Early Retirement: Roadblocks & Contemplations

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I never thought I would be the type of gal who stays up late reading about taxes, 401k’s and Summary Plan Descriptions (SDC), yet here I am and I blame my friend Fritz

After-Tax 401k Contributions

Last week, during an early morning van ride to the airport in Tucson, I popped in my earbuds to listen to Fritz wax poetic about his retirement plans on the Choose FI podcast.  During his interview, Fritz mentioned a not so commonly known way to pad your retirement with After-Tax 401k contributions.  You can read all about the method and its pros and cons HERE, but the main issue is whether or not your company allows it.  My employer, I have come to find, sadly does not.  Roadblock #1.

Ok, honestly, I am not all that upset about it.  I mean, I don’t like knowing I can’t do something (I have never been great with authority), but until a week ago I never even considered doing an after-tax contribution so it’s easy for me to let this one fly.  The next roadblock, however, I am not taking so lightly…

In-Service Rollovers

While I had my retirement provider on the line, I figured it was as good a time as any to confirm another huge (for me) early retirement factor, In-Service Rollovers.  An in-service rollover means taking money from your 401k and rolling it to an IRA while you still maintain employment at your company.  Why would anyone want to do this?  Easy – more diversity, better investment options, and increased control over the future of those funds.  What kind of control you ask??  For me, early retirement control via the Roth IRA conversion ladder.  Let’s dissect this a bit…

Have you heard of the Roth IRA conversion ladder?  If not, here is an overly simplified explanation:

  1. Contribute max to traditional 401k (18k pretax as of 2017)
  2. Quit job, roll 401k to a Traditional IRA
  3. Roll a portion of your Traditional IRA into Roth IRA (yes, taking a tax hit on the conversion but skipping the 10% early withdrawal penalty)
  4. Let it season for 5 years
  5. Withdraw the rolled portion from the Roth IRA free and clear of taxes and penalties

Further reading can be found by these dudes who can explain it far better than I…

So back to the phone conversation with my retirement provider.  Turns out… Continue reading “Early Retirement: Roadblocks & Contemplations”

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Adventures in Landlording – The “Leak”

Welcome to my new (and hopefully sporadic 😉 ) series, Adventures in Landlording.

Anyone who has ever been a landlord knows unexpected issues occasionally arise.  Wearing my landlord hat, I personally have dealt with 3 am lockouts, bounced checks, plumbing issues, fire issues (it was actually a pizza that set fire in the oven while my tenant was passed out on the couch), and broken appliances.  There is no way to guard yourself against said issues so it’s best to be in the mindset of rolling with them.  Of course, you can mitigate your personal impact by hiring a management company to handle your properties, but what fun would that be?!

The “Leak”

It’s been a few years since I’ve been a landlord but I am happy to see not much has changed.  Only 2 weeks in with my new tenant and the adventures have already begun…

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Yup – with this one text it was obvious we were both going to have a case of The Monday’s.

After assessing where the water was coming from, I called my plumber to give him the scoop.  Luckily, he was nearby and not busy because as my conversation with my tenant continued I gathered that her original “leak” was more of a cascade… Continue reading “Adventures in Landlording – The “Leak””

Make The First Move

Today on the plane I opened a chocolate and was greeted with this message:

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This could mean anything, right?  Depending on where you are in your life, “Make the first move” could be aimed at your love life, a project at work, or something else completely.  It could mean that it is the time to stop procrastinating and start doing.  In fact, that is exactly what it meant for me.  And last week I FINALLY made the first move.

This past Friday I told my boyfriend, John, that I am moving out of our place and back to my city condo for the month of August.  In an effort to keep this post as short and sweet as my chocolate message (my first attempt was 3k words!), I won’t go into the intricate details of what led me to this decision, but I will tell you that it took MONTHS to get to this point.  Though it sounds counterproductive, I needed a certain amount of discomfort to push me out of my comfort zone.  Last week I hit it.  And then the rest miraculously fell into place.

First, a bit of back story… Continue reading “Make The First Move”

I’m Officially Famous For Being In Debt

Oh my – so sorry for my absence!  I have been sick as a dog and finally the clouds in my mind have cleared enough to write.  🙂

Well – something big happened and I failed to report it!  In December I was interviewed by Elle from Couple Money Podcast.  Guys, I was so so nervous!!  I have never been interviewed before…actually, that’s not true.  I have been interviewed before but it was an impromptu thing at a neighborhood party so it totally doesn’t count.

Anywho, Elle contacted me regarding my story of debt and how I got through it.  Though my story really has nothing to do with being a couple (unless you count the brief marriage and divorce in the middle), it has EVERYTHING to do with money…and my lack of it.

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If you have been following here for a while, you know that writing about that time in my life was not easy for me, talking about it was even harder.   Continue reading “I’m Officially Famous For Being In Debt”

A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.

I have been a bit absent in the past week or so.  I have been working (a little), but mainly, I have been obsessed with my latest outlet for money talk…the Rock Star Finance Forums.  I have been spending  an extreme amount of my time chatting with other money minded peeps, reading all their blog posts, responding to comments.  RSF Forums is like having a new job – but a job I really really love and don’t get paid a dime to attend.  🙂

Well, yesterday someone on the forum asked a question in regards to debt:

“How necessary is debt to your wealth building strategy?”

I was the first to respond with “not necessary” in regards to my own tragic story of debt:

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And, due to that link, I brought in a new reader and today received the first negative reaction to that post.  The reaction I have been waiting for since the day it was published… Continue reading “A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.”