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Old 01-03-2018, 06:25 PM   #1
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Intro

Hi all.

I wanted to into myself. I've been lurking for about a year now and joined last month or so. Two years ago, I was tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something about my Personal Finance. My DW and I, 36 and 35 respectively, needed help we were in heavy debt after having Premature twins. They are healthy now and giving me premature gray hairs, they are soon to be 6 years-old.

We were $82k in debt and in just at two years in Feb we well be debt free besides our mortgage. No car payments, credit cards, student loans etc.

We did the debt Snowball, Dave Ramsey plan... Modified. During this time we invested in our 401k, I could not pass up that match. DW has a 457 plan.

I moved our investments around and stoppled playing with Scott trade for my Roth and got a Pro doing that for me.

We went from about 30k in retirement at the beginning of this and now we are about 106k in tax preferred accounts. Not as large as some others on this forum but I plan on retiring at 55 or sooner. The plan is to have about 2.5 mil at that time. This does not include my DWs pension.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:30 PM   #2
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ab620. Congrats on the great progress. Identifying the issue is half the battle. Good luck on the rest of your journey.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:34 PM   #3
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Twins! How fun. Congratulations on the debt pay down, sounds like you hit it pretty hard. I too couldn't pass up the employer match, at the time it was if I did 3%, employer did 6%.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:34 PM   #4
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Congrats, sounds like you are on the right track now. Just keep plugging away and your time will come.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
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Way to rally!! I love reading stories like yours. It would be very easy with sick premies at home to rationalize and delay getting out of debt and start that long road of saving. Now that your debt is out of the way you get watch ur egg grow. Have fun!
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:50 AM   #6
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Congratulations ab620 and welcome to the forum! You've made tremendous progress and depending on your childcare expenses over the past few years, you may have some additional flexibility to fund both retirement and college savings!

We hope you'll pass along some of your tips to our younger members, who do a great job of encouraging everyone to stay the course. Happy 2018!
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the nice words all!
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:34 AM   #8
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Welcome! I was in a similar situation when I was younger when I made the pivot with similar debt and situation, and I'm so glad that I did. Keep track of your progress. You'll be amazed at how quickly the bar steadily rises and how time flies by.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:25 AM   #9
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Congrats on twins being healthy and getting outta debt! The money starts piling up...slowly at first. But after a few years, it truly becomes astonishing how quickly it builds. Stick around, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:21 AM   #10
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Congrats on the healthy kids and slaying the debt monster.

Do consider DIY index investing. The fees going to your "pro" are eventually going to cost you tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of your dollars. And his (or her) odds of consistently beating the market? Slim to none (and slim just left town).

We have a 4 fund portfolio (all index funds at Fidelity) all with super low fees.
1. Total US market
2. Total international Market
3. Total Govie bond fund
4. Total TIPs bond fund

AA is about 60/40 excluding cash. We have a military pension and a modest corp pension. Without those, we'd likely be 40/60.
We also built a two year CD ladder (in quarterly intervals) to carry us to when we'll both draw SS. Plus a year of SHTF cash.

In either case (pro or DIY), LBYM and investing will get you there, so enjoy the ride!
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:02 PM   #11
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Looks like you are heading the right direction. Good job!
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:31 PM   #12
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I gave both of my sons Dave's book early on. You can agree or disagree but at least the first part of his plan has merit. After that it's up to them to figure it out. So pleased you are having success.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:32 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the replies. I agree Dave Ramsey with mutual funds...single stocks scare me.

I do not agree with his withdraw rate when retired. I wish I could get 12% forever!

With that being said he does encourage people to get educated when investing.
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Update!
Old 04-21-2018, 12:29 PM   #14
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Update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab620 View Post
Hi all.

I wanted to into myself. I've been lurking for about a year now and joined last month or so. Two years ago, I was tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something about my Personal Finance. My DW and I, 36 and 35 respectively, needed help we were in heavy debt after having Premature twins. They are healthy now and giving me premature gray hairs, they are soon to be 6 years-old.

We were $82k in debt and in just at two years in Feb we well be debt free besides our mortgage. No car payments, credit cards, student loans etc.

We did the debt Snowball, Dave Ramsey plan... Modified. During this time we invested in our 401k, I could not pass up that match. DW has a 457 plan.

I moved our investments around and stoppled playing with Scott trade for my Roth and got a Pro doing that for me.

We went from about 30k in retirement at the beginning of this and now we are about 106k in tax preferred accounts. Not as large as some others on this forum but I plan on retiring at 55 or sooner. The plan is to have about 2.5 mil at that time. This does not include my DWs pension.

Time for an update: We are completely debt free as of February of this year...besides our Mortgage.

Were up to $120k in retirement accounts! We have about two month of expenses saved up and climbing.

Now were are saving for a trip to SE Asia next year and Washington DC this summer. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:41 PM   #15
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Way to go. Keep it up.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:23 PM   #16
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Excellent. You are doing all the right things. Job well done. Now go enjoy those trips you have planned with your family. They will be grown before you know it.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:52 AM   #17
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Congrats! We are also Ramsey graduates! It has changed our lives! Stay the course!
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:29 AM   #18
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IMHO, budgeting is a fun challenge. I used to listen to him on car radio all the time and he made common sense. I do think credit cards are an asset if you can control the spending. They give you a detailed pie chart of your spending every month and are safe if stolen since you're only liable for $50 of false charges. Whenever I feel cheated by a purchase, I dispute it and they always stand behind my dispute and work with the company to correct that charge. Of course, pay them off every month and get reward points or cash back.

Dave is right about debt. It's liberating to budget with no debt. It feels like you're in control and not the interest on debt going out the window. I'm always amazed at how compound interest piles up. Same way compound interest works in your favor when saving. Simple interest is nice too, when CD's are paying more. Congratulations and keep at it. The rewards are tenfold!
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
...credit cards are an asset if you can control the spending. They give you a detailed pie chart of your spending every month and are safe if stolen since you're only liable for $50 of false charges.
Bolding mine.

You're not liable for any false charges, as long as you report the false charges in a timely manner.

I had unauthorized charges in the hundreds to thousands of dollars on 2 different credit cards. (Others with the same cards reported also being hit with these same charges.) The credit cards never left my possession.

The charges that made it through were reversed when I called to report them. A couple of charges were blocked automatically as suspected fraud.

I wasn't held responsible for any of the charges in either case.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab620 View Post
My DW and I, 36 and 35 respectively, needed help we were in heavy debt after having Premature twins. They are healthy now and giving me premature gray hairs, they are soon to be 6 years-old.

We were $82k in debt
It sounds that you have your heads straight. Good luck on your journey to your ER!

I have a question though.
Was your $82k debt caused by the premature twins only or was it a combination of some medical expense (like deductibles and/or max OOP medical expenses) and unnecessary spending?
If it's the former, did you have any health insurance?
I'm curious because if your family had healthcare insurance but the $82k debt is all medical related, then it's really a sobering picture of healthcare (insurance) in this country.
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