Search found 1051 matches

by Meg77
Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: As a couple in late 30s, how bad are we doing?
Replies: 46
Views: 6775

Re: As a couple in late 30s, how bad are we doing?

Welcome! Considering you have a lot of equity in your home and 6 figures saved/invested, I'd say you aren't doing badly at all. Of course you probably could have saved more, but oh well. You have plenty of time to catch up, especially if you don't have kids. Speaking of which, do you plan to have ki...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay student loan off at 2.875%? - otherwise, 14 years to go
Replies: 52
Views: 4885

Re: Pay student loan off at 2.875%? - otherwise, 14 years to go

My husband and I are wrestling with this "problem" currently. He has a 2.75% rate on his student loan (floating) with 14 years left, and he's about to get a signing bonus. We have a fully funded emergency fund so the question is whether to invest the lump sum, pay down the debt, or let the...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just started first real job, need financial advice!!!!
Replies: 10
Views: 1384

Re: Just started first real job, need financial advice!!!!

If you make $2600 after taxes, then it may be a little aggressive to try to max out a Roth IRA (which takes $458 a month) and also put money into a 401k. Retirement is important, but so is paying down your student loan and saving cash for pre-retirement expenses such as a wedding, home purchase, big...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth aspiring to get more?
Replies: 131
Views: 16448

Re: Is it worth aspiring to get more?

Many if not most people on this forum (and I don't just mean the millionaires) could work part time or quit entirely and live more comfortably than most other Americans indefinitely. The vast majority of us already have enough to live more comfortably than 99% of people on the planet if we never wor...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life is short, enjoy it!
Replies: 32
Views: 5936

Re: Life is short, enjoy it!

There are three ways of thinking about spending and happiness. One is that spending and happiness are positively correlated . Life is short and we should enjoy it. Enjoying life more requires spending more. So life is short, spend more money! Another view is that spending and happiness are negative...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life is short, enjoy it!
Replies: 32
Views: 5936

Re: Life is short, enjoy it!

How timely! My husband and I have been debating where to go for a week for a last minute vacation and Vancouver came up. I've never been, but he loves the city. This post makes me feel like it's meant to be! We too would love to avoid renting a car and stay "in the thick of things," perhap...
by Meg77
Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30+ year "set it and rebalance it" portfolio thoughts
Replies: 18
Views: 2030

Re: 30+ year "set it and rebalance it" portfolio thoughts

Well I kind of am doing that. Investing every month with no intention of touching funds for 30+ years. So I'll share my allocation: 13% Bonds (about 25% of which are international) 87% stocks (about 25% of which are international) We have substantial cash assets too which aren't included above, but...
by Meg77
Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30+ year "set it and rebalance it" portfolio thoughts
Replies: 18
Views: 2030

Re: 30+ year "set it and rebalance it" portfolio thoughts

Well I kind of am doing that. Investing every month with no intention of touching funds for 30+ years. So I'll share my allocation: 13% Bonds (about 25% of which are international) 87% stocks (about 25% of which are international) We have substantial cash assets too which aren't included above, but ...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3421

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

I paid off my mortgage (with Wells Fargo) about 18 months ago. It was probably not as big a clump of $$$ as yours, but it should not be a big deal. The most unnerving part was thinking about carrying cash from my credit union to the Wells Fargo branch 2 miles away -- but when the credit union heard...
by Meg77
Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?
Replies: 101
Views: 10356

Re: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?

I'd take the new job if I were you I think. But try to connect with some current employees or other team members over there to get some insider details on culture and expectations if you can. It may not be as different as you think - or you may uncover some horror stories that settle the decision. R...
by Meg77
Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Unequal Income] Spouse Tax Withholding strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 951

Re: Unbalanced Spouse Tax Withholding strategy

It's OK to do but you'd have to really make sure you are withholding the right amounts. It seems like it would just be easier to set aside a portion of her income each month for those 7 months though, to be used in the summers to even out cash flow. You could have her paycheck automatically deposite...
by Meg77
Thu May 28, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?
Replies: 13
Views: 2432

Re: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?

Meg77, did you semi-retire and shift to a new career? No I have not, but I've thought about it a lot recently. Next year I'll have been in the workforce full time for 10 years in the same career. I'll also be close to the point where female fertility typically begins to decline more rapidly. If I h...
by Meg77
Thu May 28, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What now?
Replies: 1
Views: 300

Re: What now?

