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Is there anyone out there who has successfully arranged their portfolio to provide themselves with enough income to live on (very comfortably) after retirement?
I am 28 and figure that if I'm going to do this, now would be a good time since I have time on my side.
I'm interested in knowing the best way to buy stock(or REITS or bonds, or whatever is best)in order to have a steady flow of income by the time I am 50, I know that is early, but the plan is to retire early and then at 59 and a half, have an IRA and/or 401k kick in that will provide me with even more income. I have approxmately 200 a month to invest and possibly more in some cases. I would appreciate any input from folks who are aware of any good strategies to make this happen. Feel free to email me privately.
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Well, you've made the most important step - starting early. I'm 30 years older than you and didn't start serious investment (aside from employer plans) until I was in mid- to late 40's. My spouse and I retired 2 years ago. The rest of this is what I tell my children - the youngest is about your age. It is just one person's opinion and I have one basic caveat: Free advice is often worth every cent you pay for it.

First, fund your 401(k)/403(b) to the extent required to get any matching funds from your employer.

Second, if your income level qualifies you for one, fund a Roth IRA to the maximum allowed.

Third, fund that 401(k)/403(b) to the maximum (I think that is $10,500 this year).

Time out! You didn't indicate whether your $200 per month is outside these type of plans; so I have made some assumptions here.

Fourth, invest in growth stocks and mutual funds. If you are a newbie to investing, I recommend starting with mutual funds. With due deference to TMF, I think the best way to understand mutual funds is to read the Consumer Reports review of same - March 2000 issue in any decent public library.

TMF has a lot of different investment strategies for individual stocks. Be sure you understand them thoroughly before embarking on one. I would recommend starting a shadow portfolio first - that is, select stocks, pretend you are investing in them, and follow the progress of the shadow porfolio first. Be sure to account for any broker commissions in your figures.

I have used the NAIC methodology and philosophy for the last 10 years and have found it to be sound. My portfolio of stocks has an annualized return over that period well in excess of 25%. I think there is a pointer to them somewhere on TMF; but their website is

Invest early, invest regularly, invest in growth, reinvest all dividends, diversify. Buy and hold; the only one that gets rich on frequent trading is your broker.

Free advice is often worth every cent you pay for it.

Good luck!
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You may want to (re)read the 13 steps to investing under Fool's School. You probably want more growth now and may want to consider index mutual funds first, Rule Makers after you have some experience, and finally Rule Breakers. Investing for income now may limit the growth of your investments.

You can switch to more income-producing investments as you get closer to retirement. Once you are ready to start switching you will find many posts here (and on related boards) pertaining to bonds, treasury bills, preferred stock, CDs, and dividend-producing stock as well as a retirement portfolio.
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