Author Topic: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)  (Read 3322 times)

CrispySub

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Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« on: November 04, 2017, 08:41:10 PM »
Topic Title: Way forward with many upcoming life changes

Life Situation: Currently engaged (age 29), no children, living in HCOL area with fianceí (age 28)

Gross Salary/Wages: $8,434 monthly (includes non-taxable income) for me

Individual amounts of each Pre-tax deductions $8 life insurance

Other Ordinary Income:  $480/month average (consignment)

Qualified Dividends: $350/ month (6 month average) [capital gains will be calculated for tax season]

Rental Income, Actual Expenses, and Depreciation: $1,000 (Tenant left end of October, vacant now)

Adjusted Gross Income: $9,264

Taxes: $938 (no state income tax for me, partial tax-free income, and numerous itemized deductions (including a 22k MID) give a low tax liability)

Fianceí Net income: $4,200 monthly average (biweekly paycheck, I donít have her deductions)

Ave Household net income excluding rental: $13.464

Current expenses: Most are monthly averages
Mortgage: $3220 (no PMI, includes property tax escrow)
TSP Loan: $221
CC1: $225
CC2: $250 (min pmt $185)
Entertainment: $75
Clothing: $30
Dining out: $165 (was $500/month at beginning of year, cut down past 3 months)
Groceries: $250
Gifts: $100
Maintenance: $175 (includes new tools)
General: $30 (haircuts, pedicure, etc)
Travel: $600 ($7000 est. spent Jan-Dec 2017, including trip to Europe, engagement trip, Caribbean cruise, friendsí wedding trips, holiday travel to see family, day trips, and all gasoline for the car)
Electricity: $70
Natural Gas: $35
Motif: $20
Cell Phone: $39.2 for both
Internet: $50
Hulu/Netflix/Amazon (TV): $25
Water: $75
Car Insurance: $37

Est. Expenditure Categories Broken down:
Home Ownership: $3,400
Bills: $350
Debt: $700
Travel: $600
Food: $425
Entertainment: $75
Misc: $160

Not included are limited ticket items, such as the engagement ring, donations, estate sale items that go into our collectible assets, lending money to neighbors/family, casino losses/wins etc. The rest of the surplus is invested or saved.

Assets:
Home: $650,000 (all source estimates range between $630k-$740k)
Checking: $8,000
Taxable Stock Investment Accounts: $80,000
Roth: $66,000
TSP Retirement: $46,000
Business Bond: $10,735 (5% ROI)
Consignment Account: $55,000 (15-20% annual ROI)
Misc. Investment Accounts: $1,500 (includes iBotta, CC rewards, various)
Misc. Alternative Investment: $15,000

Art/Old Map Collection: $2500-$15000+ (very subjective)
10 oz Gold: $12,000
600 oz Silver: $10,000
Other Precious Metal: $8,000
Coin Collection: $10,000+ (relatively subjective, includes currency)
Misc. Collectibles: $5,000 (vintage comics, stamps, diamonds, antiques, etc.)

In-law suite rental: $1,400/month max or air BNB.

RSUís: $75,000 (Restricted stock units)
Savings: $45,000
401k: $12,000
Car: $8,000

*Note: We intend to semi-pool our resources once married: the car, 401k, RSUís, and some savings are hers.

Overall: ~$1,100,000 (~$215k highly liquid, $125k retirement funds). 

Liabilities:
Mortgage: $593,000
TSP Loan: $32,922 @ 1.86% (Interest is paid back into my account to me)
CC1: $22,100 @ 0% for 82 more years (not a typo)
CC2: $9340 @ 0% for 6 more months (intent is to transfer to another 0% APR, $0 Balance transfer fee)

Est. Net worth: $450-500k.

Specific Question(s): Next year will be a complicated year with numerous life changes. I have made significant financial errors in my past when I was teaching myself about finances and taking risks. I do not want my next year or two to hurt my nest egg that I worked hard to build and rebuild. That is why I would like your opinions and recommendations to proceed and succeed.

I will be getting married next year. The average wedding cost in my area is 45k and no one in either of our families is well off nor could reasonably contribute to a wedding, so that will come out of our nest egg. If you know of any significant wedding savings in the DC area, that would be appreciated, namely catering costs.

