Attempts to Be Responsible with Bonus Money… ($90,455)

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I wrote this post Friday morning on train into work.  I planned on posting last night-ish, after cleaning it up and adding a picture or two (because who wants to look at just words?)  Buuuut I was told my bonus number at work on Friday, so they’ll be a post to follow on that next month.  But until then, here’s some ramblings on retirement:

We had to make our 401k and HSA elections for our bonuses. The thing is, I have no idea how much said bonus is, so I’m not really sure how I should be electing.

My idea was to put my estimated maximum into my HSA (assuming I move to a better plan in September, which would mean I would only be able to contribute the pro-rated maximum for the year), and nothing into my 401k. I have since realized the my company matches 3% of compensation, and not 3% of salary…so I assume this means a match on the bonus too? I might lower my 401k contributions for the rest of the year (or at least until September) to balance it out, as I was planning on saving “the rest” to pay for the wedding. Whatever “the rest” might be. Hopefully I’ll find that out next week. And, even more so, hopefully it’s a big number.

As much as I was planning to use all this money for the wedding, I can’t say no to the match, right? I try to calculate approximately what it might be, and I think, “a 3% match isn’t that much…” But I’m 31 now, and didn’t start contributing to retirement AT ALL until 2014. I need all the compounding I can get. I’m not yet contributing 15% to retirement because of all my bills (including my desire to pay off student loans), but I think at last check I’m at 9% into my 401k, 1% into a savings (to be put into my newly opened Roth IRA), and my company puts in 2% into my 401k per year, on top of the match. So, assuming it all gets vested, at least 15% will go towards retirement.

Realizing I’m starting late, I want to make sure that we have a comfortable retirement. As in, not just making sure we have enough to live on, but enough to travel. Including going south for the winter. I can’t handle all this snow (though the man may take some convincing on this point). I’m not going to be one of those people who retires really early–it’s a little late for that–but could 55 be doable? Maybe?

Can you see the two feet of snow?  Do you understand why I want to be a snowbird?  And I obviously was not going outside to take this picture…
photo-4

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