How am I really doing for retirement savings?

Home Fairmark Forum Retirement Savings and Benefits How am I really doing for retirement savings?

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    We’re looking at our budgets carefully right now. With two growing kids, we’re finding that our budget is tighter today than it was a few years ago, when we had 1 little kid, which then felt tighter from when we had no kids.

    Anyways, I’m trying to decide whether we need to go “full throttle” (maxing out all retirement accounts) or whether we can back off to “idle” (just enough to get company match) on retirement savings. At the moment something near “idle” would be a lot more comfortable than “full throttle”.

    Age: Both of us are 38
    Projected retirement age: No clue, will retire when we have enough
    Projected retirement spending: No clue at this time.
    Total tax advantaged retirement space, including company match: $52,000
    Minimum practical retirement contribution, including company match: $21,000

    Current retirement savings: $650,000
    Both spouse and myself also will receive pensions and social security in retirement.

    – We expect no mortgage in retirement.
    – We have enough in 529s that we do not expect paying for college when kids are college age
    – We have a significant amount of non-retirement (taxable) money that might end up rolling into our retirement if we don’t spend it between now and then. Not really sure what the future holds with this fund at this time.


    With both of you age 38, and the progress you have made, and the interest you have, and the detail you articulate, I would say you can ease down to idle if you like. Just remember not to get stuck there and the sooner you can accelerate the earlier that retirement date will come.


    The problem with forced retirement savings is that participants will do what one of the women in the article did, who “lost” her investments in 2008. Obviously she had an awful SOR but what she didn’t sell would have tripled in value by now. Although 401(k) participation in the US is shockingly poor, there are plenty of people who withdraw it at a penalty who never should have contributed in the first place.

    Same issue with automatic voter registration/compulsory voting. If you’re uneducated and/or don’t care about anything other than which politicians are best for your bank account, please DON’T vote.

    We live in a country where people won’t tolerate giving Grandma a license to die in complete abject poverty, so the safety nets and enabling are here to stay. I do wonder if universal basic income would be a more efficient alternative to our insolvent Social Security and broken disability/Medicaid systems we have today, which not only fail to encourage responsibility, but actually punish people for working.

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