Author Topic: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals  (Read 4895 times)

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Hi there!

I just discovered the MMM community because of a friend at work, and I'm really excited to participate in the forum! I'm a bit nervous about sharing these details, since I'm generally a very quiet and private person. I changed a few small details, and rounded the numbers, to protect my identity. I have an embarrassment around talking about my financial status, mostly because I don't want my family to know.

Me:
I'm 29 years old, and I work and live in San Francisco bay area. I live with my gf and 2 dogs. We split costs - (the gf and i, not the animals!) I basically have no hobbies and work all the time, though I'm trying to change this. We live only 25 miles from our offices, but have to commute about 2 hours each way because of traffic. Moving closer will increase our rent significantly. (See numbers below). We plan to be engaged soon.

Background:
Immigrant secular family, moved to the US from lithuania when I was younger with my grandparents and parents. We grew up quite poor due to various bouts of unemployment, sickness, unexpected bills. Father died from a quick and unexpected illness when I was in high school. Mother is basically revenue neutral and unemployed. Grandmother is very sick, and has been for a long time. Grandpa is gone. Siblings are in a lot of debt. (I paint a grim picture, but... everyone who is still around is positive, happy, and supportive! We all speak regularly.)

I graduated in with over $150,000 in student loan debt, ranging from 3% to 12%, and a savings of $1,500. I chose a career in tech, even though I graduated with a useless degree in history from a good uni in NYC. I worked full time in college (40 hours a week) in science labs and as a TA, which is how I paid the other 50k of my tuition over 4 years.

All of my financial knowledge is self taught over the course of the past 18 months or so. Prior to that, I was financially illiterate and was mostly hoarding cash (and I still mostly am!) I've been researching mostly investments, retirement accounts, and so on.

My Career:
I started out as a contractor fixing corporate environments/networks/printers, etc. for $40,000 per year, and currently make ~190,000 almost 8 years later as a self-taught software engineer (base 120k). I currently work for a large tech company, (similar to FAANG and also in silicon valley). I've been at my current company for 4 years. My salary has increased approximately 20,000 per year since I started there through various job changes, promotions, etc. I do not expect this trend to continue. I also have serious imposter syndrome at work, which may bleed into preventing my advancement further. I don't plan on leaving the company where I currently work. We don't have free lunches, but the people are very nice and that means a lot to me.

My Partner:
She is a mixed media artist and contracts throughout SF bay. She has a savings she doesn't have to dip into with an emergency fund, but doesn't save much beyond that. She had one large inheritance and has never spent it. After all is said and done, she probably can save 5-10k a year. I don't want to derail the conversation by focusing on her finances. We'll cross that bridge when we get there and I don't want to rush into it.

My philosophy:
I don't believe in making my life uncomfortable in order to skimp pennies here and there. I do believe in paying yourself first, I don't have a set "FIRE" date or value, though I intend to "work" even after I reach that point. I think living a balanced life without excess (my apartment is not fancy, we share a car, and we don't buy lots of frivolous items, perhaps, other than food). We like to see the world and travel once or twice a year internationally, usually as part of a business trip (i.e. one of us goes for work, and the other tags along.)

My goals:
Honestly, I just don't want to raise kids in the type of environment that I grew up: a tiny, cramped apartment with 6 people. parents working long hours when they had any work to begin with.

Longterm, I'd like to one day buy a house with a yard, though probably not in the SF bay area, preferably near NYC to be nearer to my family upstate. I'd also like to support my gf in her desire to leave corporate life in order to pursue a career in artistry. In my family life, I'd like to have a few children. Financially, I'd like to have 1 million net worth within 2-3 years. I'd also like to purchase an investment property within 1-3 years, though I don't see it as feasible within the bay area right now. Within 12 years, I'd like to have 5 million net worth.

These goals are quite lofty and I think they're probably not possible, but I plan to aim high and hopefully be closer to my goals than if I aimed low. I'm having trouble visualizing myself getting there - my numbers just don't add up. Even if I "trim some fat" and save another 5k a year or so, will that really help me get to the millionaire goals I dream of?

some discussion questions that run through my mind daily:
- Are my goals unrealistic? What would more realistic goals be?
- Is there anything you would do differently in my shoes?
- Are there better places to put my money? (other kinds of investments, etc?)
- I don't have a financial advisor, should I get one?
- Am I doing anything horribly wrong?
- Am I doing anything right? (I don't need backpats, but it would be good to understand what's right/wrong so I don't cancel this habit.)
- How do I help my family while also looking after my (and my future family) financial future? (I usually only help out around christmas time by playing santa claus. I buy them gifts that I've heard them say they need/would like throughout the year... such as snowblowers, remote starters, cell phones, clothes, and so on). I would love to help them throughout the year, but my siblings would likely would *never* accept a gift or money outside of christmas - they are too proud. My mother wont accept financial assistance (though she will accept financial advice), and my siblings won't accept advice or assistance - though they do sometimes let me pay for dinner.)
- How should my gf and I talk about money prior to getting engaged?

- I'm new, learning, and open to any and all advising!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE NUMBERS:
The numbers below are slightly rounded (some higher, some below) in order to help protect my anonymity.
 
