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Retirement Advice - Almost 37, Spouse 39
Old 09-13-2018, 01:12 PM   #1
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Retirement Advice - Almost 37, Spouse 39

Hello all, I was referred to this board from the City-Data Retirement sub-forum and am looking for advice on retirement/investments. This will be a long post to explain my situation, so bear with me.

I will be 37 this December, and my spouse just turned 39. We both just got married in March (2nd and hopefully final marriage for each of us) with a tad over a 6 figure HHI (60k/48k). No kids yet (none from prior marriage either). At our age, that doesn't look promising, but we are trying to see if it will happen or not. If not, I know our situation will be immensely easier to correct at our age being DINKS. Our retirement and savings is not where it should be, and I need some advice.

My current 401k balance is about $35,750 in high-risk/high-potential return funds. (I took an $11k+ hit by withdrawing 2 years ago to buy out my ex-wife's interest and keep the house), so there's that. Probably foolish, but we aren't all perfect and unfortunate life circumstances happened. My wife's 401k balance is roughly $10k, I believe. I only keep a couple of grand in my savings account for emergencies (also terrible). She has around $17k from a house she previously sold (was going to use to renovate her current house if she stayed there). She also has a "car replacement fund" with about $9500 in it. (You get she's the better saver here). My savings rate went from 3% to 4% now down to 2% temporarily. I believe she only puts in around 3% as well.

Our current plan is to sell my house, move into hers temporarily to get us to 1 mortgage, which would only be about $800 a month. (Low COL area) Then, we will take our time and save monthly until we find a house we both want. Buy it, and rent hers. I figure I would make anywhere from a meager $5k-15k equity selling mine (due to the refinancing hit after my divorce). She does not want to continue living in mine since it was my ex's and mine.

Debt situation is good. I was debt free except my mortgage up until May. I totaled my paid-off car, and stupidly financed another one---but only for about 2 years (currently owe around $8500 on it); then back to being debt free hopefully. She only has her $800 mortgage. That helps us greatly. I figure we should be able to save at least $1000 a month once we are not juggling 2 mortgages. She wants to keep her house we'll be moving into as it has about 100k equity in it, it's what she's always wanted (cute cottage in town), in a desirable area, etc. It's just too small for us to live in comfortably long-term (and no garage for my toys). It's in a high-demand district and would rent quickly, estimated rental at $1200/mo. It's a better investment than keeping mine either way.

Calculations show I need to save at least 10-15% of my 401k. Retirement before 60 at this point is a lottery dream; even at 65 is a dream unless SS is still around. Getting out from under my house around year-end will free up some cash. Buying a house we both want and renting hers will still allow us to be in a better situation than current.

Our dream is to eventually buy a 2nd home 45 min away from us at the beach, even if it means we downsize or stay in a small main home. If we have children, that equity will be kids' college fund. We aren't in the worst situation, but we sure aren't in the best either. Any advice one can give on how to invest, where to invest, "If I were you I'd". etc. is appreciated. I'd like to retire as early as possible and would like to take the chance to "fix this" while we still might be able.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:31 PM   #2
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Debt situation is good. I was debt free except my mortgage up until May. I totaled my paid-off car, and stupidly financed another one---but only for about 2 years (currently owe around $8500 on it); then back to being debt free hopefully. She only has her $800 mortgage. That helps us greatly. I figure we should be able to save at least $1000 a month once we are not juggling 2 mortgages. She wants to keep her house we'll be moving into as it has about 100k equity in it, it's what she's always wanted (cute cottage in town), in a desirable area, etc. It's just too small for us to live in comfortably long-term (and no garage for my toys). It's in a high-demand district and would rent quickly, estimated rental at $1200/mo. It's a better investment than keeping mine either way.

... Buying a house we both want and renting hers will still allow us to be in a better situation than current.
My immediate advice would be to sell your house, move in to her house. Evaluate which toys you really need - if any - and sell the others. Use the proceeds from these sales to pay down/off your car loan. Continue to live in the small house until you need to move. Save and invest the balance of your mortgage and car payments as long as you can.

I would not, under most circumstances, sell her house and your house and buy another house. Every RE transaction costs money. Yes, you can pull equity out of your homes, but every time you do, you're paying the agent, paying the escrow companies, paying the legal and document fees, paying inspectors, paying for this, paying for that.

