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Starting at age 18 and need advice
Old 09-05-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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Starting at age 18 and need advice

Hello, i am 18 years old and am in the army for 6 years and saving $1500 a month and any additional promotion pay will get saved as well, i am wondering what can be done to increase the amount in 6 years; so do any of you guys have some advice for me?
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board, UAV!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UAV Mechanic View Post
... so do any of you guys have some advice for me?
We sure do.

You've already figured out a lot of this, but here's some numbers and other considerations to go with it:
How many years does it take to become financially independent? | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Where to put your savings while you’re in the military | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Simple ways to start saving | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Frugal living is not deprivation | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Start saving early | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
Saving base pay and promotion raises | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Those links are mostly oriented toward saving for retirement. (I'm going to assume that you're not carrying any consumer debt.) At your age you may also be saving up cash for a vehicle or for apartment rent/deposits, so don't feel obligated to put everything into the TSP and a Roth IRA.

If you haven't already looked at military-friendly financial companies then you should consider banking with Pentagon Federal Credit Union & Navy Federal Credit Union, and insurance with USAA & Armed Forces Insurance.

If you're still in the Hollister area then this board's posters have donated copies of "The Military Guide" to the libraries in Emeryville and the UC Merced campus. I know those aren't exactly next door, but you might be able to get your hands on them through an interlibrary loan.
The military guide to financial independence & retirement (Book, 2011) [WorldCat.org]

Before you spend your money, much of the book is excerpted on the blog. You can also "Look Inside The Book" on Amazon's website to decide if it's worth the price.

If you're slated for a combat-zone deployment then you can shovel away a lot more tax-free money in accounts like the Savings Deposit Program. But that's probably a whole 'nother thread.

I'll let the more current servicemembers & veterans offer the career advice, but I think the part most worthy of your attention is active-duty tuition assistance toward college courses. I understand if college isn't on the radar right now. But when you're ready, make sure you maximize TA and the GI Bill.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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Welcome, UAV.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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WELCOME UAV and congrats for starting so early.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAV Mechanic View Post
Hello, i am 18 years old and am in the army for 6 years and saving $1500 a month and any additional promotion pay will get saved as well, i am wondering what can be done to increase the amount in 6 years; so do any of you guys have some advice for me?
Welcome UAV, nice to see some youngsters thinking about FIREing.

What do you mean "increase the amount in 6 years"? Do you mean what's the best way to invest it? Or do you mean how do you save more? What's magical about 6 years?

If you're asking about investing, I would recommend growth mutual funds for someone your age. You can split it up between S&P500, some international funds, and even some aggressive growth/small cap. You have plenty of time to ride out the market ups and downs. Just remember...don't put money in the market if you'll need it in the next 5 or so years...the market is too volatile IMO.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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Welcome and way to go. Starting at such a young age will definitely work to your advantage!
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Welcome and way to go. Starting at such a young age will definitely work to your advantage!
+1, welcome aboard....
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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What's magical about 6 years?
I believe that is the length of his service commitment.
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