Author Topic: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances  (Read 6196 times)

mr.aqua

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New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« on: August 26, 2017, 06:19:13 PM »
Fellow MMMers.

I've been a lurker for awhile and finally decided to sign up. I'm curious how we are doing with our finances/goals and if we should adjust anything.

I'm 35 and so is my wife and we live in San Diego. We have no kids and have decided not to have any.

My Salary 125k

My wife is self employed. Her gross is 250k a year but takes home maybe 10-20% of that after all her biz expenses. So lets say 40k profit for a total of 165k.

Debt:

10-20k on credit cards.. we use them for everything, including her biz, and pay them off every month. The balance on them fluctuates but we haven't paid interest on them for 4 years. We have been fortunate enough to travel the world for next to nothing using CC rewards :)

Car loan: 24k at 1.9%
Solar loan 15k at 5.5%
Home loan 568k at 3.5%

Assets:

Home is worth 800-820k - This will be our forever house and won't be selling it
3 paid off cars - 45k  (gear head :)
Retirement accounts: 420k (401k, Roth IRAs, SEP, HSA, taxable account).
Emergency fund earning 1.3%. 25k

Fortunately we are able to max out my 401k w/ a 5% match, HSA and both Roth IRA's each year. This amounts roughly saving 40k a year. We are a bit aggressive in investing and have seen returns of 8-10% a year on average over the last decade.

I plan on working at my government job until 62 which I will earn a pension of 33% of my highest yearly salary. 50-65k a year I estimate in future dollars.

Our house will be paid off around the same time. My goal in retirement is to be able to make 100k a year for a comfy retirement. This should be easily doable if SS is still around but I'm not counting on it. Realistically we probably won't need more than 50k due to no mortgage and no more investing.

So how do you think we are doing? On track?

Thank you,

Aqua














MDM

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 06:37:39 PM »
So how do you think we are doing?
mr.aqua, welcome to the forum.

Regarding your question, what do the simple "Time to FI" calculations in the case study spreadsheet, and more complex ones in any of Best and/or Recommended Retirement Calculator - Bogleheads.org (or similar), tell you?

FINate

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 07:36:28 PM »
Can't really say how you're doing without more information about your expenses. Set up a Mint.com (or similar) tracker to track and categorize your spending. The business expenses should be keep separate - ideally all and only business expenses are on certain cards and you can just omit these from Mint.com. Related question, what is your savings rate?

Your fuzziness around planning to have 100k/year in retirement yet thinking you may only need half of that strongly suggests that you don't really know what your real spending needs are.

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 07:49:17 PM »
Thank you for the information. I'm a huge fan of mint and have been using it for 5 years. I also started using personal capital and really like it.

I agree that keeping the biz accounts separate will clear the muddy water. Perhaps I'll create separate mint just for that. It's hard to know exactly what my wife makes at a glance so I usually underestimate what she brings to the table. Our savings rate related to my sole income is about 30%.

I ran through the google spreadsheet and looks like we'll require 35-40k a year (in today's value) in net income after our home and any loans are paid off.

One on hand I feel that we are over saving and are living sudo paycheck to paycheck, by choice. On the other hand I think it would be nice to have the choice to retire earlier than expected. Estimates from personal capital says we'll have about 17k in income a month in retirement! Way more than what we'll need.



former player

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 04:23:13 AM »
Welcome to the way of the mustache.

You are obviously doing fine with Plan A - work until you are 62 and retire with midas-levels of wealth.

On the other hand a) don't kid yourself, you are not in any way a mustachian, and b) you don't seem to have much of a back-up if Plan A doesn't happen, either because you change your mind about working or because facts (ill-health, etc.) change it for you.  At minimum I'd suggest some after-tax investing in order to grow a stash that you could harvest if needed before your retirement accounts become available to you.

Also, as your house is your forever house (I have one of those, so I understand, despite the non-mustachian cost) I'd be looking at paying down some of that significant mortgage, which also gives you more options in the future than being tied to an enormous monthly mortgage payment.  (Given the interest rates, though, the solar loan should go first.)

