Search found 91 matches

by DJB
Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another "should I buy this condo" post
Replies: 9
Views: 1317

Re: Another "should I buy this condo" post

All of this is excellent advice. The point about looking for a place together seems rings true. You've all saved me some stress and headache (and perhaps more). Well done as always, Bogleheads!
by DJB
Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another "should I buy this condo" post
Replies: 9
Views: 1317

Another "should I buy this condo" post

This board has helped me so much in the past, I figured I would solicit your advice once again. I'm currently 30, living in the SF Bay Area (though not in the city), and considering buying a condo. Appreciate your feedback in either direction. I'm currently paying $1775 for rent in a small and very ...
by DJB
Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to learn tennis for adult
Replies: 29
Views: 1971

Re: Best way to learn tennis for adult

Plus one for this. I learned on my own (actually, in group "lessons" as a while a kid), and learned many years later that my technique was completely flawed. To become at all competitive, I had to unlearn and then relearn basics like how to hold the racket. Definitely go with an instructor...
by DJB
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second
Replies: 33
Views: 3174

Re: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second

I'm frequently asked questions about how collectibles fit into one’s investing. My blog in the WSJ describes collecting as above all an act of love. Collecting for investment alone is a lot of work and it rarely pays well. It should be viewed as a hobby first and an investment second. Only when a p...
by DJB
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you value a pension?
Replies: 18
Views: 1807

Re: How do you valuate a pension?

I have found some practical value in a similar exercise, however instead of calculating the net value of my pension, I looked at the incremental present value of each year going forward. The purpose for doing so is to get a rough sense of the value of my total compensation to help me evaluate my cur...
by DJB
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costs of loyalty to employer
Replies: 14
Views: 1864

Costs of loyalty to employer

Hi All, I saw this article in Forbes recently, and it validates what many others have shared and I have long suspected that the best way to earn a high salary is to change employers several times, especially early in one's career (http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-sta...
by DJB
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Approaching Roth IRA income limits
Replies: 15
Views: 1487

Approaching Roth IRA income limits

Hi All, I make a habit of maxing out my Roth IRA each January and this year was no exception. As I was doing my taxes, I realized I was awfully close to the income limit threshold (total MAGI was 112K+; phase-out starts at 114K for a single person). Depending on my increase/bonus this year, there is...
by DJB
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a car with credit cards for cash back rewards?
Replies: 36
Views: 3641

Re: Purchasing a car with credit cards for cash back rewards

For my last car, I negotiated to pay 16.5K on my credit card. The strategy was to wait for the dealership to call me the next day after I looked at a car. They wanted me to come back to complete the deal. I told then I would like to buy the car today, but I left my checkbook at home. I would come in...
by DJB
Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyer recommendations - SF Bay Area
Replies: 3
Views: 655

Lawyer recommendations - SF Bay Area

I am looking on behalf of a family member who is in a dispute with a former landlord. I don't have all the facts, but apparently the landlord is accusing my family member of intentionally damaging property and has indicated criminal and civil action will be likely. Neither my family member or I have...
by DJB
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Downgrading" to a Porsche
Replies: 39
Views: 6902

Re: "Downgrading" to a Porsche

I like the idea of an older 911 than a Boxster. The Boxster just looks like a 'loadsamoney City dealer' car here in London. Beware, they handle quite differently from a normal car-- that rear engine. And you will develop a close and very personal relationship with your mechanic. Such is owning a ca...
by DJB
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Downgrading" to a Porsche
Replies: 39
Views: 6902

Re: "Downgrading" to a Porsche

I asked my pal JM, an authentic car expert, what he thought about the OP's situation. Below is his reply: it's stupid to ask for car advice on a money board. Unless you desperately need to get out of an expensive payment/insurance/fuel consumption/maintenance money pit situation, the car you own is...
by DJB
Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Downgrading" to a Porsche
Replies: 39
Views: 6902

"Downgrading" to a Porsche

I realize I may got a lot of flack for this post, but so far BH's have never let me down with excellent advice, so, I'll give it a shot. To summarize, a little over two years ago I bought myself a nice treat - a CPO 2009 BMW 335i coupe (Paid a tad under 30K). I was 27 and had been a life-long saver ...
by DJB
Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if I Never Buy a House?
Replies: 57
Views: 7877

Re: What if I Never Buy a House?