Current gross annual income:
- Base pay:120k
- Vesting Equity: ~50k
- Bonuses: annual 15% + a few grand here and there for being an oncall engineer. (Let's call this 36,000 annually)
- - Total annual income: 206,000

~~~~~~
Current Regular Paycheck Allocation (every 2 weeks), rounded:
- income: 4,500
- mobile phone/internet reimbursement: 40

deductions:
- 401k pretax: ~700 (18k per year, with company match, this turns out to be about 25k per year. Next year I plan to put 100% of my bonus in it until it maxes out so this  will go down to 0).
- 401k aftertax, then 401k roth rollover: 70
- HSA: 50
- vision: 2
- dental:5
- life insurance: 10
- legal plan: 20

taxes:
- federal income tax: 750
- medicare: 100
- CA income tax: 275
- social security employee tax: 300
- private disability: 40

Money left over from every check (every 2 weeks): ~2,175
~~~~~~

Other annual income, paid/vesting irregularly:
Equity:
- 12,500 every 3 months, after tax about 8,000
Bonuses:
- 36,000, after tax about 27,000


~~~~~~
Bills monthly:
- Rent: 3,500/2 = 1,750 (moving closer to work with our housing requirements would cost about 5,500/mo for the same amount of space).
- Water/Sewer/Gas/Electric: 400/2 = 200
- Car Insurance: ~100 (we share one car, paid off)
- online subscriptions (netflix, etc.): 50
- top-of-the-line pet insurance (literally everything is covered...): 100/2 = 50
- doggy daycare: 600/2 = 300 (This turns out to be cheaper since one of us can work from home every once in a while and don't bring the dogs to daycare on those days... we can't bring the dogs to work).
- pet things (food, vet, medicine, etc.): 150
- food: 400/2 = 200 (we eat out a lot because we don't have time to cook/shop due to commute times - about 2 hours each way, sometimes driving and sometimes on a train/bike/bus).
- regularly scheduled flights to my mother/grandmother, average: 200/mo
- Other things: 200 avg

total approximate monthly bills: 3,200

~~~~~~
How I divy out my savings:
"pay myself first" (not including 401k):
- 400 per week into robo investor
- 400 per week into personal savings
- joint savings with gf: 100
- savings per month: 3,300 between these two accounts

~~~~~~
Monthly financial allocations:
Monthly paycheck income: 2175*2 = 4350
bonuses: 27,000/12: 2,250/mo
subtract:
"pay myself first": 3,300
bills: 3,200
leftover: 100 spending cash

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personal Net Worth:
Approximately $515,000 USD

Breakdown of current assets:

Debt: 0 (just paid off the car that we share, and paid off student loans a few years ago).
No long term debt as of 2.5 years ago. Pay CC bill in full every month.

Cash:
CD (1.5%), 4 months to maturity: 25,000
Bank Accounts (cash, including emergency fund): 25,000
Total Cash: 50,000

Investments:
Personal Investment Account (about 3-5 unique stocks at a time): 190,000 (30% unrealized gain in 2 years)
Vested Corporate Equity through my job: 120,000 (45% unrealized gain in 4 years, all dividends are DRIP) - i have never sold work equity
Roboinvestor: 40,000 (25% unrealized gain in 10 months)
Total: 350000
Note: Current unrealized gain from the above total (taxable upon sale): 120,000
(realized short term gains so far this year: 7,000, realized losses: 3,000)

Retirement:
401k (both pre+post tax): 115,000

HSA:
2,000 (non-invested)

TYVM for your advising!

p.s. please excuse my blunt responses, I am aware of them - they are cultural and I do not mean to be curt or rude. I am trying to adopt more "american" nonchalant responses - english is my second language :).

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5905
  • Location: BC
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 05:29:43 PM »
I've only skimmed the numbers...   your core question is "What part of my plan to move closer to NYC, raise kids, without a cramped apartment and with financial security may be unrealistic?.."

A few general comments:
1)  Your GF, as a mixed media artist that is more than supporting herself (e.g, saving money plus supporting herself, leaving inheritance alone) is doing great for her chosen profession.   She may not personally have early retirement goals or goals to support more people than herself, so it is fine to let that topic alone.

2)  NYC seems to be much more difficult (expensive) to raise a family than even SF Bay area.  There are a lot of taxes and utility costs in NYC area, and getting great pay in IT seems to be more common in SF area.   (It exists for certain in NYC, but IT jobs over $250k seem to have a smaller set of people).

3)  You are in the realm of getting paid for what you can do, not your degree.  Be done with imposter syndrome.  The worst people in your area are the PhD's that can't do much other than a very very specific focus which is not in demand, and PhD's are very hard to manage, generally (according to my DH who has many years in IT trying to manage all types).   In future, look for shorter term training on specific areas that will improve / add to what you can actually do.. Machine learning or big data are both in demand right now... Eternal skill upgrading is what you are after right now, and value add to the company, not degrees in IT.

4)   An option in future (especially if the job turns less interesting or family becomes a strong drive) -- Look for high paid jobs in IT in a lower cost of living area, closer to NY.  Maybe OHIO?  Michigan?  Chicago?  IDK.   These jobs wont' pay quite the premium but a senior (whatever) at a corporate job will be a long term hire, usually stable, etc.   Unlikely to get you technical interesting work back in IT in SF or NYC, but highly likely to get you a nice house, 3+ kids, spending money, cars, nice lifestyle and lots of trips to family (or a suite to fly family to live with you for several months of the year, which is nice, too).

What seems difficult?
IMO -- It is "live closer to NYC with a nice lifestyle".   

OR   

Live in SF Area with a family with kids and see your kids during the week (because long commute).   
--> Instead, I would say that you could continue to work lots of hours in the week, long commute, from now until kids are about 6-7, then changing into a contractor only part time mode, or moving away from HCOL and not working at all (FIRE) to finish raising kids are feasible.

Hey, I am cynical, I moved to SF Bay area with kids age 4 and 6 and did not get to see them much, and asked other parents and found out that this was quite common, especially where one parent was the main income earner.  The NYC comments comes from reading other NYC posters showing their budgets.  It's pretty scary... really, I am not sure how people do it and FIRE with a family in NYC greater area.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 05:34:20 PM by Goldielocks »

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 05:59:32 PM »
With some numbers per week, some per forthnight, and some monthly, I got a bit confused. Is it possible to do everything in one time unit so it is easier to understand at a glance?

Just some questions:
1) How have you calculated that you need 5 millions? I get the 1 million sum, if you want to keep your expenses at the same level, and a 4% withdrawal rate. But 5?
2) Keeping a lot of money vested at your company might be a risk. If they go bust, you might loose both investments and income at the same time. If you place most of the money somewhere else, you would still have a safety net if SHTF.
3) Regarding GF, I would keep the discussions focused on goals. When you agree on those, you can start discussing methods to reach the goals.

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 06:17:28 PM »
@Goldielocks.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!

I've only skimmed the numbers...   your core question is "What part of my plan to move closer to NYC, raise kids, without a cramped apartment and with financial security may be unrealistic?.."

A few general comments:
1)  Your GF, as a mixed media artist that is more than supporting herself (e.g, saving money plus supporting herself, leaving inheritance alone) is doing great for her chosen profession.

2)  NYC seems to be much more difficult (expensive) to raise a family than even SF Bay area.

3)  You are in the realm of getting paid for what you can do, not your degree.

4)   An option in future (especially if the job turns less interesting or family becomes a strong drive)

What seems difficult?
IMO -- It is "live closer to NYC with a nice lifestyle".   

OR   

Live in SF Area with a family with kids and see your kids during the week (because long commute).   
--> Instead, I would say that you could continue to work lots of hours in the week, long commute, from now until kids are about 6-7, then changing into a contractor only part time mode, or moving away from HCOL and not working at all (FIRE) to finish raising kids are feasible.

Re: 1) - I agree, thank you!
Re: 2) - I have noticed that. There are some fintech firms there but I have heard they are not pleasant.
Re: 3) - Thank you for these thoughts. I need to think about them a bit. It's very hard when I go into the office and everyone is smarter than me!
Re: 4) - We've considered this as well - particularly NC, Pittsburgh, or Dallas area. Though, it would still be a bit sad to not be near my family.

I think your characterizations of the question are accurate. Though, I would hate to miss the childhood :(.




@gaja:
Thank you for your thoughts and questions!

With some numbers per week, some per forthnight, and some monthly, I got a bit confused. Is it possible to do everything in one time unit so it is easier to understand at a glance?
Sorry for the weird calculations. It all made sense in my head :) I will repost the numbers monthly here, though all I did was multiply the fortnightly by 2, which means there is 1 check unaccounted for since this would be 12*2 (and there are 26 fortnights in a year). let's just call call the inaccuracy more savings.

