Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

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720pete
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Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by 720pete »

I'm 26, have about $19,000 in my retirement account. Fully funded my 2014 Roth in January. I Make $45k per year and have a pension contribution of $2,250 per year. Not vested for another 9 years. Between the pension, rent, food, transportation, health insurance, and saving for my Roth I am basically maxed out financially and I'm not sure I will be able to save for both retirement and an engagement ring. If you were in my position would you put retirement savings into an engagement ring for one year, is that a smart expense? I'm thinking it would hurt me a lot since that's basically like foregoing 30 years of retirement interest. I don't see any raise/bonus coming in the future as I just started my job. What to do?
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HueyLD
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by HueyLD »

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Last edited by HueyLD on Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
atreat600
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by atreat600 »

Don't buy too expensive an engagement ring, and, if anything contribute less, but I wouldn't stop altogether.
barnaclebob
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by barnaclebob »

How much were you thinking of spending on a ring and how long do you have to save it? You should be able to get a respectable diamond solitaire ring for under 2k. The only way I would put off saving for retirement to buy a better ring is if I expected to make significantly more (~75k+) within the next few years or if your future wife would be bringing home the bacon.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.
jf89
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by jf89 »

HueyLD wrote:Buy a cheap engagement ring and hopefully she will understand.

If not, she is not for you.
I think "cheap" is the wrong word, but I will echo the sentiment. Look for something less expensive. If she's so concerned with the ring that something a little smaller means you'll get a "no", then consider that a pretty good look into who your girlfriend really is. Remember that you should be saving everything you can for retirement, but you need to save for these short term items that are a part of your life as well (ring, wedding, home)... it shouldn't be an either/or kind of decision.

You could also talk to your girlfriend about this stuff. Hopefully she's aware that you're thinking about marriage, so you two should be able to talk these things out along with other topics about your future joint finances.
"Save as much as you can, diversify diversify diversify, and you can't go wrong with tech stocks" | -First investing advice I recall from my parents in the 90's (two outta three ain't bad)
ddunca1944
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by ddunca1944 »

A ring is not an investment. It's a purchase. Have you discussed this with her? If not, I'd do that before making a decision.
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720pete
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by 720pete »

I haven't thought much about budget yet. She's been asking to go ring shopping, and I plan on marrying her, but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year and she will ask about that.

Again, I'm not sure how she would react. The way I see retirement money is that it's up there as one of the most important expenditures that takes precedent over things like an engagement ring, but I'm not sure she will see it the same way.
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JamesSFO
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by JamesSFO »

Given all of the lost tax-deferred accumulation over ~40 years that will work out to be one expensive ring. Buy something more modest with the promise in the future when incomes allow it to buy something more flashy
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by TomatoTomahto »

ddunca1944 wrote:A ring is not an investment. It's a purchase. Have you discussed this with her? If not, I'd do that before making a decision.
People are different, but if I had asked my wife whether to get a ring or fund a retirement account, she would have replied: "fund our retirement." There would also be a silent ",dummy" at the end of her reply.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
DSInvestor
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by DSInvestor »

720pete wrote:I haven't thought much about budget yet. She's been asking to go ring shopping, and I plan on marrying her, but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year and she will ask about that.

Again, I'm not sure how she would react. The way I see retirement money is that it's up there as one of the most important expenditures that takes precedent over things like an engagement ring, but I'm not sure she will see it the same way.
Ideally you should be financially compatible with your spouse. If she agrees with you, you're GO for engagement. If she doesn't agree it's a potential red flag. Heck, you could afford the big house, swimming pool, the sports cars if you put retirement savings on the back burner.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by barnaclebob »

What is her financial situation? I think you should know about each others finances and attitudes towards money before thinking about getting married. Most of us on this forum could afford a lot of shiny or fun things if we put saving for retirement on the back burner for a year. Like another said, if you plan on being married its not your retirement, its hers too.
Rupert
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Rupert »

720pete wrote:I haven't thought much about budget yet. She's been asking to go ring shopping, and I plan on marrying her, but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year and she will ask about that.

