Author Topic: Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)  (Read 321 times)

cantstopwontstop

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Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)
« on: August 09, 2018, 01:44:47 PM »
Hi All,

I'm a huge lurker and finally bit the bullet and made a username, and made a post! I started my FIRE initiative in my early 20s, but got all in serious when I turned 30. I said enough is enough, and time to get done. I've been in absolute beast mode from my 30th birthday, one track mindset, and crazy focused!

Everything else is just a distraction. I've been getting into the office before the sun comes up, and leaving at dark. I don't mind it at all, as I know I'm getting closer and closer to my goal (at least I hope...!)

I've been kind of nervous to release any of my account info, but realized it would be very beneficial to get a 3rd party view, as sometimes we can be very stuck in our own thoughts.

My strategy is dividend growth stocks and live off the dividend yield (3-4%) with the addition of a percent withdrawal (not sure how much) from growth funds as well.

Here's where I stand as of a few minutes ago, I'm currently 32 years old:

*numbers rounded*

Dividend Growth Strategy:

SCHD: $45,000

SPHD: $15,000

VYM: $5,000

I started w/ SCHD from the start, and constantly add a set amount every 3 months automatically, and keep this going.

My own portfolio of 35 dividend growth stocks: $150,000 (estimated yield 3.5%)

These were all bought over time at $2-4K each, and some I added more to over time if they dropped in price. I continue to add to this based on priced well dividend growth stocks with at least 25 year+ dividend, and many other rules/criteria.---

Growth:

Betterment 90/10 portfolio (i've been auto adding to this every month for many years): $34,950

VASGX Life Strategy 80/20 portfolio (i've been taking a few hundred out of each paycheck for many years on this one from when I first started, and continue to do so): $25,900

---

Work based retirement account:

401K in retirement year date 2050 (more aggressive which correlates to 95/5 stock/bond split): $125,000

I'm maxing out the contributions, but kinda sucks to have a 0.95% expense ratio, but the options were pretty limited, and it seems like a good long term solution (at the 2050 mark).

---

Personal ROTH (over contribution limit for salary, first world problem!): $14,900-

Savings:

$130k (in 1.5% "high" interest savings account)

Let me know if you'd change/add/remove anything. I know the savings may be a bit overkill, but when you were once negative $50K+ and struggling to even pay for necessities, the cushion is priceless. I never ever want to be in that situation again, and anyone who has been there/there now, can certainly relate. If you're there, keep pushing and stay positive (the only way to get out of it).

I know there's a lot going on here, but keep in mind this is a mixture of my efforts over the last decade, and I'm looking to make it all as simple as possible now.

A few questions/concerns/ideas:

1. Is it normal to start having a bit of anxiety once your balances grow? I always questions myself and think am I doing it right? Am I in over my head? Should I be talking to some "expert" about this, rather than just doing my own research? Essentially, questioning myself and wondering if I should be doing anything more carefully?

2. Anyone ever worry about losing it all? I worked so hard for these funds, and I'd be crushed if I ever lost it all. One part of me wants to put it all in savings, CDs, and secure strategies, although I know the downside is I'd be losing a massive upside potential...which would cost me many more years of working...

3. If I were to save/invest $75-100K for the next 2-3 years, do you think I could be done by then if I wanted to live on $25-30K year? I have a hard time taking into account different growth models, contribution, etc. I'm going to toy with all the useful linked calculators tonight.

4. My biggest fear is losing my main source of income, which makes up 90% of my cash flow. I'm not at jeopardy, but working for someone else, there's always a chance. Does anyone else ever fear this uncontrollable destiny during their journey? I honestly would find it extremely hard to find another job where I make even half of what I'm doing now, so I'm doing my best to keep everyone happy here, but it's a constant stress factor for me. Am I alone? I'm probably overthinking it, but I overthink everything! :)

5. The 401K retirement account I'm maxing out each year + employee match, and I plan to not touch until 60-65 as a second layer in my early retirement, which should give me an even buffer. I assume it at least double-triple over that time period. Has anyone ever took advantage of their balance w/ a small withdrawal each year while taking a penalty? Just curious.

