Search found 557 matches

by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can the market go up forever?
Replies: 80
Views: 5536

Re: Can the market go up forever?

If M2 money supply grows at a real rate of 2% per year, in about 4000 years there will be more dollars than there are atoms on planet Earth. Get the picture? I am not much for predictions of the future, but physical money will likely be phased out in much less than 4000 years. I don't see how M2 co...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home Equity When Estimating Savings for Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 1656

Re: Home Equity When Estimating Savings for Retirement

Right, we don't count home equity at all. We might downsize a bit in retirement, especially because we currently live in a relatively high-priced metro area, but we don't want to depend on that. However, we do assume that our mortgage will be fully repaid. As a result, our projected expenses in reti...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large short term market swings - why?
Replies: 8
Views: 527

Re: Large short term market swings - why?

You may enjoy this somewhat old academic paper -- Why Does the Stock Market Fluctuate?, by Robert Barsky and Brad Delong -- which I believe still holds up well: http://delong.typepad.com/fluctuate.pdf Basically, the idea is that stock prices are derived from the present value of dividends that will ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deduction on co-owned property?
Replies: 4
Views: 264

Re: Tax deduction on co-owned property?

Answer to your actual question (with the caveat that I am not a tax expert, but we did co-own a property for 7 years): it depends on who pays what. For example, if you are splitting everything 50-50 on the second unit (including property taxes and interest), then you would split the deductions 50-50...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (Seriously) What exactly is meant by the phrase "interest rates," plural?
Replies: 9
Views: 829

Re: (Seriously) What exactly is meant by the phrase "interest rates," plural?

Well, I can tell you what I always thought it meant. I could be misunderstanding it, though. I have always taken this to mean that, when the Fed takes action, the effect is to raise/lower interest rates for many different types of instruments and trades. So the phrase "interest rates" make...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in the house
Replies: 80
Views: 6614

Re: Cash in the house

I always have ~$1k on my person. Especially when travelling. Just hope you're not stopped by the police. They'll confiscate it under "forfeiture" laws. Any more then about $300 is considered to be suspicious and they can and will take it. Baloney. This is quite untrue in the US as regards...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS withholding
Replies: 22
Views: 1680

Re: SS withholding

I don't see how SS withholding is particularly advantageous, vs. quarterly estimated payments. Quarterly estimated tax "filings" are not required; you just pay. To be clear, you can use a worksheet to estimate what you owe, but you don't actually file the worksheet. In this respect, our st...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a car?, baby on the way.
Replies: 28
Views: 2031

Re: Should I buy a car?, baby on the way.

As others have said, it depends on where you live and how good the public transit is. And, in any case, you can certainly wait and buy a car later. We live in Northern Virginia. We have a metro stop a 10-minute walk from our home and two bus stops closer than that. I bike or metro to work in DC (hav...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?
Replies: 71
Views: 5538

Re: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?

If you have anything remotely like comfortable retirement savings tell no one. Especially gossipy friends and family. Truer words were never spoken. Yes, this is absolutely an actionable topic, and the action is: do not say anything that gives friends and family a sense of your assets and liabiliti...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recently Became Landlord
Replies: 24
Views: 1705

Re: Recently Became Landlord

Advice above is good. Other stuff depends a lot on what you mean by landlord. What's the property? How many units and what kind of rentals? Do you have/need a property manager? Are you doing this full-time? How dependent are you on the cash flow? What's the rest of your financial situation? For exam...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crab Grass
Replies: 33
Views: 2785

Re: Crab Grass

Also, here is an example of a simple aerator: http://www.amazon.com/Yard-Butler-ID-6C-Coring-Aerator/dp/B00EOMCJD6/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1438693682&sr=1-2&keywords=aerator It takes some effort to use this, especially in the fall, but it makes a big difference for the y...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crab Grass
Replies: 33
Views: 2785

Re: Crab Grass

Lots of good advice in this thread, but Boglegrapher matches exactly what I would do. If you don't want to rent equipment, you can do the following (in the place of step 1 in Boglegrapher's post): 1. If you haven't already, buy and use a simple aerator at the end of August. 2. Around the beginning o...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 9121

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly. Yes, we talk about money issues after the kids go to sleep. We have never had anything we could not resolve relatively quickly. We are lucky that we have similar views in general. The only exception was after we got...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?
Replies: 14
Views: 1307

Re: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?

