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Archive for October, 2007

A HUGE milestone

October 2nd, 2007 at 04:01 am

I just checked my work retirement account balance and for the first time ever, it has surpassed…drumroll please…$100,000! In fact, at the moment it stands at $100,701.29. I cannot believe it. To see six figures in one of my accounts is amazing!! I am so excited and proud of myself.

This is why I am shocked – I just looked back at my old paperwork – I started my job on July 1, 1999 with a salary of $25,188.00 and as of December 31, 1999, I had a total of $1066.64 in my retirement account. Now, eight years later, I’m making $45,015.00 (Actually, on June 1, 2007, my salary was $40,360.45 and then I got two raises totally almost 12%) and have $100,701.29 in retirement funds. I am amazed!

According to my on-line statement, as of today I have contributed $50,287.62, my employer has contributed $23,183.00 (a very generous 9%, which will increase to 15% when I turn 45 in two years), and market growth has contributed $27,230.67. I forgot at what level I started my contributions, but I’ve slowly worked up to 25% of my salary. I also have an IRA that I opened with $2000 in 1997. That is now up to $32,364.57, but mostly from contributions, since it was in a money market fund earning only .45% for years! I finally moved it into a CD a few years ago, and I need to start investing it, but I keep putting it off. So, my total retirement accounts currently total $133,065.86. Time for me to celebrate!

I so wish my father was still alive – he would be so excited. His biggest fear was that I wouldn’t save anything for retirement. And his fear wasn’t unfounded – working and making money weren’t high on my list of priorities and for a variety of reasons, I was afraid to save money for the long term (I’ll explore this topic in a future post!). The only reason I started the IRA in 1997 was because I was self-employed that summer (making $100/week!) and I wanted the tax break. I literally ran into the bank on April 15 and opened the account with $2000 in the lowest investment vehicle possible, because I couldn’t deal with reviewing the options. When my dad died 3.5 years later I had about $12,624 total in both accounts.

My birthday was yesterday and although I always make it special for myself, it’s tinged with sadness. I was born on my father’s 30th birthday and we shared it up until he died at 65 (I was 35), eight days before we would turn 66 and 36. Believe me, sharing a birthday is fun until somebody dies. Thankfully, he was successful and frugal and retired around 58, so he did get to enjoy some time off, although he started a business for a few years after retiring. Happy belated birthday, Dad.

Well, I just had to share my exciting news. And, most of all, I need to quiet the thought in my head that other people my age have tons more money saved in their retirement accounts – how can I be so excited? But for me, this is a HUGE accomplishment – so I will focus on that!

Good night and sleep well.