Author Topic: Investment strategy  (Read 5251 times)

YoungStache

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Investment strategy
« on: October 02, 2014, 08:08:35 AM »
Hello everyone!

I've been lurking on the blog and forum for a few weeks and I've become passionately excited about the prospect of becoming financially independent and retiring much earlier than retirement age. I graduated college last year and began my career earlier this year so previously I had not given much thought to finances and investing (did not have the means or priorities). Some things about me:

I have a job making around 75K a year, with overtime shifts available weekly at the drop of a hat.

-I have a $85,000 15-year fixed mortgage at 3.625% for my condo which cost $215,000 (mom paid for the difference in a down payment). It is walking distance to work and I have a roommate paying me rent for the other room.

-I am contributing the max 6% to my company 401(a), which has a 4.5% company match. *The plan is after-tax contributions*

-I have 0 student or credit card debt.

**I am looking for some seasoned mustacheans to give me some pointers in investment strategy**

-My mom thinks that I should get a home equity loan in 6 months and buy a 2nd property as a rental. I am not sure if I am psychologically ready to go through the process of buying a 2nd property, or become a landlord. I plan on selling my condo in 2 years and moving home to San Francisco to live in my dad's house to save $ and also work for higher wages.

-Currently, should I open a Roth IRA and contribute the maximum yearly? Or should I go with a regular vanguard investment account?
-How should I allocate my stocks? US vs International? What are the pros and cons of the different vanguard stocks?
-Is my mom's idea feasible? The real estate market is expensive in San Diego and I do not like the idea of owning another condo because of the HOA fees, which is why I plan on selling my condo in a few years and investing the money.
-Any other ideas?

Looking forward to your guys' thoughts!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:12:08 AM by YoungStache »

welliamwallace

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 08:12:33 AM »
Awesome Job. I imagine your expenses are pretty low, with such a low mortgage and walking distance to work. You have an amazing head start to FI with such a well paying job in addition. Don't rush into real estate management. Your first action items should be to immediately fund a Roth IRA with the $5,500 annual limit as soon as possible, then increase your 401k contributions to the point that you will hit the $17,500 IRS max each year.

The tax advantages of these two types of accounts are unbeatable, and you can never go back and make up for contribution limits that you missed in previous years.

YoungStache

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 08:29:34 AM »
Thanks for the reply, I mentioned in my post above that my employer offers a 401(a) defined contribution plan, not a 401(k). I can only contribute 6% to the 401(a), and it is after-tax dollars.

Do you know about the differences between the 401(a) and the 401(k)? It seems as if the 401(a) has more company limits...

I may switch employers in a year so it may not matter as much...

Also, my employer offers a 403(b) tax-deferred plan, but I never signed up for it. Should I contribute to it along with the 401(a)?


*******If I move employers will I just rollover the account(s) into an IRA?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:46:23 AM by YoungStache »

DrF

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 10:11:45 AM »
Hey YoungStache,

I too recently found MMM, but alas I am a bit older (34). I have been interested in saving and investing since I was 16. If I were you, this is what I would do:

1- NEVER sell your condo (unless prices absolutely skyrocket)!!! Of course you should do the math and see what kind of return you would get for renting it out. It seems like it is in a prime location within walking distance to businesses that pay VERY good salaries. You should be set up to make a decent return on that investment. MMM has some good articles on how to calculate if it will be a money maker. I've been a landlord before, and the key is to get the right tenant. Make your condo your first rental property, get a handle on what you need to do, then see about buying more property if it suits you.

