Author Topic: Looking for advice  (Read 6256 times)

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Looking for advice
« on: May 09, 2012, 10:17:47 AM »
A little background information to start.  We are a married couple.  I am soon to be 40 and my wife is a young and beautiful 37 great mom of two.  Our offspring are 11 and 8, both boys. 
We have been very fortunate so far in life.  Great, healthy family and a nice home.  Up until a couple of years ago I was making $120,00 year while the wife only worked part time when she wanted so she could stay home with the kids.  With the downturn in the economy, I lost my high earning job that I had for years and now find myself starting over in the same field where salaries range from $20k to $35k and 240 days away from home.  I am finding that it does not really balance out.  I am missing a lot of things with my family for very little financial return.  My wife has picked up more work now and is doing everything around the house when I am gone as well as her job. 
I am envious of the Mustachian and his way of life.  I have always been relatively conservative and would love to retire early and get our of this mindless rat race.
I own my cars and the only debt I have is my mortgage and monthly living expenses.  My mortgage is $295k @ 4% $2000 a month, principle, interest, taxes and insurance. 
I have considered paying it off but not sure considering my whole financial picture.

Here is my financial breakdown.

Assets:

IRA #1         $280,000
IRA #2         $750,000
Cash            $650,000
529 Plans    $42,000
Roth            $60,000

Yearly Living expenses:

Electric:$185/$2220 yr
Auto Ins:$800 yr
Cell phone:$165/$1980 yr
Internet:$60/$720 yr
Home owners ins:$450 yr
Gas:   $390/$4680 yr
Food:$500/$6000 yr
Home mx:   $1000 yr
Misc/entertainment:   $200/$2400 yr
Hair cuts(wife & Kids):$100/$1200 yr
Gym:$750 yr
Property tax:$7000 yr (included in monthly mortgage payment)
Life Ins for wife and I:$675 yr
Garbage disposal:$210 yr

Total minus property tax is $23,085 a year.

I am making low $20's and wife is making mid $20's and would like to keep working.  I would like to dabble in the rental property business.  In our area you can pick up a multifamily home for $90k with a 10% market ratio.

Just so I don't get slammed on the boards, the large IRA is an inherited IRA and I do receive a yearly distribution from it based on my life expectancy.  It is in the range of $18,000 yr right now and increases slowly each year.

Bring on the comments.

Thanks from the Keystone State



grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4800
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 10:30:13 AM »
Cash            $650,000
That's a massive cash cushion you've got there. Any reason why?

Your total assets could comfortably support the way you're living now if you and your wife were to retire tomorrow. Your inherited IRA alone supplies almost 80% of what you need to live each year, and as you noted it's slowly increasing. Couldn't you pay off your mortgage, invest the cash, and live off of the interest on the cash and IRAs?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:32:59 AM by grantmeaname »

smedleyb

  • Guest
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 10:44:28 AM »
Uh, pay off the mortgage, drive less, and bang, you pretty much just made your yearly salary.

Welcome to retirement! 

Now go find something close to home that you love to do and live life a little.

(oh, and bank that IRA payout every year, of course.)

Galvenoc

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 12:43:16 PM »
bb john,

I'm going to start by saying i am by no stretch of the imagination, a master of this, and I actually had a post myself recently asking for advice. But here is what i've gathered just from the advice that has been thrown at me.

If your current mortgage payment is 2k a month including taxes, that equates out to 24k a year.
What you're saying your yearly expenses (roughly of course) are, equates to ~24k a year. Now, it seems like the money you're throwing at your mortgage each month could be used for your monthly expenses if it was paid off in full... as such, you would instantly be gaining 24k / year in 'savings' without changing anything.

Through the articles i've read from MMM himself, the 'average' family of four should be able to live comfortably (not lavishly...) on that amount, and there are some of those out there that live on less.

Now, granted 4% is not a bad interest rate, most of the advice that was given to me was based on a loan with 10% interest... regardless, the money that you're spending there would cover your yearly expenses, and eveyrthing else you make, part time, full time, interest on account, etc... would be going toward a net profit, slowly replenishing your 'stache technically without you doing anything.

