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I'm a recent college grad (computer science). I was lucky enough to get into some good investments in college and now have $450K in liquid assets. I've decided I'm definitely moving to San Francisco.

But what should I do with my money? I can get a decent software engineer job that pays $80K and splurge occasionally while investing most of it for retirement.

Or, and I'm leaning more towards this one, I could take a year 'off' and work on building my skillset, my networking and working on freelancing/SAAS/apps that can generate a passive income for me. Meanwhile keeping my eyes open for any good startup opportunity that may come my way.

Assuming I choose the latter, how should I treat my current capital? I think I should start a Roth IRA. Then keep my money 33% aggressive, 33% conservative, 33% fixed income? I expect to spend $50K/year in San Francisco (though while working on generating income sources) and need to keep myself a bit liquid in case a big-ish investment opportunity presents itself.

Am I on the right track? What would you do in my situation?

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migrated from answers.onstartups.com Jul 27 '12 at 20:11

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50K a year in SF? Good luck. –  littleadv Jul 26 '12 at 6:58
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You need income from a job to put money into a Roth IRA. –  mhoran_psprep Jul 26 '12 at 11:38
    
@mhoran_psprep You don't need to have a job to put money into a Roth IRA. There's no legal requirement to be employed. –  Zuly Gonzalez Jul 26 '12 at 13:30
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You need taxable income though, also, a Roth IRA is not a vehicle to keep your assets liquid. Finally, the max contribution to Roth is $5,000 per year.... –  EkoostikMartin Jul 27 '12 at 14:27
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For a Roth IRA, you need earned income, from a job that pays wages reported on a W-2 form or self-employment income reported on Schedule C, not just taxable income (e.g. interest or dividends or capital gains) as EkoosticMartin claims. Also the maximum annual contribution to a Roth IRA is the total earned income or $5000 ($6000 for people over 50), whichever is less. Roth IRA contributions are also not permitted to people with large incomes. –  Dilip Sarwate Jul 28 '12 at 3:48

1 Answer 1

  1. You cannot dump $450K of cash into any type of retirement account. Retirement accounts have maximum annual contribution limits and earned income requirements. If the $450K is already in a retirement account you may be able to "rollover" these funds into a different type of account.

  2. I personally invest in dividend paying stocks and recommend the strategy for just about everyone. $450K earning 4% in dividends would generate ~$18K in annual dividends the first year and, compounded, would generate ~$220K in dividends over a 10-year period.

All this being said, I am not a registered professional of any kind and you should consult a professional before making any decisions.

And yes, I know this question is from 2012 :)

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