Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

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MrBobcat
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by MrBobcat »

We had a lot of change in our 30s. I quit my first job out of college, then quit my second job a few years later to buy out a retiring guy's practice in my hometown and took on a bunch of debt to do so (2X what our house cost). Bought what has turned out to be our forever home, lol. When our youngest was in 1st grade (other 2 were in 5th and 3rd grade) my wife (then 33) went back to college to get her teaching certificate and we had to take out student loans to finance the whole thing. My take home pay was $3k per month $900 of which went to the house payment, by the end of our 30s take home pay was about $4k/month. After my wife got her degree 3.5 years later she got a job as a teacher's aid making $8.5/hour which was her first job since having kids... but it had health insurance. She didn't finally get a certified teaching job till her mid 40s right when our 3rd child started college. Note there is only one school district in our town so jobs were limited.

As the 30s progressed I first bought into the building (the other owner had a business downstairs) and I did pay off the original practice purchase but now had building debt. I eventually bought out the other owner, but I was in my early 40s by then.

Lot of changes with the kids growing up, starting with 3 in grade school and ending with 2 in HS and one in middle school... and then they started driving.

We still live in the same house and our budget hasn't crept up too much from what I consider our formative years of budgeting (our 30s).
econalex
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by econalex »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm
Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?
As an Asian, can confirm the grinding seems harder. For instance the infamous 996 schedule, 9am-9pm 6 days a week, is not unusual for white collar jobs in major cities.

OTOH, 1)college cost is minimal; 2)public transportation available; 3)common to live with parents before marriage and 4) parents expected to front significant % for 1st home purchase at marriage.
Juice3
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Juice3 »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:39 am
mbasherp wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:29 am My thirties have been the time to finally get on track. [...] Now married and with a small family, nice house and likely on track to hit a million by 40.
The bolded is about my track as well. Entered my 30s with basically a zero net worth, bought a new house, started a family,
ditto. And if my current self could tell my 30 something self something, it would be to keep in mind that peak earnings years for many are the 30s (and maybe 40s). Family has involved a lot of compromises on career, resulting in my personal peak earnings pretty early. YMMV.

The idea of earnings progressing throughout your working life is certainly not true for everyone.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by MrBobcat »

lthenderson wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:14 am In my view, the 30's were the prime time to decide how one wants to live financially. It is a time when we bought our first home, had kids, got our first new vehicle instead of cheap used ones. etc. For us, we did a lot of soul searching about whether or not we wanted to keep up with the Joneses of the world. We made the decision not too. We bought a smaller house than all of our peers and one that required a fair amount of sweat equity after we moved into it. We bought basic new cars. For our kids, we mostly bought quality used stuff for pennies on the dollar of what it would cost brand new. We passed most of that stuff on as we got, i.e. garage sales, so we got almost all our money back. Now almost out of the 40's, we are financially independent and could retire if needed while most of our peers are still paying for those large houses, expensive cars and top of the line household goods.
I agree 100% with this. We decided a nice middle of the road lifestyle was for us, no trying to keep up with my peers in houses/cars/vacations/etc., it just wasn't important enough for us to extend ourselves. More importantly our kids who grew up during this time learned not having everything their friends had was okay (though they didn't actually come to this realization till they were young adults).

We still live in the same house and drive modest cars but we do spend more money on traveling to visit the kids and other family but still way less money than when raising and educating the kids. Weirds my wife out that we can save close to 40-50% of our income and still have enough money to pay taxes and live comfortably on.
SouthGAJacket
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by SouthGAJacket »

All great suggestions and points. I’m 51 and spent my 30’s having kids and continuing to build the career and SAVE/INVEST. I’ve read some of the previous posters about live for today and enjoy your life. That’s true, but due to the wonder of compound interest you can enjoy each day but yet continue to save because I’m telling you the money you save/invest in your 20’s and 30’s is what will lead to decades of a wonderful life in the future. Sure, any of us could die tonight, but I’m not gonna wager my future on that. Put it this way, I’m frugal and while I don’t remember every day of my 30’s I know I enjoyed each day while still saving. For instance, went to Disney many times in Orlando with the kids. Never did it the Disney way. Stayed off campus in rooms at Hampton Inn types for $100 a night, never did the Disney gorge ourselves meal plans, etc, and the kids never knew the difference. Meanwhile I had broke family members taking their family and spending thousands they didn’t have. And when I call it a day at retirement I’ll be able to take my kids and grandkids any where we choose to go. So my advice is to live and have fun, but continue to be smart. One day you’ll wake up and look in the mirror and see a 50 or 60 or 70 year old and still be full of life with a pile of gold. I’m looking to retire around 55 and then I’ll spend a decade traveling and enjoying life on interest only!
GoldenFinch
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by GoldenFinch »

When we were in our 30s we spent every dime we had on our kids. We were broke because of our investment in them. Now the kids are grown up (except for the youngest one) and well educated. They have very good lives. We didn’t really start saving and making better money until our 40s. We are in our 50s now and things have worked out okay financially mainly because I found this website and figured out how to invest properly.
scrabbler1
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by scrabbler1 »

My 30s was the decade I worked hard on my career and put that hard work toward an eventual early retirement at age 45 (13 years ago).

At age 30, I got promoted to supervisor, had some despised coworkers leave my company, and shed some work I also despised. But after 4 years of hard work, I began getting burnt out, putting me onto the path of an early retirement by switching to working part-time by age 38. Paying off my mortgage at age 35 and the exploding value of the company stock my company set up around that time also greatly contributed.

