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View Full Version : How about a useful discussion: Retirement strategies for a CG artist.



Stooch
11-13-2008, 04:09 PM
So what are people doing around here to secure your futures? The cg business is not very forgiving, health care is usually up to the individual (especially when freelancing) and typically you arent given 401k either.
Basically a large portion of us are on our own in terms of planning and money management. So I would like to hear any advice or personal experience/success/fail stories to learn from.

This forums is full of smart people it seems, so what are you doing to secure your future? Any thoughts on stock trading? hints tips? strategies?

Roth IRA, 401k, other investing?

Or are you people squirreling money away into savings?

I personally dont plan to be a CG artist until I die lol (not a working CG artist that is).

Thoughts? Ideas? (no politics here please we got that covered).

adamredwoods
11-13-2008, 05:26 PM
The market is too erratic to start investing, unless you are a day-to-day trader.

Look to t-bills, money market accounts.

Andyjaggy
11-13-2008, 05:32 PM
Currently I have what little savings I do have in a money market account. Comfortably earning 4% interest. Certainly not a great rate but it will cover inflation (maybe) and I don't have the added stress of watching my life savings dwindle away to nothing in the stock market.

That said though I do plan on starting a Roth IRA soon.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 05:43 PM
Good. I have a Roth IRA too, but looking for a more aggressive vehicle in addition to the long term one.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 05:44 PM
The market is too erratic to start investing, unless you are a day-to-day trader.

Look to t-bills, money market accounts.

im actually doing alot of reading. for me this is a time of opportunity, there are ways to manage risk. I recommend "Trade your way to wealth" by Bill Kraft. anyway im still in research phase :)

hrgiger
11-13-2008, 06:06 PM
In addition to any long term investments, I would recommend a savings account which cannot lose value with the market. I use an online savings which pays a much better interest rate then what you would get at a brick and mortar bank. I use Emigrant Direct (emigrantdirect.com) which is currently paying 3%. It was paying almost 5 1/2% before the market went to crap. It's FDIC insured and there are no minimums and no fees (except for too many withdrawls). You can also link it to your checking account and transfer money back and forth. I've been using it for the last 2 years and love it.

hrgiger
11-13-2008, 06:10 PM
401ks are great, especially if your employer matches. If they do, you'd be crazy not to invest in it. If they match 50% up to say 6% of your income, you want to contribute your full 6%. You won't get a 50% return on most any other investment.

Matt
11-13-2008, 06:37 PM
Thinking about retirement depresses me, I have a naff pension that work setup (otherwise I'd probably still have nothing setup). But the statements I get every now and again are pretty pathetic.

I'm just not convinced Pensions are all they're cracked up to be.

Some say investing in property is a wise retirement investment, but look how that's turning out.

Almost better off doing the lottery and hoping for a big win before you retire!

Titus
11-13-2008, 06:47 PM
So what are people doing around here to secure your futures?

I'm planning to marry a rich old lady or work all my life.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 06:49 PM
yep I have an HSBC account i believe its 3.5% right now.


In addition to any long term investments, I would recommend a savings account which cannot lose value with the market. I use an online savings which pays a much better interest rate then what you would get at a brick and mortar bank. I use Emigrant Direct (emigrantdirect.com) which is currently paying 3%. It was paying almost 5 1/2% before the market went to crap. It's FDIC insured and there are no minimums and no fees (except for too many withdrawls). You can also link it to your checking account and transfer money back and forth. I've been using it for the last 2 years and love it.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 06:51 PM
you are always in a position to save money :)

once you save a good amount and you feel that you have no hope in amassing enough to retire at the current rate, its time to think about making the money work for you or changing your career.
so educate yourself! better to have a plan than not.


Thinking about retirement depresses me, I have a naff pension that work setup (otherwise I'd probably still have nothing setup). But the statements I get every now and again are pretty pathetic.

I'm just not convinced Pensions are all they're cracked up to be.

Some say investing in property is a wise retirement investment, but look how that's turning out.

Almost better off doing the lottery and hoping for a big win before you retire!

borkus
11-13-2008, 08:13 PM
so educate yourself! better to have a plan than not.

Words of wisdom, regardless of your occupation...

