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Subject:  Re: Late Start but still want to retire early! Date:  3/24/2004  2:12 PM
Author:  2old4bs Number:  159008 of 875566

I just increased monthly additions to about $900/month. $1500 in savings and am paying down my credit card balance of $15k by about $1000 per month.

If you are paying high interest rates (over 10%) on those credit cards, you might want to use all available monies to pay them off right now instead of contributing to your 401K. Also, start by paying the most against the highest interest credit card, while paying minimums on the others. When the highest one is paid off, proceed to the second highest interest rate card, etc.

When your cc debt is gone, max out your contribution to your 401K. Here are the annual maximums for those over 50:

2004 $16K
2005 $18K
2006 $20K

In addition to the above, contribute $3000 each year to a Roth, since you appear to qualify from an income perspective (under $110K/year)--not only does the money grow tax-free, but the withdrawals in retirement are also tax-free.

As others have suggested, keep track of all your expenditures, even for coffee. Cut out all/almost all that are unnecessary (only you can determine what's necessary). Visit the "Living Below Your Means" Board.

After tracking expenses for about six months, you should know what your necessary expenses are each month. You can plug that number into a retirement calculator, along with the numbers of your retirement savings to date, and it will tell you how much you will need to save each year NOW in order to retire in 10 years:


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