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Hello from long-time lurker
Old 11-25-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Hello from long-time lurker

Hi all,

I believe I posted an intro a couple of years ago. I felt like a complete idiot at that time in regards to investing. I have read and researched, read and researched, read and researched since that time. So now I am reintroducing myself after being a lurker for quite awhile. BTW I still feel like I have much to learn.

My dh and I live in rural Minnesota and have three kids ages almost 9, almost 11, 12. I am 40 and my dh is 55, thus we need to make sure we save as much as possible over the next years. DH already has "semi-retired". He was the owner of 2 businesses. He sold one (a hardware store) about 5 years ago. He sold his funeral home 2 years ago and now works for the company that bought him out. This really has been great for us as a family because he used to be on-call 365 days 24/7.

I work for one of the bigger health insurance companies (sorry docs) and am an RN/care coordinator. I work from a home office but am out in the field probably 1-2 days per week. It's a pretty great gig although I do get bored at times. I really do not have a desire to work in management, think I will stay a worker-bee. We are sooo busy with the kiddos activities etc and that is what is most important to me.

DH and I are each contributing to 401K. We need to work on decreasing expenses so we can save more. We (sadly) had our IRA money with primerica but just today started the process to transfer to Vanguard. I have been quite nervous about doing it on my own but finally decided I no longer wanted to fund my FA's lifestyle. We are going to just use target retirement funds at this point and see how it goes. DH has absolutely no interest in learning about any of this stuff so it's up to me . The goal is for him to retire sometime between age 60-62 and for me to work 20 hours a week rather than 40 until we have "enough" for me to completely retire (maybe when I am age 50-55?).

I just want to send out a big "Thank-you" to everyone who contributes to this forum. I have learned so much from all of you. And the journey continues....
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Welcome from another Minnesotan
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanks FishingMN! We do a bit of fishing here at our house. We actually live on a lake and my youngest is obsessed with fishing. We summer fish and ice fish. Such fun!
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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You betcha! There's plenty of us MN folks here! It's because this place is filled with smart people My boss about fell-down when I told him I wanted to do what they hired me to do (no aspirations for being a manager). Been there, done that, got the tee shirt, and no thanks! So good for you for knowing that you want to do what they hired you to do! I've got connections in Hennipin+, Koochiching and Otter Tail.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:27 AM   #5
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Another MN person here: St. Paul. Welcome! I believe my first post was something about the fear of being a bag lady. The fear is still there but getting less and less!
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontworry View Post

DH and I are each contributing to 401K. We need to work on decreasing expenses so we can save more. We (sadly) had our IRA money with primerica but just today started the process to transfer to Vanguard. I have been quite nervous about doing it on my own but finally decided I no longer wanted to fund my FA's lifestyle. We are going to just use target retirement funds at this point and see how it goes. DH has absolutely no interest in learning about any of this stuff so it's up to me . The goal is for him to retire sometime between age 60-62 and for me to work 20 hours a week rather than 40 until we have "enough" for me to completely retire (maybe when I am age 50-55?).
Congratulations on sacking the FA and hiring yourself. You will also be paying yourself first!

The only advice I have is that you should look at your expense ratio for any funds (even Vanguard's). If you feel the automatic joy of a Target fund is worth the extra expense, go for it. However, if you can replicate the Target approach with 3 funds, look at the impact of a lower expense ratio over 10-20-30 years to get an idea of whether you'll move to the next step.

I think the Bogleheads site would be most helpful if you do move towards slicing and dicing.

In any event, your first move was a great accomplishment, and you should be proud of what you did for your family.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:14 AM   #7
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If you go to the webpage for the Vanguard Target Retirement fund you like and go to the Portfolio and Management tab you'll see the proportions of the four funds. If you compute the weighted average ER of the component funds, you'll see it ls lower than the ER for the target retirement fund. For example, the weighted average ER of the 2025 fund is about .10% (assuming Admiral funds) compared to .17% for the target retirement fund. The point is that you can easily DIY and save the difference and then just look up the composition each year and rebalance as needed.

Also, I suggest that you run your numbers through Quicken Lifetime Planner (or Money Plus Sunset edition's planner) to see how your nestegg will grow and decline in retirement.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Welcome and I'll second the motion to congratulate you on moving your assets to Vanguard. Target Retirement funds are a great place to start, you can adjust later as you feel comfortable. You've saved way more than .07% already, so don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the welcomes and advice everyone! I have started slicing and dicing with my 401k money. Thankfully I have access to 2 Vanguard index funds there (large and mid-cap). My husband's 401k doesn't have the best choices (high cost), but with recent research I was told that his account is credited the majority of those fees, and I was able to find online statements to (hopefully) prove it. I have his 401k in a target retirement fund as well. He basically has no low cost index funds to choose from. I just want to start with the target retirement funds for our IRA money until I gain some confidence. When our IRAs were with primerica, they were mostly in Legg Mason funds. I have since discovered there were load fees, high expense ratios, and other fees as well (12-b?). So with the switch to vanguard we will be keeping much more of our money. I'd like to keep the target retirement funds for at least a year or so and prove to my husband that I CAN do this. He says he'd rather pay someone else to manage our retirement dollars but I say NO WAY! This is the first step in the journey.

We were also stupid enough to purchase an annuity thru primerica but thankfully there is only $18000 or so in it. I need to figure out what to do with it, but I guess I don't feel too pressured to hurry since it's not a lot of money.

Again, thanks so much!!! I think the biggest thing I need to work on is gaining confidence!
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