The Money

So how can a spritely young gal at the tender age of 42 even consider retiring? I’ve been reading a lot about this lately from many who have paved the way at a much younger age. They make it seem so easy, but i find myself doubting. Can i really do this? Is it allowed? What will people think when they ask what i do for a living? Am i a fraud?

I started working right out of college and started socking away money into a Traditional IRA. Back then, the Roth did not exist, and the max you could contribute was just $2,000/year. So, I did what any young college graduate would do on a salary of $24,000/year. I saved for retirement in an IRA.

Fast forward several years, and instead of an IRA, i contributed to my company sponsored 401k, maxing the employer match, obviously. It might sound like I was focused and determined to squirrel away as much as i could for retirement, but those were years when i was in my 20s and 30s, living in Santa Monica, and enjoying the single life. Bars, restaurants, parties…well, not to the extreme as that would have killed my introverted soul. But there was definitely some money squandering.

In 2014, I bought a house. Since i was already living with my fiance in a house that he purchased, i rented it out. The house cost $375,000. With a 20% down payment, i rent it out for $2350/month. I’ve made a few major principal payments, and now I owe $247,000 on it. Zillow says it’s worth is $532,000 now, but i don’t believe that. If i sold it for what I paid for it, i would net $128,000. I think i can sell it for more, but this will be a conservative net gain.

After the layoff, I transferred my 401k into a Rollover IRA with Vanguard and purchased stock index funds, specifically Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSAX). When i rolled it in April 2016, there was about $258k. I haven’t touched it since, and it’s now at $290,000.

I have a small Roth IRA (I converted) that has $20,000. I’ve got some cash i’ve held onto since i’m going to semi-retire – about $65,000.

128+290+20+65 = 503. My net worth is barely over $500,000.

Can i retire now?



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