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Hi from a 53yo who needs retirement planning info
Old 01-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
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Hi from a 53yo who needs retirement planning info

Hi,

I stumbled on this site while Googling for loss suffered in the current market. I've got investments in the mutual funds and all of them have suffered such huge losses that it's got me scared. As a single(widowed) mom I need to be careful and preserve as much of my assets as I can.

I live in northern CA and work in the hi tech industry. I have spent my entire adult life working and saving (towards retiring early and enjoying life) but most of my savings are gone. The hours at my job are cut down in order to keep us all employed. I've lived frugally all my life and was finally ready to travel and do the things I've wanted to do but now it seems that they will be pushed out until I am more comfortable about my finances.

Looking forward to getting to know everyone and learning about smart investing.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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Welcome! These forums have a lot of good information. Feel free to ask questions and join in with the discussions.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CABarb View Post
Hi,

I stumbled on this site while Googling for loss suffered in the current market. I've got investments in the mutual funds and all of them have suffered such huge losses that it's got me scared. As a single(widowed) mom I need to be careful and preserve as much of my assets as I can.

I live in northern CA and work in the hi tech industry. I have spent my entire adult life working and saving (towards retiring early and enjoying life) but most of my savings are gone. The hours at my job are cut down in order to keep us all employed. I've lived frugally all my life and was finally ready to travel and do the things I've wanted to do but now it seems that they will be pushed out until I am more comfortable about my finances.

Looking forward to getting to know everyone and learning about smart investing.
How are most of your savings gone? Do you have an emergency fund or any monies in savings??
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #4
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I live in northern CA and work in the hi tech industry.
Me too!

I am 50, single, female, with no kids.
My work situation is still pretty good although I suspect some pay cuts later on (still crossing my fingers for nothing worse than that), but I hear you... I see on a local news channel practically every day some companies cutting their workforce.

My networth decreased about 20% last year due to the stock market meltdown and it is a scary time, but I have another decade or so to accumulate asset, so for now, I am saving as much as I can. I am sticking with the same asset allocations.

When are you planning to retire? Did you lose a lot of money because of the stock market or because your hours are cut and you had to take money out of your savings?

Anyway, welcome to the forum!

tmm
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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If you have lived in Ca. a while, look around at some other places on line and see how cheaply you can live elsewhere. This will settle your concerns that you can't make it. My DH and I did this about 8 years before he could retire because of Govt. RIF's If you have your health, you have many options and don't forget to dream about what you really want. I retired at 53 which was 2 years ago.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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I know what you're going through! Their seems to be many of us out there who have taken a big retirement savings loss and have to rethink strategies re retirement. Good Luck
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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There are no new priniciple investment in my accounts - just the dividends reinvestments. I stopped putting money in my funds after 2000 except for the ROTH IRAs. Unfortunately for me I placed my money in the same high performing funds as the non IRA investments. For instance, the Oppenheimer Main Street Fund was doing well for me but I just lost almost 200K. That hurts.

Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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If you have lived in Ca. a while, look around at some other places on line and see how cheaply you can live elsewhere. This will settle your concerns that you can't make it. My DH and I did this about 8 years before he could retire because of Govt. RIF's If you have your health, you have many options and don't forget to dream about what you really want. I retired at 53 which was 2 years ago.

I think 2 years ago was a great time to do this but it seems to me this economy is hitting everyone hard. The smaller communities are sometimes the hardest hit - even in CA. I've lived here all my life practically. But I have been giving thought to moving elsewhere when I retire. I lived in the bay area and the climate is great, there is great diversity and lots of things to do. You can enjoy the beach, mountains, wineries, etc.

I am happy for you that you are able to retire at 53 and enjoy life. That was my goal. I didn't want to be like my parents who worked so hard and then died before they could enjoy anything. Health is a big reason why I wanted to do it sooner than later.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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The first thing I did when considering early retirement is get rid of Oppenheimer funds. The fees are insane, consider switching over to Vanguard or one of the other low fee fund companies.

Don't look at Oppenheimer fees, you'll be ill.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
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How fast might it come back...who knows? I think the normal asset allocation models for those >50 in age are far too risky and far too much in equities. This current mess proves this...oh, I know, the % needs to be in equities to survive inflation, etc. Yes, I too have lost $$$ in this mess but not so much that we are really hurt and our FIRE plans remain on course due to a broad mix of investments and a much lower % in equities than what the convential wisdom preaches. Remember...the best way to give yourself a raise is to lower expenses and cutting expenses big time will provide $$$ to re-invest to make up some of the losses.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:22 AM   #11
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Well, not knowing what your Experience is On Investing, but if like Most of us? We are our Own Worse Enemy.... and should either Hire a Conservative Firm , pay them 1-2% in their fee or ? Taek at least 80% of your Savings and own the following and only Gamble with the other 20%, until you prove you have done better than...for at least 5+ yrs..

AMBF's> Active Managed Balance Funds..Like? FPACX,OAKBX,PRPFX ( Past 10 yrs Apy of about 8-9% btwn them) and Own all 3, not just one..( diversify ) since each has their own Little Differences and Happiness is a Back up..meaning If and when they get too Big, you want to move out..Owning these kinds of funds is just like Hiring A firm to Invest your $ for you and they do the Allocating as well.. and although you pay a extra 1/2 % apy vs Index Funds..Have made a +4% apy more..

More Conservative? VWINX, GLBRX AMBF's.. They only have about a 5% APY but you shouldn't have to worry about having to replace them for the Long Term..( 10 yrs out and beyond)

When you get with in 3 yrs before Retirement? Start Adding Extra Bond Funds, such as VBMFX, VFITX, VUSTX, VFIIX. to get a 40/60 Mix..

Due to having more than enough $.. I had a 35/65 Mix last yr btwn those AMBF's and Those Bond Funds..and will probably stay that way this yr..But Going back into Some Corporates like VBLTX and reducing my Treas. bonds % allocation..

And Being Self employed for 40+ yrs, This guy makes alot of sense ...to me anyway> 11 reasons passive investors let Wall Street steal their money - MarketWatch


Best of luck..! And if a Widow and still Young and have some Assets? Make sure you Get a Pre-nup if going to marry again and Let them know about this in the early part of your New Relationship..
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