Investment / life rookie [Where to start?]

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Investment / life rookie [Where to start?]

Post by Arragnod » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:39 pm

I'm 44 years old, married, one child... middle class, Central NJ
$125K in annual salary
$40K in Stock options this year
$30K in BOA savings account
$20K Wife IRA CD
$150K in my 401K, 100% in PTTRX
- 4.5% max - employer match
On year 12 of a 15 year $150K mortgage @ 5%, current value $225-$250K
Son heading off to college, looking at contributing $20K a year over the next 4 years, the rest is on him...
no car payments or credit card debt

My problem, I dont have a plan... I'm realizing, I'm almost 44 and I'm not getting any younger. I have no plans of retiring, as long as my health holds up, but I think it would be smart to know that I could retire before 60 if I had to... We'd like to move out of the northeast but because my job is pretty good and because we are in the sweet spot in our mortgage, we are hesitant. Is there a boiler plate plan for someone like me? :?:

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Re: Investment / life rookie [Where to start?]

Post by hoppy08520 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:54 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum. I'd recommend reading the Getting Started page in the wiki to, well, get started.

A couple of things stick out to me:
  • You mention your 401(k), but not your wife. Does she have any employer retirement plans?
  • Do you or your wife have any IRAs?
  • Other than the stock options, all your savings are in cash and bonds (PIMCO Total Return in the 401(k)). You might want to consider some stock mutual funds in your portfolio.
  • At your age/income, it would be nice to have some more savings, but you're better off than most and in the next few years, you should have the opportunity to substantially increase your retirement savings with the house paid off and college expenses done. That's the payoff for having kids young and paying off your house early.
If you would like more specific advice, you can post your information in the Asking Portfolio Questions format.

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Re: Investment / life rookie [Where to start?]

Post by NYBoglehead » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:07 pm

If you use the "Asking Portfolio Questions" format in the post above mine you will get many more informed responses from the Boglehead community.

But on the surface, it looks like you are doing alright and will be in a position where you can start doing some serious accumulating for retirement. Your salary is high and once your house is paid off you will have that much more to contribute towards retirement. Being 47 and mortgage free will give you at least 10 years of having the imputed income of living in a house that is paid for.

How much are you able to save annually? In addition to your 401k you should try to max out Roth IRAs for both you and your wife. Knowing whether or not your wife works will be helpful. For Social Security, benefits are calculated on your highest 35 years of earnings, so getting a part-time job to erase some those zeros in the calculation can be invaluable.

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Re: Investment / life rookie [Where to start?]

Post by jimkinny » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:28 am

On the Boglehead Wiki site there is a list of recommended books. The Wiki is linked at the top right of this page.

I recommend the two Bolglehead Guide books (Investing and Retirement).

These books only take a few hours each to read. The books and authors do a really fine job of consolidating a lot of information and presenting it in a clear and concise manner

The Wiki is a fine resource.


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