Monday, September 15, 2008

Dance Time

With the new job comes the benefits dance. This is how I refer to making decisions on the level of Medical/Dental/Vision/Life insurance, retirement accounts, and flexible spending. It's a game of balance, deciding how much risk you are wiling to take, how many dollars you want to have in the paycheck, and how much you want to be responsible for at the end of the year.

For the first time I have another major factor to take into account-Gameboy's income. During my professional life I've always been a salaried worker I know that at the end of the I will have earned X, and plan from that. I have a certain amount of contract or other extra income, but even that is something I can account for pretty well. Gameboy is in sales. He has a base that is piddly and makes most of his money based on commission. If he had been with his company for a couple of years, or even most of this year, we'd know what his average salary is. But he started 5 months ago, has been on a training base, will have a draw to settle up the training base, and then switch to his regular base. The final layer of fun is a varied commission structure for old vs new accounts and the different products a consumer can buy. This means estimating how much money he will make by the end of the year is near impossible.

This year our filing status will be married filing jointly. We haven't been married the entire year, which I'm sure will make things even better. And then there's the house.

At the moment we're decided on a set percentage for retirement for me, but can't agree on how much of that should be 403(b) (pre-tax) or Roth IRA (post tax). I want to finish funding my Roth. There are three parts to this thought- I want to have enough to buy where I want to buy, I think in the long term Roth's are a good idea, and I want to follow through on at least one of the financial goals I set for myself. He want's more to go into my 403(b), to reduce our tax burden this year. Usually I would do the math (I've done a rough tax return in the past) to figure out the numbers, but the easy breezy days of running the numbers on a 1040 EZ seem to be behind me.

I'm sure in the end our decisions will work out, but woah is this more complicated.

1 comment:

SavingDiva said...

Just thinking about having to consider a second person's income/needs gives me a headache!