New Castle News

All About You ...

November 22, 2013

Dave Ramsey: Retirement first, or debt?

NEW CASTLE — Dear Dave: Should I lower my 401(k) contributions in order to pay off my car and home? — Jack

Dear Jack: If you’re following my plan, the first thing you should do is set aside an emergency fund of $1,000. That’s Baby Step 1. Next comes Baby Step 2, which means paying off all of your debt except for your house. This would include your car. During this time you should temporarily stop any kind of investing and retirement contributions.

Once the only debt left is your mortgage, it’s time to move on to Baby Step 3. Now you concentrate on growing your emergency fund to the point where you have three to six months of expenses set aside. Once this is done, you can attack Baby Step 4, which is investing 15 percent of your pre-tax income for retirement. For you, it would mean re-starting the contributions to your 401(k).

The rest of the plan goes like this. Baby Step 5 is putting money into your kids’ college funds, while Baby Step 6 is putting everything you can scrape together towards paying off the house early. After that comes the real fun. Baby Step 7 is the point where you simply build wealth and give.

Follow these steps, Jack, and I promise you’ll have lots of fun and lots of cash. You’ll have financial peace! — Dave

Dear Dave: We’ve been supporting our son while he’s in college. He just finished his sophomore year, but he told us the other day he has dropped out of school and isn’t going back. He’s been playing in a band on weekends, and he has this vague idea of becoming a musician.

We don’t think this is a good idea, but we still want to be supportive — just not too supportive. We want him to be financially independent, as well. How should we handle this? — Karen

Dear Karen: This kid is about to have some problems. Not only has he made a bad decision, but he should have consulted with you guys before he quit school. He owed you that much if you were supporting him this whole time.

In my opinion, you and your husband have one job right now. That job is to stand back and let life happen to this kid. If he thinks he’s a man, let him go out and prove it. Wish him the best and tell him you hope he becomes the rich and famous rock star he wants to be. But make sure he understands you’re not going to support him financially when he’s doing something you both feel is a bad idea. The First National Bank of Mom and Dad is officially closed.

Understand that I’m not suggesting you turn your backs on this guy. Let him know how much you both love him and that you’ll be praying for him. Invite him over for dinner once in a while, stay in touch, and make sure he knows that family deals like Thanksgiving and Christmas are still business as usual. However, as far as paying for his rent, utilities, gas, food and cell phone bill? That stuff’s not happening. This may sound tough, but it was his decision.

In the end, let him know you’ll be there to help just like before if he wises up and decides to finish school. But until then? Little boy, you signed up for this trip! — Dave

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
All About You ...
  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Think globally, cook locally

    Another set of bookshelves might be necessary at my house very soon. It’s been a bountiful week. Edie Majesky of New Castle, who I have known most of my life, is aware of how much I love collecting old cookbooks.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Says: Problems with no credit score?

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Play with names — not with your food

    Do you remember being told, “don’t play with your food” when you were a child?  Or maybe you’ve said this to your own children or grandchildren. I’ve heard stories about kids slipping food under the table to the dog or stuffing Brussels sprouts into their pockets to get out of the pain of eating them.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: A T-shirt dress can be a three for all

    I love finding pieces that can be worn for just about every portion of my life.  From daytime, to work, and then on a date with my husband, I like pieces that can go the distance.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ivy_bday.jpg Kali Davies-Anderson: Happy birthday, Miss Ivy!

    This week I would like to take time out of my usual ramblings to wish my second born daughter, Ivy, a very, very happy first birthday!

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Olszak.jpg Heartbleed raises the stakes on Internet security

    My column last week dealt with Internet and related scams, along with steps people can take to protect themselves. Today’s column could be termed Part 2 of that topic, albeit from a different angle.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Lugene Hudson: Celebrate Easter like Helen Martin

    What’s cookin? That’s one of our favorite questions at Culinary Conversation. We love when readers share some of their favorites. This week, Helen Martin of New Castle stepped up to the plate to answer that question regarding Easter dinners.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Ramsey: You can’t borrow way out of debt

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
     

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Wellness a growing trend among those over 50

    The power of choice that the explosion of Internet information has generated is moving us as a culture in a direction to examine who we are and what we really value.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: Some perfect fits for heading back to work

    I'm heading back to work soon and I've really been thinking about my work wardrobe — especially because I'm hoping most of it still fits my post-baby body.

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Poll

What is your favorite Easter treat?

Jelly beans
Chocolate ... bunnies, crosses, anything that’s chocolate!
Marshmallow peeps
Decorated eggs
Other
     View Results