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Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

As a totally different anecdote, my wife is a teacher where we live and looking at her salary schedule, she'll never hit $100k/yr (and won't even come close). But I look at the hours she works (7-3, 9 months of year) and the benefits she gets and I think she's getting a good deal. If I were a teach...
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 334
Views: 22764

Re: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?

Thank you, sschulo, for the link to that calculator. Unfortunately, some of the more technical explanations have gone over my head (though I'd be happy to receive further instruction). At least in my particular circumstances, the bad option is still better than the alternatives. Now I just need to l...
by AustenNut
Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1162

Re: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?

I would go on the assumption that there are no employer matches, as most of the terrible plans I've read about have other benefits (like pensions).
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1162

Re: Relax... Even "poor" bogleheads are exceptional

I have never seen someone call someone else a slacker on this forum. In general, people are very positive and encouraging. If people are feeling like slackers for saving only 20% instead of 30%, then the solution is not to compare them to other people. Life is not a comparison of one person against...
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relax... Even "poor" bogleheads are exceptional
Replies: 31
Views: 3921

At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?

In reading some threads (particularly about K-12 investment options), there seems to be a question of whether or not a 401k/403b/457b plan is so bad that it should be avoided, and a good taxable account should be set up instead. This is assuming that an IRA is already being fully used. My question i...
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what point is a 401k/403b/457b not worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1162

Re: Living vs. saving

A lot of posts in this thread listing percentage saved (20%, 25%, 30%). Are these in pre or post tax dollars? Do they include company matches? If I also put $500 aside for my next automobile, does that count towards my %? My number varies widely with the answers to these questions. It depends on th...
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living vs. saving
Replies: 75
Views: 9217

Re: Relax... Even "poor" bogleheads are exceptional

So you are going to post about how others are doing poorly to try to help people feel adequate. If people are feeling inadequate, then they should re-evaluate their lives and fix what is wrong. Adequacy should not come from comparisons to others. IMHO This quote just really rubbed me the wrong way....
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relax... Even "poor" bogleheads are exceptional
Replies: 31
Views: 3921

Re: A thank-you to veterans

Thank you to all veterans, and their families. Thank you for my freedom, which you have helped to preserve.
by AustenNut
Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:26 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: A thank-you to veterans
Replies: 32
Views: 1036

Re: Anyone use You need a Budget

We use YNAB as well. It is a great budgeting software. It takes us about 20-30 minutes once a month to download all our statements, reconcile everything, and make the budget for the following month. The ability to sync with the app on a smartphone also really helps to keep track of where the money g...
by AustenNut
Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use You need a Budget
Replies: 26
Views: 2772

Re: Looking to purchase a Camera... Any Suggestions

Although I enjoy taking photographs, after several years I've realized that I'm primarily a point & shoot kind of photographer. Last year I got a Sony HX20V, and I've really enjoyed it. When we went on our trip to Tanzania this summer, it easily fit in a pocket while a guy on safari with us need...
by AustenNut
Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to purchase a Camera... Any Suggestions
Replies: 71
Views: 2938

Re: What are your favorite android smartphone apps?

YNAB (budgeting software that syncs with our home computer)

My Fitness Pal (food & exercise diary)

My Calendar (I think that's it's name)...if you're female and like to keep track of female health issues
by AustenNut
Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your favorite android smartphone apps?
Replies: 50
Views: 4241

Re: Spices for Cooking - Cost, Duration, etc.

International markets. Or pick them up while traveling internationally. :D
by AustenNut
Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spices for Cooking - Cost, Duration, etc.
Replies: 28
Views: 2148

Re: Possible Job/Career Change Advice (Current Teacher)

My spouse and I are both teachers around your age, and some of your issues are sounding very familiar. (Looking forward to reading others' responses to your questions.) One thing to think about: Does your job currently participate in the Social Security system or is it exempt? If you're exempt, real...
by AustenNut
Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible Job/Career Change Advice (Current Teacher)
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

This is something that we have had concerns with as well. In our area, starter homes cost about half as much as they do in your area, but then again, our salaries are less than half of what yours are as well. A few thoughts: 1) Create a spreadsheet with what your current spending patterns are now, v...
by AustenNut
Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences
Replies: 95
Views: 6130

Re: How many square feet is your home?

