Retirement Advice - Almost 37, Spouse 39

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Retirement Advice - Almost 37, Spouse 39

Post by BlueCrab » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:03 am

I was referred to this board from the City-Data Retirement Subforums and am looking for advice on retirement/investments. This will be a long post to explain my situation, so bear with me.

I will be 37 this December, and my spouse just turned 39. We both just got married in March (2nd and hopefully final marriage for each of us) with a tad over a 6 figure HHI (60k/48k). No kids yet (none from prior marriage either). At our age, that doesn't look promising, but we are trying to see if it will happen or not. If not, I know our situation will be immensely easier to correct at our age being DINKS. Our retirement and savings is not where it should be, and I need some advice.

My current 401k balance is about $35,750 in high-risk/high-potential return funds. (I took an $11k+ hit by withdrawing 2 years ago to buy out my ex-wife's interest and keep the house), so there's that. Probably foolish, but we aren't all perfect and unfortunate life circumstances happened. Her 401k balance is roughly $10k, I believe. I only keep a couple of grand in my savings account for emergencies (also terrible). She has around $17k from a house she previously sold (was going to use to renovate her current house if she stayed there). She also has a "car replacement fund" with about $9500 in it. (You get she's the better saver here). My savings rate went from 3% to 4% now down to 2% temporarily. I believe she only puts in around 3% as well.

Our current plan is to sell my house, move into hers temporarily to get us to 1 mortgage, which would only be about $800 a month. (Low COL area) Then, we will take our time and save monthly until we find a house we both want. Buy it, and rent hers. I figure I would make anywhere from a meager $5k-15k equity selling mine (due to the refinancing hit after my divorce). She does not want to continue living in mine since it was my ex's and mine.

Debt situation is good. I was debt free except my mortgage up until May. I totaled my paid-off car, and financed another one---but only for about 2 years (currently owe around $8500 on it); then back to being debt free hopefully. She only has her $800 mortgage. That helps us greatly. I figure we should be able to save at least $1000 a month once we are not juggling 2 mortgages. She wants to keep the house we'll be moving into as it has about 100k equity in it, it's what she's always wanted (cute cottage in town), etc. It's just too small for us to live in comfortably long-term. It's in a high-demand district and would rent quickly, estimated rental at $1200/mo. It's a better investment than keeping mine either way.

Calculations show I need to save at least 10-15% of my 401k. Retirement before 60 at this point is a lottery dream; even at 65 is a dream unless SS is still around. Getting out from under my house around year-end will free up some cash. Buying a house we both want and renting hers will still allow us to be in a better situation than current.

Our dream is to eventually buy a 2nd home 45 min away from us at the beach, even if it means we downsize or stay in a small main home. If we have children, that equity will be kids' college fund. We aren't in the worst situation, but we sure aren't in the best either. Any advice one can give on how to invest, where to invest, "If I were you I'd". etc. is appreciated. I'd like to retire as early as possible and would like to take the chance to "fix this" while we still might be able.

Breakdown per forum guidelines:

Emergency funds: approx $2k (my savings), approx $17k (her account), approx $9.5k (her car replacement fund)
Debt: My mortgage $811 (temporarily), Her mortgage $785, 1 auto loan at $350/mo for 2 more years ($8500 balance)
Tax Filing Status: Married filing jointly
Tax Rate: 24% Federal, 3.5% State
State of Residence: AL
Age: 36, 39
Desired Asset allocation: ??
Desired International allocation: ??

Current retirement assets

His 401k
2-3% contribution
Company match? 4% after 1 year of employment (not quite there), $35,750 balance

Her 401k
3% contrubution
Unsure on match, approx $10k balance
Last edited by BlueCrab on Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Retirement Advice - Almost 37, Spouse 39

Post by RadAudit » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:03 pm

Please edit your post to get into this format. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 Might get a few more answers.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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