Again, take my input with a grain of salt, as I'm by no means an expert or perfect. I would highly suggest doing some math and see if that would be a feasible choice, and perhaps take some advice from one more experienced than I, however, that is just how I see the numbers work.

Best of luck to you!

twinge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 01:47:58 PM »
I didn't see health insurance in your list--does your wife get it through her employer with part-time work?

zweipersona

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 02:09:12 PM »
That's an envious position to be in.

I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's.  You would lose a chunk of what you have accrued thus far, but you would have freedom to use that money as necessary.  With the right investments, 5-6% annual returns are not unreasonable.  If both of your IRAs are invested in this manner, you should be able to live off the returns, without making any sacrifices to your current way of life.  I'd look into dividend stock, but that kind of talk is for people more savvy than I.

If you aren't shy about reducing costs, look at your auto insurance and vehicles.  If both of you retire, you would only need at most one vehicle.  That will also significantly reduce insurance.  You could further reduce it by riding yourself of collision/comp, if the vehicle is low in value (Id say below 8k).  If the vehicle's worth is higher than this, sell it, buy a vehicle in the 2-4k range (Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, just a few brands that come to mind), then get rid of comp/collision.  (~200-300 saved)

You could also reduce cell phone bills.  I'm guessing those are bills for 1 or more smartphones?  Could get rid of those given your retirement status.  Otherwise, there is a thread here about how to reduce the phone bill.  MetroPCS would probably be a good fit for you. (~100 saved)

Gym?  Get rid of it.  There's too many options available to keep yourself healthy.  Work around the house, biking, walking, etc.  (750 saved) 

Those are adjustments you could make comfortably, further reducing the amount you need to spend monthly.  With those reductions alone, and the re-allocation of your nest egg, you'll probably find you have enough to retire and then some.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4800
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 02:24:31 PM »
I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's.  You would lose a chunk of what you have accrued thus far, but you would have freedom to use that money as necessary.  With the right investments, 5-6% annual returns are not unreasonable.  If both of your IRAs are invested in this manner, you should be able to live off the returns, without making any sacrifices to your current way of life.  I'd look into dividend stock, but that kind of talk is for people more savvy than I.
Why break up the IRA? Look at what it does now:

the large IRA is an inherited IRA and I do receive a yearly distribution from it based on my life expectancy.  It is in the range of $18,000 yr right now and increases slowly each year.

Isn't that more or less what the OP would want it to do?

Bank

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 03:11:40 PM »
I second grantmeaname's opinion re: early IRA withdrawals.  Consider the disadvantages:

1 - You have to pay income taxes on the untaxed portion you withdraw (pre-tax contributions and earnings).
2- You pay a 10% penalty in addition to that amount.
3 - You no longer get to enjoy tax deferred compounding on your investments.

Triple whammy.  You'd have to be really lucky in your investments to make up for those deficiencies.  Be aware, however, that there are exceptions to the 10% penalty (but not ordinary taxes) that you may qualify for.  These include:

1 - Being the beneficiary of a deceased IRA owner - which you are.
2 - Distributions taken are not more than the cost of your medical insurance.

More are here in IRS Pub 590 on page 49 of the PDF:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590.pdf

The IRS also used to allow something called Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (SEPP).  Basically, it allowed you to take regular payments from an IRA, even if you were not yet of retirement age, for 5 years or until you reached age 59 1/2, whichever came first.  I don't know if this is still allowed, but be aware that if it is (and you choose to do it) you MUST continue it until you hit 59 1/2.

Hope this helps on the IRA side.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 03:23:29 PM »
I lost my high earning job that I had for years and now find myself starting over in the same field where salaries range from $20k to $35k and 240 days away from home.  I am finding that it does not really balance out.  I am missing a lot of things with my family for very little financial return.

First, quit your job tomorrow.  Really.  Tomorrow.

You are away from home 240 days for $20-35k?  In your financial situation I think that's crazy.  Be with your kids, you can make more money later when they grow up if you need to.

But I don't think you will need to.  Pay of the mortgage with the cash and then invest the rest in a nice balanced portfolio.  Get some good advice, it's worth paying for, and take your time.  Don't sink it all into rentals, but maybe start to play in that area and see whether that could work for you.  In your free time start making money on the side.  Rental, odd jobs, whatever floats your boat.  With careful spending your wife can cut back as well, and with some side streams of income figured out you could both be working just a small amount very shortly.

