Just found this site today. Read the first few posts, and it resonated a bit as I'm in my 40s now, have maxed out my 401k and have a lot of disposable income, but I spend too much and have only just started thinking about investing strategies.
Some facts about me, that are probably relevant(but nonetheless will be organized randomly here):
- I live in a very, very expensive part of a very, very expensive city. I.e. my rent is just under 3k/month for a one bedroom. But it's extremely important to me to have a comfortable apartment (and this one's close to work).
- I'm planning to move out of this area within a year or two
- I am relatively frugal compared to my coworkers and friends in the same profession in this city, but i still spend 2k a year on clothes, probably 5-7k on food per year, and my passion is travel so I spend about 10k-ish a year on that. I generally don't care about "prestige" when I buy things, but I do care about style with clothes, so I shop at h&m and buy timex watches, and value, with other consumer goods. When I owned a car it was a subaru and my laptops are always wintel.
- My salary is well above the median for my profession, but other than the 401k i'm not really saving money.
- When i moved to this apartment my salary was 60k a year lower (gross) and my rent was 500/month lower. I don't remember how much I was putting into 401k then, but say i wasn't saving any, then my salary was like 42k lower gross. Which is like 28k net. which is a little over 2.3k a month. So I could be saving at least 1800/month after taxes, but somehow i'm not :)
- I chose a very practical career, and it has always felt like the wrong "calling" but I've tried to make the best of it and when I like my coworkers and my work environment I like my job, despite not loving the work.
I have a lot of personal goals, some of which have nothing to do with money, and some that do. But some of the big ones have a huge opportunity cost as I am definitely planning to go back to school. So I'm trying to figure out how to make non-disastrous financial decisions without ignoring my "heart".
The education would take three years so the opportunity cost is high, given my current salary (and savings potential), but the income potential for the other profession is essentially identical (based on bls.gov salary data), though i'd be starting over from entry level, so there is an opportunity cost with the lost seniority. And the cost for the degree is 50k + 3 years of living expenses.
In the near term, I'm beginning to look at after-tax investing...