While reading some articles about the economy, one sentence caught my eye. It wasn’t that big of a deal, even, just a financial planner commenting that one of the people profiled in the article should probably have put away more money for retirement.
Which, of course, brought me to my retirement plans.
Right now, I contribute 5% to my TSP (government 401(k)) and fully fund my Roth IRA. I’m starting to wonder if I should do more or if I’m doing the right thing by just putting money into my savings account. I don’t think that I will contribute the full 15%, but I’m considering going up to a 10% contribution.
Were the markets doing well, I think this would be a much easier decision to make, though I’m well aware that’s not how to make retirement decisions.
At this point, I do still rent, so I’m always putting away money for a down payment. I don’t have plans to buy soon, and I don’t have a set amount that I hope to save. Just “as much as possible.” So the other option for the money is to put that extra 5% into that savings account.
Changing my retirement contributions is easy. I can do it online in just a few clicks. So it’s not as if I’m locking myself into some long term decision.
Before I do anything, I’m waiting to see what my paycheck looks like with my promotion. So that gives me a few more weeks to think. What would you do?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.