Humblebrag: My monthly retirement savings is equal to my monthly take-home

That’s right, folks, with my retirement accounts maxed out, I am saving 50% of my net income (after taxes, health insurance, parking etc.)

Of course, this would be a lot more impressive if we weren’t spending the bulk of DH’s monthly income… sure, we’re maxing out his retirement too but he’s only got the one account and it doesn’t have the best match in the world.  There was  time when we were saving a much larger percent of our joint income, but now we make more and spend a lot more.

Also mind-blowing:  If I made more money, then I would be taking home more than I could save for retirement.  Because retirement is maxed out.  (I wonder if this means I should turn it all to Roth instead of Traditional so I can get those last drippings of retirement savings even if it means my taxes this year go up… a difficult decision problem.)

But still, when I got my first paycheck stub for the year (I *heart* getting paid!) I thought that was a pretty neat thing– once you include the employer match, I’m putting away almost exactly what is going into my savings account.

I love money so much.  It provides so much security.  So much opportunity and possibility.  You can spend it too, but my favorite thing about it is that I no longer have to worry so much about most things.  If DH loses his job or I get sick of mine, we’ll be fine, at least for a while.  We can’t retire and continue to live the life to which we’ve become accustomed, but we could take a chance that required us to stop saving for retirement for a while.  We still can’t buy a house in Paradise, but we could rent one, at least for a while.

This message brought to you by the first paycheck of the school year (and the first full paycheck in over a year!).  Being paid is so much more awesome than not being paid!

Do you like getting paid?  Do you have any humble-brags about money you’d like to share?

38 Responses to “Humblebrag: My monthly retirement savings is equal to my monthly take-home”

  1. Leigh Says:

    This post made me teary eyed a bit – maybe a hint that I should go to bed soon, but also how much I resonated with your second last paragraph. I could have written every word you wrote there. We’ve almost fully concluded that we wouldn’t buy a house Here unless we choose to have children because we don’t feel that we make enough / have enough saved to be able to buy the house that we would want. We can’t quite retire and do whatever yet, but we can afford to stop saving for retirement for a while and we would be more than fine if either of us left our respective jobs for a while.

    I love love love no longer needing to worry about things. Somehow despite not planning to really combine finances much at all, getting married has significantly increased my financial security. It probably helps that I will no longer be responsible for the mortgage pretty soon (I had a feeling that would happen when we got married, which is part of why I eventually stopped paying extra on it – the last extra payment I made on it was actually the month that he moved in as life would happen).

    My humble money brag of the moment: In running through our marriage contract prep, I calculated how long I could go without saving for retirement before my husband’s retirement account balances would catch up to mine: 11 years, aka when he turns 40. I started saving for retirement lazily at 19, somewhat at 21, and more aggressively at 23. He started saving aggressively off the bat at 26. It’s crazy how just even those few years in our 20s made that difference. My lawyer suggested making future growth of IRAs marital property and my first thought was of all the compounding making the balances at marriage date nothing in a couple decades, which made me kind of sad. A second one: I put so much into retirement, ESPP, HSA, etc. that my pay deposited to my bank accounts this year will be $41k out of a $150k total compensation (the second figure includes 401(k) match). I think that’s pretty cool too.

  2. eemusings Says:

    I freaking love money too. Like Leigh, that paragraph really resonated with me.

    I just realised doing my numbers 10 mins ago that my net worth went up $10k in 6 months so I’m pretty happy about that. Aiming to reach $100k by age 30.

  3. Solitary Diner Says:

    I also love money for the security it buys and the things it allows me to do. My humble brag is that, since I started working 14 months ago, I’ve saved up enough to pay off my student loans and have enough to live off of for over a year. I’m not where I would like to be yet, but I’m certainly heading in the right direction!

  4. chacha1 Says:

    +1 on “I freaking love money.” I love getting paid. I love that my job pays every other week; makes it sooooo easy to plan spending, and the two “extra” paychecks a year are like little bonuses because all my shit is already paid for with the other two paychecks in those months.

    I am a little impressed with myself for paying off $7K tuition and $12K car loan between May 2015 and August 2016. And for (thanks to a big tax refund) doubling my emergency fund in the same time. There have been a lot of years when I didn’t get a tax refund at all, because any extra tax I’d paid always got applied to my husband’s self-employment tax bill. So I’m also proud of him for getting his finances in order so that despite last year’s income shortfall (which precipitated the refund), he was still ahead of everything and the refund could go to me.

    If all goes to plan and our property gets paid off by the end of 2017, there will be braggin’ and it won’t be humble. :-)

  5. Shannon Says:

    Hmm – this is interesting to me. I definitely love getting paid and the things that the paychecks bring. But I guess I am a bit different in what I do with that. My husband and I are both tenured in a place we love. We have a pension, contribute to retirement, save for kids college, have an emergency fund, etc. I don’t build that emergency fund up more than we really need to though as I prefer to use the extra money for other things – like travel. I got a promotion last year, and we’ve been diverting some of that money to additional savings and paying down the small amount of student loans we have left early, but most of it is going to trips – and I am very excited for that.

    I guess in the end, it’s somewhat the same as good jobs and careful planning mean with both have the security to do things that are important to us – and yay for that.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Where are you thinking about going? My sister just did 2 weeks in Europe and her pictures almost made me want to visit Croatia.

      DH and I are both pretty burned out on travel right now after doing way too much last year. I have, in fact, planned zero trips for this year. (DH is currently in DC for work.)

      I’m not really sure what to do with the excess (assuming DH remains employed). It’s not enough to live our ideal lives, but too much to live our now lives. So when in that situation, we put it away for future opportunities. Having extra money has been handy in the past– we can take more risks and weather bad shocks more easily.

      • Shannon Says:

        Lots of trips. Taking advantage of free lodging (from family) to go to St. John and Lake Tahoe this winter. Then Iceland – because Northern lights (hopefully!) – over Spring Break. Looking at Spain for the summer. We exchange homes when we do summer travel, which reduces the cost both for lodging and food. I love it –

  6. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    Um . . . having earned a Ph.D. in the humanities and remained in academia, I at least had the intelligence to marry a software engineer?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Hahaha, YAY for software/engineers. Both of us have much rosier financial pictures because of our spouse’s occupational choices.

      • Debbie M Says:

        My boyfriend has been jobless for a couple of years. Oh, he does have a job that often gives him a couple/four hours in a week. He’s been a software engineer, a tech writer, a car stereo installer, a carpenter, a math/physics teacher, so many things!

        He’s applying for another job AS WE SPEAK! And I’m taking a break from applying for one of those seasonal IRS jobs. You would think I could deal with the bureaucracy after having a career in a university infamous for its bureaucracy, but, ugh, so annoying.

        The cool money thing is that my pension can pay all of my expenses plus the other half of all the house expenses. He only has to pay for health, transportation, food, and fun. Still, his IRA is shrinking. :-(

        My favorite positive news is I finally succeeded in donating blood for the first time this year! [Low hematocrit, forgetting, and finding out about basal cell carcinoma (now gone) were the problems.]

        My boyfriend just got back. “I’m going back tomorrow to speak to XXX. Probably nothing will come of it. But they are definitely looking for people right now. And I am a person!” And supposedly the recession is long over and unemployment is no longer bad, etc.

    • Rosa Says:

      me too. An insanely thrifty software engineer, who always saved 20% of his salary starting with his first “real” job when he was 21. I thought I was responsible putting 10% into the 401k when I was 24, but he totally won that race.

      We actually max out the tax-protected retirement savings. I’m sure his payroll servicer hates him – ever year he hits the 401k max AND the Social Security cap and gets a much bigger few paychecks at the end of the year. And since we got legally married i get to put the full $5500 in my Roth even if I don’t make $5500 that year. Though, this year I will make that much from a full time but short term job I picked up. So yay! Real paychecks are nice.

      Having money is so great. It solves so many problems. This week, I am throwing money at problems right and left and feeling really good about it. Plus I seriously love giving money away and (unfortunately) have had a lot of opportunities for that in our social circles just lately.

