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Archive for February, 2009

Quarterly 2009 Goals

February 22nd, 2009 at 07:50 am

I decided to reformat my 2009 goals list to make it quarterly. Hopefully this will motivate me to check it quarterly, instead of waiting until the end of the year. Smile

Q1 Goals 2009
[ ] Call will and trust lawyers friends have recommended, pick one.
[ ] Fully fund 401(k): $4,125 per quarter
[ ] 10% of DH's income to ESPP, to be added to his investment account
[ ] Do taxes with TurboTax
[ ] Fund 2008 IRAs -- approx $10k
[ ] Transfer money to SEP-IRA -- approx $15k
[ ] Review 529 funding, establish goal.
[ ] Review current portfolio and write down why we own each fund.
[ ] Create format for quarterly investment review
[ ] Recalculate TPG (target portfolio goal) and TSG (annual target savings goal) for retirement

Q2 Goals 2009
[ ] Have initial appointment with will and trust laywer.
[ ] Fully fund 401(k): $4,125 per quarter
[ ] 10% of DH's income to ESPP, to be added to his investment account
[ ] Schedule annual review with stockbroker.
[ ] Perform quarterly investment review
[ ] Pay fed and state 2008 taxes due
[ ] Pay 2009 estimated taxes

Q3 Goals 2009
[ ] Move house and investments into trust.
[ ] Fully fund 401(k): $4,125 per quarter
[ ] 10% of DH's income to ESPP, to be added to his investment account
[ ] Perform quarterly investment review

Q4 Goals 2009
[ ] Will and trust complete.
[ ] Fully fund 401(k): $4,125 per quarter
[ ] 10% of DH's income to ESPP, to be added to his investment account
[ ] Perform quarterly investment review

2009 Goals for the whole year
[ ] Update will and trust
[ ] Save 20% of our income -- 15% to retirement, 5% to investing
[ ] Fully fund 401(k): $16,500
[ ] 10% of DH's income to ESPP, to be added to his investment account
[ ] Traditional IRA contribution: $10k
[ ] SEP-IRA contribution: 20% of contracting income
[ ] Move TBD into 529 plan.
[ ] Meet TSG (annual target savings goal) of TBD
[ ] Follow up on stockbroker recommendations.

Computer blues

February 22nd, 2009 at 07:28 am

How annoying! I woke up early this morning, and decided it would be a good time to try and do my quarterly review on our investments while DH and DS are still asleep. Wouldn't you know it, my brokerage's system is down for maintanence and I can't get into my account. Grrrr. Plus on etrade, my husband signed us up for these special password keys to make the account more secure. You enter your regular password and then the number that appears on this little gadget -- it changes every minute or so. I had it out the other day as I was updating our budget, and now I can't find it. So I can't get into etrade, either.

With the death of our laptop, I lost my budget and all of the spreadsheets I had created to track our investments. Fortunately all our pictures had been backet up to CD so we didn't lose those. I considered taking the hard drive to a recovery place, but it was going to be $99 for the first hour just to look at it. I quizzed the person there to find out what they did, and it sounded like that it was rare for a disk to be a simple $99 job, more common was several hundred dollars. My spreadsheets aren't worth that much to me, I'll just have to recreate them. I did put the hard drive into an enclosure and can hear it spinning, but Vista is not recognizing it so it's likely got some dammage. For a software engineer, I really hate this kind of computer maintenance and repair stuff.

DOW down to 7500

February 18th, 2009 at 07:17 am

My dad, a former stockbroker who now works for a mutual fund company, called me yesterday afternoon. He said the DOW was down to 7500 and he wanted to add $1,000 to my son's 529 account. He asked me to go ahead and make the purchase and he would send me a check. Thanks, Dad!

It's funny that he's always preached dollar cost averaging, but now he calls me up when the DOW has a big dip and tells me to "buy low". I can't figure him out.

I guess procrastination is once again in my favor. When the stock market had its big fall in October, to 8500, I had $14k sitting in cash within my various IRAs. I invested $10k, and thought I'd wait a month or so with the remainder to see if we got another dip. Then I promptly forgot about it. So now I've got $4k still sitting there and I think I'll invest. Who knows, with the bad economy the DOW could go even lower but I'm not going to wait.

It pains me to realize I still don't have a plan in place to know WHICH fund I want to buy. Guess I'll call my dad again and see which one he recommends.

If only we had our taxes done. I set aside 40% of my consulting income with evey paycheck for taxes. I ran through a quick online calculator and it looks like our effective federal tax rate is going to be about 20%, and we'll only owe a couple thousand this year. So I may have as much as $10k available to put in our IRAs. (We don't qualify for ROTH.) It would've been nice to invest it now, while the DOW is low, but I guess if the DOW goes lower it will be nice to have money to invest then.

Squirt bottle blues

February 16th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I haven't blogged in quite a while. My 3 year old son LOVES to clean, and I let him have a squirt bottle of this Pledge stuff that is supposed to be safe for wood, glass, stainless steel, and electronics. So no worries about what he might be squirting, right? WRONG! Usually I keep an eye on him whenever he has the squirt bottle, but it got left out by mistake, and he drenched our computer when I wasn't looking, completely shorting it out and destroying it. I thought the hard drive could be salvaged, but I just plugged it in to an enclosure and wasn't able to access it.

Luckily the client I'm currently working for provided me with a laptop for that job, so my work hasn't been interrupted.

I called a few repair places, but it would be $100 just to diagnose, and $250-$300 to replace the motherboard, so we decided to just buy a new laptop instead. I'm going to take the hard drive to a repair shop to see if they can recover any of our files. I'm pretty good about backing pictures up to CD, but not very diligent about backing the other files up.