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March 18, 2013


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You have a good plan for the future. It would be nice if it worked out that way.

But I'm wondering if you're being realistic about it. I suspect living off one-income will not leave you enough to achieve those goals. Even making 33% more money in a couple years (a pretty big leap) you will probably have to continue to neglect retirement savings. It's difficult to retire early, and I would say impossible without substantial savings.

Cashing out your 401k could have been a wake-up call.

While your experience may differ, I'm a part-time professor. It pays vastly less than a full-time professor. I enjoy it, and it's worthwhile, but it's not enough to support a family. Also I receive benefits through my real job. If I took them from the school, my paycheck would obviously be even less. I don't think it's enough to be your primary source of income.

In our will we also have allotments set in time so an 18 year old doesn't get a big windfall. But we also leave discretion to a named, trusted guardian so that they can authorize borrowing against each child's future allotments for things like that child's education of any type past high school. Point being we wanted someone to have an ability to make a decision we might make to help our kids in a reasonable way. Regardless, they get their last major allotment in their early 30's.

Once we're into retirement mode, the idea will be to help the kids in specific areas while we are alive (being careful to avoid economic outpatient care). I've made it clear to my kids it's our money (the wife and I), not theirs, and they had better live their lives like they're getting nothing, because there is a very good chance given medical costs and taxes that will be the case. I hope and plan so that there will be something left over and transferable (mainly because I'm planning on living into my 90's but expect I'll die sooner) upon our passing, but I can't guarantee it. That said, I'm thinking if I can put a relatively small amount away, say $1-2K a year per kid, over time no matter what else they get, they'll get a little something upon our passing. That could be in a irrevocable trust, family trust, or life insurance policies, not sure exactly what I'll do yet as I'm still kicking the idea around. Obviously if I couldn't afford to fund that, then it wouldn't happen.

Sorry, commented on the wrong post.

Hi NY,

You are 28 and want to retire at 45 - 50... that is only 17 - 22 years away. To do it you need to look at saving 30+% of our income and do this fast... earning more will help but so will spending less.

On the plus side you are starting your family at a relatively young age so will find by the time you are 45-50 you will have more time for either working or other activities.


I think its a pretty good semi-retirement plan but will take constant monitoring and no increase in expenses.

The rental prop/house being totally leveraged out is a bit risky with no real savings and only one income, but hey, risk is what it'll take to get to the early semi-retirement. Plus I've learned something through the housing bust that I had never considered before, if my paid for house takes a hit in value I've lost that money. If a totally leverage house takes a hit there are often many ways to hand that loss back to the bank and then move on to the next one.

I agree with Mike that you should be saving one-third, but maybe increased earnings with no expense creep could take care of that in a hurry. The part-time professor plan does sound a little flawed (the couple I know make very little with no benefits), but I think the plan for reduced hours (consulting 20 hrs/wk from home?) by 45 is completely doable. You just need to be pricing/planning preparing until then if you want it to go smoothly.

You make $70k just graduated with no student loans, must have very good health insurance sense i dont see a separate expense for that, and save $1200/mth. You're definitely getting off to a stronger start than i did...

If I've read everything correctly, you have a non-working spouse, an upcoming second adoption, $6,000 a year in tithing, your condo is producing substantial negative cash flow, and I haven't even mentioned college costs yet. I'm actually pretty impressed that you can save $1,200 a month and soak all those losses. But even if you increase your income, I think that you're going to have a hard time retiring as early as you want and still meeting all of your expenses. $15-$20K per year is not very much additional money after taxes are ripped out.

Bottom line is I feel that you're going to have to either rethink your expenses or adjust your retirement plans.

Are you renting your condo for below fair market value rent? If so, do you consider it personal property and not income property for tax purposes? I ask because I also have a condo that my mother is planning on living in soon and I will only charge her the cost of the mortgage ($300 below fair market rent). I am curious about the tax implications of this.

Unless you are willing and able to sell them, cars and scooters should not be counted as part of your net worth. I know this sounds harsh but I don't think you're really "living like no one else, so you can live like no one else". You have minimal or no savings (retirement or of the regular savings accoutn variety) and a lot of mortgage debt. I think you're kind of in a shaky position based on all the obligations you've taken on.

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