2- After you reach your max matching contributions from your employer put all of your savings into a regular investment account. If you are going to be FI at a very young age you may need to withdraw from your Stash at some point. It is much easier to do that from a non-retirement type account (too many rules for retirement accounts). MMM suggests low cost index funds from Vangaurd, any large firm competes pretty well on the cost of index funds nowadays. Leave your "retirement" type accounts alone until you reach at least 59.5yo, then you can withdraw from them however you want. By then your retirement accounts should be hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by putting the minimum in to get the match. Just to calculate based on your current scenario - you are putting in ~$7500 per year (including match). If that stays the same for 10 years (FI at 10 years from now!!) at 7% annual return, that would equal ~$125,000. At that time you will quit working, and thus quit contributing to your "retirement" accounts. But you aren't going to withdraw from them until you reach 59.5yo. If you are 22 now, you would be FI at 32, and your retirement accounts would continue to compound for another 28 years. That means they will keep growing at 7% per year until then which would equal ~$831,000. This scenario is based on only putting in $7500 for 10 years from age 22-32. So, you really don't have to put very much money into your "retirement" accounts for it to compound into a sweet nest egg. Put any extra money into a regular investment account.

Best regards,

DrFunk

BaldingStoic

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 10:49:30 AM »
Congrats Youngstashe...you're off to a terrific start.  Step 1 should be maximizing contributions to tax advantaged accounts.  I don't know a thing about 401a, but take advantage of the 401k if it's available followed by a Roth.  Read a book on Asset Allocation since this is a personal decision and only you can assess your risk comfort.  I'm age 42 and fairly aggressive so my allocation   85 stock / 15 bond.  Within the stocks I spit 70% US and 30% international.  Until you've read 5 good investment books keep things simple; for example you could invest as follows:
  • Total Stock Market
  • Total International Stock Market
  • Short Term Bonds or Treasures (from Treasury Direct)

Personally, Like many other here, I'm a Vanguard fan. 

Rentals can be a bit a work (I've had one rental property since 2005) and you're leveraged, so there's risk if prices fall.  Personally I'd say skip the rental and instead add a REIT fund if you want higher exposure to real estate.  One last tip is that anything that pays dividends, REITs, Bonds, etc. should be in your tax advantaged account to minimize capital gains.

Best of Luck with your investments. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 10:55:16 AM »
Hey YoungStache,

I too recently found MMM, but alas I am a bit older (34). I have been interested in saving and investing since I was 16. If I were you, this is what I would do:

1- NEVER sell your condo (unless prices absolutely skyrocket)!!! Of course you should do the math and see what kind of return you would get for renting it out. It seems like it is in a prime location within walking distance to businesses that pay VERY good salaries. You should be set up to make a decent return on that investment. MMM has some good articles on how to calculate if it will be a money maker. I've been a landlord before, and the key is to get the right tenant. Make your condo your first rental property, get a handle on what you need to do, then see about buying more property if it suits you.

2- After you reach your max matching contributions from your employer put all of your savings into a regular investment account. If you are going to be FI at a very young age you may need to withdraw from your Stash at some point. It is much easier to do that from a non-retirement type account (too many rules for retirement accounts). MMM suggests low cost index funds from Vangaurd, any large firm competes pretty well on the cost of index funds nowadays. Leave your "retirement" type accounts alone until you reach at least 59.5yo, then you can withdraw from them however you want. By then your retirement accounts should be hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by putting the minimum in to get the match. Just to calculate based on your current scenario - you are putting in ~$7500 per year (including match). If that stays the same for 10 years (FI at 10 years from now!!) at 7% annual return, that would equal ~$125,000. At that time you will quit working, and thus quit contributing to your "retirement" accounts. But you aren't going to withdraw from them until you reach 59.5yo. If you are 22 now, you would be FI at 32, and your retirement accounts would continue to compound for another 28 years. That means they will keep growing at 7% per year until then which would equal ~$831,000. This scenario is based on only putting in $7500 for 10 years from age 22-32. So, you really don't have to put very much money into your "retirement" accounts for it to compound into a sweet nest egg. Put any extra money into a regular investment account.

Best regards,

DrFunk

Not good info on the bolded part. Best way to fill your "buckets" is employer-sponsored up to the match, HSA (if you have one), then Roth IRA if eligible, then back to max out the employer-sponsored (if it is pre-tax), then taxable if there is anything left over. Some of that may be subjective, but the taxable account should be filled last.

