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Year End Tax Situation; Future Tax Planning; Retirement Account Contributions

December 11th, 2015 at 01:42 pm

Looking at my income tax situation for 2015, I estimate that I will owe $446 to the federal govt and receive a refund of $88 from the state. So, not a bad job estimating withholding.

It is very possible that 2015 is the last year I will be able to file head of household and claim J as a dependent.

In 2015, I had a small amount of income taxed at 25% federal and 8% state. In 2016, it is very possible I will have much more of my income taxed at those rates.

Therefore, in 2016 I will be contributing solely to my tax-deferred accounts and skipping Roth contributions.

After I relocate to Reno, I will no longer be paying state income tax. If I am earning less (which is a distinct possibility), I may not be in the 25% bracket any longer. It will make more sense to continue Roth contributions then; at the very least I will revisit the issue.

My 2015 gross wages should come in at $55,168.95. I aim to contribute 15% of that to retirement accounts, and I do include matching. That means my target is $8,275.35.

By year end, I will have contributed 3.6k to my Simple, 2k to my Roth, and 1k to my traditional. My employer contributed another $1,623.00 to my Simple. Those contributions total $8,223.00, which is $52.35 short. I will contribute another $100 to my traditional by the end of the year and consider this goal met.

Including 2015, I have now contributed a grand total of 19.5k to my Roth. I like to keep track of this number, as Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn at any time for any reason, no tax or penalty. The rest is earnings and must be left alone until I reach age 59.5. It's shocking how close that time is drawing!

I'm really hoping to break 200k in tax-deferred in 2016. Let's see if Mr. Market cooperates.

Reno Condos

April 18th, 2015 at 11:03 am

I love to browse on realtor.com. I have spotted several condos in Reno which might suit me fine.

Here is one:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/959-Flatcar...

This place is in Sparks. Sparks is just east of Reno and the two cities have grown into each other. It is a 2 br. 2 bath with 1088 sq. ft. and has a 1 car garage. The asking price is 95k. If I were to purchase it at 95k with 20% down and took a 15 year mortgage, my PI payments would be $526 (according to the calculator on realtor.com). The HOA dues are another $195. There is still property taxes and insurance to pay. But still, total housing should be under 1k per month, with a big drop when the mortgage is paid in full.

If I can land a job paying at least $15 an hour, something like this should be doable. Not a lot of wiggle room, but worth it I think at my age to be done with the mortgage in 15 years. If I have to stop saving for retirement, the money already saved will continue to grow, and I should still end up in OK shape.

Hopefully, I will be able to earn more than that and will continue to save. I am trying to be realistic. I am approaching age 50 and will not have any business contacts in the area. I have to be prepared for the possibility of a significantly lower income.

At this point, I am planning to move with BF. If we are sharing living space, we will also share expenses. That will provide a bit of budgetary wiggle room too. However, I only want a mortgage I can afford completely on my own.

In other news, tax season is mercifully over. Between my overtime and my bonus, I cleared an extra 4k. I have sent off 1k to my traditional IRA, $500 extra to my car loan, $300 extra to emergency fund, and $200 extra to Roth. The other 2k I needed for expenses. J's car got new brakes and a major tune up (120k miles), and I paid the IRS $987. Additionally, my annual matching of $1632 was sent off to my Simple IRA. Looking forward to seeing those account balances rise a bit on 4/30. Of course, will just have to see if Mr. Market cooperates.

Mrs. M180 and I are planning a 3 day weekend in Seattle. We were able to get airfare for $156 each. We will stay one night with my childhood friend (who stayed with me last September), and two nights on Vashon Island visiting my birth mother, her sister, and the sister's new husband. On the final day, we are hoping to spend some time with my niece who lives in Tacoma. She is only 5 years younger than me, so is actually more like my baby sister.



Nest Egg Projections

January 24th, 2015 at 01:39 pm

Here's another overdue entry, nest egg projections based on my end-of-the-year balances.

I take my tax-deferred balance, then compound it at different interest rates until I am age 65, and see how it turns out. If I assume 6k per year of new money, it's OK. If I work until age 67, my Social Security full retirement age, it gets even better.


