401k Rollovers and IRAs- Finally!

by Mrs Money

The last time I talked about my ROTH IRA, I mentioned how my laziness cost me $115.  Well, I no longer will be losing money due to silly fees at the old brokerage firm.  I finally moved my IRA over to Vanguard and couldn’t be happier! It’s a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m looking forward to contributing as much as I can every month.  It may not be a lot, but I figure every bit counts and the earlier I get the money in there, the more time it has to grow.

I also transferred my old pension from working at the bank and Mr. Money’s ROTH IRA to Vanguard as well.  It’s starting to look good!  I feel very optimistic because having everything at one institution just makes sense to me.  The only thing I haven’t done yet is moved over my old 401k from working at the bank and I’m unsure if I’m going to do that.  I know part of it is traditional and part of it is in ROTH. I cannot tell how much money is in each, and that makes me nervous that they’ll mess up the transfer and I’ll be penalized on my taxes.  However, I do realize that this is probably very silly since the institutions specialize in these kinds of things so they should know what they are doing.

Now for retirement we have: my old 401k, Mr. Money’s ROTH IRA, my Traditional IRA, and my ROTH IRA.  I will be very happy once this all is finalized.  My traditional IRA is still in progress and I’m hoping that will be done in a few weeks.  I’m hoping to start contributing monthly to one or both of our IRAs as we are able.

Mr. Money has the option to contribute to a 401k with his employer but we’ve decided not to do that currently, as they don’t offer a match.  It just makes more sense for us to contribute to our IRAs right now.  If they offer a match in the future we would take advantage of that.

I should call the brokerage firm where my 401k is held and ask what the process is to roll it over or if they can tell me how much is in each part.  I should have taken care of all of this years ago, but I was afraid.  I was afraid of investing in the stock market and losing money.  However, I feel like if we don’t, there’s absolutely no way our money will grow enough for us to be able to retire off of it.  Thanks to my friend Kacie for spurring me to get this all done and answering so many of my silly questions!

I hope this alleviates some stress for me.  I always worry we won’t have enough money and now I’m being proactive to ensure that doesn’t happen!  Now I will just have to start contributing as much as we’re able to, and we’ll be good!

Do you save for retirement?  Do you ever worry you won’t have enough money?

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Southwest credit card offers and My Quest of Juggling between my Family and My Job

by Mrs Money

About a year ago, I was scouted for a great job opportunity that I simply could not pass up. The only problem was that I had to leave home. Since it was the middle of the school year, we decided that I would go ahead while my wife and kids would finish the school year.

Needless to say, I didn’t much like the idea of not being with my family and quickly realized that I needed to get home at least every weekend. One of my new co-workers suggested that I look into Southwest credit card offers so that I could earn something while flying back and forth so often. Since Southwest offered the best flights for me, I looked into the cards and quickly discovered that the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card was perfect.

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To start with, I received two points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran when I purchased the tickets directly from the airline. Using Southwest’s online booking tool is fast and easy, so it was never a problem to earn my bonus points. Additionally, I earned a point for every $1 I spent on any other purchase too. It only took a few flights to start seeing real results.

In fact, the results came faster than I ever would have expected. After I spent $1,000 on my new card in the first three months, I was surprised to find 25,000 bonus points in my account, which was enough for a roundtrip back home!

The benefits didn’t end with purchases either. Southwest lets my bags fly free, which is a great help since I always like bringing something home for my kids every time I see them, and I’m always taking stuff back to steadily set up our new home, so there is less to move over the summer. Additionally, the reward seats are unlimited with no blackout dates, so I can use my points as soon as I earn enough for a trip. Also, my points don’t expire, which means I can save up to take my family on vacation when life returns to normal.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card provided me with exactly what I was looking for already, but there were more surprises in store. One Friday in March, I was faced with last minute changes to a presentation that we were giving early Monday morning. Immediately, I knew I was not going to be able to make my flight. In my experience with other flights I have been forced to change in the past, I was already resigned to a huge fee to fly out the next morning instead. I called Southwest Airlines, feeling a little put out because I was going to miss my family that night, and I was expecting to be hit with a heavy charge. However, when the agent came on the line and I explained the situation, she surprised me by telling me there was no fee to change and that I would only need to pay the difference in the fare! This lightened the load for me considerably and made me more relaxed and confident booking in the future, knowing that I would not be asked to make large payments if my plans changed.

When the summer finally arrived, I was able to get the entire family moved to our new home. I was able to take the entire family on a weeklong vacation as a thank you for being so supportive through several difficult months. I had never needed to use a hotel or car rental when back at home with them, so imagine my surprise to find out that paying for Southwest Airlines partner hotels and car rental companies provided me again with two points for every $1 spent. My family had a great time, and the points on the card kept on adding up.

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Even though I don’t travel like I used to, I still use my card for everyday purchases, like groceries, school supplies, even the power bill, and each time, I am still earning more points. Additionally, I discovered just recently that I earned 6,000 points just for remaining a member for a full year!

Already, the kids are getting excited for our next summer trip, and I can’t deny that it’s rubbing off on us. This year, we’re hitting the high seas on a week-long cruise, and we’re definitely taking Southwest Airlines to get to the port. I was able to use points to get our flights and cruise, which more than made up for the $99 annual membership fee.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card has been a lifesaver over the last year, providing me with rewards for the things I was going to buy anyway. Now, I don’t purchase anything without it, and I know we’ll enjoy amazing vacations this year and every year for quite some time!

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