After massive amounts of research (admittedly, the vast majority was done by Ethan, but since he has no blog I get to be all publicly excited about it), we have decided that we are/will be financially secure.
In 14 years, we will have the mortgage paid off (if we keep this mortgage). If we refinance, we may be able to get that down to 10 or 11 years.
So, if we have kids, and if we do so in the next year or two, we will have no mortgage payments anymore when they are in middle school. Imaging having $3k a month to start putting away at that point towards their college education. We are not worrying about starting a college fund now. Maybe something later, but we will be ok.
The first summer after we pay off the mortgage, we are so totally taking a massive vacation. Take the kids to Europe for a couple weeks, or maybe Australia. Something just a ton of fun, our big reward for living within a budget and paying off the mortgage.
We are so stinking proud of ourselves for being able to do this. Paying a bunch extra to the mortgage each month. EVERY month. Since we got the house. Even when we built up credit card debt (which we JUST paid off). That is priority number one, and we don't ever skip. This is mostly because of Ethan, of course; the world's most responsible person. I personally have stomped and thrown fits because I want to spend money instead of saving it, but he generally wins, because he IS right......(but don't tell him I said so)
Ethan also looks at our retirement info on a weekly basis and logs where we are. We have 10% of our paychecks going into TIAA/CREF and Fidelity mutual funds, etc, and over the last 7 months we are averaging a 12% return/increase. Suze Orman, Ethan's financial guru, says to expect 8%. Even if we average 8% over the next thirty years, based on what we put in each month we will have $1.8million when Ethan turns 60. Plus, we have pensions that will pay us $5500 a month total if we wait until we are 63 to take them. If we take them early, they go down by 3% for every year before that.
So. We are retiring at 58. Not sure if that is when I am 58 or Ethan, but 58. We need to build up enough savings to pay for life for a couple years so we don't need to access our pensions for as long as possible, but that is it.
We are planners. We think ahead. Waaaaaaaaaayy ahead. We discuss things to death before even considering actually *doing* them. We overplanned our relationship before we got married. We talked about buying a house for MONTHS. We have been talking about having kids and how we will raise them and how we will deal with a multitude of situations with them for YEARS now. We plan. We talk. This is a good thing. Maybe things won't work out exactly as we expect, but at least we have put some serious thought into it and considered what is to come.
This is my big exciting post to myself about being financially responsible. There is a payoff in the end, if we (okay, *I*) can be patient enough to wait for it. I always want to spend, I see things I want. This is why I am not getting them. I will look back on this post and remind myself what it is we are doing. This is why we have a budget and live below our means and have no furniture in our extra bedrooms. We will buy things one at a time, over time, and end up with nice things that we really like.
We can do it. It will be so totally cool if we do!!!