I will be resigning from my job in the middle of next year. I was debating going to law school (I have a full scholarship) or attempting to get a government job and the pay cut that goes with it. I estimate the average GS job would pay $5k max a month after all deductions and retirement savings, to include having to pay state taxes now. The third option is that I was looking into buying an unknown franchise and attempting to run a business or two and do ebay/Amazon selling on the side. I can see proís to each of these options as well as the potential loss of most of my money. The GS jobs would be limited growth potential and non-stimulating (albeit a seemingly high salary), Law school/MBA would be 4 years with no income from me for a potentially much higher paying job, and the franchise could literally lose my nest egg or triple it.  Advice here is greatly appreciated.

I also foresee starting a family in 1-3 years. My p-wife may want to stay at home or keep working after children. She doesnít like her job too much, but doesnít want to quit until her RSUís fully vest in about 2 years. So there is a possibility that neither one of us would have significant employment income in 3 years. Also, kids are expensive, so I have been told. I also donít want to miss them growing up like my dad did for me, so I donít like the idea of 10-14 hour work days at a big Law Firm or other employment.

I also will need to replace my roof within the next year or so. I had one estimate state $35,000 and I will get more quotes when Spring hits. No leaks yet, but the home inspector and roof estimator said it is shot and at the end of its life. I keep hoping for a cost effective solar solution (like the Tesla roof), but havenít found one yet for the DC area. Any suggestions here are greatly appreciated, especially if I can take full advantage of SRECs. My furnace is about 25 years old and I worry that I might need to replace it within those next few years. There is also a large, old tree in my neighborís yard that has a decent chance of falling on my house if it ever breaks. They wonít remove it, but it would cause a costly amount of damage. I have never dealt with home owners insurance before, so I hope that is a negligible cost worry for a worst-case scenario.

For my basement, I am debating whether to rent it or do air BNB. For renting, I am legally required to have two exits, which means I canít lock and block the door from the basement to the main house. Potentially the same issue for any BNB guests (separate entrance outside is the first exit). My fiancť doesnít like the idea of strangers potentially breaking in and it scares her (our first renter we knew through a coworker). I see it as sitting on $900-$1400 a month (renter) or upwards of $2500 a month (Air BNB).  She sees it as a stranger could open the door, take everything and kill us. If you know of any reasonable way to reconcile this, I would be grateful as this is a significant amount of money lost. Also, any input into the renter vs Air BNB would be great. I also want to do some basic renovations and physical upkeep/appliance update, but I see no reason to pump thousands into those projects without know what I am doing with it.

Any while many of you may see 1.1mil in assets, that isnít as stable as I would hope. Most of it is dependent on the housing market to keep steady or rise over the next decade without another bubble burst.  Stock market could falter, alternate investments and new companies utilizing the JOBS act could fail or fraud for potentially 100% loss. I just listed potentially 100k in expenses over the next two years above normal expenses. 

As for the lack of retirement contributions, I stopped those earlier this year. I receive no employer match or benefit, so all it does is reduce my tax liability now (or later with Roth). I estimate that my retirement accounts (112k + additional 32k added via the TSP loan over the next 14 years) will be worth over $1m at retirement adding to any social security (if it still exists), pensions, and taxable money. So I figure my last 30 years is set so I just need to figure out my next 30 years. I am happy to answer questions on any of my other investment decisions and willing to listen to others.







Llewellyn2006

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 12:05:32 AM »
I think the first thing people are going to say is that paying $45k for a wedding is absolutely crazy.

Laura33

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 07:53:42 AM »
First, you have omitted many relevant expenses.  Something like a wedding is a one-time expense, but things like casinos and loans are not.  Similarly, how do you know whether your consignment business is making money if you aren't accounting for income and expenses?

I am also concerned because your figures show a pretty significant difference between income and expenses, and yet you have CC debt and a TSP loan.  Where did those come from?

The way to plan for major upcoming expenses is to save up for them.  For house expenses, you should have a "sinking fund" that you contribute to monthly out of your regular income.  For something like a wedding, you just need to figure out where to cut back your budget to find the money (and I second the notion that $45k is ridiculous for a wedding).

It strikes me that you are flying in 100 different directions, in your savings/investments as well as your life.  No 401(k), but collectibles, loans, precious metals, coins, and more?  Simplify!  There is no good reason to forego any tax-sheltered account at your salary - it means you're just paying more taxes and locking yourself in to working 30-40 years.  I'm also not sure why you think $1M will suffice for retirement when you are spending about twice what that will buy you now.