Good luck!

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 05:02:43 PM »
I didn't see health insurance in your list--does your wife get it through her employer with part-time work?

I get health insurance from my current employer, but in the past between jobs, have funded relatively affordable insurance with a high deductible ($7500) for around $325 a month by using ehealthinsurance.com like MMM said.
The other thing that I failed to mention was that I use that distribution from the IRA yearly to pay the majority of my mortgage.  I used to be from the school of let the money grow at a higher rate than the 4% mortgage I owe. 

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 05:07:23 PM »
That's an envious position to be in.

I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's.  You would lose a chunk of what you have accrued thus far, but you would have freedom to use that money as necessary.  With the right investments, 5-6% annual returns are not unreasonable.  If both of your IRAs are invested in this manner, you should be able to live off the returns, without making any sacrifices to your current way of life.  I'd look into dividend stock, but that kind of talk is for people more savvy than I.

If you aren't shy about reducing costs, look at your auto insurance and vehicles.  If both of you retire, you would only need at most one vehicle.  That will also significantly reduce insurance.  You could further reduce it by riding yourself of collision/comp, if the vehicle is low in value (Id say below 8k).  If the vehicle's worth is higher than this, sell it, buy a vehicle in the 2-4k range (Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, just a few brands that come to mind), then get rid of comp/collision.  (~200-300 saved)

You could also reduce cell phone bills.  I'm guessing those are bills for 1 or more smartphones?  Could get rid of those given your retirement status.  Otherwise, there is a thread here about how to reduce the phone bill.  MetroPCS would probably be a good fit for you. (~100 saved)

Gym?  Get rid of it.  There's too many options available to keep yourself healthy.  Work around the house, biking, walking, etc.  (750 saved) 

Those are adjustments you could make comfortably, further reducing the amount you need to spend monthly.  With those reductions alone, and the re-allocation of your nest egg, you'll probably find you have enough to retire and then some.

The cell phones are the one thing that bugs me.  We only have text and voice for three phones, no data plan for smart phones and no home phone.   I really can't stand how everyone holds onto those things like a safety blanket.  The unfortunate thing is I just had to resign with Verizon and am stuck for a little less than two years with them, or I would go to a cheaper option.

zweipersona

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 07:03:32 PM »
I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's....
Why break up the IRA? Look at what it does now:

the large IRA is an inherited IRA and I do receive a yearly distribution from it based on my life expectancy.  It is in the range of $18,000 yr right now and increases slowly each year.

Isn't that more or less what the OP would want it to do?

I missed that.  You're both right.  I would've considered the penalty an option for accessing those funds 10-20 years sooner, but since they're accessible now, it's not recommended.


bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 09:51:47 PM »
I would think about moving to a less expensive house, which are readily available in PA, and if you quit your job (which you should), you aren't tied to a specific location.  Your wife could still work or not

I know the house is an obvious thing to get rid of, but to my wife and I it is important to keep our kids in a stable environment and in the same good public school district we are in. The house is worth about $400k and our area didn't suffer the loss of value like many other areas.  Down the road when the kids are out of college, then maybe we will sell and take the chunk of money we will get and use it for something else.

Other than that, the biggest expenses that stick out are:

-cell phone:  We pay $105/mo for 3 lines from Verizon and are thinking of switching to pageplus, where we could save $700 per year.  Take a look at what's available and you may be able to pay the contract termination fee and still come out ahead.
-gas: $390/month seems very excessive.  Look at reducing your commute or getting more fuel efficient cars.
-haircuts $100/mo?  Your wife can get a salon cut for $20 every couple months, and you can cut your boys hair at home.  Even getting them professional cuts should be much less than that.

I will have to look into the cell phone deals and put some numbers down to see if it makes sense to terminate my contract.  The thing with Verizon, is they charge a termination fee for each line even though it is one contract. Last I checked it was a couple hundred bucks a line.

Overall though, living on $24k is doing pretty well.  I think that a salary in the $20k's is not worth continuing to work with your financial situation, especially when it is so draining for you.  If your wife continues to work, you can cover most of your expenses with her salary.

