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Hi from sunny NoSco and I need your help
Old 01-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
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Hi from sunny NoSco and I need your help

NoSco is North Scottsdale, Arizona. It's the place where women wear sparkley shoes and full makeup to shop in the overpriced trendy markets for exotic flower arrangements and obscure but very expensive spices. But I digress...Hi, I'm Slingshot. Married, 51 & 58, DH has 3 kids, all grown. We own a small business which only makes money if we are are doing it. No passive stream of income here
It seems we are a few years too late/too old to retire early but I have enjoyed reading the forums here and attempting to educate myself on financial matters I blithely ignored for far too long.
In 2006 I happened upon Dave Ramsey's radio show and nothing will ever be the same.
Just the facts:
We have no debt, about $150K equity in our only home, we are seller financing a small farm back east and holding a note for appx $50K, we have $415K in a tax advantaged plan (currently in cash), $75K in SEP IRA (cash), 6 months of emergency fund $$, no pensions, but our good health and a business we may or may not be able to sell someday.
The reason that we are in cash right now is that we fired our big gun Dave Ramsey endorsed financial planner as soon as the markets came back to the point that we had all of our originally invested principal back.
Ever the talk radio fan, I recently met with the Buckets of Money folks and have been presented with the opportunity to purchase an annuity and several non-traded REITS.
But let's stop right there.
We are NEVER going to purchase a financial product unless I run it by some sources of wisdom first.
Thus, I need your insight if we ever hope to achieve retirement. Pros and cons, books to read, websites to check out, blogs to read, assets to allocate.
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
You really had me going there for a second. My initial interpretation of NoSco was Nova Scotia, rather a long way from you.

Anyway, "annuity" and "non-traded" are warning flag words, and you'll be getting plenty of advice from people much smarter than I am. But first, you'll need to provide some details about these potential purchases before anyone can give you detailed advice.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
Ever the talk radio fan, I recently met with the Buckets of Money folks and have been presented with the opportunity to purchase an annuity and several non-traded REITS.

But let's stop right there.
That may well be the best financial decision you ever make.

Sounds to me like the goal of the "Buckets of Money" folks is to move your money into their buckets.

You might want to look at the list of investing books here. I'd start with "The Boglehead's Guide to Investing" by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf, but you won't go wrong with any book on that list.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum Slinghot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
NoSco is North Scottsdale, Arizona. It's the place where women wear sparkly shoes and full makeup to shop in the overpriced trendy markets for exotic flower arrangements and obscure but very expensive spices.
We need photos ! I often fantasize about women in sparkly shoes buying spices. I also fantasize about spicy women buying sparkles. Or was that sparkly women buying spicy shoes ?

Quote:
Pros and cons, books to read, websites to check out, blogs to read, assets to allocate
check out the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section of the forum. there is lots of good information there.

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f47/

for great books on the subject, check out this thread:

FIRE Recommended Reading List
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #5
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Thanks to all! I had found the FAQ and the reading list. There is so MUCH valuable information here that I'm feeling confused about what the FIRST step should be. And when I'm not sure what to do, I tend to do nothing at all...
I've gathered so much information that I'm suffering from analysis paralysis and I'm still a financial dummy!
I know what I do NOT want to do.
Over pay for a financial product we do not need/will not benefit us.
Pay an advisor ongoing fees to choose mutual funds that have managers that charge fees to PERHAPS make money.
Pay more in taxes than we absolutely have to.
Wake up nights worried about what we are supposed to be doing.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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I know what I do NOT want to do:
Over pay for a financial product we do not need/will not benefit us.
Pay an advisor ongoing fees to choose mutual funds that have managers that charge fees to PERHAPS make money.
Pay more in taxes than we absolutely have to.
Wake up nights worried about what we are supposed to be doing.
Slingshot,

Welcome.

Just knowing these things, puts you way ahead of most people!

