Goal Update: Retirement

Jen

PLAN

It’s been a long while since I last updated on our retirement goals. 2016 is not going to be a year of big moves or 70% savings rates, thanks to our ambitious cash for grad school goal.  Despite that, 2015 was still a decent savings year.

2015:

2015 is in the books, and we have been able to fully fund our Roth IRAs. My husband doesn’t get a match per se, but has a certain percentage of salary added to his retirement funds every year. This is not the same percentage every year, but can vary. I also was able to save in my 401K with a 6% employer match until I dropped to part-time in May. We calculated that we would hit a savings of 16% of gross income back in November, and we did hit that right at 16.5%.

2016:

This year, without the boost 5 months of my working full-time gave us, and while we pay for school, we will probably not hit it that high. I calculate we will hit 14% of gross income by maxing two Roth IRAs and hopefully getting an end of year boost from my husband’s employer.

Beyond 2016:

We have home updates we have to complete: a new roof, new HVAC, fence, and new windows. I will attempt to add another part-time at-home teaching position post graduation to generate income, but I don’t know how much that will earn me. We hope that these can all be cash-flowed within 18 months of my starting a teaching position, and then we can increase our retirement savings rate to 20-25%. (It would be more, but we will also be contributing to a car replacement fund and a travel fund as well).

This year I had three retirement-related tasks on my action-plan. How am I doing?

  1. At the moment, I have 3 different 401K accounts with three previous employers. Since I dropped to float pool, I am no longer eligible for the 401K or for the generous 6% match at my current job *sniff*. I have been researching, trying to decide if I want to consolidate those 401Ks into one IRA.  On my long to-do list is finding out the fees for each one, and seeing if I can roll them over to a different placement with lower fees. We decided to go with Vanguard.
  2. I have a savings account fund for my 2015 Roth, but I still need to open one with Vanguard. We have the money, but haven’t opened the account yet. My husband is waiting to do the taxes first. 
  3. We have a lot of research and learning to do, when it comes to deciding where we are going to put the “early retirement” portion of our funds. I have a list of books on my list, and we plan on hitting up my father-in-law for advice over the holidays. I admit I am a newbie when it comes to understanding how the market works. While we are in a holding pattern this year, I feel the best use of this time is to learn as much as possible and prepare us for when our income increases. I got recommendations for reading material from some people on finance forums and I have started working my way through them. I’ve linked to a few below:

Bogleheads Lazy Portfolios

jlcollins Stock Series

The Boglehead’s Guide To Investing

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

The Magic of Thinking Big

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

And for those post-retirement thoughts: The Life You Can Save, a book about giving away the wealth you have accrued after you have died.

I would love to hear what finance books you recommend!

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One thought on “Goal Update: Retirement

  • Great job! I have read several of the books mentioned and waiting to get the rest from the library. I also switched to Vanguard and it was easier then I thought it would be. I also like John Bogle Enough.

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