A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:15 pm

A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by AllStarDaniel » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:31 pm

Dear Bogleheads Community,
I just signed up today and I am excited to get into this forum. I am 29 years old, married, and living in the Bay Area of Cali. I am in the second of my Ph.D., so are you can imagine, as a graduate student, I am not making a lot. My wife is the breadwinner and we have found ourselves in great step up. We live in the basement of a retired professor, and in return for doing his meals, running his errands, assisting him, and such, we get to stay their rent free, with the internet being covered as well. With turning 30 this (I turn 30 in just over a week!), I realized how little I had to show for anything. My wife and I were debt free (thank goodness) and a decent amount of savings, and it was growing but we weren't being smart about at all. Eventfully, in June, I decided to get my act together, so I found Dave Ramsey. Dave helped me and my wife a lot to get our money in order, he helped craft a budget and we agree with him, and with a lot of other money folks, to avoid debt like the plague and have an emergency fund. We saved a six-month emergency fund in no time, but we were nervous about investing. It all seemed so mysterious and confusing. We got into contact with some of the Dave Ramsey approved investors and they all gave us the chills. 1% ... seemed like a lot. All the fees added up. It just didn't make sense.

So I did some more reading around... and I found Jack Bogle.

Over the last couple of months, I have read a lot about Indexing and Bogle's philosophy. My wife and I decided to start small with Vanguard Roth IRA. As of this week, we both have the full $5,500 in each of our accounts. Next year, we are going to automate it, so it will be even easier. But in 2019, we are going to do the Admiral funds as well since they lowered their cost and we can afford to spend $3000, slowly investing in them for the course. We can't give much each month in our situation (hopefully something like a few hundred each month), but we are getting into it. 2019 is going to be the start of my adventure into the house Jack built.

Our saving goals are divided between our money market account which is mainly saving for our down payment on a house (in 4 or 5 years, following me getting that PhD and a teaching job), our future with Admiral funds, as well as the Roth IRA. For us, a couple who is 30 and 27, we think this is decent, but any advice is more than welcome. We are now tracking in are awesome excel sheet all our spending and all our saving. It has been such a relief. Anyway, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself with my story of how I ended up here.

Excited to be here all.

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Re: A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by averagedude » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:11 am

Welcome to the forum. I believe you are on the path to success. Avoiding debt, tracking expenses, and having actionable plans are smart moves and i wish you best. Your story reminds me of a quote. "Nobody plans to fail, but many fail to plan".

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Re: A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by AllStarDaniel » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:21 am


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Re: A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by lostdog » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:54 am

Great idea on keeping it automated. When you receive increases in income, increase your automated investments.

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Re: A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by stan1 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:58 am

Does your wife have a 401K or 403b with a matching contribution? You'd want to get even before you contribute to the Roth IRAs.

401K up to match
Roth IRAs
More 401K, savings for down payment, or some of both. How you weight is really up to you and your families priorities.

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Re: A New Boglehead and Plans for 2019

Post by leeks » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:15 pm

Sounds well thought out. Keep that sweet housing deal as long as you can (and invest in that relationship as a retired professor likely has wisdom to share as well as his home).

Finish your PhD as efficiently as possible. It's easy to get bogged down and have momentum/enthusiasm slow after the first few years (I know having spent six years living among doctoral students). It doesn't have to be the most amazing research ever, don't seek perfection. Just do enough to please your advisor so you can graduate and move on to the next phase of life. Good luck!

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