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2018 Retirement Plan Limits

October 22nd, 2017 at 01:37 am

The maximum contribution limit for 401k's will increase to $18,500 in 2018. The IRA limit is unchanged. I am happy that we will get an increase.

In other news, I read in the NYT & other sources that Republicans are looking at limiting the 401k contribution to $2,400 in future years in order to finance their tax cut plan. This is insanity. The last thing we need along with the tax increase on the middle class and cuts to Medicare & Medicaid, is for them to limit what Americans save for retirement. I hope that all proposing this are voted out during the midterm elections next year.

Natural Disaster Overload

September 10th, 2017 at 10:15 pm

It seems that our country if experiencing a natural disaster overload, or fatigue. They seem to be nonstop & devastating. I pray that you are all well and not suffering the ill effects of the hurricanes, floodings, and wildfires ravaging our country at the moment. I am happy that my area was spared after the devastating floods last year.

My retirement accounts did bounce back to $600k and even exceeded that amount. That was nice to see. I am looking forward to meeting with my Bogleheads group next month & discussing the recent market moves.

I am going to order A Random Walk Down Wall Street to read. It seems to be a popular book among investors & my group. I also plan to order some travel books for my upcoming trips to London & Edinburgh, as well as Greece.

Finally Back Online!

August 24th, 2017 at 03:24 pm

I finally purchased a new laptop & have computer access at home again. I always had my phone, but you just can't do everything on your phone. I got a Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 with touch screen. There are a few things that I'm not crazy about, but overall I like it. Can't be too picky at the price I paid. It's much smaller & lighter than my last laptop. I'm just sorry that I didn't back it up before it died on me.

This is the time of year that I start paying attention to any news about retirement plans limits. This morning I read projections that the 401k limit may go up to $18,500, but not sure about the IRA limits.

Seems that the stock market has relaxed a bit. I had a couple of days that I had reached $600k before it pulled back. I should have done a screenshot of my Mint.com accounts to remember the feeling I had when I saw my investments balance. Smile I hope that with regular contributions I'll see that number again before the end of the year.

Market Outlook & Life Insurance for a Single Gal

March 25th, 2017 at 03:33 pm

We had a nice market rally while it lasted. I have read that Jack Bogle expects about a 4% return from the markets over the next decade or so. That's definitely not the the returns we've been fortunate to see since the market recovery, but it's still good to contribute when markets are sluggish. I certainly have no plans to alter course.

I did go into my TSP and do some re-allocation. I was in one of their Lifecycle funds which was 90% stocks when I first bought into it, but has now crept down to 84% stocks. I'm a more aggressive investor so I backed out of the Lifecycle and did my own allocation of 90% stocks and 10% fixed and goverment securities. I will stay there for the foreseeable future. At lease until age 50.

I got a survey at my job about federal employee benefits so I filled it out & returned it. I then got a call for a free consultation on federal employee benefits. Of course, he tried to sell me a whole life policy at the end. He told me that I am carrying way more life insurance than I need right now, but since the rates are so low at my age I do max out my life insurance coverage.

Not that the money can replace a family member, but it would be nice if something did happen to me to leave my parents a really nice amount of money. As the rates for coverage creep up I will look into a smaller amount in term life insurance. Even with that I really only need to leave my family enough to bury me & pay my home off. I don't have a spouse or children, but I can see that it would benefit my family to have my home paid off until they can get it sold.

Correction to 401k and Taxes Filed

February 25th, 2017 at 09:49 pm

Vanguard sent me a check for over $7k for the excess contributions from last year & a little income for this year. Of course, I'll have to pay both the state & federal about $1700 combined for the payment. Next year I will have to go through the process again as they won't send me back the payments for this year. Yes, I could adjust my contributions, but I'd rather get the money dedcuted from the Vanguard account as I explained in my last post. This year's contributions are only a little over $2500. I tried to get them to not deposit the last transfer when I realized the tax issue, but they released it anyway.

I'll use the amount left over after paying my taxes for debt repayment. I don't plan on sending in my taxes until April for the federal & May for the state. Might as well hold on to that money for as long as I can. It would have been nice to have the $2500 returned to me as well so I could also pay down some debt, but at least I'll see more in my paycheck now that I've stopped the 75% contributions to the 401k.

