Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

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Topic Author
novolog
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:24 pm

Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:40 pm

Hello Bogleheads,

I have been reading this forum for about 3 years without posting much of anything, and I have learned a great deal. My fiancé is also a fan, and has read some as well. This is my first topic.

Goal of this topic: We are hoping to gather advice on what we can change in our approach to personal finance, given our goals.

---------------------------------------------------------------

INCOME

His Pre-tax Salary: $76,000 + $6,000 annual bonus
His After-tax Monthly income: $4,800
Her Pre-tax Salary: $80,000
Her After-tax Monthly income: $5,300
Total After Tax Monthly Income: $10,100

EXPENSES
His Monthly Expenses: -$3,400
Her Monthly Expenses: -$3,300
Total Monthly Expenses: -$6,700

ASSETS
His 401k: $36,000
His Roth: $12,500
His HSA: $1,700
His ESPP: $3,500
His Savings Account: $7,500
Her 401k: $45,500
Her Roth: $13,500
Her Savings Account: $20,000
Total Assets: $140,200

DEBT
HIs Student Loans: -$3,600 @3.6% interest
Her Student Loans: -$2,500 @3.6% interest

---------------------------------------------------------------

STATUS

We are both 27 yo. We live in a VHCOL area. We rent within walking distance to both our jobs. Both jobs have upward mobility. Apt is 400 sq feet. We do not own a car. Both our parents live 30 min driving distance. We are getting married soon, money is set aside separately to pay for it completely.

For the past year we have maxed our 401ks and Roth IRAs (18.5k & 5.5k each last year). We have zero taxable investments.

---------------------------------------------------------------

GOALS

Long term: We want to own a house with a yard and settle in the suburbs of this metro area to stay close to family. We have identified some areas where houses at 1,500 sq feet can be purchased for ~$300-350k, and we hope to save up enough for 20% down. We want to have a kid in the next 2 years and hope to have 3-4 total.

Short term: We are planning to move further out of the city to offset the cost of a car with lower rent. We will purchase a used car in cash for ~$15,000 in the next 3-4 months. (WHY THE CAR?) We enjoy outdoor activities, and we visit our parents quite frequently. Currently we are heavily dependent on others for transportation. We would like to be more autonomous.

Strategy: We plan to max our 401ks and Roth IRA’s and maintain expenses until we reach ~$300k total (at around age 30), at which point we may choose to continue, or to redirect that income towards housing costs or family needs. Additionally, we intend to save for a down payment in a separate savings account (targeting ~$60k).

---------------------------------------------------------------

Question for all the Bogleheads: Given our short and long term goals, how would you change our approach?

averagedude
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by averagedude » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:52 pm

Im not going to give you advice, but i am amazed to see a 27 year old couple that are spending less than they earn and have written goals. These two things are the building blocks to having success in a marriage and life. I wish you both health and happiness.

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Time2Quit
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by Time2Quit » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:25 pm

Congratulations on doing well at your age!

You are doing well your future self will thank you.

If I were in your shoes:

1.) Focus extra cash on paying off your student loans
2.) Start saving for a house down payment, separate from a 6 month to 1 year emergency fund. Place in something safe.
3.) Once 1 and 2 are achieved, then and only then would I worry about saving in taxable brokerage

You have a great start. Good luck.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." --Seneca

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:38 pm

Extremely well done so far.

Give the “3 or 4 kids” goal a really good look. Kids are wonderful but incredibly expensive, especially when considering childcare if both of you continue to work full time, or if one stays home with the youngsters. Eyes open.
There are stars in the Southern sky | And if ever you decide you should go | There is a taste of time sweetened honey | Down the Seven Bridges Road

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Nate79
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by Nate79 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:39 pm

A few questions/comments on points not so clear.

Are those student loan just the monthly payment amounts or those are total outstanding debts remaining?

If the answer is you have significant student loans then you are deeply broke and I would work to pay it off before buying a house. Either way I would prioritize knocking out all debt before moving on to buying a house.

I would also not combine finances nor buy a house together until married (you didn't mention when this would happen).

DesertDiva
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:06 pm

27 and maxing your contributions—wow!

You didn’t mention what options you have available in your 401(k), but hopefully it includes some low-cost index funds. You have more control over your Roth IRA investment choices.