~~~~~~
Current Regular Paycheck Allocation (Monthly), rounded:
- income: 9000
- mobile phone/internet reimbursement: 80

deductions:
- 401k pretax: 1400 (18k per year, with company match, this turns out to be about 25k per year. Next year I plan to put 100% of my bonus in it until it maxes out so this  will go down to 0).
- 401k aftertax, then 401k roth rollover: 140
- HSA: 100
- vision: 4
- dental:10
- life insurance: 20
- legal plan: 40

taxes:
- federal income tax: 1500
- medicare: 200
- CA income tax: 550
- social security employee tax: 600
- private disability: 80

Money left over monthly: ~4,350
~~~~~~

Other annual income, paid/vesting irregularly:
Equity:
- ~2666 monthly (8000/3)
Bonuses:
- 2250 monthly (27000/12)


~~~~~~
Bills monthly:
- Rent: 3,500/2 = 1,750 (moving closer to work with our housing requirements would cost about 5,500/mo for the same amount of space).
- Water/Sewer/Gas/Electric: 400/2 = 200
- Car Insurance: ~100 (we share one car, paid off)
- online subscriptions (netflix, etc.): 50
- top-of-the-line pet insurance (literally everything is covered...): 100/2 = 50
- doggy daycare: 600/2 = 300 (This turns out to be cheaper since one of us can work from home every once in a while and don't bring the dogs to daycare on those days... we can't bring the dogs to work).
- pet things (food, vet, medicine, etc.): 150
- food: 400/2 = 200 (we eat out a lot because we don't have time to cook/shop due to commute times - about 2 hours each way, sometimes driving and sometimes on a train/bike/bus).
- regularly scheduled flights to my mother/grandmother, average: 200/mo
- Other things: 200 avg

total approximate monthly bills: 3,200

~~~~~~
How I divy out my monthly savings:
"pay myself first":
- 1500 in 401k
- 1600 into robo investor
- 1600 into personal savings
- joint savings with gf: 100
- savings per month: 3,300 between these two accounts

~~~~~~
Monthly financial allocations:
Monthly paycheck income: 4350
bonuses: 2,250/mo
subtract:
"pay myself first": 3,300
bills: 3,200
leftover: 100 spending cash
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


@gaja again:
Just some questions:
1) How have you calculated that you need 5 millions? I get the 1 million sum, if you want to keep your expenses at the same level, and a 4% withdrawal rate. But 5?
2) Keeping a lot of money vested at your company might be a risk. If they go bust, you might loose both investments and income at the same time. If you place most of the money somewhere else, you would still have a safety net if SHTF.
3) Regarding GF, I would keep the discussions focused on goals. When you agree on those, you can start discussing methods to reach the goals.

Regarding your questions:
1) The 5 million value is a number I came up with at an average return of 5%, this would provide 250,000 approximately of passive income a year. This would allow my gf to pursue her dreams without financial concerns, and also allow me to comfortable replace my income to pursue other passions.

2) I agree. The question is: where can I safely park this money that isn't also in the same stock market?

3) Acknowledged, thank you!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 12:29:49 AM by i_have_so_much_to_learn »

marble_faun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 06:35:23 PM »
Could you imagine working remotely and settling in a low-cost-of-living area?  Your money would go much further in parts of the country that aren't SF or NYC.  You could become financially independent earlier, see the dogs/kids more, and stop commuting.

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 06:46:47 PM »
Could you imagine working remotely and settling in a low-cost-of-living area?  Your money would go much further in parts of the country that aren't SF or NYC.  You could become financially independent earlier, see the dogs/kids more, and stop commuting.

Yep! I have considered this, thank you! I think this would be a longer term goal - I'm pretty much stuck here for about 2-3 years due to my partner wanting to finish some commitments/projects, unless we decide to stay past then together.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5905
  • Location: BC
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 07:15:34 PM »

3)  You are in the realm of getting paid for what you can do, not your degree.

Re: 3) - Thank you for these thoughts. I need to think about them a bit. It's very hard when I go into the office and everyone is smarter than me!

