Money Lately: Pension, Taxes, House Projects, Bonuses
I got an offer from an old employer to exchange my pension benefit (vested, as I no longer work there) for approximately $20k to rollover to an IRA, or $75/month starting in January lasting until I die. The second option just seems odd! I think the offers generally were for people much closer to retirement.
I did some math, and will probably be keeping the pension benefit as it stands. It is a better deal by at least 20%, and with the majority of my retirement funds being invested in defined contribution plans, maybe having a fixed benefit is something to keep. Still, it’s really tempting to try to get it in my control RIGHT NOW. Who knows what might happen in ~30 years?
I want to revamp my accounting system for 2015. One thing that bothers me about most budget templates I’ve seen is that they work completely off of your take home pay and neglect taxes. For day-to-day money management, that makes total sense. However, I don’t do a lot of day-by-day budgeting, I am focused on the big picture. Understanding what percentage of our income we are really paying in taxes would be interesting, if not super useful. I can also see the tax implications of owning a home more clearly.
We are getting a new furnace, and it is completely not exciting. It was a planned expense. Yay, efficient heat? We are removing the asbestos that is surrounding the old duct work, and getting new ducts. It’s all really expensive, but the alternative was to have them build some special adapter to fit the new furnace to the old duct work, which was hardly cheaper. There are some rebates right now, and I’m kind of excited to have new clean heat, given my allergies to dust.
I just hate spending the money.
I also want to build / create a little mudroom / entryway We need a bench with storage for shoes, coat hangers, and shelves, sort of like this in function (not in style):
T is against hooks because he doesn’t like coats visible. I agree in theory, but they need to go somewhere, and the coat closet is not right by the door. They end up all over right now. On a hook is better than on the couch, the bar stool, etc. This will be an exciting project, but it is going really really really slowly. Meaning, we have nothing except ideas so far!
The bonus process at my company is annoyingly black-box-esque, so I have no idea what to expect. But I should get something! Bonuses were sold as a big part of our compensation package, but it isn’t clear what that means in terms of dollars. I was only there for 3/4 of the fiscal year, but I was consistently staffed to projects. I didn’t get “most amazing ever” reviews, but they were solid. My current guess is that it will be $17k, but it could be significantly less or a bit more. (For the record, I do not like “black box” compensation methods.)
At any rate, I plan to save most of it, maybe put some towards the mortgage principal, some in our home maintenance fund, and some in short term savings for future travel. I don’t even have anything on my wish list right now to splurge on.