Chad, here is a question from Doug
Doug, you can not move existing money from the traditional side to the Roth side. You would only be able to designate future contributions as Roth. Since you are only 5 years from Retirement I don't think I would make such a move. Rather, if you have any discretionary funds after funding your TSP I would invest it in a taxable account.
Matthew: Are you saying that you're thinking of buying the home on your own because you wouldn't qualify together with her student loans? If so, then those loans are definitely an issue. This is where it would be helpful to talk to a mortgage broker in your area to get an idea of what you would qualify for alone or together.
But you aren't considering picking out a home without her, are you?
Delia, when you're ready, we have a followup from Matt
Scott, you are under the threshold of $170k so yes you can fund a Roth for you and your wife. Regarding the investment picking, i would get an adviser through napfa.org who could help you with that. If you have the time, training and temperment then you can pick your own investments, otherwise I think finding a fee only adviser is well worth the extra cost.
Matthew: Oh good; happy wife, happy life The textbook rule of thumb is for your mortgage Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (PITI) to be no more than 28% of your gross income, and all other debt plus PITI no more than 36%. I'm in California where I'm told lenders may take that up to 31% or so, but it can cut into your lifestyle to commit to all that debt.
. In that case I would contact a mortgage broker in your area to see what you could qualify for with and without her. You may find that those loans don't hurt you as much as you think. And remember, if they do hurt you...perhaps you're thinking of biting off more debt than you really can afford.
Hi Matthew, before you purchase a home, check out both of your most recent credit reports and credit scores. Don’t get yourself in a bind by purchasing a home right away if you do not have an emergency fund and especially if your down payment on the house is minimal. I would suggest pre-qualifying for a mortgage on your own and see where you stand. As far as the home credits, the first-time home buyer credit has expired. But check out www.irs.gov for the latest tax situation regarding tax credits. You will however, be able to claim home mortgage interest and property tax deductions on Schedule A if you itemize.
Chad, when you're ready, here is a question from Scott
Delia, when you're ready, here is one from DB
DB: Where is your IRA now? Usually people roll over to get more investment options, not less. So if you're at a major brokerage firm you should have a whole world of funds available to you, as well as individual stocks (such as the stocks of the companies you left). I do, however, caution you to be diversified. I don't like to see any one stock make up more than about 5% of your portfolio.
You also don't mention which 401k funds you liked. There are several available at lower minimums through advisors, or there might be similar ones available.
And Phil, here is one from Candygirl
Planners? Here was Mark's original question:
"Hello, Im a 32 yr old male who finally "woke up" and just recently starting contributing more to my 401k. I have been with the same company now for over decade and basically squandered my first ten years in contributing to my plan. My company contributed a minimum, small amount for me over that time period. So here I am, ten years down the drain. What can I do if ANYTHING to make up for that lost time. I understand I could have had well over 100k by now. Sadly I have no where that amount."
Mark: Please don't beat yourself up! You're only 32, what a great time to start. Contribute now, and go for a good balance, perhaps tilted towards growth, of 70% of stocks and the rest in maybe short term bonds, or a combination of inflation-indexed bonds and stable value, etc. Depends on your offerings. (We're all hesitant a bit right now about bonds, but they will pay off if we go into another economic dip).
Mark, the only way to make up for lost time is to keep investing through the market dips. This of course requires a lot of intestinal fortitude... or TUMS! Don't think about what could have been just focus on what you are going to do. 1. max out your plan, 2. find a good diversification mix you are happy with, 3. stick to your plan. If you need help finding a diversification mix then pick a fee only adviser at napfa.org
Planners, if you need a question, here is another one from Sand
Alright folks, unfortunately it is time to wrap up today's chat.
THANK YOU to everyone who joined us
Goodbye. Thanks for the opportunity.
And planners, we could not have done this without you! Thank you!!