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One year at the "new" job

November 5th, 2017 at 10:36 am

I celebrated my one year anniversary at the (no-longer) new job on Halloween. Halloween was also my 12th anniversary of purchasing my house, so it's a day with positive associations for me.

I still have to get my formal year-end review, coming up sometime this month, but I am cautiously optimistic (knock on wood, of course!). And hopefully there will be a wage increase that goes along with it. My understanding from the others who hold my position is that there usually is, which is nice to hear. If I get a 3% raise, I'll increase my retirement contribution to 11%. With the company match of 3%, that's 14%, almost to my target savings of 15%.

I also contribute $2,400 per year to my HSA, and the company gives me enough (partly through an outright contribution and partly through matching) to cover the deductible on the high-deductible health insurance. Last year that amount was $2,000 and for 2018, we're changing insurance and the new policy's deductible is $1,500. If I were able to save the money I put in the HSA that would be another 6% of income to savings (for a total of 20%), but this past year, my medical expenses were high (partly my long-term care insurance premiums, partly the chiropractor whom I saw weekly from April through September), so I only have about $500 left in the HSA account.

The big unknown at work (other than the details of the yearly performance review and salary adjustment) is the year-end bonus. This is not an individual thing but is based on the company as a whole meeting its profit goals, and employees don't hear about whether or not there will be a bonus until the very end of the year, so it's hard to plan. More often than not, there is one, but not always. If there is, it can be as much as 20% of wages, which would do a great amount of good for me in terms of paying down my debt. I had paid down a chunk at the beginning of the year, but it's now crept back up what with the traveling I did to Las Vegas and Los Angeles over the summer, as well as a couple of weekends away here in PA. While my debt has thus only gone down a couple of thousand since the beginning of the year, my assets are up over 40K, so it has been a good year for my net worth.

If we do get the full bonus, I'll put all but a couple of hundred of the after-tax amount towards paying off the debt, which will finally bump the amount down signficantly lower than it has ever been since I bought my house and took out a mortgage.

It's been a good year at work, and while I think that my job performance has been satisfactory, there have been some parts of the job that have taken longer to master than I had anticipated, and I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked at studying for the CFP. But that is something that I will double down on in 2018. This year really had to be about mastering all the details of the job itself, and pretty much, I have.

3 Responses to “One year at the "new" job”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Hope your job performance review goes well. Glad you have been successful and work and that you are happy about your 12th anniversary of buying your home.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    You're doing well on your net worth growth. I reread your profile and saw an interesting tidbit there, the thing about the ranch house. Why? Are you thinking of when you get older and maybe not wanting to deal with stairs?

    I often worried about that with my mother at her condo as she had a set of outdoor stairs plus a double flight of indoor stairs. She went all thru her 70s and never had a problem. In fact, it was after she moved to the one-level assisted living that she began falling and ultimately fractured her hips. (She had osteoporosis.) I have wondered more than once if having the stairs was actually a HELP because it forced her to get at least some daily stair stepping exercise.

  3. Dido Says:

    Good eye, PS! Actually, although my mother had significant mobility problems her last year & a half and I recall watching a 90-year old second cousin navigate his way upstairs to his only bathroom with a series of ropes that he'd rigged as supports in case of a problem (retired engineer), the ranch house is actually about getting another Basset Hound :^). I'm figuring that I'll be working full-time until at least 65 and as long as I'm full-time, I'd be away too long hours and I'll stay with just cats, but that at 65 until 70, I'll scale back the hours to 25 to 30 a week, which would put me away from home about as much as I was when I was a professor (since class prep and grading could be done at home). With the fewer hours away from home, I'll get another Basset, since I can't stand to imagine that Henry was my last one. And after that Basset goes (which would probably be when I'm in my early to mid-70s depending on how old the next hound is on adoption), I'll probably move to some kind of a retirement community. A dog is a possibility in some communities but not others, but a basset might be a bit much at 75 to 80 as they are big dogs with short legs: Simon was trim and weighed 55 pounds; Henry was a big boy and weighed 90 most of the time I had him (overweight but he was on Prednisone for medical issues and thus had an insatiable appetite).

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