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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/08/2019 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Happy New Year, fellow LLNOE'ers. We hope you have a prosperous 2020 and meet the financial goals you've set for yourself. It's hard to believe how much things have changed for us in the last year. As a recap, we inherited money from DH's father in 2018 but didn't make a decision about using it to pay off our debts until March 2019. We used some of the inheritance to clear us from BS2 and provide the balance necessary for BS3. I was able to increase my retirement contributions to meet BS4 (DH is already retired). And BS5 and BS6 were already handled. Which landed us tenderly in BS7. We don't take it lightly that we are in BS7. In fact, we are still working on aggressively replacing the inheritance money so we can feel like we didn't "rob Peter to pay Paul." Which means Christmas wasn't much more than a craft again this year, but we were able to do more giving to others than in years past. DH and I cancelled a vacation we had planned in September (more on that later in this post); instead we used our timeshare for a week with our guys post-semester end / pre-holidays. It was nice to have a vacation that I didn't feel like we were broke! We actually over-budgeted for the trip which I think surprised us all. The reason we cancelled our vacation in September is that I had a job change. For a variety of reasons, I left a place I had worked for nearly 3 decades to do the same work just somewhere else. A better environment, an opportunity to increase my skill set, and overall improvement in my quality of life. The new place was very generous in offsetting the benefits I was losing (my insurance, for example, was only $30/month for family plan at my former place as the rest was covered by the employer; my new job is $180. My new job offered more salary dollars to offset that difference among other things.) I have been so much happier since making the job change. (Oh, we had trip insurance on our vacation plans and even though we cancelled within penalty window, our trip insurance covered the difference so we didn't lose anything). Other accomplishments: DSHome graduated in December! He started a full time job in July in his field. He is looking forward to having "just work" now after doing a semester of full time school and full time work. We are so proud of him. He'll still be DSHome until he moves out hopefully by summer. He's been saving his money and has enough saved up for a car and moving expenses already. So we'll help him start looking for a dependable car this month and then an apartment in the spring. (He's our son with Asperger's so everything is a step at a time.) DSAway is one semester from graduating himself, but he's not sure what he wants to do / where he wants to live after college. He'll be participating in career fairs, etc., this month, and I'll continue "job coaching" him in terms of alerting him to possible positions of interest. His lease expires the end of July so he has until then to have his next steps figured out. As for me, while I love my new job, I am thinking about retirement. I'm 14 months away from being eligible, so I'll have some big decisions to make with DH later this year. I do want to have the inheritance money replaced before I retire, so that's a goal and will play into the timing. I am using Lloyd's spreadsheet to project how much each month we need to replace in order for me to retire at various points in time. Dhis 8 years older than I am, so I don't want to delay too long on retirement for us to enjoy some time before we're unable to physically. Thankfully I am enjoying my work and expect that to continue, so it's not like I will "need" to leave. Just things to consider. So all this said to say we are looking ahead to an exciting year ahead of us, finally with a feeling of financial peace!
  2. 5 points
    I don't know about you, but I'm getting corona-weary. I never thought I'd experience something like this in my lifetime. Previous generations had wars and unrest and uncertainty. I know 9/11 changed so much about how we lived our lives, but this coronavirus feels like it is changing our society on a more personal level. I don't know how long it will be before it peaks in our country, but I do know that how people communicate and interact with each other, for business, leisure, well-being is changing. In a way it feels like we're beginning to look up from our phones and other devices to see each other, and at a time when having the technology and communication network those same phones and devices represent provides a safe way to do so. DSHome's work is having him work from home a couple of days a week to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time. My office is allowing flexible hours between 6A and 7P plus half-day over the weekend. I don't have work-technology to allow me to work from the house at this point, but they may be working something out to get the right equipment to allow VPN. If that happens, I'll likely do a combo of working from home, working in the office, and taking some annual leave. Nothing is changing for DSAway as his classes were already online, and he wasn't planning to attend the graduation ceremonies, so if they are cancelled (as they probably will be), he'll not be disappointed or missing out on something he wanted to do. DH's biggest inconvenience was the closing of the public library. He had a book on hold that he was going to get last Saturday but they sent out the closing notice on Friday after they were already closed. But believe me, he will not run out of things to read based on the stack of books he's been meaning to get to at home. Because we buy loss-leaders and stock up routinely, we were not part of the "woe is me, I can't find toilet paper" crowd. We had purchased our three-month supply a few weeks ago. We did lay in some extra groceries so we don't have to go into the store / mingle with other people. Restaurants are still open in our area and we agreed to help support them as we can through take-out service a little more than usual. (It's nice to be in BS7 where we can do that.) What's been interesting to me is how much people are sharing with how to make the most of closed schools through instructional classes, information, etc. Virtual tours, exposure to art and opera and painting and all sorts of things. Businesses stepping in to help sustain their communities even when its costing them what little margin they may have. Big businesses expanding their community outreach. Anyway, I hope our LLNOE friends stay well and weather this storm successfully. Be safe. Be well.
  3. 4 points
    some good news, the person I know in ICU with the virus is now out of ICU and doing better. I'm so glad she's a great person... . keep her in prayers if you would like too. thanks.
  4. 4 points
    So there was a leak in the a/c for the vehicle to the tune of $875+. And our home a/c needed a relay replaced when we had its annual service, so that was $245 (inclusive of the annual service fee). We did get the new dishwasher but it is sitting in the garage until after our next payday. We are putting in the application for a $40 credit on our utility bill because of the new dishwasher. Everything was cash flowed and we were still able to add some to the savings, but not as much as we wanted. I had a slight panic moment last weekend when paying bills in that I thought I had missed the car payment and was going to be late... of course I hadn't, since we didn't have one! Our DSs are finishing up the semester; one more week for DS-away and two weeks for DS-home. DS-away will move home for summer to do his paid internship. Thirty hours a week, so that's more than he originally expected.
  5. 3 points
    Just updating some numbers for reference since I sent $2k in contributions to dh's Roth: 403b: $25,673 (just increased my contributions to $300/paycheck up from $270, + 2% match) Old IRA: $7,219 Dh Roth: $12,710 My Roth: $8,828 Total $54,430 Mortgage balance $89,597
  6. 2 points
    For most people it is an inconvenience, but for others life and death. I will happily be inconvenienced to help not make someone sick. I really feel for businesses and employees financially hard hit. We will just have to ride it out.
  7. 2 points
    To help keep all this in perspective, a friend of mine was speaking with a 90+ year old World War II Vet. He says he was sorry what everyone is going through at the moment. But it's nothing compared to what they had to go through in the 1940's during World War 2. We are being quarantined to our couches in our homes, they were being sent off to war. Not to mentioning all the rationing going on back in the day. I think what is going on now is a small taste of what our Parents, Grand Parents and now Great Grand Parents had to endure during the great war. I am not complaining so much anymore.
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