Author Topic: What would you do with 70k?  (Read 5437 times)

less stuff more happiness

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What would you do with 70k?
« on: November 05, 2015, 10:41:53 AM »
My husband and I make roughly 90k/yr between us. We have one child, he’s 2, and one dog.

71k in a savings account (so cash on hand)
23k in a 401K (I am the only one with a 401k, not available to husband, company matches 50% up to 3% so I have been putting in 3%)
5k in a IRA (the money doesn’t seem to be doing anything, I have to call the company to find out why it has not increased in over a year.. I am lost on this and don’t even know why we opened it…ugh)

Debt:
20k car loan (2%)
16k student loan (6%)
96k home loan (3.5%)

These are out basic finances. Feels pretty simple. For a while I thought we were doing so well because we saved so much! I put some money to bills and some to savings every pay period. We wanted cash on hand for job loss, unexpected medical, etc. But now I feel like we almost have too much on hand and I don’t know what to do with it! I see my spending on nonsense increase because I think, “we have plenty! Go ahead, buy that new sweater!” So, do I pay down bills, do I leave it for “just in cases”? Do I keep some, and invest some… There are so many possibilities that I am stuck.

So, what would you do with  71k? I asked this question on another ER site and got some thoughtful responses so I was hoping for some feedback here, too. I am not necessarily looking to retire early, we are kinda past that now, but I am concerned about how much we will have when we do decide to retire.

Edit: my husband is not self employed, his company does not offer 401k..
I'd like to pay for my sons's college but I think it's important to make sure his parents have enough to survive on so he does not feel a burden to take care of us.
The fancy smansy vehicle would be considered under water - I could not get what I owe.
The funds in the IRA are just sitting there, which is probably why they were calling us for a while. I could not get my husband to call them back.. its in his name blah blah blah
I would say current expenses/month are around 3200. Once I have a plan I will work to get this number down as it currently includes a lot of nonsense. Our yearly gross is pretty much a split between what we each make, so roughly 45k each. The value of our home is estimated at 150k.
We got the dog, then I read the article on dogs on this site. Then I didn't want the dog but I saw my son hug her and say that he loves her. Sooo, we have a dog. She's 9 months so probably will be around for a while.

I used to think that if I had a savings I was doing so good with money. I dutifully put so much in every month... then I saw my spending going up and up. I ran into some ER sites on the web and started really thinking about money/things/life.. etc.  Now I realize that my husband and I, all things considered, make a lot of money! Right now I put about 1k a month in savings. Not many (out of this circle)can say they can do that! But we are not getting anywhere financially as far as how we wil take care of ourselves later in life. Which is coming faster than I realized (Hi midlife crisis! haha) So I am working on a better budget, lowering bills, etc but I was/am just not sure about that hunk of cash burning a hole in my pocket in our savings account. So your ideas give me a starting place. Thanks!

« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 11:55:36 AM by less stuff more happiness »

MrMoogle

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 10:48:52 AM »
Max out your 401k. (18k)
Max out tIRA for you and your husband (11k).

The market has been pretty flat all year, so I'm not surprised your IRA hasn't moved.

Is your husband self employed?  If so, he can set up a 401k, then max that (53k I believe).

AmandaS1989

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 10:51:57 AM »
I would pay off the student loan since the interest rate is that high. Second, start investing that money and make it work for you! Open an account with Vanguard and maybe invest some money in one of their Target Date Retirement funds (you can roll the IRA into it too) and make it a Roth IRA to have some tax-free income later. And maybe a taxable account as well. VTSAX is always a good option.

You said your son is 2? Do you want to help him pay for college? You can also open a 529 plan with Vanguard (or someone else).

Finally, I would keep around 3-6 months of living expenses in cash just in case. But any more than that and your money loses value to inflation.

StacheInAFlash

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 10:58:00 AM »
Pay off that student loan ASAP.  Max out IRAs for 2015 and plan to max them out in 2016 with some of that cash.

I'd throw a decent chunk at the car loan too, if not the entire 20k necessary to pay it off. Or, as most on here would tell you, sell that fancy schmancy vehicle and pay cash for something more sensible.

Are you actually investing in stocks in your IRA, or are the funds sitting there in a money market account? And as far as needing to "call the company to find out why it has not increased...", you should not be invested in any company that you can't be accessing online yourself to review the market returns and determine what you're invested in? Time to take charge of your own retirement! No need to be calling a number to ask them what you money is doing...

okits

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 10:59:35 AM »
What's the total of your monthly expenses?  Do you each make $45k or is the split less even (say, $25k + $65k)?  Keep an emergency fund in cash/near-cash (3-12 months of expenses, depending on the security of your jobs, ability to survive on the smaller income, and likelihood of losing both at the same time), then pay off the 6% loan and invest the rest for eventual retirement.

