Author Topic: Is it time to pull back retirement savings for a house down payment?  (Read 1462 times)

fallstoclimb

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We're on the Mustachian-lite plan, savings lots for additional flexibility later in life (approaching mid-30s now) but no FIRE intentions.  We max my TSP and both of our Roth IRAs, plus save $500/month in my husband's 457 retirement plan.  Overall, healthy finances, although I think our emergency fund is bit light at 20K - slowly working at this.

We are in the process of selling our home to our tenants. They agreed to our asking price, the inspection might drive some negotiation and of course there's closing fees (no realtor commission) but it looks like we might walk away with roughly 50-65K.

That's a nice chunk of change for a down payment on our next house, but given that mortgage rates are sure to rise, I wonder if we should stop our Roth IRA contributions and redirect that money into house savings, and/or pull contributions out of our Roth IRAs to increase our down payment.  Keeping housing costs low is one of the key secrets to maximum financial flexibility, and would also serve to diversify our finances (right?), but I'm so used to prioritizing retirement I wanted to make sure I'm headed down the right path here.

Our home search will likely take some time as we are looking for something very specific, so redirecting savings streams could have a fairly significant effect.

Proud Foot

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Re: Is it time to pull back retirement savings for a house down payment?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 10:41:21 AM »
Since you mentioned it is a Roth account, why not continue with them and then only withdraw contributions if needed? To protect yourself from a market pullback you could invest new contributions in a "safer" investment that would beat the interest rate of a savings account. Would that 50-65k be at least 20% of what you are looking for?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Is it time to pull back retirement savings for a house down payment?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 02:42:24 PM »
Not enough information here.

You say you should net $50K.  That should buy you ~$250K.  We don't know how much room that leaves you for investing.
What % of your income would go toward your housing costs (it's all RELATIVE).  For lack of anything better, Dave Ramsey's "rule of thumb" is on a 15 year fixed, the housing costs should be <25% of take home pay.