My mom sadly passed away while I was in my early 30s. Being single and more solidly childfree kept me from becoming more burnt out, and pointed me toward my coveted early retirement.
carloslando
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by carloslando »

Our 30s were when we really made many of our first major 'adult' decisions:
- bought our first house
- started investing seriously in index funds towards the end of our 30s
- raised our kids through their pre-teen years
- worked really hard to grow career: putting in crazy hours with very poor WLB

mistakes made:
- should have paced out work-life-balance much better. should have prioritized time with family even at the cost of some career progress (in hindsight the benefits of the slog have been too small to matter, and I cannot get back that time I lost with my kids when they were young).
- did not focus on health: weight-gain, lack-of-exercise, poor-eating-habits etc. the 30s were forgiving, starting to see the side-effect of those decisions now in 40s.
- should have focused on widening my skills to stay more relevant in the industry. Ended up exiting the 30s in the exact same field/skillset with just a slightly more senior role, compared to where I was when I entered the 30s.
- kept way too much cash on hand (savings in high yield savings accounts etc) instead of going in on index funds (esp. tech index funds, when it was clear tech was going to be big going forward). Also started really investing very late (end of 30s almost...)
Comparison is the killer of all joy.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

econalex wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm
Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?
As an Asian, can confirm the grinding seems harder. For instance the infamous 996 schedule, 9am-9pm 6 days a week, is not unusual for white collar jobs in major cities.

OTOH, 1)college cost is minimal; 2)public transportation available; 3)common to live with parents before marriage and 4) parents expected to front significant % for 1st home purchase at marriage.
Thanks. 996 sounds, and i'm sure is, brutal. I've heard of this in Japan, I think.
Is one positive, more guaranteed pension money generally at around age 50? I.e. work super hard 996 for 20-30 years and then the norm is to retire with a pension?

I expect 3) to happen more and more in our vcol areas.
4) is something I could aspire to. But, not plan for.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
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anon_investor
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by anon_investor »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:30 pm
econalex wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm
Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?
As an Asian, can confirm the grinding seems harder. For instance the infamous 996 schedule, 9am-9pm 6 days a week, is not unusual for white collar jobs in major cities.

OTOH, 1)college cost is minimal; 2)public transportation available; 3)common to live with parents before marriage and 4) parents expected to front significant % for 1st home purchase at marriage.
Thanks. 996 sounds, and i'm sure is, brutal. I've heard of this in Japan, I think.
Is one positive, more guaranteed pension money generally at around age 50? I.e. work super hard 996 for 20-30 years and then the norm is to retire with a pension?

I expect 3) to happen more and more in our vcol areas.
4) is something I could aspire to. But, not plan for.
996 sounds like less hours than BigLaw...
TJat
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by TJat »

alfaspider wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:03 pm I'm 36, so I can't comment on the whole decade, but it feels like a big journey already.

Financial/Professional: Spouse and I were fairly well established by 30 (married mid-20s). Both had embarked on our permanent career paths. We had our first house, but no kids. Net worth was just starting to build (starting from zero at age 28) as we both maxed out all available tax advantaged space and paid off our student loans. Our current income was mostly established around 30, with standard professional growth type raises (no extreme jumps or drops). Today, we are both pretty established in our careers and have achieved what I would call "basic FI," meaning we could sell everything and move to a low COL area to retire, but not retire at our current lifestyle. We upgraded homes two years ago to access highly rated schools. The market has been very good to us over the last 6 years. I'd love to be on the cusp of true FI by 40, but realistically that's probably a mid-40s thing. Spouse is up for biglaw partner in two years, which will make a big difference in future trajectory. But overall, I know we are very fortunate to be well into the two comma club in our mid-30s.

Biggest change has been kids. Going from childless to two kids under 5 has been a life transformation, both for good and for ill. We both wonder what we did with all our free time before kids. They can absolutely run you ragged at their ages (2 and 4)- it's full throttle all the time unless they are sleeping. Mostly, they are a source of joy, but it can also be frustrating how little time we have to ourselves. We are also fortunate that both kids have been completely healthy and have no special needs.

Socially, the 30s is sort of tough. In your 20s, most of your friends are free. They may be married, but have few real obligations outside of work. That means it's pretty easy to maintain a friend network that meets regularly. As all of your friends start having kids, and take on other obligations like eldercare, it becomes more and more difficult to make time to see them, and friend networks can fade (obviously, COVID added to that). People move away, both to different cities and to far flung suburbs where they are difficult to visit. As you leave school, you lose the built-in friend generation activities and there are fewer venues to meet new people outside of work. I've found myself much more invested in family as a result. All but one of my grandparents have passed now- you begin to realize how you can't take anyone's presence in your life for granted.

Travel/Hobbies: Almost all of my personal travel has been for weddings/funerals. Not much time or energy for far flung vacations with small kids. But I've gone to some interesting places abroad for work and still feel like I am seeing the world (albeit slowly). I've restored a classic car, although I have less time for taking it out than I'd like. I've had to stop some activities I no longer have time for like skiing, but I hope to get back to it as a vacation pastime once the kids are older.

Physically, I found the mid 30s to be the first (albeit small) chinks in the armor. The grey hairs are now noticeable even at a distance. Until around 34, I was regularly carded and could pass for early 20s. No longer. I notice slightly longer recovery time for workouts, and will get into trouble without a proper warmup. No real physical ailments though (knock on wood). My fitness was at it's peak when I was 30, and has declined due to reduced time to exercise. At 30, I was riding my bike an hour and a half at least 4 days a week, and doing an hour long lifting workout 5 days a week on top of that. Today, I'm lucky to get 2 good hours of exercise a week. I'm looking forward to bringing that back up once the kids can participate and/or be left alone for more than 30 seconds at a time. In any event, my 30s has brought home the recognition that none of us escapes aging.

In terms of existential concerns, the 30s can be a bit tough in terms of the creeping realization that you probably aren't going to save the world, be famous, or otherwise do anything you will be remembered for in 100 years. Moreover, you've had time to be introduced to and analyze just about any significant religious or philosophical school of thought. At least, I've done enough of that to be jaded by it (though I did study philosophy in school). I "get" the midlife crisis of coming to terms with your own ordinariness. But I think I also understand the path to loving life as it is (at least intellectually, if not fully emotionally). Looking back at how quickly my 20s and early 30s flew by, I'm beginning to appreciate just how brief life is. I feel like I will blink and find myself a wizened old man in the nursing home.

