For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).
Welcome to this episode of The Doctor’s Bill (Can You Afford It?).
Wonder if you should buy that big ticket item or not?
Well here’s your chance to have a wealth management expert, Johanna Fox Turner, of Fox & Company Wealth Management analyze your overall finances and make a final verdict on whether or not you can indeed swing for the fences and splurge on yourself or whether you should just walk away.
[Johanna and I have no current financial relationship]
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a substitute for paid professional advice but only meant to serve as a suggestion/guideline.
The following are the details from our submission form:
Disney Cruise to Alaska
What is your timeline?
$18k for the cruise
$2k for airfare
How do you plan on paying for this item/experience?
On A Happiness Scale of 1-10 (10 Being Happiest), rate what this item/experience will do for you A) Short Term and B) Long Term:
A) 8 B) 6
Any Children (If so please provide ages)?
Ages 8, 5, 2
How Many Years Till Planned Retirement?
What is your total household income?
State Income Tax (if Any)
What is your % Annual Savings Rate? (savings/gross income)
33-35% (inclusive of college savings, 32% without college savings factored in)
Estimated Annual Living Expenses (Current):
$140k (excluding taxes)
Estimated/Desired Annual Living Expenses (In Retirement):
Market Value of Primary Home [For Renter =$ 0]
Additional Real Estate Holdings Equity (Market Value-Debt):
Current Liquid Asset Value (Savings, Checking, Etc.):
Retirement Assets (401k/IRA/HSA):
Brokerage Account (Taxable):
Miscellaneous Asset Value (Please elaborate):
Student Loan Balance:
Unfunded Future College Costs & Years Left Till Needed:
Have transferred GI bill benefits to kids (one bill and 3 kids planning for $100k more split 3 ways. Oldest has 10 years).
Other Unfunded Goals and Years Remaining (Today’s Dollars):
Wedding contributions for kids.
Want $90k total (currently have saved none).
Any other pertinent information not addressed?
I am 9 years away from 20 years of military service but don’t know if I want to continue to get a pension and healthcare benefits.
If I leave at age 45 (20 years total), 9 years from now, pension would be $74k; if I left at 21 years (10 years from now), pension would increase to $85k.
Pension is first eligible at 20 years of service but additional years of service increase the pension
I’m getting weary of deployments (although only went twice).
If I left the military, I probably wouldn’t retire until age 50 or later, mostly because I wouldn’t feel comfortable without a pension/ healthcare.
We spend $40k per year on childcare (2 in daycare, 1 part time nanny) which will decrease as baby 2 goes to public kindergarten next year, and baby 3 will be out in 3 years.
My spouse works, makes about half of what I do as a production engineer.
My husband is 6 years older than me and is not currently planning to retire when I do (I imagine 5 years after I stop).
So can this military doc afford to join the Disney naval crew or does this represent an iceberg ready to sink her financial ship?
Click on the Doctor’s Bill Image and find out the verdict:
After you see the verdict please come back to this page and comment whether you agree or not with the decision (and no cheating by looking at comments first!)
If you would like to submit your own Doctor’s Bill request please fill out the submission form.
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Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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Of course she can afford it. She can’t afford it ten times though so it’s probably worth understanding this is one wad to be shot. The worst that happens is she works another year. If she wants to shoot 2 wads just work 2 more years.
Great point about making sure that expensive vacations don’t become habitual.
Agree that she gets a thumbs up. I loved our Disney Cruise which we did when my girls were little. We never did another one but we still have fond memories of it!
I have to admit, Disney really knows what they are doing and my daughter had a blast this year at age 13. Not sure if we would do another one while she is a kid though.
Now that my kids are older (14 and 12), reality has begun to set in to both my wife and I that more than likely we’ll be empty nesters in roughly 6 short years. Time with family enjoying experiences is MORE important than $$.
I 100% agree with this sentiment. There is only a very short time frame where you can enjoy family vacations with the young ones. Within reason, this money is pretty much always well spent.