Best Financial Moves You've Made

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Gropes & Ray
Posts: 972
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:28 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Gropes & Ray » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:00 pm

I would not say my financial history is a string of good moves. But, I did start maxing my 401k and IRA as soon as I could and have always saved about 20% of my gross income. I also don't carry consumer debt.

multiham
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:28 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby multiham » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:16 pm

[*]Started saving in 401K as soon as allowed by plan
[*]Using automated feature in 401K plan to increase % invested each year
[*]Finding the things in life that we want to spend money on
[*]Finding the things in life we DON'T want to spend money on
[*]Not going from 1 company to the other chasing small pay increases. Understood at an early age the benefit of working for a company with a pension plan
[*]Enjoying Life and my family knowing we have set aside enough to enjoy our lifestyle

davidsorensen32
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:57 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby davidsorensen32 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:10 pm

* Moving REITs to tax sheltered accounts
* Getting Chase cards with those lucrative points
* Opening HSAs
* Never financing any cars
* 529s
* Dumping a whole bunch of expensive Fidelity + Dodge & Cox funds for Vanguard
* Not buying a home in the ridiculously overpriced Bay Area
* Buying Berkshire Hathaway 15 years ago
* Investing in my education, my spouse's education, my kid's education, and my families education - they really developed human capital that we could use for the rest of our lives
* Understanding AA from David Swensen's books
* Understanding Vanguard's competitive advantage

My list of financial blunders are equally long but I'll keep them for another post.

Cruise
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Cruise » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:15 pm

Best Decisions with Huge Financial Impact:

Not cheating on my wife.
Not abusing drugs or alcohol.
Not fathering a kid before being married. (Thank you, Lady Luck!)
Making a conscious decision on entering college to work my tail off rather than party.
Related to immediately-above consideration, being able to leverage my conscientiousness into five years of free schooling. Getting out of school without any debt.
Buying a home whose mortgage (and other life expenses) could be paid with only one of our salaries.
Becoming a specialist in two areas of my profession. The combination was unbeatable and gave me a unique competitive advantage.

evilledrwho
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:14 pm
Location: Evansville, IN, USA

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby evilledrwho » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:53 pm

My answer fits the pattern.
1). Getting an education allowing entry into a profession with reasonable income.
2). Marrying a woman who has values which do not include having more or better or shiny "stuff."
3). Saving for retirement from the start of my working career.
4). One house in one mid-western smaller city for 34 years, paid off when we had a surprise windfall.
5). Holding onto cars, which were adequate if boring, staying away from cars meant to impress others.
6). Switching the Fidelity 401K into lowest cost funds offered in our particular plan in 2008, increasing the percent equities funds when lots of folks wanted bonds.
7). Avoid extravagant living
8). Spending the 2.5 months recovering from bicycle accident reading about investing, finding Jack Bogle and joining this community.

SheReadsHere719
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:28 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby SheReadsHere719 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:07 pm

Still very early on in my career, but the main items that come to mind:
* Opened a credit card at age 18 to build my credit history + score. Avoided carrying a balance and pay it off in full every month.
* Completed undergrad with a manageable amount of student loans, albeit high-interest ones. Dedicated all additional cash flow to paying them off [achieved].
* Maxing out Roth IRA once loans were paid off.
* Increasing 401k contributions with every year/raise.
* Bringing my lunch to work (HCOL area where coworkers routinely spend $10+/day).
* Using credit card rewards to fund travel.

As for a particular investment strategy, my advice to fellow younger newbies (un-Boglehead though it may be): use the Target Date fund that matches your retirement and start your contributions immediately. You can always change your funds (such as to the 3-fund portfolio) later. Don’t let analysis paralysis prevent you from starting your contributions. Today is always better than ‘someday.’