Goals for the rest of my 30s: I'm looking forward to getting through the most hands-on parts of child rearing and getting to do more active things with the kids where they can really participate and have fun. Financial goals are simply to continue on our current path towards FI with the hopes of maybe retiring in our 40s, or at least having the freedom to do so. I'd like to be able to spend a lot of time with my kids in my 40s, as well as my parents, as I know my 40s may be the last decade I have them (at least as fully active people not in need of care).
I was planning to write a post here, but with the exception of a biglaw wife, our stories are exactly the same!
jsapiandante
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by jsapiandante »

I wasted my 20's out of grad school partying and extravagant spending. I saved but didn't know a lick about investing so it just sat in a savings account earning nothing. It wasn't until I met my wife right before I turned 30 when I started becoming more responsible and found Bogleheads. I had to support her for a few years so she can intern at no pay to become a licensed pharmacist (foreign graduate). I cut my expenses to the bone and lived with my parents for a year so I can pay off my six figure student loan debt and worked harder to build my practice. Once she became a pharmacist and my income grew, we continued to live like college students on $200k+ income until we got married. We bought our house soon after but still kept our basic spending minimum (<$30k/year outside of mortgage). We traveled several times a year (our only discretionary expense) until we had our first child. Since we couldn't travel anymore, we saved and invested almost 50% of our take home pay.

I turn 38 in a few months and we just hit $1 million in investible assets (we were $500k in 2019). We are also financially independent but on the lean side. Financially, it's been very rewarding as our net worth has soared the past few years with market returns and near six figure saving/investing. We have reduced our work hours to 32 hours/week to have better work-life balance and weekly 3 day weekends. Hopefully our 40's would be much better. The one thing that hasn't been good in my 30's is my health. I'm 15 lbs overweight and I would go through spells (weeks) where I am too lazy to work out. That has to change. I hope having more time will enable me to work out more.
JBTX
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by JBTX »

- had corporate job, moved to different state
- met eventual wife
- got married and first kid
- for the most part worked the entire time with the exception of one several month break after layoff
- generally maxed 401ks and iras to extent possible
- bought first house
-experienced 2000 meltdown

I'm not sure there was anything terribly remarkable. I've always been kind of Bogleheadish even before there were Bogleheads.
macheta
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by macheta »

1) ended up doing extremely well in the corporate world
2) learned about Bogle around 32.
3) saved a lot of money
4) lived below means my entire 30s
5) married at 32
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wander
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by wander »

I got my first stable job after graduation. LBYM. I bought a condo, stopped taking my car to repair shop and started repairing it by myself and traveled a lot around the US and internationally. I ate healthy and went to gym often. My health was great and I didn't need reading glasses . Financially, I didn't know much about investing but I put everything in Target Retirement Fund 2040 so I didn't miss the bull market.
nicktenny
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by nicktenny »

Now 41. I got married at 29 and had both of my children in my 30’s. Definitely a decade where I was trying to find work/life balance. I naturally put work up high due to my early retirement goals, but found I could still be very productive at work, while making sure to schedule family time (vacations, making an effort to be mentally present after work). My biggest advice would to be aware of lifestyle creep during this time. With marriage and kids, it was easy to let expenses go up because “we could afford it”. With just a little more discipline (without being too strict), we could be in an even better financial position.
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Beensabu
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Beensabu »

CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
Don't forget to have fun. Real fun (it actually makes you happy), not fake fun (you pretend it makes you happy).

Do stuff that puts a smile on your face and keeps it there. Every day.

Go to bed tired and happy. Wake up excited to live the new day.

That's the whole point to everything. All the rest of it is just so you get to keep that going.

Try not to accidentally get lost. Lots of people get lost in their 30s, and some of them don't make it back for a long time (or ever).
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Beensabu wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:56 pm
CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
Don't forget to have fun. Real fun (it actually makes you happy), not fake fun (you pretend it makes you happy).

Do stuff that puts a smile on your face and keeps it there. Every day.

Go to bed tired and happy. Wake up excited to live the new day.

That's the whole point to everything. All the rest of it is just so you get to keep that going.

Try not to accidentally get lost. Lots of people get lost in their 30s, and some of them don't make it back for a long time (or ever).
+1 but this applies to your 40s 50s and 60s too right 😉
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
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Beensabu
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Beensabu »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:04 pm
Beensabu wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:56 pm
CoastLawyer2030 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:09 am So those of you have been through your 30s, what say you? What should be the focus of this decade? What do you look back on and regret or pat yourself on the back about?
Don't forget to have fun. Real fun (it actually makes you happy), not fake fun (you pretend it makes you happy).

Do stuff that puts a smile on your face and keeps it there. Every day.

Go to bed tired and happy. Wake up excited to live the new day.

That's the whole point to everything. All the rest of it is just so you get to keep that going.

Try not to accidentally get lost. Lots of people get lost in their 30s, and some of them don't make it back for a long time (or ever).
+1 but this applies to your 40s 50s and 60s too right 😉
:D You know it
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."
MM1130
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by MM1130 »

I have a different perspective than most probably. Imo your choices should be relative to your goals. Right now I want to be home with my kids (which was a mutual decision with my spouse). I’ll return to work at 35 and one spouse can retire at 55 and the other can cut back to part time basically to keep benefits. For us it was the choice of *when* we wanted to spend time at home. For me that’s now, while my kids aren’t yet in school. For my spouse that’s the ability to retire early or cut back work hours.

I don’t need to be rich when I’m an older adult, we just need enough to not become a burden on our children/anyone else. The extra money when I return to work will also allow us to retire early and give our family more travel experiences/extra toward college. Currently we make enough to own a modest/nice enough for us home, save sufficiently for retirement, save a small amount toward kids’ college, and enough to cash flow bigger ticket needs that pop up.
aj44
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by aj44 »

Moved from high professional to supervisor to manager to director in my career all in my 30’s, the key was changing companies at supervisor.

Started maxing my 401k at 29 and substantial taxable investing at 33, my portfolio grew substantially that decade.

Friendships are almost unrecognizable at 40 from what they were at 30, so much life happened to everyone and my close 7 friends are still there.

