I disagree with that theory, and here’s why. Statistics show that if you make it to 72 years of age and are in good health, you have a high probability of living into your nineties. If you’re making around one percent on your money market and inflation is four to five percent, then your money isn’t going to be worth a lot. You need to outpace inflation, at least with your investments, in order to break even.
You might move some cash over to money markets and CDs for your own peace of mind, but I’d also recommend growth and income mutual funds along with some balanced funds. You want the entire group to be hitting the four to five percent range over the next several years, so you can at least keep up with the rising costs of gas and bread.
In my mind, you’re avoiding one type of risk by moving everything to money markets, but you’re taking on a different kind of risk—the chance you’ll get tackled from behind by inflation. My advice is to balance things out so you can sleep better at night, but at a pace where you and your money stay ahead of the curve!
If I were in your situation, I’d write a check today and knock out that hospital bill. This definitely falls under the heading of “emergency” in my mind, so pay the bill and jump back into rebuilding your emergency fund.
You’ve done a good job of saving on $25,000 a year, but let’s look around and see what you can do about making more money, too. Additional classroom education or extra training in your field could increase your income pretty quickly. Your emergency fund probably needs to be a little bit bigger as well, and it’ll be a lot easier to make this happen if you’re bringing in more cash.
I’m sure you’re a hard-working guy, but the truth is it’s going to be pretty tough for even a small family to make it on what you’re bringing home now. Life happens, and the unexpected can become a common occurrence when there’s a little one loose in the house!
* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover andEntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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