I’m a 50+ year-old father of three 20-something children, who is financially independent, but still working. I’ve mainly created this site to educate my children and others on what I’ve learned from my years of passion and education around personal finance. I have an undergraduate degree in Business Information Systems and an MBA in Finance. I’ve worked as an engineer and manager for 31 years at 12 different companies, primarily in high tech, for both tiny companies of 6 people and multi-nationals with over 200,000 employees. I’ve made my share of mistakes and seen multiple boom and bust cycles, but was able to put my three children through college with no debt while living in a high cost of living area with a wife who retired at 30. I was fortunate to come from a middle class family and have no student debt when I graduated, but I worked through college and had a scholarship.
My bias will be towards Fidelity and Vanguard for savings and investing since both now offer a universe of index funds that is more than sufficient for retirement planning at extremely low costs. I’ve also been a customer of both companies for over 25 years so I really know their pros and cons. For various reasons, I have also been a customer of Schwab, ETrade, TD Ameritrade and others. But with the strategies that make the most sense, there is no reason to use any provider other than Fidelity or Vanguard.
Retirement and college planning is more difficult than it was for me when I started, so my hope is to educate others, especially younger people, on the simple things they need to do before they end up in a hole. Both college and high schools do a pathetic job training American students on personal finance and the result is far too many mistakes that could easily be avoided with a little education. Except for government jobs, pensions are mostly gone. Social security, especially for the young, is going to offer little actual “security” in retirement. The U.S. has gone to a “do it yourself” mentality for personal finance, but not done the requisite training needed to make that work, resulting in a potential future catastrophe as retirees are retiring with woefully inadequate resources.
I’m so old I’ve used Quicken to monitor my own finances since 1992. Although I love the product and nothing comes close to matching its capabilities, I wouldn’t recommend Quicken today for a young person. It must be installed on a PC or Mac, so it is not cloud based, and probably far too sophisticated for most people’s needs. It is more for finance geeks, like me. My recommendations for financial monitoring are here.
Goal for this site
My biggest hope for this site is that everyone understand that they must start early or at least start NOW. Through the miracle of compounding, it makes it a lot easier to secure financial security. Frankly, other than spending less than you make, it also doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’ve created the site as a project to do during retirement and a way to capture my experience with this subject. It is not intended to create any real retirement income, but a little money would be nice to cover the costs of the site.