Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm BACK

I kind of checked out for a little while. Between work and all of the other juggling acts I was trying to do I let this slide but I’ve really missed my chats and rambles about finance so I’ve decided its time to resurrect Future Millionaire. To catch up to today I thought I’d give a well over due update on what’s going on in my life.

Career:

I got two job offers back in August but decided against both of them. One job I didn’t accept because the reputation of the company wasn’t very good around town and the second because for some unknown reason I just wasn’t ready to leave my current company. Before turning down the second offer I did a lot of soul searching and decided that even thought I hated my current assignment I wanted to stay put with my current company. Going on the job search really helped me because it allowed me to feel more empowered, I wasn’t being forced into a role I hated and the project from hell…believe it or not I was choosing it because I did have other options.

Looking back with the economic melt down that’s occurred I even more glad I didn’t take either of the two job offers, both of them were with smaller companies and neither has fared well in the current economy. Not that my current company has not been effective, we have been hit pretty hard and there’s been lay offs that amount to almost 20% of our workforce through out the US in 2008 with probably more to come. But despite that I still feel I’m in a better situation at a company that’s “huge” and at a company that I have a good established reputation. And I’ve accepted/resigned myself to my current assignment because – hey its better than not having a job and I did choose it.

I did achieve my goal for last year of receiving a promotion, I was promoted in September. Yay!

I think my goal for this year will be to just stay gainfully employed.

Finances:

I finally…found a financial adviser and finally acted. I kept dragging my feet for some reason but I decided in October on a guy that my favorite banker, Charlie, recommended and he helped me first with rebalancing my 401k – prior to meeting my adviser, Bob, I had my entire 401k in a target date fund. It was really hard for me to put my trust in someone else to help me make the right decisions. I’m still very shaking on investing, I know how to read morning star and look for decent picks but its still hard for me to just do it which is why I didn’t sign up to put my Roth IRA in his hands until December of this year so starting in 2009 my Roth IRA will be diversified…yay! I’m also very excited about my next step with Bob which is this Tuesday I’m going to his office to write a big $37,000 check to start an actively managed account that’s outside of my maxed out retirement accounts. I’ll have to let you know how it goes.

My one regret with hiring a financial advisor is that I think I pay Bob too much. I pay my advisor a yearly retainer plus now I’m going to be paying him 1.5% to actively manage my non-retirement accounts which will amount to about $1,400. I think I have over paid for his help and will continue to pay more than I should but I’ve decided that I’m okay with that because I finally acted and isn’t it better to pay a little more to gain more than it is to just let everything sit and gain nothing.

My net worth has increased to just shy of $150,000. A lot of that increase is from my regular monthly saving and my bonuses. Don’t get me wrong I was hit by the stock market down turn but fortunately compared to many I’ve only lost about $13,000 because of my fear of investing I kept all but my retirement accounts in the bank. I’ll have to sit down and do a comparison net worth update soon.

Unfortunately, I think this year I won’t have such a significant increase in net worth primarily because I’ll most likely be taking about a 15-20% pay cut this year because I probably won’t be receiving any bonuses with the way the economy is looking. The only good thing about that is that I don’t need the bonuses to live. My bonuses always were stuck straight into savings with maybe a little shaved on the top for a small indulgence.

I’d like to have a net worth goal this year of $175,000 but since the current stock situation will distort my net worth goal in comparison to my savings, especially since I’m going to start investing in the stock market a little more. I think I’d rather have a savings goal for 2009– this just means its going to be harder for me to track but its achievement is 100% in my control. I’m planning this year to again max out my retirement contributions and contribute $21,500 in retirement vehicles, add $3,000 to my new car fund, and contribute at least $2,500 towards my investments – I will increase my investment contributions if I actually receive bonuses this year but I’m doubtful. So in total for 2009 I want to save $27,000.

Personal:

Mr. Be-Mine and I are still going strong, its been nearly two wonderful years. Wow – I can’t believe its only been that long, it feels like he’s always been a big part of my life. In fact, I think he might be the one. Since this is a financial blog, and you don’t want all the gushy girly stuff I’ll stop there.

My brother and I are getting ready to run the ING Half Marathon this March. Opted for the half marathon this year instead of the Marathon because I still don’t have a lot of time due to work and didn’t want to try and squeeze in a super heavy work out schedule, just want to have a fitness goal hard enough to keep me motivated to work out and run every day. One financial thing I’ve been meaning to actually ponder is whether its better to register for these races early like I do to get a price break or if its better to pay full price but save 6+ months of interest on your money. Hmm…sounds like a future post.

I’m still volunteering every week at the Food Bank and donating every month. These are the types of organization that need the help even more now. I even have Mr. Be-Mine going with me to volunteer each week. And one the rare occasions I can’t go because I’m out of town for work, he still goes with out me - that’s my kind of guy.

I’m still living with Fashionista. Our lease is about to expire so we have to renew it before February 9th in order to stay put. The one nice thing about the current economy is that our rent did not increase like we expected it to after a year. In fact we’re planning to go next weekend to talk to our apartment management company about maybe lowering it some, just to see what happens but we’re both okay with staying put even if they don’t lower rent.

I think that’s about it for updates, let me know if you’re curious about anything else. I’m looking forward to the next post already.

2 comments:

R.J. said...

I'm looking forward to your next post, too. :)

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