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Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 07:44 AM   #1
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Hello all!

Hi! Been lurking for the past week or so (found the board while doing research on retirement investing), and thought I'd introduce myself, as this seems like an intelligent/friendly bunch. I just turned 30, DH is 31, and we're both finally settled down into our careers and are ready to do some long-term planning. I'm a college librarian--hence the user name, and he's a software developer. we both love our jobs, but they are stressful (his especially), and we don't want to work any longer than necessary--but then does anyone? : We don't have kids, nor do we plan to--our talents lie in different areas. We have a fair amount in savings, but that's earmarked for a down payment on our first house--we hope to buy later this year. Aside from a small student loan, we're debt free. We haven't done much on our retirement accounts--though we've got several IRAs and 401Ks that are probably in the low to mid 5 figures total. The next to-do is obviously buying a (cheap but nice) house, but retirement planning is the next thing on the agenda after that.

We've run some preliminary numbers, and retiring in our mid-to-late 40s sounds like a distinct possibility, though I may stay a bit longer at my job to qualify for a higher pension from the state (I'm not including that in my calculations, as I see that as "fun money" that we'll use for trips, toys, etc.). Also, once I'm with the state for 10+ years, I will retire with full health coverage to 65 (and DH will get cheap coverage), so that's one worry off the table. The tech bust did a number on both our careers (I was in telecom before getting laid off and going to grad school), as well as our savings plans, and it's really only been the last year or two that we've been back on track. I feel like we're a bit behind, but FIREcalc and the other things I've played with make me fairly confident that our frugal lifestyle (we live on 50% of our take-home with no real trouble) should help us make up for lost time. I'm still playing with numbers on our allocations, something along the lines of 70/30 stocks/bonds +an emergency fund in cash equivalents sounds logical, but I'm still sorting out if I should distribute things differently in our taxable vs. non-taxable accounts, how much I need to diversify within those stock/bond buckets, all that stuff. I'm currently reading Random Walk down Wall street and Intelligent Investor, which are helping all this make more sense--though I wished I'd read them in 1999!

I think we're in a pretty good place, but comments, suggestions, etc. are welcome. Thanks!

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Re: Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: Hello all!

Sarah, welcome to the board!

You sound like you've got a good start to FIRE. Having a health insurance solution is a huge hurdle out of the way.

Every librarian I've ever known was a great researcher, so I know you'll always be learning. I'll look forward to your contributions to the board.

Good luck in the house hunting!

"Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America." President Richard M. Nixon, February 6, 1974
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Re: Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Hello all!

Welcome to the board, Sarah.

Dual incomes, medical insurance, high savings rate-- FIRECalc can do a lot with that kind of data. Sounds like you're doing fine!

Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

I don't spend much time here— please send a PM.
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Re: Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re: Hello all!

Welcome to another Sarah! I always dreamed of being a librarian! How very cool! We've got no kids, either. I'm 36 and plan to work a few more years than DH, who will be out in 6 yrs. Sounds like you are on the right track with your program--glad you could join us here!

the other Sarah
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Re: Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 77
Re: Hello all!

Chalk up another one for a person who wants to be a librarian. There are always city openings for qualified librarians in Los Angeles, with a good starting salary of about 50k or so. But a degree in library sciences is necessary.

Also, the libraries here tend to be waist deep in homeless people. I don't begrudge them the shelter, but it's got to make the "dream" of being a librarian a lot harder to deal with on a daily basis.

My only advice, which has served me well, is to save money every month. Make it a habit. It'll become automatic, and eventually you'll see that money grow impressively. (Last year my money made more money than I did - it was like a third income.) And that will hopefully inspire you to keep doing it even more.

I'm still a long ways off from being able to FIRE, but I'm far ahead of a lot of my peers, and I know we're on the right path.
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Re: Hello all!
Old 03-21-2007, 06:23 PM   #6
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Re: Hello all!

Hi! Thanks for the warm welcome--I definitely hope to spend plenty of time hanging around these parts.

Coach: Thanks! Yeah, I'm something of a research geek--I've actually pondered hanging out my shingle as a freelance business researcher--new products/markets, competitive intelligence, that sort of thing...maybe after I get the retirement thing on autopilot. :-)

Mclesters: You know you could always volunteer with your local public library, either now or post-FIRE. Most of 'em always need a few more pages or shelvers...

tricky88: we already do the monthly auto-save thing, and it's been very helpful, we're just looking at sending money in different directions. And on the public librarian thing--it takes a special sort of person, especially in downtown/inner city branches. I actually did a brief stint (~2 yrs) working at the welfare office between the dot-bomb and starting grad school, I learned a lot that has served me well in my life, but I've given pretty much all i had to offer that population (aside from financial support), and I think I work better with college students. Furtunately, I was lucky enough to find my dream job. :-)
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