No. of Recommendations: 0

By far the best beginning investment book that I have read is “The Bogelheads Guide to Investing” Check out the reviews at Amazon;

There is an active “Military Fools” Board that may have good information on some of the special situations that you are facing. Here is an unrelated link;

...I also have gift to minor fund for my son for his college....

The problem with they type of account that you have right now is that when the kid turns 18 or 21, depending on your state, then they can get the money and spend it on whatever they want.

Having the money in the kids name will also hurt their eligibility for financial aid for college. If you eventually have other kids there is also no way to shift money between the kids if you ever want to.

There is a “Paying for College” board that would be a good place to ask for college investing suggestions. Here is a link;

...I am currently giving 1300 of it to someone else via rent. I want to buy a house around 200,000 ish and devote that allowance to my own morgage....

Buying and selling a house can easily cost 10% or more of the selling price with all the loan costs, inspections, and real estate commission. In addition since you are in such a low tax bracket you will not get any benefit from the tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest. When you add in occasionally have to put on a new roof or get a new furnace it may actually be cheaper to rent. The interest on $200K at 6% is $12,000 per year or a thousand dollars a month so if the house you are currently renting for $1,300 per month is almost certainly less expensive than buying a $200K house.

Over the long term the inflation adjusted price appreciation of a residential house is usually negative. For example with rare exceptions a 100 year old house will be worth a lot less(adjusted for inflation) than it was when it was new. Often by the time it is a hundred years old it will have either become pretty decrepit or have been torn down.

...I plan to put max both Roth IRA's each year....

A very good idea until you are in a higher tax bracket and probably still a good idea then.

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