I think your characterizations of the question are accurate. Though, I would hate to miss the childhood :(.

[/quote]

I have worked as an engineer -- Female, "feeler / communicator" type.  I used to excel at writing, and my final role with the company was Director  / proposal writer / sales for a team of engineers.   

I understand being surrounded by very technically smart people, smarter than me... which is why you would be ideal for the manager type roles.  It takes someone with technical skills PLUS communication skills to handle management, which I assume you have based on your degree.  It's OK (desirable!) to have people "smarter" than you around you.  Look for the points of difference where you stand out. For me it was listening to the client, translating what they said, selling to the client, creating opportunities for my technical team, etc. That's where I had the success at my career.

You may also be ideal for those "corporate" not "cutting edge" technical roles that pay solidly, and are located across the country (e.g. Dallas?) and require people good at meetings with many departments.   These require technical people, but the very, very "smart ones" hate them because of bureaucracy BS quite a bit.  A person talented with expressing ideas would do great at them.

I hated missing the childhood too.   It took me far too long to wake up and decide that a modest living was FAR less worrisome than missing my kids' teen years.  I finally moved and then FIRED this past year. 

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3924
  • Location: Avalon
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 07:20:05 PM »
You are doing well: congratulations.

I also don't get the $5m/$250k per year calculation.  You are currently living off expenses of just under $40k per year in a high cost of living area.  Remember that once you are FIREd 1) you don't need to save more money out of your income, 2) you can move from your current high tax location, and 3) the expenses of work (high rent, commuting costs, doggy day care, food expense from not cooking) disappear.

Even supposing your FIREd expenses go up in some respects (ie girlfriend earning less, children, your personal projects), if your current modest lifestyle is one that suits you your retirement needs will be nowhere near $250k per year, which means that you don't need to save $5m.  If $40k a year would do the job for you, then you only need to get to $1m before evaluating your position and considering your options.  No need to spend all those extra years getting up to $5m!

PennySaved75

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2017, 08:30:19 PM »
Do you still owe $150,000 in student loan debt?  If so, are you making payments and how much?

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2017, 08:33:04 PM »
Do you still owe $150,000 in student loan debt?  If so, are you making payments and how much?

Thanks for asking! I paid off the student loan debt a few years ago by basically putting in all available money to pay down the debt. I didn't describe how I paid it off, but I outlined my assets/liabilities under the "Personal Net Worth:" section. I apologize for writing my case study so haphazardly.

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 08:39:14 PM »
You are doing well: congratulations.

...

Even supposing your FIREd expenses go up in some respects (ie girlfriend earning less, children, your personal projects), if your current modest lifestyle is one that suits you your retirement needs will be nowhere near $250k per year, which means that you don't need to save $5m.  If $40k a year would do the job for you, then you only need to get to $1m before evaluating your position and considering your options.  No need to spend all those extra years getting up to $5m!

That sounds really interesting - I imagine, however, I will need to start saving for "new" expenses, then, such as 529 plan, unexpected medical bills, summer camps, etc. I have no idea what this type of thing will cost :). Additionally, this would be while renting - it would be ideal to have a place to call our own for stability and sentimental reasons (i.e. put some roots down). So 1 million saved would be in addition to the downpayment on a property, assuming costs would be similar to what we're paying now.

Question for you: Wouldn't it be safer to save more than needed? i.e. double what you decide you need, so that you're not skimping by on the low end of what you expect to live on? For example, say I decide that I need 60k, which would be 1.5M, wouldn't it be better to save 3M and have 120K?

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2017, 08:53:57 PM »
I hated missing the childhood too.   It took me far too long to wake up and decide that a modest living was FAR less worrisome than missing my kids' teen years.  I finally moved and then FIRED this past year.

First and foremost, congratulations!! I'm sorry it took so long to notice that. Out of curiosity, did you post your story anywhere for the community to read?


I have worked as an engineer -- Female, "feeler / communicator" type.  I used to excel at writing, and my final role with the company was Director  / proposal writer / sales for a team of engineers.   

I understand being surrounded by very technically smart people, smarter than me... which is why you would be ideal for the manager type roles.  It takes someone with technical skills PLUS communication skills to handle management, which I assume you have based on your degree.  It's OK (desirable!) to have people "smarter" than you around you.  Look for the points of difference where you stand out. For me it was listening to the client, translating what they said, selling to the client, creating opportunities for my technical team, etc. That's where I had the success at my career.

You may also be ideal for those "corporate" not "cutting edge" technical roles that pay solidly, and are located across the country (e.g. Dallas?) and require people good at meetings with many departments.   These require technical people, but the very, very "smart ones" hate them because of bureaucracy BS quite a bit.  A person talented with expressing ideas would do great at them.

I hated missing the childhood too.   It took me far too long to wake up and decide that a modest living was FAR less worrisome than missing my kids' teen years.  I finally moved and then FIRED this past year. 

You sound very inspirational! I'd love to follow in your footsteps but I strongly feel like I need the technical base before I can lead my peers. That's why I've been slowly "gaining skills" for the past 8 years - I'm really grateful and lucky to have obtained a role such as the one I have now, and to have people such as my manager who believe in me. I think I need a few more years in the "production engineering" trenches before I can feel confident leading a team such as mine.

I also think that I'm the "feeler" communicator type. I actually do a lot of leadership-y stuff at work. I have been mentoring new hires for the past 3 years. I was invited in Feb to be one of the facilitators for our company's "technical leadership summit" once a quarter, teaching multi-day seminars to cohorts of 30ish new managers and tech leads. (Ironic, because I'm no longer a lead, since I just transferred to a more technical engineering role in Q2 and gave up my prior technical-lead position.) I also sit on the approval panel for entry level applicants. Finally, I do a lot of interviewing, and particularly love traveling to engineering diversity conferences. I really like these "extracurriculars" because they let me escape the computer screen and meet people who are really passionate and excited about life, and engineering - they are not yet jaded :). This gives me a lot of energy to push forward. Anyways, not sure this is relevant, but it is cathartic to write this out and learn more about myself in the process.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5905
  • Location: BC
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 09:03:37 PM »
That's exactly the sort of thing that I meant, about leadership.   You start by volunteering for those types of tasks.  It shows you are read to step into management, and the first level of management is still 50% technical.   Also, you need to have the technical "expert" background to make this work.   Be known for being very good at something technical is very important to be a great management candidate.

