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make $ and retire early, or take federal job with more security?

Imagine you have the choice of taking (1) a very lucrative but highly demanding and stressful job in your current city, and (2) a federal job that requires a move and that pays only 25% of the lucrative job. Job 1 comes with an initial 2-year contract. While there's a possibility of getting sacked after two years, I imagine they'd renew the contract for at least two years, and if I'm performing well, I could keep going after that. If I got sacked, I could probably find another similar but probably less lucrative job, but it would take time and be quite stressful. Federal job is presumably more stable. Which would you take? Possibly relevant details: early 40's, married, no kids (and no plans of having any), very substantial savings to date, home-owner (with mortgage), currently living in big city. Interested in hearing your life experiences vis-a-vis working life and retirement. Are there benefits to trying to maximize income early and getting out of the game, vs a more slow and steady approach that provides more security? I'm clueless about retirement and recognize that a financial planner could help, but for now I'm more interested in hearing other's experiences.
posted by anonymous on Aug 11, 2014 - 19 answers

How do I handle destination wedding money stress?

A friend of my girlfriend's is getting married in Asia over Christmas 2014. She's planning to go, and wants me to accompany her (and, money aside, I'd like to go). She'll be upset and disappointed if I don't, and is already upset and disappointed that I'm balking. She makes enough money to afford the trip without financial contortions, and...I don't, or don't feel like I do. This is a recurring point of contention in our relationship, and, generally, I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable, she's being unreasonable, or a little bit of both. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 26, 2014 - 58 answers

Financial Planning Advice for a Financially Clueless Expat

I am a 29 year old American expat, living and working abroad in BRICs for nearly 6 years now, who needs help in getting my financial act together. Due to limitations of my company- I have not been able to contribute to a 401(k) for at least five years now, and in the last few years my salary has exceeded $135k/year, so I can't even contribute to a Roth IRA. As far as I can understand, there isn't really anything more in the basic United States system for retirement that I can take advantage of… so now what? Am I really on my own now? Are there any websites with info geared towards this? Or should I get a financial/wealth planner? Or an "expat" tax accountant? Or both? How do I even start to find one? I have no idea what to look for! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 5, 2013 - 9 answers

How should I be saving for retirement?

As a lower income person, I feel like my retirement planning should be simple, but it still fills me with anxiety and uncertainty. Tell me what, if anything, I should be doing differently. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 14, 2013 - 16 answers

Found money? I hope so

I contributed money to several different 401(k)s over the last decade and I have no idea where the accounts are. Help me find my money. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 9, 2013 - 10 answers

What should my MIL do with this money to ensure a steady retirement?

After the untimely death of my soon-to-be-father-in-law, my future mother-in-law is expecting to receive a fairly large life insurance pay out. What should she do with this money to ensure a comfortable retirement without her husband? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 24, 2013 - 7 answers

Which retirement plan should I choose?

I find this comparison really confusing. I'm starting the job in August. I'm an early 30s married woman who would like to become pregnant in the next year. The contract only lasts through the end of 2014. I do want to continue on working there, but I have no idea if additional grant money will become available at that time. Which plan would you choose? Or, failing that, which are the important factors to consider?
posted by anonymous on May 8, 2013 - 4 answers

Who's the kid here?

My mom has what seems to be undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. For the last many years, she's burned bridges at work and let her self-loathing get the best of her, to the point that she's chronically unemployed, has alienated most of her friends, and has exhausted all her financial resources. She's hit rock bottom, with $0 in the bank and debts to pay. And she's turned to me for help, saying she doesn't know how to take care of herself. I'm 26. I'm struggling to pay back my own student loans. Please help me help my mom. This is in Canada. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 20, 2013 - 22 answers

Saving for retirement as a graduate student.

I am a new graduate student and was hoping to put some money into a Roth IRA to start saving for retirement, but just read that contributions must be made from earned income and now I'm not sure if that is the best plan for my circumstances. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 26, 2012 - 7 answers

How to get my finances in order this late in the game?

Starting from scratch at 45 years old, what's the best strategy for saving money & planning for old age? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 10, 2012 - 11 answers

How much is enough (retirement savings)?

How high was your gross income when you felt able to make the maximum contribution to your 401(k)/403(b)? Is contributing close to half of my already modest income a bad idea? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 9, 2012 - 15 answers

Can I quit my job?

Should I quit my job? Much more inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 4, 2012 - 18 answers

Retirement Hideway?

Anyone have recommendations on a hidden paradise to retire to in 10 years? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 7, 2012 - 28 answers

Would You Move for Better Schools?

Moving to a better school zone. Should I do it? Tough decisions concerning moving, staying put, and financial future. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 25, 2012 - 19 answers

Is it worth it to contribute to my company's 401k?

Is it worth it to contribute to my small company's John Hancock 401K, given the high expense ratios and no employee match? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 21, 2012 - 6 answers

I'm considering leaving the public sector for private. Please help me learn the smart way to negotiate employment offers and understand the real value of my current package.

I've been working in local government in a mid-level administrative job for six years. My satisfaction level is low, but the benefit package is generous (we're a small local entity contracting benefits through CalPERS), and the job is as secure as anything for the foreseeable future. Would I be crazy to leave it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 10, 2012 - 5 answers

How to get 401K money back from former employer when you also need good recommendation from them during your job search?

