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This and That

November 4th, 2017 at 07:44 pm

For now Congress has decided to leave the 401k limits alone. Next year the limit will increase $500 as planned. And as I have since 2008, I plan to meet the maximum allowable contribution amount. This will be roughly $712 a paycheck, though I usually round up to a higher amount for my deduction & have a larger paycheck on the 26th paycheck.

I mentioned a while back that I am expecting a settlement from a class action lawsuit that I wasn't even aware of. It looks like it is going forward. They plan to have an even distributing the checks next month. If I am able to make the drive that day I will. I'd rather have a check that large in hand, rather than mailed to me. I am still planning to pay down credit card debt with the check.

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.

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!

Bonus & 2 raises

January 28th, 2017 at 06:29 pm

This paycheck I got my performance award & two raises (annual & step increase), but not the significant raise that we were awarded back in October. They will pay us backpay when they finally give us that raise. Still it was nice to have the other extra money this paycheck. I did increase my 401k deduction to 75% for the previous paycheck, so I hope that the other raise kicks in soon. I'm not really sure what to expect with this new administration.

2017 Changes

January 15th, 2017 at 04:25 pm

I made some changes to my finances at the beginning of the year. I did decide to contribute to the IRA monthly rather than biweekly. That will free up some money, but I also upped my contribution to the 401k from 50% to 75%. I'll have to keep an eye on it in order to not go over my limit. I'm not sure that my new job calculates the limit for me in order to avoid penalties. At my full-time job, they don't allow you to contribute more than your limit. It's nice that they keep track for you.

Also, I contacted Vanguard because my last 401k contribution for 2016 didn't post until 2017. I don't know if they can reclassify it as a 2016 contribution, but there is that discrepancy between what will be on my W-2 for 2106 and what will be on their records for the 2016 tax year. I don't like that there is a several day delay between when they take the contribution from my paycheck until Vanguard receives it. At my full-time job the contribution goes into my retirement plan the night before I am paid.

December 2016 Goals

November 27th, 2016 at 04:08 pm

One month and a few days left in 2016. Three more paychecks. I am on track to max out my TSP & Roth IRA. I will contribute at least 6k to my 401k for the year as well. Other expected income includes the cash my parents give me for my birthday & Christmas. I haven't heard what bonus we'll receive at work, if any.

Black Friday spending included the sale at B&BW and some gifts on clearance for co-workers at Williams Sonoma. I bought some new sneakers online yesterday. Don't think they'll get here in time for my trip, but they were needed regardless. At least shipping to the store for pick-up was free.

Retirement Milestone

November 23rd, 2016 at 02:57 pm

I'm less than $500 from reaching $500k in retirement. My birthday is December 5th & I hope to reach it by my birthday. If my 401k contribution wasn't still floating out there & had been deposited into my Vanguard account I would have reached it yesterday. I'm not sure that these market highs will hold for much longer so I may not reach the goal by the time my contribution shows up. This is a goal I've had in mind for several years & now it's almost a reality. It's very exciting to see it come to fruition.

I'm also excited so see that according to Zillow, I'm almost at 50% equity in my home. Thanks in part due to the fact that my home didn't flood in August, so it increased my home value by about 10%.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! May you and yours continue to have abundant blessings in the seasons to come.

Difficult Week, but Something to be Grateful For

November 13th, 2016 at 03:37 pm

This has been a difficult week for many of us. I just wanted to recognize that finances seems very small considering the other things going on in our country. Having said that, I will focus on one bright spot in this week for me.

We got a raise at work! It works out to about a 6.7% increase. Not the percentage that was advocated for when the salary survey was done, but still, it's a raise. In addition, in January I will receive this year's annual increase of 1.6% (thanks Obama, even though you froze our salaries for years). Also, I'm due for my step increase in January. So what does all that mean, bottom line? An over $7k increase! I am so grateful! I know that I am so blessed & I am already thinking of how to use it wisely.