From your description, you should be within 6 mos to 2 years of getting a leadership / entry management role.  The only reason why not would be that your company is small and these positions do not come available very often.   (My engineering office has only 1 "manager" per 40 plus persons, and that manager is billable 50 to 70% as a technical person).

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3924
  • Location: Avalon
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 11:39:00 PM »
You are doing well: congratulations.

...

Even supposing your FIREd expenses go up in some respects (ie girlfriend earning less, children, your personal projects), if your current modest lifestyle is one that suits you your retirement needs will be nowhere near $250k per year, which means that you don't need to save $5m.  If $40k a year would do the job for you, then you only need to get to $1m before evaluating your position and considering your options.  No need to spend all those extra years getting up to $5m!

That sounds really interesting - I imagine, however, I will need to start saving for "new" expenses, then, such as 529 plan, unexpected medical bills, summer camps, etc. I have no idea what this type of thing will cost :). Additionally, this would be while renting - it would be ideal to have a place to call our own for stability and sentimental reasons (i.e. put some roots down). So 1 million saved would be in addition to the downpayment on a property, assuming costs would be similar to what we're paying now.

Question for you: Wouldn't it be safer to save more than needed? i.e. double what you decide you need, so that you're not skimping by on the low end of what you expect to live on? For example, say I decide that I need 60k, which would be 1.5M, wouldn't it be better to save 3M and have 120K?
Yes, you are right that there are extra expenses to take into account, and while others here will tell you that renting is the financially advantageous option I agree that owning has other advantages.

Also, yes, you can put in as much safety net as you want, for instance if you don't trust the 4% rule to stand up for as long as you are retired.

BUT.  Once you have that million (or however much you need to have reached the minimum for your FIRE), you have reached the point at which you are trading years of freedom for that additional safety.  Nothing stopping you doing that, of course, it's a question each of us have to answer for ourselves.  What I would say is that you are probably not in the position where you could never earn any more money ever in your life: you could go part-time, you could work from home, you could find a much lower paid but much less stressful job, or you can take a sabbatical to see whether RE suits you and if it doesn't you can go back to something high powered.   All of those options are cut off if you are set in the mindset of "$5m or bust", and so miss out on all of those years when you could be doing something that doesn't involve spending 10 hours of the week commuting.  Right?  Plus, getting to $1m is looking pretty attainable for you (you are half way there already, with a great savings rate), so if you set that as your goal and re-evaluate when you get there you are setting yourself a much easier mental task, which is something I'm always in favour of.

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2017, 12:02:41 AM »
That's exactly the sort of thing that I meant, about leadership.   You start by volunteering for those types of tasks.  It shows you are read to step into management, and the first level of management is still 50% technical.   Also, you need to have the technical "expert" background to make this work.   Be known for being very good at something technical is very important to be a great management candidate.

From your description, you should be within 6 mos to 2 years of getting a leadership / entry management role.  The only reason why not would be that your company is small and these positions do not come available very often.   (My engineering office has only 1 "manager" per 40 plus persons, and that manager is billable 50 to 70% as a technical person).
Thank you! I will ponder this, and then bring this up in my career goals chats that I regularly have with my manager.

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2017, 12:12:55 AM »
You are doing well: congratulations.

...

Even supposing your FIREd expenses go up in some respects (ie girlfriend earning less, children, your personal projects), if your current modest lifestyle is one that suits you your retirement needs will be nowhere near $250k per year, which means that you don't need to save $5m.  If $40k a year would do the job for you, then you only need to get to $1m before evaluating your position and considering your options.  No need to spend all those extra years getting up to $5m!

That sounds really interesting - I imagine, however, I will need to start saving for "new" expenses, then, such as 529 plan, unexpected medical bills, summer camps, etc. I have no idea what this type of thing will cost :). Additionally, this would be while renting - it would be ideal to have a place to call our own for stability and sentimental reasons (i.e. put some roots down). So 1 million saved would be in addition to the downpayment on a property, assuming costs would be similar to what we're paying now.

Question for you: Wouldn't it be safer to save more than needed? i.e. double what you decide you need, so that you're not skimping by on the low end of what you expect to live on? For example, say I decide that I need 60k, which would be 1.5M, wouldn't it be better to save 3M and have 120K?
Yes, you are right that there are extra expenses to take into account, and while others here will tell you that renting is the financially advantageous option I agree that owning has other advantages.

Also, yes, you can put in as much safety net as you want, for instance if you don't trust the 4% rule to stand up for as long as you are retired.

BUT.  Once you have that million (or however much you need to have reached the minimum for your FIRE), you have reached the point at which you are trading years of freedom for that additional safety.  Nothing stopping you doing that, of course, it's a question each of us have to answer for ourselves.  What I would say is that you are probably not in the position where you could never earn any more money ever in your life: you could go part-time, you could work from home, you could find a much lower paid but much less stressful job, or you can take a sabbatical to see whether RE suits you and if it doesn't you can go back to something high powered.   All of those options are cut off if you are set in the mindset of "$5m or bust", and so miss out on all of those years when you could be doing something that doesn't involve spending 10 hours of the week commuting.  Right?  Plus, getting to $1m is looking pretty attainable for you (you are half way there already, with a great savings rate), so if you set that as your goal and re-evaluate when you get there you are setting yourself a much easier mental task, which is something I'm always in favour of.

Ah, I see. That makes a lot of sense, particularly the quote:
Quote
you have reached the point at which you are trading years of freedom for that additional safety
.

