No. of Recommendations: 0
A review could be helpful, if only for self-monitoring:

We're in our late 40s, with a minimum 10-year investment horizon. No debts, no dependents. Not currently covered by any retirement scheme (we live & work in Asia).

Where we stand:

* a small Roth from 1998 we're no longer eligible to contribute to, in a Unit Investment Trust. Once-great returns are down but still above initial investment. It 'matures' in 3 years.

* two IRAs in MF/individual stocks mix, with sad returns this year. Kicking myself for buying TVFQX in the fall.

* a 403(B) from a former job, in a range of MF's: Index , tech sector, growth opportunities, and global. Currently worth 2/3s of what it was worth in March 2000, but what isn't? Plan on rolling this into spouse's IRA account in 2001.

* a brokerage account that's about 1/2 cash, the other half split 70:30 between individual stocks (CSCO,JNJ,IMGN,TXN,NOK,SUNW,WMT,VOD,INTC) and MFs (Putnam). Yes, we've gotten nailed lately--at least the cash is safe, the rest will have to claw its way back. Over last twenty months, we're still up at least 35% on stocks. Our portfolio is what most would call aggressive, apart from the cash holdings.

Because our brokerage account IS our retirement fund, we're socking cash away at a dizzying clip--my entire salary plus about 10K, annually. This is a 6-year plan--we're halfway through year 3. (Don't try this at home: remember, we have no other retirement scheme. Also, my income falls below foreign income exclusion, so no US tax.) We've mostly held off from stock purchases since September, but have taken advantage of opps to lower our basis in stocks we're long on. I do a yearly review of stock performance when I begin doing our taxes (December). I've given both WMT and VOD a buck-up-or-else warning.

Over the next 12 months, we mean to increase our cash reserve and keep it stashed in MMF & long-term CDs. In mid-2004, we'll devise a new plan & a new horizon.

I also keep four 'virtual' portfolios of stocks I watch, but we're staying on dry land for a while. Overall, I wish I'd done more Year 2000 damage control back in August--but I didn't, which is what wishing's for, right?

Retirement planning is a load of work, isn't it? And 'way too real. But I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't enjoy it, on some level.

kse4
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