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Re: Need advice on financial planning at age 40

If we get 2500 monthly rent, we will have about 30K in rental income that we have to pay fed and state taxes on each year. Rupert is correct on the main problem with your plan, but there is also no way you will have 30K in taxable rental income. Have you ever actually done your taxes with a rental ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on financial planning at age 40
Replies: 16
Views: 2054

Re: The Most Critical Investment Decision: Time Horizon

I agree with the original post for a reason that has not been discussed: too many investors initially create an asset allocation that is designed for retirement purposes only. Then they funnel ALL of their savings into that allocation. When young, this could mean 90/10. They may realize that they al...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Most Critical Investment Decision: Time Horizon
Replies: 10
Views: 1829

Re: Advice on what to do with proceeds from second home sale

I am probably more risk-averse than you are. If I were in your shoes, all that debt would scare me, and the interest-only loan would particularly scare me. For the reasons suggested by grabiner, I would pay off the office loan entirely, and then pay off about half of the new condo loan. Then I would...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on what to do with proceeds from second home sale
Replies: 8
Views: 970

Re: Really confused by Bernstein

Myself and many people on this board seem to have plenty of no-growth revenue streams and assets (SS, pension, paid off house, collectibles). I'm certainly not going to de-risk and thus "de-growth" the last remaining slice of the pie, nor am I going to plan on 1% SWR from a balanced finan...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Really confused by Bernstein
Replies: 168
Views: 12901

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

What do you need all the liquidity for? In other words, why not use most of your $2.5M portfolio to buy the house? I'd actually agree with macchiato. In your shoes, I'd be looking at 4BR if you are thinking at least 2 kids. If you buy a house now but move into a bigger one in five years, the taxes a...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 87
Views: 7105

Re: Acquiring Debt - Marriage

OP - You haven't given us a full picture of your finances, so we can't give you a completely certain answer. Still, you've told us enough to make clear that the order is not that big a deal. You two don't have that much total debt, and obviously you'll want to prepay the car loan or student loan bef...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Acquiring Debt - Marriage
Replies: 28
Views: 2797

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

Yeah, we've had Amazon Prime for a few years now. For a long time, Amazon was significantly cheaper on almost every product. Also, the reviews are so helpful, the stuff just shows up at your doorstep, and they are great with customer service. But over the past couple years, prices have definitely in...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 7666

Re: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal

In my experience, most vacation condo rentals require hefty upfront payment (often 50% within 10 days, then the balance at least 30 days prior to the rental), much of which is forfeited if you cancel too late. By contrast, many national hotel chains offer free cancellation up to a few days before th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal?
Replies: 8
Views: 660

Re: Stay or move is the financial question.

Not sure why everyone is focused on the Bay Area, when OP said, "We can’t afford San Francisco or San Jose housing therefore we will have to find something that under 400K, small home with a lot of land. Commuting isn’t a problem since I can work from home and my husband job is driving around f...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay or move is the financial question.
Replies: 21
Views: 1567

Re: Forbes Article Disagreeing with Buffett

I think the responses above pretty much cover it. From the bio, I particularly enjoy, "These are the situations that consistently produce higher return opportunities (or higher risk levels). ..." The implication seems to be, 'If you are savvy (like me and those who invest with me), then a ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Article Disagreeing with Buffett
Replies: 7
Views: 942

Re: Will this affect your Tipping?

No idea. I could see myself choosing "no tip", making my choice publicly known, and then handing the server (assuming the server is not the owner) a generous tip while giving him/her an explanation that I am tipping him/her for the excellent service, but I will be very reluctant to return...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will this affect your Tipping? [Suggested Tip Amounts]
Replies: 123
Views: 7561

Re: Is This Deal Too Good To Be True?

I have booked hotels on venere.com before. I never had any issues. But I don't recall ever having to change itineraries, etc., and I don't remember any perks being included (i.e., we weren't doing anything all-inclusive, and I don't think we even had free parking, breakfast, or special room requests...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is This Deal Too Good To Be True?
Replies: 5
Views: 1349

Re: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?

