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Viewing the 'Retirement' Category: Firefly's Personal Finance Blog
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Viewing the 'Retirement' Category

IRA Follow-up

January 11th, 2020 at 05:29 pm

I finally got in touch with Vanguard & she showed me how to correct the issue online. It was very simple. So I was able to recategorize my contribution from 2020 to 2019. I now have $1k to contribute for 2019 & $6k to contribute for 2020. I will send $500 to my 2019 IRA in February & March.

I owe my mom one last payment of $250 for my AC loan. My TSP loan is now below $4k. My car loan will be paid off in the first half of 2021.

I transferred $100 to my savings yesterday & mailed $20 to the local food bank this week.

I received my Clever Fox budget planner this week. I really like it & I’m well into journaling my January budget. I brought my lunch 4 times this week! That’s a record for me.

IRA Contributions & Budget

January 6th, 2020 at 08:07 pm

I forgot to turn off my automatic contributions to my IRA, so I sent my first contribution for 2020 even though I still haven’t fully funded 2019. Whoops. Needless to say, I turned off the automatic funding. I will finish paying my mom back for the AC loan this month & should have the funds to max my 2019 IRA by April 15.

I have decided that 2020 will be the year I learn to live on budget. Honestly, I never tried before. Just spent as I pleased & my credit card debt reflects that. I want to start this decade off being mindful with spending money.

Ten Year Review

January 1st, 2020 at 03:29 pm

Investments:

$155,187 2009Q4

$842,089 2019Q4

$686,902 Ten Year Investment Growth

I will update this blog as I find other stats to include.

ETA: 2008 was the first year that I maxed out all of my retirement accounts. I always contributed the max to my IRA & in 2008 I was able to do the same for my employer sponsored plans as well. Prior to 2008 I received no employee match, now I receive a 5% match.

2020 Goals

December 29th, 2019 at 03:17 pm

2020 Goals are much the same as my recurring goals:

Max out TSP ($750 per paycheck): $19.5k

Max out Roth IRA ($500 monthly): $6k

Pay off TSP loan ($250 per paycheck with a projected payoff date of August 2020): $4k

Pay down CC debt: at least $5k

Pay down auto loan ($150 per paycheck with a projected payoff date of July 2021): $3.9k

Payoff of my auto loan will coincide with the 5 year anniversary at my PRN job. I will reevaluate whether I want to continue working that job at that time. I still want additional income but may take that opportunity to switch to an work from home income stream. If I can do it earlier that will be even better.

I added a Clever Fox 🦊 budget planner to my Amazon cart. I am so bad at budgeting. Honestly, my budget is nonexistent. Maybe this new decade I will change that. I think I will have to be more conscious of my spending to meet the goals I have set in 2020.

Goals Met in 2019

December 28th, 2019 at 11:46 pm

While I'm watching LSU win this Peach Bowl (Geaux Tigers!!!) I'd thought I'd write a blog reflecting on 2019 successes.

Health wise, after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2018 I now have an A1C in the normal range with the help of metformin. I had a significant 2.0% drop in my A1C with medication, exercise, and weight loss of 23 pounds. I work out consistently, jogging 17.5 miles weekly.

I started salsa classes which I love. It took me 3 sessions of level 1 classes to make it to level 2, but I did it. I'm not a natural dancer, but I still love it. In 2020, I'd like to take bachata classes as well.

I met the max limits for my TSP, saving $19k. I saved $4.5k in my Roth IRA & I plan on meeting the contribution limit by April 15th, even if I have to pick up some extra weekends to do so.

Year End Bills

December 27th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

My 2 paychecks hit the bank this morning so I wrote a check for my property taxes & to repay a small loan to my mom for the new A/C. I also sent $500 to my Roth IRA. I have until April to max out my 2019 contributions. I have $1500 remaining.

TSP Update

November 23rd, 2019 at 05:56 pm

I went ahead & updated my TSP contribution to $750 a pay period to reflect the 2020 limit increase. Sometimes the TSP can be slow with updating contribution amounts. It’s okay if it kicks in before the end of the year as the plan won’t allow you to contribute over the limit.

TSP Update

November 23rd, 2019 at 05:56 pm

I went ahead & updated my TSP contribution to $750 a pay period to reflect the 2020 limit increase. Sometimes the TSP can be slow with updating contribution amounts. It’s okay if it kicks in before the end of the year as the plan won’t allow you to contribute over the limit.

Loan Updates

November 12th, 2019 at 06:42 pm

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.

401k Limits Increase in 2020

November 7th, 2019 at 07:31 pm

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:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/irs-raises-retirement-account-limits-for-2020/ar-AAJXoWD?ocid=spartandhp

https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2019/nov/irs-inflation-adjustments-2020-retirement-plans-201922407.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2019/11/06/irs-announces-higher-2020-retirement-plan-contribution-limits-for-401ks-and-more/#1f285dc533bb

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/iras/articles/ira-contribution-limits

https://401kspecialistmag.com/irs-bumps-2020-401k-contribution-limit-to-19500/

ETA:

Biweekly contribution for the 401k:$750
Biweekly contribution for catch-up:$250

Retirement Savings Article

April 3rd, 2019 at 04:23 pm

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.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/697898.pdf

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.

New Retirement Plan Limits

November 4th, 2018 at 05:42 pm

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.

2019 Budget

August 18th, 2018 at 02:39 pm

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 02:36 pm

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.

Rollover (Direct Transfer)

February 17th, 2018 at 09:10 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.

Back from my Grand British Adventure

January 6th, 2018 at 05:26 pm

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

November 24th, 2017 at 12:07 am

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.