1. Jonathan


    One is that I’ve come to love your tables! They lay things out so well and are easy to follow. Another is that I’m so happy I’ve found this blog at my young age (23). I definitely intend to teach for at least 10 years or more and look forward to your next post about how you manage to live on your income. This is me thinking out loud but I wish there was an easy way to find other teachers that are on a similar path. A passing thought is all.

    • Jonathan,
      We have another fan of tables…awesome! You’re setting yourself up very well by learning about personal finance in your youth. I am very very excited for you. Maybe I should profile teachers who are pursuing financial independence. There are quite a few educator out there who are hammering their finances.

      • Jonathan

        Having a few teachers interviewed would be awesome! Though I’m not at the stage to be interviewed (pre-service) I and others would benefit from other teachers being interviewed about personal finance and financial independence.

  2. Michael Nicholson


    Why did you back out of the 529 Plan? Are you both vested in TRS? Why do you prefer the traditional IRA vs ROTH?

    Currently, maxing out our ROTH IRA’s and pumping funds into 457. Once debt is paid down next year I can max out 457. How much will this offset our tax liability? We’re both educators. I’m in year 22 and my wife is in year 17. Love reading your blog and Mr. Money Mustache. Y’all both inspire me to save more & spend less. Thanks and keep blogging!

    • Greetings Michael,
      I decided to add to my son’s UTMA account instead of his 529 plan. He already has about $40k in his ESA and 529 plan, so I figure he’s got enough to get him through college. Plus, I’ll continue to fund his ESA at $2k a year. As for TRS, yes we’re both vested and we’ll get our pensions at age 60. I always go for tax-deductible retirement plans because I’m big on controlling my taxes. I can always do a Roth IRA conversion if I want to increase my Roth IRA balances. (I did a $30k conversion last December.)

      You might want to explore how shifting to traditional IRAs might enable you to increase your savings. It might allow you to max out your 457 while also saving in your 403b (if you have both at your job). The numbers get crazy when you start maxing out your 457-403b-IRA-HSA accounts. Plus, you’re married…times 2! Thanks for the encouraging words. I realize that I’m a sporadic blogger, but those of you who actually derive value from my posts keep me going. My goal is to see more teachers in charge of the finances. Thanks again. Ed

      • Jonathan

        “He already has about $40k in his ESA and 529 plan, so I figure he’s got enough to get him through college.”

        Do you mean $40k in total or 40k in each? I ask because the school I attend (a public state school), the in-state tuition is equivalent to many states out of state tuition.

        • He has $40k total in the ESA and 529 accounts. With ESA contributions of $2k a year, he should have about $90k when he’s 18. That’s all I’m going to save for his college because I have a problem with setting aside so much money for academia. I actually plan to encourage him to hack his undergraduate degree and go directly to grad school. If he gets a scholarship, he could also get some of his ESA money out tax-free. That should motivate his to do his best.

      • Michael Nicholson

        Thanks, Ed. I was pumped about switching to a traditional IRA but I don’t think I qualify for the deduction. 119k for married couples is the cut if u have retirement plan., however, I’m going to start feeding my 457 more this year.

      • jurema

        Thanks for the post and encouragement!
        I want to understand how you were able to max out your 403 and Trad Roth. My HR said that if I max out my 403 I can’t fund Trad Roth to lower my taxable income. Does it make sense? Sorry for the ignorance…

  3. I love reading your plan and savings rate. It inspires me every time you post your numbers. I might be taller, but you’re definitely more educated on playing the system. Enjoy your stay in Mexico.

    • Actually Josh, I’m just longer in the tooth. Can you imagine how many tricks you’ll have up your sleeve when you’re 53? I’m openly jealous of all you young FIRE aficionados because you’re everything I wasn’t at your age: focused, pragmatic, and in control. When I look back at the kegger-me, I shake my head and laugh. What was I thinking? At least I eventually came to my senses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *