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Jim
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 04, 2023 7:35 pm
Location: PNW

Good morning.

Post by Jim »

Hello,

I joined the forum after finishing the ERE book. I'm a dude in my late 30s living in the pacific northwest, married, w/ two kids.

Unlike some people here, I don't feel much pressure to decouple myself from my career. The subject matter which resonated with me in the book had more to do with the renaissance man ideals and the value of that lifestyle in a modern context.

I started doing trade work at a young age, I was welding, fabricating, doing household (and sometimes commercial) electrical work at around 15 years old. I have spent at least some time in most trades. I graduated high school, but spent only a single semester at college. With money I saved up from working, I spent about a year in an ethnobotany and primitive skills apprenticeship. I then moved to Asia where I spent the next 7 or so years between Central China and Northern Thailand practicing martial arts. I learned Mandarin Chinese in the process and spent some time as an interpreter.

I moved back to the states under 10 years ago with $19 to my name. After I got back I pursued a career as a union Firefighter/EMT, a job I maintain. It provides a reasonable salary, allows me to learn a new skill set, and consistently provides physical and emotional challenges. There are additinoal benefits. I don't intend to leave my career because I enjoy the work environment (for the most part) and because I believe we need public servants doing this kind of work. It would be liberating, however, to feel less reliant on work for my welfare.

I maxed out my 457 plan as soon as I got hired. Because I naturally have frugal spending habits, it wasn't hard to save additionally on top of that; I maxed on my IRA contribuations as well (decision I now maybe regret). I put almost 10k/year into an HSA plan, invest it in index funds and pay the family medical expenses out of pocket. Coming from a place of complete financial illitreracy, and seeing all this money piling up, I decided I needed to learn about retirement/investing strategies. I developed a rudimentary knowledge of investing strategies and but still hardly understand the machinations of the financial markets. Many of the answers I was finding weren't satisfactory, certainly not holistic, and I arrived eventually at ERE, which caused me to reflect on my diverse life experiences and skill sets and prevented me from falling into the consumerism trap I was standing on the precipice of, about to throw in all my hard earned money on plastic trash and bank loans in the pursuit of "equity".

I hope to be able to offer this community some thoughtful advice about trade type skills and projects and hope that I am able to use it as a resource to better my understanding of investing.

-Jim

theanimal
Posts: 2681
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
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Re: Good morning.

Post by theanimal »

Very interesting background, I'm looking forward to hearing more from you. Welcome!

Why do you regret maxing out your IRA?

Jim
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 04, 2023 7:35 pm
Location: PNW

Re: Good morning.

Post by Jim »

Putting money into retirement accounts made more sense when I was considering retirement on a more conventional timeline. I will probably leave my career earlier than later, and having more money in a taxable accounts may have been a better move so I can withdrawal without penalties.

GreenMonsta
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:53 pm

Re: Good morning.

Post by GreenMonsta »

Sounds like you maxed out a Roth IRA? A positive there is that (as I understand) those contributions can be withdrawn tax and penalty free at anytime. You will just have to leave the earnings in the account until traditional retirement age.

Jim
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 04, 2023 7:35 pm
Location: PNW

Re: Good morning.

Post by Jim »

Hi GM, thanks for the reply! I was under the impression that 457 Roth withdrawals couldn't be made until after age 59.5. Maybe there's a rollover option for post retirement/separation that I haven't heard of, but a quick Google search didn't turn up anything. I also didn't see any info that differentiates between withdrawal rules for contributions and earnings. I hope you're right, I've got a whole lot to learn about this stuff!

GreenMonsta
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:53 pm

Re: Good morning.

Post by GreenMonsta »

My comment was geared towards a Roth outside of an employer plan. But since you have a 457, research that specific plan to see if you can withdraw funds penalty free prior to 59.5 after separation from employment, aka, retire early :D

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