Congrats on paying off that debt! I agree with your plan to invest excess cash in a taxable account in alignment with your stock/bond mix. Are you planning to buy your new dream home outright in cash with proceeds from your current home and rental? If not, make sure that you have enough cash on hand...
by Meg77
Thu May 28, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?
Replies: 13
Views: 2432

Re: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?

What you are describing sounds like "semi-retirement." You can Google the term for countless articles on the trend. Many people approaching or past retirement age do exactly what you are talking about either because they still need a bit of income or because they still want to work in some...
by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 0.99% auto loan
Replies: 34
Views: 3016

Re: Penfed 0.99% auto loan

I don't know the answers to your questions, but thanks for mentioning this. We are paying 2.15% on a 2014 car loan and may just give this deal a shot! In general lenders just care about your existing debt payments and credit score, not # of inquiries or credit cards. PenFed says on its car loan page...
by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To refinance or not to refinance
Replies: 13
Views: 1243

Re: To refinance or not to refinance

As a banker I can tell you it's usually a great move to refinance if you can drop the rate by even 0.50% when rates are this low. However you appear to be making extra payments, and your closing costs would be quite large, so you have to run the numbers. According to my amortization spreadsheet, you...
by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!
Replies: 19
Views: 1246

Re: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!

Just want to say thanks, I never knew about the windows calculator either! I have previously used a generic excel amortization schedule that has a column for extra payments. You can change the loan amount to whatever your current balance is and then work backward to find out how many months are left...
by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Soon to be married - Need help
Replies: 5
Views: 918

Re: Soon to be married - Need help

The only thing that tempts me to put our home savings in something a little more risky than the market is the fact that rent in the area isn't terrible and we like the benefits of renting well enough to keep us renting a little longer if need be if it were to take a hit. Don't do this. Hoard cash o...
by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Income-Wellesley & Wellington or just Wellesley
Replies: 38
Views: 7222

Re: Need Income-Wellesley & Wellington or just Wellesley

Wellington is about 65% stocks and 35% bonds, whereas Wellesley is pretty much the reverse with 38% stocks and 62% cash. Personally I think it would be a good idea at your age to put 50% in one and 50% in the other so that you have an overall asset allocation closer to 50/50. Your money may need to ...
by Meg77
Tue May 19, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 256
Views: 34023

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

I relate to your comment of have nothing to retire to or from. I'm almost your age and have spent my life fully embracing my Type A drive by focusing on achievement in school, career, and investing. I have succeeded so far, more quickly than I expected and probably to a larger degree than I deserve...
by Meg77
Tue May 19, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 years old, baby on the way, just starting out advice...
Replies: 16
Views: 1830

Re: 30 years old, baby on the way, just starting out advice...

Congrats on the little one! A gross income of $200K is great, though it stinks neither of you get a 401k match. You really should be saving NO LESS than 10%, or $20,000, a year for retirement. I know it sounds like a lot especially with the taxes I'm sure you have to pay, but it's so much easier to ...
by Meg77
Tue May 19, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is financial flexibility worth?
Replies: 19
Views: 2458

Re: How much is financial flexibility worth?

I don't know what the balances are, but you may also be able to refinance that 4.24% auto loan. Used car loans can be had for under 3% these days, depending on how old the car is. Stretching the amortization out a bit with the refi might lower the payments too, to free up cash for the more expensive...
by Meg77
Thu May 14, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody 50/50?
Replies: 78
Views: 6640

Re: Anybody 50/50?

You don't mention how much you plan to be investing each year, but unless you are starting out with a major inheritance then your balances are going to be relatively small for at least a few years. Asset allocation is important, but don't overthink it at this stage. The single most significant facto...
by Meg77
Thu May 14, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conundrum: Can do my own books but banks require CPA statement
Replies: 23
Views: 1646

Re: Conundrum: Can do my own books but banks require CPA statement

As a banker I just want to say that you are probably out of luck avoiding this requirement. A lot of banks (especially smaller community banks) might accept quick books and personally prepared returns for business loans under $500K or a million, but at many bigger banks and for most larger loans the...
by Meg77
Thu May 14, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking out a HELOC for a rental...
Replies: 16
Views: 1058

Re: Taking out a HELOC for a rental...

