Life advice for recent graduate

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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riverbluff
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Life advice for recent graduate

Post by riverbluff » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm

Hello all!
I am:
- Recently Graduated
- Relocating and starting a new job in early February

I am just looking for any life advice in general. Personal finance related or not - it doesn't matter. I studied finance in school so I have a pretty good understanding of the need to save early and often to eventually achieve FI.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?

Any and all feedback is welcome, Thanks! :sharebeer :sharebeer

KlangFool
Posts: 15454
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:05 pm

OP,

A) The fatal financial mistake for most recent graduates is buying too much house. Then, they are stuck financially.

B) A minor but equally important mistake is not knowing how the tax system works. They do not know how to make use of the 401K and Roth IRA.

KlangFool

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fredflinstone
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Location: Bedrock

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by fredflinstone » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:22 pm

Exercise every day and eat a low-carb diet rich in meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables.

Trader Joe
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:45 pm

riverbluff wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm
Hello all!
I am:
- Recently Graduated
- Relocating and starting a new job in early February

I am just looking for any life advice in general. Personal finance related or not - it doesn't matter. I studied finance in school so I have a pretty good understanding of the need to save early and often to eventually achieve FI.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?

Any and all feedback is welcome, Thanks! :sharebeer :sharebeer
I have been in your exact same position. My recommendations/advice are below:

1. Only invest in the U.S. S&P 500 (VFIAX) or the U.S. Total Stock Market (VTSAX) or their low expense ratio equivalents at Fidelity. Do this both in your taxable accounts, your IRA accounts and your 401(k() accounts. You will not regret it. John Bogle and Warren Buffett were right all along.
2. Avoid all debt. Live your life debt free as quickly as possible. You will not regret it.
3. Tune out ALL financial noise. Everywhere. You will not regret it.
4. Marry/Partner with someone who shares your own life goals - financial and otherwise.
5. Live in the now. Try to be in the present. Always. There will be a lot of distractions that will prevent this. Focus.
6. Experience all. The great, the good and the bad. Experience it all. This is all a learning experience.
7. Build and prepare your life legacy.

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xystici
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Location: San Diego, Boston & Barcelona

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by xystici » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:48 pm

1) Marry well
2) Do what you like, follow your purpose
3) Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive
Trust yourself, Break the rules, Don't be afraid to fail, Don't listen to naysayers, Work your butt off. "It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. Choose now and well"

Fallible
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Fallible » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:52 pm

riverbluff wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm
Hello all!
I am:
- Recently Graduated
- Relocating and starting a new job in early February

I am just looking for any life advice in general. Personal finance related or not - it doesn't matter. I studied finance in school so I have a pretty good understanding of the need to save early and often to eventually achieve FI.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?
When you studied finance in school, besides the nuts and bolts such as saving, budgeting, etc., were you taught about behavioral pitfalls such as overconfidence, loss aversion, mental accounting, confirmation and recency bias?

Re your questions, my general answer is Know Yourself. What I wish I knew better back then - is me; what mistakes I wish I could go back and change - knowing myself better; the one piece of advice I would give for you and all humanity - know yourself.

Knowing oneself is never easy, but crucial throughout life, in dealing with money, other people, in choosing your life's work, and finding happiness.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

lakpr
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by lakpr » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:54 pm

Thou shall endeavor to max all tax-advantaged space first!
That means 401k / 403b / 457, HSA, Roth IRA, After-tax 401k, etc.

Royal Blue
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Royal Blue » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:59 pm

If you're here you probably already have a head start to winning the game of life.

I would read the following books:

The Millionaire Next Door, and Stop Acting Rich both by Thomas J. Stanley
The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
How to think about Money, & From here to Financial Happiness by Jonathan Clements
The Bogleheads Guide to Retirement and the Three Portfolio by Taylor and Mel

Some great blogs:

Humbledoller.com
FinancingLife.org
jlcollins.com

Invest in yourself and I ditto the remarks by being careful in choosing a spouse. Divorce rates are out of control and nothing destroys your net worth more than a divorce!

Big Dog
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Big Dog » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:02 pm

in réponse to #2: I wish I would have gone all-in on Roth instead of traditional IRA, back when my tax bracket was only 15%.

NewishBog
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by NewishBog » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:09 pm

Good TraderJoe advice. Building/revising....

