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Re: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?

Guys, I think there may be some confusion. I have nothing against saving. My TSP contributions are rising rapidly (have doubled in two years), my balance is rising though I fully expect to get decimated at times, I've selected my allocation (lifecycle 2050) and have no interest whatsoever in touchin...
by BobStrauss
Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 681

Re: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?

Thanks, everyone, and to MichDad - I agree 100%. When I started my federal career in 2012, I only made an annual contribution of $5700, but already that is up to $11,100. I plan to continue putting all additional raises and COLA increases towards the TSP until I max it (then contribute to an IRA), m...
by BobStrauss
Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 681

Re: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?

Awesome, this is what I needed to know. Right now it makes far more sense for me to put away money pre-tax vs after-tax. Therefore my Roth savings are nil. Sorry for the additional noob question, but if I set up a Roth IRA through Vanguard, is there any way to do it so that money immediately comes o...
by BobStrauss
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 681

Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?

I am a federal employee, just a couple years in at age 31, currently saving over 13% of my salary (18+% with the match) in my traditional TSP account. I'm settling down a bit, growing a lot more comfortable as time goes on, and am interested in purchasing a house within the next 5-6 years. I'm curio...
by BobStrauss
Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Save for down payment w/Roth TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 681

Re: Ashley Furniture

I'm not a real big fan. I think Craigslist and antique shows are the way to go for major furniture purchases. Perhaps West Elm, IKEA, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or even Etsy for specific pieces that are just difficult to find, or for rugs. Most of the furniture I've seen at places like Ashley...
by BobStrauss
Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ashley Furniture
Replies: 42
Views: 3307

Is an FHA streamline refi to an ARM a good idea?

Currently living in a house purchased for 114k little over three years ago. Have an FHA 30 year fixed loan through BoA at 4.5% APR. We want to and have been making improvements on the house, and it is in a nice area for new homebuyers, but we'd like to sell within five years. Is an FHA streamline re...
by BobStrauss
Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an FHA streamline refi to an ARM a good idea?
Replies: 1
Views: 228

Re: Need help with GF's 401k options

Thanks for the help. Obviously it's her decision how she allocates her money, but I'm just trying to connect with you guys in order to get some ideas. Would there be quite a bit of overlap in the VIIIX and FSMAX funds? What about an allocation like this: 60% - Vanguard Institutional Index Plus VIIII...
by BobStrauss
Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with GF's 401k options
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Re: Need help with GF's 401k options

Right now she has 71% of her allocation in SSGA 2055, and 29% in the Blended Stable Value fund.

She's 26 years old and I think she should be in at least 90% equities. What do you guys think would be a good allocation?
by BobStrauss
Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with GF's 401k options
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Need help with GF's 401k options

She has a 401k through Fidelity with the 27 following options: Name/Inception Date Asset Class Category Gross Expense Ratio** Shareholder Fees LIFECYCLE FUNDS - show details.- hide details. VANG INST INDEX PLUS (VIIIX) Large Cap Blend 0.02% No additional fees apply. DFA US LG CAP VAL (DFLVX) Large C...
by BobStrauss
Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with GF's 401k options
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Need PSLF / IBR / PAYE help

I work a federal position that currently qualifies for PSLF, and I am about eight years away from having my loans erased. This is all registered and being followed by Fed Loan Servicing. Thing is, I am on the IBR plan, which charges 15% of discretionary income. I qualify for a switch to the PAYE pla...
by BobStrauss
Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need PSLF / IBR / PAYE help
Replies: 2
Views: 314

Portfolio advice for parents: Vanguard ideas?

