What are our long-term money goals?

  1. Make sure that we’re ok if DH loses his job.
  2. Continue maxing out our retirement.
  3. Be ready to replace one or both of our cars. [Update:  better be just one!]
  4. Be ready for smaller emergencies and expected home maintenance.
  5. Pay 100% for the kids’ colleges.
  6. (MAYBE):  Save up enough money to move to Paradise permanently(?)

We are well on our way for #1-5, but #6 seems near impossible.  We could achieve #6 with some luck and some sacrifice, and if we wanted to move there with employment, sooner makes more sense than later given age discrimination concerns.  (Though perhaps we’d be ok with age discrimination given our deep networks?)  Plus… I like my job and my colleagues and may never actually *want* to do #6.  But the future is a long time and many things can change (indeed, the location of Paradise may move given global warming, tax changes, and whatever our friends decide to do as they age and retire).

What are (some of) YOUR long-term money goals?

39 Responses to “What are our long-term money goals?”

  1. Debbie M Says:

    1. Continue to maintain the standard of living to which I’ve become accustomed.

    2. Remodel the house. I especially want a dishwasher, more counter space and storage space, and covered parking. Plus any no-brainer updates in energy efficiency and wind/flooding protection.

    3. Savings for the unknown. Currently feared unknowns include:
    a. Property taxes becoming unaffordable (at least that will mean that selling my house will lead to a huge profit, but we’ll have to find some other place to live, and I’m already in my favorite place).
    b. Evil making me feel that I need to leave my state or even my country.
    c. Disability. I don’t think it’s so easy to make my house disability-ready. Not to mention my psyche.

  2. SP Says:

    1. Make sure that we’re ok if I lose my job.
    2. Continue maxing out our retirement in the near term. This is no longer critical since we don’t actually need to save any more specifically for post-65 retirement. But it is a tax efficient place to save, and markets fluctuation, and it just seems smart.
    3. Be ready for expected home maintenance (i.e. roof with 5 years and smaller projects)
    4. Be ready for raising kid, and pay for some percent of future college. We are not yet pregnant, so in the back of my mind I also have be ready to pay for intervention/adoption in order to become parents, if it comes to that. (But there is no reason to suspect it will come to that at this point, I’m just a worrier.)
    5. In conjunction with above, be financially secure if my job could be made part time while kids are young. But, if we have accomplished #1, then this is kind of by default.

    Since we’re already in a quite high cost area, moving to most places would only free us up financially. There are some places that are more expensive, but we can easily avoid them.

    We also think sometimes about options if tenure does not happen, or if we want to leave the country and build a life elsewhere.

    • SP Says:

      Also, I would be mildly surprised if you haven’t already contributed enough to retirement accounts such that it will grow to enough to support a retirement at ~65. Not that that should change your plans – you can never have too much saved for old age. At minimum, you could save way less. the only reason this matters is considerations if you were really trying to do #6.

      I think is wise to retire in a blue state / liberal state that is likely to have better social programs, but there are lots of options, and there are good reasons to stay where you are.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Depends on where we retire. We could totally be FIRE right now if we were willing to move to DH’s hometown (population ~4K). But someplace with more stuff to do and better public libraries (like you say, #6) would be pretty difficult.

      • SP Says:

        FIRE is a much higher monetary bar than not needing to save for retirement any more (as long as you still work and cover expenses until normal retirement age). I guess they call it Coast FIRE or barista FIRE. I would guess you are coast FIRE if you plan to retire where you are, and probably many other good places (although the math is always less obvious for places you haven’t lived).

        Anyway, doesn’t really matter so much. Our “single income” budgets still include retirement savings, but I think they wouldn’t have to anymore if we don’t want early retirement. This is a nice thought.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’m not sure how much geographic-arbitrage-FIRE counts. It’s popular on the blogs, but we’re not really into being ex-pats or living in the depressed rural midwest! We’re not Coast FIRE– we can live on one income where we are now, but not no income– we’d run out of funds in 2-3 years depending on how the stock market is doing. Definitely can’t live here on 4%. (And there’s no place to work as a barista in DH’s hometown…)

      • SP Says:

        Coast FIRE just means you still have to bring in money to cover your annual costs until you are 65, but you don’t have to save anything more for the future. So you still need a job, and a reasonable one if you have high costs… and preferably health benefits.

        It seems like it only makes sense for people who dislike their jobs and want to do something less lucrative or less time consuming.

      • SP Says:

        (The idea is your investments continue to grow on their own at 6-8% or whatever and eventually become enough for the 4% rule if you don’t touch them)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think we’re talking past each other. We haven’t saved enough to live someplace without work in retirement because where we are now would suck if we didn’t have jobs and we don’t have enough saved now to live someplace fun after age 65. On the other hand, we could retire now (instead of waiting for 65) if we were willing to live someplace that is more inexpensive than where we currently live.

