Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Liquidate The 401k

Today's news was filled with sensational headlines about the swine flu so I decided to make my own sensational headline. 3 months ago, when I got a pay cut, I took one of my mortgage spreadsheets and figured out how soon I could pay off the mortgage if I cashed in my 401k. I have many mortgage scenarios. For a while one of them tracked my mortgage payoff date if I sold one acre of land out of the 4 that I have. I crossed that point in January. I estimated that I could get $50k for my one acre (if someone would actually buy it) and my mortgage amount was $50k. My mortgage is at $47k now so I deleted that spreadsheet.

My next spreadsheet tracked my mortgage payoff date if I cashed in my 401k. I mis-calculated a few months ago and thought that I would have to work until August to reach that goal. I checked my 401k today, subtracted taxes and the 10% penalty and found that I have already reached that goal. It did help that my 401k balance went up a little in the last few months.

401K= $31k
Savings= $12k
RV= $8k
---------
total= $51k
mortgage= -$47k

Yea! Another goal met. My next goal is to not have to sell the RV. I will reach that goal in July. Then after that it will be to not have to cash in the 401k.

I like to do this because it makes me feel more secure when people around me get laid off. If I got laid off right now I could pay off my mortgage and I would have $600 a month coming in from my rental house. $600 a month would cover all of my basic bills and would give me the luxury of finding a job I loved. That is my goal, to not have to get another dreary job just to pay the mortgage. Of course it would totally screw up my long-term retirement plans but as each month goes by and I make my extra mortgage payments I won't have to choose between my 401k and being mortgage free. I can have both.

9 comments:

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Ain't no flu like the swine flu...

Hang in there a little longer, and you can have your ice cream cake and eat it too. Nice to have all of those backup plans laid out as goals to knock off.

Daizy said...

I gotta make my own fun :P Nobody else is going to do it. Most people think paying off the mortgage is strange. Where's my big screen tv? I want to fit in.

Middle Way said...

What an amazing place to be! That's real security Daizy. Good for you!

April Fire said...

What a great idea of keeping separate spreadsheets for the goals. Must be a great feeling to meet those goals and delete the spreadsheets!!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I was curious about your land. I might have missed it or you may have discussed this in the past but did you buy this land or inherit it or what?

You may or may not do a net worth analysis on a regular basis but it seems if you can get 50K per acre then that is your biggest asset at the moment, even bigger than your house when it's paid off. Granted it's not generating cash flow right now but it could in the future. It's certainly nice to have options like this.

P.S.: How far out from the city or burbs are you? In what way is your land zoned? Sorry for all the questions ... maybe you could just make this your next blog entry. :-)

Daizy said...

Middle Way, I am hoping for security if I can keep my job long enough. I'm trying to create as many options as possible without wasting too much of my life in pursuit of money. I must say that sometimes I think I should go more towards your 'middle way'.

Daizy said...

April Fire, thanks for stopping by! Yes, it is fun to see how fast each scenerio will get rid of my mortgage. And knowing that it could be gone tomorrow feels like I've accomplished something already.

Daizy said...

Ok Anonymous, you got your wish. I tried to answer all your questions in my post today.

Joe Rivera said...

Hi Daizy, I was just wondering if your blog is still active? I notice, that there is not any further posting after April 29, 2009, unless I am looking in the wrong place.
I was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the 60's. I am from N.Y. originally (now living in Florida) and I loved the weather in Tucson. I retired from the hotel business a few years ago. Along the way I became a Realtor too (in Florida). I also like RV traveling, and have rented an RV in the past and really enjoyed it. I know you would do very well with an RV/Moibile Home Park combination. It is a good business, and a great way to live a frugal life. Let me know if you read this posting and let's keep in touch. I may just head out that way, one day! All the best to you Daizy!