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Retirement revelations

January 13th, 2009 at 03:30 pm

DH and I opened our Roth's in 2007. For our 2007 and 2008 contributions we did lump-sum contributions, working under the theory that that longer the money was in the account, the longer the money could grow tax-free. Well the market of 2008 certainly nixed that plan, so this year we have decided to do monthly contributions. Our first one comes out after payday this week.

I also looked at my social security statement and discovered that I have contributed *nearly* as much to my Roth as I have made working. (Again, thanks to the market, I don't have that much in the account right now, but I still have contributed that much.) Now for you math wizards out there, you know that since I've maxed out the account both years, I have contributed $9000. Adding up the money I made this summer to the amount reported on my SSA last year, I've made...*drum roll please*... $9100.
I know that's a pathetically low number. I did work for a couple summers as a nanny and that wasn't reported, but I doubt it was enough to even report. I try to look at the glass half full though...there are many people who would love to have as much in their retirement accounts as they've made!

Once I graduate and work as a pharmacist, that number will dramatically increase, so much so that we will no longer be able to take advantage of the Roth IRAs. That's while we're working so hard to fund it now!

Retirement lessons learned

August 13th, 2008 at 06:33 am

Last night at dinner DH and I were discussing our finances. For the first time DH expressed that he was worried about our retirement. Honestly, I couldn’t have been more pleased! Now, let me preface all of this by saying DH and I are 25 and we currently have about $17,000 in our Roth IRA. We have maxed out both of our accounts for the past two years and already have 2009’s contribution saved. Maxing out the accounts equates to between 15 and 20% of our gross pay. Even if we only did this for the remaining 40 years of our work life and earned 6%, we’d have over a million dollars. In reality, when I start working (if not before) we’ll open 401(k) accounts and probably even taxable accounts to save even more for retirement.

DH’s main fear stems from the fact that our Roths have been losing money. I try to tell him that eventually the markets will go up and we will make money. So far we have lost about 1300 dollars. I’ll fully admit that part of it is my fault. In January we deposited the entire amount and didn’t dollar-cost average. Before I did it, I was torn as to what was the best way. Looking back, dollar cost averaging would have been the way to go. However, I also heard the advice that by doing it in a lump sum, I would have the entire year for the whole amount to grow tax-free. I showed my naivety and thought the economy would bounce back quicker than it did. Oh well, lesson learned. I have faith that eventually the market will go up and we’ll make money. And you’d better believe we’ll be making monthly or bi-monthly contributions for our 2009 contributions!

Taxes

February 24th, 2008 at 09:17 am

I just finished up our taxes last night. I started doing them at the beginning of February, but we kept getting more 1099s that I had forgotten about and my tuition forms hadn't been posted. This weekend I checked and they were finally up. Thank goodness I waited, our refund nearly doubled due to the amount of tuition we've paid this year.

I'm a little surprized at how much we'll be getting. Part of me is temped to spend it, especially since I have a spring break trip to Key West coming up. But before I do anything too rash, I'm going to earmark it for our 2009 roth contributions. This will hopefully make me think twice before raiding it. It's also crazy to think that we'll be having such a huge jump on our 2009 contributions!

Anyway, the program I used (Tax Cut Free File) states our marginal tax bracket as 15% and our effective tax bracket as 1%. Craziness! The socialist in me is a little disheartened. Oh well, I'm sure we have years and years of good tax paying years ahead of us! Smile

Took the plunge...

January 26th, 2008 at 11:27 am

Ok, now I have been paying attention and know that the stock market has been falling lately. However, I decided to take the plunge anyway and max out our 2008 Roth IRAs today (well, technically Monday). I'm sort of figuring that sometime in the next 40 years before we retire the stock market will rise. Smile If it doesn't, I think we'll ALL be in a world of hurt.

Now, if you notice on my side bar, as of December I only had about $2,400 saved, so how did I end up with the 10K needed to max it out? Well my in-laws graciously agreed to cover tuition for this term. Independently DH and I decided that we would take the subsidized loans out and pay for the rest of tuition OOP. So I decided to stash that "extra" money in our Roth, knowing that if things went terribly wrong, we could take it out (I don't anticipate this at all).

Also DH and I went grocery shopping last night and saved 13.34 which I will be adding to my challenge.

New addition: $13.34
Previous total: $418.92
Total: $432.26

Back on top!

September 18th, 2007 at 05:16 pm

Great news...our Roth's have finally made money again!

DH and bought our Roths a couple weeks before the market tanked this last time. It's been hovering around our purchase price, but today's been the first day that we've ended the day ahead in about 3 months.

Now I'm fully expecting them to have end down tomorrow, but hey, for now we are in the black!

Fully funded Roths!!

July 1st, 2007 at 06:38 pm

I've been talking about setting up Roths for DH and I for several months now, but this week everything got settled financially and we opened, and fully funded, Roths for both of us. Since the money didn't get posted until the weekend we only have $4K in there right now, but I'm looking forward to seeing it (hopefully) rise with the market!

We decided to go with Vanguard and their target retirement accounts. I liked that it was balanced and we don't have to think about making it more conservative as we get closer to retirement. This month when I do my monthly rearranging of funds I'll earmark $100 of our extra money for our Roth saving sub-account. While its only a small amount it will get us started on our 2008 contributions. Somehow we'll have to find 10K to max it out too!

Retirement account

June 17th, 2007 at 06:44 am

DH had an investment account with BOA that had just been sitting there. We decided to cash it out and use the money to open Roth IRAs. There was almost enough money to max out his account and we are going to use money from the life insurance to make up the difference and to fully fund mine. Yesterday we mailed the checks off to our bank so when they clear, I'll be opening Roths for us.

I think we're opening up through Vanguard and we'll probably just put it in a Target Retirement fund. That way we don't have to think about it. Maybe as we get closer to retirement or more knowledgeable about all that investing stuff we'll switch.

I'd like it if eventually we'd save all 2007 to max out 2008 and then save all 2008 to max out 2009. Since 2007 is already covered, we just need to start saving for 2008. I'm not quite sure how to do this since all of our 'extra' money was already earmarked for our car loans or down payment. Maybe I'll take like $200 out of what would be our down payment and earmark it for the Roth...although that won't max it out, it will help some. Also we probably won't be purchasing a house for a while so I don't feel as bad 'stealing' from this account.