7675
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by anon_investor »

Entering my 30s was like a clean slate for me:
-Just married
-we moved to a new city, new job in BigLaw
-my student loans finally paid off

As my 30s progressed:
-we bought our first place (a condo)
-we starting having kids (2 during this time)
-probably not saving enough, and spending too much (eating out too much)
-working too much, not spending enough time with family

By mid-30s I was burnt out from BigLaw, wanted work life balance and to be able to see my family, especially my young kids grow up. This was the turning point.

Mid-30s and onwards:
-we moved to a new city, new job as in-house attorney at a MegaCap
-I achieved desired work life balance
-we bought a house (possbily our home until at least retirement, maybe beyond)
-I found BHs, we started to really saving/invest
-learned about backdoor Roth, mega backdoor Roth, tax efficient investing, HSA investing, I Bonds, etc.
-we had a 3rd kid
-hit 7 figure networth
-We realized that early retirement will likely be an option
-We started planning financially for early retirement
-Enjoying life!
mw1739
Posts: 843
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by mw1739 »

Fun topic. As someone in their mid 30's I think we're doing pretty well considering we've been single income for the last 7 years or so. Maxed retirement accounts pre-kids in my early 20's, backed off a bit as kids came along and the wife stayed home. Now that I'm back to maxing out all available retirement accounts, we're sitting with ~ $500,000 in the 401k and hope to hit $1MM by 40. Kids 529's are on track to have roughly 4 years public college covered and our only debt is our home.

Life is pretty good. We have all we need (and most of what we want). We travel extensively and spend significant time and money supporting our kids activities. Looking forward to our 40's, I'm interested in buying a 2nd home or possibly some toys once the COVID bubble bursts.
T4REngineer
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:50 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by T4REngineer »

Just about to turn 34 and there is so much I could say - overall its been a great time

"highlights"
*Our investments and savings is starting to get a mind of its own. We crossed 7 figures earlier this year and it hit me that many of our peers are just getting started (PhDs etc) or choosing to delay savings until later in life will likely never "catch up" assuming the market returns are positive.
*We bought our second home after moving away then back to our hometown and keep the home reasonable - We are paying down at a sub 15 year rate and hopefully can continue to do so and have a paid off home in our 40s
*Careers are stabilizing/we are becoming SMEs (not paid for it yet) but are no longer the new kids on the block
*Birth of our first child has been the most lifechanging thing anyone can image
*Our marriage has grown, while never rocky it is certainly on much firmer foundation after 10 good years
*We are more balanced/settled in what we want our life priorities to be

Some "lowlights"
*Starting to see parental units health decline, not rapidly but its noticeable and makes me worry about the next few decades
*Hairline starting to go
*Mid section is taking more and more work to keep in-check
*While still fit , recovery takes noticeably longer at 33 than 23 after a day of long hard exertion
*Lifestyle creep is real (we are of course still LBYM but some months the CC bill does get out of hand)

Overall its been great and I can not wait for more - we are very content and have "enough"
Last edited by T4REngineer on Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
Somethingwitty92912
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:43 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Somethingwitty92912 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:54 am
Somethingwitty92912 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:22 am Hi! There is no further ahead, or behind. You are on a finite time scale. You will die one day. All labors an efforts are pointless on the largest scale, therefore; do what you want. Free yourself of the concepts of comparison, it is the root of misery.

Think about personal development. Where do you want to be in 10 years. Okay in 8 years where do you need to be to achieve that, than 5 years same thing. I am sure you get the point.

Stop caring/start living, your life is what happens when you are not planning for the future enjoy that moment. I know all this sounds hokey, I went after the money my entire 20s, worked horrible jobs to achieve wealth an made myself miserable, while I know this is not the same for everyone, follow the principles of save diligently, invest wisely, live frugally, and ignore the rest.

Small edit: do other things that are not career oriented.if you draw a picture everyday by the end of your life you will be an amazing artist. You may love the law, but don’t be a one trick pony, you will be amazed at how this can change your life. Replace drawing with music, painting, paddle boarding, kayak instruction, photography, you get the point have hobbies. This is another one of those things I neglected till later.
Great post.
OP, quick response. I'm 42. In my 30s I was raising two young kids. Luckily spouse and I had good jobs we held onto. These were high spending years, but always socking away max in retirement. This was the decade the investment portfolio really grew to where now it seems big enough to plow on itself even without any additions. Stressful decade personally with work and young kid raising for sure. Spend time with spouse and family is my #1 advice. No point working your tail off if one outcome is the family is not happy. Good luck, 40s for me seem more carefree now. I'm reaching a point of not stressing about work much cos it's not that important in the grand scheme of things. Being close to FI helps.

