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Re: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?

I personally don't think it's worthwhile paying for a "2nd tier' expensive private college if a flagship public college is available. Agreed. Eldest felt differently after the athletic official visit to our best in state. So we could have forced the issue with the very real possibility of a fl...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 32
Views: 2910

Re: HELP! Budget Out of Control

Here is some follow up information: At 32 years old, it looks like you two were sold crummy whole life insurance policies, or are worth a heck of a lot more dead than alive. Get some term life insurance and then cancel the whole life plan. The life insurance listed includes 3 term policies and 1 wh...
by NorCalDad
Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Budget Out of Control
Replies: 47
Views: 3556

Re: Funding a Down Payment

While I don't disagree with what Phineas said (and I appreciate his or her rational tone) can someone help me understand real estate? I make almost the median income in Massachusetts, but median home value in this state is $100,000 higher than the home I'm trying to buy. If what Phineas says is tru...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding a Down Payment
Replies: 11
Views: 1484

Re: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?

Glad to see so many people list running as their hobby. Good luck, Rockies1978, on your quest toward age group greatness! I think the discipline that running requires translates well to the BH philosophy, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Once you know which model(s) serve you best, I've found th...
by NorCalDad
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?
Replies: 77
Views: 7203

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

2) Technology changes - This may sound silly, but the one simple feature I salivate over in new cars is a USB port and auxiliary audio input. I think 06 was the last model year before they started putting these in most cars. I live in Calif but am home sick for Colorado. I'd love to be able to list...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 1947

Re: Fix Car or Get a New One?

My experience is no matter how you run the numbers the most economical decision is almost always to do the repairs (and keep doing them). Therefore the decision has much more to do with issues (that are no less important) such as convenience, aesthetic preference, safety concerns, and simply the pa...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1131

Re: Neighbor's Fireworks

Maybe it's because I live in a state going through a drought and where the whole place feels like a tinderbox, but I wouldn't just shrug this off. Where I live, fireworks that launch in the sky are illegal for personal use. Homes burn every year because people light bottle rockets and other such fir...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's Fireworks
Replies: 50
Views: 4484

Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Cautionary tale: We had our son brush his own teeth and would help him get the back ones. I figured this was good enough, along the same lines as what has been mentioned here about it being his baby teeth and all. He did not drink much juice and had less of a sweet tooth than his friends. He still d...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 2449

Re: Anyone Actually Using Quicken on a Mac?

I use Quicken 2007 on a Mac. There's a product called "Quicken Essentials," but it's been panned by many people and is not much like the old Quicken we're used to (and that PC users still get new versions of). And Intuit created a patch for Quicken 2007 to work on modern-day OS X systems o...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Actually Using Quicken on a Mac?
Replies: 14
Views: 1177

Re: Mortgage: Variable 7 vs Fixed 30.

One more thought. Pre-paying a 2.9% mortgage makes you a MUCH HIGHER return than 2.9%. Remember that every dollar pre-paid, reduces the principal upon which interest is charged on the next payment, thus compounding the risk free return. Not unusual to see 45% APR on amount of the pre-payment for a ...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage: Variable 7 vs Fixed 30.
Replies: 47
Views: 3520

Re: NY Times: Not enough younger investment advisors

Some of us 20-something and 30-something Bogleheads have explored careers in financial advising because we have an interest in the topic, but the common entry path involves doing things we don't believe in. Much of the job involves sales rather than advising, especially at the beginning when you hav...
by NorCalDad
Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times: Not enough younger investment advisors
Replies: 72
Views: 7489

Re: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?

You could do both - $2750 in traditional IRA and $2750 in Roth IRA. But I vote for Roth all the way if you can afford it. Easier to keep everything together, the Roths give you more tax flexibility down the line. And it saves you problems should you earn enough that you someday have to use a backdoo...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?
Replies: 9
Views: 412

Re: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?

We were in this situation a few years ago and chose to prioritize saving the 20% down on the next house. We knew that in a worst-case scenario in which our home value remained underwater, we were willing to become accidental landlords on the first house. Even if it meant a monthly loss, as in what y...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1015

Re: Reducing Expenses for Future Family

Where are the following: Car Insurance <-- comes out of paycheck directly Homeowner's Insurance <-- comes out of paycheck directly Property Taxes <-- part of mortgage payment Look into paying your car insurance and homeowner's insurance annually. Insurers usually charge a few bucks a month for inst...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 3202

Re: Experience with PenFed refinance

I think it's good that there's a blog refer to this thread. One problem with a straight poll is that the PenFed of 8 years ago may not be the PenFed of 3 years ago or the PenFed of last month. I gave them a pass when we did our refi because it was during a period of historically low rates and they h...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 69
Views: 3317

Re: Reducing Expenses for Future Family

You're probably not going to be able to save 43% of salary when you have a kid unless you make more money. That's life. Kids take up your time and resources. This is one of those "only on Bogleheads" threads where someone who saves nearly $6,000/month starts clearing space for ramen noodle...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 3202

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

I am not retired (not even close!), but recently moved to CA. If you're flexible on looking into northern CA, I would strongly suggest you look into Sacramento - we love it here! It's an easy 90 mins drive to SF bay area without the crazy housing prices. In my opinion (after having lived in SF and ...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6959

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

SLO is at the top of my list as a place to retire in 25 years. Weather is great, close to the coast, cultural events at the university and an easy drive to Paso Robles/Santa Barbara County wineries. It's easier for us living in California already since our current home is worth roughly the same as t...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6959

Re: ? Best car for a new driver

I'd like to think I can take every precaution and feel good about my kids driving when they are teenagers. But then I think back to my own youth, when I was an otherwise extremely responsible, straight-A, alcohol-avoiding teen. And I still did absolutely stupid things as a driver that my parents to ...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ? Best car for a new driver
Replies: 41
Views: 1398

Re: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?

