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Re: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination req

I agree with your servicer. You can't get PMI removed if the loan is less than 24 months old unless you pay the loan down to 78% of the original appraised value - OR if you get a new appraisal that shows that improvements alone have increased the original value beyond what would give an 78% LTV. The...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Mortgage company is denying my PMI termination request
Replies: 28
Views: 3114

Re: How do I balance debt v. investing in my situation

You are doing great! It would make absolutely zero sense to take money OUT of a retirement account to pay your debt. If it's bothering you so much then cut your contributions down to 10% and pay the extra toward the loan until it's gone. You can't go wrong either way between maxing out a retirement ...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I balance debt v. investing in my situation
Replies: 25
Views: 1243

Re: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)

Both. I didn't answer the poll because I think you should pay off the loan in full and then DCA whatever the payment was into a brokerage account (or retirement account if you aren't maxing those out). So essentially I think yes to paying off the car but also yes to investing an extra $30K - just ov...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)
Replies: 29
Views: 1197

Re: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman

From what I have heard her documentation package is pretty decent, and it's certainly a good deal from a cost perspective. I haven't looked through it personally, but I've considered going with her package myself, just to get something basic in place. Once my husband and I have kids and more complex...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4 essential documents: Suze Orman
Replies: 25
Views: 2538

Re: Are you CFP or Financial Planner: Seeking career advice

I'm a CFP, and I'm a banker. Several private bankers I know have their CFPs and don't actually use them to sell investments as you'd assume. There are lots of ways to go with the designation. That said, a CFP alone wouldn't get you a job as a lender/banker; you'd also need a degree in finance or acc...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you CFP or Financial Planner: Seeking career advice
Replies: 17
Views: 1124

Re: 36 yo looking for early retirement

I'm in a very similar situation so thanks for the post. My husband and I are in our 30s with upper mid 6 figures saved, aiming for early retirement. We make less than you guys and are not quite investing 6 figures a year though, and our mortgage is bigger. But we are also tentatively planning on 2-3...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 yo looking for early retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 3562

Re: Play money- what is your process?

I don't call it "play money" but I do maintain a brokerage account where I'm free to indulge any investments that might not be totally "bogleheady" (i.e. where I can try to time the market by buying certain stocks or sectors). My husband keeps a similar account which he just padd...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Play money- what is your process?
Replies: 55
Views: 3362

Re: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"

Just wanted to throw my two cents in and say that I'm in the industry and have worked with and personally know more than several financial advisors who I respect very much. Some use the 1% of AUM pricing model, but there are others who actually do charge by the hour or who charge a flat fee to creat...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"
Replies: 102
Views: 7963

Re: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

Stick with the Roth! Your actual effective tax rate (which is much lower than your tax bracket) will probably not change at all if you are $10K or $20K into the 25% bracket. If your effective tax is under 20% I say go Roth every time - in later decades getting your tax rate that low might be a big c...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2560

Re: Women's Face Moisturizer/Lotion

Go to Nordstrom and talk to a salesperson there. I recently bought face cleanser and moisturizer for a friend and they were super helpful (I went with Laura Mercier which is a good middle ground brand with high qualify, for the record). They will ask questions about the person's age and issues and m...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women's Face Moisturizer/Lotion
Replies: 51
Views: 3397

Re: Is it worth it to buy a condo vs a house.

I think you should go for it. In most parts of the country it's cheaper to own than to rent currently, and rates are back down to all time lows. I just locked in today to refinance my townhome at 3.75% fixed for 30 years - with a large closing cost credit. Even if it costs a bit more to own, you'll ...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it to buy a condo vs a house.
Replies: 25
Views: 2611

Re: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance

I worked hard and spent conservatively. But when I was in my late 30's, I realized how much of my oldest daughter's life I had missed and with another daughter on the way, I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. Because of our conservative lifestyle, I opted to just retire and raise our young...
by Meg77
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance
Replies: 20
Views: 1842

Re: Explain me some tax law!

