Solitary Diner – November 18, 2017
Are you a library user? I am. The first paragraph of this post could have been written by me. And one of my blogger friends recently used a hashtag which has become my new favorite: #LibrariesAreTheShit (thanks Erin).
I’ve talked about libraries before and I will again. Are you using your local library? If not, why not??? Free books! Free movies!! And CDs, and newspapers, and magazines, and classes, and events, and more. And by free, of course, what I mean is that you are already paying for it through your taxes so you might as well get some use out of it. So go use your library! Because #LibrariesAreTheShit.
Apathy Ends – November 14, 2017
I belong to a lot of online forums about personal finance. Some of these are filled with people who have been into personal finance for a long time and the discussion topics revolve around advanced concepts such as optimizing ETF vs index fund strategies and Roth IRA conversions. Others are better for beginners to start with.
In the forums where beginners are prevalent, the same topic comes up at least once a week. “Should I invest in my 401K or should I invest in a taxable account?” (TSP, 403B, and 457 can be substituted here)
The answer is pretty much always the same, with very few exceptions: invest in your workplace retirement account! The reason that is the answer 99 times out of 100 is easy: 401Ks (and similar accounts) offer benefits not seen in taxable accounts. Apathy Ends nails it in this fun analogy about 401Ks and ice cream sundaes. Take a look to better understand all the benefits of workplace retirement accounts!
The Military Guide – November 16, 2017
Military folks: The transition to the Blended Retirement System is rapidly approaching. And I’m still seeing a lot of questions about how it works. Nords put together a great, and very thorough, post about some of the details in this article. Definitely check it out.
The best part of this post, IMO, is that Nords digs into the actuarial tables to show the likelihood of you actually making it to retirement. Wanting to make it to retirement in the military is not an indication that you will make it to retirement in the military. I have dozens of friends who wanted to retire from the military that are now called civilians – mostly through their own choice.
I am preparing at least one, possibly two more BRS posts prior to 2018. The first will be a Q&A session and I’m hoping to get an expert in to answer those questions. Now is the time to ask your questions! If you have any questions about the BRS, you can ask me via firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. If you don’t want to ask me, ask Nords. Ask your finance office or Military OneSource. Just make sure you are asking someone knowledgeable – I am seeing all kinds of crazy rumors going around that are being spread by naysayers, some of whom haven’t actually read the BRS materials. It makes my head hurt.