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New Retirement Plan Limits

November 4th, 2018 at 09:42 am

The IRS announced new retirement plan limits on November 1st. The 401k limit increases to $19,000 and the IRA limit increases to $6,000. For those under 50, you can contribute $1000 more to your retirement accounts next year. Both plans were projected to increase & it's nice to know that it's official. For those of you that contribute biweekly you'll be contributing $731 per period for your 401k(if you choose even distributions) and $500 a month to your IRA.

Im looking forward to meeting my max once again next year. Although the market has had a rough year, I am still committed to contributing up to the IRS limits.

Home Maintenance

September 2nd, 2018 at 08:22 am

I'd really like to get back to building up my savings again. My savings accounts were depleted in an effort to pay down debt, but I'd like to have that assurance of having something set aside again. Also, after more than 12 years of owning my own home it has belatedly dawned on me that I really need to have an account for those unexpected, yet expected, home repairs & maintenance costs.

2019 Budget

August 18th, 2018 at 07:39 am

I have already started to work on my 2019 budget with estimates of an increase in my retirement plans as well as an increase in pay. My pay should go up in January even if an annual raise isn't approved, because I am due for an increase due to my pay schedule. Retirement plans may increase $1k in contribution limits, but my pay should increase at least another $2k, hopefully $3k if an across the board increase is approved.

Retirement Plans in 2019

August 18th, 2018 at 07:36 am

I have read predictions that both the 401k and IRA limits will increase by $500 next year. It will be nice to be able to save an extra $1k next year. I will make the adjusts accordingly in December, when the changes are signed into law.

Goals Accomplished

August 18th, 2018 at 07:35 am

Over the past couple of weeks I have met many goals on the path to debt repayment. My mortgage is now under $65k and I have 50% equity in my home. My auto loan is now under $10k so I now owe 4 figures rather than 5 figures. My TSP loan is now under $13k. In July I paid off my federal taxes owed. I'm most relieved to have paid off the federal taxes owed. Hopefully, the adjustments that I have made to my exemptions were sufficient for this year.

Taxes Paid Off

July 28th, 2018 at 07:12 pm

This week I sent off the final payment for my federal taxes (including the late fees & penalties). This year I owed over $4k, which is a much larger amount than I've ever owed. Last year was an unusual year with income that I didn't anticipate. This year will be less income, but I still decreased my exemptions to 0 at both jobs. I don't anticipate another 6 figure year for 2018.

I have been working a lot of extra hours at my full-time job, but there is no overtime pay involved. I earn hours to take off later. I don't have strong feelings about not getting overtime, but it would be nice if I did. I've raided what little cash I had to pay off the IRS. However, I will enjoy the extra time off later when we get past our inspection.


No other new news on the personal finance front. Things are the same, but I'm happy to see some bounce-back in the stock market, for however long it holds.

Catching Up & Checking In

June 9th, 2018 at 01:13 pm

A few weeks ago I wrote a pretty long blog summing up my past few months & it appears it was never posted. Don't you hate when they happens?

My last entry was in February & since then the following things have happened:

Took a trip to Greece & New York in March. It was a wonderful experience, perfect weather in Greece. I got to experience my first St. Patrick's Dqy parade in New York & take in some great Broadway shows including the preview shows of Mean Girls & My Fair Lady. Also saw, Chicago which never gets old.

I filed my taxes and owed over $4k. Ouch. I'm on a 120 day payment plan & have to pay it off by the end of July. I knew I would owe, but wasn't planning on paying nearly that much.

April was fairly quiet. Last month I had two deaths in the family, one expected as my grandmother was in the final stages of dementia, and the other unexpected as my younger cousin died suddenly. It was a rough couple of weeks there.

I'm hoping that June will be better.I am not planning on taking any trips this summer. I am preparing for my biannual lab inspection & planning some fun in between working my two jobs.

I have a couple of trips planned for the fall, to Seattle & Vancouver, and possibly a winter trip to NYC.

Rollover (Direct Transfer)

February 17th, 2018 at 01:10 pm

So after some back & forth with Vanguard (mostly on my part) they finally responded to my latest inquiry that I have received all the monies from them that I am eligible to receive. The remaining balance I will transfer to my TSP as I 1) like to keep my money consolidated in my 2 retirement accounts, and 2) I was not eligible to keep my money in my employer's plan. It is only about $600 and i have already initiated the direct ransfer of funds. Hopefully it will be completed by the end of the 1st quarter next month.

Btw, if you are a Vanguard customer they are giving away these really cool #investinglikeaboss mugs. You need only request one from the Facebook page & they will send it in a few weeks. I am looking forward to getting mine.