I hope your wife has a better handle on her income, expenses and profits than you do, as running that much turnover without keeping good accounts is a recipe for disaster - she quite possibly won't be able to spot trends or potential cash flow problems until it's too late to turn them around.

frugaliknowit

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2017, 05:24:14 AM »
With the limited information you have given:

1.  Congratulations, you have a great big "shovel" (income to build weath/dig yourself out of poop if there were any...).
2.  Trust me, in rare instances is there such thing as a "forever house".  Needs change for many reasons.
3.  It's great that you pay off your cc's each month.  The downside of large scale use of cc's is that one has a tendency to lose track of one's expenses (why do you think Mickey D's takes them?).  My gut tells me your expenses are high relative to your income (at least from a mustachian perspective; but we don't have enough info...).

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2017, 10:47:47 AM »
Thank you all for your feed back! One thing I've learned from this site is how to use a taxable account. So I'm going to start looking into putting more into our taxable account to bring our stash up. We definitely have had some life style creep over the last year and need to do a course correction. Examples below.

1. We bought a very expensive house 775k last year  In San Diego it's very hard finding a decent SFH for anything less than 700k in a decent area. We were able to put down 25% though to avoid PMI. It's a single story and meets our needs perfectly. We plan on living here until we are unable to. We are glad we bought at historic low 30 year fixed 3.5%. Home is now worth 820k.

2. We bought a solar system. 18K after federal tax break. The solar will pay for itself in about 7 years. We paid quite a bit off already but still unhappy about needing to finance it at 5.5%. 15k left to go.

3. We bought a 4th car (cash). 16k

4. We bought a time share (cash) 16k

My plan of attack has been to pay the solar loan off ASAP. I hate paying interest and 5.5% is way to high. We do get to write off some of the interest on our taxes but it is not dollar for dollar.

So after the solar loan is gone, would you then pay extra on the mortgage? or make extra payments on the car? Or pay the minimum on both and start build a large nest egg in our taxable account which only has 7k in it currently.

Car Loan is 1.9% with 24k to go. House is 568k @ 3.5%.

Currently I'm already rounding up the mortgage payment and putting 175 extra a month on it. The thought behind this was to get it pay off right before I retire @ 62 which would free up 2603 a month in Interest and Principle.




FINate

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 04:02:59 PM »
When you started this thread you asked "how we are doing with our finances/goals and if we should adjust anything"?

Solar is a sound investment because it will pay for itself and return dividends over its working life - so no problem there. Housing is a necessity and, as crazy as it sounds, 775k may be reasonable in HCOL California for a SFH, assuming you aren't buying more house than you need (e.g. a 3/2 with no kids). It's difficult to know with this information if your housing situation is something that should be optimized. One thing is abundantly clear however, you spent 32k on a car (and now have 3 cars!!) and a timeshare!! If you hadn't made either of these purchases you would have avoided the 5.5% on the loan for Solar.

So you should adjust your spending at least in those areas. Sell one of the cars, dump the timeshare, and stop dropping 16k on stuff you don't need.


« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 08:40:27 PM by FINate »

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 05:42:04 PM »
When you started this thread you asked "how we are doing with our finances/goals and if we should adjust anything"?

Solar is a sound investment because it will pay for itself and return dividends over it's working life - so no problem there. Housing is a necessity and, as crazy as it sounds, 775k may be reasonable in HCOL California for a SFH, assuming you aren't buying more house than you need (e.g. a 3/2 with no kids). It's difficult to know with this information if your housing situation is something that should be optimized. One thing is abundantly clear however, you spent 32k on a car (and now have 3 cars!!) and a timeshare!! If you hadn't made either of these purchases you would have avoided the 5.5% on the loan for Solar.

So you should adjust your spending at least in those areas. Sell one of the cars, dump the timeshare, and stop dropping 16k on stuff you don't need.



Thanks for the feed back.

House prices are insane here! I think it's closing in on 600-650k for an average SFH. We bought a 3/2 1500 square feet home with a large lot and a pool. Nothing super fancy or a McMansion but it's located in one of the best areas of San Diego which is 7 mins from the La Jolla.

Cars (specifically sports cars) have been a very weak spot financially for me over the years. Typically we are pretty frugal with everyday spending. Living in San Diego luckily most of the things we like to do are very cheap or free. Hike, surf, Zoo. We do pench pennies on everyday things but do tend to spend large sums at once.  i.e. Cars. Timeshare

The timeshare was a bargain for Disney and bought used at 1/2 the price used. We have  already used 6k worth of stays this year. I think it will pay for itself if we were to sell our time if not being used that year.