SheReadsHere719
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:28 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby SheReadsHere719 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:12 pm

** I will also second others who recommend tracking! Very helpful to understand my take-home pay, annual expenses, and net worth.

ajjulee
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby ajjulee » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:28 pm

Pretty much what everyone else has said so far. But the most important thing for me was - I always chose work/employment that I really loved, paying no attention to salary/remuneration etc., It paid to be good at my work.
What I write on this forum is sometimes the truth, maybe the whole truth, and not always nothing but the truth, for the purposes of online anonymity.

Minou33
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Minou33 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:45 pm

We have made lots of mistakes and started out late in the game.. but the best financial move we've made so far (and against the advice of several users of this forum) was to expand our business last year. This was just a small initial investment, but has dramatically increased our income and future income potential.

Traveler
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Traveler » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:44 pm

So many mistakes but I've learned a lot too.
Best moves:
* Getting an MBA that allowed me an above-average salary
* Bought a townhouse for $60K at the bottom of the market in 2011. It is now paid off and I'm enjoying a debt-free life with a <2 mile commute to work. Market price for one now is ~$140K, but I'm not selling.
* Paid cash for my current car - this may not be a "good" financial move, but I have no debt and didn't want to deal with a payment even if I could have gotten a low interest rate.
* Maxing out a 401K and HSA each year for the last seven years
* Preparing for a somewhat early retirement at age 55 because I realize I don't absolutely love working
* Never having kids

You don't even want to see my list of worst moves, haha

User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 861
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby ClevrChico » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:59 pm

Deciding NOT to drop out of college my sophomore year to join a startup full-time. It would crash and burn 2.5 years later.

+ Almost what everyone else said.

munemaker
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby munemaker » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:03 pm

1) Marrying a woman who is more frugal than I am, and staying married
2) Started investing early
3) Living below our means
4) Never being out of work
5) Improving education and job qualifications

BW1985
Posts: 1472
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby BW1985 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:07 pm

multiham wrote:[*]Started saving in 401K as soon as allowed by plan
[*]Using automated feature in 401K plan to increase % invested each year
[*]Finding the things in life that we want to spend money on
[*]Finding the things in life we DON'T want to spend money on
[*]Not going from 1 company to the other chasing small pay increases. Understood at an early age the benefit of working for a company with a pension plan
[*]Enjoying Life and my family knowing we have set aside enough to enjoy our lifestyle


Unfortunately those pensions went the way of the dinosaurs. Going from one company to another is usually the fastest way to increase comp, although one should shoot for big increases rather than small. :mrgreen:
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

User avatar
FreeAtLast
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby FreeAtLast » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:23 pm

Studied the markets for six months (various books, publications, articles, and prospectuses) before investing any money in them.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

primetime5
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:28 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby primetime5 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:51 am

#1 Pay tithing . #2 Focus on your savings rate. There's living within your means and there's living way below your means. The higher that rate the quicker you build a short-term cushion and eventual long-term asset base.

User avatar
catdude
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:11 pm
Location: Central Oregon

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby catdude » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:20 am

Trust me, I've made tons of stupid financial mistakes, but as far as the things I've done right --

- Went back to college in my early 30's to study accounting. That allowed me to escape a dead-end low-paying job.
- Saved and invested 30-35% of my gross income.
- Kept the same modest lifestyle even while I was getting raises.
- Bought modest houses even when I could've afforded much bigger ones.
- Kept my current car, a 2007 Camry, for 10 years now.
- Educated myself on index fund investing, which brought an end to many of the stupid mistakes and allowed me to build financial security.
catdude (formerly "johnny") | | Blame somebody else and get on with your life.

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 1087
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby unclescrooge » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:25 am

Selling my home and several rentals at the top of the market.

Marrying the right person (at least the second time around) who shares many of my goals, values, and interests.

Nowizard
Posts: 1010
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Nowizard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:16 pm

Blind luck early on when every penny was in Vanguard Healthcare during its peak performance years when I thought diversification was owning a number of stocks rather than diversifying across sectors. Today, it is clearly finding this site and the older one on Morningstar, establishing a portfolio with the aid of the wonderful people here and continuing to learn. The initial thread, by the way, was listed among the best of that year in an article in a popular financial magazine.

