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Re: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help

Well on a positive note the original poster did shave off nearly 30k in debt. I think this is very good progress and shouldn't be dismissed so easily. Yes it could have been allocated differently, but overall that's still 30k wiped off. Not only that, but keep in mind this person had to have a large...
by Dumbo
Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help
Replies: 90
Views: 12248

Re: Is a credit card annual fee worth it sometime?

Wow I did not expect this many responses to my original question. So I'll add a few points based on what others have said. 1. I do care about Chip and Pin because I don't tend to carry cash when I travel abroad, though we did last time we went. That had a nice secondary effect of keeping us from goi...
by Dumbo
Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a credit card annual fee worth it sometime?
Replies: 21
Views: 2342

Is a credit card annual fee worth it sometime?

I've had this old beat up no frills credit card for over 10 years now. It offers pretty much NOTHING in return for using it, but it also has no fees. On a few more recent trips to Europe I've been incredibly inconvenienced as it turns out their more secure analogs featuring "chip and pin" ...
by Dumbo
Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a credit card annual fee worth it sometime?
Replies: 21
Views: 2342

Re: Parents close to retirement

Sorry PaddyMac, I misread you. I'm not sure what kind of retirement structure they have back home. The family was well off before the war, but after the war the currency became worthless and the money just disappeared. They had good jobs too so I think they would have received good benefits, I'm not...
by Dumbo
Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents close to retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Re: Parents close to retirement

Home is back in eastern europe, so basically slightly better than Mexico and way better than France (had to get the France jab in there). I didn't realize social security benefits can be treated as taxable income. I'll have to pass this info on to my parents. My parents are pretty cheap so they don'...
by Dumbo
Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents close to retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Re: Parents close to retirement

Well they have some 50k in cash I think and maybe 20-30k left in payments so they're anything but house poor. They've been making double and triple monthly payments on the mortgage for past 10 years. Combined income is around 80k I think with most of that skewing to my dad. I believe their plan was ...
by Dumbo
Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents close to retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Parents close to retirement

I need some advice on helping my parents as they prepare for their retirement. They're in their mid 50's and not native English speakers so all of these types of things are way too complicated to them. I'm also afraid of sending them to an attorney when they're half a country away and I can't be the...
by Dumbo
Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents close to retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Re: Government Shutdown/Default [effect on investments]

I haven't been on the forums in a while so I came here for reassurance. I must say I'm not getting much of it. Generally I try not to let these things impact me at all. I have this overwhelming urge to do react to the market - which would be very stupid. I tend to think of myself as a litmus test. I...
by Dumbo
Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Government Shutdown/Default [effect on investments]
Replies: 454
Views: 28121

Re: Best PC storage media, for sharing videos

@patrick

Maybe. Maybe not. You'd be hard pressed to read your paper punch cards on a new Mac or Windows these days.

A quick search revealst that MPEG2 or H.264 might be the best options for long-term preservation and compatibility for the time being.
by Dumbo
Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best PC storage media, for sharing videos
Replies: 16
Views: 990

Re: Best PC storage media, for sharing videos

Ok you've opened up a can of worms here. Let me try to help out as the resident geek here. You are trying to achieve two things: 1) Store your media (digital and analog files) for an extended period on to media (physical disks: hard drives, USB drives, cloud storage, etc) 2) Share those video files ...
by Dumbo
Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best PC storage media, for sharing videos
Replies: 16
Views: 990

Re: Young and Green: How often should I check my investments

I was in your shoes a few years ago. All you can do is keep doing what you're doing which is checking every day. Eventually you'll get bored with it and find other things to do with your life. Most likely other things will find you.
by Dumbo
Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Young and Green: How often should I check my investments?
Replies: 29
Views: 2079

Re: What to do with old 401K?

Sorry I should have clarified, my IRA is a Roth IRA not a traditional IRA. So we're talking about bundling my old standard 401K into a Roth IRA. You're aware that you would owe ordinary federal and state income tax if you do that, assuming the 401(k) is not Roth, right? According to your old posts,...
by Dumbo
Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with old 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 713

Re: What to do with old 401K?

Sorry I should have clarified, my IRA is a Roth IRA not a traditional IRA. So we're talking about bundling my old standard 401K into a Roth IRA.
by Dumbo
Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with old 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 713

Re: What to do with old 401K?

You may be able to roll it into your current 401k as well, but from previous posts it looks like you might not have great options there. Have you checked to see whether you can hook up your old 401k account to an aggregator like Mint so you can keep track of it without having to log in proactively?...
by Dumbo
Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with old 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 713

What to do with old 401K?

