Friday, April 9, 2010

Save for Retirement? ahh shit

I'm not that good with money. I can be impulsive even. Sometimes I might as well just throw it away. My relationship with money has never been one of reverence. What's a dollar. Spend it on pleasure or to avoid pain. Fuck! you get much deeper into thinking about it and you might as well just call it quits. Money, Money, Money... I won’t bore you with all the details and instead will concentrate on my portion of the household income. My wife works too. She makes a bit more than I do. We keep our finances separate, but share household expenses. Anyway…

I make approximately $50K per year. I have approximately $62,000 in total debt from student loans. I contribute $1,100 per month toward the mortgage payment and other household expenses. I put $400 per month into deferred compensation for retirement. I’m 45 years old. I don’t presently have a car payment and I don’t have any credit card debt.

I am required to make payments for approximately $450 per month toward my student loan debt. I have limited misc expenses; mostly gas, gardening, a clothing budget, dogfood, entertainment, and other expenses. Let’s say I spend approximately $250 toward such personal misc. expenses.

My net paycheck each month, after deductions including deferred compensation is approximately $2300 per month. Minus $1,100 mortgage/household leaves $1200. Minus $450 leaves $850. Minus $250 leaves $600. $250 for personal expenses is very conservative, but let’s stick with it. Now, I want to pay off my student loans faster. $450 per month will pay the loans off in 30 years, approximately (I think I have been paying for approximately 3-4 years, so actually its about 27 more years). I’d like to take all $600 and put it toward my student loan debt. This would pay off all my student loan debt in under 10 years. But, I need to put some money into savings for an emergency. Plus, I’ll need to get a car some day. Plus, my son goes to a private school and each August we have to pay tuition for approximately $10,000 dollars. Any savings I have helps towards this payment. Once I get my student loans paid off that’s an extra $450 dollars per month. If my salary keeps going up on schedule, in 15 years or so I should be making a bit more money and taking home an extra $500 or so a month.

I think about this a lot. I keep track of my budget. I have begun making extra payments toward my student loans. My goal is to pay off the entire amount before I am 55. Then I can really begin to save for retirement. But my son is 8. He’ll be 18 then and getting ready for college. More debt. Damn, what is this all about?

I keep thinking I’ll be able to not work someday and really begin to live. Put more time in the garden and take more vacations. Go camping and hiking in the woods. I’ll have so much fun once I get my shit together and by shit I mean once my finances are in order. Fuckin’ A, this is really all bs. Who the hell am I foolin? . What kind of life is this? Pleasure and suffering. There is no escape, man – just pleasure and suffering and getting absolutely no where. There are no special insights. There is no understanding. Age reveals little if you walk the path laid out to us by those who pave the way. None of it makes any sense. Work until you die. Your money means nothing. Pretty sure this means they own us. Pretty sure this is some form of slavery. Pretty sure nothing much has changed. Pretty sure happiness is not related to paying all the bills, because they will never all be paid and if they are, somehow this won’t lead to fulfillment either.

What is the choice? There is no choice but acceptance and there is no way to persevere but to endure.

1 comment:

Dr. Rich said...

The Man has it all figured out. You can earn a decent wage, live fairly comfortabley, but the catch is this: you have to keep working until your 65.

I'm 40. I got a nice package in the mail yesterday from the state which shows my pension estimates as if I'd retired on the last day of 2009. It says I have two options. I can start the payout on my lifetime annuity now or wait 'till I'm 65. If I start now, I get paid $412 per month. If I start when I'm 65, I get $2050 per month. I had to laugh at the first option. $412 per month won't even cover my property taxes.

You can't save enough from your wages to retire significantly early, either. They have it all figured out where you have to keep working through the prime years of your life, and then when your old, tired, slow and useless to them, they let you retire to enjoy your "golden years". More like brown-out years. Kind of makes you angry. Why can't I work when I'm old and play now?