Be sure to read “If You Can” by William Bernstein, the recommended books listed on this site, and the Bogleheads wiki. This will help you in important areas such as determing your asset allocation and sticking to your goals. Best wishes!
♫ Stocks go up ♫ Stocks go down ♫ Stocks go up ♫ Stocks go down ♫

Topic Author
novolog
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:04 am

Thank you all for the replies! :D
averagedude wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:52 pm
Im not going to give you advice, but i am amazed to see a 27 year old couple that are spending less than they earn and have written goals. These two things are the building blocks to having success in a marriage and life. I wish you both health and happiness.
Thank you averagedude, we appreciate that. We wish you the same.

Time2Quit wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:25 pm
If I were in your shoes:

1.) Focus extra cash on paying off your student loans
2.) Start saving for a house down payment, separate from a 6 month to 1 year emergency fund. Place in something safe.
3.) Once 1 and 2 are achieved, then and only then would I worry about saving in taxable brokerage

You have a great start. Good luck.
Thank you for the advice! We go back and forth on paying off the loans. Up until now we have convinced ourselves that the rate is not too bad, and we would prefer to have the cash in hand.

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:39 pm
Are those student loan just the monthly payment amounts or those are total outstanding debts remaining?

If the answer is you have significant student loans then you are deeply broke and I would work to pay it off before buying a house. Either way I would prioritize knocking out all debt before moving on to buying a house.

I would also not combine finances nor buy a house together until married (you didn't mention when this would happen).
The loans are total amounts. The monthly payments are included in monthly expenses and total to ~$150 per month. We agree, and do plan to wait until we are married to purchase the house.

DesertDiva wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:06 pm
You didn’t mention what options you have available in your 401(k), but hopefully it includes some low-cost index funds. You have more control over your Roth IRA investment choices.
Great question - I have access to Fidelity Intitutional Index Fund Shares in my 401k. I use the 401k entirely for equities, and bonds are kept in the roth. The breakout is below

His 401k
FXAIX Fidelity 500 Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 57% - ER: .015%
FSMDX Fidelity Mid Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 7% - ER: .025%
FSSNX Fidelity Small Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 6% - ER: .025%
FSPSX Fidelity International Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 24% - ER: .045%
FPADX Fidelity Emerging Markets Index Fund - Insitutional Premium - 6% - ER: .075%

His Roth
SCHZ Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF - 16% - ER: .04
SCHB Schwab US Broad Market ETF - 84% - ER: .03

Her 401k
Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund - Investor Class - 100% - ER: .15%

Her Roth
SWYJX Schwab Target Data 2055 Index Fund - 100% - ER: .13%

SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:38 pm
Give the “3 or 4 kids” goal a really good look. Kids are wonderful but incredibly expensive, especially when considering childcare if both of you continue to work full time, or if one stays home with the youngsters. Eyes open.
We agree with this, we are definitely bracing ourselves.

chevca
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by chevca » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:13 am

Pay the student loans off... today. No reason to hang onto them and they're at low enough amounts it won't hurt either of your savings accounts too much.

Otherwise, looks good. Keep on saving and stick to the plan. You guys should do great.

stan1
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by stan1 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am

Since the loan amounts are totals not monthly payments just pay them off. They are a trivial part of your finances at this point. Pay them off and celebrate. Attempting arbitrage on a 3.6% loan rate is not going to be hugely beneficial.

You are doing well. Keep up the good work!

Your challenge with buying a home will be whether to buy a "starter house" that you only want to stay in for a few years or try to find something that you expect to be happy with for decades. With 3-4 kids you may want a larger house.

Since proximity to family is important to you [and let's assume family doesn't move away] I think you'd want to try to find something close to them that you could work with for 30 years until your children graduate from college rather than buying and selling multiple times over that period. Of course plans change but the transactional costs of real estate commission and fixing up a property can run well above $100K per event.

Will be very helpful if your family will be able to assist with child care while you and your wife both continue to work full time. If you expect both of you to continue working you'd really have to understand that child care costs for 3 or 4 kids is a lot of money.

ohai
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by ohai » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:30 am

I think #1 financial goal for you guys is to invest in career and increase job earnings. I don't know what job you have, but if you go from $80k each to $150k, that will change your financial outlook significantly. This sort of number is typical for white collar people in "very high cost of living" areas. If you can spend $50k on savings or training/education the latter might have better payoff at your stage.

patrocity
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by patrocity » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:37 am

Pay the loans off.