I'm really hoping to hit 600k, as that will replace about half of my current income. If I do better than 600k, well, I'll just have to find a way to live with that. If I have less than 600k, I will really have to think hard about whether or not I can afford to retire.



And here's the Roth. I intend to use my Roth solely for funding large, irregular expenses. Think new roof or new (to me) car. The idea is to pay for what I need without taking on debt or raiding tax-deferred (thus permanently reducing my monthly income). I had been shooting for 150k. Now that I am nearly 100% certain I want to buy a small condo as my final home, I think 100k will be more than sufficient.

I have been saving 3k annually in my Roth, but for this projection I used 2k for my "current savings rate". Beginning in 2015, that is my contribution plan.



So all in all, I feel that I am in OK shape. Not fantabulous, but OK.



It Happened Yesterday

May 23rd, 2014 at 07:40 am

My little nest egg broke 200k! Whoo-hoo! Smile

Three Fund Portfolio

February 5th, 2014 at 08:56 am

I have decided to sell my Reits, Tips, and Small Value and stick with the three fund portfolio. Smile

Year End Nest Egg Projections

January 1st, 2014 at 09:50 pm

As I have shared before, my goals for my nest egg are 600k in tax-deferred and 150k in my Roth.

At the end of the year, I like to take my balance and project what I may have at retirement, assuming different rates of return. On the left side are estimates showing how my portfolio may grow with no new money. On the right side are estimates showing how my portfolio may grow if I continue contributing at my current rate.





There are no guarantees of course, but the projections are encouraging. That 9% sure is pretty, but I am more concerned with the 5%.

Gross Wages 2013

October 16th, 2013 at 11:03 am

Looking at my YTD on my paystub from yesterday, and looking ahead on the calendar, I see I am on track to gross $51,102.25 this year. This includes my seasonal OT and tax season bonus. It does not include my Christmas bonus, child support, or my PT job income.

If I want to continue socking away 15% of my gross pay towards retirement, I need to save $7,665.34. By the time the year ends, I will have contributed $2,550 into my Simple IRA and $3,000 into my Roth. I will receive $1,533.07 in matching funds from my employer. That leaves an additional $582.27 still to be coughed up, we can just call it $600.

(I made a 1k contribution to my traditional IRA in February, but that was for 2012).

I believe I can easily contribute $600 from my Christmas bonus, and I believe I will. I will also need to pay for gifts for my kiddos, and hope to make a mortgage chip and stash a bit into savings. We will just have to wait and see how good I have been this year. Perhaps I was more naughty than nice and can only look forward to coal. Smile

Contemplation

September 27th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I've been daydreaming lately, looking at nice little condos in various locations online. I've been calculating the size of my nest egg under different scenarios. The more I contemplate my situation, the more I think that the biggest obstacle to my dreams is my negative home equity.

I've decided to increase my Simple IRA contributions to $250 per month, which is 3k per year. My employer's contribution will be another 1.5k. Together, that is approximately 9% of my annual gross (my gross including overtime and bonus).

I will continue my automatic monthly Roth contribution of $150 per month (1.8k per year), which is a bit more than 3% of my annual gross.

If I were to continue along at that rate until age 65, and assuming I enjoy 5% annual growth, I would end up with enough to live comfortably (though frugally) in my little condo, even with a small mortgage. If I enjoy a return greater than 5%, the picture only gets brighter.

So for now, that is all I will contribute. When I receive my annual overtime, tax season bonus, and Christmas bonus, none of it will go to retirement savings. Instead, I will focus on cash savings and my mortgage. I want to be in a position where I can sell my house whenever I decide the time seems right (without touching retirement savings). I have a long, long way to go to be in that position. So, wish me luck.

I have also recently decided to trim my cash allowance from $60 per pay period to $20. Too much of that money was being spent grabbing a sandwich or a latte. It wasn't good for my bottom line or my waistline. So, I have gotten back in the habit of keeping lunch foods at work.

I received $1.50 from Hausernet yesterday, and have already turned it into a mortgage chip.

Nest Egg Projections

December 31st, 2012 at 04:35 pm

So here is a little thing I like to do at the end of the year. I take my retirement savings and project what they will be when I am 65 and 67. (My SS full-retirement age is 67. If it is possible, I will retire at 65.) I assume different average rates of return and see what I will have if I keep saving at my current rate, and if I stop saving.

