Author Topic: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity  (Read 2943 times)

Dragonstrike

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Hello fellow mustacheans.

So I'm in the US Army, with about 3 years left to go on my 6 year contract.  I will be getting out, at age 29, with some luck under my belt (i.e. GI bill to go BACK to college, VA loans for homes, etc.)

My current situation/debts/investments are as follows:

Making roughly $30K a year pre-tax, $2,680/month post tax
Single
OWN my 2009 Honda civic as prescribed by MMM's auto buying article

$13,000 in bank savings sitting

$13,000 remaining in student loan debt @ $500 per month payments

Savings in Thrift Saving Plan @ $8,300.00  @ $210 invested per month
Roth IRA through ICMARC: $9000.000   @ $200 invested per month

My current plan is to hopefully pay off the student loan debt, currently capped at 6% and lower, when I am able to have a reserve account for emergencies and bills in the amount of $6000.00.  So hopefully by years end I will do that, and then thereafter for the next two years I will have nothing but savings coming my way. 

Where should I focus my next investment strategies?  After military, I'm not sure where I'll be going but I want to find a higher paying job in the civilian field, if not, Japan.

Should I invest in Vanguard when I have the funds, and if so, which fund and how much?

MDM

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 09:51:20 PM »
Dragonstrike, welcome to the forum.

Why not take $7K from savings tomorrow and put that toward your 6% student loan?

There are many defensible investment fund choices.  One recommendation is 100% to VTTSX, but again that is one of many reasonable choices.

Your general monetary investment strategy appears sound - keep up the good work!

Consider a focus for the next 3 years (beyond performing well in your current role) of determining what you will go back to college for.  Take advantage of career counseling, etc. to identify "things you like to do that will pay well."

Good luck!

Dragonstrike

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 10:53:27 PM »
Would it be good to do that for the long run of things?  Or would it be better to kill off the entirety of the loan in one foul swoop?  Though I can assume that I will save more by doing the first right?

As for what I will do after Army, I was looking into several options:

A) Study abroad in Japan and finalize Japanese linguistics with Korean on the side
B) Teach English in Japan for a year and then see if I would like that lifestyle
C) Pursue my former path in law enforcement
D) Possibly study business management in order to open a gym either home or overseas
E) Look into purchasing properties for real estate

My options are endless, but when it comes to career counseling I'm not sure what really makes me happy.  I'm kinda in a fluff right now about what to do, even though I have 2+ years to figure it out.  I want to do something that I'll be proficient at, happy doing, and will help me build that retirement future.

Any good books or advice resources to help me figure that out besides seeing a school counselor?  I prefer research before meetings if anything.

Also, what's so good about the VTTSX?

Travis

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 11:13:56 PM »
As a single soldier with a guaranteed income for the next three years, why do you have so much in cash?  It looks like you have 6 months of income in savings and you intend to save up even more.  Now is a great time to attack those student loans and then build your savings back up.  Having a few months in cash when you ETS is a good idea, but right now you're losing money to interest by not doing anything productive with that money.

As for post-Army, what's your MOS?  Do you like what you're doing enough to look into capitalizing on that skill set or are you dead set on doing something different?

MDM

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2015, 11:25:36 PM »
Would it be good to do that for the long run of things?  Or would it be better to kill off the entirety of the loan in one foul swoop?  Though I can assume that I will save more by doing the first right?
If you are willing to take the full $13K and pay it all now, that should work well.  I'm assuming your current employment is stable. :)
But you had indicated a desire to retain a $6K cushion so I didn't press the issue.

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Any good books or advice resources to help me figure that out besides seeing a school counselor?  I prefer research before meetings if anything.
I took a school-paid test from these folks a long time ago (i.e., pre-internet) and it was helpful for me.  No idea what their current services would cost.

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Also, what's so good about the VTTSX?
I'm going to let you take a look and first come back with your own thoughts on why it might or might not be good for you...fair enough?

Dragonstrike

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 12:18:00 AM »
Looked into the vanguard fund which is a 2060 fund I assume?  I'd love to retire well before age 73, lol.  Aiming for 40's or earlier if I can get married and have a higher paying job.

I'm a 35P Korean linguist btw.  Job isn't good at all, and I'm aiming to get out of the Army in 2.75 years.

As for what I want to do after, I'm not sure.  I'm good at almost anything I do, and that is what makes it hard for me: I don't know what I want to do that will make me happy.  I need some serious avenues and advice to discover that, and I'm not sure where to begin other than looking into a school/career counselor in a university and getting what may be meager advice on a new degree plan.

I have time to figure it out, but I want solid resources to do research.  What do you guys have for jobs?  What made you realize you loved it?  Are you happy in these careers?

dess1313

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 08:08:54 PM »
If you want to keep a bit of a cushion, use half or a bit more of your savings and pay that against your loan.  Remember when its done, you'll have $500 a month free to do other things.  Its up to you to know how much makes you comfortable.

Right now if you kept on track paying it down the way i think you are, you'd pay about $1000 or so in interest. 

Is having all of your savings as is, worth paying that interest penalty? 

That's a lot of money back in your pocket.  then once your loan is done, all the payments would quickly restock your savings goal, then be further investment money.

MDM

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Re: Single Service Member Seeks Investment Advice for Badassity
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 08:15:45 PM »
Looked into the vanguard fund which is a 2060 fund I assume?  I'd love to retire well before age 73, lol.  Aiming for 40's or earlier if I can get married and have a higher paying job.
The name of the fund is not completely separate from when one might want to retire, but it's the stock/bond split within the fund that is far more important than the year in the name.  The original question was aimed at your thoughts of the stock/bond split within VTTSX, and how that matches with your investing temperament.  Given that, ...?