Paying off our loans would be a purely emotional victory. Thats why I wanted to see what people thought. I know for sure we can continue on the path we are on and have alot of retirement money. Our tax return will pay off the CC debt early next year. One thing I spoke with my wife about is we like to travel, eat out at nice places, do things you generally shouldnt do to build wealth. But we have both seen too many people die young to want to save all of our cash for retirement. Before the kid and with extra part time work this was very easy to do. Now it is not as monthly payments towards debt and investments keep us on a much stricter budget. So when a great deal came along recently to travel with friends we are probably unlikely to do it. I postulated that if we threw our retirement money towards debt for 2 years, we would be debt free besides our house. I then asked, without those monthly loan payments would we even be questioning whether we should go on this trip or not? She said of course we would go. So the debt is definately impacting our life at this moment. I know we are only mid thirties and have a long ways to go and we should not wastefully spend money, but our other thoughts are we want to live life to the fullest while we are alive. Thanks.
The "Savings/invest" problem is easily solved with math. BUT, if it keeps you up at night, perhaps some marginal points aren't worth it. I paid my virtually interest free student loan debt off as soon as I could. It kept me up at night.
Depending on how secure your jobs are, I would consider knocking out the CC debt with the emergency fund (assuming it is liquid, which it should be) now. And then applying that payment to building up the emergency fund (which is most likely, on the light side). And the tax refund.
If you are planning on a tax refund, I'd adjust the w4 so you start to get it now, rather than later. Assuming you can keep from spending it.
Re: travel, nice meals. Think outside of the box. My spouse and I have excellent credit, and we tap it to travel in more luxurious style than we can afford and cheaper than we would normally pay. For example, 2 roundtrip first class tickets to SE asia next month ran us about $160. Hotels where are cheap (mostly), but I expect to be out of pocket under a grand for the whole trip. Perhaps 2, as I am lusting for a nice laquerware piece. Anyway, it isn't for everyone, but I thought I'd throw it out there for a way to travel and save money. Of course, saving money would really mean we stay at home and do nothing.
"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."
Good to see you back, I was starting to miss your incisive commentary!