Ask Terry Questions Investment after sale of family farm

Investment after sale of family farm

By Terry Savage on December 17, 2015 | Housing / Real Estate

We sold our family farm, I received $216K. I paid off credit cards and bills, I put money into my roof, window, siding and gutter. I put 40k aside for taxes. Is that enough? Should I pay down my mortage. I would like to lower my payments or invest in a retirement found. I am 54.

Terry Says:  First, good for you  for being in such good financial shape.  As long as you’re still working, you can use the deduction for the mortgage interest. But you might want to refinance to a 15 year fixed rate loan while rates are still low.  That will require a larger monthly payment, but your home will be paid in full much sooner.  In fact, I think most people today will hope they can work until at least age 70 to live a successful retirement.  So that timing would be great.

I don’t know whether you have other retirement savings, but would suggest you might want to open a Roth (after-tax) IRA at Vanguard or Fidelity.  You can contribute  up to $6500 in both 2025 and 2016 — but the money must come from earned income (salary or wages), not from investment income.  (And you can make that full contribution if your income is less than about $117,000.)  You don’t say whether you are now working outside the farm, earning a salary.  But if you do work for a company that matches retirement plan contributions in a 40l(k) plan, that would be the place to start.

And you need to consult a tax advisor to find out what your tax liability is likely to be on the sale of the farm (depends whether you inherited it and have a new, higher cost basis — or whether your family has a huge capital gain from the original purchase).   Act quickly — before year-end.   If you do have a tax liability due next April, there may be some other tax-saving steps you can take before year-end.



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