If you already have a place where the two of you can live - that she likes (this is KEY!!) - for the near term, by no means should you be rushing to sell that and buy another house. Sell your house, pare down your toys, use that cash to get completely high-interest debt free and use that time to figure out the kids situation. THEN, if you need to, look at other houses.

Renting: you need to do your homework here. Do you have time and patience to find good renters? Are you maintaining that property or paying a property manager? Have you looked at a calculator to see what you really need to charge to make renting her property profitable? Will you be able to pay for a new roof, etc., on the rental AND/OR your new home? To me, in your situation with your savings, having a rental property with little existing capital and a 2% savings rate is recipe for incurring more debt when inevitable ownership expenses arise. Either that, or I suspect you'll need to raise the rent you're asking for to ensure you can cover those costs in addition to the mortgage PITI while accounting for vacancy.

I'm 41, wife 37, we're having our second early next year, first is 2 years old, so similar ages. We're in a better position financially than you, and we're selling our house to upsize only because we have to. If we could stay in a 2BR, we would. Minimize transaction costs, minimize your housing costs, get your debt under control and your savings on track. Just the fact that you're here asking questions puts you ahead of most of your peers, regardless of the size of your accounts! Listen to your new wife... she sounds like she's got a good financial head on her shoulders, which is PRICELESS!
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:35 PM   #3
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Save early and save often

Did you discuss expenses in your post? If you did I missed it.

You have a household income twice the national average, so you should be in good position to catch up... providing you aren't prone to too much spending.

If I were you - and twenty years ago I was you, with a delayed start on saving reflected in a net worth you could have bought and sold using pogs - I'd get a solid idea of my budget and figure how much I could direct toward retirement savings.

I'm a proponent of 401k accounts, but I planned on retiring no earlier than 59.5, when withdrawals come without penalties. If you want to go out before then, you'll want to retain some of your dough in easy-access taxable vehicles.

Here you will find endless discussions of risk tolerance and asset allocations and indexing and financial advisors and filing for SS and insurance, etc. If I were you, I'd read a lot of those threads, because most are both interesting and informative. Also, many are very entertaining as well; a tribute to the good manners and sense of humor that permeates this site.

So that's about all I've got: understand your expenses, save, and do research.

As encouragement, I was over 40 before I got serious about doing something toward my future retirement. I'm now approaching 60 and I'm in the home stretch with less than a year to go. Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:52 PM   #4
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Pay yourself first and make that a priority. If you are running a marathon, start sprinting with huge strides to saving. First paydown any non-essential interest bearing debt (car loan). In the meantime increase 401k contributions. With any proceeds from your home sale, pay that car off and use that extra money for 401k. Eventually you will need to start a Roth IRA but that's not the most efficient for you today. You need to reduce your taxes with the 401k.



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Admitting you have a problem is the first step. You've done that, and you've found the support group, now just listen to the smart folks here and you will be fine.


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Old 09-13-2018, 01:53 PM   #5
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.............Our dream is to eventually buy a 2nd home 45 min away from us at the beach, even if it means we downsize or stay in a small main home. ...........
My dream was to have a home on the beach, too, but instead I lived below my means and retired at 54. It's a tough choice.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:18 PM   #6
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Hello all, I was referred to this board from the City-Data Retirement sub-forum and am looking for advice on retirement/investments.
Maybe my post there!

No advice on investments, but possibly some help on enjoying life early, and on a much, much smaller nest egg than you'd expect. Long and wordy, but some alternatives as to where to live, and how to live on a little less.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ent-62251.html
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:56 PM   #7
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Your current situation, along with the possibility that you may eventually have a child, means that you are underprepared for retirement. But you knew that, or you wouldn't be asking! My advice: Sell your place, keep your wife's (building a garage for your toys), and give up on the beach house idea for now.


You don't have the abilty to pay 'carrying costs' for a rental property should it go unrented for a few months, or need unanticipated repairs.

If you keep buying and selling real estate, the costs really add up, unless the properties are continually escalting in value. Get serious about saving. Aim to save 15%+, and figure out what to cut out to do it. Retiring early (or even on time) means some earlier sacrificing, if you want to have an acceptable standard of living in retirement.

My current sacrifice is that I'm living in an urban, noisy area, in a 800 sf condo that is a four-story walk-up. Not the best neighborhood. But it means I can save 48% of my gross income, even supporting my wife and I. When I retire and buy my next place, it will be a subsantial upgrade, that I can enjoy for the duration of my retirement years!

Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:14 PM   #8
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My best suggestion to you is to "pay yourself first"... determine a sensible target savings that is doable and not miserly and set up your contributions to 401k from your paychecks accordingly and then learn to live on your new take-home pay.

Also, buy a copy of Quicken Deluxe or Premier and use their Lifetime Planner to design your retirement plan... then e Quicken to monitor your progress.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:56 PM   #9
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I agree with the earlier posts. My two cents: Start living on one paycheck. If you do have a child and mama wants to stay home, you'll have to do that anyway. If you don't, then you'll be in better shape for the ER. Don't buy a second home. You can rent at the beach for several weekends per year.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:23 PM   #10
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Welcome JRA2000TL! There is a wealth of information here. I hope you take some time and search on some topics and please keep the questions coming. You will get some great answers.

I was in a situation close to yours at 40. Then our first kid came along (after 10 years of marriage). 13 months later our second was born. About that time, I decided I should start saving for college. The kids would be going to college about the time I turned 59.5 so I saved in a 401k. By the time our kids were college age, our income was high enough to pay college out of income. We also had enough saved in the 401k that I could retire at 63 (with a pension).

I have enough to retire without the pension, but that extra cash is nice. My point is that you should be able to do pretty good if you can bump your savings up to around 17%. Most of my savings were in S&P500 funds. Nothing fancy or very risky. It is amazing how fast the money compounds while socking a good portion away. I think the biggest mistake I made was to put all my savings in a Traditional IRA. It limits what I can do without major increases in taxes and Medicare fees. I think it would be better to use Roth IRAs/401ks and after tax savings as well.

Good luck in reaching your goals.

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Old 09-14-2018, 06:44 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone for the advice. She and I agreed that we need to get this small auto loan paid off first once my house sells. It was foolish of me to get into one, but I'd driven an old commuter Corolla for over 5 years, hated it, and wanted something nicer within reason. (I gave up my nicer car before that due to a long commute.)



The remaining proceeds will go into savings, along with hers (minus her separate car replacement fund as it has an intended purpose). Then, we will begin saving additional cash, and I'll work to bump my 401k contributions. The only problem with 401ks is that I rarely get the match. I tend to job hop based on a variety of factors - company buyouts/fear of layoff (have been laid off before), job dissatisfaction in general, increasing salary by changing jobs, etc.



This at least points me in the right direction. Buying a beach house would be way on down the road anyway (if we don't wind up having kids). I'll have to sacrifice by living in a smaller house for awhile and having my toys (older cars) in storage. They aren't worth much anyway. I am a car hobbyist and like to tinker. They're worth maybe $8k total. I'm not giving those up at this point.



I think we will eventually sell her house and buy one we're both happy in, but maybe more reasonable. I'm trying to meet in the middle from "extreme frugality" vs. enjoying life at the present moment. I wouldn't want to sacrifice everything to be miserable for the next 20 years in hopes of a grand retirement, then happen to die prematurely and not enjoy it. It's all about balance. No one can predict the future either. I've read stories where some have amassed millions, only to be diagnosed with terminal illness or other serious life issues; then, are wiped out.



Finding a job that I'm not utterly miserable in is also a priority. Being 37, I shouldn't want to just call it quits this early. I've worked many jobs, but I can't seem to find my niche or calling. I just know Corporate America 9-5 cubicle type jobs are soul-sucking. I need to utilize my education and skills to figure out what I can do well. I'd like to find a flexible schedule, or a remote position (done that before; was awesome while it lasted). Smaller companies or start-ups are appealing, as I'd have more ability to contribute and feel productive. Right now, I'm a cog in a huge machine, and it's draining. I can't "wish my life away" like this.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:59 AM   #12
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....I'll work to bump my 401k contributions. The only problem with 401ks is that I rarely get the match. I tend to job hop based on a variety of factors - company buyouts/fear of layoff (have been laid off before), job dissatisfaction in general, increasing salary by changing jobs, etc. ....


Finding a job that I'm not utterly miserable in is also a priority. Being 37, I shouldn't want to just call it quits this early. I've worked many jobs, but I can't seem to find my niche or calling. I just know Corporate America 9-5 cubicle type jobs are soul-sucking. I need to utilize my education and skills to figure out what I can do well. I'd like to find a flexible schedule, or a remote position (done that before; was awesome while it lasted). Smaller companies or start-ups are appealing, as I'd have more ability to contribute and feel productive. Right now, I'm a cog in a huge machine, and it's draining. I can't "wish my life away" like this.
If your current tax bracket is the same as the tax bracket that you expect to be in when retired, then tax-deferred savings is not a big deal.... you could fund a Roth and/or taxable investments.

