Well here we are, on the cusp of the end of a huge year.
Every year seems to be both over in a flash and incredibly long, and this year was no different. But on balance, this year was pretty amazing, filled with love, adventure, and some successes. I hope yours was the same.
As I’ve done for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013, I present to you my top 10 favorite posts of the year (measured from December to December). As I publish over 100 posts in a given year, there is a high likelihood that there is something interesting that you’ve missed. It also presents an opportunity to reread something you might have liked.
It’s a good opportunity to look back on the year with all that’s happened. I hope you’ll join me.
I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until you no longer have it. My previous job had excellent health care. Both medical and dental were top notch and cost next to nothing. I had a fair copay and almost never needed to pay beyond it.
These days, instead of having the “Cadillac” plan, I have the “Ford Pinto” plan. It covers very little, and requires me to spend thousands of dollars before it will pick up anything. It’s known as a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), though this particular deductible is extra-high.
The conventional wisdom when it comes to investing for retirement, is that you to start out with more risky/lucrative investments when you’re young and can afford to take more risks, and then over time move into more conservative prospects, towards the day when you actually need to tap into what you’ve put away.
But there are a number of unanswered questions in this narrative. Namely, when do you transition from more risky to less risky? And how quickly do you transition?
Or, do you reject the whole transitional period outright?
If you haven’t thought about this, you might want to start.
We talk so much about getting on track with your finances, making progress, breaking old behaviors and forming new patterns.
We know why we’re doing it, usually. For me, I believe we’re doing all this so that we can feel better. There is a sense of peace that comes with financial security. For me, it’s a visceral relaxation of the muscles, saying “it’s actually going to be okay“. I first felt it strongly when I finally had six months of savings in the bank for emergencies, and that feeling resurfaces whenever I think about it. I could have no income for months and still be okay. I can breathe.
But on this day, it might also be worth thinking about who else you’re doing all this work for.
So I had decided that the least risky path in my goal to remove PMI from my mortgage was to skip any shenanigans about getting my property reappraised. Instead, I took the more boring option, and I would just pay my mortgage down to 80%. I would pay a little extra each month, and I would dip into my savings a bit in order to help reduce the principal more quickly, but that was it.
In October of this year, I achieved this goal. Success!
But did it even matter, unless SunTrust was willing to remove PMI from my mortgage?