Thursday, December 9, 2010

Six Years Later...

...I finally started a retirement account. Yes, I should have done this years ago, when I first started teaching, but the important thing is that I got on it now.

I have a pension because I am a for many years I figured I didn't need to save much for retirement. But, I'm realizing that my thought was simply not true. I want to make sure I have enough to cover costs for inflation, travel, caring for family and myself in my later years. So, I am starting now, even though I'd sort of rather wait until my car is paid off.

I met with a financial adviser and set up a 403(b) account. I will be putting in 5% of my gross income, which after the tax break, will feel like $160 per month from my check. I can definitely afford this, though it does slow down my car payment plan a little more. But, I've put this off for too long, so I decided to go for it.

Right now my risk level is "moderate-plus" which is just below aggressive. I know I'm young and have time to invest aggressively, but having NEVER invested in any way before, that freaks me out. Anyone want to talk me into taking bigger risks? Any other advice when it comes to a 403(b)? I'd love to hear it, as this is my biggest financial weakness.


  1. Educate yourself in the area. Most Financial Peace University class will allow guest to visit one class for free. You could check the schedule for offering in the area and attend the class on retirement.

  2. I actually already took FPU and learned a lot, but I know there's still more to learn. Thanks though!

  3. I have a 403(b) account through my job. I'm not investing much, but they do match. My father is a financial planner and encourages me to invest more aggressively, but right now, I don't feel comfortable doing it. I'll probably worry more about that in 3-5 years.

    But I agree that educating yourself is very important. Be sure to diversify your investments so that if one industry takes a dive, you won't lose too much.

  4. Since my 403(b) isn't matched (boo!) I have a Roth IRA instead. I'm not investing in it right now because I'm trying to pay off my car, but I LOVE the flexibility that the Roth offers. I can take out my contributions any old time I want to, and the investment option are great. At some point I'll probably sign up for our 403(b), too.

    In my Roth, I'm about 85% invested in stocks (I think this is the "aggressive" investment strategy) and I see some pretty wild fluctuations, which is scary. But I've made a decent amount so far, so I'd think about maybe sticking your neck out a bit. I know it's hard, but these are our "best" years for investing since we have so much growth potential. Just something to think about.

  5. Good for you! I never stopped my retirement contributions when I was digging my way out of debt. I'm grateful for that now when my balance is very healthy for someone in their mid 30's. Just set it and forget it and you'll never regret it! :)