My mom and dad (66 & 71 years old, respectively) recently asked me about ideas for investing $50,000 up front and $2,500/month thereafter. They own a small business and (very thankfully) seem to be doing well in their older years. They live off of social security checks (both are collecting) and...
by BobStrauss
Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for parents: Vanguard ideas?
Replies: 2
Views: 202

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Basics (t-shirts, polos, socks, underwear) - GAP, Old Navy, H&M - The cheaper the better, as these generally last no more than a year. Select Pieces (jeans, trousers, shirts, sweaters) - J Crew, Nordstrom Rack - Step it up a bit here, as fit is usually better and items often last longer. Outerwe...
by BobStrauss
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9821

Re: Looking for insights on San Antonio

I live in San Antonio, downtown a mile or two north of the Riverwalk. I have to say, he Riverwalk is not simply a tourist trap. Many locals such as myself use it daily for jogging or dog walking, as it's gorgeous and never too crowded (though it is next to the Alamo). There are many cool bars (Ocho,...
by BobStrauss
Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for insights on San Antonio
Replies: 33
Views: 1671

Flexible PT jobs with potential: any ideas?

I'm currently working in a federal position that provides great benefits and ample opportunity for temporary overseas assignments - something I value highly. Still, my day-to-day job feels like just that, a job, and the position I am in is quite limited with regard to salary. It also fails to utiliz...
by BobStrauss
Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flexible PT jobs with potential: any ideas?
Replies: 1
Views: 383

Re: Should I buy the most expenisve house in the neighborhoo

You can't renovate your neighborhood. Location is EVERYTHING.
by BobStrauss
Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood?
Replies: 39
Views: 4500

Re: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?

I have polished concrete in my apartment kitchen and love it. So easy to take care of. When I become a home owner, I'd love to have polished concrete in the foyer/kitchen/bathrooms with hardwood everywhere else.
by BobStrauss
Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?
Replies: 57
Views: 3558

Talk me out of my TSP L2050 choice

I'm a 30-year-old federal employee, almost 18 months into my career, and I've been plugging away 10% of my gross, plus the 5% match, into a TSP L2050 fund. I plan to put all raises/step increases towards my TSP until I am allocating 20%, then direct my money elsewhere. Ideally, I would like to retir...
by BobStrauss
Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Talk me out of my TSP L2050 choice
Replies: 20
Views: 1426

Re: What premium items are least worth it?

Not worth it to me: Oil changes and general service done at a dealer Private school Out-of-state or private universities Cable TV add-on packages (and really cable in general) Movies at a theater Perfume and cologne 3D or Smart TVs Worth it to me, but not to others: Watches: These are purchases tha...
by BobStrauss
Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What premium items are least worth it?
Replies: 105
Views: 6938

Re: finding ways to save money

Like others, I save a fair amount by ... a) giving myself haircuts (Haven't paid for my weekly buzz in years; that's close to $520/annual savings) b) eating home-cooked rice dishes or leftovers for work lunches (which is <$3 per lunch vs over $6 for eating out; maybe $600/annual savings there) c) ea...
by BobStrauss
Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding ways to save money
Replies: 39
Views: 4028

Re: Wrist Watches

I found it fascinating a few years ago when I realized hip people don't wear watches anymore. If they want to know what time it is they pull out their smartphone. That is, we went from wrist watches back to pocket watches. Now everybody who is anybody is planning on buying an iWatch. For their wris...
by BobStrauss
Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wrist Watches
Replies: 81
Views: 7368

Re: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?

My black leather seats have never burned me, and I park my car in the sun in Texas. Leather is so much better than cloth (though leatherette is best imo). Cloth seats hold smells and are less hygienic, but you can clean leather seats with conditioning wipes every so often, quickly and easily. Whenev...
by BobStrauss
Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?
Replies: 46
Views: 2977

Re: Wrist Watches

I found it fascinating a few years ago when I realized hip people don't wear watches anymore. If they want to know what time it is they pull out their smartphone. That is, we went from wrist watches back to pocket watches. Now everybody who is anybody is planning on buying an iWatch. For their wris...
by BobStrauss
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wrist Watches
Replies: 81
Views: 7368

Re: SUV Vs Sedan

Heavy old steel cars were far safer than these new, plastic, yuppy cars, as evidenced in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g
by BobStrauss
Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV Vs Sedan
Replies: 50
Views: 4470

Re: What's your dream car?

The Audi S7 is gorgeous IMO.

Sporty but still a luxurious sedan.
by BobStrauss
Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 185
Views: 11453

Re: Is the TSP L2050 fund aggressive enough?