I regret not buying when I had the chance. I've had similar thoughts to the OP much of my life - I planned to rent forever and loved the flexibility and financial benefits. I moved to the Bay Area in '08, and was here during the crash. There were all kinds of incentives - first time home buyer's tax...
by DJB
Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house?
Replies: 10
Views: 2278

Too much house?

Hi All, Some of you may know I recently made an offer (which was rejected) for a 1-BR condo in the SF Bay Area (250-325K). At the time, some of you had suggested I look at 2-BR condos and rent a room. Initially, I thought that was totally out of my price range, but I found some new neighborhoods I l...
by DJB
Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need life insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 1654

Do I need life insurance?

My dad has had some health scares recently, and I believe this is the main reason he has been urging me to buy term life insurance. I'm 29 and (knock on wood) very healthy, so for $20-40/month I can get a pretty comprehensive policy. I'm currently single, though there is a reasonable probability (70...
by DJB
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

Imagine the guy in Omaha who has your same exact job. He probably makes 12K less than you in salary and pays 1K less per month than the expensive places you're lamenting. So financially it's a wash, and you get to live in SF instead of Omaha. Point is, you're being compensated for the high rent alr...
by DJB
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying First Home Opinions
Replies: 17
Views: 1817

Re: Buying First Home Opinions

I do think there is something you are missing with their argument; they are not crazy, but neither is your father. Either choice can be justified financially, but I think what you are missing is that the interest on mortgages is front loaded. You don't actually save much by making additional paymen...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

I live in downtown Jersey City, a somewhat expensive area where a studio is at least $1500. I pay $1050 and live in a half-studio (around 230 square feet). It's more than enough space for me. I love the "tiny house" movement. I would do it myself, but convincing my girlfriend of that woul...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

You make say what $200,000 a year? And you might have to pay, say $2,500 a month's rent? And you're worried? About what? Or do I somehow have these numbers wrong? The old rule of thumb is not to pay more than 30% if your income as rent. The % is higher now. Low 6 figs = a little over 100K. Nowhere ...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

fareastwarriors wrote:Where do you want to live? Living in the city versus living in a sleepy East Bay suburb is not even a comparison...


Oakland - Piedmont Ave, Grand Lake, Temescal, Uptown...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

Don't move 30 minutes further from your job/life/friends. Commuting takes a huge toll on people's life and job satisfaction and also their relationships. It's impressive that you've been able to max out all tax advantaged space due to having a below-market rental for a little while. But now you don...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

I think one option you missed is to find the 800 to 1100 dollars per month you need for additional rent through cutting other expenses. Do you have an expensive car you can downgrade or go without? ~300-600 per month Can you increase deductibles on any insurance you have? ~100 per month Go from exp...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

What if you just offered to pay more on your present location? Why not negotiate? I am currently a "caretaker" for a house where the owner is rarely around. My long-distance girlfriend is planning a long-term visit, and he won't allow her to stay, even though I've offered to pay additiona...
by DJB
Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 12041

Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

I have always felt rich. By almost every standard, I am rich. I'm 29, make low 6-figures, and have savings of $350K+. I max out all my tax advantaged space which comes to 33% of my gross pay. I live in the SF Bay Area. Recently, I learned that I have to move out of my current place by Dec. 1. I've g...
by DJB
Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

I don't understand why anyone feels the OP did something wrong with what they offered. The seller probably spent all of 1 minute deciding it wasn't viable for them. No harm, no foul. Additionally, the value of the home currently has nothing at all to do with what the seller paid for it. It may make...
by DJB
Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

But I figured it couldn't hurt to ask, especially knowing my intentions were honest and I genuinely want to strike a fair deal. To you it was a "fair" price. Apparently not so to the seller. Don't act as if you are doing the seller a "favor" by offering a "fair" price....
by DJB
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

A side note... In my city and I think many other major cities, if a property is priced relatively correctly, an offer less than 90% of the asking price is usually not received well. In my experience, if I thought the property was priced that incorrectly, I'd just move on down the road and assume th...
by DJB
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

4nursebee wrote:OP, how old are you?


