My TSP loan balance is now lower than my auto loan balance. The original amount of the TSP loan was more than the auto loan, but I am paying $250 every two weeks for the TSP loan & only $150 for the auto loan. The TSP loan will be paid off in approximately 20 pay checks. Once I'm no long paying $250 every two weeks towards my TSP loan I can add that $250 to the auto loan. Both interest rates are very low, so it may make more sense to put it towards the credit card debt, though I like the idea of owning my car outright sooner rather than later.
Viewing the 'Retirement readings' Category
As I mentioned in my now deleted blog entry due to the hacking, the IRS will/has announced higher retirement plan limits in 2020. You will now be able to contribute $19,500 to your 401k and catch-up contributions for those 50 & older has increased to $6,500. No change to the IRA limit.
Multiple articles linked below for your reading pleasure:
Biweekly contribution for the 401k:$750
Biweekly contribution for catch-up:$250
The GAO has released a report on the rate of retirement savings at the request of Bernie Sanders. It's still shocking to me no matter how many times I read pretty much the same thing.
The numbers don't quite match up, I calculated 101% with the percentage breakdown. Savings rates have slightly improved, but still, what is to be done? More personal finance education for children? Is it a lack of education or a lack of income? Probably both. When you consider that this survey is for Americans 55 and older, the picture gets even scarier.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.