Financially it was the decade I refied to a 10 year mortgage. Risky at the time, but paid off for us imo.
One thing we never skimped on was vacations. Priceless time away for us.
Thanks!

Practicing my writing lately, shooting for authorship before I too old.
Jags4186
Posts: 5957
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Jags4186 »

I’m 35 but I can tell you that when I turned 30 I was still living the life of a 22 year old and at 35 I am living the life of a 80 year old.

Having a kid in a month so maybe I can finally act my age.
User avatar
vitaflo
Posts: 1644
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by vitaflo »

My 30's were the best decade of my life so far. In your 20's you're still trying to figure out life, career, dating, etc. Your 40's your body starts to say "hold up", your career seems to plateau, parents get old and frail, etc. But your 30's are the best time to build that career and bank account, and explore and do all the things you've wanted to do that you couldn't afford to when you were younger.

My MIL told me in my early 30's "these are your money making years". She was right. Not that I wouldn't make more later, but my career quickly advanced in my 30's and I was able to invest a lot more money and that really paid off now that I'm older. The habits you build in your 30's (especially if you can get out of the debt from your 20's) will last a lifetime.

The 30's are that perfect time when you can finally afford the things you want to do while still being fully physically able to do them. Not to say this isn't also true later, but my 30's had a lot less worry and consternation over various things.

So my advice to people in their 30's is enjoy yourself. Learn good saving habits and learn good spending habits. Take the vacations and do the activities you want to do especially if they're physical in nature. Have a good time now and enjoy it, because your 40's will be much more of a challenge.
Tingting1013
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Tingting1013 »

Neil289 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:28 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:02 am
Neil289 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:19 am
It has also been the decade of seeing those that might big sacrafices in their 20's paying off. i.e. those Investment Banking hours people put in have been rewarded with high paying jobs. I did not go that route, but do feel more established than I was in my 20's.



I made a job change in the beggining of the decade that helped us materially. Income went from $200 to $300k/year to $500k to $650k a year.
Curious what “paying off” looks like when you don’t consider $500-650k in income at 35 to be fully “paid off”

:shock:
The IB jobs that turned into HF jobs or PE jobs making between $1 and $2MM/year is what I consider a big payoff. I did not have the desire to trade nights and weekends for one of those seats, but have seen it pay big dividends for others.
Gotcha. I went the consulting -> MBA -> tech route and am now broaching $600k at age 35, which I consider to be maxing out my earning potential, but maybe that’s just small thinking.
dknightd
Posts: 2629
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by dknightd »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am
So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
I went to school for 30 years. I worked (and saved for retirement) for 31 years. If I have 32 years left I'll be happy. Actually I am already happy :)
I do not regret anything. Looking back I might have done some things differently. But I do not regret what I've done.
I pat myself on the back about, still having the same spouse, raising some great kids, living a mostly happy life, having enough money to keep doing that. Some of that was no doubt due to good luck, so perhaps I should not pat myself on the back at all!
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Mortgage payed off 5/21. I have some 0% loans to pay off.
User avatar
anon_investor
Posts: 7675
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by anon_investor »

Jags4186 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:43 am I’m 35 but I can tell you that when I turned 30 I was still living the life of a 22 year old and at 35 I am living the life of a 80 year old.

Having a kid in a month so maybe I can finally act my age.
Congrats, try to get some sleep now, you won't be getting any sleep for quite some time after the baby comes! :beer
fishmonger
Posts: 732
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by fishmonger »

39, so almost across the finish line on this topic. My thirties were a rollercoaster in almost every area - personally, professionally, financially.

Started at 30 being stressed to the max - two kids under the age of 3, single income household (wife was a SAHM), commuting 2+ hours a day to a big city job making around $65K. Marriage was not great. Net worth was probably negative, or at best, close to zero. The same year, moved back to our hometown in NH, took a job working for my father's CPA firm, with a soft understanding that I would take over the firm/buy him out when he was ready to call it quits.