Here are the results for my tax-deferred accounts:




And here are the results for my Roth:



What these tell me is that if I continue at my current savings rate and enjoy 7% returns, I will hit my targets of 600k tax-deferred and 150k Roth. If I don't earn 7%, or if I don't keep saving at my current rate, I will fall short.

My current savings rate is 2.4k into my Simple plus 1.4k of company match, and 3k into my Roth.

Mish Mash

August 25th, 2012 at 10:46 am

Firstly, Nala is doing very well. Here is a pic taken this morning:



And just for good measure, here is a pic of Bree, taken one day when BF had left his laptop on the couch. I guess she was checking her Facebook page. Smile




I have decided to sue the mother (homeowner) for the fence and the son for the vet bill. I don't expect to win on the vet bill, but I am going to sue anyway. While the burden of proof in criminal court is "beyond a reasonable doubt", civil court is "preponderance of the evidence". Hopefully he will realize that if he is accused a second time, there is even more circumstantial evidence against him. I want this incident to be well documented, in the hopes there will be no further incidents.

Mini E-Fund is coming along. Recent additions include $14.25 from a wallet sweep, $11.20 from a secret shop, and $7 from Beezag.

I bought myself a new laptop last week. My old one was failing regularly, requiring trouble shooting and restarts. It was getting to be an every single time I turned it on thing. I bought a fairly nice Gateway laptop for $406 including tax.

I played around with Future Advisor some more, then decided to ignore their advice. I still like the tool, I just prefer the excellent investment advice available on The Bogleheads Index Forum! I did alter my target allocation slightly. Here it is:

25% Total Stock Market Index
10% Small Value Index
10% REIT Index

20% Total International Index
5% Small International Index

15% Total Bond Market Index
15% TIPS

And lastly, Bobbie Bushman is no longer blogging! She wrote a final entry, basically stating she no longer had the time to keep up her blog. I will miss Bobbie's entries. For now at least, the blog can still be read.

Simple IRA Caught Up; Daughter Heading This Way

May 30th, 2012 at 04:02 pm

My boss gave me checks for last year's matching and this year's contributions; I mailed them off yesterday. I hope they will hit my account before my next net worth statement, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Either way, the money will be invested soon.

My daughter called over the weekend and said they don't have enough cash to drive out here, rent the house, and get settled, so can they just stay with me for a month? I asked how much she was short. Basically, another $500 would make it work. I had a better idea. Smile I sent a $500 cashier's check to the property manager yesterday, towards their deposit. I raided Mini E-Fund (Piddly Fund re-christened) for most of it. Daughter and son-in-law are to repay me $250 July 1 and $250 August 1. They are finishing packing today and will hit the road early tomorrow. They should be here on Saturday.

I have nothing else to report. My life is kind of boring. :P

No Admiral Shares in Simples

May 18th, 2012 at 01:59 pm

This morning, I discovered that Admiral shares are not available in Simple IRAs! Hmmmmph. So I am just sticking with the Target Retirement fund. Oh well, it isn't as if the TR fund is expensive. At .21, it is one-fifth the cost of the American Funds TR I had at Edward Jones. And of course, I have escaped that nasty front-end load. All in all, still very pleased to have moved my Simple to my beloved Vanguard. Now to get my contributions (via payroll deduction) flowing into my new Simple regularly. My boss still has not cut a check to Vanguard. I didn't want to have to ask, but here we are. I know he does payables on or near the 15th. I am all set up, so I want my contributions deposited promptly.

Remember when I cancelled my land line a few months back? Remember my saying I must have overpaid my last bill because AT& T sent me a check for $.05? Well, I have receieved another check marked "overpayment refund", this time for $3.99. I'm not complaining, but I really don't know how that is possible. I have added it to CurveBall.

Simple IRA Money Has Transferred!

May 17th, 2012 at 04:47 pm

I received an email from Vanguard today, they have received my Simple IRA money! The email states the funds will appear in my account balance tomorrow. Smile

I spoke with my mortgage consultant today. She said my loan will fund June 30th and my first payment will be due August 1st. My loan balance should go up ONLY by the interest accrued in June. Of course, I could just pay it and not skip a payment in July. However, I believe I would rather use the money to pay off Citi MC and the start up costs to switch to Ting (cell phone service). This will improve my cash flow by $150 per month.

