Author Topic: Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?  (Read 2651 times)

newton

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?
« on: March 14, 2015, 02:52:50 PM »
Hello

I'm a brand new member and this is my first post.  I am able to free up between $500 and $1000 a month.  I have an existing mutual fund through Thrivent.  I have not funded this mutual fund for about 15 years.  I'm wondering if I should start funding it monthly or start something else.  Here is some data:

-44 years old, married, spouse does not work, one child in college
-140K/year from private employer
-House paid (290K) or so, vehicles paid, no debt
-300K in 401K and 150K in IRAs
-50K emergency fund (cash)
-20K mutual funds (Thrivent as listed above)

1.  Should I fund the existing mutual fund?

Any thoughts on the above or other comments or suggestions would be great.


Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3009
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 03:17:36 PM »
I had to look that one up (Thrivent). I don't know anything about them, so the big questions are:

Is this a taxable account? Saying "mutual fund" means something different than I think you mean... a mutual fund is a type of investment itself, but what type of account is the mutual fund in? And what mutual fund(s) exactly? Are there more than one?

How much do they charge you (expense ratios), what has been the performance of said fund(s)? Do they fit with your asset allocation? What is the management fee for being with this particular financial company (because there IS going to be a fee buried in there somewhere).

Do you have an asset allocation?
http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asset_allocation

Do you have an Investment Policy Statement? Because that is going to tell you much closer what you should be doing with extra money (along with your AA) better than any stranger on the internet...
http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement

What are your retirement plans - early retirement within 5-10 years, or going for traditional timeline? Do you know what your goal is for your retirement funds and living expenses? Are you already maxing out your 401k? Do you have a spousal IRA (Roth or traditional) opened and funded for the wife? What about yourself? You mention a kid in college; is that paid for, or will it be several more years to fund? All questions to consider as well.



Honestly, I would roll that Thrivent account over into Vanguard or Fidelity, and put it all into the total stock market index fund and any additional cash is invested there if you've already maxed your 401k and your own and your spousal IRAs (either Roth or traditional depending, but I'd probably go for a Roth cause that's me). Just from my spot checks on the various funds they offer, they are all well over 1% expense ratios on the fund fees, and I have no clue how much more they are charging you for the privilege of using their funds, but with those kinds of fees, it isn't going to be pretty... get away from them ASAP.  I am going to assume that the Thrivent account is a taxable account, but even if it is an IRA or old 401k or something, you can get it moved with a minimum of fuss - just figure out if you like Vanguard or Fidelity and contact them for the steps to get it transferred and they'll walk you through everything (or choose any low/no fee place that offers good funds, but those two are the #1 and 2 choices for great funds). You might have a "closing fee" or some such silliness from the Thrivent place (because most are sore losers and like hitting you on the way out), but its going to be worth it to get out of there - their fees are ridiculous.

Seriously, Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX), or Fidelity's Spartan Total Market Index Fund (FSTVX). Fees under .07% and no management or account fees for having your account with them.


But do check out the IPS and AA reads and figure out what your goals are and then you're going to be in a much better place.
(and congrats on being in such a decent position - no debt, good portfolio and interested in going even further)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 03:23:34 PM by Frankies Girl »

newton

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
Re: Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 03:43:08 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  Very helpful.

It is a taxable account.  It is a stock fund.  Terrible I know but I don't know the exact fees but I have been told about .15%  My parents invested there and ever since I have.  Probably time for a change.

I plan on retiring in 10 years.  I max out my 401K and max out my Roth IRA.  I do not fund an IRA for my spouse.  Student in college on a full scholarship and will graduate in one more year.  She plans on professional school.  I have around 50K saved to assist and the rest she will take loans for.

I have read a lot about the Vanguard funds.  How difficult is it to roll over my current funds to Vanguard?  How about rolling my Roth and traditional IRA?

Thanks again.  Very helpful.

aschmidt2930

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 04:12:36 PM »
To clarify, you mean you can free up 500-1000 a month after maxing out tax advantaged accounts, correct? If this isn't the case, I think the bigger question is about where that 140k salary is going, with no mortgage or car payment. 

Overall, you appear to be in a very solid financial situation, congrats :)

newton

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
Re: Extra Money - Should I fund my current mutual funds?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 04:30:54 PM »
Thanks. 

Well, I paid my house off a few years ago.  We have been travelling quite a bit and we really do enjoy that.  I want to keep that up a bit.

I do max out my 401K, however I often get a refund each year as my company fails the test for highly compensated employees.  I do try and contribute the max to my Roth.  I have not been funding my wife's IRA but I probably need to start.

Looking at my situation would you recommend I first try and max my wife's IRA?