No doubt - "leather" is easier to clean and is hardier than cloth seats. I use quotes because most "leather" out there is faux leather such as Mercedes' MB-Tex and BMW's Leatherette. True leather is much, much more expensive, harder to care for and more fragile than the fake stu...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?
Replies: 46
Views: 2249

Re: what's your number?? (for married couples)

Even here in "high-cost" California, with one's mortgage paid off, and Social Security with a COLA and all that, it's really hard to spend more than $120K/annum after-tax. I asked the wife the other day: "could you make it on $10K/mo, after tax?" She laughed. For us, the math is...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what's your number?? (for married couples)
Replies: 70
Views: 6114

Re: Market Timing - Sort Of

Does the "avoid market timing" mantra apply only to getting in and out of the market based on anticipated swings in the market or is does it also apply to the initial investment of new cash? It also applies to the initial investment of new cash. Hence everyone else's advice above. What is...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market Timing - Sort Of
Replies: 5
Views: 465

Re: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement

LETFs is the attention-grabber in the Forbes article, but the approach that is suggested by Scott is really just another variation on standard asset allocation thinking. In my asset allocation world, "bonds" means a mix of high-grade debt and "stocks" means broad index funds. Not...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 3704

Re: How Often are you Reissues a Debit Card (BofA)

Got a new credit card in the mail from BofA last fall. The explanation was that my current card was set to expire on July 2015. The new card has an expiration date of.... July 2015. As OP suggests, they re-issue them fairly frequently. It used to be a pain, but now we're used to it, so it only takes...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Often are you Reissued a Debit Card (BofA)
Replies: 9
Views: 524

Re: Mortgage advice

We came to the opposite conclusion of most others above. I note that you did not provide exact interest rates, or the mortgage amount, or your marginal tax bracket, or whether you itemize already, or your other financials. So all of the advice above is based on various assumptions. We did a 15-year ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage advice
Replies: 12
Views: 828

Re: Financial Advisor - This good so far?

Income pre-tax: 145k 401k contributions: 1450 per mo (max) 300 extra to mortgage each month 350 to savings each month Spending approx 6000 per month on all bills including extra to mortgage, groceries, etc. House: Value: 360k Owe: 288k 401k: 98k Mutual Fund: 10k (This is our emergency fund) Savings...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Advisor - This good so far?
Replies: 46
Views: 2503

Re: Winter coats:

One detail that I consider important is the quality of the zipper- how easy is it to zip up with gloves on; does it tend to get caught in the fabric around it; does it open from the bottom (for long parkas, coats). The better the zipper, the more faith I have in the overall quality of the jacket/co...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 3758

Re: France with a 10 month old

One thing to consider is that the window of ages in which traveling is _very_ difficult is relatively short, and you might already be in that window. We had a TERRIBLE trip with our son when he was at 8 months. He's now almost three years old. By contrast, we traveled this past Christmas, and he was...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France with a 10 month old
Replies: 30
Views: 1756

Re: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home

I would not feel comfortable blowing up to $600K on a house at your income level. Unexpected bad stuff has a way of happening - been there and done that. The amount you choose to spend on a house now will go a long way toward dictating the level of your financial success in the future. You're talki...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home
Replies: 31
Views: 2826

Re: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home

OP - sounds like this will be a brand new home? If so, I think it all makes sense in the $600k ballpark. You will still have higher maintenance costs than what you have now, but it won't be as bad as if you bought, say, a home originally built in 1947 (as my wife and I did.... it's a beautiful, uniq...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home
Replies: 31
Views: 2826

Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Wow! The price of cost-effective banking would now appear to require eternal vigilance. Shawcroft Yes, it seems the price of cost-effective everything these days requires eternal vigilance. This is a hot-button issue for me and my wife. In the past year, (1) we've been double-charged on a co-pay fr...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!
Replies: 49
Views: 3642

Re: college related advice for 11th grader

that is amazing about Princeton, Leeraer. I am processing my thoughts about that and will write back later. That was then, the last half of the 1970s in Mechanical / Aerospace Engineering. Students were admitted to the graduate school, not for a particular degree. L. Went to Princeton for undergrad...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: college related advice for 11th grader
Replies: 105
Views: 5507

