Finances, Schmimances

I’ve been sitting on a small lump of 401(k) cash in the US. It’s a type of retirement moolah that’s been moved into a safe little account without further employer contributions since I’m (by choice) unemployed in the conventional sense. I didn’t really know what to do with it, and since I now live in the UK, I thought it best left alone there instead of losing 30% of it’s value in taxes and penalties for cashing in, then another stupid amount of money sliced off for the exchange rate to bring it here. I would’ve ended up with less than half of the original nest egg. Ouch and capital ‘fuck-that-thanks-very-much.’

I found out today that my bouncing baby bundle of bills had matured a bit since we last saw each other… since November of last year, my little gaggle of green had grown another $1500! All by itself! Whhhheeeeee! I knew I picked some good looking portfolio options when I set it up, but damn!- I should go to the horse track! 🙂 Well, ok, that’s not a lot, but on something that was only worth around $7300 to begin with… I’ll take it.

So I called my financial peeps in the US to find out about cashing it in and applying it to a debt I owe to one of my US credit cards. (Don’t we all remember the days when we naively signed our souls away to Visa or Mastercard? “Oh- I’ll only use it as a convenient alternative to cash… I’ll never buy the necessities on a credit card…” Before we knew it, we were buying socks and lettuce at 18% APR… What the fuck had we done!) So, the nice people at the financial firm helped me out, are sending paperwork, but gave me the best news ever: I won’t likely get stung for the 20% I would be screwed out of by the Federal tax honchos thanks to not making any employed money in the new tax year! I think Howard, John and Jessica at Principal Financial just might get a Christmas card from me this year. They’re hooking me up with all the necessary forms and tax documents and gave me immense piece of mind.

Today, I am able to cash in a small retirement account, which would’ve withered to a fraction of it’s value here, pay off a credit card and still have a small amount to apply elsewhere if I want to. That rules.

It’s not often a person speaks positively on money matters, (typically one only reports the bad news- makes for better sympathiser attraction), but for once, I say “Yay!!” on a financial issue. It doesn’t cure all my debt, but it’s a damn good start.


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