Your example is a little convoluted, but what matters first and foremost is what state the hypothetical person claims as his residence. If he "lives" in NJ then that would be his state of residency, but if he has a home in Florida or Nevada that he claims residency in, then that would be t...
by Meg77
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explain me some tax law!
Replies: 16
Views: 2165

Re: Refinance motrgage

If you can afford to refinance to a 15 year fixed at that rate, it would probably be worth it even if you did pay closing costs, assuming you aren't planning to sell in the next 2 years. The only catch is if you are more than 15 years into your current mortgage - then the math can get murky, and eve...
by Meg77
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance motrgage
Replies: 12
Views: 1217

Re: Refinance question

The APR is the total cost of the loan (including fees, closing costs and interest) expressed as a percentage. It's usually a bit higher than the rate, because if adds in the fees. It's good for comparing various loan options, but definitely just use the interest rate in any calculators. For the reco...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance question
Replies: 9
Views: 748

Re: Would a refinance be worth it?

Thank you for the reply Admiral. The folks there stated fixed and the web site confirms... i think the Line Of Credits are variable, this is a fixed loan. The $99 fee is one time, not recurring. I can't seem to find a no cost refi that i'm comfortable with... the rates higher and the monthly paymen...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a refinance be worth it?
Replies: 20
Views: 1369

Re: Saving vs Living

Welcome! The great news is that you are young and have a good income for somebody just starting out. I know it feels like progress is slow, but the first steps are the hardest and take the longest. Before you know it your income will be higher and it'll be easier and easier to save, I promise! One o...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving vs Living
Replies: 33
Views: 4516

Re: How would you invest $1.2 million?

The simplest first step is to simply point out how high the fees are on the funds that were selected. It will be difficult for anybody to protest (except perhaps the financial advisor) if you explain that you have learned how much high expense ratios cut into returns over time and request that the b...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest $1.2 million?
Replies: 28
Views: 4038

Re: How to deal with a costly, obscure 401k plan

I'm in the same boat, as are many people. If you would otherwise be maxing out the plan, or contributing more than the match do that anyway. Just pick the cheapest index fund they offer that would keep you in line with your target asset allocation. I justify having to do that because the employer ma...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to deal with a costly, obscure 401k plan
Replies: 4
Views: 382

Re: Parents spending on grandkids

With regard to the first part of your question, I wouldn't worry about their finances. If they both have pensions based on NY salaries and are retired down South, they are probably downright giddy to realize how much further that income goes. And the good news is that they have income guaranteed for...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents spending on grandkids
Replies: 23
Views: 1874

Re: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you

*Sigh.* I wish I cared about this as much as you do, truly. I know one day (esp if we have kids) I'll look back and berate myself for how much we could have saved if we had cut our food and dining costs sooner. My husband and I both eat out every work day on average. He eats lunch out every single d...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you
Replies: 94
Views: 8698

Re: Evaluate my windfall plan

Questions: 1. Since we hope (but don't need) to use some of this money in less than 5 years, should we keep a portion, say 50%, in an online savings account instead of DCAing it (step 3 above)? Yes. You're doing great and investing a ton each year into the market already; there's no need to risk mon...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluate my windfall plan
Replies: 14
Views: 1906

Re: First time buyer - mortgage advise

Hi, so I got the loan commitment from the bank for 3.625% for the bimonthly mortgage I stated earlier. Still 20 days left for the closing. Well now that the rates have dropped (their new bimonthly is 3.5%). So now I need to make a decision. The bank is giving me the following options: - Pay the ban...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time buyer - mortgage advice
Replies: 22
Views: 2419

Re: Refinance 4.75% 30-YR Mortgage? $150K Loan

Update: We have locked in a 3.875% rate (30 year fixed) at Amerisave getting a $77 credit for this rate while owing about $1,500 in fees (appraisal, title, etc.). Our loan originator seems like he'll be great. I'll be sure to provide additional updates as I complete the application and finish the l...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 4.75% 30-YR Mortgage? $150K Loan
Replies: 13
Views: 1160

Re: How do I find the best mortgage refinance rate?

I am banker who originates mortgages, and I do not recommend going online to lending tree or other mortgage broker sites. They advertise rates that almost never turn out to be accurate (either they come with a 3% origination fee or some other issue), and they will ask for ALL of your personal info ...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I find the best mortgage refinance rate?
Replies: 8
Views: 1469

Re: Buying Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE)??