TraderJoe item #4
Don't buy too expensive a house. Debt there is ok. But put 20% down. You have permission to only put 10% down as long as you feel bad/scared about it and you refinance within ~3 years to eradicate PMI.
Expenses low. Income high.
Buy and hold until you're retirement age. No buying because you have FOMO. No selling because you are scared.
Diversified low cost index funds. Don't be cute.
Buy slightly used cars. You may buy one new car as a luxury, but you only get one in your life so you better darn well make the best of it if you have to.
Enjoy life at 25 or 35 but don't forget that life at 65 or 75 is also important. Believe it or not, your life at those years is important to you too.
Don't act out of emotion. But plan knowing what your emotions are. If you can't sleep with 100% in stocks (or whatever), then change your allocation. (But don't change back and forth based on outcome. Come up with a strategy and stick with it).
Properly allocate investments among Roth, non-Roth, and taxable.
Don't quit a job because the grass is always greener on the other side. Don't stick with a job where the handwriting about the future is on the wall.

chevca
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by chevca » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:12 pm

riverbluff wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
Not saving early and often.

Glad you have a grasp on that one. I didn't start until I was almost 40.

ctfish
Posts: 14
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by ctfish » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:13 pm

If work pays for a master's degree, start immediately. Before you know it, 2-3 years will pass and you'll complete it.

If there is a professional certification for your career, pursue it now. Track the hours, experience, etc, so that you can certify when eligible.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:17 pm

Read:
"Life Code" by Dr. Phil
(especially about "BAITERS".)
https://smile.amazon.com/Life-Code-Rule ... 258&sr=8-1

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Silence Dogood
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Silence Dogood » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:17 pm

OP,

I recommend reading this post:

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Sandtrap
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:19 pm

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?
1. Go to Medical School
2. Go to Medical School
3. Get the highest educational level and certification that you can get now. Don't wait.
j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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Watty
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Watty » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:54 pm

A few things in no particular order;

1) I was a bit older than you but I committed to myself to save half of any future pay raises and I pretty well stuck to it for a long time. That worked out well since it not only helped me build up my savings but it kept me from having too much lifestyle creep. Savings was more than just retirement savings and included saving up for other goals too.

2) I keep a simple spreadsheet where I add a column each year with my net worth on January 1st. This lets me see my overall progress over the years.

3) Don't be in a hurry to buy a house. Being able to easily move for your next job is a huge advantage. There have been a number of times when I have seen job offers or promotions go to the person who can easily relocate. Even if your next job is in the same city it might be on the other side of town which could be a terrible commute from a house you might buy.

4) You are young and presumably single, in good health, and don't have kids yet. Be sure to have some good balance in the "now vs later" choices with some on the "now" side. There are some things like budget travel that will be difficult or impossible to do in later phases of your left. For a while I had around 1 or 2 percent of my paycheck automatically deposited into a seperate account that was my travel fund.

5) Cars will be a major expense over your lifetime. Be sure to look at all the costs of owning a car and not just the purchase price. You may need a car loan now but once it is paid off then keep making your "car payment" into a seperate car fund account so you will be able to pay cash for your next car. Sometimes it will make sense to buy a new car that you will keep for a long time than to buy a used car that already has a lot of miles. Some brands like Honda and Toyota do not depreciate quickly which makes getting a good deal on a used one hard to find. My basic car owning plan is to buy modest new cars like a Corolla then sell them when they are about ten years old. A ten year old Toyota will sell for a surprising amount which gives a very reasonable yearly cost of ownership even though this is not the cheapest way to own cars.

Big Worm
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Big Worm » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:08 pm

Buy low and sell high.

Longdog
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Longdog » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:12 pm

  • As you progress in your career and earn more and more money, resist the temptation to bump up your lifestyle (too much) to match your earnings. Live "below your means" while you are young so you can live "above your means" when you are old!
  • Do your own taxes; you will come to realize how the tax system works and make better investment decisions as a result.
  • You are your own best advocate for (almost) everything. Nobody knows you or your priorities better than you!
Steve

MDCrab
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 4:39 pm

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by MDCrab » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:29 pm

1. Read books
2. Write things down (your thoughts, your experiences)
3. Take photos (most young people don’t have a problem with this :wink: )
4. Keep #2 and #3 off the Internet
5. Don’t take debt you don’t have a definite plan to repay
6. Save 20% of your income—pay yourself first
7. Don’t waste money on cars
8. Every dollar below the 401k/Roth limits is giving money to the government
9. If you’re unsure about marriage after 2 years of dating the answer is no
10. Index/index/index

Oh, and there’s no rush, but have children.

