My husband recently started a new career. He is finishing up a second Bachelor’s degree and thankfully, found a job almost immediately in his new field (in Michigan!). For most of this year he has been not working, focusing on completing the degree and taking care of our six-month-old son. During that time we’ve been living off of my income, with a planned deficit that we had saved for. We planned on his being out of work until at least the end of this year but now we’re back to two incomes.
The debt consolidation is the right choice available to the people for the earning of the incomes. The completing of the degrees is essential to have effective results in the financial requirements. There is a need to take proper care of it to have the desired results.
His new job is a great opportunity, but it is with a very small company that offers no retirement fund. From his previous job, he has a 401(k) now worth about 20K (rolled over) and we have about 7K in a Roth IRA. He will be making $38K to start, with profit-sharing bonuses after a year.
I make $45K and I have 23K in a retirement fund with my employer. I put 5% of my salary away, with my employer putting an additional 12% in. I also have about $6K in a Roth IRA. In total, we have currently a little over $50K saved for our retirement.
Our debt load includes only our home and old student loans (17K) from my husband’s first degree (we paid cash for this most recent one). We bought our home in 2005, and owe 152K on a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage and 20K on a HELOC. Thanks to the market, we are slightly upside-down on the house, but we love where we live and plan to stay there for a few years more at least.
The HELOC is the bane of our existence, and we plan to pay that off as soon as possible. We don’t have the final figures yet, but after bills and childcare, we’re probably looking at about $1000 extra each month. We currently have $15,000 in an emergency fund, $1500 in “regular” savings, and $6500 in a new car(s) fund. We also have a small 529 account for our son.
My question is this: should we focus on putting our extra cash toward retirement or toward paying off the house? We will continue to save, obviously, into my employer retirement fund. Our options right now for my husband include opening an IRA and/or maxing out his Roth every year. Would it be worth it to just fund my retirement account for now and use everything possible toward paying off the house (at least the HELOC, anyway), and catch up on his retirement later?