Was in a marriage from 29 to 37 that broke apart after years of battling infertility, no matter how strong you think your relationship is divorce can happen depending on the circumstances thrown at you. Met my current gf at 37 and just welcomed our son into the world at 40 in February. Never intended to be a father this late but I’m loving every second and am in a great financial position to give him a great upbringing.
Texanbybirth
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Texanbybirth »

My 30s have been exhausting. I’m 36. Got married and traveled the world with my wife at 29, then we had 4 kids in 5 years. It’s literally amazing everyday, and I imagine this time will continue to fly by. (Thank the Good Lord for iCloud Photo memories.) :P 8-)

Been saving 15% of our income each year for almost a decade. I hope that will help me retire someday (my wife is a career SAHM), but who knows the future?? Certainly pennies compared to basically all others in this thread. :beer
GoldenFinch wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:07 pm When we were in our 30s we spent every dime we had on our kids. We were broke because of our investment in them. Now the kids are grown up (except for the youngest one) and well educated.
What a cool way to look at it, God love you!
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
Bryzzo2016
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Bryzzo2016 »

70% thru my 30's. In addition to the common theme of net worth progression:
  • Realized time can actually be more valuable than money.
  • Had kids...and years fly by... don't waste too much time away from them at work when they're young.
  • Stopped dwelling so much about early retirement. Enjoy your family while young/healthy and while still saving for long term goals
  • Be kind to others...even if you don't agree. Generosity can go a long ways, many aren't as fortunate financially.
  • Living below your means can pay off nicely during your 30's
iamlucky13
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by iamlucky13 »

I enjoyed my 20's a lot more than I have my 30's so far.

The savings habits that I started in my 20's reached the point in my 30's where I began to really appreciate in a meaningful sense what regular contributions and compounding actually mean. Before that, my appreciation was merely academic and although it was satisfying to have a plan, the pay off seemed distant and small.

I also enjoy that my finances are largely routine and don't require much strategic development. I no longer have to consider saving for down payment vs. incrementally increasing my savings rate toward my target vs. paying more on school loans vs. building up liquidity to be prepared for contingencies like car replacement.

On the downside, a combination of maturity and circumstances has made me painfully aware of my limitations and mostly erased former conceits. My sense of financial security is actually reduced, as a result, despite on paper my financial situation looking better. My family is a very serious obligation, so although I can not imagine having taken any other course, there is stress from this.

Our budget suggests we can unwind a little, but recognition that I have reached a point in my career where my ability is marginal compared to the expectations of my job compels me to keep my savings rate higher than my goal to be better prepared for the risk of losing my current job and having to take a lower paying position. There is more stress from this.

I've also reached an age where there is less tolerance for mistakes that in the past would be excused based on inexperience. It's no fun to have someone hint they may seek to get you fired, especially not when you know you they have just cause. Combined with the fact that I now also deal with other stakeholders at my job directly instead of through a manager, there is significantly more stress from this.

I feel like a bit of a buzz-kill writing this amid dozens of posts filled with uplifting stories of success or lives turned around. It actually occurred to me though, in the grand scheme of things, I'm average. I was fortunate to have a chance at a career that pays above average, and if I fail like I'm increasingly expecting to, I'll end up back at average. Bogleheads tends to distort my sense of what is normal.
megaroth
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by megaroth »

Some others have already touched on this, but I would definitely call out the health angle. Do not put your health last on the list. It is very tempting to prioritize [today's burning item] instead, especially if you were already in that habit in your 20s. Sleep, exercise, medical appointments, stress, anxiety...easy to skimp on and/or ignore while you're still (seemingly) healthy, but you may pay the price later in your 30s or in your 40s. In retrospect, I should've started paying much more attention to this as early as my late 20s. It's a difficult balance to strike, especially on career (since financial security can also benefit health), but it could literally be your money or your life. Try to keep your values in mind and to live by them as much as possible, even in (especially in) the day-to-day blur. Make big and little career and life decisions with those values in mind.
shess
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by shess »

Post-college, I decided to not get a safe job. Instead I struck out on my own as a software developer. I didn't build a startup and make big bucks, but I did do eclectic work as a generalist, and it meant that I was perfectly positioned for the dotcom boom. After a couple transition jobs, I ended up at a real rocketship in my early 30's and ... well, it worked out very well (*).

BUT. As a price, I spent a lot of that time just pushing myself to no good end. I made plenty of money, and there are definitely things I'm proud of having been part of, but I also spent a lot of myself simply grinding. In retrospect, most of the grinding parts were kind of obvious, even at the time, and the main reason I was doing it was because I simply had no capability to apply myself outside of job-related stuff. If I had been able to take 50% of my effort and apply it outside of work, I think I'd have easily added 10 years to my career. I think my extra effort on career stuff was well into diminishing returns, so having an extra 10 years of career would have left me wealthier AND happier.

Which is not really to say "Have fun when you're young". Rather, try to pay some attention to whether your last hours of work in the day are really doing that much for you, and consider whether they could be more usefully deployed elsewhere. I realize that this is real #firstworldproblems, to have the kind of job and employer where cutting back 20% could make for a win-win situation over the longer term.

(*) "Very well" means I retired pretty young which sounds good, but the caveat is that I was burned out, which made retiring early feel like kind of a consolation prize.
AnB9a
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by AnB9a »

For things beyond this thread we start our wealth construction at 30 / 28 yo, we started with $40 total on nov 2012.
Now we are a family of 4 and have a net worth of around $475k (house included). It have been such a journey and blessing!
My message to everyone is to live below your means save as much as possible and remember the best things in life are free… family, faith, friends, nature... :D
SnoopisTDI
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by SnoopisTDI »

Beensabu wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:56 pm Try not to accidentally get lost. Lots of people get lost in their 30s, and some of them don't make it back for a long time (or ever).
I got lost. Had lots of work travel* which I used an excuse to procrastinate. On everything. I neglected my home. I neglected my body. Slowly stopped doing a lot of things I enjoyed, and drifted away from some parts of my social circle (some for the better, some for the worse). Basically I became undisciplined, fat, and boring.

Luckily, I was at least relatively financially responsible, and also survived a plethora of layoffs. So, I came out of that decade with an above average (but not Boglehead average) 401k, some decent equity in my home, and two decent cars with no payments.

The whole time it seemed like I was treading water, but I actually made some good progress. Just imagine if I had stayed on point. Kicking off my 40s with a lot of focus on personal discipline, and doubling down on retirement savings.