The pre-tax "retirement" accounts are a two-fold win - you're getting more of your money to invest (since it's not losing a portion to tax) and you're reducing your taxable income by whatever your contribution is, and that may mean much less taxes owed during your working years. So even if you're not getting a match and yes, even if you have crappy investment choices available, if it's pre-tax it probably is still a good idea to max those accounts (and roll them after you leave the job into an IRA so you can change your investments to much better choices)

It is absolutely possible to access traditional/Roth/401K before the age limit of 59 with no penalties, and maxing out your pre-tax vehicles before using a taxable is usually the best move for early retirement that I've seen. SEPP/72 t is one method, Roth Pipeline/Ladder is another. Do research these options (and check out MadFIentist's blog as well for details).

OP, it sounds like you're not really that excited about investing and managing rental property. While it is a great way to make income, you really need to do your homework on all of the responsibilities. There is a real estate investing section in this forum, but I've heard the real estate gurus also recommend the site biggerpockets.com as well for info. Don't go into buying a place without knowing the ROI, 1% rule, how to find good renters and deal with the vacancy factor, and feel competent to manage and maintain the properties - you'll be on the hook when the toilet backs up or the dishwasher goes out or the place needs a new roof!

I personally am not interested in the least in rentals as an investment due to all the hassles (wish I was, as I'm in a low cost of living/high return area) and plan on using regular investments to fund my early retirement.



You should totally do a Roth IRA. It is after tax money, but it grows tax free and you can always take out your contributions at any time penalty free. And it is a vital component for the Roth pipeline method of early retirement withdrawals... which if you do correctly means you could be paying no taxes in early retirement at all!


http://www.madfientist.com/traditional-ira-vs-roth-ira/
http://www.gocurrycracker.com/never-pay-taxes-again/
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/05/30/stocks-part-viii-the-401k-403b-ira-roth-buckets/

GregO

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 01:38:24 PM »
Do you know about the differences between the 401(a) and the 401(k)? It seems as if the 401(a) has more company limits...

Also, my employer offers a 403(b) tax-deferred plan, but I never signed up for it. Should I contribute to it along with the 401(a)?
I went and read a little about 401(a) plans since I'd never heard about them, but everything I read said they vary a lot based upon the company.  I suggest you talk to your Plan Administer and find out more information about it.  One of the big questions I would have is, 'what is the fund invested in?'  From what I read, it sounds like you don't have a lot of control of what the fund invests in.  But you should really understand where your money is going if you are contributing to it.

And your second question is why I logged on to respond.  A 403(b) is the equivalent of a 401(k) for public agencies.  THAT is what everyone on here is suggesting you max out.  Any money you invest there is tax-deferred (you don't pay any taxes until you withdraw money).  Every dollar you contribute to that fund reduces your tax bill by 25% (most likely, depending on your tax situation).  You can contribute up to $17,500 to that account every year.  I would suggest you max it out, if you have that much money available.  I wish I had done that when I first started my career and had extra savings...  This post gets referenced on these boards all the time, but it's a great read:

http://www.madfientist.com/retire-even-earlier/

DrF

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 11:37:06 AM »


Not good info on the bolded part. Best way to fill your "buckets" is employer-sponsored up to the match, HSA (if you have one), then Roth IRA if eligible, then back to max out the employer-sponsored (if it is pre-tax), then taxable if there is anything left over. Some of that may be subjective, but the taxable account should be filled last.


[/quote]

It may not be the best/most tax efficient advice, I'll grant, but I wouldn't say it is "not good". I read an article somewhere where the author asked a bunch of retirees in some wealthy area how often their investments "beat" the market on a year to year basis. None of them had any clue, but one guy said and I paraphrase here "we did well enough to retire in this resort community didn't we". The moral here is, if you retire with 1M or 1.1M you are still retired with enough to give you a good life.

