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by Meg77
Thu May 21, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed 0.99% auto loan
Replies: 33
Views: 2180

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: 1198

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: 1007

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: 807

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: 6920

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: 165
Views: 19708

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: 1732

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: 15
Views: 1222

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: 6176

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: 1547

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: 999

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: 2808

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: 165
Views: 19708

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: 1411

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: 4887

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: 566

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: 2078

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: 1635

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: 5331

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: 1003

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: 448

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: 3755

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: 709

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: 15
Views: 1418

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: 1381

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: 1317

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: 3095

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: 2845

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: 11108

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: 1381

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: 954

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: 2379

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: 1211

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: 2379

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: 1141

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: 6287

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...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell our rental house, reinvest profits elsewhere?
Replies: 36
Views: 2086

Re: Should I sell our rental house, reinvest profits elsewhe

When I first started reading and saw the $12K per year cash flow, I was leaning toward telling you to keep it. Selling will just cost a lot of money in transaction costs, the rental provides nice tax breaks, and you can always hire a property manager to deal with the headaches (I actually increased ...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?
Replies: 25
Views: 1721

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Business Amex for rentals Amex for 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back on gas Citicard 2% cash back on everything (my daily go to card) Nordstrom MasterCard I keep because I shop a lot there and it's one of my oldest cards Banana Republic I rarely use but keep because it's one of my oldest cards C...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to [Financially] Prepare for a Baby
Replies: 42
Views: 3819

Re: How to Prepare for a Baby

Just wanted to comment so I can follow this thread. Congrats on the new addition to your family! As a 30-something female who has been married one year now, I think about childbearing pretty much daily. Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression? :wink:
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3930

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

Yes, and if it's been over a year your card may already be closed and you just might not know it. I don't use my few retail cards often, and recently when I tried to use one (Banana Republic I think) I was told it had been closed. I never got a notice about it. I believe it's a fraud prevention meas...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll: 401k fees?
Replies: 6
Views: 666

Re: Poll: 401k fees?

As for question a), It would depend on how long I planned to stay at that job. Most 30 year olds don't stay with one company for more than a few years, in which case my decisions wouldn't be much impacted by the 401k fees. But even very high 1.5% or 2% fees are worth it for the tax deduction you get...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honeymoon Ideas
Replies: 31
Views: 2574

Re: Honeymoon Ideas

My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand. So I would try to take full advantage. I took over two weeks off of work, went halfway around the world, and spent more than I p...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy now or wait?
Replies: 13
Views: 1621

Re: Buy now or wait?

Just dump everything into your target AA mix. If stocks tank you'll sell bonds to buy more. If bonds dip when rates rise you'll sell stocks to even things out. Rebalancing according to your target AA ensures you buy low and sell high over time. But staying in 100% cash is just a sure way to have you...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's Official - We're Done
Replies: 38
Views: 8218

Re: It's Official - We're Done

How exciting! Well done. :sharebeer
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup
Replies: 80
Views: 5273

Re: Prenup

They don't need a prenup. If and when their situation changes (one stays home with kids, for example) then they can always get a "post-nup" which is the same document but written during marriage. That's a lot easier than trying to negotiate a myriad of "what if" variables years o...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I part of the problem??
Replies: 73
Views: 8975

Re: Am I part of the problem??

Hypocrite is the wrong word. Many professionals provide expensive services that they wouldn't pay for themselves or that could be found more cheaply. That doesn't mean they have to feel obliged to advice their customers they can find cheaper goods or guilty for charging more. Do you expect the sales...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to give adult children their inheritance?
Replies: 57
Views: 6855

Re: When to give adult children their inheritance?

I can speak from experience as the recipient of inheritances. My grandparents (still living) began making annual gifts to a trust for each grandchild when I was a toddler (I'm 31 now). When I started looking at colleges I was told about the funds - and that ultimately I'd get to keep what was leftov...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nailed it! $223,199/yr: magic# for making it in SF Bay Area
Replies: 117
Views: 11514

Re: Nailed it! $223,199/yr: magic# for making it in SF Bay A

Presumably this imaginary upper middle class/spendy individual would have a spouse, at least at some point, given the large expenses related to children in this example. In that case a combined average $111K/year income doesn't seem like quite as much of a stretch, even if one spouse stayed at home ...
by Meg77
Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax - single member LLC but never asked for LLC name...
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: Turbotax - single member LLC but never asked for LLC nam

I have an active single member LLC, and TurboTax has never asked me for detail on that entity. All the income and deductions from the property just go on my tax return (schedule E) as if they were held in my individual name. TurboTax and, by extension, the IRS don't care about the entity details unl...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In my situation, would you pay down mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 1542

Re: In my situation, would you pay down mortgage?

You're doing the right thing by investing the money. Your interest rate is fixed and so very low, especially after the tax break is taken into account. Inflation will erode the majority of your interest expense over time as well, assuming it remains between 2-3%. In a few more years, savings account...

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