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Help Me Plan for Retirement

May 30th, 2019 at 02:45 pm

Tomorrow, I will pay my second mortgage payment ever.

$351.98 – Principal
$100 – Extra towards principal
$995.81 – Interest!!!!!!!!
$393.02 – Escrow and PMI
$1840.81 TOTAL

I think it’s horrifying that the interest alone is more than (Principal + Extra to Principal + Escrow + PMI). Why are mortgages so EVIL?!!!???

Anyway, this makes me think even more of a plan that I have forming in my mind. I don’t know if it is smart or foolhardy. Here it is – please give me some advice.

I will be done with all my consumer debt by the end of this year as well as have $10K in EF. I don’t really have much of any other savings. My employer adds a meager amount to retirement savings, but that will cease when I quit my job early next year. While I worked the last 10-ish years to pay off about $60K in high interest consumer debt, I didn’t really save anything for retirement. So, now I have $40K in a retirement account with my employer, and will get a very small pension. Everything else towards retirement needs to be saved going forward.

I want to pay my mortgage off as soon as I can. It’s a 30 year mortgage at 4.5%. I want to pay it off in 10 years on the outside. Hopefully within 8-9 years if I can. If I quit my job, what this will mean is, after EF, sinking funds for major house repairs/entertainment/travel, purchasing my own health insurance, and if I pay $6k/year into an IRA, if I throw everything else at the mortgage, I can pay it down in 10 years or less unless something horrible happens.

Part of the reason I am planning to leave my job and go into SE full time is that I have a greater earning potential that way compared to doing the same thing in a salaried position. The downside of course is that I can’t predict what will happen – I might have serious health issues, have other things come up that will get in the way of making a good income. This feels like all the more reason to work as hard as I can to pay off the mortgage as fast as I can. If I can have the house paid off, then I plan to purchase a rental property for passive income. Work at the same rate as I am now, use rental income and part of my income to pay off the rental property in the next 10-ish years while saving for retirement simultaneously. Then go semi-retired around 58-60-ish. Even if I don’t buy a rental property, I am pretty frugal, and if I don’t have a house payment, then even if I were not able to work, then I could easily live off very little. If I purchase and pay off the rental property, then I can definitely semi-retire at 60 and would be able to fully retire at 65 with two paid off houses, and a rental income in addition to anything I have saved for retirement by then.

However, I also think it makes fiscal sense to save money for retirement and not throw all my money at the mortgage. I am so torn. What do you all suggest?

This and That

May 19th, 2019 at 07:42 pm

I just did my accounting for the weekend, and I had a relatively frugal weekend. The only spending was on the free-ish plants, lunch with my friend (the leftovers gave me enough for two more meals), grocery shopping, and some shopping for seeds/plants.

I also did accounting for my SE job since some payments posted this morning. If all goes as expected, it looks like I will take home $500 more this month than last month.


I'm having a friend over for dinner this evening. This is the second time I've hosted someone in my new house, and it makes me happy each time to do so. For three years prior to that, I lived in a dingy apartment with almost no light, and I rarely had people over. Mostly, my friends who had more space were the ones who hosted. Now I want them to come over - I have the space to entertain. I also have another couple of friends coming over this weekend. However, I did not want to cook on a weeknight - I almost considered ordering in. Then, sound fiscal judgement prevailed and I went grocery shopping. Menu for today is fairly simple since it's dinner on a weeknight:
* Cucumber, Carrot, Sesame Salad
* Tofu/Veg Stir-fry w. Rice

My friend is bringing dessert.


Immediately after I bought my house, I impulse shopped a lot of garden things. One of the things was two hydrangeas. I wanted hydrangea bushes in my front yard, and was at Walmart and saw bareroot pink hydrangeas. $5.97 each. I bought two. Impulsively. Without doing my research. I am an idiot!

I planted both. One died. The other is struggling. For some reason, it took me this long to research what kind they were. It turns out they are tree hydrangeas. GRRR. That's not what I wanted. I wanted the bushy kind. So, now I will have to dig this out and put in the right kind. $11.98 wasted. Do your research folks...

Someone on a local gardening group was giving away bamboo stakes. I got about 2 dozen of odd sizes. I used the tallest ones to make supports for my beans. I also made a trellis for my snap peas with them. I still have about 10-ish left that I might use to support other plants. I love free garden things. :-)

My honeysuckle died - I think it went into shock since we had two weeks of really hot days right after I planted it. So, I dug that out. However, my sweet peas are thriving, so I transplanted half of them to the honeysuckle trellis. My friend who is coming to dinner tonight gave me the sweet peas as a housewarming present. She'll be glad to see how well they're growing. I should have an abundance of fragrant flowers later this summer. I want to be the kind of grownup that has cut flowers in her home every day. Growing my own flowers will help me do that frugally.


Over the weekend, I got my annual statement for my retirement account from work. There was a loss of $834.48 this past year. I still have a little more than last year in the account due to the meager contributions that were made this year. But, looks like they invested in the wrong things. This is the first year since I have been vested that the retirement account shows a loss. So, it's not that bad, I guess.

Hello SA World

May 17th, 2019 at 09:42 am

Hello All,

I've been a long-time lurker and reader of the blogs, and decided to go into it myself. I want to blog and document what I do as a way of holding myself accountable.

I want to retire "early-ish" at around 55-59-ish. Unfortunately, I started this journey at 39 years of age. I'm turning 40 in a few months' time. So, I know I have some hard work ahead of me.

I am a healthcare professional. I work full time and am self-employed part-time. The plan is to transition full time into self-employment over the next year so that I can have a better quality of time/time/leisure for about the same amount of money. I'm in a single person household and only have one income. No kids or pets.

I had a lot of consumer debt ($57,797.94) and spent the last 12 years paying it off in a very inefficient manner. I now only have $9,600 in consumer debt on a zero-interest card that I plan to pay off by the end of the year.

I just purchased my first house. Terrible market to buy where I am right now. But, I am delighted to finally have a house. Put 5% down. Made my first mortgage payment last month. 30-year mortgage. But, mortgages are evil. So, I hope to have the house paid in 8-9 years if I can - if nothing horrible happens that derails my plans.

Now, off to figure out some blog formatting things.