Although, with enough optimization you may be able to retire 0.5 - 1 year earlier than you would otherwise. I'm sure someone on this site has done the actual calculations. So, if you want to go through all the steps in order to do the Rothe pipeline, then you may be retired a bit earlier.

4alpacas

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 11:54:12 AM »


Not good info on the bolded part. Best way to fill your "buckets" is employer-sponsored up to the match, HSA (if you have one), then Roth IRA if eligible, then back to max out the employer-sponsored (if it is pre-tax), then taxable if there is anything left over. Some of that may be subjective, but the taxable account should be filled last.



It may not be the best/most tax efficient advice, I'll grant, but I wouldn't say it is "not good". I read an article somewhere where the author asked a bunch of retirees in some wealthy area how often their investments "beat" the market on a year to year basis. None of them had any clue, but one guy said and I paraphrase here "we did well enough to retire in this resort community didn't we". The moral here is, if you retire with 1M or 1.1M you are still retired with enough to give you a good life.

Although, with enough optimization you may be able to retire 0.5 - 1 year earlier than you would otherwise. I'm sure someone on this site has done the actual calculations. So, if you want to go through all the steps in order to do the Rothe pipeline, then you may be retired a bit earlier.
[/quote]

Check out the Mad Fientist's blog.  He has a number of posts that address the tax-advantaged savings route.  (http://www.madfientist.com/retire-even-earlier/).  He has a guinea pig trial going right now. 

I'm a huge fan of maxing out my 401k.  I never see the money, so I don't have the urge to spend it!  In order to have a similar set-up with my brokerage account, I have started having money from my paycheck automatically deposited into my brokerage account (never hitting my checking account). 

YoungStache

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 01:08:01 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice and article links! Plenty of reading material for me to educate myself with.

I enrolled today to contribute the max 17,500 to my employer 403(b). I've already maxed my employer 401(a) at 6% with 4.5% company match.

1. I will be opening up a Vanguard Roth IRA and contributing $5500 a year. With the MadFIentist strategy of converting a traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA, would I be able to convert my future IRA's money to the existing Vanguard Roth IRA?
----- Also, is this strategy feasible even if I plan to stay relatively high income (high tax bracket) throughout early retirement?

2. What do they mean when they refer to long-term capital gains and dividends with regards to tax benefits? Do distributions refer to withdrawals from accounts or do they mean investment gains on accounts?

3. I'll have to look more deeply into HSAs. My company offers a flexible spending account (FSA) to reimburse medical expenses only within that calendar year, which does not roll over. Would I be able to "double dip" my expense receipts? I have my company's premium HMO plan so it may not be a high-deductible health plan. I may elect to change it next calendar year. Though it kind of makes me uneasy to have to save receipts indefinitely and be aware of the rules and regulations. I may just fore go this and invest in a taxable account instead...

4. Are vanguard investment accounts/ Roth IRA started online through their website, or do I go in somewhere in person to enroll?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 01:20:57 AM by YoungStache »

DrF

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 12:32:18 PM »
I too want to thank everyone for the info. I have been reading a lot about the most tax efficient strategies and have made some changes.

YoungStache - does your employer offer a 457 plan? If so, then it may be better to contribute to that plan before the 403b. Based on what I've been reading, the 457 offers much more flexibility when you quit/leave that employer. The 457 allows you to make withdrawals at any time after you leave your employer penalty free. You still have to pay income tax on it though. It is also available for the Roth pipeline/ladder conversion.

1. From what I have read, it is better to open and max out a Traditional IRA vs Roth, then do the Roth pipleline/ladder conversion. Why would you be in a high tax bracket in early retirement? Are you still going to have work income?

2. If you have an ETF or a mutual fund that pays quarterly dividends, or if a fund decides to sell a particular stock (long-term capital gains). Your dividends and long-term capital gains are taxed differently.