As with being a consumer of anything, you should do the research and challenge any suspicious or excessive line item in your loan closing documents. This is regardless of whether the lender is local or national. I also wondered how quickly your agent followed up with a list of recommended local lend...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?
Replies: 24
Views: 1086

Re: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?

The better option is to invest tax-efficiently in a taxable account. I tell folks to never invest after-tax in a 401(k) or 403(b) unless that money can be converted to a Roth very quickly. Otherwise your gains will get taxed at your marginal income tax rate upon withdrawal instead of the more favor...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?
Replies: 59
Views: 1848

Re: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?

Does your employer offer a 457(b)?
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?
Replies: 59
Views: 1848

Re: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?

Used Subaru Impreza Hatchback with AWD. I'm not sure other hatchbacks in that price range will have what you need for snow in Minnesota.
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?
Replies: 33
Views: 2006

Re: Cost of car compared to Gross Income

My last car purchase was over 100% of my income but I was in college working part-time. I would not say I overspent since 14 years later I still have the car and today's value is about 3% income. This is not a good metric to use. Similarly, my last car purchase was just two years after college grad...
by NorCalDad
Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 82
Views: 4658

Re: Experience with PenFed refinance

Similar to other experiences here, we had an extremely slow and delayed refi during a period when rates were at near-historic lows. You have to be very persistent and take initiative. We closed 3 months later than expected. When I got the closing documents, they had increased the rate until I compla...
by NorCalDad
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 69
Views: 3317

Re: Advice on my life insurance plan

$60 a month for $500,000/20-year term is outrageous unless you have health problems, smoke or are in a skydiving club. I'm older than you and just started a $1 million policy for $500/year. I think specific life insurance advice is difficult to give without knowing your incomes, assets, debts, expen...
by NorCalDad
Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on my life insurance plan
Replies: 13
Views: 755

Re: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?

Besides the reasons already mentioned, I don't think a 529 makes sense for someone who expects to remain in the 15% bracket because your child is likely to qualify for a substantial amount of financial aid. Better to focus on saving for your retirement needs. The trickiest part is projecting your in...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?
Replies: 41
Views: 1947

Re: Help Please: Mortgage Advice

Comment deleted since I thought the OP had only $35k saved. Wilked makes a good point about OP possibly having $105k saved on top of that.
by NorCalDad
Sat May 31, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Please: Mortgage Advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1372

Re: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy

Can you explain this Nash concept to us? If you can't, you shouldn't buy into it. You should be able to understand what you're investing in and why. The fact that the salesman was using tricky terminology should be a warning sign. It's not your fault - many insurance policies and annuity contracts h...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 30, 2014 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 22
Views: 979

Re: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy

Anyways, I'm in my 20's so there was no need for actual insurance; the whole thing was sold on being an investment vehicle that had benefits of reliable returns, even through economic downturns, and being tax free (conditionally). Since insurance was only a part of his advice, and his other recomme...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 29, 2014 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 22
Views: 979

Re: in-laws/student loans

Banks don't care about a borrower's love life - they only care about whether the borrower is likely to repay a loan. The bank saw your good name and strong credit score and said, well, if sister-in-law decides to become a barista instead of a pharmacist or finds a boyfriend who convinces her to be a...
by NorCalDad
Wed May 28, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2516

Re: in-laws/student loans

The greater risk to co-signing these loans was always that you were vouching for a teenager without a college degree or job, not to mention a lack of real-world experience. I think you assumed a lot when you thought an 18-year-old would stick to an aggressive payback schedule and live with her paren...
by NorCalDad
Tue May 27, 2014 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2516

Re: in-laws/student loans

This fall, the daughter will be embarking on her third year of college in a 6-year program. The in-laws are not in a good financial situation. They essentially live month to month with no significant savings, so in order to attend college, the daughter has to also take out private student loans. Th...
by NorCalDad
Tue May 27, 2014 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2516

Re: The in-laws are broke!