Dare I say it? Things are looking up over here. Smile

My daughter texted me yesterday, the apartment complex has denied them. She has an eviction with money still owed from almost 3 years ago. She signed a 6 month lease, lived in the apartment for a month or so, then moved. She was shocked when they expected her to pay anyway, even though I had told her that was how it worked. She was barely 18. I might have done the same at that age.

So she was upset and says she doesn't know what they will do. A medical bill has drained their savings account, she says. I told her try to find a rental offered by a private party, not a property managment company. Even though they have bad credit, they have guaranteed income from the Army. If they look hard enough, they should be able to find a landlord who finds that attractive. I don't know what else to tell her. I don't want them moving in with me again, it never goes well. Also, I feel adults need to do what they can to make their own way, not do nothing and then wait to be rescued.

Vanguard Has Accepted Me!!

April 26th, 2012 at 01:57 pm

I sent in new paperwork on Monday, and this afternoon I received an e-mail with a confirmation link to register for the small business site. I am now the plan administrator and company contact of my own Simple IRA! Whoo-hoo!!

I logged off the small business site and logged on to the personal investor site, and my Simple shows up on my page there, too! Smile Now to send some money.

Yay!! I feel like this is such a huge boost to my bottom line! No more front end loads and no more high on-going expense ratios should help me keep more of my dollars.

Simple IRA Solution, I Hope

April 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Yesterday I filled out a new set of paperwork, naming myself as the company contact and plan administrator. My boss said that was just fine. So with my fingers crossed, I am hopeful this will go through with no trouble.

Such a "simple" solution, maybe.

Received $.81 from Lending Club and chipped it.

Vanguard Has Rejected Me :(

April 21st, 2012 at 01:10 pm

I received my check from Card Pool on Thursday, and have already turned it into a mortgage chip.

Bad news with my Simple IRA transfer. Frown I received a letter from Vanguard asking me to call. I did so and was told that I need to supply the SSN of the retirement plan contact person at my company. That would be my boss, and he has declined to provide his SSN. So...I cannot move to Vanguard. Frown I'm very disappointed.

I am checking with Wells Fargo. I know that they offer Simple IRAs, but don't know if they will accept orphaned Simple IRAs, and also don't know if I can set it up as a brokerage account and get the same deal as I have on my plain vanilla traditional IRA (100 commission free trades per year). Heck, if they'd just let me share my free trades between the two, that would be more than sufficient.

As a last resort, I will start a new account at the new company (our old Edward Jones guy recently started) with my two bosses, then roll the money currently in my Simple at Edward Jones to my traditional IRA. My fear is the commissions and fees at the new company will be even worse than they were at Edward Jones. After all, it is a new company with lots of start up costs.

Good Simple IRA News!

March 29th, 2012 at 08:20 pm

My employer's retirement plan is a Simple IRA. It has been set up at Edward Jones. A few months ago, our plan advisor chose to leave Edward Jones and open his own investment firm. The two partners at our firm chose to follow him. They gave us employees (all two of us, the third employee does not participate) the option to follow, stay, or move our accounts elsewhere.

Well, it turns out Vanguard will accept "orphaned" Simple IRAs!! I started the paperwork process today. My Simple IRA is moving! I am so jazzed. No more front end loads, no more high expense ratios, and a reduction in annual fees from $40 to $25. Yay!! That means more of my money for me. Smile

In other riveting news, I did a wallet sweep and chipped another $9.38 from my mortgage. What will the huge chunk of granite become as I chip away? Will it resemble Michelangelo's David? Hmmm.

End of Year Nest Egg Projections

December 30th, 2011 at 03:52 pm

This is a little something I like to do at the end of the year. I take my ending nest egg balance, I assume different rates of return, and I see how I am doing. In this first chart, I assume I contribute $3240 per year to my tax-deferred accounts (that's $1800 plus $1440 match) and $3000 per year to my Roth. That is what I am doing now, so I assume I simply continue.



