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Archive for May, 2013

over saving? and this year's raise

May 9th, 2013 at 08:26 am

Oh my goodness, I just made an interesting discovery about how much money went toward my retirement savings in 2012. I contributed the maximum to my 403b through payroll and fully funded my new Roth IRA. Since I turned 45, my employer has kicked in a generous 15% (it was 9% up to 45 years old) of my salary (on top of my salary, not from it) each year to my 403b, which apparently I havenít calculated in a long time, because it is a higher amount than I thought it would be. Then I realized that an additional mandatory 6% of my salary was being pulled out into my work 403b, which I believed was part of the maximum that I was already voluntarily contributing, not in addition to it. So the grand total was:

2012 retirement funding
my contribution to 403b 17,000.00
employer's contribution to 403b 9,312.10
my contribution to new Roth IRA 5,000.00
newly discovered additional mandatory contribution to 403b 3,724.77
grand total 35,036.87

That seems like a lot. My current salary is $63,190, so I contributed about 33% of my pretax salary and then an additional $5000 (no tax break) to the Roth IRA. Actually, my salary for the first half of the year was $61,053, so my contribution was even more than 33% of my salary. Itís awesome that so much money went toward my retirement fund and itís definitely growing at a nice rate, but Iím starting to worry about having too much money tied up in retirement savings that I canít access without penalty until Iím 59.5 years old. Iím not sure how to figure that out.

I also recently discovered that if I continue working full time, I meet the qualifications to ďretireĒ from my place of employment at 55 and could start to access my 403b funds then, if needed, without penalty. I will be 49 in September. Who knows if I would have enough money by that time to retire fully, but it would give me the option of ďretiringĒ and then trying something new Ė maybe even working part-time in a different field.

I love the idea of having a fat retirement pot, but I really need to make sure that Iím enjoying life now because who knows how long I will be around. I donít have children, so Iím not thinking and saving strategically with the idea of leaving an inheritance to anyone. I will probably name my 1 niece and 3 nephews and maybe some close friendsí children in my will (which I really need to create). Lots to think about.

I just very belatedly had my performance evaluation and I will be recommended to receive a higher percentage raise than the normal increase. Yay! It wonít be huge, but every little bit helps. I just located last yearís increases Ė 3.6% normal or 4.5% for high performance. If the numbers are similar for this year, I will be excited to break the $65K mark! Smile

Retirement savings total

May 8th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Gotta love this hot market! My work 403b is up to $314,819.69 as of today. Add that to $61,377.68 in IRAs and I have a grand total of $376,197.37 in retirement funds. I will enjoy that total while it lasts! The sad part is that the IRA amount should be a lot higher, but the money in my IRAs is not invested. Doh. I have been putting off making the decision of how to invest the money for way too many years. I guess thereís no time like the present, though, and I will have to tackle that task very soon.

I have been pretty much house-bound for the past week after spraining my ankle on a leisurely stroll along my street two Sundays ago. My foot twisted off the raised blacktop of the road (itís a rural area with no sidewalks) and I went down hard. I sprained my ankle, but thankfully there were no bone fractures or chips and I didnít suffer any other injuries, except for some sore muscles for a few days after the fall. I didnít hit my head and didnít injure my wrists even though I landed on them very hard. My camera was in my hand and got crushed, so time to get a new one. Luckily, I have good insurance through work, so most of the doctor, x-ray and air-splint costs should be covered. I injured my left ankle and have a car with manual transmission, so I wasnít able to drive for a week. At least I saved on gas money! I got an air-splint yesterday that has allowed me to walk slowly and drive, and Iím now back at work. I got a ride in one day last week and used crutches, but it was such a hassle that I worked at home until I was able to get the splint. It was great being able to hang out with my sweet Jubes (photo below).

The sprained ankle is a major inconvenience, but Iím keeping it in perspective by thinking about the Boston bombing victims who lost limbs. It will take time, but I will fully heal, so I can definitely deal with this injury.