  7. yuppiemillennial Says:

    Same as earlier commenters, really loved the second to last paragraph. We are not quite in the “opportunity and possibility” stage with our money, but we have security now which is just so great as I am (slowly) easing into the idea that we will probably remain OK financially, even through tough times.

    My humble brag is that because of unexpected bonuses, I’m expecting being able to pay off 4 years of mortgage payments in Q4 2016. Just the principle, of course, and we’re still early on in the loan, but still an exciting prospect!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Wooo! Early pre-payments are the most powerful kind of pre-payment (because they kill more interest than later pre-payments). 4 years is a lot!

    • twinsfan Says:

      That is amazing! Early pre-payments are the best kind! I think when people get to the end of their mortgage the amount needed for pre-payments to so large and the interest saved is so small lots of people don’t do it. But when it is early in the loan makes such a big deal.

    • Rosa Says:

      have you figured out the future value of those prepayments? Early in a loan they can be really impressive. I think the first year of our mortgage every $1 we paid in extra principal was worth almost $5 on the lifetime total cost of the loan.

      • yuppiemillennial Says:

        I refi’d to a low interest rate so the prepayment benefit is not that drastic. Each $1 I put in cuts out about $1.50 in interest payments.

      • Rosa Says:

        very smart! And that $1.50, while not super inspiring, is still better than a savings accoutn.

  8. J Liedl Says:

    I like getting paid quite a bit, thank you very much. Can’t think of much in the way of humblebrag about money but at least we had enough in savings to pay two kids’ undergrad tuition this year (albeit at low, low Canadian rates, including one further discounted by being charged at the university where I teach).

  9. First Gen American Says:

    After 20 years of working and saving at least 15% in retirement accounts, I finally feel like for retirement..I am good. I will still save but it does feel awesome to have that big huge box checked. Also, when I was younger, I had no idea how big a deal a pension plan was. If I do nothing at all, from this point forward, I can live off my pension on its own and not have to tap savings for day to day expemses. It is one of the main reasons I stay where I am. No one offers it anymore and even my company doesn’t for new employees.

    This place felt so far away and un-achievable when I was in my 20’s. It’s pretty cool to be here especially after the 2008 crash that left me very depressed. Most of my 401k was in one company stock and it tanked even more than most of the market so it’s nice to have recovered from that.

    I guess the takeaway is that time flies fast and good financial habits really do snowball over time.

  10. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I adore my paycheck. I do a little cheer every time it comes in. Both of our paychecks actually.

    We’re not saving nearly as much as I want us to be but we are maxing out his 401k, my IRA, plus 34% of our takehome so I don’t feel too shabby about it. Between living in the SF area plus the extra Dad-support, I’m quietly proud that we have stayed on course saving together for the past three years (after combining).

  11. Leah Says:

    Paychecks: yay! I love them too.

    I am proud because we make relatively little (especially considering many of the bloggers we read) but still have a great savings rate. We have no student loans and will shortly be rid of our car loan just 6 months after buying a nicer car than we had intended on. And we don’t feel deprived in our lifestyle.

  12. twinsfan Says:

    Despite never making over 40K until this year I managed to save enough to put 25% down on a condo located in downtown Minneapolis (I saved 15 years for my down payment. It took me about 9 years until I had enough for a down payment and another 6 to be emotionally ready to be a homeowner. All the while I kept increasing the amount in my condo fund.) In the 25 months I’ve been making mortgage payments I’ve added enough extra to chop 24 months of the life of my loan. The plan is to have it paid off in less the 20. My guess is that it will be paid off somewhere between year 15 -18.

    I have have enough in savings to live for over 2 years without a paycheck. And I still travel and go out to eat on a regular basis (I love going out to eat so much. I love going out to eat almost as much as money. Deciding where I want to go out to eat next is one of my favorite things.With all the restaurants available sometimes it is a huge challenge :) )

    I don’t max out my 401k but put in enough that the retirement calculator says I’ll retire with about 90% of my pre-retirement income.

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