As far as paying off the mortgage, I usually recommend it but with the IRA making regular payouts it's not as critical for you.  So whatever makes you feel better.

Paying the mortgage off is starting to make me think is a good idea, just the feeling of having it free and clear is a great feeling. Yes, I do use the IRA distribution for the mortgage, but I don't know how much sense it makes to use that to pay on something that is costing me 4% and then still having to come up with another $6000 since the IRA is only kicking out $18k.  If I pay the mortgage off, I save 4%, then can use the IRA to pay the property taxes and have a good chunk left over for living expenses and health insurance.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 06:45:00 AM »
If you can sell and move to a home that's about $100K cheaper, that's another $6-8K/year in investment income, assuming your home isn't underwater. It would also lower your utility bills and insurance and possibly your property tax.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10657
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 11:24:42 PM »
Hi bbjohn,
I'll take the contrarian view on this one. Don't pay off the house. Over the next ten or fifteen years, you are very likely to average more than 4% annual return on your investments. Keep your cash to maximize your options. You could trim your expenses as detailed in the prior comments. Your biggest hole is healthcare. Is your wife's work steady and could it provide healthcare for the family?

Outside of college funds, you have 1.74 million at your disposal. At 3% per year, you'd be pulling out 58K, which is more than you're both earning now. Yes, you may need more as the years pass, but your assets will increase in value and Social Security will kick in some more when you hit retirement age. If you can get a handle on healthcare, you've got it made. You could quit your job and be home with your family.

Since you really don't need to earn much, you could find something part time close to home that fuels your passion. Real Estate is a great idea, but learn as much as you can on someone else's dime before you invest any money of your own. Since your income needs are virtually non-existant, you could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, intern at a property management company, get your Real Estate License, work for a company that specializes in short sales and foreclosures, heck, even get your contractor's license. All of those things will help you make wise property decisions and could very well lead to a lucrative second career closer to home with better hours.

I know that some of your funds are not available to you right away, but that's okay, you don't need them yet. There have been a number of articles published lately that show that it's partially how much you pull out of your accounts and partially the order in which you draw down the assets. There's a blog called Retirement: A Full-Time Job which explained all of this very well in a series of recent posts. The address is             
retiredsyd (dot) typepad (dot) com. You can just google "retired syd".

You are in an incredibly awesome position, but don't seem to fully grasp the freedom that awaits you.  It seems a good chunk of your wealth is due to an inheritance, so perhaps it doesn't seem "real" to you yet. Maybe you are still mourning the loss of the loved one who was so generous.

Imagine what it would have been like when you were your kid's age to have had your dad around whenever you needed him. What would you have given? The chance to be nearby (or even home, a la MMM) helping your children learn how to be happy, productive adults is priceless.

Final thought: I'm not sure how big MMM's 'stache is, but I suspect you are in his league and possibly then some. Life just handed you a giant "Get Out of Jail Free" card - go use it! You really do have your whole life ahead of you. Please keep us posted. It's so much fun to hear about success stories.

onehappypanda

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 06:10:53 AM »
That's an envious position to be in.

I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's.  You would lose a chunk of what you have accrued thus far, but you would have freedom to use that money as necessary.  With the right investments, 5-6% annual returns are not unreasonable.  If both of your IRAs are invested in this manner, you should be able to live off the returns, without making any sacrifices to your current way of life.  I'd look into dividend stock, but that kind of talk is for people more savvy than I.

If you aren't shy about reducing costs, look at your auto insurance and vehicles.  If both of you retire, you would only need at most one vehicle.  That will also significantly reduce insurance.  You could further reduce it by riding yourself of collision/comp, if the vehicle is low in value (Id say below 8k).  If the vehicle's worth is higher than this, sell it, buy a vehicle in the 2-4k range (Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, just a few brands that come to mind), then get rid of comp/collision.  (~200-300 saved)

You could also reduce cell phone bills.  I'm guessing those are bills for 1 or more smartphones?  Could get rid of those given your retirement status.  Otherwise, there is a thread here about how to reduce the phone bill.  MetroPCS would probably be a good fit for you. (~100 saved)

Gym?  Get rid of it.  There's too many options available to keep yourself healthy.  Work around the house, biking, walking, etc.  (750 saved) 

Those are adjustments you could make comfortably, further reducing the amount you need to spend monthly.  With those reductions alone, and the re-allocation of your nest egg, you'll probably find you have enough to retire and then some.