I would like to retire at 65 with a minimum of 600k in traditional and 150k in my Roth. It is possible I will reach that with what I am doing right now, though it is far from certain. Looking at the chart, it seems to me that right now, if I have extra dollars to contribute, they should go into traditional. However, I also want to have no mortgage. If I hit age 65 with a mortgage, I will feel comfortable withdrawing any amount over 150k from my Roth to apply to the mortgage.

If I simply am too far from my goals at age 65, I will have to keep working, assuming I can find work. Working until age 67 won't be horrible, but I would rather not.

And if I completely stop contributing right now, this is how my nest egg might look down the road.



Traditional doesn't look too much worse, does it? The bulk of the growth in the future will come from what I have accumulated already. My Roth looks awful.

Conclusion: I have to keep contributing.



2011 Income Tax Return Guesstimate

November 10th, 2011 at 02:44 pm

Since I am feeling blue about not making the financial progress I would like to be making, I pulled out my last checkstub and guesstimated my 2011 income tax returns. It looks as though I will be refunded a bit over 2k. That made me feel better! What to do with it? Easy! At the moment, I have contributed $2,950 to my Roth for 2011. Another $1,050 will be a nice little boost, and then 1k to traditional.

This will be nice, because it will be 1k more than planned to each, improving my chances of hitting my targets. Yay! Smile

Safe Withdrawal Rates

August 23rd, 2011 at 11:51 am

I saw this blog post today and found it interesting. This particular blogger has a PhD in Economics from Princeton, so he knows a little bit about wherof he speaks. Wink

http://wpfau.blogspot.com/2011/08/retirement-withdrawal-rate...

What do those pretty rainbow lines mean? Well, it may be safe to withdraw as much as 5% of your nest egg per year if you have a conservative stock allocation. That is great news for people like me, who expect to have a modest nest egg. (Especially since I sunk a lot of my capital into a house which promptly lost half of its value. But I whined about that yesterday, so I don't want to whine about it two days in a row.)

He ran monte carlo simulations for single men and same age couples, but I wish he had run them for single women too. And he used mortality rate tables, not a ballpark guess as to how long your retirement might last.

I have never seen this idea laid out quite this way. A 5% withdrawal rate is only slightly more risky than a 4% withdrawal rate! Yay. Still, I doubt I will start with more than 4%. If I am lucky enough to have good returns the first 2 or 3 years of retirement, I may seriously consider a bump up to 4.5% or 5%.

I can't help but notice that his simulation showed a 100% stock portfolio with a 8% annual withdrawal rate (the very scenario recommended by the very popular Dave Ramsey) has a 40% failure rate for men, 50% failure rate for couples. Failure being defined as completely exhausting your nest egg while you are still alive. This is precisely why I view his investment advice as so terrible. Being flat broke in my 80s is just not my goal. I wish he (Dave Ramsey) would just stick to what he is great at (motivating people to get out of debt and get their finances on track) and not give subpar investing advice.

Edit: I had originally written that DR recommends a 10% withdrawal rate. That was incorrect, he recommends an 8% withdrawal rate.

50,000 Bonus Rewards Points

August 20th, 2011 at 11:15 am

My Chase Sapphire statement closed yesterday, and I have an extra 50,000 bonus rewards points. I am not planning on cashing them in right now. Instead, I plan to use mine towards a plane ticket (extra 25% if you use your points this way) when we go on our trip to Hawaii next year.

Have I mentioned that a lot of family members have gotten on board? My Mom says she will go. My cousin to whom I am close (and with whom I went to China) and her husband want to go. Cousin's son and his wife and daughter want to go (their daughter 1 year younger than my son). Cousin's daughter and her husband and their 2 kids are considering.

I am a late life baby, so I am roughly the same age as the generation after me. My cousin's son is 1 year younger than me. Most of my nieces and nephews were born when I was in grade school.

Yesterday I received a $20 credit cards reward check which I have already transferred to my mortgage. This month I have chipped $21.85. I am already thinking I will not chip my expected $150 bonus for opening a checking account. I am thinking I will stash it in my Roth instead. I have in the back of my mind that if I hit retirement with more than my Roth goal of 150k, I will be willing to use it towards my mortgage. You know, if I have one at that point. I am still up in the air about what exactly I will do. I may sell my house, take my equity and move elsewhere. At least, I certainly hope I have some equity again at some point. Maybe I am being presumptuous. So anyway, overshooting my Roth goal will not be bad, but missing it will be bad. So if I overfund my Roth, I can always use the extra towards my mortgage later.

