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Mid-[career] boredom.
Old 07-24-2018, 07:35 PM   #1
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Mid-[career] boredom.

SO and I hit some milestones a little while back. Iíve been feeling a bit relieved/less nervous? about savings/future. More relaxed on spending (savings rate might dip below 50%) Just got back from vacation and with a new baby itís a struggle waking up for work. Iím 65% stocks, 25% real estate, and 10% cash. Would be bonds but with rising rates plan to transition towards the end of the year (if market doesnít crash).

Just seems like slow going at this phase. Ratcheting up market uncertainty just adds to the malaise.

Havenít seen any growth in indexes - only growth from some amazon/Apple. Just seems like a slow 6 months here. Anyone else hit a mid career lull?

Yea, I know things will (kinda) improve after the baby phase.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:56 PM   #2
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Yes, when you get a full night's sleep everything looks better!

Don't sit around watching your index funds, hoping they rise within 6 months. That's a sure way to wreck your day. You're investing for the long term; what happens in any 6-month period is irrelevant. They're going to go up and down: you know this!

When do you hope to retire?
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:02 PM   #3
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50% savings rate?

Amazing.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:41 AM   #4
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Hope to retire (or be able to if I want to) in about 15 years. I update a tracking spreadsheet monthly but this month checked out YTD performance was ~0%. We live very comfortably but certainly donít spend carelessly. Both Work and roughly live on one salary. Itís part luck (that I have a good job) and part planning (decided to only seriously date people with comparable situations - what do they say ďyou can love a rich man the same as you can love a poor manĒ?). There are certainly trade offs made compared to a stay at home spouse (decisions, power, and responsibilities are split equally - you canít always say ĎIím tired from Work can you take care of it?)
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:02 AM   #5
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With a new baby and both working, it will be hard to maintain your savings rate for the next 5 years due to childcare expenses - not to mention all of the expenses for things the kiddo needs! Personally, if you are in good financial shape now, I would stay the course on your plans and give yourselves room to handle the expenses of a child (or two or three) without going overboard. You'll essentially get a big raise when they start school, so you can plow that into college and retirement savings.

Main thing is to enjoy the unique experience of being a parent - as you've heard many times, you can't go back once they grow!
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:32 AM   #6
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July has almost matched January (2018) performance. Not sure what index funds you have to only see growth in Apple/Amazon.

Your statement on bonds is market timing and doesn't make much sense. A rise in the Fed Funds rate may increase rates a bit. They are not tied directly. Yes, the NAV dips, but then new purchases/dividends buy at a lower NAV and the return is higher. Total US Bond is now over 3%. The Federal Money Market and Prime Money Market at Vanguard are 1.8 to 1.9% now.

Vacations and new babies are tiring. Most times I need a vacation from my vacation.

As your portfolio grows, progress feels slower. New contributions are a smaller percentage. Make sure you have low cost/tax efficient/broad based index funds.

Utilize your pre-tax 401k/403b, Roth IRA, HSA. Start thinking about a 529 and college. As you go along, you probably can't stick with 50% savings. Another kid, daycare, it adds up.

Set reasonable goals and don't look very often. Investing should be boring. Go for a run, walk, bike ride, read a book, enjoy life.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:36 AM   #7
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Your job at this point in your life is to create memories. While you need to keep an eye on FI, it looks like you have that on autopilot. Are grandparents in the picture? The new baby should be the center of attention. And don't forget you and your SO. Date night every week. Babysitter so you can go out with friends. Keep the vacations going.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:58 AM   #8
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Index funds were great for seeing upward progress for most of 16/17, but got a wobbly start in 2018, so any recent 6 month window is going to reflect that early year turmoil.

The point of them though, is not to get fixated on small windows. They usually aren't very sexy, but they do protect you from far worse volatility.

You have 15 years and a new baby. Put away the spreadsheets for a while.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:03 AM   #9
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I would focus on what you do with your FREE time. Work can be a grind and even simply an annoyance when you are lacking sleep from young ones.

I have 13 more years. Currently saving at a 30% rate, paying daycare and taxes on a big chunk and living on the rest.

I built a spredsheet function that takes my ER date, minus today's date and then subtracts all weekends, holidays and PTO.

I then look at that % vs likely my remaining life expectancy and it gives me some hope.

I think it's just over 3000 days left of w*rk...and I only need to work about 60% of the days I have left before ER. That's another hopeful figure.

When you look at the pie and realize just a hair over 50% of the time is going to be spent working, it sort of changes the mindset to geez, what should I plan to do during those days off! Let the workdays fly by, but enjoy the days off friend!

For me I made a bucket list...and refined it with more meaningful things like...

1. Take a guided raft trip down Cataract starting in MOAB
2. Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
3. Crew a sail excursion somewhere in the ocean
4. Get Scuba dive certified
5. Parasail / Kite Sail
6. Get my Private Pilot license
7. Monetize my youtube channel
8. Ski the Swiss Alps
9. Visit Alaska, New York and some other countries
10. FIRE before kids start college

It will take me likely the next 13 years to plan all of those things. And of course raise a family, be a good dad and support the kids interests and growth.
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