A big missing piece is the value of your home.  If it's half a million then I wouldn't be so concerned about sweater purchases, but if it's five figures or not much over $100k I would prioritize building net worth over most non-essential spending, especially if you have any concerns about how much you'll have in retirement.

Brilliantine

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 11:06:55 AM »
My husband and I make roughly 90k/yr between us. We have one child, he’s 2, and one dog.


You have to tell us more; how old is the dog?

:) Just kidding.

I would pay more towards the student loan but leave the other two loans alone and invest anything other than your buffer/emergency money into index funds.

charis

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 11:33:08 AM »
I would: (1) Pay off student loan (2) Max tIRAs to $1100 for 2015 and in Jan 2016 (3) Pay off the car loan, or some of it (4) Keep rest as an emergency fund.

You definitely should be maxing your 401K at that income and looking to see if husband is eligible for solo 401K.

less stuff more happiness

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 12:02:54 PM »
Max out your 401k. (18k)
Max out tIRA for you and your husband (11k).

The market has been pretty flat all year, so I'm not surprised your IRA hasn't moved.

Is your husband self employed?  If so, he can set up a 401k, then max that (53k I believe).

I edited my original post to answer questions posed by responders. Will they all see the edit? I am new to posting.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2015, 12:12:45 PM »
1. Eliminate that student loan
2. Pay the depreciation difference between how much you owe on the car and how much it's worth, sell it, and buy a cheaper car.
3. Max tIRAs to 11,000 (jezebel accidentally put 1100 so I'm emphasizing it's 11,000) this year and next
4. Set up an emergency fund you're comfortable with
5. Open a taxable investment account at Vanguard or Schwab

Guesl982374

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 12:25:46 PM »
Before you figure out what to do with that $70K+ you and your husband need to figure out what your goals are. Things like

-When do you want to try to retire (you are on an early retirement site :)
-Do you want more kids?
-Do you want more time to do X (travel, paint, music, woodworking, whatever interests you)
-Do you want to move?
-Do you want to pay for college for the little one?

In short, what do you want to do with your life. Once you figure out what you want to do, then invest accordingly. If you are like me (and many others) who do not know exactly what you want to do then figure out how to get freedom (FI) and try new things once you are there. Worst case scenario is you spent a few years "under spending" and now you have ended up with a pile of money / freedom to do whatever, including going back to or staying at your job.

MrMoogle

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 12:53:15 PM »
Max out your 401k. (18k)
Max out tIRA for you and your husband (11k).

The market has been pretty flat all year, so I'm not surprised your IRA hasn't moved.

Is your husband self employed?  If so, he can set up a 401k, then max that (53k I believe).

I edited my original post to answer questions posed by responders. Will they all see the edit? I am new to posting.
Since you added a post mentioning the update, we'll go back and look at it.  There's a button under Hello UserName: "show new replies to your posts."  click on that, then next to the post, there's a "new."  That's what I use to see responses, but it takes you to the first new post, so without mentioning it, I wouldn't have seen it.

I do agree with the others, the 6% loan is high, and should be erased sooner or later.  You're in the 25% bracket, so I like 401k and tIRA, because  it's basically an immediate 33% profit, plus the normal interest.  But I'm sure getting rid of the loan will take a load off your mind, and it's a good step in the right direction.

I agree that selling the car is worthwhile too, but you only asked about the 70k, so I didn't consider that.

Are you going to be retired when they go to college?  If you will be, I might not do a 529.  There are some weird rules to it, although I don't understand them all.  If you are retired, and stay in the 15% bracket, and the tax law doesn't change, you will pay 0% on LTCG's and dividends.

charis

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 01:33:41 PM »
1. Eliminate that student loan
2. Pay the depreciation difference between how much you owe on the car and how much it's worth, sell it, and buy a cheaper car.
3. Max tIRAs to 11,000 (jezebel accidentally put 1100 so I'm emphasizing it's 11,000) this year and next
4. Set up an emergency fund you're comfortable with
5. Open a taxable investment account at Vanguard or Schwab

Yes, thanks for the correction. 

rmendpara

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2015, 08:57:30 PM »
If you are putting the cash in a savings account, you should pay off the debt.

Your savings are earning interest <1% (likely a LOT less), while the student loan, car, and mortgage are all costing you interest at higher rates... especially the student loan.

1) Pay off the entire student loan (16k).
2) Estimate 6 months of living expenses including mortgage, insurance, food, basically everything you normally spend. Let's call it 4k (you can adjust for your real numbers)... keep this amount in a savings account.
3) Invest the rest of your savings over #2.
4) Start adding more to 401k and IRAs, so your savings in #2 stay around the same after each month of regular spending.

Kroaler

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Re: What would you do with 70k?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2015, 06:55:52 AM »
Wow MDM must be slacking today.

He usually makes it from post to post with his "what to do first with money" list.