all your advice works. i know because i have followed those steps since my early to mid-20s when, as a self-employed freelance journalist, i opened what was then called a keough account. those were pre-cursors of today’s ira’s. i always socked the limit into those, and soon opened an ira, as well as a 401k and a roth when they became available. i also opened fidelity and later, vanguard, mutual fund accounts. i always saved more than i spent, probably at least half my pay, which was never higher than about $65k during all the years i worked in journalism. true, my friends always liked to joke that i was “cheap,” but who’s laughing now? i crossed the $1m line in late 04, quit full-time work at age 51 and do exactly as i please with myself today, which is mainly being a semi-pro musician, the career the i almost established when i was in college. mercifully, i don’t have to live off it today. my main advice is to avoid credit-card debt. i am always astonished by how much people carry. ive never carried any. my debts are always limited to mortgage and, at times, car loans. i could own fancier cars and houses, but i have never felt the need, unlike my cash rich, but investment-poor friends. i live off corporate junk bonds today, plus music and random freelancing. my goal is to get to about $1.5m, get 80 percennt out of today’s way too unstable stock market, and live off mostly fixed income investments. way down the road, ill add social security, and a pension from the 25-years-plus i worked in newspapers. it can be done. the millionaire-next-door exists all around us.
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Jared Diamond was in New York several weeks ago and we had an early dinner across the street from the Museum of Natural History where he was scheduled to speak later in the evening. Jared first visited the Museum in 1963, when he was 25 years old, preparing to go to New Guinea on his first expedition to study New Guinea birds. Subsequently he analyzed his bird collections in the museum where he is on the staff of the Museum's Department of Ornithology in addition to his position at UCLA.
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I couldn’t disagree more. The concept of systematic saving and hoping for a solid average return in the markets isn’t something that I believe in anymore. I’m 32, and have been investing in the markets since I was 18, under the assumption that if I set up automatic contributions throughout my life I would ultimately be “rich”. I started by maxing out my SEP-IRA and then by maxing my Roth. I invest monthly in a range of products, again, all with the goal of cost averaging the market to my benefit over time. Fast forward 14 years from when I began, and I have accumulated less than $60k. My invested dollar amount exceeds my current total, as it did even at the recent market highs in 2007. In other words, investing for the long haul doesn’t work like it used to, particularly for my generation. The first decade of wage earning is the most important in terms of compounding interest, and we have just experienced a completely lost decade. The hopes for recovery to make up for that lost decade (14 yrs in my case) do not appear reasonable. David
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I see we have the same mindset. I really believe I’ll be a millionaire in the future, and I’ve been working toward that for many years now. From time to time something can happen unexpected and cause you to have to spend a little more than you earn… you can’t make a habit of doing that though. This was a good article, and should help a lot of people if they will just do it.
This is my update, it’s been a couple years and I feel now is a good time for one! After my wife and I turned 30 in July I have been thinking about updating our story. We continue to prosper at what we do and have been pretty frugal since when we first posted. I finally got a raise and a promotion , which is just the start of our good luck. About two years ago we purchased land back home in PA even though we still have time left in Boston. We got an amazing deal on 2.2 acres on a golf course that now appraises for $350,000. Since the last time we spoke we have paid down debt,we have paid off both cars, my wife’s medical loans and under grad degree, also purchased about $25,000 in gold and silver. We have about $55,000 in equity in our condo in Boston and together we now have over $95,000 in 401k and Roth accts. We are working extra hard at paying down the land loan so that we will have enough equity to build a 1.5 million dollar house ($300,000) needed or 20%. We also just signed with a private practice which is going to pay my wife and I a $50,000 signing bonus and over $250,000 before taxes a year, starting in 2014. We make about $175,000 a year combined now but once my wife becomes partners at this practice she is expected to make over $750,000. So we are very lucky and well on our way! We our currently half way away to a million. Our plan is to become millionaires before we turn 35. Can we do it? Thank u Ryan for your advice. Work hard, it doesn’t matter what you make… It matters what you are able to save!
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