I spent some money last night which I shouldn't have. BF and son and I had been invited to dinner at my ex-nieces house. (She was married to my nephew at one time, they have a daughter together.) Something came up in the late afternoon with her son (she is remarried) and they had to cancel. So there we were, all dressed up and no place to go. On a whim, I suggested we go out to dinner. We went to Applebee's. Afterwards, we decided to go see Cowboys & Aliens (we really liked it). When that was over, we decided to see Rise of The Apes (loved it). So it was an expensive night. I paid for everything. BF and I have a policy that s/he who suggests an outing pays for it. We have been together almost 2 years now, so are past the point of "dating". The first few months he paid for almost everything, but then I said that it was silly that one person should always pay. For awhile, we would tussle from time to time over who was paying. At this point, we just go with the person who suggests also pays.

At Applebee's, I had pineapple glazed shrimp served on white rice with a spinach salad on the side. It was delicious and only 310 calories! Applebee's has quite a few low calorie entrees.

Asset Allocation Changes

August 15th, 2011 at 07:38 pm

I decided to make a minor adjustment in my asset allocation plan. While using Morningstar portfolio tools, I was noticing that my target retirement funds are holding more foreign stock and less small cap stocks. Therefore, I decided I would compensate a bit for this by adjusting the holdings in my traditional IRA. My traditional IRA is the only place I don't use target retirement funds.

This is my new asset allocation:

35% Total Stock Market
10% Small Cap Value

25% International

20% Total Bond Market
10% Tips

I like the idea of more small value anyway. It holds a lot of reits, so it is a way to get more reits into my mix without buying them directly. Small value is a good diversifier to a total market fund, behaves similarly to reits, but a small value fund holds reits as well as other sectors, so is less concentrated. I like that. Smile

How I Squandered My OT Check

May 6th, 2011 at 04:26 pm

I sent $800 to B of A Visa and $800 to my Roth; the rest is sitting in my checking account. I will have to pay my half of summer camp soon, so that is where it will go.

For the rest of the year, I have to contribute $100 per month to my Roth to hit my 3k goal for 2011. That shouldn't be a problem, so I am pleased to be on track with that.

My B of A Visa billing cycle closed yesterday. I just logged on to view the statement, and I see that I was charged $2.46 in interest this month. I expect it to go up next month, as my "1.99% until July 2011" apparently ends after my May billing statement (???). I think that was the gist of the vague letter they sent me two months ago. My balance is down to $1779.61 and my minimum payment is down to $20. I'm glad, because in a pinch, $20 isn't too hard to cough up. Also, I'm glad I got the balance significantly lower before the 1.99% promo rate ends. My regular rate is variable, currently at 7.24%. So not too awful, but of course I would rather pay no interest at all! With my most recent budget revision, the balance will be gone by the end of the year.

My brother is supposed to show up sometime tonight, to visit our Mom for Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to catching up with him.

I brown bagged it 4 days this week, ate out 1 day. I had been slipping into my old habit of eating out every day, which I simply can't afford. But 1 day? Sure, I can swing that. That money comes out of my "cash allowance" budget category.

How The Dollars Shook Out

April 20th, 2011 at 06:55 pm

I ended up adding my impound account refund to my EF, as well as $200 from my bonus. My EF is now a full 3 months of take home pay! I feel good about reaching this milestone. Smile

Also, from my bonus, I sent $600 to B of A Visa, $300 to my Roth, $300 to my son's accounts, and the balance ($700) is sitting in my checking account. My bonus was $2700 gross, which is $300 more than last year, so I was very pleased with that.

I have not yet been paid for my seasonal OT. I expect to clear $1900. I think I will send $400 to my Roth and $1500 to B of A Visa. This will mean I need only another extra $400 (on top of my regular monthly contributions) to hit my goal of 3k for 2011. Also, it will get B of A under $1100. It was $4500 and change in November, so I am pleased with my progress.

I'm wishy-washy I know, but I just don't want to miss hitting my annual Roth targets, because that will lower my odds of hitting my ultimate target, and THAT would be BAD.