Again, I'm not sure how she would react. The way I see retirement money is that it's up there as one of the most important expenditures that takes precedent over things like an engagement ring, but I'm not sure she will see it the same way.
I think you DO know how she'll react or you wouldn't be writing this. You need to have a very honest conversation with this person about money and financial values before you get engaged. She has to understand that your savings, for retirement or otherwise, are not optional. If she doesn't understand and agree to that, you're going to be one very miserable (and broke) husband.
SenatorSquires
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by SenatorSquires »

No comment on foregoing retirement contributions for a ring but if you do end up diamond shopping...

I just went through this myself and after a lot of research, I ended up buying from JamesAllen. Comparison shopped vs. local jewelers and pricing was hundreds/thousands better. I feel diamonds are all about the numbers so it's pretty easy to comparison shop a local jewelers price vs. JamesAllen or Blue Nile by punching in all the exact same information that's on the GIA certificate.

Blue Nile seems to have slightly better pricing but after reading reviews, everyone recommended JamesAllen over Blue Nile. I couldn't have had a better experience with JamesAllen's customer service. I actually had 2 rings made, picked the one I like better and they let me ship the other one back with no fees or anything. Not sure if they will consistently let people do this though and my ring was very simple.

Don't forget.. then you have to buy the actual wedding band :(
JW-Retired
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by JW-Retired »

720pete wrote: I haven't thought much about budget yet. She's been asking to go ring shopping, and I plan on marrying her, but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year and she will ask about that.

Again, I'm not sure how she would react. The way I see retirement money is that it's up there as one of the most important expenditures that takes precedent over things like an engagement ring, but I'm not sure she will see it the same way.
You sound like you want to spend next to nothing on a ring if you can't max out the Roth. Take her ring shopping. She needs to find out how cheap you are before it's too late.
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MrMiyagi
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by MrMiyagi »

I'm going to go against probably everyone else's advice here and say just buy the engagement ring that she will be happy with, within reason (i.e. if you're making 45k/yr and she asks you for a 20k ring, I'd personally run for the hills).

Before you do that though, make sure she is "the one." Only you can answer that question. Divorce can be expensive. Second, ask her how important the ring is to her. This forum is essentially filled with the 1% of Americans that value retirement savings very highly over most "consumer goods", and is not representative of the public. Personally I agree that jewelry is a waste of money.

However, if she thinks a large engagement ring is important to her, just suck it up and buy her the $5000 ring or whatever she wants. Some women (the majority I dare say) like to show off their engagement rings to their girlfriends. If you get her a dinky $1500 ring, and a large engagement ring was important to her, she may hold that against you for the rest of your marriage. Anyway even if the ring is $5000, it's going to be peanuts compared to the average wedding cost. Just saying what the worse case scenario may be. Everyone says "but she's different" until it happens to them.

1 year of lost retirement savings with compound interest is a lot less expensive than an unhappy spouse. Just my 0.02.
Last edited by MrMiyagi on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jowi
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by jowi »

DH and I just went and bought matching gold bands - about $400 each, if I recall correctly. To each their own, but I personally feel a diamond is a huge waste of $$.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Rob5TCP »

My friend's family has been in the diamond industry for 3 and soon 4 generations.
I showed him this video and he (off the record) did agree with much of it.
You will view the diamond "scam" in a whole other light


http://theawesomer.com/why-engagement-r ... am/269704/
Dulocracy
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Dulocracy »

You can get a nice looking engagement ring for $250. $500 can get you something that looks glorious.

If she knows it is coming, talk to her about it. Let her know that you would rather provide for her future than spend too much on the rock. See her response (and pray that it is agreement).

