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22 and ready to start saving + my project
Old 08-01-2007, 09:53 PM   #1
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22 and ready to start saving + my project

I figured this would be a good place to post this and get some feedback and advice. I have started a blog that is going to show my day to day road to retirement. I plan in detail my savings and whatnot fully. I still need to put run some numbers and put them up there to kind of inspire other young people out there reading it that they should probably start thinking about this kind of thing too. On that note, if someone has a decent spreadsheet they might be willing to send my way I would appreciate it. I've done all sorts of online calculators for this but I'd rather have a spreadsheet I can share on the site.

I didn't post it in the blog but my gf (very serious) is pulling in about 10g more than me and is going to be looking to put in at least 2-3k a year while in school versus my 1-2k. Reguardless, the advice given to me will also be passed onto her. Seeing as we both have many years ahead of us, we are looking very seriously into Roth IRA since we are currently paying the least amount of taxes we will ever pay. Once we get jobs we plan to max out the Roth as well as our 401k's + get into some low risk mutual funds.

Beer Budget Retirement

Anyways, check it out, I plan on making my tenure here on these forums now that I have found you guys! Glad to be here and I look forward to hearing your feedback.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:19 PM   #2
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I like your blog. You're definitely on the right track; I wish I had your foresight when I was 22.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Webzter. A couple of days ago I described the idea behind the blog to my gf and she thought it sounded kinda dumb, then tonight she saw it up and running without even knowing I had created it and loved it. I intend on continue to learn a lot more about this kinda stuff over the next several years, most likely through this forum and articles etc.

[dream]
Who knows, if the blog were to gain significant popularity and I did extremely well with my savings, I could eventually (years from now) write a how-to have a champaign retirement while making a malt liquor salary. lol wouldn't that be something? Talk about having some residual income on the side from a book deal!
[/dream]
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:50 PM   #4
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There are a lot of great book resources on this forum. Personally, I'd recommend starting with Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and then work through their recommended reading section in the back. You should be able to get all of those books at the UT library.

One of the Boglehead authors, Michael Leboeuf, wrote another book that you might want to check out. Titled 'The Perfect Business', it's a bit trite but useful for thinking how to channel your energy into other endeavors.

For what it's worth, I think you'll be much better off if you figure out how to monetize your blog. You can see revenue much sooner and, frankly, it has the potential to pay better than a book ever could. Obviously, every author is different, and every subject area is different, but several tech authors I know consider themselves blessed if they see anywhere near $25k from book sales. Before my publisher went under, my co-author and I were looking at splitting roughly $15k from one book. To put this in perspective, at an hourly rate, I would have made out just as well if I had picked up a part-time job as a shift supervisor at McDonald's.

Edit: Not to rain on your parade of course. Just consider it for it's entire benefit to your life. There's something very rewarding about having your name show up on Amazon.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:55 AM   #5
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Heh thanks for your advice on the book. It's definitely not something I am banking on to put me into ER, just a lil' idea i was kicking around in my head. I intend on working in industry for many years and then when I am ready I might either go into Part-time retirement and be a consultant (assuming I successfully earn my PhD) or go full time opening up a true to form engineering consulting firm. That's a ways off though so it is still up in the air. First thing is first... I must pass my qualifiers!!! eeek

I'll check out those books you suggested.

EDIT: oh yeah, its the Texas A&M library not the UT library I'll forgive you though
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:56 AM   #6
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I always wanted to have a telethon or a mass mailing, asking people to give me 1 dollar to make me rich hehe.

No BS sob stories or charity stories, just me being utterly honest on TV saying send me a dollar so at least I can be rich!

I kinda think people would think it was funny, and send in money just because I was honest. Maybe throw in a good billboard in a city here or there.

I did try something like it with a tip jar one day in my store, and labeled it my millionaire fund, and people laughed and put money in it.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:35 AM   #7
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I like the fact that you have a system for your retirement savings.

Nice blog concept.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:59 AM   #8
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Nice blog.... you need more subtle colors.. so it's easier to read here at work...
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:30 AM   #9
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Nice blog.... you need more subtle colors.. so it's easier to read here at work...
heh good idea, I'll see what I can do.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:32 AM   #10
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What, no google ads? How are you going to make money?

Welcome to the board.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
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Hey Natesal you've got a good idea. I'm around your age - 1 or 2 years. I've done something similar except that i'm trying to get into Harvard first. It isn't explicitly said on my website but if i'm roaming around here i guess it might be a tad obvious to the casual observer that i want to taste that sweet sweet ER too. I don't tell anyone i know about my ER dreams anymore as my fam/friends forced it out via some bitter workahol. Luckily i had a stash of sweetened ER left in my apartment that brought me back to my senses.

Monetizing the blog shouldn't be that difficult. If someone as inept as me can do it you surely shouldn't have any problems. Adsense can earn you some change if you have the traffic but most of the money is to be made on affiliates. Then again maybe you shouldn't listen to me about the blog though as i've hardly made enough to buy a coffee in Cambridge yet alone help me with my studies.

If times are tough you could always collect trash, resell it and invest the money like i do.
Harsh work but oddly entertaining. Oh well back to work i go high ho high ho.

J
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:25 PM   #12
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Way to go. Agree with Bow-tie, the dark gray background makes the text very hard to read for us non-22-year-olds.

Since your site is well written, with few errors, I'll assume that you'd appreciate this proofreading:

"kudos" instead of "kuddos"

When you say, "I will be archiving where the money I am saving has come from" I think you mean "I will be documenting where the money I am saving has come from"

You say "going to attempt to scrap together every last penny" but I think you mean "scrape together."