I am 29.
by DJB
Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

You hit the nail on the head with #4. My offer was rejected. Quick update (with numbers) for those interested. The condo I made an offer on is listed right around $300K. I offered $255K, which I believe is on the low end of the ballpark (but still in the ballpark) based on what comparable properties...
by DJB
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I (physician) get an MBA?
Replies: 31
Views: 4289

Re: Should I (physician) get an MBA?

I am a hospital administrator (no MD) in a large healthcare system and work closely with our physician leaders. There are not many physicians with strong leadership skills, and the career paths for that that do possess these skills have much more potential. What's interesting, though, is that very f...
by DJB
Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Re: Making an offer today

So after asking for advice whether you should or not with the general consensus being no, you ignored the advice. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] I did ask for advice, but there didn't seem to be consensus either way. There was definitely a split with more people than I expected encouraging ...
by DJB
Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30-yr fixed or 7-year ARM
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Re: 30-yr fixed or 7-year ARM

Case for ARM: Being a small condo, there is a good chance I will be ready for a larger place in 5-7 years. I would save about $100/mo with this option. Even if I decide to keep the condo and be a landlord, after 7 years, if I applied my 100/savings to my load, I would have only $84K left. Even if r...
by DJB
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30-yr fixed or 7-year ARM
Replies: 5
Views: 523

30-yr fixed or 7-year ARM

I am making an offer today on a 1-BR condo. In a previous thread, LongerPrimer asked why I am leaning towards a 3-yr fixed mortgage vs. an ARM. A great question that I struggled with and realized I could use some Bogleheads expertise. The rate difference between ARM and Fixed is 1%. Let's say the ho...
by DJB
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making an offer today
Replies: 44
Views: 5168

Making an offer today

After much deliberation and input from this board, I am pulling the trigger on making an offer on a 1-BR condo. Thanks to everyone who has offered their input. I will disclose financial details at a later date. My offer is well below asking price and somewhat lower than my agent suggested. I realize...
by DJB
Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area
Replies: 21
Views: 2308

Re: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions already in this thread! DJB: Can you provide information about your intended mortgage? We might be able to offer suggestions. Thank you and best wishes. Taylor The 1-BRs I'm looking at run about 300K. I am considering making an offer on a unit now for 260K, w...
by DJB
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area
Replies: 21
Views: 2308

Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area

I have never thought it would make financial sense to buy in the Bay Area, but I am close to making an offer on a 1BR condo in the East Bay. The way the numbers work out, the mortgage + taxes + HOA will be approximately the same as the cost to rent a comparable unit. Overall, it appears slightly che...
by DJB
Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First meeting with real estate agent
Replies: 14
Views: 1660

First meeting with real estate agent

After lots of great advice on these forums, I decided to start looking at possible condos to buy in Oakland, CA. I have my first visit with a real estate agent tomorrow. I like Redfin's business model and I found him as a partner agent through their website. Any advice for a first time home buyer? I...
by DJB
Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Am I ready to buy?" post
Replies: 3
Views: 1041

Another "Am I ready to buy?" post

HI All, I've been firmly in the "rent my whole life" camp for a while, at least living in the SF Bay area (Oakland to be precise). A couple factors have me starting to think about potentially buying a place: Friction with my landlord who I share the house with but who is rarely home. I cur...
by DJB
Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best nose hair trimmer (is this okay to ask?)
Replies: 36
Views: 3162

Re: Best nose hair trimmer (is this okay to ask?)