My cousin is as happy as she can be with a small ring with a ruby in it instead of a diamond. Her now husband works at Lowes, and he is one of the most decent people that I have ever met. A friend of ours just got engaged with a $100 ring, and she is extremely happy. (Notably, she is a friend because she is in a fashion club with my wife. Even though she was in a fashion club, she understood that the man she loved could not afford much at all.) The right woman will care more about you than about the ring. In the end, the more important thing is going to be your financial life together. If you are financially grounded, you will take out about 40% of the reasons people get a divorce (from the experience of an attorney that handles a lot of divorce work).
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
Dulocracy
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Dulocracy »

Rob5TCP wrote:My friend's family has been in the diamond industry for 3 and soon 4 generations.
I showed him this video and he (off the record) did agree with much of it.
You will view the diamond "scam" in a whole other light


http://theawesomer.com/why-engagement-r ... am/269704/

Do not tell her this. Valentines day may be a hallmark holiday, but you buy the freakin' card. Buy a ring. Buy a nice ring within your budget.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
wilked
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by wilked »

720pete wrote:I haven't thought much about budget yet. She's been asking to go ring shopping, and I plan on marrying her, but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year and she will ask about that.

Again, I'm not sure how she would react. The way I see retirement money is that it's up there as one of the most important expenditures that takes precedent over things like an engagement ring, but I'm not sure she will see it the same way.
uh oh, red flag.

Essentially she is asking for your credit card to go buy a ring. Not much romance there...

Buy her a nice cubic zirconia (if you put 10 rings out, half diamonds, half CZ, with size roughly the same, she would not be able to pick out the 5 diamonds). Don't lie about it, but don't apologize for it either. If she asks what it is, let her know. Her reaction might tell you a thing or two...
barnaclebob
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by barnaclebob »

wilked wrote:Buy her a nice cubic zirconia (if you put 10 rings out, half diamonds, half CZ, with size roughly the same, she would not be able to pick out the 5 diamonds). Don't lie about it, but don't apologize for it either. If she asks what it is, let her know. Her reaction might tell you a thing or two...
This is not a good idea.
jacoavlu
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by jacoavlu »

Contribute to the Roth, and finance a reasonably priced ring? Maybe you could find some place giving 1-2 year no interest financing. And cut expenses wherever else you can to get it done. That Roth space is tremendously valuable right now, and you'll never get it back.

I mean, look at the situation in the reverse. If you already had the ring, and you had to opportunity to obtain a small low or no interest loan with the ring as collateral, a loan which would allow you to contribute a bonus $5.5k to your Roth right now, would you do that?
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BL
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by BL »

At least you are not planning to finance it!
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by leonard »

720pete wrote:I'm 26, have about $19,000 in my retirement account. Fully funded my 2014 Roth in January. I Make $45k per year and have a pension contribution of $2,250 per year. Not vested for another 9 years. Between the pension, rent, food, transportation, health insurance, and saving for my Roth I am basically maxed out financially and I'm not sure I will be able to save for both retirement and an engagement ring. If you were in my position would you put retirement savings into an engagement ring for one year, is that a smart expense? I'm thinking it would hurt me a lot since that's basically like foregoing 30 years of retirement interest. I don't see any raise/bonus coming in the future as I just started my job. What to do?
No. Never.
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Dulocracy
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Dulocracy »

wilked wrote:Buy her a nice cubic zirconia ...
Skip this step and dump her.

Seriously, get her a diamond or a simple stone that she likes, but get one in your price range. $500 buys a really nice ring. If you go all out at $1,000, you can get something dazzling. Do not sacrifice your future for something shiny. Get a real diamond. If she is upset by not spending more, that IS a red flag.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
dgdevil
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by dgdevil »

720pete wrote: ... I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances ...
It's a bigger issue than the ring. If you two haven't sat down and discussed financial objectives for the next 50+ years (god willing), budgeting, existing liabilities, then it's a problem. I'd hate for you to be squirreling away your hard-earned cash while she's been blowing it on shoes and handbags. And then there are the wedding expenses ...

(Disclosure: we skipped the ring. My wife does not care for jewelry)
TSR
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by TSR »

I agree with everyone that this is a good chance to learn more about your fiance (and that this is an important issue), but I don't agree that you've seen a bunch of red flags just yet. I think that if you love this person, you should give her the benefit of the doubt and actually go ring shopping. She may surprise you by scoffing at the $5,000 price tag of a ring and instead decide that she'd love a nice piece of estate jewelry. On the other hand, she may insist on a $10,000 ring because she wants her's to be larger than her friend's, in which case you will know a lot more about her values.

