Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Frugal Friend-Tip Four

Money saving tip #4: Put something away for retirement and college.

But maybe not all of it in mutual funds, IRAs, ERAs.

Actually, we're not sure about that yet. We're meeting with our finance guy (yeah, funny, we have a guy) this coming weekend, to see what damage the stock market has done. But we have our account set up to automatically take money every month to buy more stock in one of those accounts. Instead of a lump sum at one time, say, at the end of the year. That way, during the down turn, we're buying stock low, so we get more stock for our money at this point. When it goes higher, our account will quickly go higher. But I'm worried about when that turn around in the stock market will come.

We're young. We have at least 30 more years until retirement (maybe more, they keep moving the social security age back). As it is, I don't think my husband nor I feel like there will be any social security once we come of age. You'd think I'd be mad about my Social Security taxes taken from my check, since I don't think I'm getting any? No, because an obligation has been made to the older generations about their retirement. Social Security probably should have been reviewed, recalculated and rehauled once every ten years to keep it healthy, but our representative government is not really conducive to planning ahead. Votes are gotten by things that happen for your constituents here and now. I heard this said about a city council once, and I think it doubly triply quadruply infinity applies to our federal government.

I'm a bit worried though about my son's education. I do not expect to be able to pay for all of it. But I would like to be able to pay for part of it. In addition, I am hoping, no, I'm banking on it, that he will get scholarships. Yeah, nothing like pressure on a kid still in elementary school. I'm actually banking on hoping both of them will get academic scholarships. Because I did. It really does help. A lot.

In addition, I have no pie in the sky ideals about sending them to Harvard or Yale (once, I imagined myself going to Yale. Ha!). Just a good solid public state university, with in-state tuition. I prefer that to community college, because frankly, I don't want them living at home. Hence, I would like to help pay for room and board, on campus, if need be.

So, as everyone says, we should probably diversify more. This probably means that in addition to IRAs and ERAs and annuities, I should look into CDs (the interest sucks), savings accounts (interest sucks) and maybe savings bonds (good for middle term investments, between 5 and 10 years, see; it was a handy article).

But, we need to keep putting aside the money. No matter what. And do our best not to touch it. As we contemplate things like braces, Mr. Wild and I are looking at other parts of our budget and what to cut back. Savings is not one of them, no matter how we are distributing those savings.

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