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Financial Freedom Day 1

Initial Investment Day

January 1st, 2020; new day; new month; new year; new decade.

This morning we awake with our eyes facing towards what could be.  We look forward towards the future after spending the last month reminiscing on what was coming to an end.  While everyone was enjoying the end of year countdowns and recaps, I spent the last month of the year researching what I could do better with my money.

I am just a couple years away from 40, and it hit me this year just how much I don’t want to be working for the rest of my life.  Retirement investment has always been in the back of my mind and I had taken the steps to supplement my career supplied 401K with an additional retirement savings plan, but is it enough?  We have a standard checking and savings account, our checking account is fine for everyday spending, and we have a decent allotment to our savings. Our savings account allotment has been going on long enough now that we have a not extraordinary, but not an insignificant amount of money accumulated.  The returns on our savings account though are…well…minimal, and that’s not the minimalism that I am so fond of.

With all of our recent travels, my wife has taken steps to really lock down a budget plan which I will share with you in the future if your interested, so be sure to subscribe.  Our budgeting allows us to track our spending down to the penny, maximize our saving efforts and increase our feeling of security concerning our current income. This also allows us to invest what we have saved, minus a small emergency fund, without having to worry about needing to pull the money right back out again for one reason or another.

So after much research, deliberation and contemplation, the investment platform of choice for us is Betterment.  I am not a finance major, I didn’t know what index funds were, annual percentage yield and compound interest were just fancy terms that financial managers threw around to sound smart as far as I knew.  Betterment suited my level of expertise perfectly, set a few goals and timelines, invest it and forget it for a low annual fee. Then, log in once in a while to see how much money I earned for doing nothing. Free money is my favorite kind of money. 

For the sake of this blog, I plan on logging in on the first of every month to add our monthly savings to our current investment and for a summary of our investment performance to share with you all.  So stay tuned.

Without further ado, initial investment day had arrived.  Creating an account with Betterment.com involved a short questionnaire to establish our current situation and our investment goals to go along with an email address, physical address, cell phone number and establishing a password.  The whole process took ten minutes at the most. Once the account was established, I linked my current checking and savings account with a simple online username, password and emailed pin number. As well as my supplementary retirement savings account for all in one place, simplicity purposes.  I like simple, and Betterment is excellent at making things simple.

We decided on two investment accounts to begin with.  A high interest savings account, and a general investment account.  The savings account is geared towards money that we expect to have a need for in 1 to 5 years, but would like to get the highest return possible on in the meantime.  Initial deposit: $5,000.00.

The general investment account is for money that can be invested for the long term, in this case, my target timeline of 22 years (when I turn 60).  At 60 I fully intend to retire, or already be retired. Between my investment into this account and my supplementary retirement account, I set a lofty goal of having 1 million dollars by the end of my timeline. Initial deposit: $10,000.00.

My supplementary account will not be managed by Betterment, just tracked and reported on, so it’s balance and performance will not be tracked on this blog for now.

If you are interested in investing with Betterment, my established account could benefit you with 3 months of fee free account management by clicking this Betterment.com referral link.

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