Its Tuesday

All together not a bad day today and yesterday for that matter, at least for me.

Something of a treat today, Toby Keith is doing a concert over-here. Not sure if I will go, depends on work etc.. There are playing the music in the building this afternoon either way, since it seems he will come though. Maybe I will get a pic, who knows.

Decided to put $5,000 into the Clothing Fund, I can always increase it. I found a better account for the savings, seems HBSC offers a direct on-line saving account with a 5.05% rate which beats what my bank offers. I opened an account there and put $5000 in it. With the Furniture and Clothing fund combined at $15,000 based off one year I will only need to invest $14,279 and if I increase it to $20,000, only need to put in $19,039. I will take the SDP fund (which I opened yesterday, I tried to do it down in Kuwait but after two attempts it never went though) and move it into that same account when I get back since it provides better interest. If I let the $10,000 from the emergency fund sit for 20 years it will grow to around $24k. Not sure if I will do that since mutuals still offer the liquidity but higher interest rates.  I need to do more research into some of the Vanguard funds.

I did not intent for this to go into much details, when I started it but mostly just commenting on things I am noticing and running into in-regards to my own money.

I plan to go start my TSP today, so should get my pin in a bit and start putting my money in a Life-cycle 2040 fund. Its a 401(k), but with no employer contributions. The limit back in the states is $15,500 can be put in this year; but over here the limit is around $45k can be put in. When redrawn later on in life, the amount invested that year is tax free, however you are taxed on the interest for that year. I am going to try to max the 401(k), at the very least it will help me do come catchup since I failed to do it up till this point. 

A friend mentioned saving for house, I have decided to rent, however once I have the furniture, clothing, emergency and retirement accounts setup, I will open a fund to start saving up for a nice house in my later days. I am still undecided on if its better to rent and then buy a house when I get out of the military or if acquire houses as I go, renting them out when I move instead of selling them; thus having someone else pay for the mortgage and by the time of retiring having 3-4 houses paid off, that is quite a bit of equity and provides for a steady source of income over the years and you can always sell one or two off as you get ready to retire for a nice cushion.

The L2040 is a nice looking fund, based on automatic asset allocation with very low operationing costs and maintenance. The fund starts aggressive but gets more conservation as it reaches 2040. The Life-cycle funds started back in 2005, it returned 16.53% last year.

I also eligibility for a $20,000 lump sum bonus for agreeing to three more years active duty. Normally, I would not be offered any bonus but due to shortages currently and projected they are offering it. Its tax-free if I take it over here. That by itself would take care of the funds listed above and allow me to crank up what I am putting into TSP. However, I need to do a bit more research before I decide either way.

In other news, I am starting to love Amazon, they have amazingly quick shipping over here, and when you start using their used buying you can save quite a bit of money. Sometimes the item is still new but 10-40% cheaper then direct buy from Amazon, however the best deals are on items which are not limited print runs and have been around for quite awhile. So far, getting quite a few books and CD’s that way. I still like having the CD’s even with all the digital music these days.

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