Take your time and take baby steps. Look over the wealth of resources here and start with whatever has the greatest appeal to you...running FIRECALC, reading old posts on subjects of interest, posting questions about your specific situation, etc.

omni
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
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I know what I do NOT want to do.
A fair astute observation. This forum is actually excellent for telling people what not to do, not so good at providing good advice as what to do, other than educating yourself. There is a general consensus about things to avoid exotic annuities, not diversifying, paying an adviser a big fee, withdrawing much more than 5% of your assets.

So running investment advice past the forum is generally useful. If 80% of the folks say don't do it that is important information. More typically 1/4 will say yes, 1/4 will say no, and the rest will suggest something completely different. This is also useful to know that there is no consensus. I am pretty sure that financially speaking the most important thing about retiring is avoid doing anything really stupid. Given American generally poor level of financial literacy this can be difficult, but it isn't that hard.

Around 1950 American in large numbers first started quitting work at 65 or so and having retirements lasting 10 or more years. Since that time literally hundreds of millions of American have had enjoyable retirements (senior citizens are consistently the most content group). They've arrive at retirement in many different ways and their attitudes about spending are similarly varied.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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Welcome.

After six months of reading this board daily my most important take away is to never buy a financial product that you don't fully understand....and even if you think you understand it run it buy these guys for a second opinion!

We were also with a financial advisor. After ditching them we stayed simple, determined our asset allocation and are now fully invested in index funds.

We determined our strategy by reading a few key books from the FAQ AND have stayed the course by no longer reading Kiplinger's, Money Magazine and all those other financial devices that had me convinced that this stuff is hard!
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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Thanks Lisa99. I have our asset allocation determined but hesitate to buy all in at once as the market seems high. Guess that makes me seem like a market timer, and I don't want to be!
We have no pensions, as we are self employed, so we were looking at the annuity as a way of guaranteeing income if all else goes haywire.
My brain gets fuzzy and tired after a bit and then I just want to move to Forrest Gump's Greenbow, Alabama and live the simple life. Trouble is, I can't find it on the map! All the good places are hidden
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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Welcome to the board. Good advice already given. I would say keep it simple, understandable, Good luck. We love Scottsdale.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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Thanks Lisa99. I have our asset allocation determined but hesitate to buy all in at once as the market seems high. Guess that makes me seem like a market timer, and I don't want to be!
We have no pensions, as we are self employed, so we were looking at the annuity as a way of guaranteeing income if all else goes haywire.
My brain gets fuzzy and tired after a bit and then I just want to move to Forrest Gump's Greenbow, Alabama and live the simple life. Trouble is, I can't find it on the map! All the good places are hidden
What a lovely idea...the simple life!

As for the market being high, I hear your concern, but staying in cash won't work either. Some of the reading I've done here recommends buying in with half and then dollar cost averaging in with the balance.

I'm sure if you asked this specific question over in FIRE and Money you'd get lots of input.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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welcome, tons of great info here. I also like to review the Bogleheads site and read anything by Otar and Joe D.

hopefully we will be moving down your way in the near (less than a year, please, please DW) future.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:41 PM   #13
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Oh my, I know that staying in cash is not the answer. The previous advisor put us there, and right now we are very cautious about making any big moves.
The current plan is that we are going to take a portion and set up index funds and then just pay in monthly, DCA approach.
Still reviewing the annuity situation. I will look through fire and money again.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:43 PM   #14
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JB Madera, please know that I love Arizona, it is just Snotts-dale that I grow weary of.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:46 PM   #15
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Danmar from the north country. Please tell me what Exactly you like about Scottsdale. I love Cave Creek, small town feel and kind of funky. We actually used to live in Cave Creek, did not move, but the Scottsdale post office annexed our area and changed our mailing address city and zip code. So we had all of our business licenses and stationary re printed. Then they did it again a couple of years later with another, new zip code. Pissed me right off and I went to Cave Creek and got a PO Box.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:59 PM   #16
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Love the weather, restaurants. Generally stay at the Phoenician which is actually in Phoenix near "Old Scottsdale"
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:04 PM   #17
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The Phoenician is fabulous! I love it too! Our weather is fantastic at least 9 months of the year, and you are correct about the Foodie scene.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:36 PM   #18
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Bogleheads-check.
But who/what are Otar and Joe D?
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