I have a bunch of money sitting in my previous employer's 401k, around 10k. I don't really want to leave it there, I'd like to consolidate it somehow/somewhere. Not sure where/what. We're already maxing out 401k's and I have an existing ROTH IRA account. Cashing it out is not an option. I considered...
by Dumbo
Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with old 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 713

Re: Hacked Email Account

Firefox does not encrypt passwords by default. You have to create a master password for it. I'm not familiar enough to say how secure that is. TrueCrypt is a good way to safely stash away things you don't want others to see such as pictures, videos, etc. However, that's not going to protect you in c...
by Dumbo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked Email Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1535

Re: Hacked Email Account

[*]do not stay logged in to websites, set up your browser to clear cookies when its closed[/list] What kinds of problems does this cause when cookies are cleared? And make sure to check the "Clear Password History" box. You'd be shocked to see what Chrome/IE keep stored in browser in plai...
by Dumbo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked Email Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1535

Re: Hacked Email Account

A solid suggestion in general, but due to account lockout most hacking of email accounts doesn't really come through brute force attacks on passwords. Malicious phone apps can directly access a target's email account, bypassing two factor security. Actually the most common way to break into account...
by Dumbo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked Email Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1535

Re: Simple, High Quality Dishwasher?

We have a Bosch that has been pretty much flawless. We wanted a Bosch for the longest time then I did some research (Consumer Reports?) and it wasn't that highly rated. I was under the impression they are exceptional appliances, plus they're made in Germany so there's that too. Anyways reading up o...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple, High Quality Dishwasher?
Replies: 25
Views: 1854

Re: Hacked Email Account

I'll be checking out LastPass. I use KeePass. I am not familiar with LastPass so can't compare them. I do know that KeePass gets good marks by a lot of people so it is at least worth checking out. KeePass, LastPass, 1Pass are all very much alike. Of the three, KeePass stores all your data on your o...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked Email Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1535

Re: strategy for talking college selection/costs with kids

I'm not a parent but has anyone attempted the following strategy: Tell the children you're not paying for anything and that the money they get is contingent on their academic success. After all, I wouldn't want to pay someone 200k to attend 4 years and graduate with a C average. And then say, for ev...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: strategy for talking college selection/costs with kids
Replies: 35
Views: 2098

Re: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?

I double majored in Psychology and Communications. Then went on to grad school in Engineering. The best financial decision was getting that Engineering masters because of the money but I really loved what I learned in Psych and even though Mass Comm was a silly field I really enjoyed it a lot. I lea...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?
Replies: 103
Views: 4449

Re: any help is appreciated!

lbs22, You seem to be fixating on your asset allocation for a home purchase and not considering your total financial position. Your choice, or course, but is a good idea to look at the big financial picture when planning the optimum use of your assets. I consider myself a pretty risk adverse person...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any help is appreciated!
Replies: 21
Views: 1520

Re: Hacked Email Account

I found out my email account was hacked and an email was sent to all my contacts. The email provider caught this and it only went to a few people. I have changed passwords on the email account and other accounts. Should I contact the three credit reporting agencies and freeze my credit to be safe? ...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hacked Email Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1535

Re: Hit a financial milestone today

OP, congrats but keep in mind that if you maxed out the 401k over the same duration in a low cost stock index fund, your milestone would be ~$200,000 right now. So, max out the 401k before it's too late. It's your choice whether you want to have $100K or over a million dollars in your 401k by the t...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit a financial milestone today
Replies: 26
Views: 3217

Re: Can we afford private school?

As long as we are sharing dramatic anecdotes, I have been to some amazing performances put on by private high school's in CO- music and theater- and met many wonderful students. All of the children are ours regardless of how their tuition is paid. Unfortunately, the arts (music, theater, visual art...
by Dumbo
Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school?
Replies: 87
Views: 6892

Re: Can we afford private school?

As long as we are sharing dramatic anecdotes, I have been to some amazing performances put on by private high school's in CO- music and theater- and met many wonderful students. All of the children are ours regardless of how their tuition is paid. Unfortunately, the arts (music, theater, visual art...
by Dumbo
Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school?
Replies: 87
Views: 6892

Re: Holy Geico Batman!

investor1 wrote:
Tycoon wrote: I am still waiting to see if they try to raise the rates.


They automatically decreased my rates after 1 year of service. I didn't even ask for it. It was $130/month now it's $109 a month. That happened with the new calendar year - 2013. I never bothered to ask why or how.
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holy Geico Batman!
Replies: 38
Views: 4737

Re: Farmland--Cash Rent or Share Crop?

Can it be developed?
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Farmland--Cash Rent or Share Crop?
Replies: 10
Views: 2518

Re: Can we afford private school?

If you're willing to move anyway, move to a district with a good public school. The top-end public schools are absolutely as good as private schools. Houses cost more there, but you get that money BACK when you sell the house in 18 years (plus you get to live in a nice house for 18 years). Money th...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school?
Replies: 87
Views: 6892

Re: Can we afford private school?

Speaking as a recent college grad, you can plan on them going to college all you want but they may not want to. They also may want to do community college instead, or go wherever their buddies/girlfriends go to a state school. My thinking is that with our future kids we will force them to consider t...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school?
Replies: 87
Views: 6892

Re: Finding Notary

Banks. Nearly every bank will do it free if you have an account.
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding Notary
Replies: 26
Views: 1149

Re: Holy Geico Batman!