3. FSA is not the same as HSA. I don't think you can have both at the same time. HSA is way better. You cannot "double dip" your expense receipts.

4. Vanguard (or any other firm) has very easy online account setups.


My situation:
- I work for a university and have a 401a (10% personal contribution, 14% match - awesome right!!)
- My wife has a 401k (6% personal contribution, 6% match - still great, but not quite as awesome)
- I can contribute $17500 every year to a 403b, plus $17500 every year to a 457 (majorly awesome, but we don't have the money to max these out right now)
- My wife can contribute to the max on her 401k ($17500)

All together my wife and I could be saving $67351 in pre-tax accounts per year. Right now we aren't doing that, we are at about half that. Something to work towards I guess.

All the best,

DrFunk
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 12:41:13 PM by DrFunk »

OJ4_JayGats

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 04:50:35 PM »
Hello everyone!

I've been lurking on the blog and forum for a few weeks and I've become passionately excited about the prospect of becoming financially independent and retiring much earlier than retirement age. I graduated college last year and began my career earlier this year so previously I had not given much thought to finances and investing (did not have the means or priorities). Some things about me:

I have a job making around 75K a year, with overtime shifts available weekly at the drop of a hat.

-I have a $85,000 15-year fixed mortgage at 3.625% for my condo which cost $215,000 (mom paid for the difference in a down payment). It is walking distance to work and I have a roommate paying me rent for the other room.

-I am contributing the max 6% to my company 401(a), which has a 4.5% company match. *The plan is after-tax contributions*

-I have 0 student or credit card debt.

**I am looking for some seasoned mustacheans to give me some pointers in investment strategy**

-My mom thinks that I should get a home equity loan in 6 months and buy a 2nd property as a rental. I am not sure if I am psychologically ready to go through the process of buying a 2nd property, or become a landlord. I plan on selling my condo in 2 years and moving home to San Francisco to live in my dad's house to save $ and also work for higher wages.

-Currently, should I open a Roth IRA and contribute the maximum yearly? Or should I go with a regular vanguard investment account?
-How should I allocate my stocks? US vs International? What are the pros and cons of the different vanguard stocks?
-Is my mom's idea feasible? The real estate market is expensive in San Diego and I do not like the idea of owning another condo because of the HOA fees, which is why I plan on selling my condo in a few years and investing the money.
-Any other ideas?

Looking forward to your guys' thoughts!

Hey YoungStache,
Let me start with what some of the others have already said, you're off to a great start!

Also, let me start by saying, I'm not a registered financial analyst or anything like that; personal finance and investing has just been a hobby of mine for the last 6-7 years. That said, this is what I would do.

If you want to retire early, your goal should be passive income. The only way you can retire early is when your income is greater than your expenses. I believe the best way to build passive income is through real estate.

I just started my venture into land lording about 6 months ago when I purchased a two family using a state loan program. I was pretty worried at first about what land lording would be like. Here are a few of the things I've realized:

  • Shit is going to happen, expect it. When I bought my place, I made sure it didn't need any major repairs and that I had about $5000 for any small repairs. Within the first week of owning the place, I had to have hot water heater repaired, the main line snaked, and a massive leak that the inspector missed repaired. All that said, don't get discouraged. I probably spend less than 3-5 hours a month being a landlord.
  • Be pro-active.It is better to address issues early before the snowball into something worse.
  • It isn't passive until you get enough units to have a property manager. For most it is around 4 units when the math starts to work. If you don't think you will build up to that point, realize that real estate will never be passive for you.

If you want to chat more about real estate, feel free to pm me and we can chat.

Based on your second post, seems like you prefer stocks. Definitely open the Roth, you won't regret it later. You can do most the work online. You will need to print out some paper work that you need to sign and send back. I just moved my account to Fidelity and it took me roughly 10 minutes to fill out the paper work, sign it, and email it back.