The cell phones are the one thing that bugs me.  We only have text and voice for three phones, no data plan for smart phones and no home phone.   I really can't stand how everyone holds onto those things like a safety blanket.  The unfortunate thing is I just had to resign with Verizon and am stuck for a little less than two years with them, or I would go to a cheaper option.

Chiming in the on the cell phones: What's the penalty for cancelling the service early?

My dad just got rid of his Verizon account early, and his penalty was only $75. Compare that to the $500/year he'll save switching to a cheaper pre-paid plan, and it absolutely makes financial sense to pony up the penalty. My guess is you might be in a similar situation.

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 09:22:34 AM »
That's an envious position to be in.

I'd look into the penalties for early withdrawal for both IRA's.  You would lose a chunk of what you have accrued thus far, but you would have freedom to use that money as necessary.  With the right investments, 5-6% annual returns are not unreasonable.  If both of your IRAs are invested in this manner, you should be able to live off the returns, without making any sacrifices to your current way of life.  I'd look into dividend stock, but that kind of talk is for people more savvy than I.

If you aren't shy about reducing costs, look at your auto insurance and vehicles.  If both of you retire, you would only need at most one vehicle.  That will also significantly reduce insurance.  You could further reduce it by riding yourself of collision/comp, if the vehicle is low in value (Id say below 8k).  If the vehicle's worth is higher than this, sell it, buy a vehicle in the 2-4k range (Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, just a few brands that come to mind), then get rid of comp/collision.  (~200-300 saved)

You could also reduce cell phone bills.  I'm guessing those are bills for 1 or more smartphones?  Could get rid of those given your retirement status.  Otherwise, there is a thread here about how to reduce the phone bill.  MetroPCS would probably be a good fit for you. (~100 saved)

Gym?  Get rid of it.  There's too many options available to keep yourself healthy.  Work around the house, biking, walking, etc.  (750 saved) 

Those are adjustments you could make comfortably, further reducing the amount you need to spend monthly.  With those reductions alone, and the re-allocation of your nest egg, you'll probably find you have enough to retire and then some.

The cell phones are the one thing that bugs me.  We only have text and voice for three phones, no data plan for smart phones and no home phone.   I really can't stand how everyone holds onto those things like a safety blanket.  The unfortunate thing is I just had to resign with Verizon and am stuck for a little less than two years with them, or I would go to a cheaper option.

Chiming in the on the cell phones: What's the penalty for cancelling the service early?

My dad just got rid of his Verizon account early, and his penalty was only $75. Compare that to the $500/year he'll save switching to a cheaper pre-paid plan, and it absolutely makes financial sense to pony up the penalty. My guess is you might be in a similar situation.

I can't recall the exact amount, but it it was a lot more than $75.  It is pro-rated monthly, but I remember it being $100 plus per phone and I have three phones, one for me the wife and an extra for the house/kids.

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 09:40:16 AM »
Hi bbjohn,
I'll take the contrarian view on this one. Don't pay off the house. Over the next ten or fifteen years, you are very likely to average more than 4% annual return on your investments. Keep your cash to maximize your options. You could trim your expenses as detailed in the prior comments. Your biggest hole is healthcare. Is your wife's work steady and could it provide healthcare for the family?

Outside of college funds, you have 1.74 million at your disposal. At 3% per year, you'd be pulling out 58K, which is more than you're both earning now. Yes, you may need more as the years pass, but your assets will increase in value and Social Security will kick in some more when you hit retirement age. If you can get a handle on healthcare, you've got it made. You could quit your job and be home with your family.

Since you really don't need to earn much, you could find something part time close to home that fuels your passion. Real Estate is a great idea, but learn as much as you can on someone else's dime before you invest any money of your own. Since your income needs are virtually non-existant, you could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, intern at a property management company, get your Real Estate License, work for a company that specializes in short sales and foreclosures, heck, even get your contractor's license. All of those things will help you make wise property decisions and could very well lead to a lucrative second career closer to home with better hours.

