Week 78: Happy New Year! And a Resolution or Two or Three

And so it is!  A lot has happened in the past year, politically especially, but in our neck of the woods some major financial changes have happened since I started this blog 104 weeks ago on New Year’s Day (or close to it, anyway).

78 more Mondays to go, and I do think I will be retired.  And mostly if not totally out of debt except for a few items.  We are not quite where I had hoped, but that is the way it is.  We are still in much better shape than we were when I started this blog, and that is saying quite a lot.

Retirement Planning

I have Medicare Part A; I went to my appointment with the manager of my retirement fund, and have sent in a formal request for what I can expect if I terminate my employment on August 12, 2019.  That will be at the end of the summer term schedule, so that makes sense to me.  Also, there are rumors of a golden handshake in the works, so if so, I will take it if I qualify.  I should get the formal request’s information back by the end of January 2018.

Social Security

I think I will start it as soon as possible, but that may vary depending on how things move along over the next several months.  I’m not sure how it will affect our tax bracket, either, but it may be worth it for a year.  We will be consulting with our CPA very closely this next year.  I am sure the poor man is already going nuts.

Debt Reduction

Like I said, we aren’t quite where we would like to be.  Taking Social Security will help clear out the debt issues sooner, and then we will be in a better place financially when I do retire.   I have re-evaluated what we have been doing, and have changed the parameters a bit.

Taxes

The Republicans claim we will benefit from their new plan.  I don’t think we will.   We live in a high tax, high housing cost state and area, so we will not be able to claim the same amounts of state and local taxes we have in the past – we claim far more than the $10,000 they are capping things at.  I’m actually worried about our 2018 taxes – I think we will owe a lot of money.  We already pay about 35% of our income in taxes, so the 2.4% we can expect in our favor in payroll is likely to go to support the corporations who won’t reinvest in their workers, only their stockholders and management, and who don’t support our government nor our citizens.  (Don’t get me started on health care, either.)  We did pay all of our 2017-2018 property taxes since we had the bills for them – this should help us a bit for 2018 filing.

Downsizing, Discarding, recycling

I think this says it all.  We have sold books, and cleaned out the garage.  Last week we created his and her sides of the garage.  While we still cannot park cars in the garage, we can access our personal stuff more easily.  We have more bookshelf space in all rooms!

Resolutions

  1. Pay off as much as possible this next 18 months
  2. Remove the 20 trees from the property so we can begin to re-do the back yard into a usable space
  3. Do the household repairs, little and big, if we can
  4. Continue to get rid of things we don’t need or use

Conclusion

This upcoming year is going to be a bit of a roller coaster ride – taxes, politics, life changes getting closer and closer.  It’s really scary, and we both need to face it and embrace it, despite our fears.  This will perhaps be one of the biggest life situations we will ever face.

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