Ages 30-33 were tough in a lot of ways. Wife went back to school to get a master's degree (hitting NW even more), studied to pass the CPA exam, began to expand the practice, struggled in a lot of ways with mental health. I found early 30s to be my most "questioning" time of my life - still young enough to change careers, constantly questioning what I wanted to do with my life, what I valued, whether to maintain/cut ties with certain interpersonal relationships, having a lot of regrets of things or paths I wish I had taken a decade earlier. Ultimately decided that I did not want to take over my father's accounting firm. Had an early midlife crisis and took a solo hiking/fishing trip to Alaska (god bless DW for letting me do that). Net worth started to build to about $100K.

Age 34-current. Through my CPA clients, a large construction company offered me a new position. Two years later I took over as Controller. Could not be happier with my position or company. Wife upon finishing grad school, went back to the workforce for the first time in 7 years, working in a public school, and having the same schedule as our kids. Started to make fitness a priority again, spent a lot of time consumed with the kid's activities - coaching my son's baseball/football teams. Marriage after a few rough years could not be better. Overall, happy, content and look forward to each day. Started to save and invest. Current NW is around $600K

To summarize, the 30s were a whirlwind but ultimately were the decade where I "found myself." Twenties for me involved a lot of searching for things, drinking and generally making poor decisions - in many ways an extended adolescence. I've never felt more settled with my choices or what I want out of life when it comes to career, family or personal choices. Very much looking forward to what my 40s will bring.
dknightd
Posts: 2629
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by dknightd »

Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 am broaching $600k at age 35
That is amazing, and you might be thinking small. I wonder, would you notice making twice as much?
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Mortgage payed off 5/21. I have some 0% loans to pay off.
Monsterflockster
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:03 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Monsterflockster »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am There is currently one of the best threads I have ever read on this forum about Bogleheads in their 40s -- viewtopic.php?f=11&t=150764

I am 33, but I have bookmarked the thread for continuous reading.

It got me thinking about my own current decade, the 30s, and not wanting to screw it up. My 20s were a blur of finishing undergrad, then law school, then working for pretty low pay at a small firm. I regret not accelerating undergrad, law school, and starting my own practice sooner. I also took a gap year. I could have started my career at age 24 instead of 27, and I'd be so much further ahead.

For about the past year, I have generally viewed this decade as the time to build wealth. Right now I have $225k invested for retirement and believe I can quite comfortably get to $1M by age 40, but obviously with some sacrifice.

I am currently working two jobs -- one very easy city government job with great benefits, as well as my solo law practice. I have posted about quitting the government job, but with one kiddo and another on the way in August, I can swallow a couple more years to have the comfort these benefits provide.

In any event, I don't want to regret my 30s. And I don't want this thread to be about me.

So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
Wish I would have spent money and enjoyed my 30s. Cant go back in time.
User avatar
papermario
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:19 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by papermario »

I just turned 41 and it has indeed caused me to start reflecting on the past and more urgently the future. The real sense of mortality and the the quick passing of time definitely become things I've started to think about. My 30's saw me finally start what I consider my real adult phase.

Career - After a 20's of sleepwalking through a technical Phd program, dropping out, moving across country away from everyone I knew to clear my head and start my first real job, hating it, and stumbling into my second and current job which moved me back to the other coast. Probably due to my stupidity and high tolerance of self-pain or fear of making the wrong move, I stuck around through some hard parts and it has worked out well and the job role now is what I hope to continue for the rest of my career.

Family - I was definitely a late bloomer, met my wife in my 30's and had our son and lived a modest and happy apartment life.

Investment - I had read Bogle head investing philosophy in my early 20's but after rediscovering this forum I discovered that I had really drifted off course. I'm in the process of simplifying my investments to be primarily just a couple index funds. In my late 30's I definitely saw the effects of compounding. It felt like forever to hit the first net worth milestone, but the subsequent ones seemed to have accelerated. Granted it seems like everything inexplicably has accelerated in the markets and real estate, so in some ways it all seems like imaginary gains and hard to rely on.

