Melissa’s main concerns, in her own words: My base pay is $74,800 plus overtime on top of that. I have been saving for a house aggressively since January 2015 at about $700 a paycheck (last month I scaled that down to $500) plus any extra money I made from switching to work the night shift as well as tax refunds. I now have $58,000 saved. $50,000 will be for the down payment and the rest is a catch-all for vacations, car repair, and immediate house expenses when I find one. I am looking to buy a house later this summer, I know my expenses will increase some and the amount I am saving will decrease. I already have a separate emergency fund of $50,000. I max out my retirement at $18,000 a year that, as of January 2015, is all Roth (total value $189,000), a Roth IRA $5,500 a yr (total value $74,000) and an play account of several single stocks I purchased for $1,500 (total value $1,900), plus a separate international travel account of $700 that I deposit $200 a paycheck into. My question is what do I do next? My minimum retirement age is 53 (I will have access to retirement funds without penalty) but I have a mandatory retirement age of 57. I am looking to buy a house on a 10 or 15 yr mortgage if I can comfortably afford the payments. I plan to have the house paid for when I retire. I will have a pension that I estimate will be $2,900 a month. If my plan stays the same and I choose to move back to my home state after retirement, I have some paid off land and I’d like to build a home on using $$ from the sale of this house. But where else can I save money for growth that I can access when I retire at age 53 and how does that work from a tax stand point? Please help, I don’t know where else to go from here.
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.