Weekly financial Q&A, with advice on retirement funds, how to prove you're not dead and how to handle a husband who has an expensive hobby.
I’ve heard you tell people that having $90,000 to $100,000 saved up for retirement isn’t enough. That’s what I’ve got set aside right now, and I’m pretty sure it’s all I’ll ever need. Why do you think everyone should have a million or two saved up?
The amount you’re talking about isn’t enough to retire on with any kind of dignity. If you make 10 percent off your money over time, it means you’re living on just $10,000 a year. That’s below the poverty level.
Don’t misunderstand my message. I’m not about being greedy, and money is not the key to happiness. Money is good for three things – personal security, helping others and it’s good for fun. You need to do some of all three.
What I am about is changing my family tree. With money we can create and leave behind the training and resources to make a huge positive difference in the world. I want good people to have big piles of money in order to do good things.
This is true of my own family, too. I don’t want to leave my kids in a situation where they have lots of money and no sense of responsibility. I want to train them to be responsible and generous so they can really bust loose with that big pile of cash they’ll inherit one day. I want them to be able to have an impact three generations down the line in our own family and to impact the world around them in a fabulous way!
Not quite dearly departed …
I went through a divorce about six years ago. Recently, I re-married, and when we went to apply for a home loan my TransUnion credit report said that I was deceased. What should I do to let these people know I’m not dead?
This is too much! But I think we can revive you.
Write a letter to TransUnion – certified mail, return receipt requested – advising them that according to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act you’re challenging the accuracy of the credit bureau report listing you as deceased.
They’re usually pretty good about clearing these kinds of things up. But the reason for sending a certified letter is there will be proof of the letter being delivered. At that point, the fuse is lit and by law they’ve got 30 days to fix the problem!
My husband has a 1980 Camaro that’s a real source of friction between us. He bought the car for $2,400. It needs $3,500 in repairs. Our household income is $29,000 a year, and this car is taking money away from our ability to save and pay off $39,000 in debt. We already have two decent cars, so what should I do?
This isn’t a matter of having a car that runs. It’s a matter of someone having a maturity problem. Guys like shiny toys, especially cars. But these kinds of things are luxuries, and they should wait until the household and finances are in order. The family should always come first!
I’m not saying he has to sell the car today, but dumping money into it while you guys are struggling doesn’t make sense. Sit down with the guy, explain how you feel and what this is doing to your finances and your marriage.
And you might even give him a little incentive. Let him know that once your debt is gone, and you’ve got some savings in place, he’ll have the money to get that Camaro up and running in no time!
For more financial help, go to daveramsey.com. You can hear his radio show weekday afternoons. Find a station or listen on his website. Dave also is on Facebook and Twitter.