Listen to the ChooseFI podcast episode 118. Or you can listen to the take home point of-- although they started as a dual income household, they budgeted to live as they only lived off of his income in the event that she (or he) would want to stay at home with the kids. If you want 3-4 kids, then child care becomes a thing. You may be spending the equivalent net income of one earner to cover child care expenses. It may be then more beneficial/personally fulfilling for one to stay at home with kids if discretionary income is relatively equivalent.

Maybe buy more car than you think (ie, one that can fit a couple car seats comfortably)?

Good luck!

student
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by student » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:38 am

I agree with others than you are doing well. Congratulations. I also think that you should just pay off the loans.

daheld
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by daheld » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:41 am

You're going to get a lot of good financial advice from other folks here so I will lay off the specifics, except to say this: My wife and I are just a handful of years older than you guys--mid 30s. We make a similar income, but live in a LCOL city. As you make friends and meet folks as a couple, there'll be the temptation to keep up with the Jones' and buy stuff you don't need. Do what makes you happy and feel fulfilled.

You live in an expensive city, but it sounds like that's where family is and you're staying there, which I absolutely understand. At your age, if you're coming to a place like this to ask questions like this, you're going to be fine.

There'll be lots of things to discuss financially with your soon-to-be wife, and my advice is to communicate well. Make sure you both agree with whatever decisions you make. Best of luck!

Topic Author
novolog
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:52 am

stan1 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am
Since the loan amounts are totals not monthly payments just pay them off. They are a trivial part of your finances at this point. Pay them off and celebrate. Attempting arbitrage on a 3.6% loan rate is not going to be hugely beneficial.
Good point - I think we will end up paying them off, many of the replies are suggesting that we do.

stan1 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am
Your challenge with buying a home will be whether to buy a "starter house" that you only want to stay in for a few years or try to find something that you expect to be happy with for decades. With 3-4 kids you may want a larger house.

Since proximity to family is important to you [and let's assume family doesn't move away] I think you'd want to try to find something close to them that you could work with for 30 years until your children graduate from college rather than buying and selling multiple times over that period. Of course plans change but the transactional costs of real estate commission and fixing up a property can run well above $100K per event.
This is a good point about house size. We like the idea of a smaller house (1,500 sq ft) because of affordability and a way to keep costs down while we grow equity. We initially were thinking the small house would suffice for ~5 years, and we could transition from there. We have not thought too much about the transaction costs associated with real estate, but I do believe you that they are there.

How many kids would you feel comfortable raising in a 1,500 sq ft house with a yard?

stan1 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:21 am
Will be very helpful if your family will be able to assist with child care while you and your wife both continue to work full time. If you expect both of you to continue working you'd really have to understand that child care costs for 3 or 4 kids is a lot of money.
We have considered having one of us stay at home once childcare costs go up (say 2 kids). Both of us grew up with a stay-at-home parent and we both value the option. We are in a fortunate position where we can both pursue our careers now, and make that decision in a couple years depending on the status of each career.

stan1
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by stan1 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:01 am

novolog wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:52 am
How many kids would you feel comfortable raising in a 1,500 sq ft house with a yard?
Well, you'll get some octogenarians telling you about how their parents had 6 kids in a two bedroom shack with no running water and some high income physicians telling you that their 3500 square foot house was too small for two adults and two pre-teens so they bought a 5500 square foot house.

It does depend a little on luck and your plan. If your kids are all the same gender you can keep them paired up indefinitely. If you end up with alternate boy/girl/boy/girl and have larger gaps in ages that gets harder.

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djpeteski
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by djpeteski » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:04 am

Here is some advice for you: You might want to give advice to others.

The fact that you have savings accounts, are looking to buy a reasonable used car for cash, and are looking to pay cash for a wedding is quite astounding for people your age. You two seem to have really good financial sense in many ways. For example you two could never own a car, however, you think the expense is justified due to interests outside of work and relationship with family. People that are too obsessive with savings might not agree with that, and people that are obsessive spenders would buy a BMW on time. The balance that you two are striking is quite astounding.

Agree with others that say pay off the loans now, but that is such a small part of the foundation you two are building it feels like nitpicking.

Keep up the good work. Spend some, give some, and save.