Moving forward I'm never going to buy a new car again and will pay cash for any luxury items. Once both loans (solar and car loan) are paid off I'm going to dump what I've been paying on them into our tax able investment account.

After running through the cashflow spreadsheet it looks like If I FIRE in 18 years at 53 we will have a mil more than what we need, not counting any pension or SS income. My wife will probably keep working until she can't since he loves running her own biz.

If I work until 62, we'll have 3 mil more than required. I guess I'm concerned about saving too much and working too long and getting hit with a huge tax bracket in retirement with Min Distributions at 70. 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 05:54:50 PM »
Before doing after tax contributions, you should be taking advantage of all the 401k space you can each year. Maybe I misunderstood, but it doesn't sound like you're maxing your 401k?

Also, this link is a must read: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/investment-order/msg1333153/#msg1333153
As is this: http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

2. We bought a solar system. 18K after federal tax break. The solar will pay for itself in about 7 years. We paid quite a bit off already but still unhappy about needing to finance it at 5.5%. 15k left to go.

3. We bought a 4th car (cash). 16k

4. We bought a time share (cash) 16k

You say you're upset about needing to finance it, and yet you spent THIRTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS on superfluous crap? Literally, a car you don't need and a time share?

Maybe you're on track to retire wealthy at a normal age with high expenses, but you're built on a house of cards here- if anything goes wrong, your big expenses mean you'll be in big trouble quickly.

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 06:26:34 PM »
Thank you for the link. Below is my status on each.

0. Establish an emergency fund to your satisfaction
- Done 25k   

1. Contribute to your 401k up to any company match
Done 5%

2. Pay off any debts with interest rates ~5% or more above the 10-year Treasury note yield. 
- Working on getting solar loan squashed which is at 5.5% It is probably less than 5% given that the interest is tax deductible.         

3. Max HSA
- Done - 6650 a year

4. Max Traditional IRA or Roth (or backdoor Roth) based on income level
Done - Maxing Roth IRAs 11k

5. Max 401k (if 401k fees are lower than available in an IRA, or if you need the 401k deduction to be eligible for a tIRA, swap #4 and #5) 
Maxing 401k - 18k and fees are .05%

6. Fund mega backdoor Roth if applicable     
Not sure what this is but will have to check it out.
       
7. Pay off any debts with interest rates ~3% or more above the 10-year Treasury note yield.   
Does this include a mortgage? Mine is 3.5% and has an effective rate of less than 3% due to tax deductions
       
8. Invest in a taxable account with any extra.
Future goal

I'm unhappy about financing the solar it because I couldn't pay cash for it at the time, just closed on the house. The min payment is about 30 more than what our average monthly electricity bill was so it's almost a wash from a monthly cash flow perspective. It's mostly an annoying just because we are paying interest on it.  It's going to be paid off in hopefully a year.

With that said.. would I be better off investing in a taxable account, once cash flow is free'd up? or changing my future 401k contributions to a ROTH 401k?

Thank you!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2017, 06:32:26 PM »
" ~5% or more above the 10-year Treasury note yield." Means 5%+ the 10 year treasury note yield, which is currently like 2.25%. So 7.25% and above, and then for the second, 5.25% or above. But yes, these rates include mortgages. Anything below that just isn't a priority- the assumption is you can get a better return investing, even in a taxable account, than you would gain by paying off these loans.

Definitely do NOT switch to a roth 401k. 1- unlike IRAs, there are virtually no benefits to a roth version of a 401k (ie, the inheritance benefits and such of a roth IRA). 2- at your income level, you want to AVOID taxes. I know you're concerned about taxes when you retire at a standard age, but the time in market benefits of investing that extra money now *should* put you ahead in the end. (Ie, any loss of money [taxes] now is amplified via losing market gains).

Hope that all makes sense.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2017, 06:40:10 PM »
I think you're doing great, keep up the good work !

FINate

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2017, 09:33:12 PM »
When you started this thread you asked "how we are doing with our finances/goals and if we should adjust anything"?