Insights - Through Covid and turning 40, I realized that I'd like to spend more time with my parents while they're healthy, and have my son grow up near grandma and grandpa and cousins. So there were a lot of heartfelt discussions about moving to driving distance with the rest of my family. Led to a lot of intense marital discussions, but grateful she agreed, and we purchased our first home near them, moving there in a few weeks. The late 30's was also a time where it seems a wave of our friends got divorces which all seemed unexpected from the outside. It also led to revealing cracks in my own relationship that I needed to take ownership over and have serious discussions. They have been fruitful, but it must be on going. The greatest currency you can give anyone is your time, and that's helped me see if my priorities are right. It'll always be a challenge.

Health - In my late 30's I definitely realized how quickly I can gain weight and how much harder it is to lose it. The pandemic really motivated me, I've been doing one-meal a day fasting for the past year, picked up running every other day, and some light weight work. I hope this continues post pandemic, and intensify the weights and run lengths. I have noticed how easily I throw out my back for pull a neck muscle from sleep, I really need to find a way to incorporate stretching or yoga as the weeks with a sore neck or muscle have a huge impact on quality of life.

As I start to think about the next decade, it's mostly about accepting that me or people very close to me will have serious health issues and tragedies, and understanding how I want to spend my time with them to maximize those relationships given these inevitabilities.
dknightd
Posts: 2629
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by dknightd »

fishmonger wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:23 am in many ways an extended adolescence. I've never felt more settled with my choices or what I want out of life when it comes to career, family or personal choices. Very much looking forward to what my 40s will bring.
That is great! Never give up your adolescence. Smile and be happy :)
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Mortgage payed off 5/21. I have some 0% loans to pay off.
Tingting1013
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Tingting1013 »

dknightd wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:24 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 am broaching $600k at age 35
That is amazing, and you might be thinking small. I wonder, would you notice making twice as much?
I would probably buy a house on the beach in SoCal. Maybe a second one in Hawaii. At some point money will just fade into the background and I won’t even think about the prices of things before buying them. It’s already happening.
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1696
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

sid hartha wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:17 am It was the best time of my life so far other than maybe my years in college (probably a tie). No responsibilities, traveled the world, was totally free, had tons of fun and learned a lot. I had both the means and the energy level to do anything and everything that I wanted, and I went out and did it all. In my opinion this was an important factor in avoiding the whole mid life crisis that seems to happen to some people in their 40's or 50's.
Sounds awesome! This is how I want my 50's to be 😀
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
User avatar
Go Blue 99
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:42 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Go Blue 99 »

My 30s were wonderful. In the early years, I got married and bought a townhouse in a neighborhood that would soon become very trendy. I had recently finished grad school and worked in the same job for my entire 30s. I didn't make a huge salary (only 1 promotion during that time), but I really enjoyed the job and it provided excellent work-life balance.

We saved a good amount, and were still able to take a lot of vacations. We made a great group of local friends, which was a huge blessing.
We ended up having our first child and were expecting another as my 30s ended.

Major regrets? I can't really think of anything. Though I wish I had invested more in equities instead of keeping such a large e-fund :)
tim1999
Posts: 3908
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by tim1999 »

I had an asset allocation throughout just about all of my 30s that was (and still is) way too conservative for my age. I am talking well under 50% in equities, even under 25% at some points. I was very heavily mentally scarred from the 2008-2009 meltdown and was too afraid to take much risk after that. Had I invested at a more normal equity allocation for someone in their 30s, I'd be in a position to retire in my early 40s. At least I did always max out my annual 401k and Roth IRA contributions during that time.

While I have a stable, non-demanding career earning a decent middle class salary, with basically zero risk of job loss, I wish I had gotten into something tech related as it seems like every other professional my age is making $200k+ and more with stock options in some tech field. I had an aptitude for computers and programming as a kid and in high school but never pursued it further.
Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 2266
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

My wife and I are in our mid-40s now and in a much better place today in large part because we got our act together during our 30s. Here's a summary of the 30s:

Age 30: My wife and I got married at age 30 (we're both the same age) and each brought $20k of credit card debt (a perfect match!) into the marriage. I was unemployed and she was making a little bit above minimum wage at the time. We honeymooned in Greece that year. Net worth was -$40k.

Age 31: I got a job and my wife got a better paying job. We were making a combined $100k now. To celebrate, we spent our one-year anniversary in style in Paris. We wrapped up the year by spending the winter in Costa Rica. We made wonderful memories but we were sort of clueless. Net worth was -$15k as we began to pay off the debt due to having more income now.

