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  1. #1

    The weakness of not having focus

    We are getting ready to move...hoping to be in a new house in like 15 days or so (but more likely 8/1.) Once we get to the rental house and get our current home sold (an the realtor is confident it will sell fast, homes in my neighborhood are flying off the market,) we will have some snowball. Looking at various projections, we should have anywhere from $500 to $1k each month after all the bills and gas, groceries, etc etc. This number depends on just how much utilities actually run (I estimated based on the high end in our current location and the homes we are looking at renting are all averaging about 1k sq ft less) and how many hours OT he can work. He's currently approved to work 5 hrs a week.

    So anyway, I really really really want to get our debts paid off. Once we get this house sold, that will cut our non student loan debt down significantly. If he works the max hours OT, we could have the non student loan debt paid off by the end of the year, IF we throw every dollar of all that at the debts.

    The problem is there are other things we need to be thinking about. I have a CRAPPY van. It was a serious mistake to purchase it. I am not sure it's going to last the summer, and that is with DH doing regular maintenance. We won't buy a new one until it craps out, but I expect that to be soon so we need to save for it. In addition to needing to replace my van, DH's car needs to be replaced soon as well. It will probably last another year or two, but I dunno. He's driving 400 to 500 miles a week right now.

    Also, DH is 44. I realize the Dave Ramsey plan says to put off retirement until you are out of debt, but we have like $1k in retirement. And we have been trying to follow the DR plan since 2008, not putting anything in retirement...I would love for him to be able to retire in 20 to 25 years, but we have to start saving for that really soon.

    And then there's some self employment things we want to get moving again once we get there. DH does some side repairs/sales, and I do photography. I have my equipment so that's not an issue, but I need to get some marketing going out there, which requires some funds (not a lot, I will be utilizing CL etc too) But DH will need about $1500 or so to get himself restarted. Once he's going, he can bring in $2k a pop or so.

    THing is, trying to do all that at once weakens the attack on all of them. Help me prioritize. How do I figure out how to work all of them?

  2. #2
    We're in our 50's and there is no way we can delay retirement savings. We've underfunded our retirement for far too long.

    In your budget, take account for a change in your taxes. With the house sold you won't have a homeowner's deduction so you might have to take the standard deduction and the amount of taxes you pay may increase.

    My recommendation - get a bit of savings under your belt. If you don't feel good about the $1000 minimum, then get about 3 months of living expenses. I can understand wanting to do that. And I can also understand wanting to contribute to a 401k to the level where you're at least getting a company match. Contrary to Dave Ramsey, I believe always putting money into savings - even if you're stuffing $5 to $10 in cash into an envelop in your sock drawer - is a good habit to ALWAYS have, even if you're paying off debt.

    All that aside getting ALL your debt paid off is a top priority.

  3. #3
    We have been in our home for 12 years, we have already crossed the threshold where taking the standard deduction is more advantageous. In fact, we will probably come out better in terms of taxes because we will get a renters deduction for our state, and we will have a student loan interest deduction that we haven't had the last several years.

  4. #4
    I would get rid of that debt pronto so you can fund retirement. That is urgent with only 1K at age 44.

  5. #5
    I think Dave Ramsey is just plain wrong about not putting money into retirement, and here's why.

    First off, most loans are fixed rate, so the amount you have to pay is pretty static. Investments go up and down, and rates of return vary enormously over a period of time. The shorter that time period, the larger the risk you carry of not making a return or even incurring a loss.

    The second thing is the interest fallacy. He would argue that 12% on your loan/credit card needs more attention than, say, 3% in an investment account or worse, 1% in a savings account. That may be true when you compare $1000 against debt Vs $1000 being put into an account. But the reality is, most retirement savings are in 401(k) or IRAs or other things, which are built up over decades. The compounding effect of even fairly low returns on tax-free savings is quite large over a long period of time - some of my securities in my 401(k) went up 20 - 30% in the last few years (after slumping post-2008, when I simply increased my contribution). I also had debts, but they were a fixed payment, so I carried on saving.

    I'm sure plenty of people will disagree, but squirreling away retirement money as young as possible is really important, and over years it can grow. The longer period of time you can do it over, the more resilient you will be to market shake ups like the one we just had.


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