I am considering increasing my contribution to the 401k at my second job from 50% to 75%. Also, I will increase my flexible spending account contribution to finance getting my LASIK redone next year. My eyesight has finally gotten that bad again.

As in all things in life, this week had some good & bad. Next couple of weeks I will pick up some more hours at my second job as one of their full-time techs is out for surgery. It will be good to get some hours in before December.

My schedule is so busy that I won't be getting as many hours next month. My birthday, a trip to DC & Ireland, and a lot of fun things on the agenda. I'm looking forward to it all!

Blessings to you & yours on this beautiful Sunday.

Two Month Review

October 1st, 2016 at 05:24 pm

Two months into my new second job & I feel more squeezed than ever. Maybe having a second job gives a false sense of wealth. I have somewhat over-extended myself with my increased savings.

I am contributing 50% to the 401(k) & $500 to my Roth IRA every paycheck. I had not contributed anything to my Roth IRA since last year. If I contribute $500 for the last 11 pay periods of this year & the first 11 pay periods of next year, I'll have met my maximum contributions for this year & next year. Then I'll have $500 more every pay check.

I'm excited that I'll be able to max out 3 retirement plans next year: my Roth IRA, my TSP, & my 401(k). I am making a lot of hours, but I don't want to complain as I have been searching for another job for some time. This job is a blessing & I see how my retirement savings have grown these past 2 months. Now to decrease the debt.

New Job

August 27th, 2016 at 12:23 am

I can't believe that it is almost September & this is my first blog of the year. My last blog was over a year ago about an interview for a job that I didn't ultimately get. But today, I'm writing to say that a month ago & finally started a second job. This job means so many opportunities for me. The opportunity to max out another retirement plan, to pay off debt, and maybe down the road, to buy some income properties. Unfortunately, a natural disaster curtailed my work hours as the hospital closed due to flooding. But more importantly, I was spared any flooding. I'm feeling so blessed lately!

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!

Retirement Savings Plans Limits Likely to Rise in 2015

July 31st, 2014 at 02:20 pm

I did a search today for 2015 retirement savings plans limits & found this article which seems to think that limits will likely rise next year. I hope so.

http://www.fool.com/retirement/401k/2014/06/05/401k-limits-for-2014-what-they-are-and-why-they-di.aspx

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.

2014 Goals

August 31st, 2013 at 03:46 pm

As we head into fall, I was thinking about reaching this year's goals & looking ahead to next year's goals. This year my main goals are retirement & debt repayment, as they are every year. I always meet my retirement goal, as I will this year. In January I funded my Roth IRA with the maximum $5,500. I don't know if I'll be able to do that this January. I may have to fund it throughout the year, since my savings have been somewhat depleted to pay down debt. I will continue to fund my retirement account at work with my maximum contribution. I have not read if they're anticipating another increase in limits next year, though. A $500 increase would only mean an extra $20 biweekly though.

Last year I transferred the majority of my credit card debt to a card with 0% interest for 18 months. I started out paying $200 weekly, but now pay $100 weekly since I have one job. I still plan to have that paid off before the 18 months of no interest.

On a lighter note, I am going to enjoy this 3 day weekend by taking some time to cook, relax, and visit with family & friends.

Link to IRS Announcement on 2013 Pension Plan Limits

October 25th, 2012 at 01:17 pm

http://www.irs.gov/uac/2013-Pension-Plan-Limitations

New IRS Limits for Retirement Plans in 2013

October 23rd, 2012 at 06:23 pm

So next year I will be able to contribute $17,500 to my TSP, up from $17,000 in 2012. Next year I will also be able to contribute $5,500 to my Roth IRA, up from $5,000 in 2012. Yay! $1,000 more towards my future sounds awesome to me!