My Big Tax Mistake

February 12th, 2017 at 05:42 pm

So remember how excited I was that I was going to be able to contribute to both a 457b & and a 401k? Well, I was wrong. My TSP is actually a 401a. Who knew? Obviously, not me. So now I have a tax penalty due to exceeding my contribution limit. I had to write a letter of instruction to Vanguard to start the process of withdrawing my excess contributions for 2016.

Another problem is that I've already contributed over $2k for 2017 & I'm not sure if they'll allow me to withdraw that as well. I'm not interested in having that small amount of money at Vanguard if the rest of my money is with the TSP. I do have a Roth IRA with Vanguard, but I don't want more accounts than I need.

Also, I'm not interested in going through this process again next year if I happen to go over the limit again. Yes, I can adjust my contributions throughout the year, but the easiest thing to do is just to withdraw this year's contributions & contribute entirely to the one account which will not allow me to exceed $18,000 in contributions.

What a bother! I thought I did my due diligence researching the tax laws, but I didn't realize that I had erroneously categorized one of the accounts. Lesson learned!

2016 Year End Review

December 31st, 2016 at 06:41 pm

This year I contributed the maximum amount to my TSP & IRA. I also contributed $6900 to my 401k since August at my new job. I made well over $14k in just 5 months (despite having more than a month without any hours). I will have to consider putting more into my 401k. Right now I contribute 50%, but can contribute up to 75%.

In not so good news, as least for the moment, I still have not received my raise after 5 paychecks. Also, the year end bonus was not on this check. So all that extra income will fall into the new year. Even more reason to be more tax efficient with my extra earnings. Tonight I will be working a 12 hour shift & I just found out that we get time and a half after midnight. Yay! I wasn't expecting that as a PRN employee.

Happy New Year all!

P.S. I will someday get around to posting those pictures from Dublin.

Dublin

December 11th, 2016 at 03:25 am

In New York for the night en route back from Dublin. Will fly back home tomorrow. I had a wonderful trip, though our time was short. We did the 48 hour hop on, hop off bus which made it easy to see a lot of the sites. I saw almost everything that I wanted to see, with the exception of Kilmainham Gaol (sold out in advance) and Jameson Distillery (closed for renovations until St. Patrick's Day 2017). At the price we got our trip for on Groupon Getaways, I'm okay with making a return trip. Maybe next time I'll see the coastal towns.

I see stocks continue to rise. I still thinking we're in for a recession soon, but I'll enjoy watching the gains until then.

IRS Announces 2015 Retirement Plans Limits

October 24th, 2014 at 04:51 pm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2014/10/23/irs-announces-2015-retirement-plan-contribution-limits-for-401ks-and-more/

$500 increase for my TSP. IRA limit remains unchanged. I'm always excited to be able to save more!

Goal Attained

September 14th, 2013 at 07:43 am

It's pretty cool when you meet & surpass a goal without knowing it. It was a pleasant surprise when I logged into Mint this morning & was able to mark a goal completed & set a new goal. Two major goals met in one year. Pretty stoked about that.

Stock Market Surges

August 18th, 2013 at 04:42 pm

The stock market has had some record setting highs this year. More than any other year I believe I read. I'm always happy to see my investments increase.

I'm managing on one job just fine & enjoying all the free time. I've started working out 5 days a week & started back training by jogging. I can't wait to see my progress. One thing about running, you can really see the improvements early on & they keep on coming.

My employer is officially no longer paying on my student loan. I believe the money was misappropriated/lost. I've always made the payments & will continue to do so. This repayment plan was just extra. I'm sorry to no longer have it, but prepared to pay it myself regardless.

2012 Retirement Plans Limits Announced

October 26th, 2011 at 01:24 pm

Well I've been waiting for the 2012 retirement plan limits since before the IRS announced the cost of living increase for Social Security recipients. Lost in all that was the increase for qualified retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), 457(b)) to $17,000, though after the SSI increase I was expecting it. Income limits have increased as well for IRAs, AGI, etc.

This is great. It means money that we can put away to secure our retirement. I will increase my biweekly deduction sometime in December to make sure it's in effect in January.

Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2010 at 05:37 pm

Here's to a prosperous, healthy 2011! I can't wait to greet this new year. 2011 is going to be a great, great year!

