Who: Eric and Dana Ellis
Goal: Save for 9-year-old son Orion's college education and for retirement
Assets: $40,000 in savings. Anticipated annual pension income of $76,993 for Eric at age 65 and $7,309 in Social Security income for Dana at age 67.
Debt: $270,300 mortgage on a two-bedroom straw-bale-construction home
Recommendations: Slow or halt further improvements to home. Begin saving $10,000 a year in two Roth retirement savings accounts to pay son Orion's college education and for retirement. Use Roth IRAs instead of 529 college accounts because some colleges may reduce financial aid packages to students whose families have 529 funds for college expenses. At $10,000 a year, after college deductions, the Ellises should be able to accrue $330,800 in the Roths. The appreciation on the Roths, which are funded with after-tax dollars, may be withdrawn tax-free in retirement.
About the planner: Delia Fernandez is a fee-only financial planner and the founder of Fernandez Financial Advisory in Los Alamitos.