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Greetings from Denver
Old 10-02-2008, 03:32 PM   #1
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Greetings from Denver

Greetings from Denver!

I've been a lurker for a while and have deceided to join in on the fun here on these boards.

First of all I'm WAY behind on this whole retirement thing, ER might not even be possible, but retirement at the very least must be addressed.

I'm 35, not married (but in LT relationship), no kids (not yet but if so needs to be soon).

I am debt free (finally), but have not much but $11K (current amount as of today...) in a company 401K. (6% me for 3% match).

I rent so don't even have any home equity to count in my net worth. I do have a paid off 2000 Ford F150 valued at maybe $5K.

I am working on a cash emergency fund and will have that in place by X-mas to the tune of $10K.

That's it, not much but it's a start although a very late start.

I'll be poking around to get better ideas on what my next best steps will be in getting a solid retirement plan in place.

I gross $57K a year, but live on half of my take home, so have about $1,600 a month that is not allocated to bills, in the past it was going to debt (dumb, dumb, dumb) now it's going into my EF, but come January 2009 it will need to be reallocated.

I'm open for any all advise and look forward to be a part of the community.

Thanks!

DenverGirlie
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Hi, DenverGirlie --
and welcome to the forum. Don't beat yourself up too badly -- everyone here had to start somewhere on the road to FIRE, and at least you're out of debt. Now, if you haven't already done so, start to educate yourself about investing so you can make the right financial decisions for your future.

BTW, I spent lots of time in Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs and Telluride...you have one beautiful state there!
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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Sometimes you have to poke and prod around to learn the ways of investing!

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:38 PM   #4
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Hi and welcome.

You are doing well being out of debt and getting your company match. That puts you ahead of a lot of people. And for not owning a house, you are ahead of pretty much anyone who bought in the last couple of years.

Good thought about the emergency fund and in January, you can start buying investments while they are cheap.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:41 PM   #5
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My one suggestion is to get the max into a Roth for 2008. That will be the best Christmas present you can give yourself. Even if it is a month or two into the new year!
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:56 PM   #6
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Denvergirlie, welcome to the forum, from down I25 in Colorado Springs!

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Old 10-02-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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Welcome! I greatly enjoyed the year I lived in Denver (2005).
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:38 AM   #8
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MY next move AFTER the EF fund would be to save for a house down payment. I think in the future that even well qualified folks will need 15-20% down. I think we will continue to see a housing price slump for a year or more and rent costs could be increasing as demand increases. (more folks unable to afford to buy or losing homes to foreclosure)

Even if you are not planning to buy now, life changes and having the down payment will enable you to capitalize on a deal when/if you do decide to buy.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverGirlie View Post
First of all I'm WAY behind on this whole retirement thing, ER might not even be possible, but retirement at the very least must be addressed.

I'm 35...

I rent so don't even have any home equity to count in my net worth.
The mandate that one MUST own a house is not universally accepted and, in fact, there are legitimate arguments against it, as in this (one of many) example.

Yikes! 35 is WAY behind? What ever will you do with the next, say, 60 years? Relax... and float down stream.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:58 AM   #10
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^^^^^^ Agreed ^^^^^^^^ There is NO mandate -- However saving, for a down payment, so that when/if owning does make sense is a wise move. imho

Especially in light of the current credit market which will favor those that can put down a substantial equity upon purchase. There will be some attractive deals in home ownership over the next months/years. Having a good credit score will probably not be enough going forward.

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”


Whitney M. Young Jr.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:49 AM   #11
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The Roth contribution was a good suggestion. Note that you can contribute the 5k max for 2008 up until April 15, 2009.

In my opinion, continue to pay off the debt and get the 401k match

Then in Jan 2009 start to contribute 1600 a month to your 2008 Roth limit

After 3 months, about when your 2008 contribution is maxed out (April 2009), lower your roth contribution to 555.55 per month. That will max out your roth for 2009 by December. Set it up so it gets pulled out of your account automatically the day after you are paid.

Then in January 2010 you can adjust the amount that is pulled out to be spread out over 12 months.

With the other money left over (starting April 2009), it's up to you to find a balance between additional 401k contributions and a downpayment fund.

JT
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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I don't have any specific advice but don't worry too much about the "late start". The fact that you are reading these boards and have the prospect of saving half of your takehome pay (Thats pretty serious LBYM) puts you ahead of 95% (SWAG) of Americans. Myself excluded...there are many successful (financially and in "life") people here...as you know they represent an amazing sounding board...continue to read, ask questions and learn. Wishing you the best.
bd
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:49 PM   #13
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Hi from Minnesota. I have been reading this forum for a while now and enjoy it a lot. I am 60 and retired about a year ago, and am really enjoying it. My husband has been retired for about four years. We are doing pretty well financially, inspite of the market fiasco. We love to travel and just got back from a trip to Peru. It was fanatastic. Hope to learn more here and will post more later. KitB
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:04 PM   #14
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Ditto the advice to contribute the max to your ROTH, after you get the matching contribution from your employer in your 401K, if you have one.

Also, I'm familiar with the Denver-Boulder real estate market. Be careful. Wait a few years before you decide to buy. Much better to build up your emergency fund to one year's expenses. These are precarious times.

You might like to watch Suze Orman show on CNBC. Some men on this forum make fun of her. But I have learned a lot.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverGirlie View Post
Greetings from Denver!

I've been a lurker for a while and have deceided to join in on the fun here on these boards.

First of all I'm WAY behind on this whole retirement thing, ER might not even be possible, but retirement at the very least must be addressed.

I'm 35, not married (but in LT relationship), no kids (not yet but if so needs to be soon).

I am debt free (finally), but have not much but $11K (current amount as of today...) in a company 401K. (6% me for 3% match).

I rent so don't even have any home equity to count in my net worth. I do have a paid off 2000 Ford F150 valued at maybe $5K.

I am working on a cash emergency fund and will have that in place by X-mas to the tune of $10K.

That's it, not much but it's a start although a very late start.

I'll be poking around to get better ideas on what my next best steps will be in getting a solid retirement plan in place.

I gross $57K a year, but live on half of my take home, so have about $1,600 a month that is not allocated to bills, in the past it was going to debt (dumb, dumb, dumb) now it's going into my EF, but come January 2009 it will need to be reallocated.

I'm open for any all advise and look forward to be a part of the community.

Thanks!

DenverGirlie
Hi DG, welcome to the forum. You are (thinking about) investing when the market is depressed, and it may well be that your timing is perfect! If you had been buying stocks for years, you might be no better off than you are now, and meanwhile you have enjoyed spending. So don't beat yourself up so hard. Take your time and learn. There is a lot of wisdom here, notwithstanding the current doom, gloom and outright fear.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:24 PM   #16
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You might like to watch Suze Orman show on CNBC. Some men on this forum make fun of her. But I have learned a lot.
I take this back. Tonight on her show she was a total idiot.
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