Pleasant surprise this morning when my accounts were updated on Mint.com. Received $1456.16 in capital gains and dividends on my Roth IRA at Vanguard. Nice little boost to my end of year account balance. Think I'll send off $5,000 for my 2011 Roth contribution tomorrow. Love doing that! Goal # 1 accomplished on the first day of the year.

Happy Holidays!

Milestone Reached

December 15th, 2010 at 07:24 pm

Today when my retirements accounts were updated I had surpassed my $200,000 goal. I am very excited. My next goal will be $250,000 or a quarter of a million dollars. I like typing out "million". I am sure that if I stay diligent with my savings that I will one day reach one million dollars saved.

Dow above 11,000

October 11th, 2010 at 03:25 pm

I'm excited to see the Dow finish above 11,000. While I've enjoyed being able to invest in the market at record lows, I'm excited and anxious to see our economy recover. I know it will be a long road, but I'm optimistic that it will happen and is happening.

Major Milestone

August 26th, 2009 at 04:49 pm

My combined retirement accounts have totaled over six figures for some time now, but for the first time I had a single account that reached six figures. I've been waiting on that to happen, with the way the stock market has been rising in recent weeks. I'm pretty excited to be able to pull up an account and see six figures. I even printed it out so I could remember the day I first saw that. I'm pretty sure that the stock market will be rising and falling for some time, but it was exciting to see this morning.

Economic Recovery

April 18th, 2009 at 05:57 pm

It's nice to see my investments slowly inch upwards - for however long this will last. I'm not counting on the end of the swings, dips, plunges, and surges quite yet, but a relatively stable and seemingly improving economy seems to be improving a lot of people's moods, funny enough. I'll enjoy the feeling while it lasts.

2009 Goals

July 29th, 2008 at 12:21 am

I'm always looking ahead as well!

My 2009 goals remain the same as my 2008 goals. Contribute 20% to TSP, build savings to 6 months' of income (I think I currently have about 4 months' income), pay off credit cards, and pay down my car and graduate school loans. I need to do better on paying off the credit cards, otherwise I'm doing pretty well on accomplishing my goals for 2008 and beyond.

2008 Goals

November 27th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I decided to write down my goals for 2008.

EMERGENCY FUND:

Contribute $245 to my three accounts. My goal is $15,000 in 3 years, my current balance is just over$5,000.

DEBT:

I have about $2,000 on a credit card. I will contribute $500 plus the amount of my monthly purchases every payment.

My original Sallie Mae loan is now at $300. With automatic payments my loan will be paid off in about 4 months. My grad school loans will begin repayment 6 months after my December 2008 graduation.

My car payment will be $326. After finishing with the credit card balance I will contribute the extra to the car payment.

RETIREMENT:

Continue contributing $400 biweekly to my 457. That is an annual contribution of $10,400.

Continue to fund my Roth IRA to the maximum. That will be $5,000 in 2008.

HOUSE:

My payments are $313 biweekly. I occasionally get a few pennies interest from a savings account and will transfer to principal. Otherwise, my payments will continue as is for this category. I'm more focused on the other debt.

CAREER AND SCHOOL:

In somewhat related plans, I want to focus on school and looking for a new job. I'm off this week since I worked the holiday (12 hour shifts for 4 days) and I'm writing papers and taking civil service tests.

The lady asked why I wanted to take the test again since I scored so well. I told her that I wanted an 80 on the test. I scored a 74. She said that few people score so well and I must be a perfectionist. I'm not. What I am is really motivated to move on to a better position.

I took another test since it hadn't been 28 days since I took the one that I wanted to retest on. Next time I'll take a different one again. I'll keep taking them until I'm where I want to be.

What are your goals???

Today's Market

August 16th, 2007 at 05:20 pm

I figure today's market is a great value. It's a bargain to buy today. My funds automatically purchase on the 15th of every month. Sometimes I buy high, sometimes low, but I definitely prefer the buying low. I'm not worried. I first started investing in 1999 so I got in while things were high and just before things started going down. So that was my first exposure to investing and this seems like the norm to me. I enjoyed the great market of the past few years but they also made me a little nervous. It almost seemed too good to be true. I've been waiting for a correction and now that it's happening I'm just glad that it was the even more dramatic downturn that I envisioned.