Tim

heyyou
Posts: 2587
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:58 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby heyyou » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:09 pm

Somewhere about age 30, I felt that I had enough income, enough house chosen for its shorter commute, and enough reliable vehicle. I felt satisfied but what was lacking was, enough to retire. I then saved a good fraction and saved pay raises until I retired at 55, into the best years of my life.

About age 42, I transferred from the city to the hinterlands where cost of living and temptations for spending were less, while my outdoor recreation was in the nearby mountains. Attitude, a good savings rate for a long period, and geography, all helped.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 829
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby friar1610 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:37 pm

At one particular point in our lives, deciding to stick it out in our starter home rather than moving up to what we "really deserved". Those 5 years of being able to save (rather than sending the $ to bank in the form of higher mortgage payments) made a tremendous difference in paying for our kids' college and achieving early retirement.
Friar1610

User avatar
jmndu99
Posts: 294
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:18 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby jmndu99 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:56 pm

Brown bagging lunch is the best financial made.

Bringing lunch from home was the springboard to educating myself (with assistance of this site) on saving, investing, spending, living below my means.

Best wishes

pasadena
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:23 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby pasadena » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:13 pm

It took me years (and an expatriation) to do it, but the best move for me was to automate savings directly out of my paycheck. I never see the money, so I don't miss it.I have zero decision to make to save money, but I do have decisions to make *and* actions to take to spend it. Inertia works.

KarenC
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:25 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby KarenC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:14 pm

  • About a year after I entered the "real world," something put the fear of being old and poor in me. I started contributing as much as I could to the 401(k) I had through my employer, and continued that until I lost my job in 2010.
  • For some reason, I didn't pay much attention to the 401(k) statements I received. As a result, I maintained a 100% equities AA until late 2013. (I'm fairly sure I would have lost my nerve otherwise.)
"How much you know is less important than how clearly you understand where the borders of your ignorance begin." — Jason Zweig

wahnfried
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:26 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby wahnfried » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:37 pm

Attending medical school in Germany free of charge , emigrating to the USA , working hard and getting paid for it .
With vanguard for 20 years , discovering this site about 8 years ago .
Avoiding to keep up with the joneses .
Living below means with occasional slips such as fancy cars ....

Wricha
Posts: 225
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:33 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Wricha » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:24 pm

All the things that define bogleheads but 2 best:

1. Being self employed (creating my own time)
2. Investing with partners in commercial real estate

Both contributed equally to net worth and the boglehead investment strategy maintains the cash flow

User avatar
Soul.in.Progress
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:24 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Soul.in.Progress » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:19 pm

We are mid forties now, and definitely have had many similar financial decisions that other posters have already mentioned. Some were definitely luck, but some of these were clearly mindset and intentional. I do want to add though, that we also made several "mistakes" too along the way. They were lessons that we probably just needed to learn, but I at least wanted to let other folks know that you can correct your path even if you make mistakes. We made mistakes, but tried to learn from them and get back on track, and now have over $3M in investments, and a net worth closer to $4M if we add in house equity, pension value, etc.

1. Saved early and regularly. I remember signing up for the company 401k when I first started at megacorp in my early twenties, when my peers thought it was ridiculous to save for retirement at that age. In my naïveté, I didn't really even know much about compounding, but I really just wanted the "free money" that was outlined as the company match in the brochure.

2. Lived below our means. We were mildly frugal in the beginning, but that was mainly because our starting salaries were nothing to brag about. What we were practicing was essentially not spending more than we made--in other words, we had to live fairly cheaply because we didn't make a lot--but this was another thing that seemed to be going against the grain compared to peers who bought every new electronic or toy. Our peers and us were all college educated with decent degrees (engineering, accounting, etc), but some folks felt they had to buy and show higher end things while we bought within our means.

