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Old 08-12-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, I am brand new to this forum. I guess my main long term goal is to become more financially savvy while my short term goal is to determine the best way to tackle my student loan debt while saving for the future (retirement/emergency) and planning for a house down payment and engagement ring.

Before I post specifics I will be sure to poke around the forums to search for ideas.



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Old 08-12-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! Tons of good information on this board, so search away.

And lots of great and well-informed people to answer any questions you may have.

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Old 08-12-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ltuxl View Post
Hello everyone, I am brand new to this forum. I guess my main long term goal is to become more financially savvy while my short term goal is to determine the best way to tackle my student loan debt while saving for the future (retirement/emergency) and planning for a house down payment and engagement ring.

Before I post specifics I will be sure to poke around the forums to search for ideas.



- ltuxl
Hi Ituxl, welcome to the forum. Student loans, saving for retirement, down payment and engagement - sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. You're already one step ahead, though, because you know what you have to do. That's a great way to start. Browse around, search the archives and ask as many questions as you want. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ltuxl View Post
Hello everyone, I am brand new to this forum. I guess my main long term goal is to become more financially savvy while my short term goal is to determine the best way to tackle my student loan debt while saving for the future (retirement/emergency) and planning for a house down payment and engagement ring.

Before I post specifics I will be sure to poke around the forums to search for ideas.



- ltuxl
Welcome to the forum. I was wondering if the order in which you placed your goals is your priority order? Not saying the order is wrong. I was was just wondering?
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. I was wondering if the order in which you placed your goals is your priority order? Not saying the order is wrong. I was was just wondering?
If I were to list them in order it would have gone something like this:
- Pay off Student Loan Debt
- House Down Payment
- Engagement Ring
Saving for emergency/retirement will be done while keeping the above three in mind.

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #7
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Hi! Im new too, and Im retiring in 6 months at age 50 with a govt buyout. Im planning and surfing and picking up ideas from everyone to find my way!
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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If I were to list them in order it would have gone something like this:
- Pay off Student Loan Debt
- House Down Payment
- Engagement Ring
Saving for emergency/retirement will be done while keeping the above three in mind.

- ltuxl
That's the way you listed them in your first post. Just thought I'd ask. Tell us a little about yourself.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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That's the way you listed them in your first post. Just thought I'd ask. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am in my early twenties currently pursuing an advanced degree in the computer field. I have a substantial amount of student loan debt and I want to move out (not sure if an apartment or house is best) so I am seeking advice on how to best approach that situation. I have six different loans all at different interest rates but I am trying to decide if paying of student loan debt and curbing the savings is the way to go or if I should find a hybrid method and accomplish both. As far as the engagement rings goes I guess I am most certain that I do not want to fund it via a high interest credit card.

My current time frame for moving out is around March/April of next year so I have time to get things in order. As of right now I am not putting any money in my Roth IRA or in my savings account I am literally dumping all excess money from each pay check onto my largest student loan which is currently $25000 @ 10.25%. I figure I have a decent emergency fund and there is no safe way to make 10.25% in the market. I am still contributing to my 401k currently set at 10% of my salary.

I have a list of books along with this forum to supplement what little I know about finances and investing and right now I am currently reading The Millionaire Next Door.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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My opinion, no need to be digital about the decision and you've got a long road ahead of you.

0. Build a reserve fund of at least three months living expenses that is in cash.
1. After that put most towards the highest interest loan repayment
2. The balance start paying into an investment accounts, get comfortable with buying and selling equities, even if in small amounts. Roth IRA's are good but rather limited and you should have a mix of roth and traditional brokerage funds.
3. Longer term, start thinking beans, bullets and precious metals as the ultimate insurance package.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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the bogleheads.org forum is also a great resource for learning about investing. Check them out
Bogleheads :: Index
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:45 PM   #12
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My opinion, no need to be digital about the decision and you've got a long road ahead of you.

0. Build a reserve fund of at least three months living expenses that is in cash.
1. After that put most towards the highest interest loan repayment
2. The balance start paying into an investment accounts, get comfortable with buying and selling equities, even if in small amounts. Roth IRA's are good but rather limited and you should have a mix of roth and traditional brokerage funds.
3. Longer term, start thinking beans, bullets and precious metals as the ultimate insurance package.
Thanks for the advice. So far I have the reserve fund setup and I am paying a ton on my previously mentioned 25k loan. As far as retirement goes I have and am doing the following:
- 10% to 401k
- Trad IRA @ Vanguard w/ an old 401k in it (no additional money is or can be (to my knowledge at least) put in this))
- Roth IRA @ T. Rowe Price w/ my current contributions and as of right now, no additional money.

