Last night, Lance was asking me about my possible retirement plans. He first wanted me to write a post about how I became so awesome, but I thought that post would be way too long (just kidding of course, it would be an empty post).
Anyways, the retirement question really made me think. I definitely think about retiring and save for it a lot. But my plan for what I want to do is still up in the air. I plan on making a post about that soon, but I want to think about it a little more and the possibilities.
I'm not going to lie, it is of course hard to think about retirement since I am only 23. There are many things that we are doing to get ahead though.
Our plan right now is to pay off my student loans. I have around $35,000 total and most of it is at what I think is a high rate of 6.8% and some is at a variable rate. I really want it paid off since they are at a fairly high rate. I haven't really started paying these yet, mainly because most are still in deferment and are not gaining anything from interest until next year. One is a private loan (the variable rate) and I am paying on that.
I plan on completely paying them off before they come out of deferment, and they will be paid off in March of 2013! I plan on just throwing the whole emergency fund towards it and then also saving for 3-4 months for the rest. Being so close to the payoff is crazy to think about. Especially since I have hardly paid anything on them.
Then after that, we plan on knocking out the mortgage a couple of years later, and then we will work on the Jeep, it's only at 0.9% so we are not too worried.
For the mortgage and the Jeep, we are honestly not as worried. These are at low rates and we would definitely be able to gain more by investing our money and working on our investments.
I know not everyone agrees with our debt payment strategies. 6.8% does not seem high to everyone, and I know some of you rather gain a higher rate back in the market. Tell me in the comments why you chose this and how it's working for you! I am very interested. I wish we were doing this, but I just hate my student loans (but then I don't mind my mortgage or car loan, which makes no sense).
Anyways, on that note, we are of course working on saving and investing currently as well. Right now we are extremely lucky with our money situation. I hate to brag, but I am just very happy. Our bills, debt payments, fun money and everything else only consist of around 30% of our after-tax monthly income.
We have come a long way from when our monthly income was only a couple hundred dollars more than what we spent. I know we don't make as much as others out there, but for the Midwest, I am pretty happy since it's fairly good!
This is the main reason why we are able to pay down our debts so fast and why I ramped up our goals.
We would like to retire young. We plan on achieving this in many ways.
1. Eliminating debt.
Don't get me wrong, I don't always think debt is bad. If you can earn a higher rate on your money elsewhere, then go for it. This is the exact reason for why we took out a car loan for the Jeep instead of just paying for the whole thing with cash.
2. Increasing our income.
This is something that we are always working on. Just 2 years ago, our income was less than a third of what we make now. Crazy! There are many things that we would like to do to ramp it up even more. The boy's new job definitely helps as well.
3. Avoiding lifestyle inflation.
We will of course buy things that we want, and we will of course eventually buy bigger things (such as a bigger house), but I also don't want us to get too ahead of ourselves to a point where it wouldn't be manageable anymore.
4. Having passive income.
We haven't really thought about what our passive income will be, but there will be something. Maybe real estate, getting involved in some sort of partnership, or something else.