You can guess what I would likely think about someone with such values.
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by travellight »

However, if she thinks a large engagement ring is important to her, just suck it up and buy her the $5000 ring or whatever she wants. Some women (the majority I dare say) like to show off their engagement rings to their girlfriends. If you get her a dinky $1500 ring, and a large engagement ring was important to her, she may hold that against you for the rest of your marriage. Anyway even if the ring is $5000, it's going to be peanuts compared to the average wedding cost. Just saying what the worse case scenario may be. Everyone says "but she's different" until it happens to them.

1 year of retirement savings with compound interest is a lot less expensive than an unhappy spouse. Just my 0.02.
Divorce is expensive as well if you are inherently financially incompatible. I would try to figure that part out at this stage.

As a female, I would feel guilty having my fiance spend that much on me unless his net worth was quite high and the expenditure was financially meaningless to him. That IRA contribution especially at this young age with 40 years to compound would be smarter and therefore more attractive to me.

The fact that SHE is asking to go ring shopping is a concern if it turns out her priority is a flashy ring that will impress the girlfriends. If she is the one you want to spend your life with, buy her the ring that will make her happy. Have a clear understanding of all her priorities and be prepared to spend for them as well.
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Dulocracy
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Dulocracy »

dgdevil wrote:
720pete wrote: ... I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances ...
It's a bigger issue than the ring. If you two haven't sat down and discussed financial objectives for the next 50+ years (god willing), budgeting, existing liabilities, then it's a problem. I'd hate for you to be squirreling away your hard-earned cash while she's been blowing it on shoes and handbags. And then there are the wedding expenses ...

(Disclosure: we skipped the ring. My wife does not care for jewelry)
Ditto. If you cannot discuss your future together, what kind of future is it? One of the best ways to get someone to understand saving is to make them a part of it. Larry Swedroe tells me dividend investing is a bad idea based on alternatives. My wife understands the concept and gets excited about it. Instead of saving 15% of her income, she is now up to 37%. I am not going to change her allocation away from dividends because she is on board with saving because of dividends. I think that Larry would agree that if someone more than doubles their savings rate for a low-expense ratio portfolio that uses dividend funds as the large cap portion, it is better than not doubling the savings rate and having a regular value fund. The point is that she is on board with investing and saving because I discussed it with her and included her in the decisions two years before we got married. You may not wind up with the perfect agreement on what to do, but you can have the same general goal.

(Disclosure: I spent $5,000 on our ring, but my salary is significantly larger than yours, and I was in my mid-30's when I got engaged. If I got engaged in my 20's, it would have been a $500 ring.)
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.
BanditKing
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by BanditKing »

Get a simple inexpensive ring. Don't pass up on your opportunity to save for your future. If she doesn't understand the value of 40 years earnings, she may not be the right girl.
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Raymond
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Raymond »

An old article (Feb. 1982) from The Atlantic:

"Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?"

As mentioned earlier in this thread, I think $1000 - 1500 would get you a decent engagement ring.

However, you need to talk about a LOT of things with your girlfriend.

I would not follow the ridiculous "three months' salary" De Beers propaganda: $45,000/year divided by 12 months = $3750/month x 3 = $11,250 :annoyed

And I don't think skipping retirement contributions for one year is reasonable either, given your income: $5500 Roth + $2250 pension = $7750

I spent $1500 on my wife's engagement ring in the mid-1990s (around $2200 in today's dollars). We were in our early thirties - she was established in her career, I had just transitioned to a second one.
JW Nearly Retired wrote: You sound like you want to spend next to nothing on a ring if you can't max out the Roth. Take her ring shopping. She needs to find out how cheap you are before it's too late.
That's a bit harsh. You did read where the OP has maxed his 2014 Roth IRA, correct? The $2250 (as I read it) is a separate pension contribution.