I really appreciate your thoughts - particularly about options once I reach that "FIRE" number. I had not considered taking a lower paid job, to be honest. But I would love to cut down on the commuting and live in a more family oriented neighborhood. I also really like the "get there and then evaluate" perspective. I have a lot to think about! Thank you very much.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8963
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2017, 12:23:37 AM »
- - Total annual income: 206,000
...
Current Regular Paycheck Allocation (every 2 weeks), rounded:- income: 4,500
There is a big difference between $206K/yr vs. $4500 * 26 = $117K/yr.

Assuming the equity and bonuses aren't significantly more at risk than the base salary, what do you think of doing
- $18K/yr pre-tax 401k
- $3400/yr HSA
- $5.5K/yr Roth IRA (or backdoor Roth)
- $29K/yr after-tax 401k (i.e., mega backdoor Roth)
- sell the $50K/yr equity and, together with the excess base salary and bonuses, put ~$4K/mo into diversified index funds?

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2017, 12:43:45 AM »
Thank you for responding!
- - Total annual income: 206,000
...
Current Regular Paycheck Allocation (every 2 weeks), rounded:- income: 4,500
There is a big difference between $206K/yr vs. $4500 * 26 = $117K/yr.
4500*26+36000+~48000=201000
Quote

Assuming the equity and bonuses aren't significantly more at risk than the base salary, what do you think of doing
- $18K/yr pre-tax 401k
- $3400/yr HSA
- $5.5K/yr Roth IRA (or backdoor Roth)
- $29K/yr after-tax 401k (i.e., mega backdoor Roth)
- sell the $50K/yr equity and, together with the excess base salary and bonuses, put ~$4K/mo into diversified index funds?

I have considered something like this. I'm not eligible for a Roth IRA due to income limits (max income for roth ira is 133,000) so I'd have to backdoor. I heavily considered the megabackdoor roth. My largest concern in this regard is the opportunity cost of putting too much money retirement accounts. Putting this kind of money in retirement accounts when I realistically can't touch them for 30 years means that I also cannot use the money to buy a house or other large investments/expenses.

I have not considered selling the equity and moving into diversified index funds, to be honest. I felt that the amount that I"m putting in the roboinvestor would offset the corporate equity. Do you believe that selling and moving into diversified funds would be safer even if I believe in the future of the company?

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2017, 01:32:56 AM »
You can access retirement accounts before traditional retirement age by doing a Roth Conversion Ladder. https://www.madfientist.com/how-to-access-retirement-funds-early/

I think you should look into lower COL areas as part of your overall view of the future. I'm saying this as someone who lives in a moderate COL flyover-country area and works with a bunch of people in a HCOL area. I'm always hearing about why I should move, but the numbers never make sense. I bought a house for $225k, 3 bed/2 bath in a very nice, walkable and transit-oriented neighborhood. I live in the city proper and have a 20 minute bike or bus commute, and close access to a ton of amenities.

But, if you'd never been to my city, you would never know that we have a strong arts scene, public transit, excellent public education options, etc. etc. I have to assume the same is true of other places, so I'd really suggest looking at moderately-sized cities within a reasonable distance from family. I bet you'll find some real gems.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8963
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2017, 11:45:27 AM »
I have considered something like this. I'm not eligible for a Roth IRA due to income limits (max income for roth ira is 133,000) so I'd have to backdoor. I heavily considered the megabackdoor roth. My largest concern in this regard is the opportunity cost of putting too much money retirement accounts. Putting this kind of money in retirement accounts when I realistically can't touch them for 30 years means that I also cannot use the money to buy a house or other large investments/expenses.

As merula notes,
You can access retirement accounts before traditional retirement age by doing a Roth Conversion Ladder. https://www.madfientist.com/how-to-access-retirement-funds-early/
See also https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/how-to-withdraw-funds-from-your-ira-and-401k-without-penalty-before-age-59-5/.  Given your total investable cash flow, the amount going into pre-tax funds is relatively low even if you maximize those contributions along with your other options.  You can (and should) adjust how those assets are allocate, depending on the time frame in which you expect to withdraw them.

Quote
I have not considered selling the equity and moving into diversified index funds, to be honest. I felt that the amount that I"m putting in the roboinvestor would offset the corporate equity. Do you believe that selling and moving into diversified funds would be safer even if I believe in the future of the company?
Pretty much by definition index funds are safer than individual stocks.  A few individual stocks will outperform the index in which they are included, but many will lag.  If you have perfect foresight you could judge whether your company is more like Amazon (so far) or Enron, but you probably don't have perfect foresight. ;)

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2017, 03:32:36 PM »
Pretty much by definition index funds are safer than individual stocks.  A few individual stocks will outperform the index in which they are included, but many will lag.  If you have perfect foresight you could judge whether your company is more like Amazon (so far) or Enron, but you probably don't have perfect foresight. ;)


If only I had perfect foresight... :)

Thank you for the links. I will look into the withdrawal of funds from retirement accounts and also index funds.

Ben Kurtz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 08:10:25 AM »
Congratulations on your upcoming engagement!

You're doing quite well financially; I'd hesitate to touch a running system, but then, life changes such as marriage and children are by definition major changes to the running system, so it is best to plan interventions around those.

First off, I'd observe that while your current state is stable and productive, it honestly doesn't seem very sustainable from a long-term perspective. The commute is a killer (25 miles in 2 hours -- do you ride the company bus in nothing but the worst traffic ever?), and the extremely high costs of the SF Bay area make it difficult to raise a family in comfort, even on a lofty $250,000 per year family income (I'm guesstimating your future wife's income based on your comment that she is self-sustaining). Having no hobbies or outside interests would get most people down. I guess that's why you spend an outsized amount on your pet dogs -- it gives you something outside of work.

Before settling on a numerical financial goal, or discussing investment strategy, I think the most important change to consider, in light of your plans to get married and raise a family, is whether you should change jobs and/or geographical locations. If you want to own a modest family-size house (<2,000 sq. ft.) with a yard in a commutable distance from a Silicon Valley job, you're looking at $1.5 million or more. Which implies a family annual income of perhaps $400,000 to qualify for a mortgage. That would require a serious job upgrade on the part of you and/or your future wife, and push out financial independence until you had a net worth well in excess of $3,000,000 (implies $1,500,000 of income-generating assets in order to afford taxes and other elevated expenses associated with staying in the SF Bay area).