If your tax bracket is higher now than it will be in retirement, then tax-deferred savings is preferable. If your 401k doesn't have a match, then perhaps you could use a deductible IRA for all or part of your tax-deferred savings. The nice thing about the deductible IRA is that it doesn't matter when you change jobs.. the downside is that the annual amount that you can save tax-deferred is a lot lower than what you can do in a 401k. OTOH, many 401ks have poor investment options that are often high cost.

On the last part, I changed jobs when I was 43 becuase I had plateaued with my then-current employer.... best thing that I ever did.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:09 AM   #13
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Thank you everyone for the advice. She and I agreed that we need to get this small auto loan paid off first once my house sells. It was foolish of me to get into one, but I'd driven an old commuter Corolla for over 5 years, hated it, and wanted something nicer within reason. (I gave up my nicer car before that due to a long commute.)



The remaining proceeds will go into savings, along with hers (minus her separate car replacement fund as it has an intended purpose). Then, we will begin saving additional cash, and I'll work to bump my 401k contributions. The only problem with 401ks is that I rarely get the match. I tend to job hop based on a variety of factors - company buyouts/fear of layoff (have been laid off before), job dissatisfaction in general, increasing salary by changing jobs, etc.



This at least points me in the right direction. Buying a beach house would be way on down the road anyway (if we don't wind up having kids). I'll have to sacrifice by living in a smaller house for awhile and having my toys (older cars) in storage. They aren't worth much anyway. I am a car hobbyist and like to tinker. They're worth maybe $8k total. I'm not giving those up at this point.



I think we will eventually sell her house and buy one we're both happy in, but maybe more reasonable. I'm trying to meet in the middle from "extreme frugality" vs. enjoying life at the present moment. I wouldn't want to sacrifice everything to be miserable for the next 20 years in hopes of a grand retirement, then happen to die prematurely and not enjoy it. It's all about balance. No one can predict the future either. I've read stories where some have amassed millions, only to be diagnosed with terminal illness or other serious life issues; then, are wiped out.



Finding a job that I'm not utterly miserable in is also a priority. Being 37, I shouldn't want to just call it quits this early. I've worked many jobs, but I can't seem to find my niche or calling. I just know Corporate America 9-5 cubicle type jobs are soul-sucking. I need to utilize my education and skills to figure out what I can do well. I'd like to find a flexible schedule, or a remote position (done that before; was awesome while it lasted). Smaller companies or start-ups are appealing, as I'd have more ability to contribute and feel productive. Right now, I'm a cog in a huge machine, and it's draining. I can't "wish my life away" like this.
Life is not about the home and stuff you own its about the journey and friends you meet along the way. Dont let your things own you. Me and a few otbers have been forced to quickly downsize and sell lots of things... Its liberating. We have a lot in common. I try to remind myself of how good the things that matter are. Im still learning making new friends becoming closer to family and raising my own. I am blessed to have such a decent job and if you maintain your standards you will find that job. Usuly its a bad boss but the company cumture can suck too. Ive given up on the soul suckong mentality abd live life one day at s time trying to enjoy the moment. Work is means to end innour case FIRE.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:09 AM   #14
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...but I'd driven an old commuter Corolla for over 5 years, hated it, and wanted something nicer within reason...

I'll have to sacrifice by living in a smaller house for awhile and having my toys (older cars) in storage. They aren't worth much anyway. I am a car hobbyist and like to tinker. They're worth maybe $8k total. I'm not giving those up at this point.

I'm trying to meet in the middle from "extreme frugality" vs. enjoying life at the present moment. I wouldn't want to sacrifice everything to be miserable for the next 20 years in hopes of a grand retirement, then happen to die prematurely and not enjoy it. It's all about balance.
It's all about balance within your means. A commuter Corolla is a perfectly good car. A car gets you from point A to point B, and what car you drive is not likely to markedly improve your quality of life. A 5 year old Corolla is money in the bank, man. We own two modestly priced luxury makes right now, and trust me, they aren't anything that makes my life better. Next car when my 11 year-old G35 sedan finally kicks the bucket is going to be a Subaru or Toyota.