SoAnyway
Posts: 421
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:49 pm

Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by SoAnyway » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:51 am

riverbluff wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm
Hello all!
I am:
- Recently Graduated
- Relocating and starting a new job in early February

I am just looking for any life advice in general. Personal finance related or not - it doesn't matter. I studied finance in school so I have a pretty good understanding of the need to save early and often to eventually achieve FI.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?

Any and all feedback is welcome, Thanks! :sharebeer :sharebeer
OP, you've gotten some great advice here (other than Sandtrap's #1 and #2, hahaha) and I'm sure you'll get plenty more - Thanks for asking!
You've kindly provided an opportunity for anyone who's ever wanted to give a graduation speech to give one, lol... (I'm not one of them btw ; ))

SoAnyway, my advice - which will imply the answers to the specific questions you asked:
(#1) Don't ever lose that characteristic in you that made you post in the first place, i.e. the wisdom that you have more to learn (Heck, I'm STILL learning and I graduated decades ago and have relocated many times since - The day I stop learnin' is the day I stop livin'...);
(#2) Share what you learn along the way with others who seem open to it, and shut your trap if they don't; and
(#3) Take really really REALLY good care of your (i) teeth/oral health; (ii) eyes/eyesight; and (iii) ears/hearing abilities.
Obviously there's nothing you can do about the roulette wheel of your genetic history, and obviously we all should take care of our respective health generally - while keeping a balance of enjoying life/food/drink/sloth/etc. :sharebeer (woo hoo!). But dental/optical/aural health are the 3 things that at least in my experience were the first to start causing issues for me, having otherwise been blessed with good genes and good luck. Luckily, they are 3 things for which there ARE readily available treatments that are getting better and better with developments in technology. Unfortunately, they are also 3 things for which the insurance coverage for those treatments is not great i.e., you self-fund a lot of it. So pay attention to the advice others are providing about building your assets so that you can cover those costs, in addition to whatever you pay monthly for health insurance to cover the REALLY big health issues.

Congrats on your graduation and new job, OP!! :sharebeer
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

Starfish
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by Starfish » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:56 am

riverbluff wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:53 pm
Hello all!
I am:
- Recently Graduated
- Relocating and starting a new job in early February

I am just looking for any life advice in general. Personal finance related or not - it doesn't matter. I studied finance in school so I have a pretty good understanding of the need to save early and often to eventually achieve FI.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?
What mistake do you regret making that you could go back and change?
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone in my position?

Any and all feedback is welcome, Thanks! :sharebeer :sharebeer
I think you got it wrong.
Money are of secondary importance. Happiness, good life, memories are the goal. Most valuable thing is your life and time. Time when you are in your 20s is 5X more precious than time in your 40s and 50X more valuable than your 70s.
You are young, don't try to save couple of thousand at the expense of experiences and memories. Party hard, travel, make friends, have fun, love.

When I was 30 I had 7000$ saved. It was stupid. Even if you add time value of money, in my 40s I could save that amount in several months. Much better use of money was to traveled more or spend them on an adventure or hobby. Remember, young time is very valuable. Much more valuable than some money.

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PoultryMan
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Re: Life advice for recent graduate

Post by PoultryMan » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:59 am

    Save 20% of everything you make. Invest in tax deferred and matching options like 401k first.
      When you can “afford” a house, wait another 5 years and save by having a roommate
        When at work, always look to add new skills
          At work realize how you handle conflict and others will stay with you forever. Look long term at being able to get along with people you don’t care for at work.
            Don’t get sucked into keeping up with the joneses. It’s not easy
              Marry well. This is the most important. Don’t just marry someone you love, that’s not enough. Marry someone you both respect and enjoy spending time with and who is above all else, kind.
                Go to church. I don’t care which, just go

                Good luck

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                Tamarind
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by Tamarind » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:22 am

                Lots of great advice above.

                Most successful careers don't have simple, clear upward trajectories. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing what you want to do or experiencing setbacks, but try to always be looking for the next step even if it's backwards or sideways. It's never too late to change. Negotiate salary at every opportunity, and make your own opportunities at least annually. Remember some jobs pay partly in things other than salary.

                Big Worm
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by Big Worm » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:49 am

                In all seriousness, be nice.

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                imbogled
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by imbogled » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:51 am

                “The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions.”

