Thank you all for the re-assurance. I hope I can get thru this phase.
To answer some of the comments:
1. Lawrence - When you suggested moving the savings money to IRA, do you mean all of it? I pressume not. Essentially divide it in to emergency fund for 3-6 months (ofcourse, using LBYM) and IRA. What else should I subdivide it in to?
2. Lawrence - The company stock that I own has given me about 33% resturn so far (3 years). The stock price has been steady for a while now and I do not expect much return going forward. It may make sense to sell it now. I generally put about $500 in to ESPP and I get 15% discount on it at the end of offering period and I can sell it anytime. I think, even when I seel what I have, I will continue with it. It is a 15% return.
3. Refinance was an option and I was thinking about switching to 15 year from 5 year arm which would have increased only $150/mo in mortgage but decided against it after I looked at my credit report. The score was little low because I missed one mortgage payment last year. I was out of the country and they had re-worked my escrow which I did not know about. So I sent in the regular peyment which did not get applied until the following month!!! I also have an insurance claim pending for water in the basement. So re-finance is not an option as of now.
4. Yakers - when you say NY has cheap/free things, can you please give me some pointers? I do look for good deals when I buy stuff but I prefer not to go overboard. I would rather spend time with my daughter than clip thru all the coupons day in and day out. I do under stand that it may make a difference in the long run but then not spending time with daughter/family will as well. I hope I got your message right.
5. Yakers - I am generally quite careful with how I spend my money. I am the saver in the famly and my wife is getting there
. It has taken me several years to push her in this direction but it has been difficult as hell!
6. ats5g - Thanks for the pointers. Believe me, I have learnt my lesson. Although, I must say, that the money that I invested was not something I could not afford to loose at the time. So it was a risk without proper planning. I could have minimized it. I still do not count the money left in my brokerage account in my net worth! If I can recover the losses by putting it in a mutual fund/ETF, great. Otherwise, I will take it out next year.
7. unclemick2 - You probably nailed it. In the course of investing, I did play around with penny stocks and made some money as well. But it was more for a rush than sound investing now that I think about it!
8. unclemick2 - I have looked at the Vanguard TRS as well but I have not yet come to terms with the fact that I just cannot get 20-30% return in the long term and time/compounding needs to play a big role in my investing strategy. That is why I am here. To learn from the steps which others may have taken to get their situations right.
9. riskaverse - I guess starting at 35 is not as much an issue as starting with the funds I have. I understand that you started at 50 but if you had much better cash/portfolio situation than mine (extra/intra polating it), then age really does not matter.
I am also thinking of getting in touch with http://www.merrimancapital.com/
for one time portfolio analysis and development. Anyone had any experience with them?