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I am a farmer in my late 30s and live a frugal lifestyle. My son has a disability. Should I pay more of my mortgage – or save for retirement?


I believe you recently stated that by age 40, a person will have an annual income three times their annual income for retirement. That scared me a bit. I am in my 30s and we have more than half of my annual income saved in the IRA that my wife started before I knew her.

My husband and I live quite frugally. We drive 12-year-old cars and have a modest home and we try to pay an additional $ 5,000 in principal annually, hoping to lose years of mortgage.

When we first got married, we both worked, averaging between $ 100,000 and $ 120,000 a year. I work in agriculture and my income fluctuates according to market prices and weather.


‘We soon had our first child and my wife had to quit her job to stay with our son. He has a disability which means he will live with us all his life. ”

We soon had our first child, and my wife had to quit her job to stay with our son. He has a disability which means he will live with us all his life. After we leave, we will likely have to take care of him for the rest of his own life.

My parents graciously set up an investment account with a substantial initial payout for him, which would have helped him for a long time, but maybe no longer than 30 years, depending on the time. Time he will last longer than us.

We’re currently trying to find places where we can save more and put money in some sort of retirement investment. Now, with just my income, we usually make about 60,000 to 70,000 dollars per year. I had a devastating year when my crops were destroyed and I only had $ 20,000 in crop insurance to live that year, so I’m always worried about not having easy padding available.

I guess my question is: Should we put the mortgage payments in super, and how much can we need to retire with three meals? Is retirement likely going to happen at this time? Farmers usually do well in their 65s and I worry that’s where we are headed.

Father, Husband & Farmer

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Dear Father, Husband & Farmer,

Money milestones – how much you should have saved at a particular age, according to advisors and financial services firms – vary. Wildly. They are the targets. Something to shoot for. They also offer an ideal perspective in a perfect world where everything is equal, and life goes perfectly according to plan. Life rarely goes perfect according to plan – or any plan. Money milestones These are all helpful tutorials and sometimes unrealistic tutorials.

Average retirement savings for people ages 30 to 34 are $ 21,731, according to the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Finance Survey. It rose to $ 48,710 between the ages of 35 and 39. Even that number made me stop, as long as it gave me hope. But as you can see, it’s a moving target – and given that millions of people can’t even access their savings in an emergency, there’s a huge gap between rich and poor and between all. everyone.

Every situation is different. You are young and your situation will fluctuate. Some years may surprise you in terms of growth. Many 30s aren’t even thinking of retiring, so you’re ahead. “The money you need in your retirement account is a function of your projected expenses,” said Brian Walsh Jr., senior financial advisor at Walsh & Nicholson Financial Group. “No two financial situations are the same and retiring is costly.”

“Set a budget based on your current income and expenses and find out where most of your cash flow is going,” he added. “You are still young, so you should have plenty of time for your retirement. From there, based on the nature of your business, setting up an emergency fund should be your top priority, followed by setting up a trust for your kids and then saving for retirement. Working with a financial planner on a design can help keep your mind off.

You are paying interest on your mortgage, so I support your decision to pay more annually. That in itself has been an enviable position for many. Do what you can afford to do and stick to your goals. They can also fluctuate based on demand.

You have a mortgage and retirement savings. You went ahead. Be proud of what you have achieved: From what you said in your letter, you have worked hard and faced unexpected challenges with calmness and maturity.

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