It's crazy how much money we have lost in the market in the last month, but I consider it an opportunity to buy at not sky-high prices.

Personal Capital

January 24th, 2018 at 04:52 pm

I have a had a few phone consultations with a representative from Personal Capital. Of course they want me to sign up to have them manage my investments. The percentage is small, only 0.89% for up to $1 million then it goes down. Their asset allocation calls for some REIT's & gold, neither of which I'm sold on. Has anyone worked with them?

Back from my Grand British Adventure

January 6th, 2018 at 09:26 am

I got home late last night. Still recovering as I came home with a little cough & sore throat. I had a wonderful time. I left on December 27th for London, then traveled to Edinburgh January 2nd. I had such a great time. The original purpose for the trip was to attend the musical Hamilton that opened at Victoria Palace last month. Other things I did included touring Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Whiskey Experience, & Mary King's Close. We also attended an abbreviated changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. This was my second trip to London and also my second trip to Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace (I still have not been there during the short period to tour the inside of BHP yet). In two months were are traveling to Greece!

In financial news, Vanguard refunded me most, but not all of the money in my 401k. Strange, as all monies were to be returned to me. When I contacted them they said that the money remaining was from a 2016 contribution. Problem with this is that the balance appears to be over double what that contribution was, I had already received the withdrawals on 2016 contributions in early 2017, and there should be no money remaining in this account since both years contributions were to be withdrawn. So we will see what they do next. I'm starting to be less than impressed with Vanguard lately. I might need to start looking elsewhere.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

December 22nd, 2017 at 08:26 am

Happy Holidays to all! My family is flying in today. I am looking forward to spending the next several days with them. We both fly out on the 27th. Them back home, me to London then Edinburgh.

My gym is going up $1 in January. I decided to cancel my membership. It will be $50 a month & I can get a membership at a 24 hour fitness club for much cheaper. I am also looking to cut my cable next year. I guess my New Year's resolution is to be more vigilant about my spending. I don't plan on cutting out vacations so I will look elsewhere. I barely watch television anyway.

My goal was to have $500k by age 40. It seemed a very lofty goal at the time, but I have not only accomplished that goal,I have surpassed it. Now for the next goal. Is $1 million by age 45 out of the question? Maybe not, but it will require some dedication to cutting expenses, getting rid of debt, and continuing to save a good percentage of my income. $750k seems too conservative, but if we run into a bear market it may be an optimistic goal.

I'm excited for what the future holds in many ways.

40th Birthday

December 8th, 2017 at 05:56 pm

My 40th birthday was Tuesday & I took the day off. It's pretty much my only day off in a 4 week span so I was looking forward to it. I slept in a little later than usual, went to the gym, then the spa (massage, facial, and pedicure) followed by dinner, then drinks. It was a very good day. My friend made me a beautiful scrapbook. I can't wait to fill it with new adventures & experiences in this next year of life.

On Thursday I attended the dinner thrown by the law firm that handled the union's class action settlement. My check turned out to be significantly bigger than expected. The amount that I thought was before taxes, was actually after taxes. So I ended up with a check for $10k.

I also got a check from my parents for my birthday and my insurance dividend from USAA. In addition to what I've already received, I'm also expecting to have my 401k contributions returned to me as I'm over the contribution limits, plus my performance bonus before the end of the year. Rumors are that we will get a percentage amount rather than a cash reward. Percentage awards are usually preferable.

This month has been very financially prosperous!

Happy Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2017 at 04:07 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to all! My year has been full of blessings and I have much to be thankful for this year. We had our usual small Thanksgiving with just me & my parents. I invited a co-worker over, but he didn't come. Lunch was delicious as always.

Now that I have contributed in excess of the $18k limit for my retirement plan, I have contacted Vanguard to get a distribution of funds. Despite what they implied at the beginning on the year, it seems they are willing to give me the distribution now rather than waiting until I receive my W-2. That would be much easier & give me some extra money for debt repayment.

There's less than 2 weeks until I turn 40 & I am making plans. I am taking the day off as usual. I have booked some time at the spa for a stone massage, facial, & pedicure. This will be my first massage. I'm looking forward to it.

I am also planning on having dinner at a French restaurant that I've always wanted to try. They have a 4 course early bird special which will make it a little less pricey. I'm not having a big party as that not me. There are plenty of holiday parties going on as well. I have always said that it's nice having a birthday in December as it's such a festive month that you feel you get to celebrate all month long with everyone without having to be the center of attention.