Solar is a sound investment because it will pay for itself and return dividends over it's working life - so no problem there. Housing is a necessity and, as crazy as it sounds, 775k may be reasonable in HCOL California for a SFH, assuming you aren't buying more house than you need (e.g. a 3/2 with no kids). It's difficult to know with this information if your housing situation is something that should be optimized. One thing is abundantly clear however, you spent 32k on a car (and now have 3 cars!!) and a timeshare!! If you hadn't made either of these purchases you would have avoided the 5.5% on the loan for Solar.

So you should adjust your spending at least in those areas. Sell one of the cars, dump the timeshare, and stop dropping 16k on stuff you don't need.



Thanks for the feed back.

House prices are insane here! I think it's closing in on 600-650k for an average SFH. We bought a 3/2 1500 square feet home with a large lot and a pool. Nothing super fancy or a McMansion but it's located in one of the best areas of San Diego which is 7 mins from the La Jolla.

Cars (specifically sports cars) have been a very weak spot financially for me over the years. Typically we are pretty frugal with everyday spending. Living in San Diego luckily most of the things we like to do are very cheap or free. Hike, surf, Zoo. We do pench pennies on everyday things but do tend to spend large sums at once.  i.e. Cars. Timeshare

The timeshare was a bargain for Disney and bought used at 1/2 the price used. We have  already used 6k worth of stays this year. I think it will pay for itself if we were to sell our time if not being used that year.

Moving forward I'm never going to buy a new car again and will pay cash for any luxury items. Once both loans (solar and car loan) are paid off I'm going to dump what I've been paying on them into our tax able investment account.

After running through the cashflow spreadsheet it looks like If I FIRE in 18 years at 53 we will have a mil more than what we need, not counting any pension or SS income. My wife will probably keep working until she can't since he loves running her own biz.

If I work until 62, we'll have 3 mil more than required. I guess I'm concerned about saving too much and working too long and getting hit with a huge tax bracket in retirement with Min Distributions at 70.

Time is more precious than money - you can always make more money but not time. There's a lot of truth to the cliché that no one on their deathbed ever wished they'd worked more.

You are extending your time as a wage slave by years (decades?) and for what? A 3/2 house that's way bigger than you need, sports car, timeshare, who knows what else. And your concern is being in a high tax bracket 35 years down the road which, for deferred accounts is only applied to capital gains that compounded tax free for decades (a massive tax benefit in itself!).

You need to take a step back and look at the big picture. What risks are you taking by unnecessarily deferring retirement until your 60s? What if either of you became terminally or chronically ill in, say, your 50s? Does the time vs. possessions trade-off you're currently making still ring true? What activities, experiences, or volunteer work would you miss out on in retirement if you're significantly older when you get there?

If you want to live a different life, which is what MMM is about (don't know why you would post here otherwise), then you have a lot of room to improve. This is great news, it means you have the potential to do something more fulfilling with your life than simply earning a paycheck to make ends meet - you can be free from the bonds of a 9-5 while you're still young and vigorous.

Or you can continue on your current path, a conventional retirement much much later in life. It's your choice, but you're not going to find a lot of enthusiasm for the latter around here.

   

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2017, 10:33:06 PM »
Great post! Thank you for the honest feedback! Yeah I've been doing a bit of soul searching lately. I'm pretty much set in my career. Work x amount of time and be set for life. Job is cake for me, has crazy stability and little to no stress. Lots of time off and great bennies as well. Not the worst place to be at the moment slugging through the 9-5. Pay is decent as well compared LOE.

But the time thing is what is bugging me. To get the most out my current career, and get a pension, I'll need to work 17 more years to hit my min 20 years of service. Pension will then be 22% which may be 32k a year for life plus COLA.. not terrible. I'll have to cover all expensive and not take a pension until 62 in order to get a .1% bump and no penalty for early distribution. So I probably could get us in a spot to retire @ 52 (10 years earlier than planned).  I guess it comes down to what the market will be doing and if I can get our spending, mostly my car hobby in check. lol

I suppose it's all a balance in spending, saving, enjoying life now and in the future. My uncle got cancer at 62 and never even collect SS or his pension he worked 35 years for.