3. Married to a spouse with similar mindset. Both of us had the philosophy of not living beyond our means, and saving any leftover money after our monthly expenses and discretionary spending. If, as our salaries got larger, that extra leftover money was after we maxed 401k, IRA, and ESPP, we put extra money into taxable accounts, and set up regular withdrawals from checking into taxable as autopilot.

4. With houses, we got lucky to buy a few times at fairly low real estate markets and hence made money from real estate appreciation. We put 20% down each time, used fixed rate mortgages, and refinanced as rates got lower, if we were going to stay in the home past the break even point.

5. Stayed the course. Didn't feel compelled to sell when markets hit bottom, but I think we were also lucky that our jobs were still in place and we were still living within our means. So invested money was, in our earlier years, more like play money in our mindset. Whether right or wrong, we viewed it as money we didn't need for a long time, so we didn't pay attention to what the market was doing. I think it helped prevent us from panicking.

6. Am now following Bogleheads, learning and correcting as I go.

There are probably more examples of both luck and intention in our case, but the above were the essentials for us. In recent years when I found bogleheads, I saw that we were making additional choices/decisions that weren't in our best long term financial interest. We had had an advisor with non trivial costs, we had some expensive funds, we had individual risky stocks, we had no bonds, we had fallen into some unnecessary lifestyle creep beyond just living well, and we didn't really know where our spending was going. I slowly have corrected most of those in recent years.

I think part of the reason we are in good financial shape right now--besides luck-- is that our earlier decisions of living below our means and saving regularly helped to counter some of our poorer decisions, which I didn't even know were poor decisions until I came to Bogleheads. This site sure has helped me to clean up any errors in our financial choices, and now we just need to stay on course. I hope anyone reading this knows that good choices as early as you can, along with correcting poor ones once you learn about them, will most likely put you on the track to your optimal financial state. Don't sweat the mistakes, just work to correct them.
Start by doing what is necessary; | then do what is possible; | and suddenly you are doing the impossible. | -- Francis of Assisi

ThankYouJack
Posts: 1628
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby ThankYouJack » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:58 pm

+1 with marriage. I knew going in that my wife and I shared similar values and feelings about money, but I didn't expect her to climb the corporate ladder and far surpass me as the breadwinner.

2nd is our home. We splurged a bit, but are even happier today in it today than when we first bought it.

User avatar
Wildebeest
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:36 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Wildebeest » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:13 pm

The best financial move I made, was to break up a partnership, which at the time felt like an anchor pulling us underwater.

The break up put on us the road of perdition and the fall out was ugly, drawn out and very stressful. I picked up the shambles for pennies on the dollar and while it worked out, at the time it looked like an enormous gamble.

If I could do it all over again, if I would never gone for the partnership in the first place.

Hindsight is 20/20.

In hindsight, the best financial move, which set me up for life has little to do with my intentions. It is being born in first world country, with smart, educated parents, who loved me unconditionally (as I perceived it) and had common sense and willing to support me in my endeavors.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

mikefixac
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby mikefixac » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:34 pm

I love this thread.

From: cashisking500 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:11 am

"I'm going to assume that most folks on Bogleheads are above average in terms of how they handle their finances."

Ya think? :happy

My path's a bit different in that I was relatively poor most of my life. Bought a few properties and they exploded in value. Now happily in Vanguard.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 5645
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby celia » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:38 am

Deciding to live off one salary when we got married. It sure came in handy when one of us was out of work or a baby arrived.

User avatar
tarheel
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:33 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby tarheel » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:46 am

Initial 30 year mortgage in 2009 at 5.25%, refi in 2011 or so at 4.25%, lower monthly payment by ~$200.

Refi a couple of months ago to go from 4.25% to 3.25% and lower monthly payment by ~$300. :)

User avatar
Index Fan
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: The great Midwest

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Index Fan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:12 am

Working 2 jobs for several years to get out of debt. I started investing right afterwards.