---

Thanks guys, I plan to post a ton. I'm ready to help, guide, assist, and loaded with questions myself!

Go easy on me, I promise to learn more and spread the love on here to other newbies.

Can't wait to hear back!

- Hustling hard, Billy

jmusic

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Re: Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 04:09:46 PM »
I understand your hesitation about going open kimono; just remember that you haven't ACTUALLY posted your account information (account numbers, login/pass, etc.).  No one could do much with what you've provided here.

1.  Yep.  Totally normal.  Most "experts" know about as much as you do, some more, and many less.  All will charge quite a bit of money.

2.  Yep.  Totally normal.  Plus the market has been going up, up, up for the last 6+ years, so we're quite a bit overdue for a correction. 

3.  You're doing quite a bit better than I am, and at a younger age.  But I don't think ~$600k is a "set for life" kind of bankroll.  You also haven't mentioned your housing situation.  Really the thing to consider is whether you're willing to stomach a higher risk of your plan failing.  4% SWR would suggest that you'd need a $750K bankroll for living indefinitely at your planned lifestyle.

4.  In the income diversification issue, you're already better off than most Americans (100%).  But yes, that is a healthy fear.  Sounds like you're a high income earner too (You're in the 1%!!!  GAHH!  *FROTH AT MOUTH*).

BTDretire

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Re: Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 04:23:50 PM »
 I hope it doesn't happen, but would not be surprised if we had another
market correction before you retire.
Expect to see your balance take a dip before it comes back up
and you think maybe now I can retire.
 I'm at retirement, but can't get the wife to stop working.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 04:30:58 PM »
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/12/27/dividend-growth-investing/

Just some food for thought. That said, you have a great savings rate and regardless of what happens, you're going to be fine.

cantstopwontstop

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Re: Am I on track for FI? (Review with questions)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 04:57:05 PM »
I understand your hesitation about going open kimono; just remember that you haven't ACTUALLY posted your account information (account numbers, login/pass, etc.).  No one could do much with what you've provided here.

1.  Yep.  Totally normal.  Most "experts" know about as much as you do, some more, and many less.  All will charge quite a bit of money.

2.  Yep.  Totally normal.  Plus the market has been going up, up, up for the last 6+ years, so we're quite a bit overdue for a correction. 

3.  You're doing quite a bit better than I am, and at a younger age.  But I don't think ~$600k is a "set for life" kind of bankroll.  You also haven't mentioned your housing situation.  Really the thing to consider is whether you're willing to stomach a higher risk of your plan failing.  4% SWR would suggest that you'd need a $750K bankroll for living indefinitely at your planned lifestyle.

4.  In the income diversification issue, you're already better off than most Americans (100%).  But yes, that is a healthy fear.  Sounds like you're a high income earner too (You're in the 1%!!!  GAHH!  *FROTH AT MOUTH*).

Thanks for the super helpful insight! Very much appreciated.

This is my first time using the forum on my iPhone (older.model), and not too easy to type/see on here as the forum doesn't seem to be mobile optimized. Maybe I can talk to the owner and help him release a new mobile version? I'm quite experienced in web design from my younger years.

Sorry for the missing info...

Housing: I'm renting a friend's townhouse who left for a job opportunity out of state. Im essentially just covering the bare expenses he has, with everything (cable, wifi, etc) included for $850/month. I lucked out there.

Income: As mentioned I'm in absolute terminator mode. I've been averaging in the $2xx,xxx range and pushing it higher. This is sales commission with a very low base. Mainly a mix of insane effort (in office by 6:30am and a specific niche I'm in.

Also, does every post require the verification and questions? I'll need to reply to the rest tomorrow on my PC not great on my phone.

Thanks for the awesome first reply. I posted these questions else where, and the initial insight here is way more helpful. Most places if you don't agree with the cult following, you are instantly doing it wrong.