For me, "cheap" would mean pulling out a plastic toy ring from a Cracker Jack box (do they even make those anymore?) :D

720pete, best wishes to both of you, and I hope you can come to a meeting of the minds (and hearts) :sharebeer
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3easypayments
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by 3easypayments »

I find it interesting that someone as young as you and your girlfriend are interested in a conventional diamond solitaire ring. I think I must have read too much into that fact that many of my young friends and acquaintances don't have that desire. On further reflection, the ones I'm thinking of are mostly academic or artistic types who are urban dwellers in big and/or progressive cities and and I suppose that's probably a marker for this group that eschews this odd custom that has been fostered by the diamond industry.

My wife was 36 when we married and I was lucky she was in this group that wouldn't have worn a big diamond solitaire ring even if I had bought her one (money was not an issue). She and I went with tungsten carbide rings, hers shiny and faceted and mine matte.

Not saying you can persuade her that being different in this way would be cool and that avoiding the DeBeers racket is worthwhile goal, but could be worth a try.

Ultimately though, you've got to give the lady what she wants!
beachplum
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by beachplum »

watch a month of Suzie Orman (saturday's at 9 on cnbc) and get a little educated on money and relationships and the importance of saving for retirement and living on a budget.
DSInvestor
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by DSInvestor »

Rob5TCP wrote:My friend's family has been in the diamond industry for 3 and soon 4 generations.
I showed him this video and he (off the record) did agree with much of it.
You will view the diamond "scam" in a whole other light


http://theawesomer.com/why-engagement-r ... am/269704/
Here's a link to a PBS Frontline show called "The Diamond Empire":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4c1p_DMkIw
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

CZ is a great way to start. The alternative is a very small diamond in a good setting.

The two of you can plan to trade up when you are on much better financial ground. I bought my wife a very small diamond. We traded up twice. The day after Christmas is a great day (say 3pm) to get a good trade up deal when chain store jewelers have negative number days from all the returns. We literally shopped for a specific size, color etc upgrade for 3 years using her engagement and an anniversary ring for trades, so we knew when the numbers worked.

But.....CZ is the way to go much bigger for less.
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roymeo
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by roymeo »

+1 on the whole "how can you get married to someone that you can't talk finances with?"

Would you enter into a financial partnership under any other circumstances without knowing the score and being able to talk to your partners honestly?

Full disclosure: I wouldn't marry the sort of person who wanted a rock.
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JW-Retired
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by JW-Retired »

Raymond wrote:
JW Nearly Retired wrote: You sound like you want to spend next to nothing on a ring if you can't max out the Roth. Take her ring shopping. She needs to find out how cheap you are before it's too late.
That's a bit harsh. You did read where the OP has maxed his 2014 Roth IRA, correct? The $2250 (as I read it) is a separate pension contribution.

For me, "cheap" would mean pulling out a plastic toy ring from a Cracker Jack box (do they even make those anymore?) :D
As I read it OP said he had maxed his Roth, his pension is $2250, and he is maxed out financially. He is "not sure he can do both retirement and an engagement ring." He 's looking for advice on how he can sell her on no ring at all since it "will hurt him a lot" to buy one.

That's as cheap as it gets.
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by technovelist »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
ddunca1944 wrote:A ring is not an investment. It's a purchase. Have you discussed this with her? If not, I'd do that before making a decision.
People are different, but if I had asked my wife whether to get a ring or fund a retirement account, she would have replied: "fund our retirement." There would also be a silent ",dummy" at the end of her reply.
+1
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Crow Hunter
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Crow Hunter »

I am not going to try and tell you what you should spend. That will have to be a personal decision on your part. I know, I was in a similar situation in my late 20's in 1999 and I spent right at $1,500. My now wife, was delighted with it. She also told me if I had gotten her a diamond chip in a silver ring she would have been just as delighted and still said yes. I of course asked if I could swap it out with her and get that cheaper ring, she said "No Way". :D

Now to the meat of my reply. Four C's. Cut, Clarity, Color, Carats.