Re: School District Not Allowing me To Invest

Just a comment about switching districts: it's not necessarily a nuclear option. Over the years, my wife has switched from Hawaii to California to Virginia (all public school districts). In Hawaii, she was not vested and still received a small cash payout. In California, she was kind-of vested (long...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: School District Not Allowing me To Invest
Replies: 82
Views: 6076

Re: Please help me put some sense in a senior relative's hea

I strongly agree with the responses above. She is 80. It is very understandable if she doesn't want to spend her remaining time in this world dealing with investing / finances. A few percentage points makes less of an impact by then. As long as she has enough to live her life the way she wants to, t...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me put some sense in a senior relative's head
Replies: 24
Views: 1572

Re: "Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?"

I have really enjoyed the contributions of Professor Emeritus in this thread. Professor brings an interesting twist to the two most appropriate meta-criticisms of this entire, stale topic: 1. "SS as bond" is really just semantic. Everyone on this board agrees and understands that SS should...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?"
Replies: 75
Views: 2870

Re: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite

Use your local public library. I can't remember the last time I bought a book for my Kindle. Huge +1 for the library. At our public library, once you register, you can check out up to 7 ebooks at a time, and you can put ebooks on hold. One of the formats is kindle, so the library sends you a link d...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite
Replies: 21
Views: 1809

Re: Child-Care Credit

The above responses answer your question, but I can't resist a comment. It surprised me when I realized "Child care expenses are deductible" really means, "Child care expenses are deductible up to a relatively small cap." For many parents, this is a significant piece of informati...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child-Care Credit
Replies: 11
Views: 548

Re: Thoughts on having kids?

My wife and I have young kids. We waited until our 30s to start. It is a lot of work, but we love it. I suspect we would have loved it a bit less had we started earlier. Parenthood involves a ton of sacrifices, but those sacrifices seem smaller when you've already traveled extensively, had work achi...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on having kids?
Replies: 101
Views: 3108

Re: Finishing a Basement

investingdad wrote:- no water or moisture problems


Make absolutely, absolutely sure on this point. Sounds like you've lived in the house for awhile, so maybe your confidence is more warranted than ours was.
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing a Basement
Replies: 30
Views: 2135

Re: Gift to young adult relatives

In many families, "forced learning" is not necessarily well-received. My wife and I are currently in the process of selling a sort-of-inherited investment property. We have no need to sell, and it generates slightly positive cash flow, but it is just a pain. The taxes and maintenance are m...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gift to young adult relatives
Replies: 30
Views: 2057

Re: Stupid Things Finance People Say

"More buyers than sellers." This is the equivalent of saying someone has more mothers than fathers. There's one buyer and one seller for every trade. Every single one Really? If one person is unloading a block of 1 million shares and it's being bought in small chunks by 100 different buye...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid Things Finance People Say
Replies: 27
Views: 2666

Re: Grade 4. Writing Reading. Goal. "Exceed the Grade Level"

My suggestions for OP, further to the many good comments from others: 1. Go to the local public library at least once a week, if not more. Borrow books for yourself, not just for her, and read them. 2. Continue to model and encourage reading. Don't worry about the subject matter. Even reading "...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grade 4. Writing Reading. Goal. "Exceed the Grade Level".
Replies: 50
Views: 2836

Re: Pregnant wife's healthcare option selection

Gold seems like by far the best choice. The others all have less than 90/10 coverage, and the difference in premiums is not huge. If you had a more expensive "100/0" option, you would probably pick that. Just to give you one example, our first kid decided to come out five weeks early and q...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pregnant wife's healthcare option selection
Replies: 23
Views: 1427

Re: Living in Arlington, VA

There really are no tricks any more (route diversions, day of the week etc.) - traffic is really bad around here (northern VA/DC) all the time, every day, citing Route 66 in particular. I've encountered traffic jams heading *west* on 66 on Sunday mornings. Go figure. Colossal, epic failure of urban...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in Arlington, VA
Replies: 63
Views: 2662

Re: 250k Student Loan Payment Schedule

OP - Good luck! I was in your shoes, although it was 12 years ago. Can't believe how time flies. My student loan debt was just a tick over $100,000, not nearly as bad as yours, but obviously higher education costs have skyrocketed. Many of my friends (even with the biglaw jobs) opted for NJ or Brook...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 250k Student Loan Payment Schedule
Replies: 47
Views: 4819

Re: Marginal tax rate per turbotax lower than expected?

