Archive for January, 2008


January 31, 2008


Mobile post sent by Jill Foster using Utterz Replies.  mp3
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$5million & your piggy bank: financial planners’ standard target for retirement
January 14, 2008

“Mrs. Foster, you & your husband should save at least $5million for retirement…at least!”

[THUNK]

That’s my psychological (& literal) piggy bank passing out from that advice. Most all financial planners I met with last year suggested $5million be our retirement savings target (east coast).

What the SAM HECK do we need to save that amount for?! I’ll calm my drama-momma attitude … & attempt to answer with some calm. Feel free adding ideas to this list:

  • Longevity (age 100 to be commonplace)
  • Health care (allocate $150k-200k for health care costs excluding long term care)
  • Inflation
  • Housing (assuming a paid-in-full home, consider property tax per US Treasury)
  • Food
  • Fun (one trip annually)
  • With above factored in the equation — leaving $1k/mo for health care costs during retirement — our current retirement savings quest is $2.5million. It makes financial planners smirk but, although hefty it’s an aggressive goal that doesn’t leave my mental or literal piggy bank in shock.

    More from:
    FreeMoneyFinance writes on the $5million topic with an active discussion thread;

Fraud is the new … green?! charging customers for bulbs they didn’t buy
January 14, 2008

It could’ve been a winning green initiative: educating customers on energy-efficient CFL light bulbs.

Yet instead, a Maryland power company‘s approach has left a green campaign wanting — and their customers screaming mail fraud.

More from:
An Allegheny Power customer in the thick of it, Jimmy Gardner reports at East Coast Blogging.

2007 goals met & missed (plus recalling family mantra for ‘tell the truth!’)
January 7, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=588693&dest=21480]

I heard that as a kid growing up from Oklahoma relatives – said when it was really time to tell the truth! I love it. And for whatever reason, it surmounts my agnosticism & paraphrases the need for honesty to this day.

In that spirit…:

Life balance goals met & missed (2006 vs 2007)

Come to Jesus 2006:

-on dining out: spent $11k (what's that phrase…'ignorance is bliss'?!)

-on cooking for family: avoided learning how

-on retirement savings: had diddle for a plan

-on spending habits: didn't have a clue

-on tax protection: accrued $7k tax bill (paid for via credit card…gulp)

Come to Jesus 2007:

-on dining out: cut that puppy DOWN & roughly ended year spending app. $1.5k

-on cooking for family: learned! We spent app. $5k on groceries this year. And my husband was fantastic in brainstorming ideas & being patient with sometimes a very smoky home (I'd like to think my self-esteem is pretty strong being 37 and admitting this … or just SILLY)

-on retirement savings: met with financial planners & invested 12% income toward a specific plan (as in we now know 'the number' to save for by retirement age). I disagreed with some planners' suggestion on how much to save for. More on that later.

-on spending habits: set an actual plan and more regularly audited habits via Quicken. Frankly I didn't audit them habitually. I attempted tracking via our spending plan which wasn't comprehensive. It's time for me to buck up and do that download account process per Quicken.

-on tax protection: our pre-tax retirement contributions lowered our taxable income; I also worked from home (resigned from high stress management job & made far less money). That fact as pros & cons but it was a great year for re-gaining sanity, renewing/building communities online and off, & gaining a few clients. And the reduced stress enhanced the marriage (ain't that right honey??). NOTE: That $7k tax bill balance decreased some (see below).

The main goal for 2008 is two-fold: to completely pay-off that '06 puke-vomit-ick-tax-bill (paid for via credit card in '07) and to build six months worth of savings.

QUESTION TO YOU:

What life balance/personal finance goal motivates you for 2008? …Any come-to-Jesus moments of your own last year?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! And thanks for your ideas & motivation throughout last year. Your insight and humor strengthened resolve.

MORE FROM:

Get Rich Slowly shares factory worker's story to millionaire retirement. This guy's simple, prudent decisions inspire!

– Playful, honest journey through spending plans at Budgeting Babe;

-Clear, actionable approach for starting 2008 … Chirs Brogan shares (3) words that help him decide or decline next steps.