                John C. Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
                Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. | Warren Buffett

                Bdouvs
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by Bdouvs » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:01 am

                Don't burn bridges.

                If you leave an employer, give proper notice and be respectful. Be a good/friendly co-worker. You never know when you'll meet them again, need them for a reference or even ask them to refer you for a new position at a new employer.

                NJ-Irish
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by NJ-Irish » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:12 am

                I want to reiterate the value of your professional network. It’s a small world and the people you work with will come in and out of your life at many stages. Be kind to those around you, keep in touch with the people who leave your workplace, and invest your time in those who share your values.

                livesoft
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                Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:18 am

                Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
                Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

                chw
                Posts: 757
                Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by chw » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:42 am

                Read If You Can by William Bernstein. It is a free (in true BH fashion) Kindle download: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=if+you+can+b ... lmsuw8jg_e . The book is a great and quick read, and is geared perfectly for a recent grad. Bernstein is a retired neurologist, and adopted financial advising as a second career. He is a regular attendee at the Bogleheads conferences, and advocates the BH investing style.

                Lots of great advice so far. Only thing to add- if inclined to but real estate to live in- don’t rush, as you may want the flexibility to change jobs early in your career, which may require a move to ease your commute, or moving to another part of the country. If you rent, it’s much easier to deal with moving, than having to sell real estate (or find tenants to rent).
                Last edited by chw on Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

                averagedude
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by averagedude » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:43 am

                I could easily write 100 things, and many have been written already. Here are two.
                1. Make the habit of reading one nonfiction book a month.
                2. Don't follow the herd.

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                RickBoglehead
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:11 am

                1) Don't take advice from random strangers on the internet.

                2) Before adopting any lifestyle, or taking any path, or following any strategy, do lots of research, including from knowledgeable sources. For example, some say "never take on any debt". Hogwash. Mortgages and car loans are normal. The key is to not take on more debt than you can afford at the level of compensation you are at.

                3) Understand the motivations of any site, or person, that provides "advice". For example, many on this site have adopted a certain investment philosophy. Some carry it to extremes. Most do not.

                4) Seek out those you trust that have walked the path you're about to take. Understand what they learned, what they did right, what they did wrong.

                5) Someone starting out may have little in the bank. However, you are starting a new job. You can afford to take on debt (i.e. car loan), based on evaluating your income stream against that debt. There are many financial (non-forum, non-blog) websites that will give you guidance. The key is to not take on more debt than is reasonable/affordable. A well known guideline is 28/36. Spend a maximum of 28% of gross monthly income on total housing expenses (PITI - principal, interest, property taxes, and insurance plus HOA fees if any) , and no more than 36% on total debt service (i.e. including mortgage and car loan).

                6) You will be taken advantage of. That's why you follow #4. Buying your first car? Do research online. Talk to people that have bought cars, maybe bring someone with you that knows what he/she is doing.

                Good luck!
                Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

                msk
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by msk » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:12 am

                I lived by these rules and retired 20 years ago at 55:

                -save and invest 30% of after tax income. Paying the principal on your home mortgage counts as investing, not the interest part and not paying for consumer items like cars. To save 30% simply continue living like a student for another year or two. Thereafter it'll be plain sailing. Use the remaining 70% to enjoy life. The expensive toys will all become affordable quite quickly as your investment income builds up.
                -never acquire a car(s) worth more than 6 months income. Paying cash, leasing, etc. does not make much difference
                -never buy a home worth more than 3x income (2.5x income combined with partner)

                Understand the tax regime you live under and use it to your max advantage. Since you are in finance, get certified as a CPA pronto! Certification makes a huge difference, totally disproportionate to the effort and cost you have to put in, even if thereafter you never work as an accountant. The same cannot be said for an MBA from most schools. I actually have one daughter with an MBA and another one a CPA. The CPA retired at age 31. The MBA is still working (though only 3 days a week) at age 47. The CPA listened to my advice right out of school, made a million $ in RE within 5 years of her BCom, hated accounting but did the CPA thing anyway. The MBA was living on the other side of the world and perhaps I did not pester her frequently enough :annoyed

                smitcat
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by smitcat » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:18 am

                livesoft wrote:
                Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:18 am
                Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
                Absolutely excellent answer !!

                fasteddie911
                Posts: 318
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:56 am

                Save but live a little, travel, etc. We went strongly in the save direction early on and wished we would've opened up the purse strings a little bit. We've since done so. Certainly plenty folks go strongly in the spend direction.

                student
                Posts: 4591
                Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by student » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:54 am

                Live like you are still in school for the next couple of years to help save some money. Also make sure that you contribute to 401k (or similar) especially if you need to get the match.