As a banker, I can tell you this is a common way to finance these sorts of projects. A home equity loan is one way to go - and the easiest since you have the equity there. Also HEL's usually have low closing costs. However there are other options. Home Improvement loans require an "as complete&...
by Meg77
Thu May 14, 2015 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring in your 40's
Replies: 21
Views: 2947

Re: Retiring in your 40's

This is a great post, but aren't you really just a Stay-At-Home parent, rather than retired? I know it's just matter of semantics, but can all 24 year old stay-at-home moms and dads with a working spouse really claim "I retired early at 24!" My thoughts exactly. In my mind, 'retirement' i...
by Meg77
Wed May 13, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 256
Views: 34023

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

I relate to your comment of have nothing to retire to or from. I'm almost your age and have spent my life fully embracing my Type A drive by focusing on achievement in school, career, and investing. I have succeeded so far, more quickly than I expected and probably to a larger degree than I deserve....
by Meg77
Tue May 12, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Define "Take Home Pay"
Replies: 15
Views: 1455

Re: Define "Take Home Pay"

Take home pay is a meaningful concept for most Americans because it is simply the amount of money you get every month that you can use to budget. Sure 401k can skew that, as can taxes which can vary, but those should be considered fixed expenses anyway as long as you're having the right amount withh...
by Meg77
Tue May 12, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 5046

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do?

First of all, you can surely afford this if you want to do it. There are complications to be aware of. You say you want to "help her buy" the place, but then it sounds like you are talking about paying for the whole thing yourself. If you buy this place in cash and let your daughter live t...
by Meg77
Tue May 12, 2015 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advisor vs. CPA/Tax specialist
Replies: 5
Views: 587

Re: Financial advisor vs. CPA/Tax specialist

CFPs are trained in tax issues as well (though of course not as thoroughly as a CPA would be). Different advisors have varying specialties though - some focus more on retirement income strategies while specialize investment management, for instance. I think you should talk to that advisor first sinc...
by Meg77
Mon May 11, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Epoxy garage floor?
Replies: 20
Views: 2304

Re: Epoxy garage floor?

I live in a town home and noticed recently that a neighbor has this type of flooring in the garage. It looks so nice! I was never bothered by our slightly oil-stained 6 year old concrete before, but ever since spotting how nice their garage looks I've been wondering about doing this myself. However ...
by Meg77
Mon May 11, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a website
Replies: 18
Views: 1912

Re: Having a website

I second using Wordpress. The customer service is pretty good and you can either do a Wordpress site or use your own domain. Their stock themes (the design of the site) are extensive, and there are options for all different types of websites (blogs, picture blogs, retail sales sites, news sites, etc...
by Meg77
Mon May 11, 2015 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lecture me about "too much house"
Replies: 49
Views: 5709

Re: Lecture me about "too much house"

I just wrote a blog post on How Much House Can You Afford? actually: http://www.worldofwealthblog.com/?p=250 The rule of thumb is to spend no more than 3x your gross income on a home. People in HCOL areas tend to have to push that, and people in low cost of living areas tend to need much less howeve...
by Meg77
Fri May 08, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to educate myself about buying a house?
Replies: 11
Views: 1053

Re: How to educate myself about buying a house?

Congratulations on the new job/location! To start, evaluate your budget and see how much you want to spend on a home. This has nothing to do with how much you can get approved for, which is almost always much more than you should spend (unless you're in a super high cost of living area). Lenders don...
by Meg77
Thu May 07, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Refinance
Replies: 3
Views: 481

Re: Student Loan Refinance

I agree, you may need to just wait on this goal. I know it's tempting to want to wipe out this debt quickly, but I don't even think that should be your #1 priority (though getting that larger one refinanced would be ideal of course). It may be awhile before you can refinance, if ever, so in the mean...
by Meg77
Thu May 07, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?
Replies: 40
Views: 3990

Re: Which of these 6 mortgages seem good?

Hi, I am a mortgage banker, and I just want to let you know that you are on the right track. I haven't read all the comments so far, but I wanted to point out that the APR takes into account interest rate AND all lender fees (origination fees and application fees the bank gets, but not third party c...
by Meg77
Tue May 05, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: selling/buying a car - NJ or TX?
Replies: 12
Views: 765

Re: selling/buying a car - NJ or TX?

It may be easier to sell the older car in TX. My husband and I sold his 2002 Mazda on Craigslist in just a couple of days for 25% more than the dealer was going to give him for it in Dallas. There is a lot of demand for cheaper used cars, particularly from immigrants who may not have credit and can'...
by Meg77
Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to go from here with my Personal Finances?
Replies: 19
Views: 3233

Re: Where to go from here with my Personal Finances?

