Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

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Tbonerazor
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Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Tbonerazor » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm

Hi,

I am a 26 year old working in the tech sector with a $95k annual salary. Because my current place of living is prohibitively expensive to live alone, i live with roommates. Hence i spend only 1/4th of my after-tax salary and i do not have a car and a I am single. I have been earning this salary since aboutt 4 months now.
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame. I have saved up 6 months of emergency money in a high yield savings account. I invest a modest $1000 a month in a taxable account. I contribute the amount necessary to max my employer match to my 401k. I have purchased a piece of land (back in my country of origin).
Given this, I recently calculated my net worth to be only $35k. Is this how it is supposed to be? I feel like i should be worth a lot more. Please tell me what i am doing wrong.
Edit: I was making ~75k for the past year before the salary bump.
Thanks
Last edited by Tbonerazor on Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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roymeo
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by roymeo » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:01 pm

You're comparing yourself to others with different circumstances.

(And probably have more net-worth than a great deal of many Americans who are years and years older than you.)
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livesoft
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:01 pm

You have not earned $95K since you have only worked one-third of a year. If you paid taxes and didn't spend anything, your net worth should be about $16K.

So since you have $35K, that's not the way it is supposed to work. You are doing twice as well as you should be doing.
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autopeep
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by autopeep » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:04 pm

Err... You have been making 8k/month pre-tax for 4 months and are wondering why you are "worth" 35k?

Perhaps because you have been making that amount for 4 months?

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Pajamas
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:05 pm

Four months of a $95k salary is $31,666.67, before any deductions. I assume you must have started with a positive net worth to be at $35k now, but other than that, it is impossible to say given only the information you have provided how much you have increased your net worth or if you are doing anything wrong.

If you are only spending a quarter of your take-home pay, then you are doing well, generally speaking. Sounds like a good plan based on what you've said, assuming that the cost of living in your home country is significantly lower than the cost of living where you are now.

Edit: You said in another thread that you had reported wages of $82k for 2017, so it doesn't seem to be correct that you have been working for four months as you seem to have stated in your post in this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=239469&p=3745979#p3745979
My W2 reported wages is ~$82k.
Last edited by Pajamas on Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chevca
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by chevca » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:07 pm

Did you win a seven figure lottery, or inherit a seven figure sum you're not telling us about? It's not an instant thing to have a high net worth for most. :happy

Sounds like you're doing pretty dang well for age 26!

MotoTrojan
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm

My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by ThriftyPhD » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm

MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.

MotoTrojan
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:09 pm

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
Fair, I guess the match is free money but no need to lock up anything extra for early withdrawal.

KlangFool
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:18 pm

Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
Hi,

I am a 26 year old working in the tech sector with a $95k annual salary. Because my current place of living is prohibitively expensive to live alone, i live with roommates. Hence i spend only 1/4th of my after-tax salary and i do not have a car and a I am single. I have been earning this salary since aboutt 4 months now.
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame. I have saved up 6 months of emergency money in a high yield savings account. I invest a modest $1000 a month in a taxable account. I contribute the amount necessary to max my employer match to my 401k. I have purchased a piece of land (back in my country of origin).
Given this, I recently calculated my net worth to be only $35k. Is this how it is supposed to be? I feel like i should be worth a lot more. Please tell me what i am doing wrong.
Edit: I was making ~75k for the past year before the salary bump.
Thanks
Tbonerazor,

You are paying too much tax. You should contribute more to the Trad. 401K.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool

nps
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by nps » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:47 am

Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
Given this, I recently calculated my net worth to be only $35k. Is this how it is supposed to be? I feel like i should be worth a lot more. Please tell me what i am doing wrong.
If it makes you feel any better, the value of your human capital is a lot higher!

Jags4186
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:55 am

It’s a slow slog until you get to about $250k. Once you hit $250k then a “good” year of returns can easily trump what you can add in your tax advantaged accounts. A “bad” year can also have you going nowhere while maxing out your tax advantaged accounts...

Gufomel
Posts: 257
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Gufomel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:31 am

You have positive net worth at 26? You're probably considered part of the 1% of 26 year olds.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:33 am

Sounds like you are doing fine for 26.
I didn't know what net worth was when I was 26 - it was negative for me at your age (student loans, car loans).

gotester2000
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by gotester2000 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:35 am

Tbonerazor,

If you are firm to return in 5 years why are you saving money in 401k and putting taxable in US market ? 5 years is a small time to be in equity.
Keep an emergency fund in $$ and invest in the home country - using your own AA.
Enjoy your stay.

