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A HUGE milestone

October 1st, 2007 at 09:01 pm

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.

23 Responses to “A HUGE milestone”

  1. denisentexas Says:

    Wow I'm impressed. And a little discouraged since I don't have much saved and nothing toward retirement and you and I are somewhere near the same age! I've been a stay home wife/mother for most of the last 25 years and am now starting over. Anyway, you go! I'm really excited for you and want to be like you when I grow up. Wink

  2. kilcher Says:

    Congratulations! I hope you inspire someone reading this to start saving (or start saving more) for retirement!

  3. reflectionite Says:

    that's great, and i'm very sorry about your dad, your story made tears come to my eyes (my dad, stepmum and lil sister just visited me for a week, and left on the plane today - all very emotional...).
    it's good that you are excited and actively saving for retirement, here in australia theres a big push to put more in our superannuation than we have been, our employers are obligated to put 9% by law, but the government gives us 150% on whatever we put in per year, up to $1500. i have been putting in a little here and a little there, im only 20 but reading blogs like yours make me want to put more in and keep me motivated, even though it seems a lifetime away for me! thankyou for sharing Smile

  4. koppur Says:

    That totally rocks!!! Comgrats! And Happy Belated B-Day! Big Grin

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, congrats! Also, happy birthday!

    I still quite a ways off, but I'm hoping to be there someday... soon. Big Grin
    I'm sure your father would be very proud indeed.

  6. Ima saver Says:

    I think that is great. Although I always saved something, I never learned about investing and mutual funds until I was 44. That is when I started with my first mutual fund and I was working as a waitress making $20 a day in tips, but I would save 10% no matter what I made. You can do it!!

  7. moi aussi Says:

    Wow you are an inspiration. Happy belated birthday. Also, welcome! I only came across your blog today.

  8. starfishy Says:

    Thank you all for the very supportive comments - I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog entry and to celebrate with me!

  9. miclason Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!...and HAPPY $100k+ RETIRMENT FUND!!!!....(I'm jealous!...but in a good way!)

  10. terri77 Says:

    Awesome, I can't wait to reach that goal. You are an inspiration!

  11. fern Says:

    Excellent!

    And happy birthday!

  12. JanH Says:

    Happy, happy birthday and congrats!

  13. monkeymama Says:

    That is great!!!!!! & very impressive.

  14. baselle Says:

    Congratulations - I thought I was keeping pace, but you've blown past me! And I'm a couple years older.

  15. Carolina Bound Says:

    I remember when my retirement account reached the $100,000 mark. I was a little shocked! Now I'm living on my retirement account, and I'm delighted to say it is STILL growing, even though I am making withdrawals! SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! It's worth it!

  16. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Good work, and a good example to those of us who'd eventually like to be where you are now.

  17. starfishy Says:

    Thanks again for the continued support! I have to admit that at this point, I'd feel funny discussing this milestone with friends and family - I'll have to explore why... So it's fun to have a community of like-minded people to celebrate with. I appreciate all of your comments.

  18. asmom Says:

    Whoa that is huge! You've come so far in a short period of time. Congratulations and happy belated birthday!

  19. debtfreeme Says:

    Congratulations. May i be there some day!

  20. luna Says:

    Congratulations! I'm happy for you. Smile This is wonderful news, even if it is tinged with sadness. Your father would be so proud!

  21. katwoman Says:

    Totally amazing! Yours is the type of story that makes it on talkshows and into books.

    Happy belated B-day and give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done!

  22. orchid Says:

    Congratulations! Don't you love watching your money grow? Can't wait til my 401K gets to that point! Great job!

  23. http://bigpaperwriter.com/blog/characteristics-of-the-best-essay-writing-services Says:

    Wow, this is simply amazing. Words cannot convey how happy I am for you now. Such a sum will definitely let you to spend a well-off living in old age. This is fabulous! I am very happy for you! Great post, thanks for sharing!

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