Credit Card Debt
For newer readers, I have taken money from credit cards at 0% APR and placed it into online savings accounts, bank CDs, or savings bonds that earn 4-5% interest (much less recently), and keeping the difference as profit. I even put together a series of step-by-step posts on how to make money off of credit cards in this way. However, given the current lack of great no fee 0% APR balance transfer offers, I am mostly waiting on existing offers to end.
Retirement and Brokerage accounts
Wife’s 401k was already maxed out at $16,500 for 2009. I made another $5,500 contribution to my Solo 401k, for a total of $15,000 contributed in 2009. This makes us about 95% done with our goal of maxing out both our 401k salary contributions for 2009.
Our total retirement portfolio is now $190,085, or on an estimated after-tax basis, $152,349. At a 4% withdrawal rate, this would provide $508 per month in tax-free retirement income, which brings me to 20% of my long-term goal of $2,500 per month.
Cash Savings and Emergency Funds
We still have a little over a year’s worth of expenses in our emergency fund. Part of the cash is earmarked for some smaller home improvement projects.
The next step is to put future funds into buying ETFs in a taxable brokerage account since I no longer have room in tax-sheltered accounts. I’ll probably use TradeKing or Scottrade as my buy-and-hold ETF broker, and keep Zecco as my “play money” account.
I am no longer using any internet home valuation tools to track home value. If I still did, it would have been $572,000. Some people have suggested using my tax assessed value, but I also think that is too high. I am simply picked what I felt is a conservative number based on recent comparables, $480,000, and keep it for at least 6 months if not a year. This way, I just focus on the mortgage payoff, which I still plan to accomplish in 20 years at most.
You can view previous net worth updates here.