Most here are not "extremely frugal". The disconnect, to me, is that you view living below your means as "extreme". You're hardly alone in this regard, believe me. You've done better than the average bear by living at your means, at least. With the dreams that you have, they are reachable, but you have to manage your expectations and prioritize. If a beach home is important down the road, then yeah, you might drive a Corolla right now. That's OK. You've got a plan.

Without knowing about your family history, odds are you're going to live well into your 70s or 80s. It is foolish to plan your life based on "you never know!" when it comes to big-ticket stuff. You can rationalize literally anything when you pretend you might die tomorrow. Get those thoughts out of your head, especially if you plan to have kids.

As mentioned, by coming here and making some of these decisions, you're starting on the right track. That said, you've got a ways to go to get your mindset right to make your dreams reality IMHO.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #15
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It's all about balance within your means. A commuter Corolla is a perfectly good car. A car gets you from point A to point B, and what car you drive is not likely to markedly improve your quality of life. A 5 year old Corolla is money in the bank, man. We own two modestly priced luxury makes right now, and trust me, they aren't anything that makes my life better. Next car when my 11 year-old G35 sedan finally kicks the bucket is going to be a Subaru or Toyota.

Most here are not "extremely frugal". The disconnect, to me, is that you view living below your means as "extreme". You're hardly alone in this regard, believe me. You've done better than the average bear by living at your means, at least. With the dreams that you have, they are reachable, but you have to manage your expectations and prioritize. If a beach home is important down the road, then yeah, you might drive a Corolla right now. That's OK. You've got a plan.

Without knowing about your family history, odds are you're going to live well into your 70s or 80s. It is foolish to plan your life based on "you never know!" when it comes to big-ticket stuff. You can rationalize literally anything when you pretend you might die tomorrow. Get those thoughts out of your head, especially if you plan to have kids.

As mentioned, by coming here and making some of these decisions, you're starting on the right track. That said, you've got a ways to go to get your mindset right to make your dreams reality IMHO.



FWIW my replacement car was an older car that I've wanted for several years now--a 2011 Lexus ES 350, purchased in May with almost 77k on it, in very good condition. That was my "splurge" purchase to pay off in 2.5 years or less, and I'm on target to have it paid for in that time frame.

The Corolla was a great, reliable commuter and served me well. I've always liked driving older "luxury" sedans (used to own a 2000 Acura TL and a 2001 TL - hence my username). I don't have to have the best and newest everything, but I wanted something nicer than bare bones, nor did I want to replace it with another Corolla. Mine was a 2009 had 169k when I totaled it. Lexus/Toyotas are reliable, and I plan on keeping this car until it's about shot.

Fortunately, my wife will have enough or almost enough to pay for her replacement car in cash, so we should be set on vehicles for awhile.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:55 AM   #16
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Changing the mindset of money as being something you need in order to buy... into one of something you have in order to buy... is the first step. That is, don't put goals on what to buy, rather put goals into what you're saving. Focus on the saving part, and prioritize it.

Getting married and having a spouse that seems to want to develop a roadmap towards financial freedom is a great place to be. Condensing living expenses and mortgages. Stop looking at what you can fit into your budget, and start looking at accumulating a pile as a necessity and precursor to eventually having the freedom to do all the things and have all the things you want. If you can set aside $1,500 a month now... in 5 years it'll be a lot more you're setting aside. The snowball grows.

Your goal should be to establish a path to paying yourself first. Change your lifestyle(s) in a meaningful way so that you can set aside 25-50% of what you make. You will be amazed at how fast that grows and how much you don't miss it... if you're able to make that plan a part of your transition to this new life.

Stop looking at the mountain ahead (it's daunting), just start climbing and focusing on each step... the larger your steps are now, day by day, week by week, month by month, the faster you'll get to the top... it's not your plan, but each step that'll get you there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #17
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:11 AM   #18
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First of all -welcome!
There is a wealth of information to be found here, and the opportunity to hopefully learn from others' mistakes.

You are in an excellent position to be able to retire early just by showing up here and applying some of the advise here to your situation. Enjoy the journey to retirement, as two DINK's you should be able to stash away a lot, and being at peak age in your careers - seek out opportunities to earn more money.

Based on the limited information on keeping the cottage as a rental - I'd advise you to not do it. You are unlikely to see great appreciation being in a LCOL area and that is what I would have to bank on with a SFH rental.