We live in a 1300sf, 2BR/1BA place. We also use a shed in the backyard that's about the size of a one-car garage. Currently, it's just the two of us but if we have kids we're not planning on moving. We'll turn the breakfast room into a keeping room/den where the occasional guest will stay, and the d...
by AustenNut
Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 10623

Re: Spending: Tracking v. Categorizing

We use YNAB to track our spending. You can create the master categories and subcategories however you want, so it can be as broad or specific as you want it to be. (Our main master categories being wants, needs, and savings and subcategories like groceries/toiletries, gas, utilities, mortgage, etc.)...
by AustenNut
Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending: Tracking v. Categorizing
Replies: 21
Views: 1590

Re: Non-retirement medium term savings allocation, cars etc?

I see that VG has rated the Limited-Term Tax-Exempt fund as a 1 (low risk, low reward). But with the base in municipal funds and some of the uncertainty of municipalities' financial strength, is this likely to become more volatile? I've been using this as my own car fund and have been debating about...
by AustenNut
Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-retirement medium term savings allocation, cars etc?
Replies: 15
Views: 1255

Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

I went to an out-of-state public school from 1998-2002. Cost for tuition, room & board was about $17k/year. I had merit scholarships that paid about half and parents paid for the other half, though they were willing to pay all costs regardless of financial aid, but for undergrad only. First grad...
by AustenNut
Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you/your child pay for college?
Replies: 151
Views: 8472

Re: Recommend a cheap, small tablet?

Here's another vote for a Nook HD (7"). I bought mine in advance of an international trip and got one for $129. I think last week B&N was having a sale (don't know if it's still going on) and I think it had dropped in price to $109. The HD+ (9") was about $30 more. I would also recomme...
by AustenNut
Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a cheap, small tablet?
Replies: 40
Views: 3922

Re: 34 year old single teacher trying to rebalance 403B and

Actually, that 8.25% number might not be a fluke. I remember a government employee in NY talking about it in a thread in this forum. (Did a quick Google search and couldn't locate it, but found this thread http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32086 which addresses some of these issues.) C...
by AustenNut
Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 34 year old single teacher trying to rebalance 403B and Roth
Replies: 21
Views: 908

Re: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

This thread is fascinating--it's like seeing what life is like on the other side of the tracks. Anyone else out there scraping by in the nonprofit world? Add me to the list of those with salaries far below those being discussed. Mid-$40k after 8.5 years as a teacher in a semi-high COL city (housing...
by AustenNut
Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money
Replies: 241
Views: 22533

Re: Weight Loss Plans?

A little over a decade ago I did Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds. I kept about 30 of those pounds off for over 5 years, and then gradually gained back 20 more (so -10 from when I started WW). It's a good program...the gain back was because I stopped going even though I had earned "lifetime&q...
by AustenNut
Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weight Loss Plans?
Replies: 109
Views: 6107

Re: general (financial) advice about musical instruments/les

When I was seven I was told to pick an instrument. I think I was given a choice between piano and violin, and I started with violin. The next year I picked up the piano (did both instruments for one year), but by age nine it was the piano only. By the time I was nine I was expected to be practicing ...
by AustenNut
Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: general (financial) advice about musical instruments/lessons
Replies: 109
Views: 6560

Re: Brand new Teacher - 403b help/advice - Only thing offere

Then ING - Reliastar could be your best option. Last year my wife's 403B in Virginia was with ING, and the management fee was 0.4% and the fee for the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund was 0.05%, with a gross expense ratio of 0.45%, which was nothing to complain about. You may need to explore this. I...
by AustenNut
Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new Teacher - 403b help/advice - Only thing offered
Replies: 33
Views: 2243

Re: Brand new Teacher - 403b help/advice - Only thing offere

Your 403b situation sounds similar to the one I have. I had all the companies send me the information (though I found some companies didn't even realize they were still on the list). Most options were pretty horrible. Assuming you get no match due to your defined benefit pension, I would max out the...
by AustenNut
Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new Teacher - 403b help/advice - Only thing offered
Replies: 33
Views: 2243

