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I need to save for retirement while I’m paying off my debt… uh NOT! That’s the LAST thing you should be doing!

Posted on : 03-06-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Debt Discussion

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This comes up all the time. Repeatedly I see people asking how much they should be investing in their retirement plans: IRA’s, SEP’s, 401k’s, 403b’s, etc. while they are paying off their debt.

Here it is in black and white: the only time you should be putting any money into retirement before paying off your debt is when your employer is offering you a match on your funds. In other words, if your employer will give you a 25% – 100% on the 2% – 6% you put into your 401k, then you need to put the maximum into that 401k that they will match. That is pretty much a no-brainer.

However, unless you are receiving a match on your contributions, you should never be putting money into retirement until your debts are paid, period.

I know many of you will argue, but be that as it may, your best way to “save for retirement” is to get rid of the debt that is costing you 5% – 30% to have. That is the biggest return on your money you can make. Additionally, with debt paid off, you need less money at retirement to enjoy life fully.

Those of us in debt have no business “investing” our money anywhere else but in our debt first and foremost.

Saturday, May 30th, 2009: The moment we decided that debt is no longer an option, debt is bad, debt is evil, debt must be destroyed so we are getting ourselves out of debt.

Posted on : 02-06-2009 | By : The Wife | In : The Journey

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It’s a journey that begins with a conscious decision, a first step: deciding that being debt free is a top priority, that having debt is no longer an option. I equate it to the same thoughts as a marriage ending in divorce: if you enter a marriage without first deciding that no matter what, divorce is not an option, you will end up in divorce. So, from this point on, no matter what, debt is not an option.

I’ve decided to share our process, albeit anonymously for now. There will be ups and downs, achievements and failures. It’s called life and we live it on a daily basis. It’s also likely that most of our life will spill into this process, choices we make, investments in our relationships, etc. I hope to share the thought process going on in my head, even the politically incorrect and judgmental thoughts, you know the ones that flash through your head that you wouldn’t really share out loud, yes those.