I feel very blessed to be in the position that we are in and to learn as a part of this community.


affordablehousing

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 09:52:23 AM »
This sounds a lot like a set of DINKE friends of ours (double income no kids ever). We were just talking about this at a dinner party. Let's cut to the chase, life, like it is for a lot on the forum, is super easy, and there's not enough agitation about $ optimization to fill the existential void left by having little direction. No kids to leave anything to or take care of, no job stress to worry about, no traumatic backstory to overcome. Obviously, you're doing fine, but what I hear, is you asking, is it ok to not try hard at anything now and what does not trying hard for the next 20 years look like? And, the answer, is up to you. My recommendations- get a therapist, figure out what you want to do- which may be maintaining the status quo, getting a new hobby or starting an enterprise or it may be getting a house IN La Jolla, and go for it. As you recognize, you have the ability to do whatever you want, so figure out what you want.

mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 12:51:28 PM »
After looking at retirement benefits through my job it looks like I'll want to work until 57 which is my Min Retirement Age (MRA). I would then postpone collecting my pension until 62. If I do that I'll need to cover my healthcare for 5 years (57-62) and then I can sign back up for Federal Health Benefits at 62 with out any deduction to my pension , which will be between 35-40k a year. The health coverage is probably the most beneficial perk working for the government as they will cover 72% of our health premiums for life.

If I retire before 57 I would lose the health coverage benefits. I might go this route and retire 5 years earlier than originally planned, but it will come down to if I'm enjoying what I'm doing or not at the time.

My HSA should have a few hundred k in it at the time so shouldn't have much to worry about for health costs during those 5 years.

The perfect day of NOT working would be get up early, surf for a couple of hours before the crowd comes out or go to the gym, come back to the house, cook something good, jump on the internet (car forums or reddit). Go swimming, do some gardening/home stuff and mess around with my cars. This is a typical weekend for me. So not that much far off then how I'm currently living.

We also like to travel and usually go on 2 smaller one week trip a year with a big 2-3 week trip. It would be nice to take a year off and do some really interesting trips though..




SwordGuy

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 06:19:38 PM »
First of all, you are doing better than most Americans.   (It's a low bar, but you've hopped over it.)  High five!

The two of you have got a great income.   

To me, your house price is crazy high.  But I live in a LCOL area so I freely admit that my price sensibilities are not attuned to your market.   So I'll give you a pass on this one simply because I've heard house prices double that in CA.

But the cars...

There are 2 of you and you have 4 cars.  And you are paying interest on a loan for one of them!

Seriously?   4 cars?   And tags, title, insurance and maintenance for 4 cars!   That's ludicrously wasteful, particularly since you can't afford them.  (How do I know?  Because you had to borrow money for one of them!)

I would sell 2 of those cars and pay off the solar loan and invest the rest.

Depending on how far away the two of you are from your work site(s), you might even sell 3 of them and get a bike...

And those business expenses...

Now, bringing home $40,000 on $250,000 of revenue is 16%, which isn't necessarily bad.   Is that take home after taxes or before taxes?  Because that affects things rather dramatically.

If you're floating that much cash in expenses, you should be able to know exactly where you stand by the end of any weekend.   Otherwise, you're risking owing a lot of money without the corresponding revenue to pay it off.   That could be bad.
Your books need to be more up-to-date.

2nd, what about liability for the business?   Are you mixing personal funds with business funds?  If you are, you are destroying any protections for your personal assets that incorporating would otherwise afford you.

Spousal self-directed 401k?

Your spouse could set up a self-directed 401k and put up to $18,000 into it (more when they are 50+ in age).  Plus the company could match.  I think the total amount including matching funds from the company can go somewhere above the $50,000 per year range.   That would save you a bundle on taxes too!

Where does the money go?

Saving 30% on what the two of you are making isn't really trying all that hard.   Try harder!    It may take a few years to cut your expenses down but you could double your savings rate and be FI much faster.

Best of luck!



mr.aqua

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 07:11:09 PM »
Thanks for the comment.

Cars... sigh, heart wants them but my mind knows they are typically a terrible purchase.

I would have ALOT more money if I were not a car fanatic. On the positive side cars have been a motivating to go to school and strive to make more and more money.

