Planning Your Retirement Savings Using Expenses (Not Income) – with Joe Saul-Sehy

Have you ever wondered if you are on track with your retirement savings? We’ve all seen the articles that suggest how much money you should have saved by certain ages. But is that really the most effective way to approach retirement planning?

Joe Saul-Sehy, host of The Stacking Benjamins Podcast and former financial advisor, stopped by to share a different approach to retirement savings. Instead of focusing on income, Joe says we should look at something else. If you’re ready to rethink retirement savings, let’s explore the importance of focusing on expenses instead of income. 

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With My High Income, Why Can’t I Get Ahead?

From time to time, I receive questions from the Marriage, Kids and Money audience. I thought this week I’d shake up the show format a little bit by answering one of the questions I received recently about controlling expenses when we have a high income. Enjoy!

Dear Andy,

I saw Dave Ramsey live a couple of years ago and it resonated with me. I began promptly to hack away at my debt and contribute 15% to my 401k. I  gross $8,000 a month before all the fun stuff comes out, including insurance, etc.

  • $500 goes into a high yield savings (Currently, there is about $6,500 in that).
  • $1425 is currently my mortgage payment.  Then we have all the normal bills, etc.
  • The summer was a bit brutal on my budget as I spent $750 in 6 weeks on summer day care, plus $1,000 on a broken AC.

So given all that … My question is “How can I get ahead?” Maybe I just need patience?  

We’re planning on moving soon and I am already doing research on how I can find a safe place in a good school district. But I don’t want that to drive us further into the monthly mortgage hole.

Anyway, I hope I do not sound overly neurotic but I would love your input. 

Kind Regards,


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