Topic Author
novolog
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:59 am

Thank you again for all the replies :happy
patrocity wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:37 am
they started as a dual income household, they budgeted to live as they only lived off of his income in the event that she (or he) would want to stay at home with the kids. If you want 3-4 kids, then child care becomes a thing. You may be spending the equivalent net income of one earner to cover child care expenses. It may be then more beneficial/personally fulfilling for one to stay at home with kids if discretionary income is relatively equivalent.

Maybe buy more car than you think (ie, one that can fit a couple car seats comfortably)?
I think this is a great idea. I don't think it's feasible right now with our current savings rate, but in the future it could be.

Re: the car. We are hoping that a Rav4/CRV will fit our needs now, and also in the future. It's possible we will outgrow it.
ohai wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:30 am
I think #1 financial goal for you guys is to invest in career and increase job earnings. I don't know what job you have, but if you go from $80k each to $150k, that will change your financial outlook significantly. This sort of number is typical for white collar people in "very high cost of living" areas. If you can spend $50k on savings or training/education the latter might have better payoff at your stage.
This is a good point. We recognize we are at a point in our lives (no kids) when we can dedicate more time to our career and we still have room to move up on the income scale. We are somewhat hesitant to spend money on further education (we both have BAs), however, your point remains true that there is progress we can both make at our jobs right now.

ohai
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by ohai » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:51 am

Keep in mind that a lot of people here (i.e. people with money) are older, and so, saving and allocation is their first reaction to money strategy. For you though, since you are young, the returns to human capital investment are significant. Most people probably start their "real" careers at around your age or older.

GlacierRunner
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by GlacierRunner » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:05 pm

Wow! This kind of sounds like me 10 years ago, right down to the $15,000 car and 400 square foot apartment.

You have a plan. You have shown that the two of you can put away cash for your future. You're in good shape.

My advice:
  • I agree with others to payoff the student loans ASAP.
  • Be flexible. Things may not turn out exactly as you imagine. Priorities may change over time and you may need to tilt your annual goals more toward saving for a house vs. maxing out your retirement accounts. That is okay. Just make sure that the two of you are listening to each other and are flexible enough to adjust those goals.
  • We saved our house down payment money in safe accounts (e.g. CD, bond fund), once we hit our 20% down goal, we started investing in a 100% equities taxable account earmarked for the house. We kept saving until we couldn't stand tiny apartment living any more (really loved that maintenance/repair items could just be passed off to our landlord - always when we had a backpacking/camping/cabin weekend scheduled).
  • Regarding investing in yourself - look for opportunities through your employer. My employer paid 100% of the cost for me to obtain additional education to enrich my experience and beef up my background.

Thegame14
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:24 pm

if you live in a VHCOL area, I am surprised the suburbs of a VHCOL area are only $300-$350K for a house. Also 1,500 Sq feet seems small for 3-4 kids. that is a lot of daycare costs, each kids is usually around $1,500 per month, and you will have more than one in daycare at a time, so that is $3,000 after tax for daycare on top of mortgage and taxes, and little to no tax break $600 credit per kid so that doesnt help......

Id say you are doing very well, overall, max out 401K if you can while you can, but you will prob have to cut back once you have kids, so do it now while you can.

armentb
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by armentb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:03 pm

Kudos for being so organized and writing all this down.

Your student debt looks minuscule compared to your salary...so I'd suggest to prioritize paying it off.

I'd seriously suggest you have 2 kids and then make decision on 3 & 4 after that. I love my children but they proved to be incredibly expensive and stressful at times. Maybe you could opt for 2 kids and 2 dogs! hehe

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Duckie
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by Duckie » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:43 pm

novolog wrote:I use the 401k entirely for equities, and bonds are kept in the roth. The breakout is below

His 401k
FXAIX Fidelity 500 Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 57% - ER: .015%
FSMDX Fidelity Mid Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 7% - ER: .025%
FSSNX Fidelity Small Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 6% - ER: .025%
FSPSX Fidelity International Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 24% - ER: .045%
FPADX Fidelity Emerging Markets Index Fund - Insitutional Premium - 6% - ER: .075%

His Roth
SCHZ Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF - 16% - ER: .04
SCHB Schwab US Broad Market ETF - 84% - ER: .03

Her 401k
Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund - Investor Class - 100% - ER: .15%

Her Roth
SWYJX Schwab Target Data 2055 Index Fund - 100% - ER: .13%
In general it's better to put assets with higher expected growth (stocks) in Roth accounts and assets with lower expected growth (bonds) in pre-tax accounts. That's because you've already paid the taxes in the Roth accounts so future growth is tax-free. So put the bonds in the pre-tax 401k accounts and put just stocks in the Roth IRAs. That means her accounts should not hold the target-date funds.

