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sschullo

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  1. I hope not because our generation has backtracked on some many social issues that should have been settled fifty years ago. While society is better, we should be a lot further developed IMOH. Only time will tell how the Millennials will turn out.
  2. Ed, I guess you are referring to me. As you probably know, but others may miss, while it says "sschullo said", I did NOT say or write that quote that Ed highlighted. I copied the article from the biased article. And yes I did see the other part of the report from BoA. I hope BoA is more accurate. I am very fond of Millennials for the reasons you state. I am going to one of their CampFI conferences. Steve
  3. These types of reports tell me nothing! For example, quoting in the executive summary: "However, this generation is viewed as less financially savvy than previous generations when it comes to saving for retirement, budgeting, and establishing and maintaining a financial plan.3 Specifically, Millennials are characterized as spending too much money on unnecessary expenses." Are they suggesting that my generation is more financially savvy? You have got to be kidding! Boomers are the biggest borrow and spend generation in history! We are not role models, and we elected politicians to do the same thing with the government. Just like any generation, some get it right. I like to think that some Millennials also get it right. For example, some do not use the word "Retirement" as they opt for "Financial Independence (FI)." Get used to it, as the FI community is a growing powerhouse. As I have mentioned before, one of their rock stars Vicky Robbins who wrote the best selling book "Your Money or Your Life" was on the front cover of Money Magazine last spring and has been on many TV shows, magazines, podcasts, blogs over the years including Oprah. Vicky and her late hubby started in the late 60s, they are the "grandparents" of the FI community. They ABSOLUTELY LOVE HER WORK. I hope some of our younger teachers find out about this wonderful community. BTW, I am told there are still openings for the Joshua Tree CampFI right here in Southern California: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/campfi-southwest-2018-aug-03-06-2018-tickets-43465342008 . Our educational colleagues have something that many of in the FI community do not have, a Pension Plan. So technically, our young teachers started saving right out of the gate (thanks to the mandatory pension plan contributions from the teacher and their employer). Of course, they cannot tap into it until they accrue so many years of service and they need to be old enough but it is still an ASSET! So if our young teachers also start saving in a 403b they can get to FI a lot sooner than the usual 65 years old. School boards are always looking for ways of getting older teachers to retire, so they can hire young teachers at starting salaries. Yeah, its cold, but what is wrong with retiring earlier than usual NOTHING. My pension plan says any teacher with five years of service or more can get a retirement benefit (five years service will be a small benefit, but it is an ASSET that lasts a lifetime!). Steve
  4. sschullo

