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Subject:  Please Help me Optimize! Date:  12/11/2001  9:03 PM
Author:  PlanningMoose Number:  32801 of 80507

Hello all,

I'm a regular on the fool boards, but established a new profile because I'm not comfortable posting such sensitive information on my recognizable account. I'm happy with my current direction in retirement planning, but also wanted some objective advice, so I thought I would post this synopsis and let people provide feedback. Any thoughts are, of course, appreciated and recognized with a rec!!! (whoopee!).


1) I am 24 years old

2) I work in the financial services industry in a large city with a reasonable cost of living. It's not Houston, but very similar to Houston (i.e., big, but not expensive to live).

3) My gross pay is $66,235 per year. State taxes average, all other taxation average.

4) Cash bonus can range from $5,000 to $50,000. Was $20,000 this year in a weak environment.

5) Have been proactive in my savings and now looking to diversify, but still maintain an active, high-risk, high-reward philosophy.

6) Extensive knowledge of equity markets. Confident in stock-picking ability.


1) Retirement at a reasonable age (58-62) with ability to travel frequently, live very comfortably, but not lavishly, and ability to leave substantial assets to heirs at death.

2) Plan to buy engagement ring at approx. cost of $8,000 near end of 2002. Will finance if rate is sub-9%, pay cash otherwise.

3) Plan to return to top-notch MBA program in 2004-2006. Company will fund education, but will have a two year gap in income.

4) Girlfriend and I plan to have a large family and want to start sometime in the next 5 years.

Fixed Expenses:

1) Not a homeowner. Rent a house with two friends - rent share is $433 per month, utilities an extra $100 - nothing exorbitant.

2) Owe about $5,000 on a 1996 Honda Accord. Interest rate of loan is 13%.

3) Minimal credit card debt ($500 or so). Typically pay off at the end of each mont