Started second job, confused on taxes and retirement strategies in CA : personalfinance


First I just want to say, it took years of sacrifice and work to get to this point, even so we feel extremely fortunate to have options and to be doing well when so many are struggling. For anyone struggling that may read this, hang in there, do what you can and take care of yourselves in what ever way you have available.

I started a second job (union) in the UC ( University of California) system this year bringing my personal income to aprox 180k/yr combined. This will bump to 200k+ by early next year via a series of promotions and raises. These jobs are VERY secure, I can count on this income for as long as Id like.

Wife lost both her jobs in march and is now staying home with kids. Enrolled for another degree starting spring 2021, so I am not factoring in any income from her, although she is on unemployment for the time being.

Renting, saving for a house, married (early 30’s) with 2x kids.

50k in savings, 25k in employer provided 403(b)

10k left on car loan, CC and student loan debt paid.

Total monthly obligations for household are aprox $4,500 including rent/car payment/insurances/food/utilities ect.

Primary employer offers 10% into 403(b), (I’m currently not contributing anything additional) and HSA

UC offers pension/403(b)/457(b)

Now that most debts are paid off and we have an ER fund, we are saving a down towards a home purchase and want to make sure we’re minimizing our tax obligations legally and ethically.

What would everyone be doing if they were in our shoes? I am spending a great deal of time away from my family and want to make sure I’m taking advantage of any tools available to reduce my tax obligations and “bring more home”.

Outside of maxing out retirement contributions + backdoor IRA, is there anything else that having two jobs changes for us? As in how we should file taxes?

I’m also skeptical of the current market stability so I’m ok not contributing to retirement accounts until next year while we save for a home. And I don’t know how much I trust any CA pension plans with how underfunded most are already.

Thanks!!



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