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 720
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:29 am

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
How a 401k or Roth might work for the OP's situation may depend on the tax treaties between the US and the OP's country. We don't know the country, and even if we did I still wouldn't know how the retirement accounts would be taxed. Would the OP end up being taxed by both countries in the year he withdrew the account and moved home? We've had several threads where US expats complain about the complications of the tax interactions between the US and their host countries, and that's without considering the special tax situation of retirement accounts.

Also worth considering is if the OP works for a multinational, and the return home will involve continuing to work for the same company. Pulling out the 401k then might not be possible.

However, I think the OP should definitely look into how his country would treat US retirement accounts. If the treatment is favorable, using them would be a good option to consider.

dbr
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by dbr » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 am

Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I feel like i should be worth a lot more.
Your error is in this feeling. If you are a tech guy you should have a calculation of what it should be and not a feeling.

Also a fraction of a year is far to short a time for making judgements. Wealth does not accrue at an even rate.

It might help you to sit down with a spreadsheet and make some projections for the next few years to see what you might expect.

junior
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by junior » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:05 am

Really not clear where you got the idea you'd be rich quick.

Here's an investment return calculator: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/re ... lator.aspx

Here's the boglehead Wiki on investment returns:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Histori ... re_returns

This should provide you with all the tools you need to make projections.

Also on topic, here's an XKCD cartoon on investment hype being overstated:

Image

https://xkcd.com/947/
Last edited by junior on Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

gotester2000
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by gotester2000 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:06 am

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:29 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
How a 401k or Roth might work for the OP's situation may depend on the tax treaties between the US and the OP's country. We don't know the country, and even if we did I still wouldn't know how the retirement accounts would be taxed. Would the OP end up being taxed by both countries in the year he withdrew the account and moved home? We've had several threads where US expats complain about the complications of the tax interactions between the US and their host countries, and that's without considering the special tax situation of retirement accounts.

Also worth considering is if the OP works for a multinational, and the return home will involve continuing to work for the same company. Pulling out the 401k then might not be possible.

However, I think the OP should definitely look into how his country would treat US retirement accounts. If the treatment is favorable, using them would be a good option to consider.
Now that you have brought taxes into picture, is the OP aware that he will be considered US resident for tax purposes and any income generated globally will be taxed in the US?
If he invests in a tax saving instrument in his own country,it may not be tax exempt in the US and he may have to pay taxes on it here.
Better option is to invest in capital assets which do not produce income - that is what I will do.

lostdog
Posts: 1241
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by lostdog » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:15 am

Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
Hi,

I am a 26 year old working in the tech sector with a $95k annual salary. Because my current place of living is prohibitively expensive to live alone, i live with roommates. Hence i spend only 1/4th of my after-tax salary and i do not have a car and a I am single. I have been earning this salary since aboutt 4 months now.
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame. I have saved up 6 months of emergency money in a high yield savings account. I invest a modest $1000 a month in a taxable account. I contribute the amount necessary to max my employer match to my 401k. I have purchased a piece of land (back in my country of origin).
Given this, I recently calculated my net worth to be only $35k. Is this how it is supposed to be? I feel like i should be worth a lot more. Please tell me what i am doing wrong.
Edit: I was making ~75k for the past year before the salary bump.
Thanks
At 35k networth you're doing better than 50%+ of Americans. Stick to your plan.

I know we shouldn't compare but it's easy to compare to the "United States of keeping up with the Joneses".

freetz
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:42 am

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by freetz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:37 pm

Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?
I plan on returning to my home country at some point as well, and am maxing out my 401k (not Roth though). I'll save plenty on tax. Here's why -
My current marginal tax rate is 33.3% (federal and state), so this is the tax I save today. When I early withdraw the money I will no longer reside in the US, therefore I'll be a non US resident, so will only owe federal tax, no state tax.

10% early withdrawal penalty + 10% ordinary income tax (I will have no other US source income when I early withdraw my 401k), equals 20% tax. Thus, saving 13.3% on every dollar I put in my 401k, and that's without even considering my employer's match.

Since this entire scenario doesn't apply to Roth, I don't contribute to one.

