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Subject:  Re: What to do now? Date:  4/24/2006  7:26 PM
Author:  DeltaOne81 Number:  51373 of 88418

we only have $6500 in debt.

Step 1: Get rid of it. Every penny of it. As soon as you reasonably can. There is absolutely no reason to ever carry any consumer debt period (note: I understand that people may have illnesses, etc that can cause those situations, so, let me rephrase... there is no reason to ever continue to carry any consumer debt longer than you need to, period).

We have $42k in a PayPal Money Market account earning 4.52% interest/month.

Why so much? You may have a reason, so I won't tell you to reduce that yet, but it seems awful high to me.

But I will say, if you don't have a reason why you picked that number, how much are you paying on your debt? 10%? 15%? Chances are that $6500 of debt is wipping out over $10K, perhaps over $20K of your earnings on your Money Market account.

Since the company always matched in stock 'units' that amount is variable

Well sure, any investment will be variable. But are you saying that a significant portion of your 401K is in company stock? If so, you may want to consider changing that. I get the feeling that's what you're implying.

This is an Internet service and will increase in value/income.

Hopefully, but you don't want to be counting your chickens before they hatch. If I were you, I would pretend this income doesn't exist. And then anything you get is found money that can go straight to savings.

So, for the moment, we (my wife and I) receive $5471/month.

Great. So you should be able to live on less than $5000. Probably easily less than $4000. Heck, you should be able to live on less than $3000 in most cases. Guess where the rest goes? Savings. That's right. A brokerage account, or perhaps a SEP IRA for your wife. Theres no magic formula, its just 1) pay off your debt, and 2) save.

As for what to invest in, well, you'll get there, but I'll give you the simplest answer for now. If you don't want to learn a thing about investing, then pick an appropriate Vanguard Targeted Retirement fund - or the equivalent funds from Fidelity or T Rowe Price.

With these funds you pick a retirement year, and they put you in an appropriate mix of stocks, bonds, etc that adjust more conservative as retirement approaches. Set it, forget it, and keep contributing.
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