Today was a good day

Today was a good day.”  – Ice Cube circa 1993

You can start to feel Old Man Winter’s breathe in our neck of the woods.  Today I busted out my favorite goose-down coat as I headed out the door this morning.  I reached into one of its pockets and discovered an unclaimed $20 bill.  Gosh, I love it when that happens.

I had that same feeling earlier this last weekend when I was catching up on my favorite blogs.  I learned of a new resolution to our issue of having too much money tied up in retirement accounts that, in theory, couldn’t be touched without penalty until age 59.5.

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How Vanguard will save me $2700

Heinz Doofenshmirtz
Heinz Doofenshmirtz

I have a confession.  So far on this site I’ve been sitting here, tooting my own horn telling how disciplined and smart we’ve been with our money and I even had the nerve to make the following rule within my Wealth Manifesto:

9.  Do not invest in individual stocks – invest in low-expense mutual funds that support your targeted asset allocation mix.

The truth is I really haven’t paid much attention to the costs of the funds that we’ve been investing in for the past 15 years.  Sure, if I was comparing two funds that looked similar, I’d usually pick the one with the lower cost.  But beyond that, my thinking was always that as long as the expense ratio was under 1.0 that it wasn’t really that big of a deal.

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My Wealth Manifesto

Here it is, Buck’s manifesto to becoming wealthy*.  Follow these do’s and don’ts and you will be bucking-the-trend better than the majority of Americans when it comes to being financially savvy.

They are black and white for a reason – they can be followed by anyone and are not dependent on income level.  I’ve purposely omitted calling out a specific savings rate – this is largely a personal choice and is often variable and difficult to stick to given life’s peaks and valleys.

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