Re: New Teacher - Long Term Disability $1,600/mo - $35/mo fe

I am a teacher who recently dropped my group LTD policy for a private one. The others have posed some good questions. Is your policy portable? Look through the paperwork and see what the definition of disability is. Also, is it own-occupation (if you can't teach you get the money) or any occupation ...
by AustenNut
Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Teacher - Long Term Disability $1,600/mo - $35/mo fee
Replies: 15
Views: 1370

Re: NOT saving for college

What is the recommendation for people who want to pay for an in-state college education for their children who are of more modest means than many on the board, but far better off than the average American? My family paid for all of my college expenses, something I was very grateful for, and am even ...
by AustenNut
Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NOT saving for college
Replies: 112
Views: 7773

Re: the state of unfunded state pension obligations

This report (http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/PensionProtectionsinStateConstitutions04.pdf) seems to indicate that some pensioners will have more safety than others. Though it's written from a union perspective, the information on the guaranteeing of pension is the most relevant part to this discussio...
by AustenNut
Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the state of unfunded state pension obligations
Replies: 90
Views: 5198

Re: Best E-Reader: Kindle, Nook or?

I recently purchased a Nook HD, mainly for when I'm traveling. I like to read multiple books, and the weight of one tablet was far less than the equivalent number of books I would have brought. The reason why I went for the Nook over the Kindle was 1) price ($130 vs $200), 2) greater access to books...
by AustenNut
Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best E-Reader: Kindle, Nook or?
Replies: 46
Views: 3710

Re: Am I saving enough that I can spend some of it?

In light of your age, savings rate, and 6-month emergency fund, I'm in the "take the trip" camp. But perhaps there's room for compromise? My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Africa. We are not in high-income fields, so we had to save for several years to pay for it. Yet we we...
by AustenNut
Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I saving enough that I can spend some of it?
Replies: 38
Views: 3991

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

Following the advice here, I've purchased the Guardian policy, but am having my insurance agent check out other options to see if any will be more favorable.
by AustenNut
Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

The LTD from my work (the $500/year plan with lots of holes) is out of my own pocket, after-tax, so I would not have to pay taxes on it. I have to make a decision on the Guardian policy soon, and would appreciate any additional feedback. Here's some additional info on my work LTD: There would be off...
by AustenNut
Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

I ended up getting in contact with a DI agent from a different state who works with all the major companies. I applied for Guardian Plus insurance Applied for: $2270/month benefit to age 67 $1080/month for catastrophic disability $1329.79 annual premium Guardian's offer after underwriting: $2270/mon...
by AustenNut
Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: Pay keeping up with inflation for your job?

I am a public school teacher and this is the fourth year in a row that our salary has been frozen (i.e. we don't even go up $500/year for the additional year of experience). They've also cut back on programs where teachers could work extra hours (after-school tutoring, etc), so pay has gone down fro...
by AustenNut
Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay keeping up with inflation for your job?
Replies: 52
Views: 4520

Re: Change in office environment

Congratulations on the raise! I'm glad your perseverence paid off.
by AustenNut
Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change in office environment
Replies: 29
Views: 4591

Re: What Short Term $$$ Goals Have You Achieved?

I looked back at one of my first posts here at Bogleheads. In the last 18 months we have:

1) Paid off a $5500 car loan
2) Paid off $8k in student loans
3) Paid cash for two Master's degrees (Mr. & Mrs. AustenNut)
4) Increased e-fund by 3 months
by AustenNut
Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Short Term $$$ Goals Have You Achieved?
Replies: 13
Views: 1898

Re: apps for budgeting for daily spending

Add me as another happy YNAB user.
by AustenNut
Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: apps for budgeting for daily spending
Replies: 14
Views: 1586

Re: France - Paris / Nice - Must do List

I don't remember the name of this eatery, but I can give you directions. I spent my junior year of college in Aix-en-Provence, France, and still remember this meal very fondly (mouth waters just thinking about it). The friend I went with has gone back twice with others, and still raves about it. It'...
by AustenNut
Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France - Paris / Nice - Must do List
Replies: 92
Views: 4133