Actually, I looked at the glide path again, and at my target retirement date (2043), that would peg it as 47% fixed income (G/F funds).

I assume once I hit retirement I will reassess. Maybe I should just leave it as it is and not worry about it?
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the TSP L2050 fund aggressive enough?
Replies: 7
Views: 1260

Is the TSP L2050 fund aggressive enough?

I am a federal employee, 30 years old, and hope to retire around 2043 (at age 60 or so). I'm starting a bit behind with my investing, but I'm already contributing 10% (with a 5% match for a total of 15%) of my gross income into the TSP, and this number should only continue to rise as time goes on. I...
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the TSP L2050 fund aggressive enough?
Replies: 7
Views: 1260

Re: Dating, Gender, & Wealth Differences...

Well I'm a 30-year-old male who thinks the traditional idea of man as main financial provider is bunk. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to be flipping burgers while my wife is off putting an actual roof over my head. But if you're making an income that is respectable (at least for self-sufficienc...
by BobStrauss
Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dating, Gender, & Wealth Differences...
Replies: 102
Views: 6142

Re: road noise in your car

My experience has been that buying a car that's quiet in the first place helps the most (Toyota, Lexus), followed by putting on quiet tires (the premium Michelins at Costco). Beyond that I am not aware of anything else in our control regarding road noise. Definitely don't get a Prius if road noise ...
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: road noise in your car
Replies: 27
Views: 2206

Re: What was your 2013 return?

26.14% (TSP L2050)

Too bad I'm just out of the gate, because it didn't do much for me.
by BobStrauss
Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] What was your 2013 return?
Replies: 209
Views: 9559

Re: What are your financial goals for 2014?

Follow through on current plan to put 15% gross into my TSP. Save at least one months worth of expenses in my savings account.

Take a beach vacation.
by BobStrauss
Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your financial goals for 2014?
Replies: 56
Views: 4447

Re: New car every 5 years vs 10

Considering the new car will likely be safer Didn't you hear about millions of new cars get recalled for being unsafe? I heard people talked a lot about "latest and greatest". Well, it's not always the case. That's pretty anecdotal. Road safety statistics steadily improve, and much of tha...
by BobStrauss
Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years vs 10
Replies: 81
Views: 6585

Re: New car every 5 years vs 10

I'm still adjusting to the new technology in the car, like remote door locks, blue tooth and automatic temperature control. :) I LOVE my automatic temperature control. Much better than constantly fiddling with the dials to reach my comfort level!! On Toyotas and Lexuses, acc (automatic climate cont...
by BobStrauss
Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years vs 10
Replies: 81
Views: 6585

Re: New car every 5 years vs 10

IMO, the greatest advantage of self-driving cars will be improved safety (reduced human error in the aggregate) and the ability for drunk people to either a) have a safe option to have their cars carry them home on autopilot; or b) have sensors FORCE cars to carry drunks on computer control.
by BobStrauss
Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years vs 10
Replies: 81
Views: 6585

Re: 25y/o making $30k

I agree, selling a one year old car is a terrible idea. Guy still has years of warranty that protect him from emergency transportation expenses.
by BobStrauss
Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25y/o making $30k
Replies: 16
Views: 1313

Re: What percentage of your income are you saving?

I love this forum, but like any niche Internet forum, I think there are those who take it to extremes or embellish the truth. Not necessarily many here, though. On this forum we might see some real exceptional situations. But I'm 30, make around 60k, really got my start saving last year, and I only ...
by BobStrauss
Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your income are you saving?
Replies: 208
Views: 13169

Re: Moving to Dallas, TX

What about Austin? I've heard it blows Dallas and Houston away. It does, it also blows them away (in a bad way) in cost of living. Yeah, but you get what you pay for. Austin can provide a lifestyle and range of dining, outdoor and entertainment options that Dallas can't touch. My sister has lived i...
by BobStrauss
Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Dallas, TX
Replies: 76
Views: 5533

Re: At what age you guys started investing ?

