Retirement Investing is Simpler than You Think – Episode 009

March 7, 2018

While the path to retirement and financial independence isn’t complicated, it can be hard work. Be sure to maintain balance with an affordable vacation! The HTM family soaking it in at Rosemary Beach.


Investing for your retirement is way simpler and easier than you think- and I’m going to prove it. Do these 2 things and you’ll be a millionaire by the time you retire (I’m not even exaggerating one bit!):

1. Open your retirement accounts:

  • 401k – If your employer offers a retirement plan like a 401k, especially with a match, start contributing immediately!!! Since a ton of employers offer a 50% match, you won’t be able to find a better return on your investment anywhere. At the very least contribute up to your employer match, or you can really get after it and fully fund it at $18,500.
  • IRA – Next thing to consider is opening an IRA (individual retirement account), specifically a ROTH IRA given the recent changes in tax law. This is not an employer offered retirement plan, so anyone can open one of these accounts. It’s as easy as opening a savings account online, no joke. The only downside to the IRA is that your contributions are limited at $5,500 per year (but don’t forget you can open a spousal IRA too, so $11,000 combined!). We highly recommend Vanguard.

2. Start investing:

  • Take Warren Buffett’s timeless advice and only buy funds or etfs that are widely diversified and have low expense ratios (like around .05%).
  • Joel is 100% invested in VTSAX and I’m 100% invested in VOO. Again we are both big fans of Vanguard but both Fidelity and Schwab have some good low-cost funds as well.
  • Keep investing and don’t stop. That’s it!

If you’d like even more information on different retirement accounts, be sure to check out this thorough article over at NerdWallet.

And at the beginning of this episode we cracked open a couple local brews by Ironmonger Brewing Company- Damascus IPA and Anvil DIPA which you can find and learn all about on Untappd. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe and review us in iTunesStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts!


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6 comments on “Retirement Investing is Simpler than You Think – Episode 009

  1. Hello, I enjoy your podcasts. Are you 100% domestic stocks because of the investment real estate or is there another reason? I was expecting a target date fund recommendation and was a little surprised by the total stock market portfolio minus bonds or international stock. This is not criticism, just curiosity about that decision. The S&P and TSM are excellent funds but I am more of a balanced fund kind of guy.
    Then again, I don’t own investment real estate so was curious if that changed the equation for you. Thank you for the excellent content. -Nik

    • Hey Nik, great questions! Those target retirement funds are awesome- even though I’m 100% in VOO, I’ve hedged my bet and my wife is 100% in her target fund, VTIVX (which we didn’t discuss, but there’s only so much time for us to talk on the podcast)! The way I see it- the biggest advantage of those target funds is to be more aggressive when you’re a few decades from retirement in order to get a higher return. As you near retirement, the more aggressive/growth holdings are swapped for more conservative items like bonds, to ensure your nest egg is waiting for you, regardless of the market.

      So then the real question is- will a more dynamic fund like the target retirement funds outperform their additional cost of .1% for the next 30 years? And to that, who knows!

      The real estate investment side of things doesn’t influence my decision making a ton. Really, our approach is to keep things simple for the most part and we try and not over analyze it too much since you never know what the different rates of return are going to be!

  2. Dustin Mar 23, 2018

    High income earners can contribute to a traditional IRA and then convert it to a ROTH IRA. There is no income limitation on conversions.

    • Great point Dustin- we didn’t cover converting or ‘back door’ Roths, but thats definitely an option under our current tax laws!

  3. Dalton Uphoff Jan 6, 2020

    Hi there! My name is Dalton and I am 23 years old. I would very much like to open up an IRA, but want to get the best bang for my buck. I know you guys talked up Vanguard quite a bit, however I do not have the money to open that. Would it be better for me to wait the year and a half when I likely have the money so I can get Vanguard, or to simply open a different account now? Let me know what you think!

    • Hey Dalton, sounds like you’d be a great candidate for M1:

      No fees, no minimums, and you can invest in Vanguard ETFs like VOO or VTI, which is where I have 90% of my portfolio. Happy investing!