                Montgomery
                Posts: 24
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                Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                Post by Montgomery » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:37 am

                PoultryMan wrote:
                Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:59 am
                  Save 20% of everything you make. Invest in tax deferred and matching options like 401k first.
                    When you can “afford” a house, wait another 5 years and save by having a roommate
                      When at work, always look to add new skills
                        At work realize how you handle conflict and others will stay with you forever. Look long term at being able to get along with people you don’t care for at work.
                          Don’t get sucked into keeping up with the joneses. It’s not easy
                            Marry well. This is the most important. Don’t just marry someone you love, that’s not enough. Marry someone you both respect and enjoy spending time with and who is above all else, kind.
                              Go to church. I don’t care which, just go

                              Good luck

                              Good list. I would add the following:

                              Never send a text or email in anger. Wait 24 hours. Never write or send something you wouldn’t want the entire world to see forever.

                              Get the most education you can in whatever field you determine

                              Save as much as possible when young, but take a trip or two someone in the world. It is more difficult later in life.

                              KlangFool
                              Posts: 15454
                              Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

                              Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                              Post by KlangFool » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:05 pm

                              OP,

                              1) Live your own life. Not the life that others told you to live. Even if you are wrong, at least, you had lived your life. That is the best that you can do.

                              2) Money is just a tool to let you live your life. You use the money to live your life. It is not the way around. Your goal in life is not just to make money.

                              3) Average people save close to nothing and they are slaves to their debts. If you live and behave like average people, you will end up in the same place.

                              4) You could always save money if you choose to live in a lifestyle like a person with one level of income below you. If you live like your income peers, you will save nothing.

                              5) You always have enough money for things that are really important to you. You just do not have enough money for all of your wants.

                              6) You are exactly what you choose to spend your time on. Your actions define who you are. Not your words. Actions are louder than words.

                              KlangFool
                              Last edited by KlangFool on Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

                              Gretchen
                              Posts: 118
                              Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:48 am
                              Location: Southern CA

                              Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                              Post by Gretchen » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:24 pm

                              First, the obvious ones.

                              1. Marry someone who makes you happy. If you have any taste for dramatic, conflict-filled romance, get it out of the way early. Then marry someone who makes you happy.
                              2. Do work you enjoy and are good at. You are going to spend a lot of time doing it.
                              3. If you want children, have them. There's nothing better.
                              4. Spend less than you make. This includes saving for later.
                              5. Taste life's delights along the way. Travel, eat well, have a hobby, attend performances or sports events according to your taste.
                              6. Keep learning.

                              Now, a non-obvious one.
                              7. Find at least one nonprofit that you would like to support with your money and your time, however limited. Extra bonus points if the Board of Trustees is looking for new and younger members. Board service gives you an overview of how an entire organization runs, which is invaluable perspective for a young person.

                              bondsr4me
                              Posts: 1345
                              Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

                              Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                              Post by bondsr4me » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:31 pm

                              Remember this:
                              you are who you hang around with.
                              try to associate with people who are worth emulating.
                              pick your friends wisely.

                              London
                              Posts: 116
                              Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:50 am

                              Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                              Post by London » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:42 pm

                              Go on a trip a year with your friends. Never miss a year; once you do, it will likely end forever.

                              Grt2bOutdoors
                              Posts: 22216
                              Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
                              Location: New York

                              Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                              Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:24 pm

                              PoultryMan wrote:
                              Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:59 am
                                Save 20% of everything you make. Invest in tax deferred and matching options like 401k first.
                                  When you can “afford” a house, wait another 5 years and save by having a roommate
                                    When at work, always look to add new skills
                                      At work realize how you handle conflict and others will stay with you forever. Look long term at being able to get along with people you don’t care for at work.
                                        Don’t get sucked into keeping up with the joneses. It’s not easy
                                          Marry well. This is the most important. Don’t just marry someone you love, that’s not enough. Marry someone you both respect and enjoy spending time with and who is above all else, kind.
                                            Go to church. I don’t care which, just go

                                            Good luck
                                            Tis wise this chicken man.