*I don't regret the work travel at all. Lots of great experiences. I just have to remember my life isn't paused when I step on that airplane.
fishmonger
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by fishmonger »

Another thing I would say is I realized in my mid 30s, between kids/work/community work, you will realize you can't have a ton of different hobbies (like I did before kids). You really need to pick a couple of things that you value, as your free time will get extremely limited. For me, it's exercise, fishing and golf.

You very likely will not have the time to pursue 5/6/7 personal interests until the kids are gone - and then you hope you still have the physical ability to do them all!
SanAntionetta
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by SanAntionetta »

I just turned 40 earlier this year so spent a lot of time considering the changes that the 30s brought.

In my 30's I:
- finished law school (while working)
- support DH through college
- changed Megacorps
- doubled salary
- had two kids
- tripled net worth
- moved 5 times(!!!)
- traveled extensively

Managing career progression while having children and maintaining a marriage is a lot of juggling but laid a good foundation for what I hope will be our most lucrative decade. At thirty I was very ambitious, had no desire to have children, and was very focused on myself. Personally, my focus is all on family versus my individual achievements, which no one really cares about but me. Through saving we have put ourselves in a position where we can coast in our current positions/savings rate for ten more years and be able to retire. You can't buy back this time with young children, so that's exactly what I'm doing. I also care much less about what other people think, because it doesn't matter!
targetconfusion
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by targetconfusion »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:04 am ...
-I just turned 40, my 30's were AMAZING, and somehow I'm not dead.
I appreciated reading this story. Thanks for sharing it.
econalex
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by econalex »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:30 pm
econalex wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm
Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?
As an Asian, can confirm the grinding seems harder. For instance the infamous 996 schedule, 9am-9pm 6 days a week, is not unusual for white collar jobs in major cities.

OTOH, 1)college cost is minimal; 2)public transportation available; 3)common to live with parents before marriage and 4) parents expected to front significant % for 1st home purchase at marriage.
Thanks. 996 sounds, and i'm sure is, brutal. I've heard of this in Japan, I think.
Is one positive, more guaranteed pension money generally at around age 50? I.e. work super hard 996 for 20-30 years and then the norm is to retire with a pension?

I expect 3) to happen more and more in our vcol areas.
4) is something I could aspire to. But, not plan for.
I can only speak for home country. Public pension (i.e. Social Security) is available at 65 and folks in private sector generally would not count on it due to 1) private companies under-contributing; 2) mismanagement and appropriation and 3) Govt prioritizing benefits for govt/public industry employees. It's also local and wouldn't follow an worker across cities (cities are define bigger, think MSA in US).

Properties (ie condos) also very expensive but no property tax. 26 yr olds living with mom & dad in 2bed condos not fun at all.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

econalex wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:54 am
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:30 pm
econalex wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:42 pm
Asian countries may skew the other way to even more work and less fun?
As an Asian, can confirm the grinding seems harder. For instance the infamous 996 schedule, 9am-9pm 6 days a week, is not unusual for white collar jobs in major cities.

OTOH, 1)college cost is minimal; 2)public transportation available; 3)common to live with parents before marriage and 4) parents expected to front significant % for 1st home purchase at marriage.
Thanks. 996 sounds, and i'm sure is, brutal. I've heard of this in Japan, I think.
Is one positive, more guaranteed pension money generally at around age 50? I.e. work super hard 996 for 20-30 years and then the norm is to retire with a pension?

I expect 3) to happen more and more in our vcol areas.
4) is something I could aspire to. But, not plan for.
I can only speak for home country. Public pension (i.e. Social Security) is available at 65 and folks in private sector generally would not count on it due to 1) private companies under-contributing; 2) mismanagement and appropriation and 3) Govt prioritizing benefits for govt/public industry employees. It's also local and wouldn't follow an worker across cities (cities are define bigger, think MSA in US).

Properties (ie condos) also very expensive but no property tax. 26 yr olds living with mom & dad in 2bed condos not fun at all.
Thanks for sharing!
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Michael Patrick »

On my 30th birthday, I had been sober for only a couple of months after a decade of serious drug and alcohol abuse. I didn't have a college degree, no savings to speak of, and a huge pile of credit card debt.

By the time of my 40th birthday I had both a bachelors and masters degrees, had paid off all of the credit card debt, bought a house, was married with our first child on the way, and had started my career in state government. Along the way we had gotten started on saving for retirement for both of us.

My 30s were pretty darn good...
sid hartha
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by sid hartha »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:30 am
sid hartha wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:17 am It was the best time of my life so far other than maybe my years in college (probably a tie). No responsibilities, traveled the world, was totally free, had tons of fun and learned a lot. I had both the means and the energy level to do anything and everything that I wanted, and I went out and did it all. In my opinion this was an important factor in avoiding the whole mid life crisis that seems to happen to some people in their 40's or 50's.
Sounds awesome! This is how I want my 50's to be 😀
Me too!
JimmyD
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by JimmyD »

Some thoughts and accomplishments from my 30s (I'm 39 now):

- Be REALLY, REALLY picky about who you choose as a life partner and don't rush into it - I did the starter spouse thing and that was a pretty harrowing experience

- Realized that corporate work is for the birds. I had an opportunity to really kick my career and earnings potential into overdrive, but I quickly realized that the 60 hour weeks were unsustainable and unfulfilling...and just not what I wanted to spend my time doing. I missed out on time with my son, time to exercise, and time to actually enjoy life. MUCH happier with a slower-paced job now and we're still on track to retire by age 60, so I feel like we've struck a good balance

- We had our one and only child and it's been an incredible experience to watch him grow into a thriving 7 year old. I still remember asking my wife to take 4 different pregnancy tests to ensure the positive result was accurate and then walking aimlessly around the neighborhood for hours trying to figure out how we were going to make it work from an expense standpoint. Turns out, as everyone told us we would, we actually did manage to figure it out and surprisingly, it wasn't the money part that was difficult. It's finding the energy to keep up with him that's difficult

- It was in my 30's that I started to feel like we were actually making financial progress. In my teens and twenties, I threw money at the market without any real coherent strategy and sometimes I won and sometimes I lost, but it never made a real dent in my net worth. Finding this forum and implementing the Boglehead investment strategy is, without question, the sole reason why we're doing well financially. Without Bogleheads, there's no telling where we'd be from a financial standpoint, but I can guarantee, we'd be worse off. With any luck, we're going to hit a $1M net worth right before we turn 40...and that includes a gargantuan student loan that's going to be forgiven in ~18 months, tax-free.

