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May 28th, 2008 at 06:20 am

I was just updating Quicken and noticed our retirement balance is a solid $75k. For now anyway.

This is actually my gross salary for the year. So one years' saved!

Of course, the interesting thing about measuring your goals in terms of salary, is that I for one, had already met this goal last year (maybe the year before). Likewise, in past years I way exceeded this goal (because my income was much smaller...)

So though $75k is a new milestone for me, I can't say the one year salary saved is a new or exciting milestone... It is turning into an impossible moving target that makes me feel a little at a standstill.

If dh returned to work tomorrow it would be a long road to save up one year of salary.

Which probably illustrates much why I so love the idea of measuring progress against "annual expenses."

I guess this idea particularly makes sense for us.

In school we both made $10k annually. Out of school we made $60k combined, and that quickly climbed to $100k.

But then we slowed down for kids and lived a couple of years on $45k (the years I took maternity leave anyway). But my full salary was a mere $50k when I had my first child. In the meantime, my income has ballooned to $75k rather quickly. Though a good chunk of the last decade we really made less than $60k. So it is hard to measure progress in terms of an ever growing income.

Of course, no complaints on the ever-growing income. Wink

But our expenses, on the other hand, have remained rather steady. Probably a bit of a jump when we bought our first home (okay, a significant jump since we lived on pennies before that). & probably a bit of a jump when we had kids. But overall our expenses have remained rather steady and predictable. So we find that a much better measure of our forward progress.

We generally live on $50k-$60k annually (after taxes) so we are trying to grow our net worth half of that, annually. ($25k-$30k/year). If our income grows astronomically (possible, could double if dh returned to work) and our expenses remain the same (possible) than we really need to work on goals that support our lifestyle, not our income. So this is where a lot of our thinking on expenses comes in. Income means little to us. (Which is the ideal!)

But $75k is a milestone, indeed. Of course, I was wondering, recently, when our cash and retirement would hit $100k. I think we will probably hit it in 2009. Not so sure on 2008. But we'll see. (We have a fair amount of cash, in addition to our retirement investments).

We've also paid a good $90k off our house. So our more liquid assets seem to be neck and neck with how much we have invested in our house.

I expect that to change greatly in the future. Our goal in the nearer future is to put away $10k/year to retirement, in addition to 10% contributed at my job. So ideally our retirement will be growing $18k/year or so, plus investment returns, while we are only paying the minimum on our mortgage, about $4k principal every year.

I think our 20s was our decade of home ownership. & we have accomplished a chunk there. I would like our 30s to be the decade of retirement funding. Big Grin Which is also why I don't sweat the mortgage prepayment. We worked very hard while young to keep our mortgage costs down (putting a chunk down and paying it off aggressively). That work will save us tens of thousands, if not more, in the long run. So it feels like it is off to the next battle - Retirement!

Likewise, I look forward to do the day our cash/investments far exceed our mortgage.

Well, we're getting there.

Anyway, I don't think we will put $10k to our IRAs anytime REAL soon. My goal is about $1500 this year, and $5k next year. But I think we may make it in 2011, when LM is entirely out of preschool. Working up to it. So though our goal is $10k/year, to IRAs, we got a ways to go.

Of course, in our 20s, retirement was only a mere afterthought, after the token 10% contributions we have always done. So I look forward to what we can do with retirement as the forethought. I expect to zoom ahead rather quickly... In fact, my roundabout goal has been $150k in retirement by age 35... (So doubled in 4 years?). Kind of aggressive, but doable.

3 Responses to “$75K”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Congrats on the milestone!

    That's not something I've achieve yet.... Could be a while.

  2. lartiga Says:

    Impressive milestone for a young family. You will definitely enjoy a comfortable retirement because of the careful planning you are doing in your 30s.

  3. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Congrats! I believe we're hitting $100k soon.

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