My husband is wanting to...I roll my eyes a bit at his market timing inclinations, but as long as he agrees to hold it forever - i.e. at least 15 years - then I don't care. It'll be a tiny portion of our total portfolio, and it does seem like a decent time to get in for the long haul. I'd rather him...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE)??
Replies: 4
Views: 387

Re: Dazed, Confused and Upset

Ok I haven't read all the posts but got through about half of them. First of all, take a deep breath. You've realized you have been paying investment fees, but this is not the end of the world. Most people do, and they never realize the impact those high fees have. You're still young, and over the n...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dazed, Confused and Upset
Replies: 63
Views: 6286

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

I have more than 6, none of which charge fees, but I only carry four and primarily use 2. Various cash back/rewards options have caused me to assemble the collection over the years. I keep them for the credit history and/or rewards when I need them. I've listed them in order of when I obtained them ...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards do you have?
Replies: 99
Views: 16388

Re: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard

I'm totally on board with the idea that you can do this yourself, HOWEVER I don't want to jump on the bandwagon of implying that every financial advisor or employee of a major brokerage firm is a cold-hearted sales person just itching to take advantage of you. I know many people in the financial ser...
by Meg77
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard
Replies: 48
Views: 3219

Re: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?

Glad you got some of the price down. I was going to suggest getting a bid from the previous title company. Prices are usually set by state law, but the type of title ins needed can vary based on which title attorney you ask especially in a cash deal. But in general those fees don't look above averag...
by Meg77
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 2724

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

1. Looking at priorities and plan, does anything strike you as dumb? Nope 2. To minimize taxes, what type of Vanguard fund should we use for our non-tax advantaged investments? What would be considered tax efficient for us (PA muni bonds?)? The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index/ETF is probably best...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 1943

Re: How do I find the best mortgage refinance rate?

I am banker who originates mortgages, and I do not recommend going online to lending tree or other mortgage broker sites. They advertise rates that almost never turn out to be accurate (either they come with a 3% origination fee or some other issue), and they will ask for ALL of your personal info a...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I find the best mortgage refinance rate?
Replies: 8
Views: 1469

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

Many dealers won't accept credit cards, which is a bummer. Otherwise it's a great strategy!
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a car with credit cards for cash back rewards?
Replies: 36
Views: 3375

Re: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?

The answer is "maybe". Last weekend, I went in with my son. He was depositing a check from my aunt as a Christmas gift. They asked for his ID. I remember this because as we left, I said "if some random person wanted to deposit money in your account, why would you not want that?"...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?
Replies: 27
Views: 2240

Re: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?

I work for a bank. Yes we take deposits from anyone to any account. Even if the check isn't endorsed, you can just write "for deposit only" on the back (or the teller will stamp it "for deposit only"). If you aren't the account holder or can't provide ID, we wouldn't give you cas...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?
Replies: 27
Views: 2240

Re: What to buy with Roth (backdoor) contributions?

You're thinking about it right, as long as you stick to your overall asset allocation. Doing that is the number 1 priority. Number 2 priority is tax consideration when placing assets. You want things with higher yield (bonds, REITs) and higher turnover (cap gains) in tax advantaged accounts. You wan...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to buy with Roth (backdoor) contributions?
Replies: 3
Views: 353

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

Congratulations! I think you have everything pretty well figured out - not sure why you are meeting with a financial planner. A planner who charges by the hour or will do a comprehensive plan for a flat fee could be a good idea, but otherwise he or she is only going to try to convince you to move yo...
by Meg77
Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 1943

Re: Refinance 4.75% 30-YR Mortgage? $150K Loan

A $150,000 mortgage at 4.75% over 30 years should have a payment of $782.47. Total interest over the life of the loan will be $131,690, $7075 of which was paid in year one. That means from "now" until payoff, you'll pay another $124,615 in interest. If you refinance at 3.75% (which I belie...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 4.75% 30-YR Mortgage? $150K Loan
Replies: 13
Views: 1160