Fundamentally, you have many options, but you can't have them all -- you make a great salary, but not enough to have fancy travels and a huge wedding and a $650k house and all that.  You can't maintain your current lifestyle and go to school and have your future wife quit work all at the same time; you can't expect to make $150k+ as a lawyer without working those 60-80 hr weeks*; etc.  What are you looking for -- why are you quitting your job, and what are your looking for in a different job?  If you are just chasing money, rethink that - you make an excellent income now, with plenty of room to support a family and kids, and another $10-20k/yr is not going to materially increase your happiness -- especially if you have to go without that excellent income for years to retrain.  Will take a long, long time to make up that loss.

Finally, give up on persuading your future wife on the basement rental if it means the renter has access to your home.  No way in hell would I rent a room to anyone other than a friend without a door that locks.  She is being eminently reasonable on this issue, and the money is not going to be a reasonable tradeoff for being able to feel safe in her home.

*Don't go to law school unless you have a passion for public service or want to commit to biglaw hours.  Law salaries are binary:  go biglaw and make a buttload of money (and work a buttload of hours); or make less than you are making now in a small firm or public service job (at least at first).

CrispySub

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 05:46:22 PM »

First, you have omitted many relevant expenses.  Something like a wedding is a one-time expense, but things like casinos and loans are not.  Similarly, how do you know whether your consignment business is making money if you aren't accounting for income and expenses? The consignment business isn't me buying and selling items, but short term loans to Amazon powersellers that return a preset amount in a short time frame. An average term is 5% ROI in 4 months.  They do all the work and make maybe 20-30% returns and I fund them for 5-10% returns.  The loans/CC are listed as a monthly expense and a liability. A casino is not quite an expense, but a more enjoyable 'shoot the moon, most likely to fail investment'. It is my highest risk allocation, AKA spend 1-3% of discretionary income that could potentially offer significant returns and enjoyment or lose it as a high risk investment. Some people allocate stocks and bonds for high risk/low risk, I have expanded upon that model. Sometimes $100 on black jack can turn into $10,000, other times it is just a sunk cost. 

I am also concerned because your figures show a pretty significant difference between income and expenses, and yet you have CC debt and a TSP loan.  Where did those come from? The TSP loan was used as a down payment and closing costs. It was about 35k. If I used post tax money, then that would be the equivalent of 50k pretax or just use 35k pretax from the TSP. The interest is paid back to my account, so it is a 0% loan with the loss being opportunity cost. It was also a way to move pretax money into a post tax situation untaxed (at least for 15 years, excluding the 1.86% interest to self). The two CC debts are 0%. I had the opportunity to take out cash advances at 0% for 80+ years. I took it out, transferred some of the balance to a normal 0% APR 0% Balance transfer fee card and put more on the 80 year loan. That money is gaining interest via bonds, savings, or other low risk investments. I have zero intent on ever paying any CC fees or interest payments. There is no reason to pay off a 0% loan early since inflation alone will reduce the financial impact in the upcoming years. 

The way to plan for major upcoming expenses is to save up for them.  For house expenses, you should have a "sinking fund" that you contribute to monthly out of your regular income.  For something like a wedding, you just need to figure out where to cut back your budget to find the money (and I second the notion that $45k is ridiculous for a wedding). I concur it is ridiculous. I have numerous catering company quotes for $125-$160 per person, excluding alcohol. That is an 'average amount' in the area. For 100 people, that is nominally 15k plus tips. Then all of the other wedding expenses. A destination wedding is not a viable option since all her family is in the area, can't afford to travel nor take off work. The 45k quote comes from the average of local area wedding cost studies. I have no intention of paying anywhere near that, but options are limited and still being researched.

It strikes me that you are flying in 100 different directions, in your savings/investments as well as your life.  No 401(k), but collectibles, loans, precious metals, coins, and more?  Simplify!  There is no good reason to forego any tax-sheltered account at your salary - it means you're just paying more taxes and locking yourself in to working 30-40 years.  I'm also not sure why you think $1M will suffice for retirement when you are spending about twice what that will buy you now. The TSP is the equivalent of a 401k, only with much lower overhead costs. My tax rate is very low, so there is a real chance I would be paying more in taxes at the end if I locked the money up for 30 years, thus not a tax shelter. Concurrently, if most of the money was invested in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, then I truly would be locking myself into working 30-40 years. I have no intention of retiring where I live now. The $1m at retirement would be on top of a military reserve retirement and pension for a government position. So at retirement, there would be at least 5 streams of income, excluding any current investments (Military pension, Government pension, TSP withdrawals, Roth withdrawals, and potentially SS). If I want to FIRE, then I need non-retirement account money.  Collectibles/metals/etc are all legitimate investments/value holders at reasonable allocations (precious metal at 10%, collectibles at 10%, vice 100% stocks and bonds) that I buy at sub market values. They are also my hobby.