Last year I was looking to insure two of our cars, one a luxury vehicle, used and another a standard sedan and I had a similar experience. GEICO quoted us about half of what AMICA and Liberty Mutual. In fact I signed up for AMICA initially and cancelled the policy a couple of days later after gettin...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Holy Geico Batman!
Replies: 38
Views: 4737

Re: Mortgage Application Prep - 1 Year Out

Well, take a look at my thread on "Funneling money into 401k or savings" which is the same situation. Basically the takeway was: 1. Pay off all your debt first 2. Save enough money for 20% down + about 6% of purchase price for closing costs + 3 months living expenses Once those two are tak...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Application Prep - 1 Year Out
Replies: 18
Views: 1151

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

Thanks for the advice everyone! I've heeded it and last night I made a lump sum payment to my student loans of nearly 30k. That was SUCH a relief. I didn't think it would be but it was really nice to know I'm no longer in someone's pocket. I'm hoping they send me a nice little certificate next week ...
by Dumbo
Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

If you are disciplined, pay off all of the debt now and then increase the amount you save each month by how much you would've been paying on the loans and car payment. You will have your down payment in less than 2 years and be debt free except for the mortgage. I promise I'm not saying this just t...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

There are plenty of nice towns in the Boston metro area with good school systems that don't cost as much as Newton/Belmont/Lexington etc. Burlington, Wakefield, Reading, and maybe Stoneham come to mind. You can buy a similarly sized SFH in the $350k-$450k range. Also consider what you budget will l...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

From what you have said(outside of your retirment accounts) your net worth is essentially zero. Correct, with the debt and current cash we pretty much break even. But now that it comes to making a decision of what to do with all this cash we were tempted to go along the way of using it towards the ...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

There is absolutely no way I would consider buying a 500K to 600K house with debt and a combined income of only 180K. Houses have so many additional expenses in addition to the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and homeowner dues. Most of these additional expenses pop up at the most inopportune ...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

Everyone is different. Life situations and risk tolerances, etc. are different. I'm a proponent of maxing your 401K at $17.5K if you can as a high priority, after paying off high interest debt. I would put both of those things over buying a house, and I've owned at least one home at a time since I ...
by Dumbo
Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help

5. Will Cancel Amazon Prime after this year since its already paid I believe if you cancel it now they still give you two options: a) continue using Prime but do not auto-renew, b) terminate prime and do not auto-renew effective immediately. Either case they won't give you a refund unless you just ...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help
Replies: 90
Views: 12248

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

You can't have it all. I know Boston is an expensive city for housing, but on an income of $180k, you should be able to save more than 25k in cash + 20% to 401k if you tried. I think you might need to consider option D: cut expenses to save more money without cutting back on the 401k contributions....
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

campy2010 wrote:What is the interest rate on your car and student debt?


Car is 4%
Student debt for both of us is the standard federal 6.7%

Car makes up about 15k of the 59k debt.
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

So, I need to save 200k in other words? That's a lot of cash and many years. Bacchaus - when you say max out my 401k, do you mean do max in terms of 17k a year, or do I just do max as in 6% which gets me the max employer match? Because the most I was doing was 10% right now and I started reading Hom...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24

I know investment wise I should buy the cheapest more reliable car out their but lets just say I buy a car that cost 30-35k instead of buying a car that cost 20k. I am a 24 year old so yes that 10-15k (plus adding up extra registration and insurance fees over an 8-12 year period) will add up over a...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24 yo)
Replies: 93
Views: 5223

Re: 83(b) election. Should my son do it & when?

My understanding is that you only get any stock option returns if the company goes public. Most companies do not end up going public. My partner works at a huge company and they gave him a whole bunch of shares when he started. Two years later they're still at least 2-3 years from going public and h...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 83(b) election. Should my son do it & when?
Replies: 1
Views: 165

Re: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help

Thank you everyone for all your valuable advice and feedback.Here's my immediate plan: 1. I slashed my 401k contribution to 6%. The remaining 4% I will be moving to my emergency fund every paycheck. 2. Moved the $1000 savings to my emergency fund 3. Did a thorough financial review yesterday. I will...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost a lot in stocks and starting fresh: Please Help
Replies: 90
Views: 12248

Funneling money into 401k or Savings?

So we're thinking of buying a house. Our thought was to do it late this year but after doing some more research I think what we want to do is save enough for a 20% downpayment to avoid PMI. I summarized my finances elsewhere but here's how it comes out to basically: we have 57k cash, 59k in student/...
by Dumbo
Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funneling money into 401k or Savings?
Replies: 33
Views: 2761

Re: Wiring money from overseas and currency conversion

Well whatever method you do don't choose check. For a short time we lived in Spain and we were doing so poorly that we needed my in-laws to send us emergency money. They sen't a check and the bank held the money for 40 days until it cleared. They then did a wire transfer through Bank of America whic...
by Dumbo
Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiring money from overseas and currency conversion
Replies: 17
Views: 1792

Re: Cost of house maintenance

Yeah so I originally thought it would be 200-500 but I was not sure and my bias is to always go for the pessimistic or expensive extreme. I figured if I budget for $1000 then I won't get blindsided by some other expenses. And I figured well if I have 800 left over then that can go in a little jar fo...
by Dumbo
Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of house maintenance
Replies: 13
Views: 1946
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