No credit card debts, no student loans, nada.

I have a modest house with a small fixed mortgage, a nice year cushion of savings (in a high-yield account), contribute 15% of my income towards retirement, and I still have 1000.00 a month to do something with...

What do I do with it? Where do I start?

I'd like to relocate where the cost of living is less expensive, minimize my expenses and stop working as much as possible.

EDIT: I was hoping for some advice regarding longish-term positions to hold if I dump the house and try to retire on a teeny tiny shoestring + modest income.


3 Answers 3


You've nicely narrowed down your question to how to invest extra cash for long term gain. Easy: Plagiarize from schools.

Universities also have cash they must invest for maximum long-term gain, volatility is not a concern. This is their Endowment, and the future of the school depends on its growth. But they must prove to donors, Board and attorney general that they are investing prudently per the law (UPMIFA). Do what they do. Schools are happy to tell you. You'll get a lot of answers, all of which vaguely resemble this:

  • 50% domestic stocks
  • 20% international stocks
  • 10% real estate
  • 20% bonds

Of course the big institutions are hands-on and even activist, but they can afford the overhead of managers to do all that. For us mortals, I'd say index funds (or rather, ETFs.) Because our biggest win is keeping overhead costs low, like John Bogle discusses widely.

I was not able to find real estate ETFs I was happy with, so I just put that fraction into domestic stocks.

Use ETFs when not in a retirement account, because index (mutual) funds generate lots of taxable events which make taxes a nightmare.

  • 1
    He owns a house, that means he already has a huge real estate investment. Leveraged even, as he bought it with borrowed money. Jun 22, 2016 at 8:46
  • True. My first thought was "it's not in his investment portfolio if he doesn't plan to trade it"... but then I thought about 2007, when it was proven that it's in your portfolio whether you like it or not. Jun 22, 2016 at 20:34

I would opt for ETFs as well. Harper explained it very well. There are many choices nowadays to choose from, probably more than index funds.


first, well done with your economic situation being debt free. You are already on top most of the US household.

Relocating is an excellent choice. I've done it for the last 10 years whenever new job offers permitted. My criteria were giving priority to the cost of living VS salary.

For example; I was offered a salary of US$ 4.000 per month in Malaysia with free accommodation and at the same time a salary of US$ 6.000 in Singapore.

Considering that Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in Asia to live, and the rent is super high, my natural choice was Malaysia.

I never regret it. I could save 80% of my salary in Malaysia. If I had opted for Singapore, I might have kept around 20%.

Regarding your extra US$ 1,000, open an account with Vanguard and every month invest in the "Vanguard 500 ETF (VOO)". Don't bother is the market go up or down, just keep investing each month.

The return over 10 years period is between 5% up to 13% dependent on market cycles.

Happy Investing!

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