Unless you want to move back into the house I'd probably sell. Being a LL is anything but passive income even if you use a PM. It's not just the tenant issues but on-going maintenance and capital repairs. Right now I probably have the best tenants I've ever had. My husband and I have three full-tim...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World Orlando Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3292

Re: Disney World Orlando Advice

Get familiar with DISboards.com and easywdw.com. Those are great resources and, if you spend enough time, all of your questions will be answered. Even then, I am not sure it is possible to have a fun, reasonably-priced trip to Disney World between Xmas and New Year's - the crowds may just be too ove...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One million dollar home
Replies: 37
Views: 5821

Re: One million dollar home

Five years ago, we essentially did A ($700k old home plus about $200k in expected work), even though we could have done C ($1.1m or so new-build McMansion). We should have done C. Financially, we've spent much less than expected in doing the remodeling that we knew was necessary, but that has been o...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing over finances.
Replies: 70
Views: 6592

Re: Divorcing over finances.

We are doing all of the divorce paperwork through a paralegal in CA. She wants 35K and nothing else. She will be literally cashing that check today. We did not have kids. She has agreed not to take any of my increased 401K balance or pension, and nothing else. I haven't seen anybody else mention th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?
Replies: 44
Views: 5308

Re: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?

OP - What you suggest seems possible, but it doesn't seem like the best approach, for a few reasons. If you are planning to have your first child in three years, and you are unhappy in your job now, that means either three more years of working in an unhappy job, or it's three years to find and esta...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week
Replies: 6
Views: 1057

Re: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week

The weather will probably be great. Jersey week is still better than a lot of other times, but it will feel crowded to you. The parks are just a lot busier than they used to be, the resorts are actually more full in November than June (due to discounts and promotions), the new "Fastpass Plus&qu...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri May 29, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 2930

Re: Best Kid Toys

I have a son who turned 4 in April. For his birthday party, one of his friends gave him this Bat Cave: http://www.toysrus.com/buy/favorite-characters/fisher-price-imaginext-batcave-x7677-21655226 It is an understatement to say it has been a huge hit with our son. This is not the kind of toy we norma...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 26, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 30
Views: 2037

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

We did a full kitchen remodel last year. We lost our stovetop, oven, and built-in microwave for 4 weeks (they had estimated 5 weeks, and the work ended up taking almost 6 weeks, but they put in the appliances before the kitchen was completely done, so we could start using them again). OP, eight week...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 21, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes
Replies: 18
Views: 1476

Re: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes

Tell us more about the house, the neighborhood, and how long you expect the house to be on the market. Also, do you know whether the insurance is pro-rated, so that it would be around $600/month until you sell? Without knowing more, since this was your family home, my initial thought is that you sho...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 12, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 5197

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do?

Seems like you have the money to buy it in cash, without changing your lifestyle or retirement plans. Both you and your daughter would benefit from it, and it's hard to see any scenario where you'd be forced to sell any time soon due to financial circumstances. Do you have any other big-dollar purch...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 11, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 3243

Re: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement

The other factor in his recommendation was to get a home we can live in even if we aren't in top physical shape years down the road, because our current home isn't great in that regard. He said if we wait until we're really in need of a home that's more senior-friendly, we're going to find it much ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 07, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member, and way behind the 8-ball (long and boring)
Replies: 15
Views: 2247

Re: New member, and way behind the 8-ball (long and boring)