In practice, virtually no marginal dollar will get taxed at the "Marginal Tax Rate" listed in the tables. All the various factors (some of which are mentioned by Bob's not my name, above) are just too complicated. Based on the numbers you gave, I am guessing you have a lot of charitable de...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal tax rate per turbotax lower than expected?
Replies: 18
Views: 1065

Re: Filing quarterly tax returns when retired

The first time I ever filed estimated quarterly taxes, years ago, I spent multiple hours doing the calculations, because I thought I had to submit all the documentation. (I am a self-employed contractor.) Now I have e-accounts for both federal and state. I simply do a quick back-of-the-envelope calc...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing quarterly tax returns when retired
Replies: 18
Views: 1016

Re: Social Security Claiming Decision Psychology

PJW - I enjoyed your post, but if you want to really get into the muck, even a simple savings account has exactly the same features you attribute to "modestly-complex financial assets," right? As you imply, each dollar that sits in a savings account represents a store of value. That store ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Claiming Decision Psychology
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Re: DB Pension + solo 401k +Backdoor Roth, worried about par

You seem well-intentioned, but my two cents is that you should tread lightly and remember it's their money (and their choices), not yours. Focus on your own finances, which is all you can control. Even if they may try to listen to you, what they may perceive is that you are concerned about inheritan...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DB Pension + solo 401k +Backdoor Roth, worried about parents
Replies: 7
Views: 834

Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

You make $180k a year. There will be financial consequences, but you won't be in the poor house. Actually they don't have a house, poor or other. They're renters. And despite having subsidized rent they still have no money saved for even a starter home. Take $70,000 of that $180,000 away and add th...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences
Replies: 95
Views: 6132

Re: How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring

Thanks everyone. We are definitely keeping the radiant heating - we love it, especially compared with the other options for our old house. We did not get the water backup endorsement to our homeowners; I guess that is my mistake, but nothing we can do about that now. Based on the language of the rel...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring
Replies: 20
Views: 1373

Re: How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring

Thanks for the replies so far. Both raise points we hadn't fully thought out.
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring
Replies: 20
Views: 1373

How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring

For reasons explained below, we suddenly learned that we need to completely replace the wood floors in our entry/living room area ASAP. We currently have engineered hardwood, and we're looking for either real hardwood or very high-quality engineered wood. I'd like to get general views on the best ap...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Approach Getting New Wood Flooring
Replies: 20
Views: 1373

Re: Bucket list - what's done, what's meh and what's left to

I don't subscribe to the "life as tourist consumption" theory. The whole concept of places you "must" see is, when you think about it, a concept that serves those who have blockbuster places to sell. When we visited Oregon, we saw Crater Lake, and duly said "Wow!" and ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bucket list - what's done, what's meh and what's left to do?
Replies: 46
Views: 3881

Re: Market Linked CD

It is a good rule to not invest in things you don't understand :) You can look on Wikipedia or do a Google search to learn more about market-linked CDs. But you absolutely need to understand the particulars of the product US Bank is offering you. For example: What is FDIC insured? (At best, only the...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Market Linked CD
Replies: 6
Views: 384

Re: Car advice needed with baby on the way

For the IS250, I would definitely suggest a center-seat installation using the seat belt, assuming there's no LATCH anchors specifically designed for the center seat. You can use a towel or two to level it underneath. When our first was born, we did a center-seat install for a Graco SnugRide car sea...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car advice needed with baby on the way
Replies: 10
Views: 480

Re: Olen: "The reason home ownership worked"

I think everyone should have the Herengracht index as part of their mental furniture: almost four centuries of real estate prices in Amsterdam. http://i43.tinypic.com/25tkq2p.jpg Someone in who bought in 1775 would have had to wait a century; someone who bought in 1725 would still be waiting. Notic...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Olen: "The reason home ownership worked"
Replies: 30
Views: 4386
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