Author Topic: New MMMer Here - Need Financial Status / Retirement Health Review  (Read 2290 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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New MMMer Here - Need Financial Status / Retirement Health Review
« on: September 10, 2019, 03:07:00 PM »

I've been lurking the MMM forums from time to time and now I am in need for financial review. Can you guys give any pointers or suggestions on how I can better prepare for retirement? I mean, I think I'm prepared, but I learned there's a difference between being comfortable and being comfortably blind.

Here's my situation:

We recently moved to another state and paid cash for our new home. I'm now 30 with wife and child (toddler) - We're both working (I'm in the public sector while my wife is self-employed in cosmetology). My current starting salary is 55k (it sucks, but my work life is literally stress free)

From my previous employment, there's a total of $29k residing between my 401k and 457 plans. With a brokerage firm, I have an investments account and a IRA totaling up to $45k allocated towards VTSAX. My current employer offers a pension plan, 401k plan, and a HSA. Additionally, I do have $5k set aside in case of an emergency.

Our monthly income averages around $3k net (thatís with food, utility, insurance, loan expenditures already factored in).

As for debt, there's ($30k) shared between myself and the wife - $20k for the SUV and $10k in student loans. I will disclose that I had to default due to mismanagement of debts and that the circumstances were legally severe to permit it. However, I recently submitted a PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) form to make my student loan repayment more manageable.

With the above stated, I'm not financially fluent enough to ensure that my funds are appropriated efficiently towards retirement. For instance, my VTSAX allocations in my investment/IRA accounts are purely motivated by people's familiarity with that fund symbol here. For diversity, I'm actually relying on the 401/457 plan accounts from my previous employer - I thought about rolling those into my current pension/401k plans, but what's the benefit besides consolidation?

Hopefully I didn't include too much fluff. I still want to enjoy life with my family while on this journey to retirement. Any help is appreciated.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: New MMMer Here - Need Financial Status / Retirement Health Review
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 03:09:39 PM »
Welcome and good luck!

I would suggest you post this in Case Studies for people to review. The thread pinned to the top has instructions for writing a clear case study that will be easy for people to address.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: New MMMer Here - Need Financial Status / Retirement Health Review
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »
So yes, if you really want people to dig in, case study is the way to go.

On the surface I would not say anything it wrong with VTSAX.  I have almost all of my investments there at this point as we are 85/15 stocks bonds, so my other fund is VTBLX to have a bond holding.  Two fund portfolio after trying other things through my life and finally landing on "indexing is the best way to do this thing" about six years ago.  So my entire 401(k)/IRA and my taxable accounts are that way, so I like your path there.

It sounds like (from what little can be gleaned from what you shared), that you may need to make sure you do the blocking and tackling first before you worry about the investing stuff too much.  Figure out a solid budget and see what you can do to maximize your savings.  With all that debt (it is a lot for that level of income), figuring out if that makes sense would be my first step.  Not much you can do about the student loans, but the car may be up for negotiation. 


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!