Hank’s main concerns, in his words:
My wife and I are in this place where we are finding it difficult to balance retirement, paying off student loans and other consumer debt, and planning for our kids short term needs (daycare – more than double our mortgage, Wife working part-time) and long term needs (college and non-college savings). We contribute to get the match and would like to get to a place where are fully maxing out retirement and saving for college. I work for the federal government so I get a pension as well as a defined contribution plan (TSP), so I’m not sure how I should factor this into my plan. Should I think of it as social security (nice to have but will probably be less, or should I consider it a cornerstone of my retirement plan. My wife has a significant amount of savings in stocks in a taxable brokerage and workplace retirements. Its difficult for me to figure out balancing retirement needs against my desire to pay off student loan debt and some other consumer debt. We feel like we are in a good place with net worth of about $400 K (not counting house), but would like to get an idea of how to balance all these competing goals.
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Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.