Celshader
11-13-2008, 09:22 PM
So what are people doing around here to secure your futures? The cg business is not very forgiving, health care is usually up to the individual (especially when freelancing) and typically you arent given 401k either.
Basically a large portion of us are on our own in terms of planning and money management. So I would like to hear any advice or personal experience/success/fail stories to learn from.

This forums is full of smart people it seems, so what are you doing to secure your future? Any thoughts on stock trading? hints tips? strategies?

Roth IRA, 401k, other investing?

Or are you people squirreling money away into savings?

I personally dont plan to be a CG artist until I die lol (not a working CG artist that is).

Thoughts? Ideas? (no politics here please we got that covered).

Hi, Stooch,

I have no idea if my future will be secure. However, here's what I'm doing:

1) Emergency fund (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/pf/20011105a.asp) for unexpected layoffs/expenses.

2) Margarita portfolio (http://assetbuilder.com/blogs/scott_burns/archive/2004/03/16/The-Margarita-Portfolio.aspx) in a Roth IRA (https://personal.vanguard.com/us/accounttypes/retirement/ATSRothIRAOverviewContent.jsp).

3) SEP-IRA (https://personal.vanguard.com/us/accounttypes/retirement/ATSSEPIRAOverviewContent.jsp) for additional tax-deferred savings from freelance work.

4) I also invest in myself. Each year I pour time and money into books, DVDs, downloads, LightWave user's group meetings (http://lalightwave.com), drawing classes -- anything that improves my skills.

That's what I'm doing right now.

Someday, I'd like to get into taxable investing as a 401(k) substitute. A low-cost index fund in a taxable account can actually beat (http://assetbuilder.com/blogs/scott_burns/archive/2007/03/10/The-Long-Term-Cost-of-High-Investment-Expenses.aspx) the returns of a high-cost 401(k) after taxes.

I'm also determined to finish drawing a comic book (http://lore.greeblegraphics.com) that I started in 1994. This summer I bundled the first eight issues into a print-on-demand trade paperback (http://lore.greeblegraphics.com/buy/). When I finish the story, I'll have something I can sell for the rest of my life.

I'll know if I succeed in thirty years. :D;):D

virtualcomposer
11-13-2008, 10:05 PM
One thing I do, and this has helped in situation like, if you get introduced to someone who may need a particular project done. What I do, during down time or (unemployment), I learn learn learn!!!! I study nearly every thread on this forum and other 3D forums and really listen to what other animators are saying and have learned from their experience (I may be wrong but none of us are the best at everything so we have to learn from eachother), work on LW allot, download and practice tutorials nearly everyday to better my craft. This came in handy a few months ago when I met a gentleman that needed a radio tower the size of the earth on top of the earth. It was obviously an exaggeration for a television commercial but he wanted it to look really real. Fortunately, I already had a the months of practice to perfect my earth, learn techniques that allot of you guys have listed on this forum and really help me land the job. It just came to me and if I wasn't ready or didn't use my time wisely, then I wouldn't have gotten the gig and gone grocery shopping that week & my dog has to eat to. :D:D By the way, always be updating your demo and only put your best on it. I forgot who gave the advice here but he said even if it's 5 seconds of animation per scene, that's better 30 seconds of fast, cheap renders that don't look right and can cause a disinterest in the potential company. Always be ready because a client could be in front of you tomorrow at a grocery store or a friends house.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 10:08 PM
of course thats good for getting cg gigs. but im more interested in more long term plans that amass money regardless of your field of work.

Celshader
11-13-2008, 11:07 PM
of course thats good for getting cg gigs. but im more interested in more long term plans that amass money regardless of your field of work.

I recommend William Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing (http://www.efficientfrontier.com/t4poi/t4poi.htm) and Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street (http://thefinancebuff.com/2007/02/book-review-random-walk-down-wall.html). Those two books influenced my approach to investing for retirement.

I also -- no joke, hand on my heart -- recommend reading Dave Sim's 1993 Pro-Con speech (http://www.celshader.com/tips/dave_sim/procon.html), which contrasts the world of work-for-hire with that of self-publishing. A creative work that you yourself own can provide you with income for the rest of your life.

Stooch
11-13-2008, 11:12 PM
Thanks. thats actually a very good thought. I have some things id like to publish in the future.

Tzan
11-14-2008, 09:29 AM
Online HSBC savings account :) for now.

If I had money in a stock trading account I would buy the Dow index when it hits 8000-8300 and then sell at 9000+. Its bounced like this three or four times already.