You can get a very nice looking ring for not alot of money if you do your research and have a jewelry store that is willing to get you a bunch of diamonds to look at under a loupe and then make a setting for your ring. This will normally have to be a real jewelry store, not your local mall store.

Cut - With a standard Brilliant cut diamond, the Cut, in my opinion, is the most important thing. The closer the cut is to "ideal" dimensions, the better it will reflect light and the more "Fire" it will have. A much smaller Ideal cut diamond will outshine (and look larger) than a larger diamond that isn't cut to Ideal dimensions.

Clarity - A flawless diamond will cost much more than one with inclusions. However, you can find diamonds with inclusions that aren't noticeable to someone without a loupe and knowledge of what to look for. Black (carbon) inclusions are noticable and should be avoided. White ones really aren't, particularly if they are below the "table" of the diamond cut. Price will drop dramatically from a Flawless to a SI1 or SI2 diamond.

Color - Not really as noticeable in smaller diamonds and the higher grades (more white) really aren't distinguishable unless you really know what you are looking at. As long as the isn't a noticable tint on the white/blue paper the diamond is delivered in, no one will ever be able to tell the difference.

Carat - They are priced in stages. A diamond that is .989 carats is visually indistinguishable from a 1.01 carat diamond but significantly cheaper.

In my case I made weekly trips to my local jeweler after work and sat in the corner out of the way with a loupe staring at diamonds that they ordered for me until I found what I wanted. I think I sorted through nearly 50 diamonds. :mrgreen:

What I wound up with is an Ideal cut, SI2 Clarity (small white nearly invisible inclusion that makes it obivious it is my wifes diamond if we ever have it cleaned or repaired), F Colored, .73 carat ($500 cheaper than a .75 carat 8-) ) diamond that was set in a 4 point Platinum Setting (Thinner and stronger) and a 18k band that really lets the diamond shine. Everyone that has ever looked at it thought it was at least a 1.5-2 carat. But my wife is also very petite so it looks even bigger on her hand.

Now if you go with one of the newer non-brilliant cut diamonds, you won't thet the "Fire" effect of the Brilliant Ideal cut and size might matter more.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

720pete wrote: Between the pension, rent, food, transportation, health insurance, and saving for my Roth I am basically maxed out financially and I'm not sure I will be able to save for both retirement and an engagement ring. If you were in my position would you put retirement savings into an engagement ring for one year, is that a smart expense? I'm thinking it would hurt me a lot since that's basically like foregoing 30 years of retirement interest. I don't see any raise/bonus coming in the future as I just started my job. What to do?
How are you able to date if you are maxed out financially now? Is your girlfriend working now or planning to work?
Before you go ring shopping or any kind of shopping you need to sit her down and talk about the future - what she has in mind and see if that meshes up with what you have in mind. Before I got married, before we even went ring shopping, before I proposed, we were talking, lots of talking about her and my vision of the future including employment, savings and buying a home. Thankfully my wife is the frugal one in the family. She thinks flowers are a waste of money on Valentines day - a contrived holiday for Hallmark and florists, alike.
Right now, judging from your post, I'd say your girlfriend is out in left field and you are out in right field - maybe the same page but definitely not in the same location. If you said she would work or is working now and has the same savings mentality or close to it and can show the same or close to the same level of savings, great. But I get the funny feeling she's into flowers, bling and traveling/vacations, let me toss in clothing, shoes and $250 hair/nail care sessions for good measure. If you think a ring is going to sink you financially, let me tell you that will be nothing compared to the first three things i mentioned earlier if you get married, you'll be working and she'll be working hard as well at spending all your money. :greedy
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JupiterJones
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by JupiterJones »

720pete wrote:but I'm afraid that if I sit down and talk to her about finances she will see that I could easily afford to buy her a ring if I put retirement savings on the back burner for a year
I the only way you can afford the ring is to stop your retirement contributions, then you, by definition, cannot afford the ring.

Heck, think of how nice a ring you could "afford" if you sold your car, stopped buying groceries, quit paying taxes, and moved into a homeless shelter!

