Personal Finance for Every Veteran …the “GMT” you wish you had in bootcamp Would you rather…. Have 3.5 million dollars up front? or Start with a penny and have your balance double every day for one month? The value of the doubling penny after 30 days is: $5,368,709! Who I am Where does my approach/advice come from? Who I’m not (Disclaimer) Although I have a passion for these topics, the views expressed are not intended to serve as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations or an offer to buy or sell securities. This should not be interpreted as tax advice and please consult your personal tax advisors if you have any questions. Housekeeping Topics Behavioral Finance Understanding your current situation Credit Scores Retirement, the time value of money, & the TSP Investing 101 Savings accounts & fees Love & Money Home ownership, mortgages, & refinancing Tax strategy Life insurance (SGLI & USAA) / Health Insurance Tactical next steps Why we need an automatic plan… People are not rational with financial decisions (susceptible to framing, prospect theory, anchoring, choice architecture, & the default option) Study: the more often you check your portfolio the worse you do Google’s anchoring experiment (3% increase) “Save More Tomorrow” (12% vs 4%) Allocation decisions & the default option: Scenario 1: Scenario 2: Scenario 3: Fund A: Stocks Fund B: Bonds Fund A: Stocks Fund B: ½ Bonds ½ Stocks Fund A: ½ Bonds ½ Stocks Fund B: Bonds 54% allocation to stocks 73% allocation to stocks 35% allocation to stocks Prior to the talk 20 mins - capture your “Net Worth” (all assets & debts) Use Mint.com; connect banking & investment accounts, student/car loans Include property (homes & cars) Homes: zillow.com Cars: edmunds.com 10 mins - understand your credit score Signup for CreditKarma Pull a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com; Experian in Jan, TransUnion in Apr, Equifax in Aug 15 mins – analyze your current investments and get free advice: www.FutureAdvisor.com (optional) 30 mins - create a spending plan (aka budget) Can be in Mint or even Excel Savings must be a part of your plan Understanding your current situation Check Mint often Spend < make Save xx% of your income “Pay yourself first” – schedule savings Debts Credit Cards & SSCRA BT offers By 22, have a ROTH IRA & contribute annually Credit Scores Credit Scores have 5 components: (300 850 scale, >720 is good) 1. On Time Payments: 35% (Use Auto-Pay) 2. Credit Utilization: 30% (use < 10%) 3. Length of history: 15% (keep old cards!) 4. Types of credit used: 10% 5. Recent inquiries: 10% (hard vs soft pulls) Credit Scores affect mortgage rates, auto insurance, credit card rates, student loans, apartment rentals “I’ll worry about retirement later…” Time Value of Money is HUGE! Frick & Frack brothers The “Rule of 72” $$ saved from 25-35 > $$ saved 35 on Everyone should have a (ROTH) IRA & TSP! Are you on-track? ~75% of ending salary per year See handout Retirement Accounts IRA TSP • 2014 Limit: $5,500 • 2014 Limit: $17,500 • No matching • No matching • Hold at any institution • Limited choices (5+1 funds) • Thousands of investment options • Only contribute from payroll • Only contribute cash • No income limits • Income limits • Different for Roth vs Trad • We have a Roth option • Jan 1 – Dec 31 open period • Jan 1 – Apr 15 (of following year) open period Uncle Sam will always* get paid Roth Traditional • After-tax contributions (pay tax now) • Pre-tax contributions (get a tax break now) • • Earnings grow tax-free • • • Roth IRA’s have no RMD’s $120k salary, contribute max amount of $17,500 Taxable income now $102,500 28% x $17,500 = $4,900 • Roth IRA income limit: < $114k • Taxed on the way out • “Backdoor Roth” option • Traditional IRA’s have RMD’s • Really depends on tax bracket now vs. retirement • Beliefs on long-term tax brackets / code / law • Solution: have some in each *combat-zone special circumstances Investing 101 & active vs. passive Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETF’s, Bonds Write down your financial principles / guidelines 20-25% for “fun” if you must Active vs. Passive Investing: research shows ~80-90% of active funds underperform their benchmark 8,000 2,000 500 125 20% most actively traded accounts performed much worse -men worse than women Past fund performance has very little predictive power to future performance! In fact, expense ratios are the best predictor Expense Ratios (the enemy) Industry average (0.80% 2.50%) Low cost options (0.06% 0.50%) Get angry…it’s your money! Use the calculator TSP – 0.027%! “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair Asset allocation & rebalancing With proper allocation, you should reduce risk (volatility) and outperform the S&P 500 Rebalancing: meeting long-term policy target weights Use it as a disciplined way of buying low and selling high “..shunning the loved & embracing the unloved. Most people do the opposite.” (Swensen) Example: 1990-2012 portfolio: +0.5% difference in return, -2% difference in volatility My target allocation: Precedence of Saving 1. Matching 401(k) or TSP – Max it! 2. Emergency fund (~6-9 months) 3. Pay down debt(s) 4. Roth IRA / Roth 401(k) or TSP 5. Taxable account Savings accounts & fees USAA: reimbursement of ATM fees Never pay monthly service fees for savings/checking CapitalOne 360: doubled-ended bonus emergency fund “Direct deposit” & USAA ACH push Wells Fargo, Chase, & BofA offer military accounts Home ownership & mortgages Up to a $300/month because of credit score Real estate is a key component Consider NOT holding your mortgage with the same bank as your investments Typically 20% down, qualify for a home 3x your annual gross income Closing costs, points Refinancing Being a landlord can be tough! Rent Rent : Income < 30% (rule of 36) Impact in high-rent markets (SF / NYC) Have rental package ready Credit pull Ask for a copy of credit report Security deposit & interest Zillow’s “zestimate” Remember SSCRA for breaking a lease Tax strategy Look for ways to reduce your taxes Traditional TSP/ 401k / IRA Mortgage interest (& property management fees) Education expenses Consider capital gains (realize gains if you ever find yourself in the 10 or 15% tax bracket. 0% long term gains) Donate to charity with appreciated stock Hire a professional – taxes are “grey” (VITA tax help) Active Duty are tax-lucky! Life insurance Active Duty get SGLI by default ($400k for $27/month. Includes 4 months insurance after separation.) Typically don’t need it until you have a family, but some people “lock” it in while they are healthy Term vs. Whole Nice way to leave a gift $500k for $42/month Other random advice… Never go without health insurance! Careful with your contracts Always look for military discounts Cell phone bills (15%-20%) Movies, restaurants, museums, parks Natl Parks Pass Clubs Space A travel Remember: smart investing is not very exciting, but it is very rewarding! Tactical next steps Automate your savings (pay yourself first) Enroll in the TSP via HR / YN Open a ROTH IRA Stick to low-cost index funds My favorite personal finance resources Fatwallet Finance Forums Bogleheads Blogs: Mr. Money Mustache, Oblivious Investor Networth IQ | Investopedia The Military Wallet *Bonus Material* Tax Loss Harvesting the Credit Card game Combat zone perks Questions?