Everything after that was details, such as becoming a Boglehead.
"Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis." | -Seneca

TresBelle65
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby TresBelle65 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:31 am

Develop, keep and evolve mad skills :)

User avatar
SpecialK22
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:16 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby SpecialK22 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:39 am

Avoided overpaying, particularly taking on large debt, for three things:

Education
Cars
Homes

There is generally strong societal pressure to spend lavishly in these three categories. They are also some of the easiest products to get financed.

Ari
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 6:59 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Ari » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:50 am

1: Never owned a car
2: Rented a tiny apartment without a shower
3: Worked throughout the summer instead of taking vacations
4: Invested as much as I could in globally diversified, passive equity funds

Not a permanent solution, but it sure has catapulted my savings quickly, and allowed me to regain ground I lost because of not starting to invest at a young age.
All in, all the time.

msk
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby msk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:18 am

Got a physics PhD just as Nixon laid off 2000 from NASA in the early 1970s :oops: Best move was to join the oil industry! :mrgreen: Always lived well below our means, saving >30% of income. Next best move was to purchase 3 houses on different continents using 90% mortgages at age 31. Two worked out fabulously, 3rd increased to a mere 350% of purchase price in 30 years. Trivial carrying costs on all since they were rented out. Built a couple of apartment blocks in a high rent environment, quickly generating net income > my job. Spare cash invested mostly in SPY and BRK, for decades. Regrets? Not dumping my well paying, secure job and venturing into servicing the oil industry at its peak. A few colleagues who did this are now worth 9 to even 10 figures. BH style of taking minimal risk is comfortable, and appropriate to most people, especially those in middle age and above, but perhaps not appropriate to youngsters aiming to get rich. Making serious $ requires serious risk taking...

goblue100
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:31 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby goblue100 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:55 am

Started investing young(ish) and continued my whole working career. Read the book Wealth Without Risk by Charles Givens and followed quite a lot of the advice. Unfortunately he became a bit of a scam artist, but his initial advice was good for me. Cut insurance and other living costs and invest the proceeds in low load mutual funds. Didn't get in on the index funds right away, but figured out that low cost indexing made the most sense pretty early.
Some people are immune to good advice. - Saul Goodman

retire57
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby retire57 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:50 am

hiddensee wrote:Never get into debt, invest steadily in low cost index funds.


Exactly what I was gonna say.

User avatar
jazman12
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby jazman12 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:54 am

cashisking500 wrote:I'm going to assume that most folks on Bogleheads are above average in terms of how they handle their finances.

To help some of the newbies (including myself), what are the best financial decisions you've made that have allowed you to be where you are today? (i.e. eliminate debt, particular investment strategy, etc.)

Thanks!

I read John Bogles books on financial wisdom and never looked back
My first, and I think the best decision was to invest in Vanguards S&P fund over 20 years ago

NoD
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby NoD » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:13 am

Honestly, I haven't done much correctly in the financial sense in my life. Due to low paying contract jobs for many years at the start of my career, I consider myself well behind the curve. However, 2 main things have given me hope in turning the ship around:

1)Married a wonderful wife who is onboard with righting the ship
2)Finding this site. I love to research things and investing is SO complex from the outside. Two days after meeting an Ameriprise rep and him filling my head with load fees/eastern europe sector funds etc etc, I stumbled onto this board. I read of the 3 fund portfolio and how simple it can be. Over the last 18 months I've seen money go up and down, but knowing that I'm in low cost well diversified funds as opposed to being fleeced by an 'advisor'....priceless.
Some day we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

kd2008
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby kd2008 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:55 am

We all do the LBYM, investing in risk appropriate and age appropriate, tax minimizing portfolio thing.

The best financial moves are the ones that gave me perspective.