                                            OP - pay close to attention to Marry Well. The biggest threat to your sanity and financial well-being would be to marry the wrong person.
                                            Choose your friends wisely - very few will be there with your best interests in mind, a few will be there just for themselves. Don't ever forget that!
                                            "One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

                                            User avatar
                                            tvubpwcisla
                                            Posts: 195
                                            Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:09 am

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by tvubpwcisla » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:29 pm

                                            Ignore the news
                                            Don't discuss your finances with family
                                            Max your your 401K / IRA every year
                                            Buy low cost index funds through thick and thin
                                            Buy a middle of the road house
                                            Drive a middle of the road car
                                            Don't eat after 6:00 p.m.
                                            Do moderate exercise
                                            Stay educated and keep your skills current
                                            Keep your monthly expenses as low as you can
                                            Enjoy life, it goes by fast

                                            milo minderbinder
                                            Posts: 55
                                            Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:57 pm

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by milo minderbinder » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:24 pm

                                            Plastics

                                            Flyer24
                                            Moderator
                                            Posts: 1413
                                            Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:21 pm

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by Flyer24 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:30 pm

                                            Moderator reminder here. Please keep
                                            responses personal finance related for this forum.

                                            Hockey10
                                            Posts: 730
                                            Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:20 pm
                                            Location: Philadelphia suburbs

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by Hockey10 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:56 pm

                                            Buy some good dress shoes for work, shine them on a regular basis, and use shoe trees. Looking good will never hurt your career.

                                            warner25
                                            Posts: 432
                                            Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by warner25 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:29 pm

                                            I'm 33 and, so far in adulthood, the older I get the less I feel that I've figured things out. So I don't have much advice, but I'll share my experience.

                                            It's most striking how my priorities, tastes, etc. have changed since I was a new college graduate. I used to judge people for making choices (how they spent and saved their time and money, where they lived, what they drove, how they handled things at work) that I now find myself making. A lot of it is related to having children; currently figuring out how to survive with kids ages 5, 3, and 1. I guess a piece of advice is to be open minded and don't use words like "never" or "always" because you might be eating those words later. Unfortunately, to get established (e.g. in a career field, having a family) you have to make long-term commitments, but it's impossible to know how you'll feel about things in the long-term. I used to want adventure in my career and didn't care about lower pay or crazy working conditions. Now all I want is a predictable 9-5 office job with higher pay. I wish I pursued a career in software development, but I'm not in a good position to make a drastic career change now, and I don't think anyone knew in 2003 that software developers (at least the ones on this forum) would be paid like surgeons in 2020. Definitely save your money and keep yourself healthy, as savings and good health give you more options later when you need them.

                                            A common feeling is that I didn't appreciate some aspect of life in my past (whether 2, 5, or 10 years ago), like having some freedom, or living in a nice place, or having the opportunity to learn something, and wasting so much of it instead of being present and thoughtful about how to maximize it. So maybe that's another piece of advice: identify what's good in your life at each point in time, and make the most of it.

                                            chw
                                            Posts: 757
                                            Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by chw » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:45 pm

                                            Hockey10 wrote:
                                            Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:56 pm
                                            Buy some good dress shoes for work, shine them on a regular basis, and use shoe trees. Looking good will never hurt your career.
                                            +1. While this may seem off beat- I had several bosses that formed perceptions (rightly or wrongly) based on the condition of shoes worn by colleagues. I can think of one exceptional employee who was looked over for special projects/assignments due to wearing worn out shoes.

                                            Mrvtmn
                                            Posts: 2
                                            Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:35 am

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by Mrvtmn » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:52 pm

                                            Don't chase the highest salary right out of school. Take the job(s) where you are getting the absolute best work experience for the first 4 years after graduating. Your pay will catch up later.

                                            lgs88
                                            Posts: 382
                                            Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:48 am

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by lgs88 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:55 pm

                                            Hockey10 wrote:
                                            Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:56 pm
                                            Buy some good dress shoes for work, shine them on a regular basis, and use shoe trees. Looking good will never hurt your career.
                                            Yes — and develop a distinctive personal style appropriate for your workplace. I like understated cowboy boots. Your mileage may vary!
                                            merely an interested amateur

                                            Financologist
                                            Posts: 202
                                            Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:16 pm

                                            Re: Life advice for recent graduate

                                            Post by Financologist » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:58 am

                                            Don't waste time.
                                            Don't waste money.
                                            Don't waste opportunities.
                                            Don't hesitate to ask for and give help.

                                            Rock on and..

                                            Good luck

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