Maggie’s main concerns, in her own words:
Discovered your podcast a couple of months ago and have been binge-listening. I get something out of every single episode. I calculated my power percentage at 38%…and my MDD around 2026, but in tinkering with other retirement calculators I’m being told that I’m woefully deficient in my retirement savings. As far as I can tell I’m either in really great shape or really terrible shape, depending on which calculator I use. I looked at my budget based on your ideal budget worksheet, and I’m functioning within its guidelines.
Here’s my situation. 46 yo. Two kids (16 and 11). Almost-divorced and 100% on my own with nobody to fall back on (husband, parents, etc). Although I hope I’m not alone the rest of my life, I’m planning my finances as though I will be. I’d like to leave my current job, but I feel trapped here by the pay and benefits that I would not replicate elsewhere.
No debt except for my mortgage ($1,500/month) and a car payment which I only have due to 0% interest ($353/month balance of $14,000). (I know how you feel about that). I could pay off the car but that would ding my emergency fund and I hate to do that. I use my credit card for regular expenses and pay it off every month.
- Fund majority of undergraduate degrees for both kids at state college
- Retire at 62 in a location with a lower cost of living
- Accelerate payment on mortgage.
- Should I roll those Coverdells into the 529s?
- Am I contributing enough to the 529s?
- What is the best (low-risk) place to stash that emergency fund?
- Should I still be contributing to the Traditional IRA even though I’m maxing out the TSP?
- Do I qualify for an HSA? I don’t have a high deductible on my health insurance. Is there another option to pre-save for medical expenses in retirement? If I don’t stay at my job until 62 I don’t get the health insurance with the pension.
- Am I using my “extra money” in the wisest possible way?
- Is it ever going to be “safe” to quit this job, take a pay cut, and still have a comfortable retirement?