1. I am not going to be able to see all the opportunities in front of me and some I am going to mess up all due to my fault. And this is ok. Hindsight is always 20/20. So be kind on yourself. - I came to this after the great recession. I went in to the recession with no debt and a job and a pile of savings and a stack of 0% balance transfer checks that if I had cashed and invested I would have tripled my net worth now. But such were things that I didn't know if the economy would survive so I did the most risk averse thing. Kept my savings in my savings account and DCA my savings from my paycheck.
2. Seeing your investments grow is a pleasing thing to the senses but don't let it fool you to take inappropriate risks. - I have to keep reminding myself of this. Equities have done wonderfully well in the past 8 years but that does not mean it will continue into perpetuity.

Not Law
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Not Law » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:32 pm

-Started with a broker (at age 26) in 1982 and quickly realized his recommendations were making him money up front, while I took the risk.
-Found Vanguard in the mid 80's, started IRAs there.
-Headed collective bargaining team with a no-pension employer from 1985-2005, to establish and fund, a 401(k) plan (1% for each year employed up to 10%).
-At least match the employer contribution to said 401(k) plan. By the late 90's, my 401(k) was making more than I was.
-Read "Your Money or Your Life" in 1992. Subscribed to Smart Money magazine.
-Joined an investment club. Started DRIP stocks. Opened Vanguard brokerage account.
-Created a spreadsheet that would project my financial freedom date with variables for returns, tax rates, contributions, etc.
-Started Roths in 2003, started converting to the top of the 15% bracket in 2006 (to avoid RMDs making SS taxable).
-Deciding in 2007-9 that "going to cash" would be meaningless if the system had actually failed. So I did nothing. (I actually did not fund the Roth for 2007, but resumed in 2008)
-Becoming comfortable with the Affordable Care Act provisions in 2012.
-Tax GAIN harvesting in 2012 and 2013 at a 0% tax rate (countable as income in the Affordable Care Act).
-Taking maximum advantage of the subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act from 2014 to date.
-Planning to defer SS until age 70.
Last edited by Not Law on Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mmmodem
Posts: 1061
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby mmmodem » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:46 pm

Getting married was the best financial move I ever made. Everything is easier as DINKs. When I met her she made more money than me and drove a Honda Civic. It was older than mine as well.

beardsworth
Posts: 1869
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby beardsworth » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:49 pm

For the OP and others interested, here's a thread (140 posts at last count) on the same subject, several years ago.

viewtopic.php?t=94855

And another more recent thread asking people what they considered their best and worst financial moves.

viewtopic.php?t=187569

newhousejim
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby newhousejim » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:46 pm

I pay cash for USED cars. You can get 3-5 year old Jaguar with low miles for about the same as you can buy a new Alitma. Never buy NEW! Let someone else pay for the car to depreciate.

User avatar
burt
Posts: 519
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:47 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby burt » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:56 pm

primetime5 wrote:#1 Pay tithing .


That's a good one. "wink" :wink:

burt

mesaverde
Posts: 396
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:14 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby mesaverde » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:06 pm

1. Teaching personal finance to high school juniors & seniors
2. Consistently saving/investing half my income
3. Building even more wealth by renting out a condo
4. Staying in a low federal income tax bracket
5. Choosing a partner who has similar values
6. Driving cars until they can't be reliably driven on long trips (to approx. 250-300k miles)
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

Old Guy
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:20 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Old Guy » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:13 pm

Marrying my wife. She became a GS 15-8, brought enough money into the marriage so we had a down payment on a house in DC, and let me handle our money.

reggiesimpson
Posts: 1525
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:00 pm

Worked my butt off.
Saved saved saved.....far more than I spend.
Paid cash for everything thus avoided debt.

Lauren Vignec
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Postby Lauren Vignec » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:10 pm

My best financial move was the one I hated the most: starting my own business in the middle of 2009 because I absolutely could not find a decent job.


Return to “Personal Finance (Not Investing)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BashDash, dbp7777, Dottie57, martiansteeler, PaulF, Pranav, rebellovw, United2008, WageSlave, Watty and 78 guests