Another Iowan


Full time employment: Posting here.
Jan 9, 2005

I found this board yesterday while trying to figure out what to do with $30,000 sitting in just a passbook savings acct. (that's something I'd like to discuss - will post that topic in a more appropriate section). I've noticed all the Iowa references in different posts. I work for a nationwide company so I meet "co-workers" everytime I go on vacation. While in Honolulu two yrs ago I met another employee (who lives in Honolulu) at the hotel I was staying at and he said to me, "How can you afford to stay at this hotel?" And my answer was "Because, I live in Iowa!"

For me early retirement is not a choice. My job is blue collar and very laborious. I have Lupus which makes a physically demanding job extra hard AND I want to retire early just in case I die early. I am 37 and have a 13 yr. old son. My company provides a pension, offers a non-matching 401K, and an employee stock purchase plan at a 10% discount of the lowest quarterly stock price.

So hedging my bets so to speak, I decided to retire at 52. Although a 25 yr. pension ($1250/mo.) is a pittance of the full pension at 62 ($3,350/mo) I can retain my present full-coverage insurance (which includes free prescriptions) for $50/mo. until I reach age 65 and Medicare kicks in. Even if the price of this goes up it's a good deal imo and in my plan I've ear-marked my pension pymts to cover anything medical.

I contribute 22% to my 401K about $12,500/yr and have just started to recover from the beating it took the last few years. The balance now is $66,000. I have paid off my mortgage and have no other debt. I just started the employee stock purchase plan at $50/week. I also save another $10,000/yr and I seem paralyzed about investing that money. I have college to pay for in 5 yrs and will need to provide myself an income from 52-59 1/2.

That's the financial me in a nutshell. Liz
You have some good benefits there and a good salary.
Try until you figure out what to do with the $
:D I am really happy to be here and only wish I could retire earlier. I hate my job like a lot of people posting on here and 3 yrs ago when I found out I could keep my medical benefits after age 50 w/ 20 yrs of service I had a new lease on life and my job was a means to an end.

My job does have great perks but I really did sell my soul to the devil for a big paycheck.
Ad DEX says, put your savings in savings account until you know what you want to do with it. It's easy to set up and move funds back and forth between checking account and ING. Perfect place for rainy day emergency funds in particular.
I have been tempted to use ING several times, but so far have done as well with nearby banks. For about the last 6 months or so, I have received 2.5% from a local
bank (very few restrictions - low minimum). Now I see
in today's paper that another local bank is offering a MM account with 3% locked for 6 months. 10K minimum to get this rate
and you must open a checking account also. I did not see any penalties for closing the account before any
particular point in time. For the past 3 years I have never taken less than 2.5% on my "just waiting money"
but I have to keep moving it around among about 4 banks.

Hey tinlizzy, good to see another Iowan on here.

I can relate to your situation of the deal with the devil for the paycheck. I think we are on the right track to changing that.
I never lived in Iowa, but have been all over the state
by car and motorcycle. One way that Iowans are
lucky is that the scenery looks pretty nice after you have visited North Dakota :)

I love vacations and travel twice a yr usually and I have never failed to notice how beautiful the skies are above Iowa when I return home. Maybe it's just that flat states don't have anything to visually detract from the wide open sky.
I'll keep the ING acct. in mind and call around locally for rates. I'm leaning towards plopping $20,000 of savings into a 5-yr CD and keeping $10K for an emergency fund. Also having that $10,000 balance allows me to have bill pay for free...a $6.95/mo cost otherwise.  I know....I have 5 bills a month tops but it's so convenient. I am leaning towards just putting my yearly savings of  $10,000 in a new 5-yr CD every year. The first one would expire the yr my son starts college. I can also put up to $10,000 into my employers stock every year with the 10% discount. I work for "the tightest ship in the shipping business" and can't imagine ever losing money in that stock but.... decisions, decisions. Any thoughts?
Yep, I have some thoughts. Unless you really enjoy your
work, plan to be able to ER ASAP.

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