    YTD Return at the half way point

    Q2 Asset Allocation: "Steady as she goes" month after month, year after year right through 2008, the greatest stock market crash since the Great Depression. This portfolio has been very similar for about 12 years about 30-35% stocks to 70-65% bonds. I have had the total bond market, total stock market and the total international stock market indices for many years.
  5. Hi Tony, My suggestion is to write a sentence or two about your opinion of the article you linked. Obviously its important to you. Contrarily, just be looking at the title and without why you posted it, it is not important to me. Even then the participation rate is low, even at Bogleheads its the SAME people posting day after day, year after year while there are 600 700 guest lurkers! People are afraid to post. We know that nobody gives a crap about us personally. People who understand will more likely ask a question and get an answer quickly because we know what we are talking about. Steve
  6. Moe, I am excited! But I agree if you think like you wrote, it is discouraging. If I gave up because it takes 40 years, I would be just another senior regretting that I spent too much and not saved enough too. Millions of older folks have this identical regret. I am excited that I can write books and give them away, to write a blog, share financial information on this forum (and Bogleheads) on my FB and Twitter accounts, take ballroom dancing lessons, have a wonderful 2nd life in a new and wonderful relationship. I also lived a healthy life all those years. I had a wonderful 40-year relationship and I did things that I never planned for, as the FI community will find out too. I was able to do this because I could afford to as I rejected the material things that are short-sighted and deleterious to my personal growth. Steve
  7. I heard Frugalwoods interview on the whimsical Mad Fientist podcast. While I have not read her book, I have read the reviews. I absolutely agree that her writing is just as good as Mr. Money Mustchete and her message, as well as the entire FI community, is the rejection of the consumer lifestyle, live a stress free life where you can do what you want instead of saving like us older people have done little by little over decades. They want to be FI ASAP. Those talented authors do not have to say they are "just regular people" because it will be controversial. And perhaps that is what the book publishing world want is a little controversy, it sells more books so that the publishers make money. Nothing against this, it's just how the book publishing system works. As long as more and more people get the message that just about anybody can save something IF THEY CUT BACK ON SPENDING. Another community dubbed the media literacy community is all for rejecting consumerism too, and be aware when you WANT to purchase something that you will regret later. Of course, it is much more complicated than my one sentence description. There are academic departments around the country devoted to media literacy. Marketing and selling things we do not need is a highly seductive profession and has been around for almost a century. For example, the classic example is buying a new car every 3-5 years. This horrible practice is a 100% negative and complete drain on our ability to attain wealth, especially us lower paid professionals. Moe, I am very excited that I am going to be meet you in a just 3 weeks at the CampFI Southwest in Joshua Tree. My girlfriend and I will probably be the most senior people there, LOLs. Steve
  8. RIGHT! If you cannot kill the beast, we will starve it to death.
  9. To all readers! I urge any employee working at any profession to ask how their 401k, 403b, 457b plans are decided and managed. Sometimes there is an advisory committee. Join it and you will learn all there is about how the game is played. When employees themselves are on the committee, surprise, surprise, the costs get lower, and the investing gets simpler, and annuities begin disappearing. It's funny how it works that way. My free PDF book Fighting Powerful Interests shows how we went from an expensive 403b plan to an Award winning 457b plan in the 2nd largest school district in the country. Besides my story, I have all of my correspondence to school board members, union leaders, the President, ERISA, financial and educational magazines, and Fidelity and Vanguard.
  10. Ed, Funny story about TSA consultants TSA consultants is our TPA for the 403b. Because our advisory committee focuses on the lower cost 457b plan, TSA Consultants sent one of the legal counsel to our committee meeting and began lecturing us about the IRS requires plan sponsors (our district) to bring "meaningful notice" to the 403b plan. Meaning more publicity and attention to the 403b. This guy threated us that if we don't bring meaningful notice, "The IRS could shut down the 403b plan!" We said "That would be GREAT! Shut it down!" We never heard from TSA Consultants legal counsel ever since. These people have scared districts legal counsel for decades with this utter bull. The IRS requires one notice a year for the 403b plan and our district was in complete compliance. But TSA consults thought they could scare us into doing more. Their tactic BACKFIRED! It's a new world, the investment world has changed and the thinking about plans and how they are managed has changed dramatically, and best of all, more and more nonprofessionals are serving on advisory committees. Steve
  11. Hi Ed, When I heard that quote years and years ago about "it's not how much you make its what you do with what you make," I was in my 20s earning a little above minimum wage ($2.00 hour), yet I was able to save some, and I never borrowed from family. I was very proud that I could make it as an adult after my discharge from the service and after living with my sister in Los Angeles for a year. You are a huge proponent of minimalism, so was I (now that I a retired, I can afford to splurge on socially conscious cars, vacations etc). All of my 20s and most of my 30s I drove a VW bug, had roommates to share rent and utilities, do minimalist things such as play handball at the beach, jog, hike and read. NO KIDS! that's huge! Of course, I would have loved to drive a sports car, wear great clothes, live in swanky Marina in Los Angeles, and host lavish parties, but that's not what happened. I carried those early frugal habits throughout my life (never bought a new car until I retired when I could afford it) and started with $200.00 per month in my TSA at the ripe young age of 37 when I started teaching. Again, when I heard that quote, it was encouraging even when I could only save a few dollars here and there. I did not know how I was going to