Please Help Me Decide

April 13th, 2011 at 10:30 am

The life insurance money is now safely tucked into my Roth.

On Monday I will be receiving my seasonal OT check (about 80 hours) and my bonus. I expect to clear about 4k.

I am going back and forth on what to do. Please help me decide!

Plan 1
Pay off B of A Visa. Balance approximately 3.2k.
.3k to son.
Remainder to checking towards yard maintenance.


Plan 2
1k to B of A Visa
1k to Roth
.3k to EF
.3k to Egypt savings
.3k to son
.3k to Trad IRA
Remainder to hold until yard maintenance complete, then pay down B of A some more with what is left.

It would feel GREAT to pay off B of A. But without that extra boost to Roth, I may not hit my 3k goal.

Opinions?

My Roth IRA Goals

March 31st, 2011 at 12:03 pm

My target for Roth IRA is 150k. I have made the following contributions:

2008 2k
2009 2k
2010 3k

Current value: 9k

If I contribute 3k per year from now on, I will reach my target of 150k at age 65 if I earn just a hair over 6%. The return isn't guaranteed of course, but 6% is extremely possible. So, I intend to scrape up at least 3k each and every year for my Roth.

In other news, I have a large hedge on the right-hand side of my driveway which was terribly overgrown. BF has trimmed it back neatly, and my nephew and son took care of all the branches. So some progress has been made already, with much more to follow in the coming weeks.

Cancelling Universal Life Policy

February 17th, 2011 at 08:44 pm

The last joint account that my ex-husband and I have is a universal life insurance policy. The benefit amount is 300k on him, 130k on me, and 5k riders on each child. We are still splitting the cost and it has a small cash value (I think right around $1900). Our daughter is 20 and married, living in another state with her husband who is in the Army. Our son is 15. As we are no longer married, the chance of us dying together is quite small. I feel we no longer need this policy. I told ex-husband this several months back, but he wanted to keep it.

Additionally, I have a 50k term policy with ex-husband being the beneficiary. I would like to change that to 50% each child. They are already the primary beneficiaries of my retirement funds.

Ex-husband called me today and says he wants to cancel the universal life policy. He needs his half of the cash value and doesn't want to keep paying the premiums. He says he will up the term policy he buys through work. I said that is fine with me.

So, he will be cancelling that soon and I will be receiving my half. I have thought it over today, and I think I will put my half into my Roth.

Also, my life insurance costs will decrease by $28 per month. I plan to send $25 to my emergency fund and allow another $3 for "everything else".

My emergency fund should break the 10k mark in April. I think that is enough of an e-fund for someone with credit card debt, so after breaking 10k, I will direct those dollars to B of A Visa.

Need to Pay More Attention to Retirement Account

February 11th, 2011 at 09:39 am

My boss just told me that I need to pay more attention to my retirement account. He just discovered that he forgot to send in contributions for Feb and May of last year (including his own). Lol. So that means my Simple IRA is about to get a little boost. Smile

Extra Income Allocation

February 1st, 2011 at 02:49 pm

So, after setting aside money for my car insurance, I will have just over 2k in extra income from my income tax refunds. I have tweaked my extra income allocation and plan to do the following:

30% - Emergency Fund
20% - Credit Card Debt
20% - Egypt Fund
20% - Roth
10% - Mortgage

In about 2.5 months, I will have 4 - 5k or so extra income, and will do the same with that.

Year End Number Crunching

January 12th, 2011 at 09:40 pm

At the end of the year, I like to look at the current value of my nest egg and make some projections.

In my tax-deferred accounts:

My minimum goal is 600k.

If I stop contributing now and earn 7%, I will have 487k at age 65, 558k at age 67.

If I continue contributing at my current rate and earn 7%, I will have 632k at age 65, 731k at age 67.

In my Roth:

My minimum goal is 150k.

If I stop contributing now and earn 7%, I will have 33k at age 65, 38k at age 67.

If I continue contributing at my current rate and earn 7%, I will have 131k at age 65, 155k at age 67.

I also crunch what I will have if I earn 5%, 6%, 8%, or 9%. Those 8s and 9s sure are pretty! However, I think 7 is a more reasonable assumption.



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