29 in California finally ready to trudge on the road to retirement


Confused about dryer sheets
Nov 29, 2010

After dreaming of ER for many years, over the last weekend I decided when I would like to do so: at age 35 - for now it is just a number to fantasize about since I'm not sure if that is actually feasible. I am 29 right now.

I have about ~$12,000 saved up via former and current jobs - they are parked in a combination of IFSIA, PSAFX, VBMFX and about $5,000 in cash all in rolled over IRA accounts. I have no credit card debt. I have ~$5,000 in student loans. No other debt. $1,000 in savings. I've been working on paying off my student loans before doing much else. I currently pay $3,640/year into my company 401(k). I am risk averse and my fantasy is just to have the cash I put stay there until I'm ready to use it.

For the time being, my immediate goal is to save $10,000 in cash before I do any more investing. All the books that have been recommended here - I am slowly going through trying to determine what I want to do.

My living expenses are under $800/month. I make $38,000 gross and opportunity to make more are slim to none. I don't intend to change my life at all in a way that would entail large financial outlays.

The welcome message I got when I signed on was rather stern, so hope I adhered to all the rules.

I am a willing learner and looking forward to learning a lot.

Thank you.
Welcome 29. Many things will change over your lifetime, but you will never regret thinking about financial independence early in your life.

I'm curious about your plan to go from having $18000 or so in savings and investments, invested very conservatively, to having enough to ER on in 6 years. If you are spending $9600/yr right now, that would require a portfolio of $240,000 to produce a 4% withdrawal equal to your current spending. Assuming modest returns from conservative investments, you would have to save virtually all of your salary for the next six years to accomplish this goal (assuming your opportunities to make more money are slim to none, per your assertion).

I don't mean to burst your bubble, just curious what steps you see yourself taking to get you from A to B, or whether 35 is just a fantasy? :)

Sounds like you won't be far off from 35 though if you get decent returns on your investments and keep saving and living on $9600 a year.
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