M$D: June 16, 2033
Bernard’s main concerns, in his words:
I’m not completely sure how to plan effectively for my retirement. My wife and I are both public school teachers. In our state, we will receive a pension when we retire. We each have a 401k from our previous jobs as private school teachers. Combined, we have about $95,000 in those. Our pension will be equal to 2/3 the average of our highest paid years in the public school system. We get that benefit when our age + years in the public school system = 88. For each of us, that would be around the age of 60. With the pension and our existing 401k’s, I’m not sure how much we should be putting toward retirement. That’s my long-term concern. It’s hard for me to calculate my Million Dollar Day because of my pension. How does that affect my date? Do I really need $1,000,000 if I have that pension?
Short-term: we are treading water until the end of May. At that time, one of our two children will be out of daycare and we’ll pay off a debt. That will free up about $800 a month. We are planning on using that extra money to contribute to our sons’ 529 plans, increasing our savings, and maybe putting some toward retirement. We also have some low-interest debt we can attack.
Mid-term: I’d like to contribute more to the 529 plans. I have three debts to pay off after the one in May is finished. One of those debts has no interest. The other two are pretty low interest but high balances. I’ve also considered selling some of my stocks and putting it toward debt or retirement or the 529 plans.
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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.