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I thought as the year winds down, it would be a good time for folks to post what they are doing to plan for their retirement. Not dollars & cents mind you, but what type of accounts or investments and what mix of accounts are you using or thinking about using.

OK, I'll start.

This year I finally got on the ball & opened a Roth personally and a SIMPLE IRA for the office (I'm self-employed). Previously, about 2 years ago, I opened an MSA which is finally building some cash (it takes a while in these). I don't intend to actually use this money for medical expense unless it's a real emergency, but I can without penalty. I still have one mutual fund sitting around which I haven't sold because of capital gains. I did get rid of another. My first investment was a DRIP, which I have had for years, in what was AXF, but is about to be swallowed up by AXA (I'm going to have to pay some tax from that). Finally, my most recent (as in I sent the first check yesterday) is I'm starting to DRIP ENE. There will be annual capital gains from that, but these should be very managable, thus this is set up as a taxable account.
So anyway, that is my start, much of it this year. What are you doing?
Fess up.

Susan
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Continuing 10% contributions to 401(k), thank goodness they offer an S&P 500 index fund.

Also have a small rollover IRA (traditional) that is also in an S&P 500 index fund, at T. Rowe Price.

Contributed $2k to a Roth this past month for the first time. Vanguard Extended Market index fund.

So my retirement funds are all indexed and are coming close to representing the entire market. I'll make my 2001 Roth contribution whenever my money market account exceeds the basic emergency fund amount by $2k, probably by July or August. Also in 2001 I will rebalance my portfolio so that I have 70% in the S&P 500 indexes and 30% in the rest of the market. Yes, it would be simpler to have everything in the Vanguard total market fund, but mix 'n match will have to do since I'm stuck with my 401(k) provider.

Nothing fancy, and the amounts aren't handsome, but considering that I was over my head in debt three years ago, I don't think I'm doing too badly! I'm 32 so I have time for things to grow.

EditorialWe
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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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I have 10 years to go so I'm a long term investor. Stock and mutual funds are very low low lwo so I'm buying each week at these very low prices. Plus with Bush at the helm, I increased my monthly IRS automated amount to $250 from $166. I have confidence that the IRA limits will be increased to $3000 for 2001. My point is now is a great time to invest at very cheap prices.
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A review could be helpful, if only for self-monitoring

True, but we might give eah other some ideas.

Susan
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I too have only recently began to build up a retirement portfolio. I had a small TSP account that I rolled into an USAA S&P 500 index fund as an IRA. I have two small IRAs both with Hartford, Cap. App.-A & Growth Stock-A. I have sent off the paperwork to be transferred into my USAA S&P index fund as well.
I recently have taken on a position with a Govt. contractor that will allow me to allocate 15% of my pretaxed earnings into a 401k with T. Rowe Price. I have 7% Equity Index 500, 7% Growth Stock. The final 1% is in company stock with a 1% match.
I have also recently opened a Money Market fund with USAA, that will hold the principle bulk of my cash savings as I save for a down payment on a house. After the purchase of my home I will to begin lumping the majority of my savings into an Vanguard Index 500 fund.
My young age, 34, has found me full of desire to become agressive toward my investment strategy. Thus, leading me to purchase stock from 3 companies Corning, Duke, and Pepsi utilizing DCA with purchases every 2 weeks. This I hope was not done foolishly or errantly. I do believe stongly in these companies, so we will see what happens.
By the New Year I plan on picking up a Roth Ira. I know this sounds like a New Year's Resoulution, but I don't make resoulutions, this way I have less to beat myself up about during the rest of the year:) It is that by the end New Year's Holiday I will have the allocated $2000 saved in which to open my account.
Well, that is me and my plan. I'd love to hear others and their ideas or comments.
Seeya,
fas2c
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Hmmm. Didn't imagine I'd be misunderstood. I agreed with your original point, and pitched in. "If only for" does not mean "but only for." It means, "At minumum, even if what I offer doesn't help anyone else despite my intent, there's also value in doing a self-check, so here goes."

language is a lousy form of communication

kse4
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