Anyhow I've thought about selling 2 of the car and combining their purposes into one new car, but that would be dumb since the new car would cost just more than the two car combined.  The good news is that two of the cars are actually appreciating (classic muscle car and a S2000). I try to justify keeping them and have them as part of an emergency fund. In case we need the money I can liquidate them quickly.

In regards to my wife's business, she does contribute to a SEP IRA to lower her taxable income. Can she still do a self directed 401K as well ? Or is it just the SEP IRA?

She's been working for herself for 12 years and likes to do things her way. Trying to change the way she conducts her business takes some time and effort on my part. We should set up some sort of LLC though to protect our assets.

She takes in about 40k after taxes last year and this year it will probably be more.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 07:21:06 PM »
Collector cars are just beanie babies with wheels. Don't kid yourself. Your money, statistically speaking, will always do better in the market.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-14/stop-kidding-yourself-a-classic-car-is-almost-never-a-good-investment

And when you need an emergency fund is NOT when you want to be trying to sell an old muscle car.

MDM

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 07:42:47 PM »
In regards to my wife's business, she does contribute to a SEP IRA to lower her taxable income. Can she still do a self directed 401K as well ? Or is it just the SEP IRA?
The solo 401k would replace the SEP.

See Solo 401(k) plan - Bogleheads, Self-Employed 401k - Fidelity, etc., for more.


Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 11:10:32 PM »
Agree w/ all the others.  Especially re: getting a firm grasp on your wife's business expenses, etc.  That can mushroom in a bad way really quickly if you don't have a handle on it now - when things are profitable.  You don't want to end up with $250k expense and (50k) profits one year and not see it coming. 

As for other ideas, see a CPA.  He/she can help re: RMDs and tax planning.  No need to do all this yourself.  It'll be well worth the money you pay for an hour or two of a CPA's time once per year from here on out.  It'll pay dividends.  (Note: I'm not a CPA, nor am I related to one; they're simply wise to consult re: tax planning.) 


Laura33

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2017, 06:32:25 AM »
The one thing I would say is figure out what you want -- and then own it.  If you're a car guy, then buy a fun car because it's a completely frivolous thing that you're going to enjoy the hell out of -- just don't tell yourself that it's an "investment."  If you like Disney and want to buy a timeshare, then buy a damn timeshare because you want an excuse to go to Disney all the time -- but don't tell yourself that it's "saving" money to spend less than sticker price ("I could have spent twice as much!" is not particularly compelling), when getting "value" out of that purchase means taking a bunch of expensive vacations that you otherwise wouldn't be taking (unless the timeshare come with free theme park tickets and food for life, in which case please tell me who to call).  And most of all:  don't kid yourself into thinking you can afford all those frivolities if you have any outstanding debt besides your mortgage.

The thing is, you don't have to please anyone but you and your wife.  If you're happy working until you're 57 or 62 and want to live it up in the meantime, go for it -- you make plenty of money, and you don't have to justify those choices to me or anyone else here.  Just be completely honest with yourself about that choice:  I make a lot of money; I like living my current lifestyle; I am satisfied with my current 30% savings rate; I know that means I will need to work longer than if I increased my savings, and I am fine with that choice.  That's where the power is -- figuring out what you want out of life and just going after it. 

OTOH, if you're here because you're finding that your current lifestyle isn't in fact making you happy, there are a bunch of people here who can give tons of advice on ways to cut back to a simpler lifestyle.  But really, you already know where to start, right?  It's kinda obvious.  So if what you're really looking for is a pat on the back, that you can have four(!) cars and Disney and debt and a 30% savings rate and still be a Mustachian badass, that's not what folks here are going to tell you -- it's definitely badass as far as the general public goes, but this is a different crowd.*  So you just need to figure out which side of the fence you want to be on; you can't expect folks here to smile and nod and say you're doing great when you bought a fourth(!) car instead of paying off the solar loan.

*FWIW, I'm at 45-50%, and I'm not remotely near badass territory.  And I also have a royally stupid car that I enjoy the hell out of, so I totally get that pull; I just waited until I was FI to buy it.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: New to the site - would like a checkup on my finances
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2017, 09:34:46 AM »
If you like those cars then continue to have them. It's a hobby you really enjoy. Others like to travel around the world and spend money that way. You have to enjoy your life now too. If having cars and working on them make you happy then by all means continue to do so.