At a certain point you have to decide what things are necessities and what things are luxuries. Ideally, the person you marry will agree with you.
Stay on target...
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Taylor Larimore
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Consider a spousal Roth IRA.

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Pete:

In my opinion, if you cannot afford both an expensive engagement ring or a contribution to a Roth IRA (probably the best type of IRA at a time of low-income), chose the Roth. It is vastly more important than having to scrimp because you bought an unnecessary and expensive ring.

Consider investing in an inexpensive ring and use the money saved to invest in a spousal Roth IRA in your bride's name. The money will grow tax-free and will be available to her if needed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ira-weiss ... 20870.html

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Bogle101
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Bogle101 »

If you really love her, you should buy her a big ring and forgo your ROTH contributions for the next three years :D
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Zytos
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Zytos »

Oh, here go hell come...
Onyxmeth
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Onyxmeth »

I didn't catch whether this was mentioned yet, but would it be possible to get a part time job on a temporary basis to fund this purchase? That way you don't have to sacrifice your Roth to get the ring. As it stands, you don't have a dime you can spare for the ring that won't come out of your Roth savings.
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by dgdevil »

Onyxmeth wrote: ... would it be possible to get a part time job on a temporary basis to fund this purchase?
Only after she gets a second job. Or a first one.
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Onyxmeth »

dgdevil wrote:
Onyxmeth wrote: ... would it be possible to get a part time job on a temporary basis to fund this purchase?
Only after she gets a second job. Or a first one.
Was it ever established in this topic how many jobs the girlfriend has?
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Christine_NM
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by Christine_NM »

The trouble with skipping a year to buy something unrelated to retirement is that you'll set up a pattern for both of you. You have to be able to save for retirement and live life at the same time.

When my folks got engaged in 1940 Dad offered Mom the choice of a ring or a down payment on a house. Of course she wanted the house more. They got a house three years later and then got her a diamond ring ten years later.

If she actually uses phrases like "ring shopping" then watch out -- I don't think she'll be happy with money in the bank as a substitute for a ring, sensible as that is. The ring is about her social status being recognized. Sounds trivial, but it is not. You probably do similar things for yourself -- do you have more car than you really need?

If she is creative at all she might consider a stone other than a diamond or cubic zirc. Just a thought.
Last edited by Christine_NM on Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by stoptothink »

A few years older (32) and in a much different financial position, but I did get married just three months ago. I was previously divorced, philosophical differences about money was THE cause of divorce and I got my first inkling of this when we started ring shopping. I told my new wife she could have whatever she wanted on her finger (although, to be honest, I didn't mean it), she chose a rose gold ring with a morganite stone from http://www.etsy.com/...$500, she gets complimented all the time, and two of her recently engaged friends went the exact same route. Instead of a diamond we were able to max her Roth IRA, coming from a pretty impoverished background that made her very excited.

Clearly you are uncomfortable with it, so have a serious discussion with her about it. If a diamond is more important to her than financial security, than maybe you two have different priorities. A lot of us learned the hard way, it's a great opportunity for you to get to really get to know your potential spouse.
Last edited by stoptothink on Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
freddie
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Re: Skip IRA for 1 year to buy engagement ring

Post by freddie »

We are all making a ton of assumptions. You have to figure she knows he makes 45k/yr and isn't expecting a 20k stone. The more worrying fact to me is that the OP doesn't have a 5k emergency fund (or slush in his budget) to deal with things like this.
Christine_NM wrote:The trouble with skipping a year to buy something unrelated to retirement is that you'll set up a pattern for both of you. You have to be able to save for retirement and live life at the same time.

When my folks got engaged in 1940 Dad offered Mom the choice of a ring or a down payment on a house. Of course she wanted the house more. They got a house three years later and then got her a diamond ring ten years later.

If she actually uses phrases like "ring shopping" then watch out -- I don't think she'll be happy with money in the bank as a substitute for a ring, sensible as that is. The ring is about her social status being recognized. Sounds trivial, but it is not. You probably do similar things for yourself -- do you have more car than you really need?

If she is creative at all she might consider a stone other than a diamond. Just a thought.
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