- Within the last few years, I've started to come to the realization that my body is beginning to negatively age and it's something that I need to be actively mindful about. I used to love running, but a few years ago, something in my knee literally popped while running downhill one evening and after getting an MRI, it turns out that I have significant osteoarthritis and was told that I should really stop running. This is something I still struggle with, but I took up cycling and I really enjoy that as well, but I definitely have a number of aches and pains that I have to contend with daily, unlike my 20's. That, and I had to recently get a pair of reading glasses because my eyes don't focus as well as they used to. Oh...and I can't forget the hair loss on my scalp...UGH. Still can't believe that's actually happening!
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Reamus294 »

Close to leaving my 30s. Dual-income-no kids. Probably a zero net worth at 30 and hoping to be FI at 50. The house we slightly stretched for in late 20s has tripled in value and pretty close to paying it off. Went back to school for an MBA after my Bachelors degree wasn’t helping me much. Our total incomes went up significantly allowing us to max out retirement accounts just last year. Wife got her dream job last year and still looking good. I thought I got my dream job but trying to find inspiration and purpose.
Father passing away and helping mom with investments and finances added a lot of perspective. Didn’t realize how hard it would be to get over my father’s passing and I wish I said more more to him.
Still drive older but not beater cars, still have popcorn ceilings, but we spend in other places. Had to prioritize a lot to get what we wanted especially earlier in our 30s.
Started to really figure out what made us happy or made us unhappy during this decade. Still struggle with consumerism but we are looking forward to being more content with what we have in our 40s. Always looking for that balance.
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warner25
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by warner25 »

fishmonger wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:38 am...you will realize you can't have a ton of different hobbies (like I did before kids). You really need to pick a couple of things that you value, as your free time will get extremely limited. For me, it's exercise, fishing and golf...
Exercise, fishing, and golf? Man, I'm 34 here with four little kids, and I feel like I have time for zero hobbies. I don't even have time for adequate sleep. I do about 20% of what I used to do for exercise. At least I can look at Bogleheads and occasionally write a reply like this while I keep an eye on the kids.

Mostly due to the challenges of parenting, my 30s have been the hardest years of my life so far. But the growth of both my career and our savings has exceeded my expectations.
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by GoldenFinch »

warner25 wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:52 pm
fishmonger wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:38 am...you will realize you can't have a ton of different hobbies (like I did before kids). You really need to pick a couple of things that you value, as your free time will get extremely limited. For me, it's exercise, fishing and golf...
Exercise, fishing, and golf? Man, I'm 34 here with four little kids, and I feel like I have time for zero hobbies. I don't even have time for adequate sleep. I do about 20% of what I used to do for exercise. At least I can look at Bogleheads and occasionally write a reply like this while I keep an eye on the kids.

Mostly due to the challenges of parenting, my 30s have been the hardest years of my life so far. But the growth of both my career and our savings has exceeded my expectations.
Warner25, Our 30s were the same. Forties were easier. Fifties are very nice. It gets better. Devotion to family and work pays off.
WhatsIRR
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by WhatsIRR »

I’ll be 38 in a couple months.

Our 30s can be summed up by change and tumultuous.

Careers: I left my first job after college after 8 years at 30. My wife worked there as well and the company was sold a few months after I left. My next job lasted less than a year before the office was closed. 2 weeks before my office was closed my wife was laid off from the job she found after the sale. We both found new jobs in a couple weeks. Since then I’ve survived 6 or 7 layoffs and a merger. My wife has recently decided to find a new career path and will be starting the hunt soon. Pay has varied with RSUs but my base salary has been fairly stagnant the last 6 years.

Financial: We have always LBYM but never paid attention to it. In our mid 30s after all of the job issues we got more serious about budgeting. We cut lots of extra expenses (personal trainers, cable, etc.) and tried to track for a couple years using Mint, I’ve dropped out of the habit but may pick it back up going to a single income. We have been aggressive savers in our 401ks since early 20s but did not start using taxable until mid 30s and getting RSUs at work. After seeing many good people laid off and having my wife experience it herself I’m using our taxable account as an income source to cover future job loss or pay cuts. It is very non BH but I have a strong tilt towards dividend stocks in the account. All of our other accounts are 3 fund. We also consolidated our various 401k/Ira accounts to single brokerages. We found a real estate syndication we liked and started investing in some commercial properties. Mid 30s is when I got really serious about FI.

Personal: We’ve dealt with a lot of loss, multiple grandparents and 2 dogs from college. The last dog we lost really knocked us on our butts for a bit. Our friend circle has shrank some as people got busier with kids, other activities, or just growing apart. I’ve noticed our materialism has declined as the decade goes on. We were never too bad but would buy name brand outdoor clothing at season end sales, lately the majority of our clothes are coming from Sams and Costco. We’ve traveled a couple times a year outside of 2020.

So far the 8 years have been positive for our finances but we have both started to feel the grind and the stress of constant layoffs hanging over your heads. The stress has been a driving factor in trying to get closer to FI.
MaxDakota
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by MaxDakota »

Thanks for posting this OP, I was also wondering about others in their 30s while reading through the 40s thread.

Currently late 30s, I would say the focus for us has been working smart and family.

20s were about working hard. Between grad school, high stress corporate jobs and starting a business, spouse and I each worked 80-100 hours per week throughout mid 20s, lots of work travel for both of us. Choosing the right spouse has helped, we met early 20s, very aligned on personal, professional and financial goals. Goal was 1M NW by 30, in actuality hit that milestone late 20s living frugally.

30s started off with quitting corporate jobs and both working for our now established business. Started prioritizing certain work and outsourcing other work (work smart). Hired first employees, work weeks are closer to 60-70 hours, leaving a lot more time for travel and hobbies. Climbed Half Dome. Passed 8 figure NW mid-30s. Had 2 kids in quick succession, realized we needed to buy a house (had been renting).