Once you open the account, I'd follow the advice of tobytko and stick to index funds or efts until you learn more. I would invest it totally in an S&P500 fund/eft and use this Roth to fund the later stages of your retirement (i.e., you don't touch this money until you actually hit 59 1/2). Your still 20+ years away from that so there is really no need to buy bonds, all it will do is smooth out oscillations and restrict overall return. As you start to get closer to the age of withdrawal, that is when I'd start to pick up some bonds.

Hopefully that helps and feel free to PM me.
JG


YoungStache

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 06:30:28 AM »
My employer doesn't offer a 457 unfortunately.

---Can I still do the traditional IRA to Roth IRA pipeline/ladder conversion even if I open a Roth IRA now? Would the conversions be on top of the 5500 limit per year?

I am anticipating high income even in "early retirement" because I will probably take travel assignments (I'm a nurse) once I stop my full-time hospital job in 10 years or so. I will have rental income from my condo if I don't sell and may help out with my mom's new business, which will one day be mine.

---If you buy invest in stocks and liquidate some of the portfolio, how do you calculate taxes?

---My condo rents out for 1600 a month, but Homeowner's association fees are 273 monthly. If I were to move into my dad's house and rent out the condo, the total expense would be 1143 (mortgage, interest, insurance, property tax) vs 1600 income. The HOA would pay for major repairs like leaks, termites. Homeowner's warranty would be like $30 a month to cover plumbing and appliance servicing. The only thing bothering me about using a condo as a long-term investment property is the monthly HOA fees (about 40 units in the complex). Do you guys use condos or focus primarily on properties without HOA fees?

-------Also, if property values continue to rise in San Diego and I sold the property in 2-3 years and end up with 180,000 after paying off the remainder of the mortgage and no capital gains tax, invested with 7% compound interest for 15 years I would end up with $496,000. What do you think?

OJ4_JayGats

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2014, 07:46:20 AM »
My employer doesn't offer a 457 unfortunately.

---Can I still do the traditional IRA to Roth IRA pipeline/ladder conversion even if I open a Roth IRA now? Would the conversions be on top of the 5500 limit per year? Check out this forum post: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/help-me-understand-the-roth-conversion-pipeline-idea-and-its-benefits/. A lot of great advice on IRA to Roth IRA pipeline.

I am anticipating high income even in "early retirement" because I will probably take travel assignments (I'm a nurse) once I stop my full-time hospital job in 10 years or so. I will have rental income from my condo if I don't sell and may help out with my mom's new business, which will one day be mine.

---If you buy invest in stocks and liquidate some of the portfolio, how do you calculate taxes? There are two ways you are taxed with stocks, when you incur a capital gain (you sell the stock for more than you bought it) or receive a dividend. The tax rates can be different depending on the event and are updated yearly. Schwab has a great page showing the 2014 rates (http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/Taxes-Whats-New). Short term capital gains (anything held less than 12 months) are taxed at the same rate as your ordinary income, which is why many investors avoid taking short term gains. Long term capital gains and qualified dividends are taxed based on your ordinary income, but are adjusted lower.

---My condo rents out for 1600 a month, but Homeowner's association fees are 273 monthly. If I were to move into my dad's house and rent out the condo, the total expense would be 1143 (mortgage, interest, insurance, property tax) vs 1600 income. The HOA would pay for major repairs like leaks, termites. Homeowner's warranty would be like $30 a month to cover plumbing and appliance servicing. The only thing bothering me about using a condo as a long-term investment property is the monthly HOA fees (about 40 units in the complex). Do you guys use condos or focus primarily on properties without HOA fees? When your starting out in a expensive market, I can understand getting your foot in the door with condos, but in general I avoid them. The reason I avoid them is because I don't have complete control over the asset. Even if you are on the HOA board, it can be difficult to decide what capital investments will be made when. For example, what if the rest of the board thinks the building needs a new roof and you think it could go another few years. Your going to be stuck paying for an expense that you thought you could defer. HOA's also restrict your options. It could be harder to sell (banks won't lend to a potential buyer if they already have too many loans in that building) and might be difficult to rent (some HOAs only allow a certain percent of the building to be rented if at all). One more thing I'll add here, make sure to consider getting a general liability insurance policy because as soon as you move out your not protected by the Homestead Act.