I know that some of your funds are not available to you right away, but that's okay, you don't need them yet. There have been a number of articles published lately that show that it's partially how much you pull out of your accounts and partially the order in which you draw down the assets. There's a blog called Retirement: A Full-Time Job which explained all of this very well in a series of recent posts. The address is             
retiredsyd (dot) typepad (dot) com. You can just google "retired syd".

You are in an incredibly awesome position, but don't seem to fully grasp the freedom that awaits you.  It seems a good chunk of your wealth is due to an inheritance, so perhaps it doesn't seem "real" to you yet. Maybe you are still mourning the loss of the loved one who was so generous.

Imagine what it would have been like when you were your kid's age to have had your dad around whenever you needed him. What would you have given? The chance to be nearby (or even home, a la MMM) helping your children learn how to be happy, productive adults is priceless.

Final thought: I'm not sure how big MMM's 'stache is, but I suspect you are in his league and possibly then some. Life just handed you a giant "Get Out of Jail Free" card - go use it! You really do have your whole life ahead of you. Please keep us posted. It's so much fun to hear about success stories.

You are right, healthcare is a major issue.  Like I said before, I can get a high deductible policy for $350 a month and that is pretty much just a catastrophic policy.  My wife is a contract worker and does not have access to benefits, so that is not an option right now.  If she is able to land a full time contract position, then it is a no brainer and I will be done.

Not to get to personal, the smaller IRA is all mine from my own wealth building as well as the Roth's and the 529 plans.  I made decent money for 15 years and lived conservatively.  My former company matched my 401k at 15% dollar for dollar, allowing me to save a good chunk of change.  The large IRA is an inherited one and instead of cashing it out all at once and taking a huge penalty, I elected to keep it in there and take the yearly distribution throughout my life time and let the savings grow, and increase my distribution each year.  At a return of 7%, that gives me $17,000 this year, by the time I am 50 it will be $35k and at 60 it would be close to $70k and increasing each year.  But the big question is will it return 7% and where is this economy going when all we hear about is this fiscal cliff we are getting ready to drive off of.
The major thing that weighs on me is being away from my kids and wife.  I like my work to a certain extent, but I know at heart what is really important.
As far as me not grasping the freedom that I have, you are probably correct.  I do not feel wealthy, never have.  I was very fortunate to have a sizable chunk of money land in my lap, but I was already a saver and getting that money did not change my lifestyle at all. 

Thanks for your great reply and insight

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10657
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2012, 11:30:46 PM »
Hi bbjohn,
Your original post was very well written. It was clear to me what each of the balances represented. To have nearly 400k saved, plus owning a home with decent equity and having a family with a mostly SAHM is a huge accomplishment at not-quite-40.

It's because you had amassed so much on your own that I responded the way I did. You will not squander what you have been given. The very best thing you can buy with your added resources is time with your wife and children. Another personal favorite resource (besides Syd) is a guy who does a weekly radio show. I listen to the podcasts to avoid the commercials. Last week's show was their 20-year anniversary celebration. Great information, and a good overview. His is an investing style that's very Mustachian: utilize low-cost, widely diversified etfs and rebalance often. The financial guy is Ric Edelman. I'm not plugging his services, just saying that he has a lot of interesting and positive things to say about money management. Google his name and follow the links to past shows.

You are right that the health care must be nailed down to protect your family. The thing people don't seem to take into consideration with high deductible policies is that they're cheap (-ish) at first, but what happens after a catastrophe occurs? Sure, your low-cost, high deductible insurance company pays out the first year, there's nothing to keep them from dropping you or jacking your rates sky-high after they've had a big payout.

One thought that didn't make it into yesterday's reply: Your boys are at a great age right now. You have a short window before they become teenagers and want to spend all their time with their friends, get jobs, etc. You could consider taking a few year hiatus and then going back to work once they hit high school. In the meantime, you will have created life-long memories and learning experiences that other kids simply will not have, particularly the latch-key kids.

bbjohn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Looking for advice
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2012, 06:07:36 AM »
Diane,

I have read several of Edelman's books in the past.  I liked what he had to say.  I didn't realize he had a radio show, I will have to look it up. 
You are also right about having a small window of opportunity in my children's life to spend some time with them. 

Thanks