Welcome. I think you are in the right place, and you are already moving in the right direction financially. Contributing to a Roth IRA, building up the emergency fund a bit more, and paying off the student debt all seem like good priorities for you. In my view, there's no real magic to deciding amon...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 04, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario
Replies: 22
Views: 2400

Re: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario

I don't understand the numbers. It looks like the deal is she will pay you a lump-sum of $165k, and in return she gets $100/month off rent, for a place that is bigger and more expensive than what she actually needs. And you are worried this does not make financial sense for _you_? Incidentally, we r...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 529
Replies: 15
Views: 954

Re: Thoughts on 529

OP - We are in about the same position as you, and we arrived at an initial target of $5500 per year per kid in 529s (as of 2011 - it should go up with inflation), but we are not one bit stressed out if we go below that some years. That was based on 4 years at UVA at 2011-12 prices (which is when w...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 529
Replies: 15
Views: 954

Re: Thoughts on 529

OP - We are in about the same position as you, and we arrived at an initial target of $5500 per year per kid in 529s (as of 2011 - it should go up with inflation), but we are not one bit stressed out if we go below that some years. That was based on 4 years at UVA at 2011-12 prices (which is when we...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 6946

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

I have learned that my wife and I essentially had a destination wedding for my side of the family, as she grew up on one coast and I grew up on the other. All her family lives within an hour of each other, whereas my extended family is spread over a bunch of cities. So we had the wedding in her home...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?
Replies: 76
Views: 5420

Re: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?

Please stay on-topic, meaning the financial aspects, which are: Hello Boggle-ites, I am paying for my girlfriend of 3.5yrs nursing edumacation (proudly - she is an all A achieving rock star). Last year I gifted her the money and she paid it through her bank account. This year, I am paying the insti...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?
Replies: 76
Views: 5420

Re: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?

PPS: I'm the reason we aren't engaged or married. I lost my mother (57yo) to cancer in December 2013 and that rocked my world. My S/O helped take care of my mother and we have been inundated for the past 16+ months organizing my mothers estate. I'm the type of Type A person that completely immerses...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to [Financially] Prepare for a Baby
Replies: 42
Views: 4255

Re: How to Prepare for a Baby

For the first two years, the only big financial impact is if a parent stops working to care for the child, or if you pay for child care to enable both parents to work. (Unless you have great family help, you're in one boat or the other.) We have two small kids. For us, all the other expenses have ca...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5891

Re: On a budget and Friday night

My wife and I have two young kids. Our routine is to get takeout on Friday night. (It's not a financial splurge -- we use fresh ingredients when cooking, so takeout is often cheaper -- but takeout is easier than cooking and cleaning up afterwards.) Kids are fed, bathed, brushed, and asleep by about ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services
Replies: 10
Views: 968

Re: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services

We have been much happier since we signed up for Angie's List two years ago. You have to pay, but it gives you access to a lot more information about the contractors, and the contractors with A ratings on Angie's List seem more incentivized to keep you happy, in order to maintain their high rating. ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Corporate Finance vs Personal Finance
Replies: 9
Views: 971

Re: Corporate Finance vs Personal Finance

OP - Why are you asking? In addition to the factors mentioned above, one difference is that, with personal finance, the principal is doing the labor. In other words, in your personal life, you can frequently save money by spending more time and effort. You can pay someone to take care of your yard, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?
Replies: 12
Views: 1881

Re: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?

We bought a home with radiant heating, and the floors were all in terrible shape, so we planned to replace them. We were told we cannot have "real" hardwood, because all the floors have a concrete base. We went with engineered hardwood, but we used a pretty thick option. I don't remember t...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $1M house?
Replies: 82
Views: 10923

Re: Can I afford a $1M house?

We faced a similar decision to yours, and we ultimately decided to stay put. We concluded that we could "afford" a $1m (or even much higher) house, but it just wasn't worth it. We also live in a HCOL east coast suburb. Our income is in the same ballpark as yours. We have a lot more liquid ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?
Replies: 82
Views: 7975

Re: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?

