And Steve, if you are invested in mutual funds, you can look up those recurring fees online quite easily. Try Morningstar.
Frank, First I am sorry that you are in a situation that causes you to even consider this payday option. If you can qualify for a credit card, that might be an option for a temporay loan, just make sure that you don't get caught up by not paying back. Noone likes to go to family, but if they are in a position to "lend" you the money you need, it may be a better option. You would need to pay back the interest directed by the IRS, which you can find on their website, irs.gov. Money is very tight these days, it is hard for many people even with highter income. Check with your town to see if credit counciling is available with a non profit. Good luck.
Ram, who are you paying college expenses for? If it is a child, I caution you to first be sure you have enough savings for YOUR future. If not, let the child borrow for college. No one is going to let you borrow for retirement AND it seems that many kids do better if they know they are on the hook for some of the expenses. Now if the college is for you, be sure to save enough in your taxable account for emergencies. Then use any excess of college before you use the ROTH. It is hard to get money into the ROTH so, unless it is absolutely necessary, let that be the last money you spend in your life.
Here's a story that looks at that question of paying off the house or keeping the mortgage in retirement...http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/krr-pay-off-the-house-or-keep-the-mortgage.html
Knowing the cost basis of Ram's taxable account would be helpful and, yes, factoring in where you think taxes will be in the future should be part of your analysis. I might suggest comparing today's tax rates with what you think they could be in the future. Your proximity to retirement and college are important too. You are going to get the biggest bang for your roth-buck if you let that account grow.
Ram, you also make a good point about the possibility of capital gains rates increasing on 1-1-13. I am discussing this with many of my clients and we are deciding whether or not to take some gains this year (other factors are the surcharge on incomes over 250K starting in 2013 AND the suspension of limitations on itemized deductions and exemptions for 2012). In truth, we have no idea of what the tax will be. But I am pretty sure it won't be lower.
Matt, over to you for Jan's question on what funds to draw from first, please.
Frank, a second thought, it may be that a NAPFA member in your area would help you analyse your debt situation. Some of us work on pro bono basis or sliding scale for hourly work.
Frank, you might also check with Consumer Credit Couseling Services now call Credibility. Most major cities have offices. www.credibility.org
Rebecca, I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you want to know how much appreciation you have in your current NYC condo? I suggest you consult with a local real estate agent.
Hi Debbie -- can you field one?
Rebeca - two sites might give you a better sense of your condo price appreciation - www.neighborhoodscout.com and www.zillow.com. It's hard to predict what might happen in the future, but the overall housing market trend is definitely on the upswing right now.
did you want me to take Jeff's?
Yes please, Deborah, thank you.
Jan, assuming your various accounts are diversified and given that I am most worried about inflation's impact on our client's retirment income, I would most likely recommend you spend them along with your tax-deferred accounts. Keep in mind TIPS in a taxable account can present some challenges.
Ram, I suggest you work with a financial advisor to make sure your savings in 403Bs combined with your defined benefit (which may not inflate over the years) is sufficient for your needs. After that, you probably want to use the taxable money first. Remember, college is supposed to be an investment. Spending $30-40K for a liberal arts degree might not be that good an investment. So while looking at how to pay, be sure to also look at several different colleges and what the difference in price might be.
Jeff, in order to help calcuate this, I need your age and when you plan on retiring, also, what state do you live in
Deborah, Jeff's question came to us well ahead of today, so I don't know that he's here.
Bobbie, could you take on a question from al?
Al, how old are you? Do you have other investments?
OK, want me to give a general answer
Matt, I have one for you from Moira. Very detailed!
Rebeca, I can give you some general guidance here - you can certainly rollover your old 401k and the IRA to a discount broker or mutual fund company and have your retirement money in one place. As to which funds, it would depend on where else you have money invested. Even in retirement you need some way to outpace inflation - and that is usually done through allocating some amount to equities. It sounds like you may want to make an appointment with a fee-only advisor in NYC to discuss the most appropriate investments for you.
Jeff, the present value of a $68,000 payment for 20 years at a 4% discount rate is $1,313,541. This is not necessarily what you would have to deposit with an insurance company but it helps you understand the value of your pension.
Al, that means you have plenty of time for this money to grow. Ideally you will cordinate your new investments with the ones you and your wife currently have so that, together, they create a well-diversified portfolio (ideally leaving most of the fixed income investments in the retirement accounts). You could do this work with an advisor. Some NAPFA advisors do work hourly and do this kind of work. Under that philosophy, I suspect an advisor would have you put most of the $20K that will be in a taxable account into equities. It is VERY HARD to answer this question without knowing specifics.
Jeff, as Matt indicates it is difficult to calculate as we don't have all of the factors. Google immediate annuity calculators, you can imput the information and get a quote.
Jeff, you might play with some numbers at ImmediateAnnuities.com
Al, if you want to make things easy, you could use a target date Vanguard fund which would provide good diversification with low expenses. Look at the underlying investments so you can pick a mix that is good for you. Traditionally, since you are 39 and retiring in a little over 25 years, you might use the Target 2035 for target 2040 fund. If you are more agressive you might go for the target 2045 fund. If you are more conservative, you might go for the target 2030 fund.