do this but it planted a seed. Saying the I give out "false hope". I HOPE SO! In this pessimistic country we live in now, we need some positive even if its false hope! Did President Lincoln give out false hope? President Lincoln signed a little-known bill during the middle of the Civil War that affected little old me 103 years later! He signed a land grant bill that paved the way for teachers colleges to be built all over the country to train teachers to teach in country schools. I started college at River Falls University Wisconsin in 1966. River Falls was one many of those colleges that Lincoln was thinking. Can you imagine any politician thinking ahead with anything positive and encouraging these days? Look, I feel good and I am just spouting off about something positive. And say that its not how much you make that counts its what you do with what you make that counts just sounds so positive. You are saying that my thinking is out of touch with the real world. Well, I like to think that my thinking has been out of touch with the real world for a long time. But thank you very much! But to say that poor people can NEVER save anything is discouraging! I know because I was poor too, and I never forget where I came from and how lucky I was to meet good people who were a whole lot smarter than me. I learned a lot. I totally agree that many in the FI community are mostly white, privileged and highly talented young people. They still have a great message, however. The only criticism from what I read from book reviewers is that the FI authors often call themselves "regular people." No, they are not. One such author lived in Cambridge with her IT husband before moving to a remote farmhouse in New Hampshire and wrote a book about their experience. Anybody who lives and works in Cambridge MA is NOT regular. However, I absolutely respect their minimalist, anti-consumer message and that they want to live a life of giving back. Have a great weekend, Steve
  12. Fellows, There is nothing wrong with taking 30 or 35 years to save $1,000,000. That's an incredible achievement. If one spends all of that $60,000 year after year, what will you have in 30 to 35 years? We all know that answer, NOTHING. And the same thing will happen with a high-income earner. Spending $60000 or $600,000 ends up with no wealth building either way. If one can save 50% of income and get to FI by 25, 30 or 35 years old that's wonderful too. The point is that people can do without the useless and expensive toys, new cars every 3 years, big houses that are more than they need, and eat at expensive restaurants frequently. The FI community want to enjoy life and have a stress free simple environment that is more meaningful than the high-stress corporate lifestyle with all of its uncertain and disappointing status and prestige. Middle-income people have some natural advantages, their taxes will be lower, and they don't have the money to spend on luxury. The big disadvantage is that they don't THINK that $500 per month saved year after year will add up to much and so they don't try. High-income people have advantages because they can get to their financial goals much faster. But they also have more distractions, they can afford the big homes, fancy cars and luxury with ease. I read or heard that it's not so much how much one makes but what you do with what you make that counts. We have all read stories of the custodian who died at 90 and leaving millions to charity or his or her church.
  13. It just occurred to me as I was making my rounds in the social media 403(b) world that a week ago, on June 28th, marked the 18th anniversary of one of THE BEST 403(b) article ever written, published by my union, the American Federation of Teachers, June 28, 2000. Our fellow advocate Scotty Dauenhauer wrote a piece on his blog on this date two years ago commemorating this great article. Thanks, Scott! http://teachersadvocate.blogspot.com/2016/06/shark-attack.html When Shark Attack came out in 2000, it offered a ton of hope that the 403b world will be reformed. It said EVERYTHING, with 100% accuracy! I could not believe it. Sad to say, not much has changed in the last 18 years. Bits and pieces with some states and some districts, but nothing national (NYC teachers and Wisconsin teachers union appear to have the best plans for their members). The 2006 rule changes that allowed the 457b to be used in K12 offered some additional hope but unless there are teachers on the advisory board, the 457b can be abused by the same professionals who abuse the 403b. Yeah, the 457b may offer mutual funds but they are usually administered by broker-dealer firms with high costs and commissions. BTW I know both, Don Kuehn, author of Shark Attack and I met personally with John Abraham, AFT senior associate. The author has retired but Mr. Abraham never responded to subsequent emails and phone calls. AFT was attacked viciously by the insurance industry after the article was published as you can imagine. To my knowledge, not a single word has been published by AFT regarding the 403b in the last 18 years. Its another one of those mysteries that we ordinary teachers who are out of the power loop will never know.
  14. Even with 20 years to go, you want some allocation in fixed accounts. An 80% equity / 20% fixed is an aggressive allocation for most under 45. As you get closer to retirement, increase your percent of fixed accounts. TIAA Tradition annuity would be a near perfect fixed account. Principal guarantee, paying 3.0% (or more as interest rates are increasing), no fees (except the spread between what TIAA gets on the open market and the rate credited to you). NO Surrender fees except for their option that pays a higher rate of interest. Be careful you understand which one. I would transfer the rest to Vanguard and allocate either 50% or 60% to the domestic and 40% to 50% in international stock markets. There are no perfect portfolios but their are excellant portfolios that do the heavy lifting to get you where you want. Control costs, diversify, stock-bond split, and rebalance when needed. You are in great shape. Keep up the good work. Steve
  15. sschullo

    YTD Return at the half way point

    I was surprised that the number one holding in the Vanguard Extended Market Index is Tesla. I have about $78,000 invested in that index and they report .7% of the assets is Telsa Motors. If my math is correct, and Krow36 will be happy to correct me if I am incorrect, 🙂 I own almost two shares. Calculation: .007 times 78,000 = $546.00. Tesla shares are trading at $308.90 at the close of trading on July 6. I will never purchase individual shares of Tesla Motors because I already invested in Tesla.
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