Rules Of The Game: Roth IRAs, IRAs, 457 Plans, Lending Club… Retirement…

So the other day I was, yet again, researching all of this financial garbage. The way I see things is that everything is a game. It’s like that old adage, “Don’t take life so seriously, you’ll never make it out alive…” Based on what I have been going through, if you see things as a game, you’ll see things more objectively. Which, in this case, can really only help you get ahead. So… STOP BEING SO EMOTIONAL ABOUT EVERYTHING!

Anyway, since I see it as a game, all of these financial “tools” are just parts of the game. For every game, there is a set of rules. This game is no different. YOU are the token and you move around collecting various “tools” throughout the game. The main issue that most people have with this game is that the rules are constantly changing. For me, that’s one of the things that is the most fun and exciting. There is always something new to be learned.

This week, I learned a few more rules of the game. These include IRAs, Roth IRAs, 457 Plans, and retirement finances as a whole. Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, and 457 plans are cool because they allow you to have a tax advantage of some sort. Depending on your situation, these tax advantages can range from being tax-deferred to being totally tax-free. I would encourage everyone who doesn’t have an IRA or some sort of plan to definitely look into them. Technically, your child(ren) could pretty much have their retirement taken care of with a little bit of money before they turn 5 years of age! Look into being a custodian (I think that’s what it’s called) of their account. Once again though, you’ll have to do the research for your particular situation.

I started doing some more research on Lending Club (peer to peer lending) as well. It seems great until you start to see just how dishonest people can get. I have 2 notes that are over 30 days late (one of them is only on the first payment). Granted, I have a little bit over 300 notes, but 2 / 300 = 0.66%. That’s kind of a large chunk and I’m only 2 months into this test (these statistics don’t inspire a whole lot of confidence either). I also went with a riskier portfolio, but I definitely learned my lesson. I was on Lending Club with a PRIME account. The selections that they do for you seem to only take into account the borrowers’ Lending Club “rating.” This means that they “shoot from the hip.” Thus, I made arrangements to get out of the PRIME account and I’m now going to start analyzing every single one that I invest in. However, I can’t get caught worrying about it too much and over analyzing, because then it won’t be worth the investment of time.

Anyway, here’s another look at an updated Net Worth chart (Yodlee.com)…

Ag's Net Worth 07-28-2010

And the Year-To-Date…

Ag's Net Worth 07-28-2010-YTD

Note: The HUGE fluctuations are because of the accounts being added at different times.

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