2012 Financial Goals

January 1st, 2012 at 09:50 pm

New limit of $17,000 to TSP ($16,500 to TSP in 2011)

$5,000 to Roth (EFT completed today for market open on Tuesday, have always maxed out my IRA)

Pay off credit card debt completely (this is the big one, and I'm determined to see this one completed by the end of the year)

Pay off car (on track to have my car paid off long before the end of the year, can use the money to help pay off other debt)

Continue to pay off grad school loans with the help of my employer's student loan repayment plan.

I'm not too worried about paying additional on mortgage until I complete the previous goals.

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.

2012 Retirement Plan Limits

September 4th, 2011 at 05:56 pm

Did the IRS really announce the 2012 limits for retirement plans? I just did a search because I was curious and found two articles. One guessed that they would raise the limit $500 to $17,000 and the other said that the IRS already announced that there would be no increase. Now I'm skeptical of both articles because I don't think we're getting an increase and also because they don't usually announce the limits this early. Anyway, I usually hear something when they do announce the limits. Granted, things feel so uncertain in our country's economy that maybe nobody cared to say much, but this is unusual. I guess I could just check out the IRS website. Like duh. LOL

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.

2011 Goals and 2010 Progress

December 6th, 2010 at 03:47 am

I have had a great birthday and the Saints won!

I am updating my progress on my 2010 goals, which remain unchanged or 2011.

I completed goal #1 in January 2010.

I will complete goal #2 with my last two paychecks this month.

I am working on goal #3, but it's hard to pin down my monthly expenses. I am tracking on Mint.com, but my expenses seem to vary widely from month to month depending on what's going on. So I'm just averaging those expenses. I think $20,000 would be reasonable start to rebuild my emergency fund to, and I'm not far from that.

Goal #4 has not been completed at any time this year. Maybe next year.

I am working on goal #5 and with my employer's help, the graduate school loans will be paid off quicker.

2011 Retirement Plan Limits Again

October 31st, 2010 at 01:34 am

So they were finally posted the limits. I even sent the IRS an email comment asking when they would be announced. Most limits unchanged, but those that affect me didn't change, which I expected.

I can keep my payroll deduction the same for next year. I'm very close to reaching a short-term retirement savings goal which is always exciting.

2011 Retirement Plan Limits

October 26th, 2010 at 02:53 am

I'm not expecting the limits to change, but it sure would be nice if they would give us the official word already. Guess everyone's too engrossed with midterm elections to care in Washington, DC.

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.

Increase to Retirement Plans

October 23rd, 2008 at 01:06 am

I'm glad that the limit on my Thrift Savings Plan will be increased to $16,500 next year. It gives me an even larger goal to achieve.

Home Vacation

March 27th, 2008 at 03:48 am

I'm on vacation for the new few weeks. My last day at my job was Monday. I worked the holiday weekend. Four 12-hour shifts, 7p-7a. Now I'm on leave for several weeks, trying to use up my annual leave. I start my new job April 14th.

I'm not going anywhere special. I want to save money and do things here at home. I have several things on my to do list. I had my alarm system installed Monday. I feel much more secure after the break-ins in the community.

I've been working out more. My blood sugar is running a little high and with my extensive family history of diabetes I need to lose weight and exercise. I feel better already.

The next few months will be very frutiful for me financially. I have a surplus on my graduate school account and it will disbursed to me next month. The economic stimulus will be in the mail in May.

Leaving my old job I will get paid approximately 500 in annual and compensatory leave. I wiil have that amount contributed to my 403(b). I also have my 457(b) to contribute. It's nice having both plans and being able to contribute $31,000 a year. With the federal government I'll be getting a 5% match on my contributions as well. I'm feeling very blessed.

New Year, New Start, New Goals

January 20th, 2008 at 02:37 am

So how are you coming along on your new goals for 2008? I'm doing well so far. I updated my Roth contributions and the first increased contribution went out on the 15th. My 457 contributions have remained steady until I hopefully get a new job, and a raise. I opened a CD on the 5th as part of my emergency fund. I haven't received any tax forms yet. I'm waiting on receiving my tax refund to pay off my credit cards. So far, so good.


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