Re: Back door roth issue with Vanguard

Ready20, I just did mine on Vanguard and didn't face any issues. I did my 2015 IRA contribution a few days ago by moving money from my bank to VG into my Rollover IRA (which had a zero balance). It popped up those shaded boxes you mentioned and 2014 was shaded out but 2015 was blank. I selected 2015...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Back door roth issue with Vanguard
Replies: 19
Views: 1210

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

The key is how long you plan to hold the property. If you look at the whole life of the loan, any reduction in interest rate will usually show some benefit, unless you're stretching out the term very much. However the bulk of that savings often comes at the end of the loan. So if you don't plan to ...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: Refinance plus cash out...worth it?

First of all, you wouldn't get anywhere close to $31K cashed out, because part of that would go for the VA fund fee, the title fees, and other closing costs. For your first home the VA fee is usually around 1%, but I believe for subsequent mortgages it can shoot up to 3%. With a cash out, the VA fee...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance plus cash out...worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 783

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

As a banker who specializes in real estate financing, I would be suspicious about the claims of a "no cost" refinance at a rate that low. Currently the average 30 year refi rates are just over 4%. Sure you can find them a bit lower if you look hard, but to have a rate offer that far below ...
by Meg77
Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: What do you drive, and why?

I bought a 2011 Volvo XC60 a couple of years ago (slightly used) because I didn't want to have buy another car for 10 years and figured this one would last whether I have kids or dogs or any other practical hauling needs during that time period. Also I like the safety features, the solid/stable feel...
by Meg77
Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 17283

Re: Post your 2015 New Year's Resolutions ITT

Train for and run a half marathon :shock: Have 4+ alcohol free days each week :beer Get 1,000 followers to my new blog (step one) 8-) Lose the 12 pounds I gained last year :annoyed Plan and take a volunteer trip with spouse to South America :happy Spend less than $1500 a month on food, dining out an...
by Meg77
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Post your 2015 New Year's Resolutions ITT
Replies: 38
Views: 3497

Re: Another Down Payment Math Problem

If it were me, I would do the following: -Buy now, i.e. in the coming spring buying season. -Put down $35K, or 10%, from your emergency fund (you'll also need $5K or so for closing costs so cash would drop to around $10K) -Either get a 90% first mortgage and pay PMI for a year or two, or better yet,...
by Meg77
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Down Payment Math Problem
Replies: 14
Views: 2106

Re: Do you rebalance each time you fund your account?

In short, yes, I rebalance with every new contribution. The catch is that most of my new contributions are via my 401k or my husband's 401k - and we don't have many great fund options. He has an S&P 500 index that has a 0% expense ratio, offered by his company (a financial institution), so he pu...
by Meg77
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you rebalance each time you fund your account?
Replies: 25
Views: 1744

Re: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?

I don't even know exactly how I'd calculate my annual return, since I have various accounts (and my employer has switched 401k providers twice in 18 months). I have never really looked at my return in depth, though I enjoy seeing the long term trend line upwards in my Vanguard account.
by Meg77
Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?
Replies: 144
Views: 14173

Re: Should I do a 25 year refinance?

You are right that over the life of the loan you are unlikely to come out far ahead with this new option. With your current loan you'll pay $608,700 in total mortgage payments over the next 25 years. With the new loan you'll pay $606,300, based on your figures. It looks like you'll "save in int...
by Meg77
Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I do a 25 year refinance?
Replies: 13
Views: 850

Re: How Much Do You Sacrifice?

Interesting thread, and a topic I'm sure we all struggle with to some degree. Am I saving too much? Spending too much? Sacrificing too much or too little? Those are separate but overlapping issues. Like you, I sometimes fret that "I could be doing more!" because that's my personality. Here...
by Meg77
Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Sacrifice?
Replies: 82
Views: 6601

Re: Engaged - marriage penalty & other practical concerns

I just got married this year and so 2014 will be my first year filing joint income taxes with my partner - and my first year paying a marriage tax penalty! I have a simplified tax form in Excel I use to estimate my taxes each year, and I will say that I overestimated my marriage tax penalty with it ...
by Meg77
Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engaged - marriage penalty & other practical concerns
Replies: 50
Views: 3874
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