Welcome to the forum!
latterdaymom wrote:2. Any recommendations of where I should place savings for a house?
I don't wish to sound harsh, but with almost $25k in debt and essentially no savings for retirement, I don't believe you can afford a house in 5 years. Paying off the debt and increasing your retirement savings A LOT are much more important than buying a house.
3. So I wonder whether I should another $2k into my car, or use the money for another car.
I would not put that much into a that old a car unless you are almost certain you will get several years of use without more expensive repair.
4. If I purchase another automobile, I question whether I should use all my cash to purchase it, or should I take out an auto loan at a low interest rate so I can use whatever savings is left to reduce my high interest student loans. I don't like the idea of more debt, but I do like the idea of saving some money.
of your cash for a new used car.
6. I hope to purchase a home in 5 years. I want to leave retirement savings alone, but there's always a possibility I'd have to tap an account to make the purchase. Should I reduce my percent of equities in the retirement accounts just in case? Any suggestions? Anywhere special I should place my savings for the house?
Unless you will get a big chunk of cash from somewhere, I think buying a home in 5 years is not realistic at all. Maybe you are underestimating the importance of retirement savings. Just as an example, if you retired today your portfolio could provide you with about $18 a month to live on. That might help you see how much you need to increase your retirement savings.
Regarding your portfolio, add enough money to the rollover to get above $5k. That way you can buy 2 different Spartan funds in that account. Then adjust what is currently in your portfolio to this:Fidelity 401k 13.8% ($798)
10% Fidelity Spartan 500 Adv (FUSVX) 0.07
3.8% Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Adv (FSEVX) 0.07Fidelity Rollover IRA 86.2% ($5000)
43.1% Spartan Global Except US
43.1% Spartan US Bond Index
Yes, this is completely out of kilter, but will adjust fairly quickly as you add money to the 401k. It eliminates the use of the high cost PIMCO fund. Eventually, you would need to add both a bond fund and an international fund to the 401k to keep your percentages where you want them.Option 2Fidelity 401k 14.7% ($798)
0% Fidelity Spartan 500 Adv (FUSVX) 0.07
0% Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Adv (FSEVX) 0.07
14.7% PIMCO Total ReturnFidelity Rollover IRA 85.3% ($4620)
85.3% FFNOX Fidelity Four In One Index (85% stocks, 15% bonds)
This would start out closer to your desired AA. Money going into the 401k would go mostly to the 500 Index and Extended Market funds, with enough going into the high cost PIMCO fund to keep your bond allocation high enough. Eventually, as the 401k grows, the Rollover could be switched to the funds listed in Option 1 (Spartan US Bond Market and Global Except US Index).
Another option is to use a Fidelity Freedom fund, but the expense ratios are too high for my taste - I would not use them.
Whatever extra money you have should go to the 5.55% loans. Those loans might be draining off interest faster than your investments are earning.
Desired Asset Allocation: I started with 75% stocks / 25% bonds, but I'm open to suggestions!
This is on the aggressive end of a reasonable spectrum. But as you age, increase your bond allocation so that you always have at least
"age minus 20" in bonds. Going more aggressive than that would be reckless in my opinion. Many here would encourage you to stay nearer "age minus 10" in bonds or age in bonds.