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Goal Achieved, Taking a Breather

May 2nd, 2021 at 02:24 pm

Goal Achieved:  $500,000 Retirement

I feel ridiculously "retirement poor".  Because we spend so little and need so little to retire comfortably.  

Because of this, I just felt so "meh" about fomulating the next retirement goal.  I started this post earlier but then walked away to give it some thought.  I decided I've had these feelings before.  We saved 75% of our income to get into a home (San Francisco) when just starting out.  After that, we saved 50% (all of MH's income) until we had kids.  After that we took a 5 year breather to have kids.   We eventually circled back and started to think about longer term goals.  Retirement was it.  It's just not that exciting.  Might have taken us a couple of years to get into a home and a couple of years to feel ready to prepare financiall to be home with kids.  But...  Retirement is more of a decades long slog. 

So I stepped away, thought about it, and decided my feelings were similar, today.  20 years ago, I think we were just feeling very financially comfortable and wanted to enjoy the fruits of that hard work.  This time around I am feeling very burned out.  2018 & 2019 were some terrible years for me.   It's similar, but also different.  I don't think I am going to start working half as much, while I get my kids through college.  😉

I decided that I don't want to make a goal and I am going to take a breather.  It will be very relative.  A relative breather.  We were saving 20%+ to retirement after MH lost his full-time job and we had our first child.  It will be same now (20%+ to retirement).  I think a lot of our "retirement poor" is just a side effect of financial and tax efficiency.  It doesn't make any sense whatsover to give up employer match or keep money in taxable accounts (that can be moved over to ROTHs).  And...  MH is looking for a full-time job.  Has absolutely nothing to do with money.  Is more about personal fulfillment.   This breather is more about taking a break from some longer-term goals.  We are also talking about investing in some non-financial things, taking some new risks. 

I am just going to leave the "$500K retirement at age 45" goal in my sidebar.  See what the market does, and where we are in another year.  See where we are at when we are 45.

I think we are going to give it 6-24 months.  In 6 months we should have a lot more clarity on the job front (MH).  If he does find a job, maybe we just buckle down and finish saving for retirement, get our home paid off.  I don't know.  What's relevant in 2 years is that DL(15) should be making his college decisions.  All of this is a lot of limbo to sort out.  So we might want not to expend too much energy on longer term plans until this stuff starts to sort out.  

This year is going to be expensive.  I am just trying to let it go and roll with it.  We are just talking about a lot of things.  This post is too long already, so will get to these things later.

Not related to our "taking a breather feelings" whatsoever, I later saw that our home had gone up 40% in value over night.  !!  We live in a city that everyone is moving to.  

It's...  depressing.  We got priced out of the city we grew up.  Apparently we are doing the same to our kids.  It makes it really impractical (too expensive) to downsize and stay here.  It's not all bad.  It makes it more practical to move closer to our parents, if they do need more help.  We are just along for the ride.  Not planning to get off this ride for another 2 years (when DL is done with high school).  I guess this is just more limbo getting thrown into the mix.  

Yeah, it's completely absurd.  We have bought in two completely absurd markets.  I...  Don't know what this is.  It's something that has never happened before.  I saw some home sold in our neighborhood for $750K last month.  I then saw Monday morning that there were people camping out and lining up for new townhomes ($1.2 Mil) in the Bay Area.  I mentioned to my boss (I work for a home builder) and he started showing me graphs of the current market.  He's just, "This has never happened before."  The housing inventory was already non-existent before the pandemic.  So that's the fuel and throw on the fire of everyone trying to move here.  I keep seeing articles that it's also impossible to find rentals here.  

{Home construction was not labeled "essential" in our state but was labeled "essential" in our region last March, which is why work has remain very unchanged for me}.

I share because it's probably pretty likely we have hit our "financial independence" goal, with this turn of events.  {Current net worth is $1.2 Mil}.  Which is of course meaningless.  Our "financial independence" goal was $1 mil plus a paid-for condo.  It's not $600K investments + $600K home equity.  (That $200K condo is now a $400K condo, with mega property taxes).  & it's made further moot by this not being a "financial independence" goal while still supporting kids and having a mortgage.  We have to cross these other things off our list first, before we can hit "financial independence" with $1 mil.

So...  I will work on re-formulating that goal.  Again, might just step away from that for a year or two and see where this roller coaster ride ends up.  I might not formulate a new goal for another year or two.  But off the top of my head, it might be $800K investments, as a new goal.  If we expect to cash out roughly $200K when we do sell this home (and downsize).  All of this can change so dramatically based on the stock and housing markets.  It may just be a goal that needs significant re-tweaking over time.  


3 Responses to “Goal Achieved, Taking a Breather”

  1. Dido Says:

    You're young enough and well-enough off to take a breather from your goals, having been smart enough to establish great financial habits from the get-go. And in your 40s is a good time to stop, pause, and re-think. I was just about your age when I decided to change careers. I hope all works out for the best.

  2. Carol Says:

    You're in the sandwich generation years. Keep thinking and talking, but really right now is time for one kiddo to start college and the other to finish high school and then figure out his next step. That's plenty for one working mom to have on her plate. Taking a break is entirely sensible!

  3. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I am where you are except my kids are younger. I am trying to tread water and breathe right now and realize that everything will be okay. Not saving as much for a couple of years is fine.

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