How to get 401K money back from former employer when you also need good recommendation from them during your job search? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 6, 2011 - 25 answers

Curl up and die or get COBRA?

Do I retire and just quietly die? Or can I get health insurance? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 22, 2011 - 16 answers

Which is worse - less savings or more debt?

Should I cash out my IRA to significantly reduce my credit card debt? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 27, 2011 - 12 answers

Should I reduce CPP payable on my taxes?

Quirky Canadian tax question - what's the long term impact of reducing CPP payable? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 27, 2011 - 2 answers

Idiosyncratic retirement location question

Please give me some advice on where to go to retire at a relatively young age. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 22, 2010 - 20 answers

Bonds and College

How should I handle US Savings Bonds? My husband has a payroll deduction plan for buying savings bonds, and he enrolled years ago as a way to supplement the rather meager pension plan. This has worked well for us because we are really bad at putting money away by ourselves. The bonds are earmarked for retirement, and that's the way he wants to keep it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 24, 2010 - 9 answers

Show Me The Money!

You are not my CPA but I need advice! I make too much money to contribute to a Roth IRA but I hear the rules are changing. How can I take advantage of this in 2010? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 28, 2009 - 3 answers

There's a sure-as-shooting sucker born a minute, but Ma'am you mighta been the minute in between.

She spent $8,000 at a seminar on an "internet business opportunity". Now what? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 10, 2009 - 30 answers

Where to go for a Humble Retirement

In twenty-five years i'll be retiring with my minimal social security benefits and medicare to keep me briefly going. I've got no savings right now, but I'm almost done paying my debts. I rent. I want somewhere tiny, a bungalow with a kitchen, perhaps a tiny garden, stonking bandwidth, maybe near a lake, maybe near a wood, but really not so much. I just want to whittle sticks, greet neighbours, not climb stairs, and hack on code. I don't mind renting again until i die. Where should I move in the US, and when? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 22, 2009 - 6 answers

Question about Highly Compensated Employees and 401(k) Contributions

Am I a Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) with regards to making 401(k) contributions? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 12, 2009 - 1 answer

What should we be thinking about as we allocate our savings?

We are a newly-wed, youngish couple (both 30 years old, both professionals) trying to allocate funds to two different projects: purchasing a first home in a very expensive metropolitan area and saving for retirement. What should we be thinking about as we allocate our savings? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 7, 2008 - 5 answers

30-year investment portfolio which has to start before the end of the year and wants to be left alone afterwards?

If you had a very strong incentive to invest money before the end of the year with a 30-year outlook, and a further strong incentive to not adjust your investment strategy over that timeframe unless absolutely necessary, what kind of portfolio would you assemble? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 5, 2008 - 15 answers

How should I invest for retirement?

I am trying to figure out how to invest money for retirement and otherwise. I am in my late 20s, earn $55,000 annually, have no debt, and about $90,000 in savings. I am currently putting 5% of my salary into a 403(b) which is the maximum amount my employer will match. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 2, 2008 - 11 answers

Is it time to use our retirement funds to buy 2 houses?

We have a house but want another one. Hope to retain ownership of both. Please help us figure out how to accomplish this in the midst of the wild economy without making a huge mistake. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 23, 2008 - 11 answers

Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Financial advice-filter. I'm a college student with no debt and negligible living expenses. Where should I be putting my income? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 27, 2008 - 8 answers

How do I find my aging dad a job?

What sorts of jobs might my retirement-age father be able to pursue to keep up with expenses? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 14, 2008 - 17 answers

I wanna be a woman of independent means... for more than a few months.

Okay, so let's say you're a broke, middle-aged single female creative professional who infamously sucks with anything involving numbers. You do have expensive tastes, but you're generally quite frugal and like to shop at the 99¢ Store & swap meets. Even so, much to your own annoyance, you have just never done *well* with money when you've had it or ever done much grown up "long-term life planning"... but now you're about to come into a one-time windfall (possibly a six to seven figure sum in all). Oh Lordy. Time to grow up. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 14, 2008 - 23 answers

MAGI May (Be Headed North of $100k)

Will opening a Solo 401(k) before year's end reduce my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)? I'm a 28-year-old freelance worker with a sole proprietorship, and I'd like to be able to fully fund my Roth IRA for 2008 [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 26, 2008 - 1 answer

Why can't I close out and withdraw from my 401k? Any way out?

I want to close out my 401k (and pay the necessary taxes) so I can pay off some debt. My 401k says I'm not allowed. Why not? Can I change anyone's mind? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 9, 2008 - 14 answers

Should I cancel my life insurance policy and use it to pay off my consumer debt?

Should I cancel my life insurance policy and use it to pay off most or all of my consumer debt? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 29, 2008 - 8 answers

If the dollar collapses, what the hell happens to my retirement account?

Looking for good articles, links, etc. that discuss (rationally, not all panicky-like) strategies for managing one's 401(k) in light of recent shifts in the market and (perhaps more importantly) the declining dollar. So far, everything I've found seems geared toward investors managing their stock portfolios rather than workers managing their retirement accounts. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 1, 2007 - 7 answers

401K Emergency withdrawel?

A tax question. Our family has experienced a drop in income and an emergency (not medical). I have a 40 thousand dollar 401K retirement fund and want to get 16K out of it. Our family makes 91K gross with two dependents. What will be the tax hit on the 15 k from the retirement fund (so we won't be surprised at tax time). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 21, 2007 - 6 answers

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