Not sure what you mean by the beans and bullets but I have been looking at gold (and other rare metals). I remember a little over a year ago it was going for $800 and ounce and so I don't think it is wise (at least right now) to purchase any.

I am not sure exactly what you mean by getting more comfortable with buying and selling equities. While dealing with my current 401k/Roth/Trad accounts I am looking into revising my current asset allocation - is this what you are referring to? Or do you mean by having money in a taxable account and buying/selling there? I was told as a general rule to do the following:
- Save the max for a company 401k max
- then save 5k a year in a Roth IRA
- then max out 401k contributions @ 16.5k per year
- (if you are fortunate enough) then have taxable accounts
As a result of following this rule I have no etrade/scotttrade accounts where I can buy or sell equities as I am working on debt and saving only in my 401k.

Also I am not sure how this works so in addition to elaborating on the information above when it comes to T.Rowe Price and Vanguard and moving funds around (moving from lets say the S&P 500 index fund to a international fund within my 401k), does it cost money to do that??
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #13
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the bogleheads.org forum is also a great resource for learning about investing. Check them out
Bogleheads :: Index
Thanks for the heads up - I have an account there as well. It was suggested to me to in addition to that site to check out this one .
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:55 AM   #15
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As to the engagement ring: The ring issue is a hidden test how the relationship will work out long term. If the lady shares your financial goals you will not need to go into debt for the ring. ;-)
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:31 AM   #16
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I am not sure exactly what you mean by getting more comfortable with buying and selling equities. While dealing with my current 401k/Roth/Trad accounts I am looking into revising my current asset allocation - is this what you are referring to? Or do you mean by having money in a taxable account and buying/selling there? I was told as a general rule to do the following:
- Save the max for a company 401k max
- then save 5k a year in a Roth IRA
- then max out 401k contributions @ 16.5k per year
- (if you are fortunate enough) then have taxable accounts
As a result of following this rule I have no etrade/scotttrade accounts where I can buy or sell equities as I am working on debt and saving only in my 401k.

Also I am not sure how this works so in addition to elaborating on the information above when it comes to T.Rowe Price and Vanguard and moving funds around (moving from lets say the S&P 500 index fund to a international fund within my 401k), does it cost money to do that??
Welcome to the site.

You sound like you are doing really well and are getting a good plan in place. As to charges on trades within your 401k you need to check with your provider but I very much expect that there will be no charges, so re-balancing within your 401k should have no fees.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:38 AM   #17
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As to the engagement ring: The ring issue is a hidden test how the relationship will work out long term. If the lady shares your financial goals you will not need to go into debt for the ring. ;-)
+1

Don't ask how I know that....
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:33 AM   #18
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As to the engagement ring: The ring issue is a hidden test how the relationship will work out long term. If the lady shares your financial goals you will not need to go into debt for the ring. ;-)
I get this but I kind of want to stick to the three month rule. I would be nice to take advantage of some jewelry store's no interest for the first 6 months if I sign up for a card, pay it off before that time frame, and then cancel the card.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:36 AM   #19
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I am in my early twenties currently pursuing an advanced degree in the computer field. I have a substantial amount of student loan debt and I want to move out (not sure if an apartment or house is best)
I'd suggest renting first. It'll be easier to move to wherever jobs are. It'll also help you to figure out what you like and what your deal breakers are before you are tied down to a particular house.

For me, the deal breaker is a long commute with lots of driving, but I didn't have a dishwasher until I was thirty. Trains (I live near a metro station) lull me to sleep, but those danged birds wake me up at 5am.

Rent some apartments or houses. Figure out what's important to you and what's not a big deal. Whether it's relief that the landlord is the one dealing with a wet basement, or disappointment that those beautiful, mature trees that wowed you block the light and make the apartment feel like a cave.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:54 AM   #20
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Rent some apartments or houses. Figure out what's important to you and what's not a big deal. Whether it's relief that the landlord is the one dealing with a wet basement, or disappointment that those beautiful, mature trees that wowed you block the light and make the apartment feel like a cave.
This is a new one to consider. Typically throughout my decision to rent or buy it has been concerning nothing but money - dollars and cents. I can relate to this suggestion to my current car situation. I recently bought a brand new car for $24,000 @ 0% (thanks Mr. President) for 6 years and although it was a good deal concerning money, I am convinced I bought the wrong car for me. Had I leased or purchased a used car I would have had the choice to get a different car sooner, and buy the car that is more of what I want.

I always told myself that I would buy and not rent strictly based on the equity situation but another reason (other than determine what works best for me) that I am considering renting vs buying is, I work 40 hours a week with a 45 min commute one way and attend school two nights a week. On the weekends I want to concentrate on school work and relaxing... lawn work tends to hinder this.
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