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Helloooooo from NJ
Old 04-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
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Helloooooo from NJ

Hi. My name is Karen, and even though I have been registered on this forum since 2011, and read it Every Day, I am taking the plunge on my first post. I'm 59 years old, single and live in Central NJ. My twin sister,(and best friend), moved in with me when she divorced 9 years ago, along with her two kids. My niece, 28 is on her own now, and my 20 year old nephew is still here and in school. Needless to say, always loved these kids like my own. We also share our lives with 2 incorrigible but loving Boston Terriers.

I worked for GMAC, later spun off as Ally Financial for 31 years before losing my job to restructuring in 2010. I had always said I would retire at 54, but decided to continue to work after my new roommates moved in, then laid off a year later. Scary at first, as I think it always is when your not in the drivers seat on leaving your job. I was eligible to collect my pension from GM then, and with no debt or mortgage it has been more than enough to pay my expenses, even in this expensive state. In addition, I have 2 401K's (GM & Ally) that I just let sit where they were, and too much money in an Ally Money Market account, for which I am waiting for my spanking from the Boglehead forums which I also posted on today for advice before doing an IRA rollover at Vanguard. And to top it off, I work 12 1/2 hours a week as a school crossing guard, not because I needed the money, but because I just can't seem to let go of saving mode, and I am a sucker for technology gadgets.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to take the first step & say that this has always been my favorite forum, and I have learned alot of things from the people here and not just regarding retirement, but everyday life. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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What exit?
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:18 PM   #3
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Welcome. I hope you find useful information and support here. It helped me in my darkest days.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Welcome to forum Karen. I'm also from NJ but looking to get out as soon as my kids go to College(8 yrs from now). NJ taxes on almost everything and I just do not see myself paying high property and state tax when I'm retired.
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Helloooooo from NJ
Old 04-09-2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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Helloooooo from NJ

Welcome to the forums!

I am also 59 and I am also a school crossing guard. Mine is just 10 hrs a week. I'm married and my husband is retired. His pension covers our living expenses and my crossing guard income is just for my Roth IRA or HSA contribution.

I truly enjoy my itty bitty part time crossing guard job, the income is just an extra safety net. I've been doing this since 2006.

If your winter was anything like mine (northeast Ohio) then you are appreciating the change to spring. We had too many snow days!
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:00 AM   #7
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Exit 4 near here...

It sounds like you have a peaceful existence in NJ. We are very satisfied with our environment.

I wouldn't mind living here, except for the real estate taxes. Not retiree-friendly at all.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:05 AM   #8
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Welcome. We can also give you a thorough spanking on your IRA rollover at least as well as Boggleheads. I'm not sure what you want to know about a rollover. Call Vanguard and they'll give you all the information needed. If you are lucky, your plan will allow a direct transfer to Vanguard. More likely, you will need to make a withdrawl and have a check mailed to you which you mail to Vanguard. The check should be made out to Vanguard so you don't actually take possession of the money. On the Vanguard site you will have a deposit form completed to send with the rollover check. When I did this recently, it took about 2 weeks from when I submitted an online withdrawl form with my 401k and had the money show up in my Vanguard account.

If you want investment advice, let us know. If you are a novice, I recommend you read Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. If knowledgeable, read Investor's Manifesto by William Bernstein if you haven't already read it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:05 AM   #9
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Welcome from another Jersey guy (up north in Bergen county).
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:49 AM   #10
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Welcome!... from an ex-Jersey guy.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:34 AM   #11
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Another Jersey refugee. This time 3 years ago we were living pretty close to you in Matawan.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:40 AM   #12
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New jersey is a great place to be from....... wait a minute that is not much of a welcome!

It sounds like you have decent pension to cover the majority of your expenses, so a bit of PT working for some extra spending cash is good. it also gives you some time away from the house.

I agree you should take some criticism for the money market account. You probably are lucky to break even with inflation on the money market account, it should be invested differently to get better returns. What to invest is dependent on your risk tolerance and how much amount is as a portion of your total assets. Is this your main source of any after-tax money besides the PT work? I would guess you get some rent income form your sister and nephew? Or maybe they cover a lot of the expenses like utilities and groceries?
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:45 AM   #13
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Glad to see a fellow crossing guard. Weather in NJ this winter was terrible-6 snow days, but the real issue was the cold, especially at 6:45 in the a.m.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:58 AM   #14
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
New jersey is a great place to be from....... wait a minute that is not much of a welcome!

It sounds like you have decent pension to cover the majority of your expenses, so a bit of PT working for some extra spending cash is good. it also gives you some time away from the house.

I agree you should take some criticism for the money market account. You probably are lucky to break even with inflation on the money market account, it should be invested differently to get better returns. What to invest is dependent on your risk tolerance and how much amount is as a portion of your total assets. Is this your main source of any after-tax money besides the PT work? I would guess you get some rent income form your sister and nephew? Or maybe they cover a lot of the expenses like utilities and groceries?
Pension is does cover more than my expenses right now, but will be reduced at 62. Part of plan was to use MM funds to cover difference until age 66 to delay taking SS until then. I am a newby to all things financial, but intent on learning now. I plan to post for advice on the investment forum.

My sister does contribute to utilities and groceries, but really does not have much due to divorce and poor choices financially when married. We are very close, and I will have no problem with sharing my home with her. I know she would do the same for me if our positions were reversed.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:11 AM   #15
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Welcome.

One thing to keep in mind is if either of the 401k offer a stable value fund that pays a decent rate of interest, consider keeping some in your 401k for your fixed income allocation since they have minimal interest rate risk and you can't get a stable value fund in an IRA.

Also, these years (especially 62 to 66 when your pension is reduced) may be a good time to do Roth conversions if you think you will be in a higher tax bracket once you start SS. It will reduce RMDs later in life.

You could take some of your cash and start value averaging into equities.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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Welcome from another Jersey guy.

I've been to New Jersey
Well they told me I was born there
But I really don't remember


I only lived there a couple of months.
Best wishes,
MRG
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