Age 32: I began to wake up and realized we were on a bad path. I talked to my wife about it and she was fully on board to improving our trajectory. We opened up Roth IRA accounts that year. We went to the Galapagos and had an amazing time. Net worth finally reached $0!

Age 33: We continued to add to our Roth accounts and built an emergency fund. Travel that year included Hawaii, Croatia, and Italy. Net worth reached $40k.

Age 34: The Great Recession hit hard. I was furloughed and my wife’s bonus was eliminated. We barely hung on to our jobs and were scared. We decided to buy a 4-bedroom/4-bathroom home in the tri-valley region of the Bay Area that was in the midst of being built when the recession was at its worse (mid-2009). Our income was around $125 now. The home cost $500k and was on a fire sale with no price negotiations. It was first come, first serve as the builder just wanted to unload homes as quickly and efficiently as possible. We slept in a tent for three days in front of the sales office in order to buy the property. We pretty much depleted our savings on closing costs and a 3% down payment ($15k). Our net worth was now around $75k.

Age 35 – The house finished being built about 8 months later and we excitedly moved in. Furlough days continued for me and still no bonus for my wife at work during this year. We continued to max our Roth IRAs. Our net worth was about $80k.

Age 36 – We picked up traveling once again and took a trip to Dubai. Net worth was $120k.

Age 37 – We were getting out of the economic slump. We refinanced from a 5.25% rate to 3.25% (30-year terms on both loans). I started contributing $250/month to a 457b in addition to contributing to Roth IRAs. We took a trip to Hawaii during the summer. Our net worth was around $180k.

Age 38 – The home value started going up quite a bit and job situation stabilized as the recession began to end. Finally, some decent pay raises occurred. We took a trip to New York and traveled around California. Net worth reached $400k.

Age 39 – Our daughter was born and we began to enter a new chapter in our lives. My wife reduced her work hours from 40 to 30. I increased retirement contributions and found Bogleheads. Our net worth reached $500k. As we approached age 40 and largely corrected the course we were on, the focus began to shift to maximizing time rather than money.

Age 40-46 continues here....viewtopic.php?p=6080800#p6080800
Last edited by Ron Ronnerson on Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
alfaspider
Posts: 3733
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by alfaspider »

I'm 36, so I can't comment on the whole decade, but it feels like a big journey already.

Financial/Professional: Spouse and I were fairly well established by 30 (married mid-20s). Both had embarked on our permanent career paths. We had our first house, but no kids. Net worth was just starting to build (starting from zero at age 28) as we both maxed out all available tax advantaged space and paid off our student loans. Our current income was mostly established around 30, with standard professional growth type raises (no extreme jumps or drops). Today, we are both pretty established in our careers and have achieved what I would call "basic FI," meaning we could sell everything and move to a low COL area to retire, but not retire at our current lifestyle. We upgraded homes two years ago to access highly rated schools. The market has been very good to us over the last 6 years. I'd love to be on the cusp of true FI by 40, but realistically that's probably a mid-40s thing. Spouse is up for biglaw partner in two years, which will make a big difference in future trajectory. But overall, I know we are very fortunate to be well into the two comma club in our mid-30s.

Biggest change has been kids. Going from childless to two kids under 5 has been a life transformation, both for good and for ill. We both wonder what we did with all our free time before kids. They can absolutely run you ragged at their ages (2 and 4)- it's full throttle all the time unless they are sleeping. Mostly, they are a source of joy, but it can also be frustrating how little time we have to ourselves. We are also fortunate that both kids have been completely healthy and have no special needs.

Socially, the 30s is sort of tough. In your 20s, most of your friends are free. They may be married, but have few real obligations outside of work. That means it's pretty easy to maintain a friend network that meets regularly. As all of your friends start having kids, and take on other obligations like eldercare, it becomes more and more difficult to make time to see them, and friend networks can fade (obviously, COVID added to that). People move away, both to different cities and to far flung suburbs where they are difficult to visit. As you leave school, you lose the built-in friend generation activities and there are fewer venues to meet new people outside of work. I've found myself much more invested in family as a result. All but one of my grandparents have passed now- you begin to realize how you can't take anyone's presence in your life for granted.

Travel/Hobbies: Almost all of my personal travel has been for weddings/funerals. Not much time or energy for far flung vacations with small kids. But I've gone to some interesting places abroad for work and still feel like I am seeing the world (albeit slowly). I've restored a classic car, although I have less time for taking it out than I'd like. I've had to stop some activities I no longer have time for like skiing, but I hope to get back to it as a vacation pastime once the kids are older.