Gufomel
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:52 pm

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Gufomel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 pm

freetz wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:37 pm
Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?
I plan on returning to my home country at some point as well, and am maxing out my 401k (not Roth though). I'll save plenty on tax. Here's why -
My current marginal tax rate is 33.3% (federal and state), so this is the tax I save today. When I early withdraw the money I will no longer reside in the US, therefore I'll be a non US resident, so will only owe federal tax, no state tax.

10% early withdrawal penalty + 10% ordinary income tax (I will have no other US source income when I early withdraw my 401k), equals 20% tax. Thus, saving 13.3% on every dollar I put in my 401k, and that's without even considering my employer's match.

Since this entire scenario doesn't apply to Roth, I don't contribute to one.
Yes, makes sense from a US tax perspective in that scenario. Will you be a resident in your home country at that point and be subject to tax there on the withdrawal?

KlangFool
Posts: 10401
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:05 pm

Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?
Gufomel ,

He leaves his job at 12/31. He early withdraws his 401K in January. He pays 10% penalty and not much else. He leaves in February.

KlangFool

freetz
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:42 am

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by freetz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:01 pm

Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 pm
freetz wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:37 pm
Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm




I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?
I plan on returning to my home country at some point as well, and am maxing out my 401k (not Roth though). I'll save plenty on tax. Here's why -
My current marginal tax rate is 33.3% (federal and state), so this is the tax I save today. When I early withdraw the money I will no longer reside in the US, therefore I'll be a non US resident, so will only owe federal tax, no state tax.

10% early withdrawal penalty + 10% ordinary income tax (I will have no other US source income when I early withdraw my 401k), equals 20% tax. Thus, saving 13.3% on every dollar I put in my 401k, and that's without even considering my employer's match.

Since this entire scenario doesn't apply to Roth, I don't contribute to one.
Yes, makes sense from a US tax perspective in that scenario. Will you be a resident in your home country at that point and be subject to tax there on the withdrawal?
Yes - I will be a resident in my home country. No - I will not be subject to tax there on the withdrawal :)

As a matter of fact, I will not be subject to capital gains either, and the US doesn't tax non-residents on capital gains (but does tax dividends - 30% tax or lower treaty rate).

Unevenrainbow
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:32 pm

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Unevenrainbow » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:43 pm

freetz wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:37 pm
Gufomel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 pm
MotoTrojan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:55 pm
My only comment: why are you investing in taxable while not maxing out your 401k and a Roth?
Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame.
I'm assuming that the tax benefit of a 401k/Roth would be lost if moving back to the OPs home country.
ThriftyPhD,

Why?

OP could withdraw early from the 401K and pay the 10% penalty. He would save tax even if he leaves in a few years.

KlangFool
Presumably he is in the 22% tax bracket now. He can save 22% now for every dollar he contributes to his 401k.

He's planning on leaving the US in 5-6 years. Let's assume he's still in the 22% bracket (he could move up to the 24% bracket by then, but we'll just assume he's in the same bracket as today). On top of that, he has to pay a 10% penalty on his early withdrawal.

He saves 22% today, but in 5-6 years he pays 32%.

How is this saving tax?
I plan on returning to my home country at some point as well, and am maxing out my 401k (not Roth though). I'll save plenty on tax. Here's why -
My current marginal tax rate is 33.3% (federal and state), so this is the tax I save today. When I early withdraw the money I will no longer reside in the US, therefore I'll be a non US resident, so will only owe federal tax, no state tax.

10% early withdrawal penalty + 10% ordinary income tax (I will have no other US source income when I early withdraw my 401k), equals 20% tax. Thus, saving 13.3% on every dollar I put in my 401k, and that's without even considering my employer's match.

Since this entire scenario doesn't apply to Roth, I don't contribute to one.
But aren’t you subject to 30% withholding tax once you become a non-resident?

freetz
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:42 am

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by freetz » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:18 pm

Broker might withhold 30%, but even if they do, I'd be able to claim the difference when filing my tax return at the end of the year.