With a few more years left in the 30s, we just had kid #3 and may just have one more. Kids are a joy (more so with sufficient childcare and help around the house). Marriage and business both going strong. Started serving on select boards and committees.

Downsides have been lack of like-minded friends, CA is definitely not the right place for us long term. Lack of sleep, but we knew about that going into having kids.

Overall zero regrets. We keep working because we love what we do and want the kids to see that success comes from working hard and working smart. 40s will be about raising kids. Wealth is on autopilot now. Can retire anytime but probably won’t.
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Iowa David
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Iowa David »

I'm 41 so it's been interesting reading the Tell Me About Your 40s thread.

When comparing my 30s with my 20s it's not even close in terms of the level of stress, change and overall personal & financial growth/progress.

In my 30s:
  • We bought our current home a year following the Great Recession, which proved to be good timing
  • Had our 3rd child
  • Started at my 4th company (this very stressful)
  • Had two kids in day care for almost the entire decade
  • Got serious about fitness and staying physically active
  • Stopped playing video games (which I enjoyed to do - but no longer had the time)
  • Continued to focus on living within our means, but had not yet discovered this amazing community
  • Parted ways with our Financial Advisor and became maniacally focused on building & implementing a plan to simplify and optimize our investments
  • Saved bonuses, which led to us being able to pay off our cars, house and become debt-free
  • Fully contribute to our tax-advantaged accounts and began shifting excess monthly cash flow into taxable accounts (yay - no more day care & mortgage!)
  • Got more clarity about establishing life goals & priorities
As others have stated, having young kids will wear things down on so many levels - mentally, physically, financially & maritally. Do everything you can (date nights, hire a house keeper, take a getaway trip & etc.) to help preserve the relationship with your spouse. This will be one of the most trying periods so if you an get through this then you'll set yourself up to be on a good path going into your 40s.
"Just a 1 percent difference in expenses makes an 18 percent difference in returns when compounded over 20 years." The Boglehead's Guide to Investing
Williams57
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Williams57 »

Some really amazing stories here, thanks everyone!

As for me, I'm about to hit 34 soon. It's crazy, it took me a while to accept that I'm not that young anymore. Overall I'm happy about that.

Unfortunately I went through a painful divorce in my early 30s. No kids. It was a difficult time in my life, but it taught me a lot.

Number one lesson I'm learning is the value of time. Time does not wait. It does not care. You get old, your parents get old. Relationships either flourish or fail depending on your commitment and dedication. Your actions have consequences.

In short I'm learning to live in the moment, appreciate all the good, and try to make it better. Family, friends and relationships are what makes this life meaningful. Also community. Money is important, but it's just a tool. A very powerful tool though.

I'm working on worrying less about money. Trying to figure out how to be not too frugal but also not becoming a victim of lifestyle creep.

The dollar spent today won't have the same effect when I spend it at 70. I remind myself of that.

There is a meme out there that resonated very well with me - in your 20s you have time and energy, but no money. In your 30s you have money, energy, but no time. When you're old you have money, time, but no energy. Lol.
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midareff
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by midareff »

Everything about the career building years and huge hours in the rent-a-car business would be standard work hard, be smart, get promotions, more promotions and even more promotions. The rest would simply have to be censored.... I was a bad boy. Then at the later part, got married, bought a house and had a kid.......... then divorce lawyer #1...... and back to wild and crazy. Got a job with the local municipality. got married again and a few years later divorce lawyer #2 ........... fast forward 20+ years and married to #3 and will stay that way. It's been a long interesting journey and sxxt happens.. what else can I say.
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warner25
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by warner25 »

GoldenFinch wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:16 pm Warner25, Our 30s were the same. Forties were easier. Fifties are very nice. It gets better. Devotion to family and work pays off.
Thank you for the encouragement. :happy
fishmonger
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by fishmonger »

warner25 wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:52 pm
fishmonger wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:38 am...you will realize you can't have a ton of different hobbies (like I did before kids). You really need to pick a couple of things that you value, as your free time will get extremely limited. For me, it's exercise, fishing and golf...
Exercise, fishing, and golf? Man, I'm 34 here with four little kids, and I feel like I have time for zero hobbies. I don't even have time for adequate sleep. I do about 20% of what I used to do for exercise. At least I can look at Bogleheads and occasionally write a reply like this while I keep an eye on the kids.

Mostly due to the challenges of parenting, my 30s have been the hardest years of my life so far. But the growth of both my career and our savings has exceeded my expectations.
I shouldn't overstate the golf/fishing part. Fish 15-20 days a year (both kids are into it), golf 8-10 times (my 11 year old just started hitting the range this summer).

Exercise is a part of my life. Almost never workout longer than 45 mins/session and do 4 sessions a week. If you can't squeeze in 3 hours a week to be healthy, you can find an excuse to not do almost anything
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Hockey10 »

At 30, we had no kids, and 4 parents who were able to take care of themselves. By 40, we had 3 kids, but only 1 parent left, who needed a lot of help. So for those of you in your 30s now, spend as much time as you can with your parents. You never know when they will be gone.
Stick5vw
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Stick5vw »

My 30s were generally good financially and life-wise though towards the end it was extremely stressful.

My 30s started just after the GFC, with only about $50-75k net worth. Was still paying off school loans etc, but trying to live it up a bit as well …so savings rate wasn’t as high as it could have been - however I did manage to max 401k and IRA. Wasn’t until 2013 (age 33-34) that I fully went down the bogleheads path and really focused on LBYM, sorted out asset allocation, trashed some silly investments, focused on fees etc. Got married in 2014 to lovely woman who shared the same focus. Got big promotion which really bumped income, and most of that was saved.

Finally opened a brokerage account by early 2015 where I have been chucking most excess cash into equities which now has grown to be over $600k. I wish I had opened that account about 5-6 years prior!

By 37 was making a very healthy Income, no major mistakes, avoided too much lifestyle inflation / keeping up with the Jones etc and had entered the 7 figure “club”. Could def start to see effects of compounding. Entry to the “club” Coincided however with quite a stressful time - first kid (who didn’t sleep well), new bigger job, new horrible nightmare boss, pressure on marriage etc - which in about 2 years led me to pretty much burn out.

