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Progress, Not Perfection

September 14th, 2012 at 06:31 am

I quote Lucky Robin. Big Grin

In the year 2007 I believe, I made a pretty aggressive goal to have "$150k in retirement" by age 35. I think I was thinking more like the day I turned 35, and was definitely counting some more work retirement contributions in that calculation (another $10k-$20k that I never got). & even then, this goal felt pretty "pie in the sky."

For reference, in the year 2007 I only had $55k-ish in my retirement funds.

But, for all the setbacks, and how aggressive I felt the goal was at the time, I am getting pretty darn close!!

As of yesterday, had about $135k, including cash I already have for ROTHs but did not contribute yet. I can't physically put any more money into retirement accounts (that cash maxes me out), so it is what it is. I also don't really have any other investments (aside from things that are in the kids' name - obviously not for retirement!).

& I could set aside more money "for retirement" (in taxable accounts) to meet my goal, but it doesn't make any sense considering big picture, tax considerations, etc. So I will not do that.

But, will see how the rest of the year goes. At this rate, I suppose anything is possible. 3 more months until my 36th birthday. Big Grin

& I would be willing to max out ROTHs 1/1 to meet this goal. Off by 30 days from my goal? Who gives a flip! I am at the whim of the stock market. Who cares about *perfection*? I can't beat myself up about it if the stock market takes a dive tomorrow.

I'll post again on this subject and my progress, around my birthday. Again on January 1, if need be.

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Next goal? Pay off mortgage by age 45. I have no idea how - but I think even if I fail, I will be pretty darn close. What's the worst that happens? Pay it off at 46?

{Truth is, I can imagine scenarios where we pay it off in just a few years. Other scenarios it would be put off indefinitely - like prolonged job loss - but you just have to hope for the best}.

P.S. Our retirement vehicles are maxed out, so not much else to do there. To obviously be re-evaluated as economic and job factors change. But on the retirement, I do feel the *hard* part is done. Around the $100k mark, compounding really starts to take over. We can commit to max out, but other than that, I think it's prudent start hitting other financial goals. I think I am just a "one focus at a time" person - always have been. I really enjoyed hitting the mortgage hard when younger, and hitting retirement hard for a time. IT's going to be back and forth until the mortgage is gone. But I do think the *hard* part is done with both of these monsters. Big Grin Plenty of work to still do, but over the hump.

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I like aggressive goals for two reasons:

1 - If you fall short, you still did pretty darn good. Big Grin

2 - I am continually amazed at what I have been able to achieve in this life. It definitely takes more than "thought." But, by the same token, "thinking it" is often 90% of the battle.

Perfect example? My spouse told me he thought we should buy a residence, in our early 20s. & I thought he was out of his flipping mind!! But, we sat down and ran the numbers, it actually made sense, and we were buying a condo just a couple of years later. I basically went from "I can never afford a home here" to "homeowner" in 2 years.

6 Responses to “Progress, Not Perfection”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I completely agree! I was late on my aggressive paying-off-the-CCs goal, but it got done, and probably sooner than if I hadn't made that goal.

    Do I think my family can save $80K cash for a new home in 4 years? Uh, I think it's highly dubious. However, I'm going to attack that goal as if I CAN succeed, and I'll get closer than if I didn't try!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    If you don't set a goal...it definitely won't happen. We are getting close to the $200K mark...especially with the market going up and we only hit $100K less than 3 years ago.

    Great job on meeting your goal, MM!!

  3. snafu Says:

    Good on you for setting goals and working/planning to get there! I so wish that new homeowners would look at amortization tables to see how much of their monthly payment goes to principal and the ghastly high figure that goes to interest for the first half of their payments.

    Every time I see people base buying decisions on whether they can handles the monthly payments...I cringe. They need to figure out how much they pay in fees and interest. How many hours do they need to work to buy the item of desire?

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Like they say - If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So if you plan out aggressive goals, then you're quite likely to reach them or come darn close. Smile

  5. Looking Forward Says:

    Agree on the goal making. And, like you said, if you fall short it's okay because you've still made progress. Smile

  6. terri77 Says:

    It's always good to set goals, even if you don't achieve. I think just having them makes you do better. I think the goal of having the mortgage paid off by 45 is a good goal. Now that you mention it, I may set that goal for myself. Smile

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