The family car is eight years old and the remaining loan balance of $2,800 is scheduled to be paid off in July 2008. Elizabeth says she plans to keep the car "until I can't drive it anymore."
As far as retirement savings, Elizabeth does not have an IRA but does participate in her 401(k), saving 10 percent of her income. Her account balance is approximately $27,000 and she is fully vested. There isn't an employer match, but they often contribute 5 percent of her salary at year end. However, Elizabeth's 401(k) balance is over-diversified as it is spread among nearly every investment option in the plan. She also has 70 percent of current contributions going into international investments.
Though she expects all three of her children
to attend college, she does not have any college
accounts for the kids.
Elizabeth receives $906 monthly in Social Security
disability payments for the children on behalf
of her ex-husband, who is disabled. This is
in lieu of child support and alimony. Her
only child care costs are incurred during
the summer months when her kids are at camp.
She has three different high-yield savings
accounts for the kids and deposits $30 per
month into each. This is often used for summer
camp and has recently been depleted for this
Elizabeth has health insurance through her employer that covers her and the kids, as well as disability insurance coverage. She has a term life insurance policy for $500,000 and an additional policy through her employer equal to one year's salary.
She pays for her transit
costs on a pretax basis, but doesn't incur
much for medical or prescription costs, so
a medical flexible spending account isn't
beneficial. Elizabeth claims the maximum number
of tax deductions and typically gets a tax
refund of between $600 and $1,000.
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