The Boglehead forum is very good at handing out a whole of criticism, especially in regard to parents who in their later years might need financial help. I think the reason you see so much contempt here for financially dysfunctional parents is that many of us save to ensure that our children never ...
by NorCalDad
Tue May 27, 2014 12:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 16414

Re: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice

If not for the mortgage debt, would your son be on sound financial footing? Would he be able to save for his future and avoid incurring further debt? I know you said he does not waste money, but I would want to be 100% positive his finances are on solid ground before bailing him out. Given that this...
by NorCalDad
Mon May 26, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 995

Re: Do I plan for NO Social Security

I know it will sound like heresy among this fine group of folks, but I am always amazed when I see young people on forums like this talking so seriously about their retirement goals. It's even more amazing when they are fresh out of college and even younger than you. Speaking as a 30-something, I t...
by NorCalDad
Sat May 17, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do I plan for NO Social Security
Replies: 42
Views: 2879

Re: Fee-only financial advisor for parents?

Thanks for the clarification. I meant to say fee-only advisor and have edited my post per your explanation.
by NorCalDad
Sat May 17, 2014 1:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee-only financial advisor for parents?
Replies: 5
Views: 527

Re: Advice for a private mortgage

Agree with the others. Assuming you can afford it, consider the $37,000 a gift and then a nice surprise if he pays you back down the road. If this isn't a viable solution, I think many Bogleheads would agree that your son should wait to purchase until he saves up more money for the down payment.
by NorCalDad
Fri May 16, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for a private mortgage
Replies: 12
Views: 837

Fee-only financial advisor for parents?

A commission-based advisor has moved my retired parents from mutual funds to variable annuities in their IRAs. As far as I can tell, many of these were purchased recently enough that they still have 6% surrender charges and built-in 3.5% to 4% fees between the ERs, insurance charges and "guaran...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 16, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee-only financial advisor for parents?
Replies: 5
Views: 527

Re: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]

USC is a private school. Privates work hard to get you graduated in 4 years (2 for you) as people won't pay high tuition if they can't graduate as planned. UCLA is a state school. The state is California. California still has serious budget problems and in the colleges that means there are fewer in...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 16, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]
Replies: 62
Views: 3686

Re: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]

I would also go with UCLA without question. You're talking about an undergrad degree. Undergrad prestige is overrated in my opinion - you're better off saving the money for an top 10 MBA program if you really want your dollars to count.
by NorCalDad
Fri May 16, 2014 2:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]
Replies: 62
Views: 3686

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

I can't tell you HOW many folks I know who are taking on debt in addition to their kids just to get into the "best" :oops: school they can or the "one" their kid or they themselves think will give their offspring some extra advantage over someone else. I don't care how prestigio...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 15, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1930

Re: Concern About Parent

I have been going through this. One reason you might want to investigate further is if you think there is a chance your father does not have sufficient assets to pay for expensive health treatments or end-of-life care. The pension and SS might be enough, or maybe he has long-term care insurance. But...
by NorCalDad
Wed May 14, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Concern About Parent
Replies: 32
Views: 2659

Re: Obligations to help parents financially?

I disagree with most of the posters who have said it is not your moral obligation. You said roughly 45k was spent for your tuition. Did that not get you to where you are now? In fact, they have spent way more than that for raising you for 20 years. Not even including childbirth pains and bringing u...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 09, 2014 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obligations to help parents financially?
Replies: 77
Views: 7103

Re: Obligations to help parents financially?

This is one of the most difficult questions I've seen here. Sorry that you've been put in this position. My first reaction was different from the others expressed. I don't necessarily believe you have an obligation to pay off these debts. The first job of a parent is to be the responsible adult. Par...
by NorCalDad
Wed May 07, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obligations to help parents financially?
Replies: 77
Views: 7103

Re: Saving for kid's college--feeling analysis paralysis!

I think strategizing by having grandparents maintain your 529s is more trouble than it's worth. Your 529s (for now, at least) get penalized at a rate of 5.64% in financial aid calculations. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good; your concern about picking a perfect strategy is already leavi...
by NorCalDad
Tue May 06, 2014 12:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for kid's college--feeling analysis paralysis!
Replies: 4
Views: 648

Re: Taxable vs 401k for house down payment ?

All good points - I really need to re-think my strategy here. thanks for sharing your thoughts guys. I guess what really bothers me in maxing out 401k is that its a lot of money that's inaccessible for another 29 years.... You can withdraw from a 401k at age 55 if you follow the early retirement ru...
by NorCalDad
Mon May 05, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable vs 401k for house down payment ?
Replies: 5
Views: 653

Re: What do you do after maxing out your tax deferred?

It looked like you mentioned childcare in an earlier post. In which case I'd say you should consider a 529 or Coverdell unless, like EmergDoc said, you need more for retirement than your tax-advantaged plans will provide.
by NorCalDad
Sun May 04, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you do after maxing out your tax deferred?
Replies: 22
Views: 2683

Re: If You Can [free Bill Bernstein booklet for millennials]

Great book. Should be required reading for college seniors.
by NorCalDad
Sun May 04, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If You Can [free Bill Bernstein booklet for millennials]
Replies: 28
Views: 5058

Re: dip into emergency fund to fund Roth IRA?

There's a wiki here on this subject: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Roth_IRA_as_an_emergency_fund I support filling a Roth with emergency money as long as you stay in cash, as Yttrium said. You can only do what mathwizard said if you have so many assets that a huge market downturn will still leave y...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 02, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dip into emergency fund to fund Roth IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 1126
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