Took a sabbatical for 15 months to do a lot of soul searching while I ruminated to the Nth degree over all my past decisions. I’d achieved many of the modest life goals I’d set for myself at age 25, finally had some level of financial stability…..but found myself asking “now what?!” My definitions of “success” and my life priorities were changing….Realized that work (and $$) should not be how I validate myself, and that decoupling my professional life from my identity/ego was key. Maybe all a bit philosophical but all rang true. No doubt a lot had to do with having a kid and the transition into fatherhood.

Consequently the last years of my 30s and first year of my 40s (2017-2020) were the hardest of my adult life. Covid craziness was the icing on the cake but fortunately all worked out for the most part so far. We’re up to about $1.8mn now across taxable, tax sheltered, 529, plus a decent chunk of home equity for a property I own with my sibling.

Outside of finances, throughout 30s definitely noticed a slowdown in physical activity and metabolism. It’s become increasingly tough to keep fitness up alongside career / family demands. Was running a lot up to age 32 or so, inc half snd full marathons, and may never get back to that level of conditioning esp since my body can’t handle the wear and tear. Shifted to activity with less pounding (swimming) but it’s been harder to maintain. I need to get back on this. No longer can eat whatever I want either, and easily by 30 I had already noticed that those hangovers took a lot longer to recover from!!

Also became harder and harder to keep up with circle of friends. By now honestly I can count under 10 people (closer to 5 probably) who I would consider true friends. Priorities shifted (on both sides) and in some cases we just don’t have a lot to talk about anymore. Drifting apart from people has been one of the harder points but I’ve come to accept that people just get on with things, move, change jobs, have kids etc (me included) and this is all part of life.

Now almost 42, life feels a bit more back on track, another kid on the way, and I think marriage is thankfully stronger than ever. Re-discovered that life isn’t all about work, reset boundaries as best I could, and have to remind myself that hobbies - especially getting away from screen/phone - are really important to keep my sanity!

That was a very long answer but surprisingly cathartic to reflect and write it all down!
Last edited by Stick5vw on Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Stick5vw wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:24 pm My 30s were generally good financially and life-wise though towards the end it was extremely stressful.

My 30s started just after the GFC, with only about $50-75k net worth. Was still paying off school loans etc, but trying to live it up a bit as well …so savings rate wasn’t as high as it could have been - however I did manage to max 401k and IRA. Wasn’t until 2013 (age 33-34) that I fully went down the bogleheads path and really focused on LBYM, sorted out asset allocation, trashed some silly investments, focused on fees etc. Got married in 2014 to lovely woman who shared the same focus. Got big promotion which really bumped income, and most of that was saved.

Finally opened a brokerage account by early 2015 where I have been chucking most excess cash into equities which now has grown to be over $600k. I wish I had opened that account about 5-6 years prior!

By 37 was making a very healthy Income, no major mistakes, avoided too much lifestyle inflation / keeping up with the Jones etc and had entered the 7 figure “club”. Could def start to see effects of compounding. Entry to the “club” Coincided however with quite a stressful time - first kid (who didn’t sleep well), new bigger job, new horrible nightmare boss, pressure on marriage etc - which in about 2 years led me to pretty much burn out.

Took a sabbatical for 15 months to do a lot of soul searching while I ruminated to the Nth degree over all my past decisions. I’d achieved many of the modest life goals I’d set for myself at age 25, finally had some level of financial stability…..but found myself asking “now what?!” My definitions of “success” and my life priorities were changing….Realized that work (and $$) should not be how I validate myself, and that decoupling my professional life from my identity/ego was key. Maybe all a bit philosophical but all rang true. No doubt a lot had to do with having a kid and the transition into fatherhood.

Consequently the last years of my 30s and first year of my 40s (2017-2020) were the hardest of my adult life. Covid craziness was the icing on the cake but fortunately all worked out for the most part so far.

Outside of finances, Throughout 30s definitely noticed a slowdown in physical activity and metabolism. It’s become increasingly tough to keep fitness up alongside career / family demands. Was running a lot up to age 32 or so, inc half snd full marathons, and may never get back to that level of conditioning esp since my body can’t handle the wear and tear. Shifted to activity with less pounding (swimming) but it’s been harder to maintain. I need to get back on this. No longer can eat whatever I want either, and easily by 30 I had already noticed that those hangovers took a lot longer to recover from!!

Also became harder and harder to keep up with circle of friends. By now honestly I can count under 10 people (closer to 5 probably) who I would consider true friends. Priorities shifted (on both sides) and in some cases we just don’t have a lot to talk about anymore. Drifting apart from people has been one of the harder points but I’ve come to accept that people just get on with things, move, change jobs, have kids etc (me included) and this is all part of life.

Now almost 42, life feels a bit more back on track, another kid on the way, and I think marriage is thankfully stronger than ever. Re-discovered that life isn’t all about work, reset boundaries as best I could, and have to remind myself that hobbies - especially getting away from screen/phone - are really important to keep my sanity!

That was a very long answer but surprisingly cathartic to reflect and write it all down!
Well written! I know what you mean by these write ups are cathartic. Sounds like you lived 2 decades in one ( pluses and minuses). Well done, your now a decade ahead and sounds like on a solid path.

The whole career path thing while starting a new family is full of landmines and stress for sure. I keep reminding myself and friends that a 'career' is a marathon and not a sprint. The ultimate goal is to stay gainfully employed for 25/30 years, while trying to enjoy some aspects of the job and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Also, the rewards you get from school via hard work don't translate well to the rewards you get for hard work in your career. I'm sure there are books that explain this, but in few circumstances (other than your career) could hard work result in overall net misery when factoring stress, more hours, marital issues, etc. Smh.

:sharebeer
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
tm3
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: Bogleheads, Tell Me About Your 30s?

Post by tm3 »

When I got into my 30s I realized that I could no longer drop weight just by upping my cardio -- I had to also focus on what I was eating.

What a blow ...... but little did I know what was to come later.
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