  3. Retirement planning | Gas station without pumps Says:

    […] of the academic blogs I read recently posted a question about long-term money goals, listing their 6 main […]

  4. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    I started commenting here, and the comment grew far too long, so I made it into a separate blog post:
    https://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/retirement-planning/

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    My 1-5 is the same as yours, subbing in me for PiC because I sure do hope that his job with all the good benefits is the more secure one, and in theory we are done with #6 assuming we can maintain our modest standard of living even if we do add to our family.

    6. I keep waffling on paying off the mortgage entirely but at the very least I want it to be a much more manageable and low number. Around the $200s would be preferable.
    7. In the next ten years, save enough to retire early if I’m still a shambling wreck.
    8. Make the necessary remaining repairs on the house. Like Debbie, we did the best we could to make our house disability ready but it’s too old and small to have made it totally wheelchair accessible without tearing it all down and starting from scratch. I hope we don’t regret not going that far.

    I think those are the biggest things.

  6. Solitary Diner Says:

    1. Pay off my now five-figure line of credit (by end of 2018).
    2. Save up enough that I could retire early with a minimum standard of living if I needed to (around 2023).
    3. Save up enough that I could retire with a similar standard of living to where I am now (2025).
    4. Buy a house (maybe someday?)

  7. Leah Says:

    1. Move off campus. I think. We waffle on this (because it saves us sooo much money), but this comes up often.
    2. Either work abroad for two years or do some serious travel with the kids.
    3. Pay for the kids’ college 100%.
    4. Save enough to retire “early” (55-60 range) even if we decide not to at the time. Cancer claimed my mom, grandma, and great grandma in their early 60s, and I don’t want the same for me. At the least, have enough saved so I can stop saving for retirement and do some fabulous traveling with my family.

    And my immediate goal that is made possible by frugality (plus getting a little money from my mom’s life insurance): decluttering! I have hired a personal organizer to work with over our spring break, and I am SO EXCITED. I hope it works out well. I know how to declutter but have some trouble areas where I am totally stymied.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Housing is a pretty major expense!

      Where would you go for 2?

      Cancer sucks. :(

      Have fun decluttering!

      • Leah Says:

        gosh . . . for #2, I would LOVE to go to Europe. But it’s supposedly hard to get international school jobs there. Spain, Germany, or the Netherlands would be ideal (I speak Spanish and Dutch, and German isn’t too hard). Asia would be fine with us too, tho we don’t want to be in big cities with pollution issues. I have connections at a school in Malaysia.

        I would also love to go to New Zealand, but I’ve also heard teaching jobs are super hard to get there as well.

        We have not seriously looked yet, as we want both our kids to be in elementary school. So, in a few years, I’ll gear up toward this.

        yup, cancer sucks :-/ but I am excited to declutter!!! Yay for frugality buying options.

  8. Middle class Says:

    1. Buy a house
    2. Set up trust for my kids so they will be taken care of once my husband and i are gone. My kids are special needs.
    3. Stay in paradise or have enough money to move to another paradise!

  9. Leigh Says:

    By the time we are 40, which is about 10 years away, let’s say end of 2027:
    1. We will have paid off our mortgage. (We are planning to refinance to a 10 year amortization.)
    2. We will have enough saved to maintain our current lifestyle indefinitely, without either of us working, including living in a city closer to one of our hometowns. We are already solid for 60+ retirement, so this is mostly continuing to live below our means and save in taxable accounts.
    3. I guess we will probably buy a new car in about 10 years, but that still seems a long time away with how low mileage our car is.
    4. For my in-laws to have retired and for us to have a picture of how much support they need and for us to be able to do that. And not just support too – they’ve always talked about taking big trips, but never having the money to do so, so we’ve also talked about ways to help them see the world a bit when they retire. (Thankfully, we are only worried about the one set of parents and not both at least!)
    5. Not necessarily money-related, but by 40, we will also have committed one way or another to not having kids and then people will stop asking, which will be delightful.

    Realistically, we should reach these goals in 5 years or so, but the uncertainty of 4 doesn’t really help.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Sounds like you’re doing great! Good luck with 4.

      • Leigh Says:

        Thanks! I asked my husband what his 10 year money goals were and he said no mortgage, more travel, and neither of us should need to work. (About that succinctly, too.) Glad we are both on the same page!