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

Thanks for the advice on the loans. Our only loan is our mortgage though. I'm not in the union, so I don't have access to whatever disability insurer they recommend. So the options I presented in my first post are what I have. Which of those do you think I should take? If it came down to Mass Mutual...
by AustenNut
Mon May 06, 2013 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

Thanks for the replies so far. Maybe it wasn't clear from my first post, but because I am a teacher vested in the retirement system, I would qualify for a disability benefit. Currently that is $900/month. I would not be eligible for Social Security disability payments. If I became disabled, I would ...
by AustenNut
Fri May 03, 2013 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Disability insurance for teacher

I am a 32 year old female teacher looking to get my own individual disability insurance policy. I currently have group LTD, but will drop it to get it privately (after reading the contract, I realize there are a lot of holes in it). Though I tried to find someone, there was no one good all-around ag...
by AustenNut
Fri May 03, 2013 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA

When you speak with your doctor, let them know that you will be applying for life insurance and ask that they word their notes truthfully, but fully. My husband had checked himself into an alcohol rehab program before we met. More than two years later, after we were married, we both decided to get l...
by AustenNut
Thu May 02, 2013 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 24
Views: 1328

Re: Do the Bogleheads here tithe based on net or gross salar

We give based on our net. As others in the thread mentioned, we would also give out of our retirement distributions (once those start...in a few decades).
by AustenNut
Thu May 02, 2013 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do the Bogleheads here tithe based on net or gross salary?
Replies: 49
Views: 3407

Re: Expecting 1st Child - Pay Down Debt or Increase Savings?

With a 14.99% interest rate on the cc debt, I would pay that off first. I second the recommendation of looking into a credit card with a good balance transfer option. We did that with a Citicard cc that offered 0% interest with a 3% transfer fee. We transferred my husband's car 9.9% car loan on to i...
by AustenNut
Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting 1st Child - Pay Down Debt or Increase Savings?
Replies: 21
Views: 1249

Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Be careful mixing your metals. If you get a platinum band next to a gold one, the platinum band can eventually rub down the gold one. I don't know how long it would take, but it is a concern I would address before proceeding. If you're open to mixing metals, I would highly recommend palladium. It is...
by AustenNut
Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs platinum?
Replies: 40
Views: 2184

Re: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material

This is a very interesting question. Part of it, I feel, really depends on a family's income. Take two families, for example. Family A has an income of $60,000. If 20% goes toward taxes and 30% towards savings, they are left with $30,000 to cover all their other expenses. Family B has an income of $...
by AustenNut
Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material
Replies: 104
Views: 8466

Re: What are the best insurance companies?

My family has always been really happy with their State Farm coverage, and when they had a claim, thought that SF went above and beyond the call of duty. If you live in an area that gets natural disasters, you may want to keep your homeowners' insurance with them. I live in an area that was badly af...
by AustenNut
Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the best insurance companies?
Replies: 16
Views: 1158

Re: Is there a rate at which it is irrational to pay off mor

Do you still recommend this calculus for people who refinanced at their original term length? For instance, three years into a 30 year loan they refinance for a lower rate. If they kept the amounts of their monthly payments the same they are "prepaying," but otherwise they're just constant...
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a rate at which it is irrational to pay off mortgag
Replies: 54
Views: 4257

Re: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?

Our household has been discussing this very issue lately. In my family the "youngest" grandparents to die were in their 80s, and the others in their 90s. I've always assumed that I will make it to retirement, and have a long one at that. My husband's family, on the other hand, is completel...
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?
Replies: 228
Views: 20376

Re: Going on Safari suggestions

My husband and I are going to Tanzania in July, and part of the time we will be doing a safari. We'll be doing Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and the Serengeti (i.e., hoping for the Big 5 and, if we're super lucky, the wildebeest migration). Our research was for a private safari, rather than going wi...
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going on Safari suggestions
Replies: 16
Views: 1056
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