I have recently found hair in new places, and after lots of evaluation it seems like there is are no "professional grade" nose hair trimmers on the market. I've got capital. Anyone with gadgetry experience want to do business?
by DJB
Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)
Replies: 13
Views: 1812

Re: Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)

Heard there was a quake up there. Are you OK in your area? Was the damage localized? I've always considered moving to Northern CA but have always been a little watchful about the quakes! I was jostled awake at 3:30am - the shaking seemed to last for about 10 seconds. No damage here - the only damag...
by DJB
Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)
Replies: 13
Views: 1812

Re: Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)

Thank you all for the thoughtful comments and suggestions. I did express my displeasure to my current landlord about the hefty rent increase. I didn't go so far as to say I will start looking at other places because of it since I didn't want to invite him to give me 30 days notice. I value the flexi...
by DJB
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)
Replies: 13
Views: 1812

Which apartment to chose? (Bay Area)

Hi All, I'd love your input in helping me decide on an apartment in the Bay Area. As background, I am 29, in a long-distance relationship, and have a good start to my career and retirement savings. I make low 6-figures, and put away 18% in my 401K, max my roth, put 10% in after-tax into my 401K whic...
by DJB
Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons
Replies: 18
Views: 1174

Re: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons

PS: Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. Good luck!
by DJB
Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons
Replies: 18
Views: 1174

Re: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons

I took a package of classes with Arthur Murray in the Bay Area and was highly disappointed. I bought a discount package (5 privates, a couple groups, and a "party") on Groupon for about half their normal price. I wanted to mostly learn salsa, so a bit different from your goal. After the le...
by DJB
Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nuts and bolts - In-Service After Tax Rollover to Roth IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Re: Nuts and bolts - In-Service After Tax Rollover to Roth I

Wow - thanks for posting! A couple of questions - are you still held to the $5500 limit per year of the Roth? Also - do you need to make a rollover quarterly or can you do it every calendar year to simplify the process? Thanks so much again for sharing. Anil The key benefit of this is that you aren...
by DJB
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nuts and bolts - In-Service After Tax Rollover to Roth IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Nuts and bolts - In-Service After Tax Rollover to Roth IRA

There have been frequent questions on this board (myself included) about this process, so I wanted to share my experience. Hopefully it's of some benefit to others. After I learned on these forums that it's theoretically possible to make after tax contributions contributions to my 401K (on top of th...
by DJB
Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How common are after-tax in service rollovers?
Replies: 17
Views: 1356

Re: How common are after-tax in service rollovers?

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback and input. I tried running some calculations about what this after-tax rollover could be worth. I plugged in 5% nominal returns and 3% inflation, and the tax benefits result in 2000-2500 more per year. Not bad. I would never try to use this in a salary negotiation ...
by DJB
Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How common are after-tax in service rollovers?
Replies: 17
Views: 1356

How common are after-tax in service rollovers?

I recently learned that my company allows after-tax 401K contributions of 10% of salary, along with four in service rollovers allowed per year to my Roth IRA. I plan to take full advantage of this opportunity. Two questions: 1) How common is it for companies to offer this? Is this something that mos...
by DJB
Sun May 25, 2014 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K in-kind rollover vs. taxable
Replies: 5
Views: 494

Re: 401K in-kind rollover vs. taxable

1) No reason not to do this. Loss of a TLH source is a small price to pay in relation to having all your gains in a Roth IRA where they are tax deferred until such time that they become tax free. 2) You could sell the highest basis investments to fund the AT 401k contributions and pay the lower LTC...
by DJB
Sat May 24, 2014 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K in-kind rollover vs. taxable
Replies: 5
Views: 494

401K in-kind rollover vs. taxable

Hi All, I just found out my work 401K offers after tax contributions (10% of my salary) and four in-kind rollovers per year. I've read about this and spoken with my Fidelity 401K rep, and it seems fairly straightforward to roll this into my current Vanguard Roth IRA. A couple questions about this: 1...

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