Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What's A Nice Girl Like Me Doing In A Place Like This?

Does the world really need another personal finance blog?

In a word, YES!

Most of the personal finance blogs I've found (check out my favorites on the right hand side of this blog) are written by folks younger than me, who make more than me, who have saved more than me and who have less debt than me.

Am I the only middle-aged, middle class wage-earner who should have gotten her act together a long time ago?

Ah well, better late than never.

So here's where I stand right now:

I'm a 58 year old single parent of five children, who range in age from 39 to 17.

I live in an urban setting in the Pacific Northwest.

I work in social services and make $73,000 a year.

I have $167,166 in retirement savings. My employer contributes 6% of my income to my 401 (k) and I've now started to contribute $1000 a month pre-tax from my salary.

I own two homes--a small, paid-for single family residence that I rent out, and the home in which I live. Housing prices have taken off in my city which means my net worth has increased considerably. But I still have monthly mortgage payments, and no interest in selling my houses so the increase in value is largely irrelevant to my financial life.

I owe $14,996.54 on credit cards, $1,841.31 on a student loan for one child's college expenses, $81,376.66 on my mortgage and $2,152.22 on back taxes for my rental house. The grand total is $100,366.73. My mortgage will be paid off when I'm 65 if I stick with the current payments.

My net worth, as of 3/31/07 is approximately $553,985.

I love my job but I don't want to work forever. My health is generally good but I'm diabetic, which means I have to be reasonable in assessing future health complications. Right now, I'm projecting that I can retire at age 69 with an income of $50,000 but I'd prefer to do so at 67. Within this blog, I'll be exploring what retirement means to me, how much money I'll need in retirement, how much money I have to save before I retire, and pretty much anything financial that I think pertains to my retirement.

Join me on this journey and feel free to comment, anytime.


Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog and I plan to keep up with it. You're just what I've been looking for - a personal financial view from a more 'mature' perspective. I'm debt free now (except mortgage), getting closer to retirement age, and looking in a new direction now. Great idea for a blog!

Louise said...

Hi Grace, I have just discovered your blog and I will be following along your journey. I think the financial pressures are different when retirement is drawing near and we are also trying to provide for children.

I am in a similar boat! I am glad to find a blogger facing similar challenges and at a similar stage of life to me. I am in Australia so our finance/ taxation laws are different. For me the biggest saving will come from paying our mortgage fast & then focusing on superannuation. I have employer contributions and also contribute my money to super. Our laws recently changed to make contributing to super a very tax friendly option.

This is a long post, sorry, but I am thrilled to have found your blog. Looking forward to watching your progress. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi to Mia and Louise--

My goodness--I've gone international!!