Monday, October 13, 2008

Hard Times and dwindling 403B's

Yikes! My 403B's taken a horrible hit. It's down 10%. My friend and co-worker C tells me hers is down 19%! I'm tripping. I'm trying to be really good and plan for my retirement. I have 18% of my pay taken out of my day job check pre-tax. But I wonder if I'm throwing away all that money. Hubby tells me to let it ride. Meanwhile, my dad has all his money in CD's. They're only getting 4% tops and most only 1 or 2% return but that's better than LOSING so much. I want to travel and see the world. I want to go to romance writers' conferences more than once a year that I have to plan around my day job vacations. I want to enjoy life and not have to awake at 6 am Monday - Friday and fight morning rush hour for the rest of my life. I want to spend my days writing full time instead of getting yelled at on the phone by angry donors. A few years ago, I caught the second half of a PBS special in which they predicted within 18 years (from then) people en masse would be living a lot longer, well past 100. Unfortunately, it also predicted that those same people did not have enough retirement savings to enable them to retire and enjoy the good life. It showed 90 and 100 year old people working full time. They could hardly walk! I've been in my retirement plan for 13 years although I've not put away 18% the entire time. I was increasing my contribution 1% a year so it wouldn't hurt too bad. But I've contributed at least 10% of my pre-tax earnings for most of the past 10 years. Of course my salary isn't awesome, but I still should have a lot more savings in my 403B. Even though I contribute 18% every pay day, every pay day when I check my 403B, it's less, not more. Should I stop my contribution and put it in a safety deposit box or into CDs like Dad has? Of course I'd lose the pre-tax savings but I'm losing it anyway! For now, at least a little longer, I'm holding tight. I wish I understood stocks and 403Bs and CDs better. I wish my books would sell even better. (Don't we all?) I wish I'd win the lottery (I'd have to play first, however, wouldn't I?) I wish my adult children at home would get a job! I wish for a lot of silly things, don't I? Mostly I wish for a secure, happy life. I don't have to be Bill Gates to be happy. I just want to be able to pay all my bills, send my kids to college, travel some, and not worry about how I'm going to pay for everything. Is that too much to ask? You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

4 comments:

Sandra Cox said...

I'm with ya, buddy. I wish I had at least one best seller:) and we play the lottery:)

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Knowing where next week's groceries are going to come from doesn't seem like a lot to ask, does it? ANd I'm right with you on the travelling. Hopefully while we're still healthy enough to enjoy it!

Ashley Ladd said...

I looked at my fund today and started cursing. It's dropped more than $15,000 since last year.

But a couple hours later I got an email alert from CNN that said the DOW went UP like 600 or 900 points today, the highest in history. So maybe there's hope.

Amarinda Jones said...

Yep - I do know how you feel

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