Financial Planning for Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by DillonG, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I'm sure that there are many well accomplished hunters on this forum that have traveled internationally to fulfill their bucket list hunts. For me, I am starting on the journey for preparing my personal finances while I still have time (28 years old). I am going to detail my strategy below, but hope the wiser/more creative hunters could chime in on how they finance the addiction!

    I'm lucky to have a wife that is on board with getting our finances lined out and in quick order. We should have the cars and student loans knocked out by the end of this year. Hopefully the house is paid off over the next 5 years. With that said, I am thinking about starting a "hunting fund" and simply investing what I would've been paying on the student loans monthly and build up an account over my life and skim the interest off to either fully pay or support paying for hunting trips. I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility to get an annual average return of 8% per year investing in solid mutual funds. I should be able to start investing now and have an account worth around $250k by the time I am 50. I know that I don't need all of that to fulfill my bucket list, but it makes sense to me to just start tossing some money monthly and only go on a trip here and there until I am closer to that goal.

    I know personal finances can be...well personal, but any insight that you would be willing to share is much appreciated.
     

  2. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My 2¢, Run your automobiles ten years (or longer), pack your chosen retirement fund (401k, Roth IRA, etc.) the maximum every year, stick with one wife and one set of kids, work 100% of whatever hours required and live on 75% of them.

    Forgot to add but most importantly, maintain good health. I know more than a few with the means and desires to hunt foreign lands but are not in good enough health to go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019

  3. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I know health wasn't on my mind (probably because I'm still in my 20s), but good to know now! I would say that I have been very good about loading up retirement and I'm not one to go out an buy a new vehicle every 3-5 years (still rolling my 2007 Silverado that is paid off). Appreciate the input.
     
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  4. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Good advice from @Hogpatrol ! I just bought a new truck but it replaced a 17 year old truck and I would love to run the new one for 20 years.

    My advice won't be popular with some but hunting IS NOT the first priority.
    1. Pay off those loans
    2. Pay off your car
    3. Fully fund and Max out your 401k
    4. Buy a house
    5. Do some nice things for your wife

    Then and only then should you hunt. Save and budget for it like everything else whether it's building a self sustaining fund or using discretionary income in full.

    There will be someone who comes here and says "put it on a credit card and do it now." I think that's absolutely terrible advice both financially and for the experience. EARN the right to hunt Africa! Don't have it be "given" to you, with interest.

    Have a dream. Then make the dream reality through hard work.
     

  5. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Thanks for the input! I don't even have credit cards, I had one prior to buying the house, but realized it was a pointless endeavor. Appreciate the response!
     
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  6. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If one chooses and avoids interest, the credit card that gives miles is one option to reduce the cost of travel. Delta, United, Amex and others offer them. Round trips to Joburg from the U.S. in some instances can cost less than a hundred bucks.
     

  7. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud AH Senior Member

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    Sounds like you are on the right path. Be advised that Wall Street can be more dangerous than any animal in Africa. When you invest, consider forgetting about the money for as long as you can. An 8% return is a good goal, but not guaranteed, and maybe even not realistic. Many professionals are expecting lower returns on stocks going forward, say 6% to 8%. Check out ETFs over mutual funds. If you want mutual funds, make sure the fees are very very low. Check out Vanguard's S&P 500 Index funds. Save 10% of every paycheck and deposit the amount in savings or a market fund. Make sure you have six-months of cash, or more. Obviously, pick low hanging fruit. Save your coins, which seems little, but adds up. Me, as a savings project with my kids, we save all bills smaller than $5 and take the cash piles to the bank and swap them for $100s. If you do the $5 and less savings plan, I promise you will be stunned by how much money you have saved without ever missing it. Happy Hunting.
     

  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very solid advice. I was trying to balance debt repayment (bought out my colleague) with hunting and it is a dangerous game.

    The real problem is when the plans go sideways then you are left short even though you have committed to others. You may be right or you may be wrong. Your plans may not work out and that is life. Faltering is part of a learning process. Stay true to those you have made commitments to. Just find a new path based on what life has taught you. Life is hard and that is why no one survives. But the challenges give it texture if you pay attention. Good luck.
     
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  9. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I completely agree that nobody can accurately forecast the economy or stock trends. I am just using the last 20 year average growth of the economy (closer to 9%, but rounded down). For myself, I still have a decent advantage in terms of the amount of time I can use to save, compounding interest seems to be a powerful force especially if you believe Einstein.

    I am just curious how others have been able to afford their hunting adventures, either through investment, savings, great career field, or entrepreneurship.
     

  10. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great advice! Otherwise your 401k will become a 201k!
     
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  11. JES Adventures

    JES Adventures AH Fanatic

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    I definitely don’t comply with the most prudent advice you are receiving in this thread but I established my own opinion when contemplating my first safari in 1986 at the age of 22.

    I had dreamed of going on Safari as far back as I can remember. I made it a high priority goal and hoped to get there sooner than not once I started working.