Fundamentally, you have many options, but you can't have them all -- you make a great salary, but not enough to have fancy travels and a huge wedding and a $650k house and all that.  You can't maintain your current lifestyle and go to school and have your future wife quit work all at the same time; you can't expect to make $150k+ as a lawyer without working those 60-80 hr weeks*; etc.  What are you looking for -- why are you quitting your job, and what are your looking for in a different job? If I stayed with my current job, it would be a miserable and poor choice. I would work 80-120 hours every week except when I disappear for weeks to months on end. I do not want to start a family on that schedule. There is also an abnormally high suicidal ideation rate that is not worth any amount of money. I do not wish to be utterly miserable where no kidding 7% of my coworkers attempt or contemplate suicide to end the misery in a given year.

  If you are just chasing money, rethink that - you make an excellent income now, with plenty of room to support a family and kids, and another $10-20k/yr is not going to materially increase your happiness -- especially if you have to go without that excellent income for years to retrain.  Will take a long, long time to make up that loss. The overall goal is to FIRE and move to LCOL area such as Tennessee. I want to be around for my children when they grow up unlike my dad and my fiance's dad. That is the real goal. I see FIRE as the optimal solution. As a side note, most of the travel is done via cost effective measures. while we are still childless. The Thanksgiving trip will cost us under $250 each for RT tickets. The Caribbean cruise cost around $900 total for both of us including air fare. We spend less than half our monthly income and are somewhat making up for lost time. Childhood vacations were never a thing for either of us, our early 20's were focused on getting started in life and our 30's will probably be family focused. Now is the only real time to travel and I think it is within our means.

Finally, give up on persuading your future wife on the basement rental if it means the renter has access to your home.  No way in hell would I rent a room to anyone other than a friend without a door that locks.  She is being eminently reasonable on this issue, and the money is not going to be a reasonable tradeoff for being able to feel safe in her home.

*Don't go to law school unless you have a passion for public service or want to commit to biglaw hours.  Law salaries are binary:  go biglaw and make a buttload of money (and work a buttload of hours); or make less than you are making now in a small firm or public service job (at least at first). This is actually one of the biggest decisions. I appreciate the law and see lawyers as either processing/ingesting huge amounts of paperwork (which I am really good at) or helping people deal with some of the worst events that effect their lives (prison time/divorce/wills/correcting wrongs, etc). I personally think being a judge is one of the 3 most rewarding professions (a teacher and an actor/comedian are the other two) I have a scholarship that pays a monthly stipend that I don't want to waste. I don't want to do work, school, reserves, and raise a family at the same time. This is one of those large decisions. If I go to school, my stipend/reserves should pay around 2700 a month after taxes, but forego an easy pension with a relatively high paying job. I fear that if I go the job route, then I won't ever go back to school and be able to use my strengths to help others.  Seeing the upcoming expenses makes me want to go the stable route instead of the more self-fulfilling route. That frustration is one of the reasons I posted asking for guidance.

okits

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 10:50:51 PM »
Have your wedding reception (and possibly even the ceremony) in a restaurant. The tables, chairs, linens, and cooking facilities are already there. Find one with a private party room or that will rent you the entire place for $X spend.  Get a set menu of choices for a flat rate, tell guests you will pay for standard beer, table wine, and bar rail (then set a bar bill amount where the restaurant will call your attention to it if the amount is reached, so if guests are ordering and getting $100 scotches you won't find out at the end of the night when the alcohol bill alone is insane.)  I went to a wedding reception in a Chinese restaurant where they allowed the couple to supply their own alcohol.  Possibly that's a widespread practice that can help you save some money on the alcohol bill?

ysette9

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 01:23:26 AM »
We had our wedding banquet at a Chinese restaurant also (real Chinese, not westernized, orange chicken-central) and got a great deal per person for everything included. We supplied our own alcohol for no additional charge. The restaurant did tables and chairs and a ten course meal with small desserts thrown in for free that we hadnít asked for. We didnít care about much so my SIL stepped up to do table decorations and favors for free just because she enjoyed that sort of thing. We didnít do a cake or DJ or dancing because we donít care about that stuff. The wedding itself was a month earlier at the city offices with immediate family only in attendance. There really is no reason a wedding canít be done cheaply unless you are married to (har har) the idea of some fancy blowout. Having been to a bunch of them now that our friend have all gotten married, I find them to be nice parties but totally not worth the money people spend. Go do something enjoyable instead. It will be over so quickly and you Iíll be so stressed binning about getting all the details right that it may well not be worth the money in the end.