Unevenrainbow
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:32 pm

Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Unevenrainbow » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:13 pm

freetz wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:18 pm
Broker might withhold 30%, but even if they do, I'd be able to claim the difference when filing my tax return at the end of the year.
I suppose that's only if there's tax treaty between your home country and USA? Otherwise, for home countries with no tax treaties, the 30% is withheld and final tax to be paid?

freetz
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by freetz » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:41 pm

Unevenrainbow wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:13 pm
freetz wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:18 pm
Broker might withhold 30%, but even if they do, I'd be able to claim the difference when filing my tax return at the end of the year.
I suppose that's only if there's tax treaty between your home country and USA? Otherwise, for home countries with no tax treaties, the 30% is withheld and final tax to be paid?
I'm not sure - the 30% flat rate tax applies to "fixed and determinable" income. Interest and dividends for example are subject to the 30% tax (assuming there's no tax treaty between the US and the home country). However, capital gains are not subject to tax (unless the individual spent more than 183 in the US during the tax year). Therefore, I'm not sure if 401k profits are subject to the tax. Brokers might withhold 30%, but aliens might be able to claim some of it back when filing their tax returns. You can find more details on the 30% tax in publication 519.

Disclaimer - I'm by no means a tax expert so don't use any of this as advice.

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celia
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by celia » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:36 pm

The "simple" way to answer your question is to calculate your net worth last January 1 and on the day you started the current job. Have you made progress since then? If so, by adding to your assets at the same rate, how much should you have at the end of this year?


The "harder" way to answer your question is to make a budget. Save all your receipts (including online), checks, pay stubs, credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, etc for the next 2 months. Then calculate how much you spend in each category for each month. Make a spreadsheet to record categories such as:
taxes
savings (not yet spent)
rent
utilities
food
entertainment
transportation
etc until you've accounted for each expense somewhere. Also consider expenses that may not be paid monthly, such as replacing something that broke. (Others could put property tax, homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance as large once- or twice-a-year expenses.) Try to account for every dollar you receive during this time. If you have large amounts that are unaccounted for, you have a "leak" somewhere you should find.

Your taxes will likely be your biggest "expense".

You can't change your budget (plan your spending) if you don't know where it is currently going. :beer

LateStarter1975
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by LateStarter1975 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:27 pm

Tbonerazor wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm
Hi,

I am a 26 year old working in the tech sector with a $95k annual salary. Because my current place of living is prohibitively expensive to live alone, i live with roommates. Hence i spend only 1/4th of my after-tax salary and i do not have a car and a I am single. I have been earning this salary since aboutt 4 months now.
I do not plan to reside in the US and will probably go back to my home country in 5-6 years time frame. I have saved up 6 months of emergency money in a high yield savings account. I invest a modest $1000 a month in a taxable account. I contribute the amount necessary to max my employer match to my 401k. I have purchased a piece of land (back in my country of origin).
Given this, I recently calculated my net worth to be only $35k. Is this how it is supposed to be? I feel like i should be worth a lot more. Please tell me what i am doing wrong.
Edit: I was making ~75k for the past year before the salary bump.
Thanks
At age 35, I had complete ignorance of personal finance, I had zero savings in my retirement account and had a negative net worth of >$100,000. I'll be 43 this year and I can tell you the future is extremely bright for me and can afford to retire comfortably before I'm 60. As you are now, you way above 90% of Americans 26 years old. You oughta cut yourself some slack
Debt is dangerous...simple is beautiful

Tbonerazor
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Re: Net worth progression: what am i doing wrong?

Post by Tbonerazor » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:17 pm

Thank you bogleheads for all your inputs! i had no idea that this will lead to such a detailed and interesting discussion on the topic.
To address some points mentioned before and ask ensuing questions, here are my thoughts below:
  • Why not max out 401k instead of investing in a taxable account?
    Agreed this is a valid point to consider.
    As much of the posts in this thread, I was unsure about the tax situation (i am still ironing out the details about taxation for retirement funds in my home country and on withdrawal in the US etc) and hence did not want to lock up the money.
    Also, in my investing naivete, retirement money appeared more precious compared to whatever taxes apply to my taxable account on liquidation.
    The banks in my home country pay a good interest on bank deposits and cost of living is cheap. So my projection was i should be comfortable with the money i have saved up(both retirement funds and any savings i have otherwise).
  • Some of my friends suggest leaving the money here in the US even after i leave and withdraw only when eligible (so avoids the penalty).
    Any thoughts on the validity of this approach?
  • Just to clarify my motivation behind this post is that i am totally not for a get-rich-quick frame of mind.
    I know it is not sustainable and won't last long. All the encouragement and positive feedback from others on my situation is very reaffirming.
Thanks,
Tbonerazor

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