Here's my situation:

43 y/o, married w/ two kids under 10.

I'm in a defined benefit program and I have a formula where I can retire at 60 with 2% of my highest salary times the number of service years I accrued. By then it would be like 32 years. Could/should be pushing $200k/year salary at that point.

Also have access to 2 retirement accounts, a 457b and a 401k. I'm now maxed out in the 457b (at least the monthly amount that over 12 months will equate to the max) and I'm about halfway there on the 401k. So potentially I'll be able to save 38k annually pretax.

My wife is maxed out in her 401k AND her employer doubles her contribution up to 5%. So she essentially gets another 10% of her salary into retirement gratis.

We have about a 4-5 month emergency fund, along with some cash savings and investments that may add up to 100k. We own our house with about $450k in equity. 2 kids, 11 and 8 - we have small college savings accounts for each.

I got a late start on retirement stuff, but hopefully on the right track. Thoughts?

Long term goal would be to retire when I can and reenter the private sector to try to capitalize on my earning years...

  • You haven't mentioned any term life insurance that you and your wife might have. This shouldn't be expensive at your age and is very important at least through the time that your kids are through college. You haven't mentioned Roth IRA contributions (it sounds like you're above the threshold for deductibility of regular IRA contributions, but Roth might still be possible.) Another obvious question is whether your emergency fund is in a high yield savings account? Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 1:13
  • Thanks. Yes, I have a $750k term life insurance for myself, it's a little high due to a health condition I have, but not outrageous. My wife has somewhere in the range of $500k I think. I admit ignorance when it comes to Roth IRA...We have the three 401k/527b accounts, but not an IRA or Roth IRA. And yes, the emergency fund is in a savings account. Don't think it's terribly high yield.
    – jayinla
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 2:55
  • An HYSA should be giving you 1.9 to 2.0% these days. Your retail bank is probably only paying 0.1% interest or less. 2% interest on $50K is $1,000 per year- it's worth it to take an hour to set up an HYSA. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 4:08
  • Good to know. We have an Ally online savings account, so I guess it's right at 1.9%. Thanks for the tip.
    – jayinla
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 5:57
  • My only worry would be that the DB pension might go away some time in the next 30 years.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 13:37


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