Physically, I found the mid 30s to be the first (albeit small) chinks in the armor. The grey hairs are now noticeable even at a distance. Until around 34, I was regularly carded and could pass for early 20s. No longer. I notice slightly longer recovery time for workouts, and will get into trouble without a proper warmup. No real physical ailments though (knock on wood). My fitness was at it's peak when I was 30, and has declined due to reduced time to exercise. At 30, I was riding my bike an hour and a half at least 4 days a week, and doing an hour long lifting workout 5 days a week on top of that. Today, I'm lucky to get 2 good hours of exercise a week. I'm looking forward to bringing that back up once the kids can participate and/or be left alone for more than 30 seconds at a time. In any event, my 30s has brought home the recognition that none of us escapes aging.

In terms of existential concerns, the 30s can be a bit tough in terms of the creeping realization that you probably aren't going to save the world, be famous, or otherwise do anything you will be remembered for in 100 years. Moreover, you've had time to be introduced to and analyze just about any significant religious or philosophical school of thought. At least, I've done enough of that to be jaded by it (though I did study philosophy in school). I "get" the midlife crisis of coming to terms with your own ordinariness. But I think I also understand the path to loving life as it is (at least intellectually, if not fully emotionally). Looking back at how quickly my 20s and early 30s flew by, I'm beginning to appreciate just how brief life is. I feel like I will blink and find myself a wizened old man in the nursing home.

Goals for the rest of my 30s: I'm looking forward to getting through the most hands-on parts of child rearing and getting to do more active things with the kids where they can really participate and have fun. Financial goals are simply to continue on our current path towards FI with the hopes of maybe retiring in our 40s, or at least having the freedom to do so. I'd like to be able to spend a lot of time with my kids in my 40s, as well as my parents, as I know my 40s may be the last decade I have them (at least as fully active people not in need of care).
Last edited by alfaspider on Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:25 pm, edited 10 times in total.
User avatar
simplesimon
Posts: 4051
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:53 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by simplesimon »

Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:15 am
dknightd wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:24 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 am broaching $600k at age 35
That is amazing, and you might be thinking small. I wonder, would you notice making twice as much?
I would probably buy a house on the beach in SoCal. Maybe a second one in Hawaii. At some point money will just fade into the background and I won’t even think about the prices of things before buying them. It’s already happening.
I don't know how to embed a GIF, but https://imgur.com/pq458qH
clutchied
Posts: 709
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:11 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by clutchied »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am There is currently one of the best threads I have ever read on this forum about Bogleheads in their 40s -- viewtopic.php?f=11&t=150764



So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
I just turned 41 and I would say that my 30's were a stabilizing decade. Married, 2 kids that are no longer infants. Job and career are pretty stable.

Saved enough tp start feeling pretty comfortable. My relationship with my wife got A LOT better in the later part of my 30's.


I would say to focus on building your career. I feel like i've hit a plateau and it's not the level I was expecting to be at. It becomes harder to progress above my age. Kinda the "if you were going to make your move it would have been earlier." I don't know how true this is but it feels true for me.


Build wealth, set up your systems for success and enjoy! 30's were phenomenal for me. 40's feel even better at this point.
Last edited by clutchied on Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
finsterfolly
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:15 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by finsterfolly »

I rolled into the 30's on the heels of a divorce. No regrets, as it put me in a job that has turned it to a fantastic career. Looking back, it was a very fortunate decade for me. I doubled my income in that decade. I bought a condo with $3k down that quickly appreciated 70%. At 34, I married my forever wife, and at 39 I started my forever job.

Looking back, I probably shouldn't have bought 2 new cars in those 10 years, and I could have put a little more away in the 401k. Other than that, I avoided any big mistakes. The biggest near miss was a job opportunity I passed on in an HCOL living area in the Northeast, where I was asked what it would take to make it work. Ultimately, I went with the less risky opportunity with a very good quality of life. Going from a 45+ minute commute to walking distance from work was life changing.
User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 2141
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by ClevrChico »

My grandmother always said that 30's are a great time in one's life, and I completely agree.

It started with the global financial crisis, but I stayed the course with investing and it paid off handsomely.

I switched employers to one with a great WLB, which also increased my earnings about 50%.