-------Also, if property values continue to rise in San Diego and I sold the property in 2-3 years and end up with 180,000 after paying off the remainder of the mortgage and no capital gains tax, invested with 7% compound interest for 15 years I would end up with $496,000. What do you think? How are you planning to avoid the capital gain tax? Are you planning to have no income the year you sell? The only way I know of to avoid the capital gain tax would be to do a 1031 exchange into another property, but it doesn't like that is what your doing.

DrF

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2014, 08:48:13 AM »
Hey YoungStache,

I think it would be best if you checked out a couple of books (from your local library!) about investing. Also, search the forums - because a lot of your questions have already been gone through ad nauseum.

See this post about how to not pay capital gains when you sell your primary residence.
http://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T054-C000-S001-tax-planning-for-selling-your-home.html

Again, you are doing great. Keep socking money away and you will have 40+ years of retirement. For arguments sake, if you paid off the condo mortgage by the time you retire (10 years), what would your costs be? You can always get a home equity line of credit like MMM does so you can tap your equity for further investments.

Also, if you have high income after you are FI, you won't need to withdraw from your retirement accounts. So, I would only convert money to your Roth in years that you have relatively low income. You could also just do the SEPP/72t to get a little bit of money every year. Basically, you will have tons of options. An embarassment of riches is a good problem - so don't worry so much. Good job on educating yourself though.

-DrFunk

YoungStache

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2014, 10:39:36 AM »
@ OJ4_JayGats

DrFunk's link in the post above is exactly how I plan to sell my condo without paying any capital gains taxes. I will qualify for tax-free profits by having owned and lived in the property for 2 years prior to the sale. I think with a monthly HOA fee that increases every year, and the prospect of long-distance landlording, selling it tax-free while I can is a no-brainer.

I will get back into real estate eventually as my mom invests in rental properties in the Bay Area. I don't think she's been highly profitable though, as she lost some money purchasing properties before the housing bubble of 07/08, and has been burned by tenants in the past.

Thanks for all the advice! Things will become more clear and questions may become answered or irrelevant as I become more aware of finance and investing rules/terms/strategies.

Another reason to remain high income after becoming financially independent is because I've always dreamed of living what mustacheans would consider a  luxurious lifestyle (what most consumers in our instant-gratification society consider the norm) after having the means to do so. I would like to enjoy things such as dining out with friends, traveling, nightlife, and attending sporting events. Though I am less attached to materialism and more content with a simpler lifestyle, I think with my city-upbringing, and at my age some degree of hedonism is almost necessary to maintain happiness. It will probably chip away as I get older though :)

zb3

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2014, 07:47:25 PM »
Wow I'd just like to say that salaries in USA are crazy high!  A first year nurse in my country (New Zealand) would be making half what you are making.  I have a double degree in Law and Accounting and the starting salary in NZ for either of these professions is around 35,000 USD.  I'd be interested to hear what Lawyers/Accountants make over in the USA?

YoungStache

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Re: Investment strategy
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2014, 10:37:27 AM »
Wow I'd just like to say that salaries in USA are crazy high!  A first year nurse in my country (New Zealand) would be making half what you are making.  I have a double degree in Law and Accounting and the starting salary in NZ for either of these professions is around 35,000 USD.  I'd be interested to hear what Lawyers/Accountants make over in the USA?

Nurses in California are paid the highest in the nation so their salaries aren't reflective of the rest of the US. Nurses in northern California can start off at 90,000+ due to cost of living. But nurses in other states can start off at 40,000. I don't know how much lawyers and accountants earn but I'm sure others here know...
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 06:55:15 PM by YoungStache »