We had our budget meeting for 2018. That's our discussion on how much money we'd have for 2018 and where we are going to spend that money.
Just to recap, our income is derived from an annuity payment each month, and once we access it, our 401K account. We also have additional regular savings that I've socked away since 2009 which we can access if needed(but I hope we don't need it this year).
We have a RMSA to reimburse for healthcare premiums in 2018 and I'll be starting to use our HSA account starting in 2018 for medical co-pays/payments.
So this discussion is just about how/where to spend the annuity income and how much 401K cash we need to withdraw in 2018.
First thing was to figure out how much money we spent in 2017. This will help us figure out what we'll need to spend in 2018. Using that as a base we can add/subtract due to changes we want to make in 2018.
After tallying it all up I found that we actually spent just shy of $60K last year. That's a lot of money! Some of that spending won't be happening going forward, like College Boy's tuition and living expenses at the apartment up at college. And hopefully all the expenses associated with the Louisiana house will be going away this year too. Other expenses we stopped paying in 2017 once Hubs retired were commuting costs, dry cleaning costs, and other costs associated with him working. If the stars all align I believe we'll have expenses about $10K less than what we spent in 2017.
Last year we had a foot in both the regular income world and the retired income world so it was a hard year to balance spending. This year it's Retirement 24/7 at Chez Sluggy. ;-)
Going forward our annuity comes to just over $38K per year net. I don't know with the new tax legislation if the tax withholding will change so I'll go with what we've been getting so far.
First order of business was to figure out how much we actually "need" to withdraw from the 401K to supplement the annuity income in 2018. We were able to hold off withdrawing from the 401K the last Quarter of 2017 but that won't cut it going forward as Hubs wants to spend more on "fun" in 2018.
* Hubs' plan going into retirement was that he wanted to withdraw $36K a year from the 401K($9K per quarter). Even at this rate, once we stop needing to withdraw the 401K $ to live on in 7+ years, when Hubs hits full Social Security age, we'll have over 75% of what we had when he retired in that account. So it's in no danger of being depleted withdrawing at that rate.
$36K after tax withholding would be $30,600 net.
$38K+$30,600 is $68,600 net income a year.
Now I know if we take out that much Hubs will set about spending that much! lol I really don't think, at least for now, we need to withdraw $9K every quarter to supplement the annuity and live a comfortable life.
Call me the "stick in the mud" in this relationship but starting in 2019, for the following 4 years and 3 months(4 years and 11 months for me)we are on our own with regard to healthcare insurance and who even knows what health insurance will look like/cost after 2018. Yes we have a medical savings account but there isn't enough in there to pay for almost 5 more years on insurance premiums out of pocket. I am staying cautious when it comes to spending money on "fun". I pointed out to Hubs that we already spent over $8K in discretionary or fun in 2017 so we really don't need to withdraw lots more $ for that purpose. ;-)
Withdrawing $6K a quarter gives us $20,613.24 per year after tax withholding which bumps our income up to $58,690.80 net per year.
It's about $1500 less per year than what we spent in all of 2017. I'd like to try to keep the withdrawals to this amount per quarter, at least for now.
* Next order of business was the "Walking Around Money" or WAM.
Since retiring we've been allotting $100 each per month for each of us.
In the last 6 months I've found I can stay under $100 per month easy. Hubs?....not so much.
He doesn't feel comfortable getting down to his last dollar. He had a "situation" where he went out for Chinese take-out at the other place in our town because our usual place decided to close on Mondays(and it was a Monday). This other place only takes cash or local checks, no credit cards. We didn't think about that when he went and of course, being the end of the month, he didn't have enough cash to pay. Ever since that incident he's been antsy about running out of cash.
Now I don't think it's "fair" that he gets more WAM than me to throw about anyway he wants and he doesn't think it's "fair" that he can't spend what he wants on what he wants. It's the old "I work hard so I deserve it" gambit, right?
I asked him to make a list of things he might want to buy in 2018 and we can set this much aside for him to blow. But he refuses to be pinned down or give me any inkling on what he WANTS to spend on in 2018. This makes me nervous since I am sure between buying coffee drinks, trips to McDonald's, books at retail price, alcohol, spending money on chess(software and entering tournaments)and on his new beer brewing hobby(the equipment can be pricey!)during all this free time he now has, he could blow through his WAM plus another $10K in short order and have no clue he's blown through that much.
We came to a compromise on the WAM--we still only get $100 per month each BUT he gets an extra $50 in January ONLY. He's going to keep that $50 as an emergency WAM back-up amount so "if" he runs out of WAM before the month is over he won't "feel" broke. lolz I just keeping wondering how long until he spends that extra $50 and wants it replaced?...Hmmm.....
* Then it was on to the Sinking Fund to pay irregular bills out of. Hubs didn't like the idea of pulling $650(or more if costs go up on those bills)off the top of the annuity payment each month. I went through the IBs(irregular bills)per quarter and showed him how much we need each quarter to pay those in full.
1st Quarter-$2558.51(Garbage, Sewage, R/E Taxes, LTC(Long Term Care Policy))
2nd Quarter-$1383.24(Car Insurance, LTC)
3rd Quarter-$3220.29(House Insurance, School Taxes, LTC)
4th Quarter-$1383.24(Car Insurance, LTC)
So I am taking the corresponding amounts in Jan., Apr., Jul. and Oct. off the top of the 401K withdrawals in each of these months to cover the IBs and putting it into a designated account out of which the IBs will be paid.
I really don't see what difference it makes if I take it out of the 401K withdrawals or $650 out of the monthly annuity payment but if doing it this way makes Hubs happy, I'm good with it. 8-)
For the 1st quarter after deducting the $ for the IBs into the Sinking Fund, we have $2,594.80 left in the 401K withdrawal to add to our income this quarter, or $86493 each month to add to the annuity income for Jan., Feb. and Mar.
For the 2nd and 4th Quarters we'll have $3770.07 left in the 401K withdrawals to add to our income, or $1256.69 each month as the IBs aren't so much in those quarters.
For the 3rd Quarter we'll only have $1933.02 left in the 401K withdrawal to add to our income, or $644.34 each month.
So after taking the IBs dedicated amounts off the top of the 401K withdrawals here is what our net "income" will look like per month--
$50,145.51 Total for 2018 to pay all the variable bills per year.
(Plus $8,545.29 tucked away to pay the IBs for the year.)
So this is the financial game plan heading into 2018.