Topic Author
novolog
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:32 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:24 pm
if you live in a VHCOL area, I am surprised the suburbs of a VHCOL area are only $300-$350K for a house.
The neighborhoods in mind are safe, but in terrible school districts. The goal would be to live there while schooling is not a top priority and move to a different location 5-7 years later.

Topic Author
novolog
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by novolog » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Duckie wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:43 pm
novolog wrote:I use the 401k entirely for equities, and bonds are kept in the roth. The breakout is below

His 401k
FXAIX Fidelity 500 Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 57% - ER: .015%
FSMDX Fidelity Mid Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 7% - ER: .025%
FSSNX Fidelity Small Cap Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 6% - ER: .025%
FSPSX Fidelity International Index Fund - Institutional Premium - 24% - ER: .045%
FPADX Fidelity Emerging Markets Index Fund - Insitutional Premium - 6% - ER: .075%

His Roth
SCHZ Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF - 16% - ER: .04
SCHB Schwab US Broad Market ETF - 84% - ER: .03

Her 401k
Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund - Investor Class - 100% - ER: .15%

Her Roth
SWYJX Schwab Target Data 2055 Index Fund - 100% - ER: .13%
In general it's better to put assets with higher expected growth (stocks) in Roth accounts and assets with lower expected growth (bonds) in pre-tax accounts. That's because you've already paid the taxes in the Roth accounts so future growth is tax-free. So put the bonds in the pre-tax 401k accounts and put just stocks in the Roth IRAs. That means her accounts should not hold the target-date funds.
This is great advice, thank you Duckie.

rivers03
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by rivers03 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:50 pm

Congratulations on being ahead of the game at such a young age! I am a little older than you with a young family of 3 kids. My advice would be to keep renting an apt or house until you have at least 1-2 kids. So many things can change in the next few years. One of you may want to stay home with the kid(s) or go part-time. So many of my friends are without options due to their mortgage situations. I would definitely not buy with the plan to sell when you need the better school district. Renting gives flexibility and helps you minimize transaction costs. So, I would wait and buy a long term house when the time is right. Good luck!

Sam1
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by Sam1 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:56 am

I live in a HCOL area. Here’s some important advice - don’t have kids until you’ve saved up a downpayment or you’ve decided you never want to buy a home. Once you have daycare costs, it’s VERY hard to save for a house.

Daycare costs where I live are approx $2,500 for an infant. A nanny is around $4k and ends up a better deal when you have 2 kids. Just be aware of these expenses that for some are similar to a mortgage payment.

There are numerous couples where I live who have these childcare expenses and are still renting. Their rent isn’t cheap either. They are basically stuck being lifelong renters unless they move to a LCOL area. Not saying renting is necessarily bad, but it is when you’re forced to pay $5k in rent for a two bedroom.

Whereas we put off kids an extra 2 years and threw money into savings and the market like crazy. Those 2 years were instrumental for getting set up financially.

Good job on not having a car expense. As you know, you can save on rent by moving further out but then increase your transportation costs and barely or not save any money.

NxNW
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by NxNW » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:25 am

Probably somewhat discordant with the other comments, but don’t wait until you think you can afford kids before you have them. You’ll never feel like you can afford them.

Kids will come with chaos which will impact your financial plan and your savings. Embrace it. It will probably even be years when you don’t max your retirement accounts. That’s OK because you got an early start.

feehater
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Re: Young Couple Seeking Financial Advice From Bogleheads

Post by feehater » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:12 am

People keep mentioning transaction costs of buying and selling houses, and I just wanted to put a commonly seen number on it...up to 10% the value of the house, round-trip. 2-3% to buy, and 6-7% to sell. You can do your best to keep some of these down (like selling with Redfin or another discount realtor for commissions of 1+3% instead of the standard 3+3%), but a lot of them are unavoidable.

My wife and I kept renting a relatively cheap place until we saved up enough to afford our forever house. Owning a house can take up a lot of time (as well as money) that you don't have to think about when renting.

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