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January 10, 2009


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Good post, but can I make one suggestion? The formatting needs to be tweaked, too much plain text. Bold some words or break out the points into bullets.

Saving 10% should be a top goal for everyone out there. Saving more is even better, but you have to strive for 10%.

I love the post and I love the blog. I think the more people have this as top of mind the better.

I respectfully take exception to the suggestion that folks contribute just enough to get the match at their employers' retirement plans.

Many companies are cutting back on the match these days. But I still think people benefit by contributing the maximum allowable to retirement accounts - ROTH or 401(k) or whatever. Even if the fees are high in the 401(k), at least they'll have the money for retirement and they won't spend it.. My experience tells me that the more cash folks have in their hands the greater the likelihood is that they will spend it.

I completely agree with your philosophy of paying yourself first by investing and saving before spending. I just think the tax benefits and safeguards that retirement accounts provide are pretty hard to beat.

Just my two cents.

I'm doing all the things recommended in the post. It's hard to type while patting myself on the back:)

Over the weekend I went through all the quarterly statements as I do each quarter. We try to keep the retirement allocation at 60/40 stocks/bonds. With the drop in stocks the allocation is now 49/51 stocks bonds. But I recently listended to John Bogle (founder of Vanguard) state he thinks the old rule of thumb that you keep your age in stocks (I'm 51) is a good idea, so I'm not going to to any re-balancing at this time. Hopefully the stocks will recover and the portfolio will move closer to 60/40.

We lost 22% in our retirement portfolio last year. With contributions the actual value of the portfolio declined 18% from 12/31/07 to 12/31/08. We lost a lot of money and it's difficult to stay the course. But weighing all the information we've decided that's what we'll do.

The only change we're making this year is we're spending less (I guess we're not very patriotic and putting more in bank CDs outside of our retirement portfolio. We have not changed anything in the retirement plan.

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