I would advise either deleveraging or building up your reserves. Right now it appears that you consider your mother's accounts as a portion of your reserves: The good news on those family loans is that I don't have to pay her on a schedule. One year I had a bunch of property issues blow up, and I w...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes/No Water In Home
Replies: 29
Views: 3065

Re: Frozen Pipes/No Water In Home

I don't have any good advice for the OP; only commiseration. We had a pipe burst above our kitchen during the "polar vortex" last year. What a disaster. This year, we've been dripping faucets at night, keeping the heat in our house warmer all winter, and holding our breath whenever the tem...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 6219

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

Please go in October if you can, best time I've ever gone and we've done it multiple times.. Weather is nice and lines are lowww! Aren't more rides closed during off-peak periods? Yes, although Disney announces most closures long in advance, and you can find updated info easily -- e.g., here: http:...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 6219

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

We went to Disney World this past November, during their "free dining" promotion. (Under this deal, you get a bunch of "free" meals if you pay rack rate for the hotel and park tickets.) We have two young boys. Overall, it was a blast, and not particularly expensive. We stayed on-...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post
Replies: 25
Views: 1717

Re: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post

Usually, I would say no way -- you should sell. Factors not mentioned above: your friendship with your new renter could be seriously strained by entering into a LL-tenant relationship; becoming a landlord will likely take way more time than you think; and you are dealing with owning two properties, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with Contractors
Replies: 9
Views: 826

Re: Dealing with Contractors

I'm sorry about your daughter's accident, glad she is okay. That must have been really traumatic for your whole family. How many feet up is the railing? I.e., is this a railing on a second-story landing, or is it part of a staircase? Code or not, it sounds like it was poorly installed and is hazardo...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?
Replies: 36
Views: 4344

Re: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?

FYI if it hasn't been mentioned the $2000 state tax deduction is per beneficiary and it rolls over indefinitely. so maybe in 50 years you'll have it all deducted. Ohio! Wow! I didn't realize that. Unlimited carryover seemed too good to be true but I looked it up and sure enough you're right. Got to...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4646

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

We have been really happy with a RAV4 for a family of 4, but ours is not 4WD. We've had it for six years and had no real problems. Maintenance costs have been very, very low. With two rows, there is a ton of room in the back.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 87
Views: 10077

Re: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?

This is a variant on a line from Conan O'Brien's 2000 commencement speech at Harvard: ".... Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In those situations, the correct response to, “Where did you go to school?” is “School? I never had much in the way of book learnin’ and su...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)
Replies: 21
Views: 1923

Re: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)

OP, If you are asking about the World Bank retirement plan, the Real+3% option is simply a great deal. The World Bank pension plan is one of the best-funded plans in the world. It puts those funds into an expansive mix of investments. Due to its large size, it is able to negotiate good terms, which ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition to a single income household
Replies: 16
Views: 1390

Re: Transition to a single income household

- The non worker tends to go loopie for a while with just the kids to talk to and vastly reduced adult interaction :D This was the biggest thing I did not expect. For years before we had kids, my wife always rolled with the punches and had a positive attitude, through good times and bad. But then, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time vacation home - mortgage or purchase with cash?
Replies: 10
Views: 901

Re: First time vacation home - mortgage or purchase with cas

Would strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly suggest that you not buy a vacation home if you are considering buying a home in the NYC suburbs in the next 3 years. You probably feel cash rich now. You will not feel that way when you want to buy a home in that area. (Or even if you move to most other ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you
Replies: 94
Views: 9563

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

These issues are very, very normal for a relationship. I have seen many otherwise-good relationships get derailed by conflicts about spending habits. If I were you, I would really try hard not to harp on convenience store purchases. It's a different story if he's regularly buying new electronics on ...

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