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Author: Watty56 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76395  
Subject: Re: Beginning Retirement Investing Date: 2/19/2013 12:57 PM
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Check out this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Bogleheads-Guide-Investing-Taylor-Lari...

It is a very good starting book.

1) How much is a good average % of income to begin saving with? I would like to get used to saving a certain amount that way I do not live above my means right now while I have very little expenses (No wife, kids, etc).

The big thing now is to save up enough outside your retirement accounts so that you do not get into trouble with debt in an emergency and that you can eventually pay cash for all your cars. There is no hurry to buy a house(and LOTS of reasons not to at your age) but you can starting for one now so that you will have the option to buy one with 20% down later so you can avoid PMI is also worth doing. These have messed up more people than not initially saving enough.

The thing that worked for me was to commit to putting one half of any future raises or bonuses into some sort of savings. This is painless and by the time you are 30 you will be saving a high percentage of your income.

2) I would like to set up a Roth IRA to invest in as well as my company's 401K. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to invest that Roth IRA into?

If you are not maxing out the 401K and deductible IRA that you are eligible for then I would probably max those out first if you plan on using this money for retirement.

The problem is that single people get into the 25% federal tax bracket real fast so you might want to fund deductible retirement accounts at least until you get below the 25% tax bracket. If you are likely to get married, have kids, and buy a house then you will likely be in a much lower tax bracket then and that would be a better time to fund a Roth.

To start out one of the target date funds, like a 2050 fund would be a good choice since trying to fine tune your choices any more will really not get you much until you have more saved up. When you have more you can split it up into one of these simple portfolios and do just fine;

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio


3) For retirement, are these two accounts going to be enough if I continually save in them over the course of my working years? Or should I be investing in regular stocks for retirement as well (dividends, etc)? I plan on doing regular stock investing but I was not sure if I should plan on this being for retirement or other future endeavors/expenses (IE college, etc).

For money that you are sure that you will use for retirement the 401k/IRA, and Roth accounts are ideal and should be maxed out before saving retirement money in taxable accounts. Even if you retire early there are ways to get the money out of these accounts without paying a penalty so don't worry about that.

You can always take your contributions(but not earnings) out of a Roth so if you are eligible for one of these that you would not otherwise be moving then you can do some of your non-retirement saving in the Roth. Some people use a Roth as their emergency fund which can work out well.

Be cautious about thinking that you can pick individual stocks and do better than the index funds. Most professional money managers can't do that and would be in the investing hall of fame if they could be a comparable index fund but 1% over the long run.

There are really only three things you can reliably do when it comes to investing;

1) Control how much you save or spend each year.

2) Keeping investing costs low. This is critical and getting an extra fraction of a percent of return a year will make an amazing difference over the 40 years or so until you retire. Figure out what $1,000 invest at 8 and 8.5 percent will be worth in 40 years.

3) You asset allocation (the mixture of stocks/bonds/etc)
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