    My father died of a sudden heart attack in the Fall of ‘85 and that reset my priorities. I was in Zim 9 months later and had an incredible first safari. BTW - I got no inheritance from my father’s estate, it all went to my stepmother. I had accumulated some “extras” in life like a second vehicle and a boat and I liquidated both to fund my first trip. Oh, and I financed about 1/3 of it.

    Following that, I lost two siblings to cancer over the next decade which further forged my way of life and how I pursue my goals.

    If I want to do something, I do it as soon as I feasibly can. If it means sacrificing in other areas of my life, working extra jobs or taking out loans I kept on hunting and still do so today.

    I had to take a few years off when I had four children under 4 years old but made up for it once they all got in their teens.

    Jack Atcheson, Sr. Said it best “Go Hunting While You are Physically Able”. There is a lot of truth there.

    Furthermore, you are in your 20’s and I assure you hunting will only increase in cost. As I look back now on the places I went in the 80’s and 90’s at the prices I paid, I saved incredible amounts money compared to today’s pricing. I wouild be way behind the “8 ball” on my goals had I waited to save enough for each trip.

    So my advice is work hard, plan and go as soon as you can make it work financially - however you can finance it.
     

  12. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    I have a little different advice. (1) Max your 401k or equivalent. If you can not do that, put in at least up to the employer match. (2) get rid of your debt other than house and vehicles. On house, unless you plan on living in that house until your 100 don’t worry about pay it off. Most likely you will be trading up and the PI cost of your PITI payment will remain fix. Vehicles just plan on keep for at least double the term of your loan. (3) loyalty is 1/8 of an interest point, keep your money moving. (4) get a credit card tied to an airline and pay it off every month, you will get miles for “free” ticket or upgrades.
     
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  13. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Something to keep in mind - lots of folks will speak about the market (usually the S&P 500 in particular) averaging 9-10% annually. That is actually a cumulative return over time - it is not saying it will hit 9% every single year. For example, in 2015 the S&P 500 actually lost about 1%, and lost about 6% in 2018.

    So if you don't plan to hunt until you are 50, great - that 8% annually will probably be about right. If not, be sure not to plan on getting 8% every year. You may hit a bad year while planning a trip and have to postpone because the market took a dive. (You may very well know this, just wanted to put it out for anyone else reading this thread).

    I am also one that uses a credit card for damn near everything. If you have the discipline, it's a great way to get money towards your trip as long as you pay off the full balance every month. It's also a great way to build your credit.
     
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  14. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    If I do use an investment account I would make sure the term is no less than 10 years. Could save up outside of that to take a trip or 2 in the short term. As far as a credit card, I don't mind the idea of using it. I just always had it beat in my head to just avoid credit cards period.
     

  15. DillonG

    DillonG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    A lot of good advice so far. Sounds like many folks use discretionary income. Hoping that as my career progresses to get into a position to do that myself. Anyone take trips on an annual/every 2 year basis that uses some form of an investment account (obviously outside of retirement)?
     

  16. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    As @cagkt3 said cards are all about discipline. If you know you don't have the discipline then stay away! If you have it though then you're leaving money or miles as well as security and convenience on the table.

    I use a single credit card for everything I can. I also pay it off every two weeks in full on payday. Every time, no exceptions. Sometimes that's painful especially at the holidays ! But, it gives me a good idea of what I'm spending too and let's me know when to reel it back in.
     
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  17. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Several options on investing - and you shouldn't have to lock in for any sort of "term". You can go self directed and get an e-Trade, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch (etc) account and start investing. Sell whenever you like, although some funds do have fees, rules on when you can sell or buy back in after a sell, etc. Or like me, I am not the most savvy financial person and watching investments makes me pull my hair out, I went with a financial adviser. Yes he gets a fee, but I get to keep my sanity.

    I paid off all my debt (except the house), and didn't buy new expensive toys all the time. Also, no kids (which certainly helps). I was able to go twice last year at 32 yrs old, and am a couple weeks away from trip #3. It can be done sooner than you think
     
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  18. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have to strongly second @Royal27 's comments. Get debt free, get your short, mid and long term finances in order. Then, figure out what you and your wife want to do together and budget accordingly. Fortunately for me, Ann was up for tagging along on my safaris - the tradeoff is river cruises with other friends. We save for one, do it, then save for the next one and do it. Our first safari was 2012 (we were early 50's), second 2016. Our second river cruise is this year and I'm targeting 2020 or 2021 for our next safari.

    As far as investing, establish a plan and stick to it. Max out the 401K, IRA......etc.
     
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  19. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    A good rewards credit card ( I prefer a cash back card) and check out folioinvesting.com
     

  20. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Great point that no one has mentioned !

    If you're married safaris actually cost 2x what you pay for them, assuming your wife doesn't hunt. Safari, then a kitchen or bathroom remodel, safari, then the wife takes a trip to Poland to shop for plates.

    This is not a hypothetical. Trust me.
     

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