Now that I’ve shared our personal debt-free story, I’d like to start a new recurring theme of “Smart Family Happenings” to chat about what’s going on in my life right now: financially, personally, whatever! So, what’s happening in the Smart Family right now?
- Consolidating retirement accounts. Brad and I have several small retirement accounts in several locations, one of which is still controlled by an employer Brad worked for over 12 years ago. It’s time! We need to get it all in one place so we don’t forget where it all is by the time we retire! Also, moving investments to a lower-fee firm can save money over time which leads to more money in retirement. We’ve tried unsuccessfully to take care of this before, always giving up after a few too many phone calls, but we’re determined to do it this time! I’ll let you know how it goes!
- Figuring out our new “life after debt”. It’s only been about 6 months since we’ve been debt-free and we’re still trying to figure out our next goals. We know we want to pay off our mortgage early and save for future expenses including our next car, but what else? Is it time for some home improvements? More travel? Should we loosen the reins a bit on everyday spending? We’ve done a bit of all these things, but I feel like I’m not completely sure where we’re going next. It was a bit different when we had one big goal of paying off the debt to focus on.
- Summertime with the kids. The kids have been out of school for two weeks and it’s fun to have them home. They’re signed up for a number of fun activities, including the one that led to the flubber incident, but I hope we have time for laying around the pool or hanging with friends. Summer always seems to go by too quickly! The kids are also growing up way too quickly… I wish I could freeze them at this age.
- Learning to live with asthma. My daughter recently got diagnosed with asthma, after a very rough year filled with many months of coughing, a round of pneumonia, a scary trip to the children’s hospital, and more medical tests than one kid should endure in a year. She just recovered from her first cold after being on asthma controller medication and it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. She ended up needing a rescue inhaler a fair amount and an antibiotic, since the doctor was worried she could be headed towards pneumonia again. I know there are lots of others parents who deal with much more severe medical issues and I am very thankful that we’ve had the resources to get her the medical help she’s needed. I’m sure I’ll write more about this as we figure out how to navigate the very high cost of asthma treatment in the US.
That’s all for now!