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Archive for November, 2014

milestone reached!

November 19th, 2014 at 03:22 am

wow - my retirement accounts total currently reads 502,139.65! this includes work 403b, traditional ira and roth ira. yeehaw - glad i can share it here, not something i'll go around announcing in my daily life. in fact, i'm not sure if i will share this news with anyone. i'm curious - who do you talk about finances with? family, friends, nobody?

bathroom deconstruction continues. my house is old, so there are a few layers of floor to remove, there is plaster and lathe behind where the shower/tub used to be and an odd square hole in the subfloor.

can't believe there's a chase freedom card offer with $200 cash back bonus for spending $500. i just got the same card last month with a $100 cash back bonus offer. i'm so annoyed!

i guess i should update my sidebar since i am no longer "40-something"!

so very close

November 17th, 2014 at 06:30 pm

The total sum of all my retirement account balances is currently $498,581.39. So very close to $500K! I really hope it hits $500K soon before the market inevitably dips again. I want to see the milestone amount on my computer screen in all of its glory.

I just realized that I contributed way more than planned this year to my work 403B account. I turned 50 in September which means that I automatically qualify for the $23K voluntary contribution "catch up" limit rather than the standard $17.5K. I set the percentage of my salary going to voluntary retirement very high years ago and didn't notice this year that my paychecks didn't increase significantly during the year like in previous years once the $17.5 limit was hit. I checked with HR and I will reach the $23K limit during the next pay period. Woops - I didn't realize that this would automatically happen. That plus the mandatory 6% that my employer requires to be contributed means that a high percentage of my salary went towards retirement this year. On top of all of that, my employer contributes 15% of my salary amount to my retirement account each year. I'm thinking about not contributing to my Roth or traditional IRA for 2014.

Demolition of my old bathroom began today! I will have a new bathroom in a few weeks. I'm both terrified and excited. But mostly I'm proud of myself for pulling the trigger on a house project. FINALLY! Smile

big birthday and other tidbits

November 7th, 2014 at 07:36 pm

Well, I turned the big 5-0 on September 30. Facing 50 was a lot harder than I imagined it would be. Not having children intensified it as the door really is shut and locked at this point. It's been a hard thing to grieve and accept. I've also been spending copious amounts of money this year and feel anxious about that.

My mom visited the week before and we had a lovely time doing fall activities - apple picking, enjoying the incredible colors, eating good food, buying mums and pumpkins, etc. I hosted a knitting group the night of my birthday - a potluck that included a cake and singing. Then a friend threw a small party for me the following weekend. It was beautiful - she had it catered and did an amazing job decorating her place. I wanted to pay for it, but she said no. So, last weekend I treated her to brunch and bowling as a thank you.

My main bathroom will be renovated starting November 18. I'm both excited and terrified. The estimate was just shy of $10K, but that was with low-end everything. I've chosen nicer fixtures and hired a designer to help me pull together my ideas. The final price tag could be $14-15K when all is said and done. And it's a small bathroom! Part of me wants to halt the project, get a cheapo toilet and sink at a big box store, fix a wall in the shower/tub that's been open for years and be done with it. But, the room needs to be redone, so I'm doing it for myself to enjoy now and to start preparing to possibly sell my house in the near future. I have the money set aside, I just really hate letting go of it! I'll be interested to see how I feel when it's finished. Will the pleasure of having a beautiful, functional bathroom outweigh the difficulty of spending the money? It's kind of an experiment that I hope will help me to make some other decisions that I've been putting off. I tend to think of all money transactions as "spending" and never as "investing". Investing in my daily experience of life, investing in the house, and investing in my skill set. The project has been a good learning experience so far and I imagine that will continue until it's done in December.

I was hoping that my retirement accounts would hit $500K by my birthday, but the market dipped around that time. I was pleasantly surprised to see them at 496,563.64 yesterday. So very close! I can't wait until the total reads $500K even if it's only for a day! The sum includes a 403B work retirement account (426,235.32), a traditional IRA (59,299.20) and a Roth IRA (11,029.12). I recently transferred my IRAs to the company that manages my work account after wanting to for many years and it's so much easier to keep track of and manage the accounts. Plus my IRAs are finally invested and will grow faster than if I had left them where they were.

It is rainy and cold today - I will soon enjoy the warm soup that I brought for lunch! So happy it's Friday! Smile