I have a couple of duplexes and triplexes which cash flow nicely, but I assume 50% of rental income goes to expenses long term and then I'd like a couple of hundred per door after paying the mortgage. There are a couple of things you don't pay for as a landlord for a SFH rental, but it does not make up for the gap you would have.

I second the others on minimizing real estate transactions - they cost a lot of money and if you can avoid it do so.

As for the old cars - I imagine that storage fees for them would quickly climb to exceed the value of the cars if you don't have space for them.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRA2000TL View Post
Hello all, I was referred to this board from the City-Data Retirement sub-forum and am looking for advice on retirement/investments. This will be a long post to explain my situation, so bear with me.

I will be 37 this December, and my spouse just turned 39. We both just got married in March (2nd and hopefully final marriage for each of us) with a tad over a 6 figure HHI (60k/48k). No kids yet (none from prior marriage either). At our age, that doesn't look promising, but we are trying to see if it will happen or not. If not, I know our situation will be immensely easier to correct at our age being DINKS. Our retirement and savings is not where it should be, and I need some advice.

My current 401k balance is about $35,750 in high-risk/high-potential return funds. (I took an $11k+ hit by withdrawing 2 years ago to buy out my ex-wife's interest and keep the house), so there's that. Probably foolish, but we aren't all perfect and unfortunate life circumstances happened. My wife's 401k balance is roughly $10k, I believe. I only keep a couple of grand in my savings account for emergencies (also terrible). She has around $17k from a house she previously sold (was going to use to renovate her current house if she stayed there). She also has a "car replacement fund" with about $9500 in it. (You get she's the better saver here). My savings rate went from 3% to 4% now down to 2% temporarily. I believe she only puts in around 3% as well.

Our current plan is to sell my house, move into hers temporarily to get us to 1 mortgage, which would only be about $800 a month. (Low COL area) Then, we will take our time and save monthly until we find a house we both want. Buy it, and rent hers. I figure I would make anywhere from a meager $5k-15k equity selling mine (due to the refinancing hit after my divorce). She does not want to continue living in mine since it was my ex's and mine.

Debt situation is good. I was debt free except my mortgage up until May. I totaled my paid-off car, and stupidly financed another one---but only for about 2 years (currently owe around $8500 on it); then back to being debt free hopefully. She only has her $800 mortgage. That helps us greatly. I figure we should be able to save at least $1000 a month once we are not juggling 2 mortgages. She wants to keep her house we'll be moving into as it has about 100k equity in it, it's what she's always wanted (cute cottage in town), in a desirable area, etc. It's just too small for us to live in comfortably long-term (and no garage for my toys). It's in a high-demand district and would rent quickly, estimated rental at $1200/mo. It's a better investment than keeping mine either way.

Calculations show I need to save at least 10-15% of my 401k. Retirement before 60 at this point is a lottery dream; even at 65 is a dream unless SS is still around. Getting out from under my house around year-end will free up some cash. Buying a house we both want and renting hers will still allow us to be in a better situation than current.

Our dream is to eventually buy a 2nd home 45 min away from us at the beach, even if it means we downsize or stay in a small main home. If we have children, that equity will be kids' college fund. We aren't in the worst situation, but we sure aren't in the best either. Any advice one can give on how to invest, where to invest, "If I were you I'd". etc. is appreciated. I'd like to retire as early as possible and would like to take the chance to "fix this" while we still might be able.


Financially you are in great shape or at least you have the potential to be in a very short amount of time.

The way you speak about your situation is like you have a roommate not a wife, you havent been married long so hopefully that will change soon but you have to be intentional to be on the same page.

You have a poor outlook and you need to work on contentment, stuff will not make you happy.... your need for stuff will make/keep you poor.

We recently upgraded my wifes 19 y/o car with a $6k one..... our income is substantially higher than yours, we have no debt and obviously we paid cash.

You dont give many specifics so Ill make some assumptions. If I were in your situation Id payoff your car and list your home this week, Id sell your home once I had an offer to break even or better. Id sell your toys and focus on your wife and building a better tomorrow Id payoff her home and throw everything at retirement.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #20
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My dream was to have a home on the beach, too, but instead I lived below my means and retired at 54. It's a tough choice.
I also sacrificed, invested heavily in Vanguard index funds for approx 30 years , lived below my means , while most of my peers bought a lot of unneeded toys did not save for retirement and they are still working. Retired at 51 in September.
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