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Various resolutions and a rant

January 1st, 2013 at 06:38 am

Resolution #1:I've decided to fully fund ($6,000) my Roth IRA in 2012. The decision was sort of up in the air as I'm still living hand to mouth (see my 2012 income/expense wrap-up) and have only so much ($67K) set aside in taxable investments.

It may seem like a lot of money to some, at first blush, but I don't know if I'll EVER get another f/t job. (I'm in my early 50s and not getting any younger.) So I may need easy access to that money to live on and see me through until I can start collecting SS. The money was really earmarked for retirement (and for a new car, eventually), even though it's taxable money.

But anyway, I decided I didn't want to pass up the tax deferral benefits (and tax-free withdrawals) of a Roth, especially when I can simply transfer the full amount from my taxable investment to a Roth IRA.

Because of the current makeup of my portfolio, I decided to open a new mutual fund to fund the Roth IRA, a Vanguard REIT index fund. By withdrawing the money from my sole taxable fund, an international stock fund, I'll also be lowering my stock weighting, something I decided I should do as I get a bit closer to retirement age, so that instead of having 65% of my investments in stocks, it'll be just 60%. Less equity exposure = less risk in the event of another huge downturn in the market. Unlike a younger person, I'd have less time to recover from such an event.

But first I have to sell the $6,000 from my T. Rowe Price taxable fund and I thought I'd watch the daily share price and wait for a day when it was up more. (I've got til April to fund the Roth IRA so there is still time.) Then I'll have to wait for the check, or $$ in my checking acct, before I can fund the new Vanguard REIT.

Resolution #2: Maintain the weight loss, i.e., the weight I lost during my extended illness. I think I lost about 7 lbs, and I see from this morning's weigh-in that my weight crept up again by 2 lbs. so I'm determined to stop that trend right away. My formula is NO sugar, except what's found in fruit (and I do enjoy the occasional OJ) and MINIMAL wheat intake (read Wheat Belly if you're wondering why). I'm switching to oat cereals, my own oat-based granola and pumpernickel bread instead of whole wheat. I think my 2 lb gain is probably due to additional sweets I've been eating over the holidays. Someone at work gave me a small tin of chocolate cookies; after eating about half of them and not especially liking them, I MADE myself throw them away. There's also been donuts and more chocolate available for the taking at the office. Good thing I'm only there 3 days a week. (The only non-fruit sweet I'm allowing myself now is one square of 86% dark chocolate a day.)

Resolution #3: I hesitate to even list this, becus it's on my mind constantly and is an obvious no-brainer, but Resolution #3 is to get more work, and really, it needs to be full-time work.

Going off on a tangent, but something that's been on my mind...A friend of mine is constantly complaining about her lack of money and her inability to do the things she wants to do due to lack of money. When I suggest she find a job, she complains about the lack of decent paying jobs.

Umm, no kidding. So I told her to just take any job she can find, if it's local. She's really not qualified to do much of anything. Becus if she waits around for some high paying job, she'll never find it. She's not very employable. I'm not sure what work she'd done before, but for as long as I've known her, she hasn't worked much and can get away with doing that becus her husband has a good job. Although I think from things she's said that he would be happier if she was working, becus money is somewhat tight for them and right now, she contributes next to nothing to the household budget.

She had a p/t job teaching art to the seniors at the senior center, but she recently quit that; she had been upset a few months earlier because she hadn't gotten a raise in 3 years. Now she works just one day a week for a retail store. And then she complains (she must've told me at least 5 times) that this is the first time in 25 years that her husband didn't get a bonus.

It's really hard for me to feel sympathetic. The size of the annual bonus I got at my last f/t job would have been enough to cover all of my living expenses for 3.5 months. Now, I can just drool when I hear the words "annual bonus."

So then I get an email from her saying she needs to take a month to "get her head together," that she's "a mess" and "exhausted" after quitting the senior center and her assorted health issues, and only after she has time to focus on herself and get her head back on will she begin looking for work. Big eye roll here. Good luck with that!

5 Responses to “Various resolutions and a rant”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Some folks would rather whine and complain then get a job. Sorry your friend is a downer.

    I think you are smart for fully funding your Roth. I believe you can draw out the principal if you need cash. At least you can check on it. Hope 2013 looks up for you and you find full time work.

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    I think your friend is pretty darn insensitive to complain of a lack of money to someone who has been underemployed for several years!

    Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year, Patient Saver. Smile

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I hope this is a good year for you!!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I hope so much that you can find a full time job this year. I really admire the way you have been stringing jobs together and stretching every dollar the last couple of years.

  5. baselle Says:

    Best of luck with your goals - I agree with LuckyRobin that I very much admire your ability to string pt/temp/freelance gigs and keep your head above water. You are treading water and a ft-job-boat needs to pick you up.

    Your friend makes me smile. Wickedly. It must be that darn dead pool game turning me cynical.

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