That work life balance was essential, as I also got married, and had two kids. I did lose a parent in my early 30's, which was completely unexpected and very sad. Being incredibly busy with young kids got me through it.

Now in my 40's, will be 50's in no time, and then an empty nester. Early retirement may not be far off from that. I have no idea where the time has gone, I feel like I should only be a few years out of college.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Elsebet
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:28 pm
Location: Erie, PA

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Elsebet »

My 30's were pretty good:

- finally could afford international vacations and went to Iceland and London
- tried community theater, worked backstage and did 2 small roles in plays, found out I prefer being backstage big time
- got a job out in WA and got to drive out at a relaxed pace across the country from Ohio over a few days to move
- got a new puppy
- my jobs were not too stressful in my 30's
- became a master gardener
- had a lot of good times, made lots of aquaintances (few friends though)
- opened my Roth IRA at some point in my 30's at the advice of a co-worker
- continued to max the 401k
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1696
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Loving this thread & the other related threads.

I always try to compare what Non US responses would look like. In general, I *think* European responses would skew more towards fun in 30s & 40s.Perhaps due to less of a need to build a large portfolio! Education and healthcare is taken care of in general. People seem to 'work to live' more as the general concensus too.

Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?

Anyway, hope my post is not a big distraction. But, I'd love for threads like this to get more international responses! :sharebeer
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Starfish
Posts: 2247
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Starfish »

30s where the worst decade in my life. In hind side it was actually pretty good but this is what I thought at the time.
I wasn't 20 anymore. I thought that all that was good in life was gone. I had my first "real" job at 30. Reality hit pretty hard. I spend many years working 60-80h/week. While I was making 6 digits it did not feel like a lot. I had a 100mile commute (roundtrip) in bad traffic for 5 years. It felt like I was in a hole with no way of getting out.
Physically, I had some bad back problems and I almost died twice (once on a mountain in Colorado, once in a surfing accident).

What was good about it? I had a 100 mile commute but I lived (well, more like I slept) in a city I loved. I worked 80h/week but I learned a lot at an accelerated pace. In the little time I had I did some memorable things (climbed some mountains, had trips with friends etc). I was very afraid of having a kid, but I had him, I had a year of sleepless nights, and it was alright.
The weird part is that I feel a lot better with by life in my 40s. Even the back issues disappeared.
Starfish
Posts: 2247
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Starfish »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm Loving this thread & the other related threads.

I always try to compare what Non US responses would look like. In general, I *think* European responses would skew more towards fun in 30s & 40s.Perhaps due to less of a need to build a large portfolio! Education and healthcare is taken care of in general. People seem to 'work to live' more as the general concensus too.

Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?

Anyway, hope my post is not a big distraction. But, I'd love for threads like this to get more international responses! :sharebeer
I lived in Eastern Europe until 25 and last 20 years in US. So I spent my 30s in US.
What I find very different in American culture regarding decades in life is the strange idea that to be a teenager sucks (I also see that in British shows, so it might not be uniquely American) which is completely opposite from other countries were to be a teenager is the one of the best part of your life, college/university years are maybe the maximum, and it's all downhill from there (job, responsibilities etc). It definitely applied to me and everyone I know in my country.
Americans, in certain way, have a very tough youth and sacrifice the best part of life, with some potential later gains (only for some).
This is reflected in one of the most frequent advices on the forum: save early in life. While mathematically early money have more time to compound, it is damaging for total happiness in life to sacrifice the best years. Besides the amounts you can save early are not large enough to justify the sacrifice, while the money are a lot more valuable when young.
coalcracker
Posts: 756
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by coalcracker »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am
It got me thinking about my own current decade, the 30s, and not wanting to screw it up. My 20s were a blur of finishing undergrad, then law school, then working for pretty low pay at a small firm. I regret not accelerating undergrad, law school, and starting my own practice sooner. I also took a gap year. I could have started my career at age 24 instead of 27, and I'd be so much further ahead.
IMHO you should NOT regret taking your time in your 20s. I went straight through undergrad, medical school, and residency from the ages of 18-31. While I didn't take a gap year, I took full advantage of summers off, study abroad, and international medical electives to have fun, travel the world, and experience life.

I'm 42 now, and my early 30s were probably the best few years of my life. We were DINKs until 35, with plenty of time and money for travel, eating out, and spending time with friends and family. Life is much different now with two young children, currently 7 and 3. Not worse, but much less free time for "adulting."