Changing geographies would probably be helpful. While moving to metro NYC will probably not help the financial calculations, you should probably go on an extended tour of Salt Lake City, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Research Triangle NC, Atlanta, and even Boston and DC. All these combine elements of: reasonably well-paid tech jobs, somewhat to much lower cost of living and somewhat to much shorter trips to visit extended family. Cutting a million dollars off the cost of a house, and cutting $15,000 worth of excess yearly baseline expenses (higher property taxes, higher state income taxes, higher cost of regular goods and services), probably gets your financial independence number down to $1,500,000 or even a bit less -- $500,000 for a house and $1,000,000 in investments. That is almost certainly worth a top-line annual pay cut of $50,000 or even more. 

Given your trajectory, the best time to move is either a bit after you get married but well before your first child arrives -- gives you time to settle in to a new area and develop a network of friends before being bogged down with a child -- or well after your first child is born but before your second comes along, so you can get settled into a proper family home before getting bogged down again. You can probably scrape by in a small-ish apartment with one infant for a year or two, allowing you to stay in Silicon Valley a little longer and milk the jobs, training and connections available there for as long as reasonably practical, but a second child is probably the breaking point.

Regarding some of your specific questions:

I'd suggest having a goal of $1,000,000 net worth in the next 3-4 years. Goals are useful motivators, and a million dollars invested is enough to support any family without working if the family is willing to be just a little frugal and flexible. Given your savings habits, that is entirely practical if the investment markets cooperate. If they do not, you'll miss your timeline but then prod yourself into working, saving and holding through a downturn, and you'll come out even stronger on the other side. I don't think you need to set, in advance, a $5,000,000 goal for functional reasons -- that is, to be financially independent to a comfortable degree. But if you feel driven to build your own little investment empire, then by all means, set a goal. I also wouldn't let this goal over-determine the points discussed above: You can leave the SF Bay Area with only $850,000 in the bank, and plan on saving up the last $150,000 a tiny bit more slowly while living and working in another geographical region.

After hitting $1,000,000 (wherever you live at the time) I think your next goal should be to figure out exactly how much you need to be fully financially independent in a reasonably preferable geographical location, whether it's the one you are then in or whether it requires a (second) move, and set a reasonable timeline to hit that number. The answer might be "$2,000,000 in metro Boston, reached in 8 years" or "$1,500,000 million in Putnam County, NY, reached in 4 years" or "$1,200,000 in Denver, CO, reached in 2 years," but you can figure that out later.

I don't think you need a financial advisor at this stage. A consultation paid at on hourly rate with a fee-only financial advisor (one who won't try to sell you whole life insurance -- that's a big red flag) might make sense once you think you are nearly ready to deem yourself "financially independent" and quit full time work, but you're smart enough and engaged enough to run this yourself for now.

Budgeting a few hundred or a few thousand a year to spend on family is not unreasonable, if that's your kind of family and those are your values. Just keep it to a manageable number and bake it into the spreadsheets.

Talking to your future wife about money is very important, but for the most part that's just because it's a vehicle for talking about fundamental goals and values: What kind of family do you want to raise, where do you want to live, what kind of work do you want to do, what kind of material habits and lifestyle do you want to sustain (fancy consumer goods? extensive international travel? early retirement? spartan living? lots of charity?). Frankly acknowledge the role that money plays in all of these things, but the main thing will be to discuss these issues, not asset allocations or the expense ratios on the mutual funds available within your 401k. Get started well before you get married. You're also on the cusp of it making sense to have a pre-nup. Nothing vicious; just a bland and boring one confirming that, in the event of divorce, each side can take out what it brings into the marriage (your $515,000 in savings; her unspecified inheritance), with earnings while the marriage exists being community property to be split evenly -- this isn't fundamentally different than what the law provides for anyway, but it is a useful place to document exactly what it is that each person had, and how it can be traced back in case it needs to be unwound, to avoid pointless fighting in a situation where people's emotions would run high. It would be worth bringing this up during the first half of the engagement, when you are both in planning mode but not yet panicked by an impending wedding.

Finally, regarding asset allocation and the like: Diversify out of company stock and holding individual stocks. Do that now; you're running large and unrewarded risks for keeping the portfolio you have. if you must speculate or hold individual stocks, try to keep it to less than 10% or 15% of the portfolio. For the rest, read up on index investing and passive management -- there are plenty of good authors out there; Dick Ferri and Bill Bernstein are both good places to start. Put most of your money in a long term portfolio that looks something like 60% U.S. equity index funds, 20% foreign equity index funds and 20% bonds. Consider building up an emergency, house-buying and wedding party fund in cash and short-term muni bonds worth $50,000 after one year and $200,000 after 4 years. For someone smart and disciplined, who already has good habits, this is the easy and boring part -- just read up on it, work out an asset allocation that makes sense to you, and execute.

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1868
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2017, 12:12:46 PM »
You have several factors mixing together, causing confusion as to how to establish wise decision paths:

How much money do I need?
Should I keep earning to provide for all possibilities, or plan to stop sooner?
Will I live near my family of origin?
Will I increase costs through marriage and children?
Should I stay in Silicon Valley, move to NY or go somewhere cheaper?
I want a yard!
My commute SUCKS
Am I good enough for this job? 
What will my career future bring?

If I may:

+1 to the posters confident in your abilities.  However, downturns can interrupt the best of careers.  So, also +1 to saving and diversification, -1 to buying an expensive home in any location.

It's fine if you love your job to keep working in case of future expenses, but "plan for the highest expense and work towards it" is only wise as a benchmark, a parameter in your decision process, not as a this-is-the-only-way goal that precludes other options.  Wiser path:  measure the cost of several alternatives; compare your financial progress to each one; and through collaboration with your significant other, prepare reasonably for contingencies, choose the joint favorite option for now, move forward without further worry, reeavaluate whenever either partner's projects come to a turning point.

