Bichon Frise wrote:
There is some merit to saving lots. There is some merit to spending now. What you lack is a plan agreed upon by you and the wife. You need goals and priorities. Then you don't have to ask random people over the interwebz for advice. Just my 2 cents. Trying to teach a man to fish rather than giving him a hamburger.
I guess I'm trying to use some help from the interwebz developing my plan. I'm sure my wife agrees that having a comfortable retirement is a priority, but I'm trying to get more data points for her that we should be saving more for retirement. That's all.
Berg, you can get info from any PF source that gives a number/percentage to save for retirement. Some say "max out retirement vehicles". Some say "Save 10%/15% of gross/net". So having some idea of what "feels right" for you is imperative.
You are still pretty young, and no kids. Does she want kids? Does she want to STAY HOME with kids? Because if so, it's even MORE important that you get on the save a lot bandwagon.
My DH is not a financial geek. I am. I saw my grandparents living in a two bedroom apartment in their elder years, with very little in the bank, subsisting on SSec and paltry savings. My DH's grandparents scrimped and saved and paid cash for a house, and left their heirs a fair amount in inheritance. No wonder we have differing degrees of angst over money.
What worked for me was to give DH a reasonable goal, and then stick to it. With your income and age, I think 15% of gross income is a great goal - so $30K per year. That means if BOTH of you max out your 401(k) or 403(b), it gets you down into AGI territory so you can also put money away into ROTHs.
I would focus on the maxing out the pre-tax accounts for now, AND start a "renovation savings account" as well. We put about $800 per month into that account, because we've discovered most house projects with big impact cost close to $10K in CA, even with us doing a lot of the work.
So, $1458 EACH into a pre-tax account each month, and another $800 into a "renovation account", and you BOTH get what you want.
That's what I would do. Good luck!