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Juggling savings priorities

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Eric B., age 36
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Self-employed
Married, two children
"My first question every year at tax time: How much can I contribute to my SEP-IRA?"

Eric's Tips

  • "Monitor the market, but don't make investment decisions in the moment."
  • "Keep some of your portfolio in cash, to take advantage of market dips."
  • "When you get a raise, increase your 401(k) contribution. It's painless saving."

Highlights

  • A self-employed television producer/editor, Eric set up a SEP-IRA to save for retirement.
  • Putting money towards his children's education fund is a competing need.

Juggling savings priorities

"I don't plan on retiring for years down the line, but the earlier you start, the better you're going to be."

"There are a lot of expenses to think about. There's the mortgage, other utilities and bills, but my biggest challenge is balancing saving for retirement with saving for my kids' college education."


Taking a disciplined approach

"When I contribute to my SEP-IRA and the kids' 529 funds, it's always when I'm doing taxes and I try to do the maximum allowable. It's a big check to write, and it's a big check to deposit, and you just have to keep telling yourself that you're not losing money, you're putting the money away."

If you can do a little now, then you don't have to worry about it as much later."



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