As for finances, I agree with others that your situation seems unecessarily complex. Personally I would dump the gold and silver and coins and ďcollectibleĒ art and just focus on a simple index fund or two like VTSAX or VTIAX. The word ďcasinoĒ makes me pause. It is okay if you just relabel it ďentertainmentĒ and spend $100-200 a month it really tickles your pickle, but please do not ver associate it with the word ďinvestmentĒ unless the word ďnotĒ is also in there.

Then Iíd spend a little time thinking about what you really want in life. Maybe you and your soon to be wife can go on a hike somewhere and discuss your future vision? Get away from the usual hustle somehow and do some daydreaming. Once we set aside the near and mid-term goals and started telling about what our long-term goals were, things started crystallizing and decision making got easier.

Laura33

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 08:11:45 AM »
Miscellaneous thoughts.

1.  Your TSP loan is a net negative.  You are foregoing all market gains on that $, in return for interest that is less than the rate of inflation.  And you didn't use that money to invest in the market to get post-tax gains -- you locked it up in a house, which is going to bring the same price when you sell it whether you have 1% equity or 100%.  The 80-yr 0%CC, OTOH, is freaking brilliant -- I want one.  :-)

2.  Thanks for the explanation about the consignment, but I don't see the loans in your monthly.  It helps if you write out all of the inflows and outflows each month, including how much you are putting into various businesses/investments; otherwise, it is too easy to tell yourself you "only" spend X, when in reality it's X + Y.  It also affects the value of the advice that we can give if we don't see the whole picture (as do things like the availability of a pension -- since you seem to have one now, what's the future value of that?  And is it vested?). 

2.a.  Don't kid yourself that the casino is an "investment."  It is entertainment, pure and simple.  Track your wins and losses, and the numbers will tell the truth.  Or, if you want to treat the casino and art and all that as an investment, treat it all like an investment -- track your gains and losses in each asset class over time, so that you can look at how each portion of your portfolio is performing and manage it objectively.

3.  You can get money out of a tax-deferred account by rolling it into an IRA, and then every year rolling some of the IRA into a Roth (setting the amount of the Roth rollovers to stay below various tax thresholds).  That is why almost everyone here prioritizes maxing out traditional 401(k)s/TSPs over Roths -- to RE, you really need only the first five years of expenses covered before you can start drawing on that Roth pipeline.

4.  You're missing the point on the wedding.  Yes:  if you define "wedding" as "catered affair for 150 in fancy hotel," you're going to pay $40-50K.  I'm near your area and used to work in DC -- I'm not clueless on how much those things cost.  But there are a ton of people here who have gotten married in lovely ways without spending that kind of coin.  I will admit, mine was on the higher side (@$14K, years ago), but it was still about half of what the big venues wanted.  I just rented a gorgeous venue that was not locked into a catering company, and then had my favorite restaurant cater, for a combined bill that was less than half the price -- and I guarantee you the venue was better than Generic Hotel Ballroom, and the food was better than at any other similar event I've ever been to (seriously, if I'm paying that much for food, it had better be fucking delicious, not overcooked chicken in gloppy sauce and oversteamed veggies.  I am SO sick of hotel "event" food.).  I had other friends who had their reception at a gorgeous local private garden that is open to the public -- there are a number of historic sites that do things like that for extra cash.

Of course, you can still choose to pay $45K for Generic Big Wedding.  But then you don't get to bitch about how weddings cost so much.  If that's your choice, own it.

5.  Is there something other than law school you can do with that scholarship, i.e., is it one of those job benefits that you can apply at any school?  It sounds like you really need to get out of the current job.  But I will tell you from personal experience that if your goal is to be home for your kids on a regular basis, you do not, under any circumstances, want a BigLaw job -- talk about out of the frying pan, into the fire!  If you're lucky, you won't get put like I was on a big case that sent me out of state M-F every week for months in a row; but you'll be working just as hard as you are now.  So if the top priority is to be home for your family, only go to law school if you are comfortable with the idea of making $40-50K/yr (at least for a few years -- many people do better by opening their own firm, but that also requires a ton of work, both at the beginning, and then ongoing to keep the business coming in).  And if you want to be a judge, the best path is being a BigLaw litigator for probably at least a decade -- which, again, is one of the most time-intensive paths out there -- plus a lot of volunteer time at Bar and political events to connect with the people who make those nominations.

