Author Topic: 46 and trying to get it straightened out  (Read 1589 times)

try2bwise

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46 and trying to get it straightened out
« on: December 30, 2018, 08:04:38 AM »
Came to the US in my early 30s. Wife and 2 kids. Son is in a State university. I know I have to work until retirement but ideally would like to work no longer
than what it takes. We live in the north east and the cost of living is obviously a little high

Gross $110K (AGI last year was $92K on a $106K)
401K - 13% - additional employer match of 5% (the salary increases this year goes to my 401K directly)
take home - $5500/month or thereabouts..

Wife doesn't work.

Current savings in retirement accounts
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401K -  just over a $100K
Roth IRA - $15K
Contribution to HSA - $100
Have saved for 2 years for my son's college fees - he will have to take  a loan for the remaining ( should be around $45K).


Expenses
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mortgage - $2300 (including taxes / insurance) - have around $225K remaining
Internet/TV/phone - $150.00
Cell phone - $131.00
Electricity/Gas - currently around $200.00 (increases a little during winter)
Car insurance - $300 ( for 3 cars including my sons) - Son pays his part when possible.
Used car loan for Honda Civic - $150.00 (I gave my old car away to my son) - I tend to keep my cars a long time
Daughter's Ballet Classes - $140.00 - This is 5 different classes that she takes and really enjoys and loves doing this
Groceries - $700.00
Gas - $150.00
Eating out - $100.00 - $150.00
Other expenses - $300.00 - $500.00 (this is the one I am trying to get my wife to cut down on since she is the one contributing to most of it including
purchases from the TV shopping networks - minus that it would probably fall down to under a $100.00 - advice falling on deaf ears so far)

Other Obvious cut down areas - Phone/Internet/TV.

I am thinking of picking up some side hustle to supplement my income.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 08:09:20 AM »
Your son is in college and your wife is staying home doing what exactly?

Sounds like the perfect opportunity to raise income substantially, while making you less reliant on having one income stream.

This will cut your time to FI drastically.

try2bwise

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 09:31:20 AM »
We know. She has been trying and looking for part time stuff, but has not been successful on that. My daughter's after school activities and ballet etc holding her back. Unfortunately we don't have any relatives near by who could help us out with those things. We have not been able to work around that.

Tuskalusa

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 09:40:55 AM »
Your Mortgage eats up half of your take home pay. Have you considered options for reducing your housing expense?

try2bwise

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 09:46:11 AM »
Not sure about the options. I am on a 20 year @3.75% mortgage and 3 years into it. My insurance is around $1200.00 - couldn't find cheaper one out here. Taxes in my town are a little on the higher side around $7K per year. Is there anything specific you want me to answer about?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 10:32:08 AM »
I think the question is just - can you downsize to a less expensive house?

try2bwise

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 11:41:38 AM »
With what we have, it is not too large a house. Just right. Once my daughter leaves in another 5 years, that option would definitely be on the table

former player

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 02:01:07 PM »
Your daughter is 13?  Is she able to get herself to school in the mornings?  If so, then your wife could be looking for jobs which start very early in the mornings and finish in time for her to do the after-school activities thing.  Or she could look at weekend jobs?

With retirement funds at $100k you are looking at a retirement income of $4k a year.  Which coincidentally is about what your wife spends on "shopping" every year.  Oh, and it would cover about half your annual Medicare costs in retirement.

You might try this thread on how to convert your spouse to mustachianism -
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/



Tuskalusa

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 04:59:05 PM »
I totally get having a parent at home, and I totally respect the decision here. Finding a job that is flexible with school hours is challenging, but something will come up in time. In the meantime, I’d recommend just keeping working at cutting discretionary spending. Mrs. Frugalwoods is starting her Uber Frugal Month Challenge on Jan 1. Might be worth checking out.

try2bwise

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 06:12:09 PM »
@former player @Tuskalusa Thanks for the feedback. She has been trying to get something that works for her in the morning but hasn't had success so far. Flexibility seems to be the key everywhere. I will check Frugalwoods out. Discretionary spending has to be cut.. I do plan on making her sit down and show her where the money is going. Just talking about it doesn't seem to be working.

Tuskalusa

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 07:19:01 PM »
May I caution against the approaching of sitting down and making her explain? I would take huge offense if my spouse framed up a discussion with me like that.

Perhaps using something like the Frugalwoods challenge to shape the discussion would go over easier. You could supplement this by setting up Mint or YNAB and having all accounts download there for both of you to see.  Then you are proactively discussing data as it comes in, as opposed to setting up a review of past issues.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 07:33:35 PM »
I think your wife is buying so much junk because she’s bored out of her mind. She needs to get out of the house. If she doesn’t work, she could volunteer. What will you guys do when you Retire?

try2bwise

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 08:18:26 PM »
@Tuskalusa That is exactly what I mean to do - download transactions from PersonalCapital - apologies in case that came out incorrectly. She is too precious for me !!

@MrThatsDifferent To a certain extent what you say is true and I do realize that. I have been prodding her to go volunteer somewhere. I spend time working with kids as a  volunteer and enjoy teaching them when time permits and I hope to continue that after retirement as well.  My wife hasn't decided anything yet. I am hoping she will tag along with me..

freya

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Re: 46 and trying to get it straightened out
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 09:44:31 AM »
You've done very well given that you started just 10 years ago, but let's be honest:  for your age you have minimal savings,  your household income is on the low side for a high cost area, and after expenses you have only $700/month in wiggle room.
 Since you have virtually no taxable savings, we can safely assume that this money goes to things you didn't list:  home repairs, medical expenses, car repairs, vacations, gifts.  It'll be a challenge for you to retire comfortably at 67, let alone retire early.

Getting your wife on board is key.  If you're set on staying in your current home, why not use the high costs and extra space to your advantage?  Start a home business that your wife can run.  Make a room into a home office and take the home office deduction.  Or, there are other at-home jobs she can get, like customer service for JetBlue or something.  Getting started on a project like that would help get her out of the funk she is likely to be in, being at home alone all day with nothing to do but watch TV and wait for your daughter to call.

Another suggestion:  buy a bike for your daughter!  How far do you live from her school and ballet class?