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All insights and expressed opinions are my own. —Geri Brin
Catherine’s 29-year-old daughter, Karli, recently became engaged to a darling young man with a promising career as an accountant, and there’s nothing more Catherine would like to do for her than make a memorable wedding. But she figures the celebration is going to cost in the neighborhood of $20,000, in their hometown of Des Moines, which means she will have to dip into her 401K to help pay the wedding expenses.
“I’ve got the money but I’d rather not go into
my retirement account, which is earning good interest. I’d also have to pay income taxes on what I withdraw,” Catherine pondered.
Although we all know a wedding doesn’t have to cost $20,000, Catherine’s estimate isn’t too far off the mark. The national average spent on a wedding in 2013, excluding the honeymoon, was $29,858, according to the annual Real Weddings Survey by theknot.com, which polled 13,000 U.S. brides and grooms. Even in Utah and Idaho, which had the lowest average spends in 2013, weddings cost $16,816 and $16,169 respectively. (The average was $86,918 in New York City!)
What Catherine doesn’t know, but should be delighted to hear, is that she can possibly finance Karli’s wedding at a fixed interest rate as low as 5.99%APR with autopay, and pay off the loan agreement from her and her husband’s income. This will allow her to keep her high performing assets intact (where she’s been earning well over 6% annually) and avoid using credit cards to pay for wedding expenses.