The fundamental issue here is that you are talking about re-training for a new career at the same time you are getting married and planning kids.  Which means that you will be graduating and trying to establish yourself in that new career just when you have those kids and want to be spending time with them -- and establishing yourself in any career is always going to be demanding.  What about flipping it around and going back to school when your kids are little?  I guarantee you that school is going to be the least demanding period, at least in terms of "times you cannot be physically present for your family" -- it will be a lot of work outside of class, but you can do much of it at home and on your own schedule.  Would the scholarship "keep" for a few more years, or is it "use it or lose it" this year?  If you can tolerate your current job for a few more years, and the scholarship would still be there, you can make a point to sock away a big percentage of your combined income to basically have your retirement pre-funded, which would then allow you to take a lesser-paying and less-demanding job once you graduate.

affordablehousing

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 10:34:16 AM »
Seems to me you have a lot of great choices, and why fixate on going to gamble when you've saved up some money. Don't waste the scholarship opportunity, but make sure it's in pursuit of something you want to do. Business school is way easier than law school, plus bankers don't work nearly as hard as corporate lawyers, so maybe that's the ticket. Get an MBA (only worth it at a top school, as like law school) and go work in ibanking for a couple years. They'll appreciate someone who factors amazon sellers and trades old maps.

jtray

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 08:35:51 PM »
Oh weddings. I have unfortunately become quite the expert in these events in the last few years (many with a front row seat in the wedding party, more as a guest, my own wedding is currently 90% planned out). Weddings are 100% what you make them. I completely agree that if you go to a generic hotel and ask what they cost - you will get the worst deal.

Sit down with your SO and talk about what you NEED in a wedding (the real answer is to sign a piece of paper, that's it folks). Get on the same page about what you want - Dancing is a must? Great location is a must? Great food?

My point is pick the things you really want and skip everything else. Let me say that again SKIP EVERYTHING ELSE. Don't like cake? No cake it is! Don't care about flowers? No flowers! Limit the size of your guest list. If you really have 200 friends and family then you should have a potluck wedding and call it done. Have friends with wedding related skills? Ask for a beautiful guest book instead of a gift. Ask your photographer friend to do you engagement shoot. Consider off season dates (not summer), a brunch wedding, or a Thursday or Friday wedding. DIY can save you money, it can also trick you into spending much more so be careful here.   

ysette9

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 09:00:02 PM »
That is great advice. In addition to saving yourself money it will greatly reduce stress. That is the route we took. I didnít care about my hair or flowers or a cake. Someone in my family did, so i told them to go have fun and just let me know what they decided in the end. We didnít care about table decorations but my SIL put some together anyway because she likes to do that. She also made little party favors for everyone because she wanted to (I never got a look at them so I donít actually know what they were). Point being, I had a lot less to worry about and therefore had more room in my head to have fun during our event.

For better or for worse, the wedding will be over in an absolutely flash. You will be lucky to eat anything or even get a chance to say hello to all of your guests. Donít blow a ton of money on an event you will barely be able to enjoy.

CrispySub

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Re: Way forward with many upcoming life changes (Age 29)
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 10:58:56 PM »
If anyone was interested in an update, my wedding was a few weeks ago and cost around $10k for a Saturday evening wedding in the city.  I accepted a government offer (107k and 5% 401k match) and will join the military reserves (13k) and will start in a few months, thus I don't know the actual paycheck break out.

My numbers have changed a bit from 8 months ago as I shifted towards different investment strategies and some monthly expenses tweaking and will likely shift again once I know my new pay check breakouts.

Rough breakout is:
71k checking/emergency savings/cash (partially saving towards a new roof this summer)
165k Retirement funds (nominally stocks/ETFs)
16k Reit sites (AHP, Fundrise)
55k Bonds
137k Stocks (includes some traditional reits and RSUs)
72k Consignment loans
50k physical assets
110k home equity (from 695k est value)

Liabilities:
585k mortgage (Zillow value 695k)
30k TSP loan to myself (or claim taxable distribution)
30k CC debt at 0%

Rough Net worth: 600k-620k.

As for the TSP loan decision/justification, I can provide anyone details separately if they desire (or are considering the loan), but it actually worked out for the better when comparing all the financials instead of just potentially opportunity cost.