But I know someday the kids will not want to wrestle or read with dear old dad, so I'm savoring these years while I can :sharebeer
hnd
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:43 am

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by hnd »

few months from 41 here. I had my 3 bio children at 25, 27, and 30. We began caring for foster children their first years of age at 36 and 39 (will be adopting)

the 30's for me was raising our family. balancing a career, family and hobbies. I was able to marginally save for retirement and able to build a low-mid 6 figure portolio as a launching pad. The one thing that I believe i've had to adapt is buying things i want from a financial standpoint and having to cherish the little time i have today with my hobbies (fishing, golf, hunting) Being 30 and caring for so many others has made me pretty frugal and handy. Which have become invaluable stills to me.

I have friends with few children and do much more than I can, I have friends who put their careers over their family (unintentionally) and have way more than me. the 30's is one of the easiest times to get a bad case of keeping up with the joneses and can set you up for financial ruin IMO. the 40's I can tell its there.

My parents during my 30's I could also see them age tremendously. Doing things that they'd never done before, physical aging. You also begin in your 30's to have people your age die for whatever reason. (once again acknowledging this only becomes more common place as you continue to age). You go to the dr and he goes, well, you aren't old, but you definitely aren't young anymore. The chance at "easily" losing weight diminishes as you make your way through your 30's. I was 33 and 265. I dropped down to 185lbs over 2 years. In true maintain mode, i currently sit at 220. which i could keep it 210 but time i tell myself doesn't allow for it. you also begin to become the old guy. I play softball a night a week in the summer. last year was the first time i realized i was the old guy on the team.
Last edited by hnd on Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Afty
Posts: 1724
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Afty »

I'm glad the OP posted this; I was looking at the 40s thread with envy. :D My 30s were the decade of growing up and becoming an adult with lots of responsibilities. I'm in my early 40s now, for context.

Career:

I spent a large part of my 20s in a PhD program, after working in industry for a few years out of college and finding it miserable. In my early 30s, I finished the PhD program. I would have preferred to become a professor, but couldn't make it work because of the two-body problem. I ended up taking an industry job at a FAANG company, which worked out well beyond my wildest dreams both financially and in terms of non-financial career goals. Toward the end of my 30s I was finding my work less fun and more stressful. I toughed it out. In retrospect, I should have looked for alternatives sooner rather than suffering doing work I no longer enjoyed.

Family:

We had 2 kids during our 30s. I wasn't prepared for how much of an impact having kids would have on our lives. To be honest, I found it very difficult when they were babies -- neither slept well, and the lack of sleep was really hard on us. In retrospect, I wish we had hired more help during the baby years, despite the ridiculous cost here in VHCOL. As the kids have grown, it's gotten much easier, and it's amazing and gratifying watching them grow into cool little people.

Both my parents passed away in my 30s. I made a good decision to take Family Medical Leave when my second parent became terminally ill and to spend every remaining moment with her. It seemed like such a hard decision at the time, but in retrospect I wouldn't be able to forgive myself had I made a different one.

Financial:

The biggest change for us financially was going from essentially being graduate students to having real jobs and being able to save money. I discovered Bogleheads in my 30s, and the advice here has been super helpful in getting our finances in order. I moved assets away from a Merrill Lynch advisor into Vanguard, and hired a Vanguard Personal Advisor. I find the PAS advisor much more in line with my views and appreciate their help. Yes, I know having any kind of advisor goes against Boglehead orthodoxy. I do it anyway.

We bought an expensive house in a VHCOL area in our mid 30s. At the time, the cost seemed exorbitant, but we wanted stability for our kids as they entered elementary school. This turned out to be an excellent financial decision as house prices have continued to soar since then, and an excellent family decision as the neighborhood school is excellent and all my kids' friends live in the neighborhood.

Health:

I started running in my 20s and ran my best times in my early 30s. I ran consistently throughout my 30s, which kept me healthy and fit and also helped me make some of my closest friends. I'd strongly recommend making consistent exercise a habit in your 30s. I don't think it matters much what you do for exercise, as long as you do it consistently.

In my late 30s I started to see peers having serious health problems and even one passing away. That's been pretty eye opening, and I expect it to get worse in my 40s.
Last edited by Afty on Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Post Reply