Home > Archive: May, 2021
Archive for May, 2021
May 30th, 2021 at 09:28 pm
Bank accounts: up 22% but balance is still too low. I've been putting $$ in retirement and paying down debt rather than adding to my bank account balances lately.
I try to keep a few thousand in cash/CDs in my Roth IRA rather than investing it. That cash serves as a potential emergency fund since I can pull it tax-free if needed, and if not needed, it adds to the Roth IRA balance. I'll do this for another year or so while I try to aggressively reduce debt and then invest the cash inside the Roth. (You can take contributions but not earnings tax-free from a Roth as long as the account has been around for at least 5 years. I'm now over 59.5 so I don't need to worry about taking the earnings--under 59.5, you have to worry about taxes and a 10% penalty.) About 1/3 of the total Roth IRA is in cash, the other 2/3s IS currently invested.
Retirement accounts: up 6.2%. I currently contribute 22%, get a match of 3% plus a profit-sharing plan contribution, which comes in early in the year.
Use assets (home + car): up 12.8% due to living in a relatively hot real estate market. With the coronavirus, people living in NYC have flocked to eastern Pennsylvania, where I live. Houses that go on the market here typically sell within a few days and often at above-asking price.
Overall asset increase YTD = 7.6%.
Debt: down 7% YTD
Net total: up 9.4% YTD
May 16th, 2021 at 08:27 pm
Finally submitted my tax return. I had a recovery rebate credit based on my 2020 income being less than my 2019 income. I've heard that having this credit might slow refunds down; hopefully my refund will come in a reasonable amount of time. The amount of my refund will cover both my new washing machine and my new air conditioner. Hopefully I will receive the refund before the credit card bill is due.
The new washer and A/C arrived Friday. The new washer is more powerful than the old one, and revealed a plumbing problem that needs to be dealt with before I can actually use the new machine. The plumber comes Tuesday morning. What with COVID, I didn't call the plumber all year last year and a number of non-emergency issues arose--my list of things for the plumber to check totals 5, just one of which is the washing machine issue. I don't know that I can afford to get everything done that needs to be done, but I will deal with the most pressing stuff and possibly defer the things that can get let go, in particular fixing the outdoor spigot connection inside the basement. I don't really use my backyard at all; I just have a gardener mow the grass and I pull out the biggest weeds in the beds. But *next* year I'd like to do a little gardening, so if need be I can put that one repair, at least, on hold until 2022.
53 days until my exam!
May 10th, 2021 at 10:32 pm
I moved into my house in 2005. The house itself is 106 years old, but the last owner had done a good job of keeping things up to date. Now that I've been there 15 & a half years, "durable goods" are starting to reach the end of their lifespans.
Prior to last year, the only real upgrades I had done were to replace the gutters. There have also been periodic large plumbing jobs along the way (two so far, and I'm worried that I may have another issue this year.)
I've also kept up with the roof. It's a flat roof that needs periodic coating. I have done that more often than suggested. The last time I did it, there was a new product out that had a 10-year warranty, so I chose that option. I'll still have to get someone to get on the roof and check it every year or so, though.
Then last fall I had a roof leak where the back porch joined the main house. This led to replacing the two porch roofs.
Now this year, so far, I have had to replace the hot water heater, a window A/C, and (today) the washing machine. Plus I need four new tires on my car by the summer, and I'm worried that there may be another plumbing issue.
So far the dryer is fine. The range died about two years ago but so far I haven't replaced it. (I do all my cooking in the Instant Pot and Air Fryer, and I boil water in a coffee maker and reheat in the microwave, so I get by.) I'm hoping that the refrigerator will last another couple of years but with my luck it will die this year. I am hoping that I can have it last until I am ready to do a kitchen refresh (new appliances, countertop, floor, backsplash, and resurface but not replace the cabinets), but that won't be for a copule of years, so I'll probably have to replace it before then. Hopefully not this year tho!
Also, knock on wood that the furnace lasts another few years. That's another thing that was replaced by the last owner. I see that furnaces can last 15 to 30 years; I do have my maintained every year, so I hope to eek another decade out of it--it's close to 20 years old right now.
The piper is finally having me pay his due.
May 1st, 2021 at 09:45 pm
I get a message about an "invalid page URL" when I log in, so I had been thinking for the past 3 or so months that I wasn't able to post--but then I discovered that, even if I get that message, if I just go to the blog page, I am indeed logged in. So this is just a quick catchup for March and April of 2021.
-Work has been busy, as it always is this time of year. Busy is good, but I am looking forward to things slowing down a bit over the summer.
-I am now deep into reviewing for my CFP exam, scheduled for July 8th. I take a review course that starts June 11, and there's about a thousand pages of "pre-study" material that you are supposed to get through before the live review. I'm currently about 400 pages in. I started meeting (virtually) with a group of half a dozen other people preparing to take the exam at the same time, and that meeting starts off my Saturdays and usually gets me into the mood to dig deep and study for most of the weekend. Not today, though.
-The biggest news is that my beautiful cat Bridget passed away on April 14th. She was my quiet kitty and generally the one in better health. I noticed in late March that she had developed a cough and that her appetite had decreased. I took her for a vet appointment and they took x-rays and diagnosed possible pneumonia, possible pancreatitis, and some worry about possible cancers in both areas. I opted to treat her with antibiotics for a week first to see what that did. Her cough decreased, but so did her appetite, so I scheduled her for an ultrasound to get better diagnostic information. I was thinking that I would get more information about what was going on and, assuming she had some kind of cancer, learn what the prognosis was and then baby her and keep her as comfortable as possible and have her euthanized after a weekend, a week, or a month. But she passed there in the parking lot of the veterinary clinic while I was waiting for them to come out and get her (covid restrictions). Bridget hated going to the vet with a passion, so she avoided her last visit. The house seems strangely empty with just one cat rather than two. But with all Buffy's health woes, I won't adopt another cat until she too is gone, for fear that the stress of a new companion would be worse than the stress of spending more time alone.
-I am now fully vaccinated (as of this past Wednesday) and will be going to dinner at a friend's house for the first time in over a year. I also had dinner at another friend's on Monday, and braved going into an actual store for the first time since last summer. I'm also planning to start walking more regularly with a friend who is a "snowbird" and who just came back up to PA from her winter digs in Florida. And I can start going back to grocery shopping in person after having had them delivered for an entire year!
-Financially the year is off to a good start: assets up about 7% (including savings as well as income and capital appreciation), debt down nearly 9% (though I am worried about having to potentially replace the washing machine and about having a potentially expensive plumbing repair this month), and overall net worth currently up nearly 60k since the beginning of the year.
-Have to finish filing my taxes. I drafted them last weekend but need to review the recovery rebate credit calculation. Once those are done, I stand to receive about a $1,500 refund.
I wish I remembered how to add a picture since I would love to add one of Bridget.