Reader Profile – Greg from ThriftGenuity

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Today, in the ongoing Reader Profile Series, we’re getting to know reader and insightful commenter, Greg, from the site, ThriftGenuity. Let’s all give Greg a big round of applause and welcome for sharing his life with us and listen to his story. Enjoy!

Also, if you’re interested in sharing your own financial story/journey with us in a reader profile of your own, just shoot me a quick email, and we can get the ball rolling!  
 



1. PLEASE TELL EVERYONE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF (BACKGROUND, EDUCATION, FAMILY SITUATION, ETC).

My name is Greg and I currently live in Richmond, VA and work in health insurance.  I am married, but no kids just yet.  Ironically (since I am in health insurance), my wife is a physician so we are focused on her finishing up her residency and joining a practice before expanding the family.


My background – I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA (Go Steelers!).  I went to school at a small private university studying communications and marketing.  While getting established in my career, I moved around every couple of years for job opportunities and earned my MBA.  Now, I am a bit more settled in with my job and have expanded into other opportunities in my spare time, specifically teaching guitar lessons, refereeing soccer, and just started blogging.




2. DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL SITUATION (WHO WORKS IN YOUR FAMILY, HOW YOUR INCOME IS, YOUR EXPENSES, ETC.).

For my age, I am in a good place financially.  We spend only about half our take home pay and save the rest and we have put away a sizeable amount relative to our age.  We both work and once my wife joins a practice, we will see a significant increase in income.  Because we want to remain mobile for the next year as we decide where to live for the long term, we are basically keeping the bulk of our money liquid, so if we do move, we will have a nice down payment for the next house.  Also because of that, we are putting as much money as we can into our Roth accounts before getting to an income level where that is no longer an option.


In addition to our mix of stocks and bonds, I am also very interested in real estate investing.  I was able to turn my first house into a rental property and am looking to expand, again, once we know where we will be living long-term.




3. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING (SAVING, PAYING OFF DEBT, STUDENT LOANS, MERGING FINANCES AFTER RECENTLY BEING MARRIED, ETC.)?

Our primary financial challenge is my wife’s med school loans.  Once the subsidies run out, we will start paying down the principle very aggressively with a target of completion in 2 years.  The interest on that loan is fairly high, so it is a balancing act determining when and where to invest money elsewhere and if it will yield a better return that the interest on that loan.


Other than a mortgage, we have no other debt, which I am very happy about.  The couple of years after the med school loan is paid off will be very exciting, because we don’t live a very extravagant lifestyle, so we should be able to really strategize our investments.




4. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE (RETIRE EARLY; BUILD YOUR CAREER, ETC.)?

My plans for the near future are continue to progress within my career but also maintain a work/life balance.  I really enjoy the couple of side ventures that I have going on and will continue to focus on them.  Once kids are in the picture, I really want to make sure that I have time dedicated to spending with them.  As far as retirement, I definitely plan to retire early, but I am not yet ready to say at what age.  I don’t mean that in the sense of when I will be financially ready, but more from the standpoint of what else I want to do.  So my goal is by around 40 (10 years from now) to be financially independent so the career I have and any other ventures are all because I want to do them and not because I have to do them.


5. WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE(S) OF FINANCIAL ADVICE AND/OR YOUR GENERAL PHILOSOPHY ON PERSONAL FINANCES?

I think that all of the financial decision I’ve made to this point can be summed up in determining what value I am receiving for the money.  I think that if you always keep this in mind, it really keeps your feet on the ground and you can truly assess your wants and needs. 

  • Applied to college – is the tuition at X school providing me better opportunities than the tuition at Y school or is it just some perceived bragging rights?
  • Applied to a career – is what I’m doing adding value to my overall career and where I want to go? Am I being paid what I’m worth?
  • Applied to home or car – does this location or size add additional value, or is it just to show that I can?

By asking these questions with large and small financial decisions coupled with your overall financial goals has served me well to this point and should continue to do so.   I will also add that you must educate yourself on the item at hand, or your evaluation of it will have less meaning.

***Photo courtesy of http://thriftgenuity.com/roedyblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GR-e1361912788835.jpg

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Greg!
    My recent post Reader Profile – Greg from ThriftGenuity

  2. Thanks, Jacob, for the post!
    My recent post Why I Hate Paying Taxes – Because We’re Not All the Same

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