Investment wise, I think that after your reading you probably won't want a "low-risk mutual fund." Since you're so young, you might decide to get a higher risk, more aggressive fund.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:40 PM   #13
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Hey Natesal you've got a good idea. I'm around your age - 1 or 2 years. I've done something similar except that i'm trying to get into Harvard first. It isn't explicitly said on my website but if i'm roaming around here i guess it might be a tad obvious to the casual observer that i want to taste that sweet sweet ER too. I don't tell anyone i know about my ER dreams anymore as my fam/friends forced it out via some bitter workahol. Luckily i had a stash of sweetened ER left in my apartment that brought me back to my senses.

Monetizing the blog shouldn't be that difficult. If someone as inept as me can do it you surely shouldn't have any problems. Adsense can earn you some change if you have the traffic but most of the money is to be made on affiliates. Then again maybe you shouldn't listen to me about the blog though as i've hardly made enough to buy a coffee in Cambridge yet alone help me with my studies.

If times are tough you could always collect trash, resell it and invest the money like i do.
Harsh work but oddly entertaining. Oh well back to work i go high ho high ho.

J
Very cool blog J, I enjoyed reading the article on how to escape poverty. What would you say the oddest thing you have found in the trash thus far? I can think of some things I have thrown away that in the eyes of another would look pretty off the wall.

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Way to go. Agree with Bow-tie, the dark gray background makes the text very hard to read for us non-22-year-olds.

Since your site is well written, with few errors, I'll assume that you'd appreciate this proofreading:

"kudos" instead of "kuddos"

When you say, "I will be archiving where the money I am saving has come from" I think you mean "I will be documenting where the money I am saving has come from"

You say "going to attempt to scrap together every last penny" but I think you mean "scrape together."

Investment wise, I think that after your reading you probably won't want a "low-risk mutual fund." Since you're so young, you might decide to get a higher risk, more aggressive fund.
Thanks for the edits Al. Sometimes the words just come to me; however, other times I can't seem to put together the most basic sentence in a comprehensible manner. I was thinking about that actually the other day. Some friends of mine are looking to for some people to pool some money together to buy into some of these bigger aggressive funds. I might dump some cash into that and see what happens. As of now though, my first goal is the Roth IRA. Is there any reason you might think of as to why I should go for something a bit different right now? My rational was that I am paying some of the lowest taxes of my life right now, so it makes sense to go for the roth while I am still in the low bracket.


-Nate
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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Regarding risk... because you're starting so young, you don't need to be aggressive. However, because you're starting so young, you can be more aggressive. In other words, time is on your side either way.

To illustrate, say you go 100% equities in a blend of US stocks. The idea of it dropping 50% might not phase you... if you're looking forward to making $80k a year out of college and your portfolio is only $20k at the time, losing $10k might not feel like such a huge deal (or, it might, everyone is wired different). On the other hand, after a few years, you may be making $100k but have $400k in assets. At that point, a 50% drop may hurt the ol' gut a bit.

To stop my rambling, let me just say that you need to define your goals and then pick an asset allocation that takes into account your goals, timeline, and risk tolerance.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Natesal View Post
Some friends of mine are looking to for some people to pool some money together to buy into some of these bigger aggressive funds. I might dump some cash into that and see what happens. As of now though, my first goal is the Roth IRA. Is there any reason you might think of as to why I should go for something a bit different right now? My rational was that I am paying some of the lowest taxes of my life right now, so it makes sense to go for the roth while I am still in the low bracket.
Perhaps I just am reading this wrong, but I want to make certain you're aware that the Roth IRA is just a type of account, not an investment. So when he's talking about aggressive funds, you could purchase those funds within your Roth IRA.

Perhaps you knew that, but I wanted to make certain
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:07 PM   #16
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Perhaps I just am reading this wrong, but I want to make certain you're aware that the Roth IRA is just a type of account, not an investment. So when he's talking about aggressive funds, you could purchase those funds within your Roth IRA.

Perhaps you knew that, but I wanted to make certain
Ah yes, sorry for that pretty awful wording. If I put money in with my good friends I most likely wouldn't be the primary holder so it couldn't go in my roth IRA account. I meant to say that my first goal is to get my own account going with my own personal investments before I get into any sort of group investment. The only reason we are doing the group deal is because some of them require $5000 or whatever and any single one of us might not have that much, but combined we can put money in.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:24 AM   #17
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Hey nate, just an idea for the blogsite. Just for the hell of it, why not include something like a "tip jar" (so to speak) so your readers could add donations. Possibly link it up with PayPal. Some blog readers are willing to donate money if the material is good enough. If people are willing to leave a $10,000 tip for a waitress, who knows?
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:55 AM   #18
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Both of us are on research assistantships so tuition isn't an issue, and our living expenses are being covered by the University;
...

Living on a budget of about $14,000(just for me) a year, I am going to attempt to scrap together every last penny I can and put it towards my nest egg.
Unless I'm reading it wrong, you're leading a very comfortable life right now. No living expenses, and 14K for spending money. Isn't that A LOT?
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:39 PM   #19
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Unless I'm reading it wrong, you're leading a very comfortable life right now. No living expenses, and 14K for spending money. Isn't that A LOT?
The assistantship covers tuition, health insurance, and then it gives you $14k for apartment, gass, food etc etc
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:24 AM   #20
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Nice blog! Hope you can keep it going. I started a blog a while ago but got too busy and didn't keep it up. I suppose if you can generate some income it will be extra incentive to sustain it.

A Roth IRA is a great idea in your situation. I think there's also some federal tax benefit/credit for saving for a traditional IRA for people below a certain income level. As a student you may quality. Sorry I can't remember the details. I would suggest looking into it.
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