Just started about 10 months ago at age 29, saving at 11% of gross. What I'm putting away feels pathetic compared to everyone else around here, but it's a start, and if I keep investing my raises over the coming years I'll be at a respectable savings percentage. I'm on track for a FERS defined benef...
by BobStrauss
Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what age you guys started investing ?
Replies: 61
Views: 4084

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

Maybe I'll try 281 next time, as I live a stone's throw from it now in SA. I do take the toll road to bypass Austin, which is nice, but that is a private road, and only a short part of the trip.
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 7571

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

Have you driven I-35 between Dallas and San Antonio? I've seen much better highways in third-world countries. I have driven that stretch. My comparison of crappy roads is from my years of driving the highways of NY, NJ, PA, DE, and MD. Those states have roads that are torn up annually by freezing w...
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 7571

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

Have you driven I-35 between Dallas and San Antonio? I've seen much better highways in third-world countries.
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 7571

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

No state sales tax in Texas is great. But then I hop on I-35 to visit my sister in Dallas and realize that I'm actually "paying" that tax in the form of dealing with crumbling infrastructure. I still like it here though.
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 7571

Re: Obtaining university scholarship(s)

IIRC, many state "flagship" universities offer full-ride scholarships to NMS. Though they may be less selective than, say, a private four-year institution, many are still excellent places to get an education. If you can get an all-expenses-paid education at a top-100 public university, the...
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obtaining University Scholarship(s)
Replies: 54
Views: 2681

Re: Saved Up 10K in cash what next?

[OT investing suggestion removed by admin LadyGeek]
by BobStrauss
Sun May 12, 2013 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saved Up 10K in cash what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2316

Re: Second Career Abroad, Teaching ESL

Good jobs at the primary/secondary levels with the DOD require teaching certification, a solid resume and a lot of luck as well - as they are in high demand. There are quite a few State Department jobs available, but most of the good permanent ones require a Master's in ESL and a good deal of academ...
by BobStrauss
Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Second Career Abroad, Teaching ESL
Replies: 25
Views: 1706

Re: Where were you financially in your late twenties?

I'm 29 and just returned from 6-7 years of studying and teaching overseas. Current situation: New job (4 months in) working for Uncle Sam Massive student loan debt ($92k) but two marketable Masters degrees and loan forgiveness in 10 years Measly savings ($2k in TSP so far and $3k in cash) but abilit...
by BobStrauss
Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially in your late twenties?
Replies: 191
Views: 12350

Re: What kind of car are you driving?

2013 Kia Forte SX. I like it a lot as a cheap compact car with some bells and whistles. Got mine for $19.500 (after rebate and grad discount), fully loaded with 173 hp engine (decent enough for highway needs), leather, navigation, heated seats, sunroof, nice stereo and 17" wheels. Oh, and a 10 ...
by BobStrauss
Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car are you driving?
Replies: 278
Views: 21630

Re: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)

The good news for Hyundai and Kia owners is they get 10 years or 100k miles without having to worry about the topic of this conversation. :wink:
by BobStrauss
Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)
Replies: 100
Views: 22097

Re: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)

You're probably right, Sulvar. My salesman told me it was the turbo lag that was the problem, but your explanation really makes sense. Whatever it was I wanted no part of it! Perhaps the manual would have been the way to go, but like most Americans I'm the kind of lazy bum who doesn't want a clutch ...
by BobStrauss
Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)
Replies: 100
Views: 22097

Re: Going to Sydney

I lived in Sydney (in Newtown) for a year and a half and really liked it. If I were you I would definitely check out that area and maybe Paddington as well. Great bars, cafes and restaurants. A night at the Opera Bar is always fun, and days at the beach (Coogee, Bondi, Manly, North Shore) are always...
by BobStrauss
Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to Sydney
Replies: 29
Views: 1951

Re: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)

I really wanted to like the Jetta TDI, as I love the lines and subtle styling of Volkswagens, but I just didn't like the feel of them. I test drove two separate Jetta TDIs and they both had awful turbo lag off the line - like bad enough that it could have been dangerous in the wrong situation (and h...
by BobStrauss
Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon TDI (Diesel)
Replies: 100
Views: 22097
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