Neither of you wastes a lot of money, so goals as a spending/cost cutting motivator aren't needed as some people on this forum use them.  Don't add superfluous goals when you're already on track.

Re diversification:

First take, be tax efficient where possible, but yes it's also good to have liquid assets.  Personally, I'd do a little of each rather than mega back door anything.

Second take, broad indexes are safer than specific companies.  MMM's standard basic allocation of 2/3 in a broad stock fund and 1/3 in a broad bond fund is better than investing in one company.  Where possible without incurring taxable gains, I'd shift to this before going to third take.

Third take, additional diversification is possible through any of many portfolios.  You can study good examples and get great education on the topic at portfoliocharts.com, a retirement project of a fellow Mustachian (not me).  When ready, use of some strategy similar to these will further give you stability as well as decent returns.  IMHO, tech means you lose your job exactly when the market drops, so some cash or bonds in the portfolio is a good idea (lots of others here disagree, but hey, you decide.  And check out the data on portfoliocharts.com for perspective).

Last remark:  since your possible mate is creativity-oriented rather than acquisition-oriented, focus on communication and joint paths that preserve options.  As above, explore contingencies and measure progress toward them, but don't tie yourself to one goal unduly.  I guess the main tactic would be not to buy an expensive house, followed by finding an opportunity to extend your high income career to LCOL area.  And find inexpensive ways to maintain those wonderful family contacts (WhatsApp often, visit a couple times/year with travel hacking, etc).   

Anyway, live long and prosper.

PS.  Entirely by eye, it looks like you're on track for $1M in 4 years, not 2 or 3.  Why 2 or 3? 

The point of these numbers shouldn't be bragging rights or a sense of competitive accomplishment, though beating your own pace is satisfying and, as long as not interfering with other life factors, worthy.  The point should be joint life goals... and since those have a wide range of diverse factors, don't just pick some round number, or a number that feels like "I'm an achiever"; communicate, iterate, live.  Preferably without million dollar mistakes that have a postage stamp yard.   :)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 12:25:51 PM by Bicycle_B »

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2019, 07:12:09 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update this thread since it's been 16 months. (November 2017 through February 2019).

Personal Net Worth:
increased from $515,000 USD in Nov 2017 to $746,000 USD in 16 months.

post-tax Investments:~514k
401k: ~183k
hsa investments: ~5.5k
Cash (including non-invested HSA): ~43k

Total: ~746k

pretax income: ~200k (150k in biweekly checks, ~50k in equity split into 4 annual vestings)
rent: $4200
utilities: $300
other expenses: ~2k per month

Current strategy:
- frontloaded my pre-tax 401k, doing $175 twice a month for after-tax -> roth rollover
~3k per month in cash
~$400 per month added to my index accounts
- pretty risky (only because 90% of my investments are in 7 bluechip stocks) (90.3%), along with a small percentage (9.7%) being indexed via wealthfront.
- 401k is in vanguard retirement 2055 account.
- I haven't yet sold my annual equity vests

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1131
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2019, 08:23:20 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update this thread since it's been 16 months. (November 2017 through February 2019).

Personal Net Worth:
increased from $515,000 USD in Nov 2017 to $746,000 USD in 16 months.

post-tax Investments:~514k
401k: ~183k
hsa investments: ~5.5k
Cash (including non-invested HSA): ~43k

Total: ~746k

pretax income: ~200k (150k in biweekly checks, ~50k in equity split into 4 annual vestings)
rent: $4200
utilities: $300
other expenses: ~2k per month

Current strategy:
- frontloaded my pre-tax 401k, doing $175 twice a month for after-tax -> roth rollover
~3k per month in cash
~$400 per month added to my index accounts
- pretty risky (only because 90% of my investments are in 7 bluechip stocks) (90.3%), along with a small percentage (9.7%) being indexed via wealthfront.
- 401k is in vanguard retirement 2055 account.
- I haven't yet sold my annual equity vests

Congrats, youíre kicking ass but it seems like youíre under doing your tax advantage accounts, but Iím not an expert. With your salary and upbringing, itís going to be tough to fail. Ultimately, whatís your goal with your life?

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2019, 08:46:00 PM »
Congrats, youíre kicking ass but it seems like youíre under doing your tax advantage accounts, but Iím not an expert. With your salary and upbringing, itís going to be tough to fail. Ultimately, whatís your goal with your life?

- Thanks for responding! What do you mean by under doing my tax advantage accounts? I'm open to learning and taking suggestions!

- "Tough to fail" - I hope so. I'm usually very nervous. I just bought a book actually to help me stop working... Called "Declutter Your Mind"... Hoping that it helps.

- Goal with my life? I mean... I guess it's to have a family, raise children, and be able to support my partner's dream of being able to pursue her artistic passions. Beyond that, I'd like to somehow figure out how to make my assets work for me and be able to take a real income from them... Perhaps real estate or something else. Following that, I always thought that if i struck it rich I would be a forever student and just rack up degrees :). MBA, MS in multiple fields, MD, who knows? I've always had a passion for education.
 
But realistically it would just be nice to have a happy and healthy family, and not worry about how we will pay for food or rent. I'd like my (hopefully, future) children to have enough financial cushion in case something happens to me. I'd like to own my own house one day so I can stop paying someone else's mortgage, or worry about needing to move if the rent increases. Everything else is icing on the cake, as they say :).

Do you think this is unreasonable? Again, open to learn from my MMM friends. :)

i_have_so_much_to_learn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: SF
Re: First time poster, just discovered MMM, not sure how to reach lofty goals
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2019, 08:46:56 PM »


- "Tough to fail" - I hope so. I'm usually very nervous. I just bought a book actually to help me stop working... Called "Declutter Your Mind"... Hoping that it helps.

Sorry, should say to help me stop WORRYING, not working.