Debts: Short term: $3000 on 0% Store credit cards (will be gone within 6 months) Long term: $310K on mortgage (4.125%, 30 year fixed, $9k property tax rate) = $2,500 mortgage (including escrowing all the additional, prop tax, insur, PMI (yuck) ) $61K student loans (various interest rates from 3-7%)...
by Meg77
Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages - Broker vs Credit Unions
Replies: 15
Views: 1496

Re: Mortgages - Broker vs Credit Unions

As a mortgage banker, ... Great advice Meg! Could you outline in a few steps the process you use for approval and final decision? i.e.: 1 - If I'm buying within 90 days, I'll first go to XYZ lender for initial pre-approval (online, bank, broker, etc.?) but I don't have to look hard at rates at this...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should anticipated inheritance affect asset allocation?
Replies: 17
Views: 1382

Re: How should anticipated inheritance affect asset allocati

I wouldn't factor it into your asset allocation at all. There's not really any prudent way to do so anyway; just think of it as a big pending liquidity event that could boost your total portfolio, if you think the building may need to be sold. Even if you just inherit the income stream, you could ar...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who still have Cable TV?
Replies: 63
Views: 3529

Re: Who still have Cable TV?

We've been keeping cable solely so my husband can watch sports - mostly Golf Channel and MLB Network - but I just found out the Golf Channel streams live for free and you can subscribe to the MLB network streaming to any device for $129 a year. So we may be about to pull the plug. For the record Sli...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential new home is well-priced, but...
Replies: 31
Views: 2944

Re: Potential new home is well-priced, but...

I live in Texas and have lived in Alabama and Louisiana, and I've never heard of anybody heating an outdoor pool. I would certainly not pay for that, whether via solar or electricity. If the kids want to swim when it's hot, great! If it's too cold to use for half the year, who cares? I read somewher...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?
Replies: 188
Views: 11930

Re: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?

We pay just under $11K on a 2150SF home in Texas that's valued at $485K for tax purposes (market value probably more like $515K). My parents pay less than $1500 on a 10,000 SF house in Alabama that's insured for over $1M (market value is probably half that and I have no idea what their tax assessmen...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages - Broker vs Credit Unions
Replies: 15
Views: 1496

Re: Mortgages - Broker vs Credit Unions

As a mortgage banker, I can say that your realtor has some valid concerns. New regulations that went into effect in January and further new regulations (all new paperwork and new waiting periods) that go into effect in August have had a big negative impact on closing/processing timelines. It's very ...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate lock in for a year
Replies: 4
Views: 995

Re: Mortgage rate lock in for a year

I'm a banker, and my company just rolled out a similar product. It's a one time close, construction-to-perm loan that locks in the rate on the permanent mortgage up front (I think our limit is also for one year). Last I checked our rate was 4.25% on most jumbos, but it depends on the loan amount (su...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Review our current finances - What else we should do?
Replies: 17
Views: 2416

Re: Review our current finances - What else we should do?

[quote="love2save"]@Meg77 - Yes thats what I think is the biggest hole in our current plan. We are going to start aggressively funding it starting this year. We plan to fund 529s with the max allowed state amount (i think its 13000$). My wife believes that we may be able to fund one tuitio...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Raiding Taxable to Max Out Tax-Deferred Space
Replies: 18
Views: 1275

Re: Raiding Taxable to Max Out Tax-Deferred Space

I would begin to transfer the $25K in dividends from taxable accounts into the tax-deferred accounts each year as you have planned. I would also sell any taxable losses you have (now and whenever they occur in the future) to minimize your tax burden today and also free up cash to move to tax-deferre...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Review our current finances - What else we should do?
Replies: 17
Views: 2416

Re: Review our current finances - What else we should do?

You seem like you are more than on track for retirement, but if your number one goal is to fully fund college for the kids, then that is the gaping hole in your plan. You could need $250K in 10 years for your 8 year old plus another $300K a few years later for the younger one if they don't get schol...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice on rebalancing entire portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1186

Re: Need advice on rebalancing entire portfolio

Welcome! First of all, I'd put your 401k 100% in that S&P 500 index. You don't have the best funds, but that one is the cheapest and a very good base from which to build the rest of the portfolio. The Vanguard small cap value index is a fine second choice, but it's probably easier from a rebalan...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Just Do Nothing
Replies: 45
Views: 6618

Re: Can't Just Do Nothing

Maybe you should look to a career shift into something like sales where your energy/hustle can go into boosting your "real" income rather than these side projects just to keep you occupied. Or start an actual side business of some kind. Blogging and landlording are two big time sucking all...

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