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Old 03-13-2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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New here from DC

Hello everyone,

I'm new here, and I'll get right to it: I'm a long way from retirement. I have multiple decades to go, since I'm early on in my career. I'm actually working with Marriott on the Marriott Rewards Insiders site - which is a community for people to share traveling tips with other travelers.

But since I'm so far from retirement, I'm just trying to learn all that I can now, while I'm at the earlier stages. I have a Roth IRA, and contribute to my 401K up to the match, and I've decided that index fund investing is my preference.

If you have any advice for me starting out - especially any tips on "what you would've done at an earlier age," I'm always open to new ideas
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Hi GolferJeff: Good for you for thinking about your future so early in your career. I wish I could give you some specific advice about how to invest, but I confess I am not so well versed in this area. I just wish I had been in a more of a position to plan for my retirement in the early days. I was one of those people who couldn't imagine anything so far in my future, and realistically was pretty much living paycheck to paycheck until relatively recently in my working life. But I just wanted to encourage you in this goal - don't lose sight of your future. It'll be here before you know it!
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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Here are some things to consider:

- Live below your income level and save, save, save.
- Think about medical insurance. This is a big obstacle to many who want to retire early. Perhaps a career with lifetime medical or purchasing a policy before you become uninsurable.
- Live life and enjoy! It's not all about your future. Take time to smell the roses now. Life is precious. Donít waste a moment.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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Jeff, welcome to the forum!

It sounds like you're doing everything that I wish I'd done earlier. You're involved, you're getting the full match on your 401K, and you're saving outside your 401K. Your interest in index funds suggest you understand the importance of fund expenses.

My only advice is keep it up! Decades of smart saving will give you a shot at decades in comfortable retirement.

Keep your eye on the ball -- advice that applies to both retirement planning and golf.

Coach
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Welcome, GolferJeff.

We're just a couple of years ahead of you, and some of the best advice I got early on (aside from the very good advice above about saving early and investing early so that the power of compound interest works for you) was from a mortgage broker. She said "You guys are young and you want to buy a house. So don't buy a car." She said that new car payments might jeopardize our ability to qualify for a loan on a house, due to higher debt-to-income ratios, but to me that advice was really more about focusing on what is important to you and working towards that goal, not allowing yourself to get distracted by other, common (perhaps easier in some respects) goals.

Good luck, and welcome!
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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Welcome Jeff. You've come to a good place for your plans. There's a lot of good people here, with good advice. Read through some of the old threads and pick up some of the recommended books. As for what I would have done at an earlier age, hmmm. Not much different. Strike a balance between planning for the future and enjoying life now. Oh, I know! Keep an eye on your health and diet. It sucks a little being ER and then having to learn discipline to get back in shape so you can enjoy it. Last thing you want to do is retire and die, or even worse, die then retire.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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Welcome, Jeff. I'm from Northern Virginia, so my tip is, take advantage of all the free stuff in DC and save the money you would have spent if you had to pay for it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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Wow, I've never gotten a warmer welcome from a forum...thanks all! It is great to hear such down-to-earth advice.

Right now I am reading up on the basics, and I picked up 2 new (to me) books this weekend:
  • A Random Walk Down Wall St.
  • Bogleheads Guide to Investing
  • and also The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read

We'll see how those are, but I've heard that they are all good "primers" to read.

and btw, FinallyRetired - I am from Northern Virginia as well! I am only about 1 mile from the bridge to DC, so I usually just put DC in my forum signatures. I've lived here for almost 2 years now, and this is such a great area to live. Only downside is that housing prices are sky-high, but hey--you'll have that in any thriving large metro area.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GolferJeff View Post

If you have any advice for me starting out - especially any tips on "what you would've done at an earlier age," I'm always open to new ideas
The best advice I can give for someone who wants to retire early (really early) is:

1) Don't get married
2) Don't have kids

It's a lifestyle thing, but those will be your two biggest expenses, more if you marry multiple times.

Having said that, you should also try to enjoy life. Reguardless of my signature line, you may not get a second chance.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
The best advice I can give for someone who wants to retire early (really early) is:

1) Don't get married
2) Don't have kids

It's a lifestyle thing, but those will be your two biggest expenses, more if you marry multiple times.

Having said that, you should also try to enjoy life. Reguardless of my signature line, you may not get a second chance.
I'd have to agree with the "kids" part, but if you marry the right person, you could be years ahead. Maybe 2 can't quite live as cheaply as one, but it's close. If you each have good j*bs, you nearly double the income.

It would be a good idea to be on the same page, ER wise before you marry. YMMV as always.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GolferJeff View Post
I'm a long way from retirement.
Unfortunately, a lot of us here on FIRE that thought we were getting close are, too...

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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Welcome, Jeff. I'm from Northern Virginia, so my tip is, take advantage of all the free stuff in DC and save the money you would have spent if you had to pay for it.
Seconded. I'm in the D.C. area too, and there is so much to do that doesn't cost a dime. The wonderful museums are a good start, free concerts, free food at embassy events, etc...

Welcome to the board.
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