        Do you have any references on how to start talking to parents about their retirement plans?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Nope, but I can look into it for a future ask the grumpies. Might be too late to be useful to you though

      • Leigh Says:

        So far, all we’ve got is that my husband should talk to them by himself. I’m not sure we will get further than that until late summer at the very least. I think we need to be starting them this year and that they won’t say anything about their finances unless he brings it up, since historically, his family has never talked about money.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I will add it to the queue of difficult questions to which we do not know the answer

  10. jasonedwards57 Says:

    I would say that mine would be to:
    1) Get to FI within the next decade.
    2) Pay off the mortgage within the next 5 years to use the money for another property in a different location.
    3) Look into the logistics of becoming a super commuter (living far away in one state and commuting to my university). It might be expensive, but I also get to keep all the benefits I have built over the years.
    4) Become consumer debt free in the next year.
    5) Start a family with children, although we are getting a really late start of things.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have a couple of professors who couldn’t make the two-body problem work and fly into work each week because their spouses live elsewhere. We’ve also got an emeritus guy who comes in from time to time to teach a class, but lives on his retirement ranch in another state.

      Good luck with the consumer debt! You can do it!

  11. Omdg Says:

    I think our goals are pretty similar. Over the short term I want to be financially secure enough to take a job at a different institution potentially in an expensive city and not drown financially. Not because I think that will happen, but because I don’t want money to limit what kind of job I can take. I’d love to pay for my daughter’s out of our 529 plus cash flow, but even better if I’m at some institution that subsidizes college for its employees. Ah, a girl can dream.

  12. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Today I printed off three copies of the email we got from the school district about a student threatening to shoot up the school on social media. I wrote on them, “Nothing is stopping him from buying a machine gun at a gunshow at age 18 and killing my child.” “Fix that”. I am mailing it to my congressman and senators. (I’m hoping my state legislators will be voted out before they get a chance to sit legislature again or I would send it to them too.)

  13. First Gen American Says:

    Our goals are pretty similar.

    The only 2 I’d add would be:
    -finish fixing up my house (it still has a lot of ductape on the walls…5 more years of that.)
    -be able to work a fun part time job once in my mid 50’s that is not so salary dependent.
    -take a summer off at some point.

    One of the plus sides about taking care of aging parents is that my house is already disability ready and spend a huge amount to make that happen. It’s good for my mom, then MIL and someday us.

  14. chacha1 Says:

    It is kind of mortifying to admit in this well-prepared company, but I don’t actually have long-term money goals. :/

    Make sure that we’re ok if DH loses his job? Nope. If he can’t work, our standard of living gets sketchy. If he can’t work and needs care, we’re moving in with my parents.
    Continue maxing out our retirement? Nope. His retirement savings amount to <$20K. At 58.
    Be ready to replace one or both of our cars? Nope. Mine is 2010, his is 2005, and just as with his previous car, he is going LA-LA-LA IT'LL LAST FOREVER while I am scheming (i.e. not ready) how to finance a replacement for myself before the hybrid battery goes kaput (fortunately these battery packs seem to be lasting a good deal longer than originally forecast).
    Be ready for smaller emergencies and expected home maintenance? Well, at least I think we're covered here thanks to my e-fund and the fact that we are renters.
    Pay 100% for the kids’ colleges? Hey! One we don't have to worry about!

    To the extent that I have articulated goals, they are individual … because I just can't get the DH to address these issues in ways that go beyond straight-up gambling (e.g. options fund, jesus h. christ).
    1. Pay off the property loan for our Sierra lot (Target date, January 2019)
    2. Trade in the 2010 Insight for an efficient and economical replacement to last the rest of our L.A. tenure, which please, all the gods, make no more than ten years from now (Target date to trade, July 2019)
    3. Continue contributing to 401(k), HSA, and cash emergency fund.
    4. Continue investing in my own good health, i.e. take time off when I need it and pay the premium for good food.
    5. Continue protecting my retirement fund, to the extent I can, from market fluctuations. I haven't checked it since the big kerfuffle because why stress myself out.

    The one other big thing that I want to TRY to accomplish this year is get the recalcitrant DH to set up a SEP-IRA and start automatically sweeping at least 10% into it this year. It's the best way for him to shelter money under the new tax law. He *should* be saving 20% but anything better than "spend every penny you make" is going to be an improvement. It is, alas, a thing I cannot do *for* him.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      You’ve got some long-term housing stuff, right?

      • chacha1 Says:

        We are now in an inexpensive rental with a “locked in” rate, and we will stay here as long as we stay in L.A. Which may be forever.

        The *wish* is to build a small retirement house on the property we’re buying. That will cost a minimum of $250,000 and we would need to have the entire build cost saved before we start, because we can’t carry a mortgage once we stop working. I don’t know if it’s possible. Technically if we each save $12.5K/yr for the next ten years, we’ve got it. But see above re: “he doesn’t save.” I can’t save $25K/yr by myself.

        If DH’s mother dies before our target date to leave L.A. (i.e. GTFO Date) and there is money left from the estate, that will help a lot, but it is a big IF about “money left over.”

        If one or both of my parents die I’m not sure wtf we are going to do, because they’re all the way over in Florida and I don’t honestly think either of them will do well living alone after all these years.

        And there is a non-zero chance DH will have to stop working long before I do. :/ He’s six years older than I am, and not as healthy (though he thinks he is).


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