Search found 596 matches

by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4401

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

+1 for Placerville on the top 25 best towns in California list. El Dorado County is great, I'd move there in a heartbeat if I had work there. Since you're in California and mention the Bay Area as a possibility if not for cost, the Sacramento region is underrated as a family-friendly option if you ...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confirming that I should not use my 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1366

Re: Confirming that I should not use my 401k

Employee contributions via payroll deduction also saves on income taxes (FICA, etc.). This is incorrect with regard to FICA. 401k contributions are not exempt from FICA. Agree with others - go with the Roths. And you may not be in position to do this as an intern, but someone should anonymously sen...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with car insurance coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 770

Re: Help with car insurance coverage

i'm not going to pretend to be an insurance expert but one thing sticks out. liability coverage of 50K is totally inadequate in my opinion. if you are involved in an at fault accident with injuries you could be wiped out. between auto coverage coordinated with umbrella you should have a million dol...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts
Replies: 69
Views: 4864

Re: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts

Yellowgirl, I think you're doing perfectly fine at your current savings rate. It'd be crazy for your husband to moonlight as an Uber driver for the sake of maxing out retirement accounts. But it does make sense to look for any ways possible for both of you to advance in your careers and earn more in...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 21, 2015 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: University of California Retirement Plan
Replies: 48
Views: 6448

Re: University of California Retirement Plan

Thanks for the updates, tenkuky. I was a little frustrated today upon realizing my wife's account will probably get dinged with redemption fees for the last six weeks of Spartan purchases since we have to sell all shares by July 2. Am I wrong on that? We just switched contributions to the UC funds f...
by NorCalDad
Sat May 16, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4944

Re: Networth question

I wonder if the answer you'd get would be different on the coasts than inland, and whether the answer given would be different from people who are younger, recent homebuyers than from retirees. It seems easier for people to ignore real estate in NW calculations when it comprises a smaller percentage...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 14, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 4744

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I would look for another house unless you're willing to eat the cost and risk of getting it permitted. Consider all the pre-purchase angst you're going through. Would you want to be on the selling end of this transaction down the road, and how much of a discount would you give your buyers once they ...
by NorCalDad
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couple of Term Life Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 504

Re: Couple of Term Life Questions

My wife and I are in our late 30s, and we waited until our first child to buy 20-year term. Before kids, we each had decent jobs and felt the savings left to the surviving spouse would be enough. When we had our first child, we each bought 20-year term policies. Four years after that, we had our sec...
by NorCalDad
Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 9024

Re: Paying for childrens' college

@ktd, how much are you and your spouse contributing to retirement plans right now? We contributed to our 401(k)s and our Roth IRAs every year. I noticed that when my kids got to college, that we could simply stop contributing to 401(k)s, Roths, and stop donating to charities if we needed to and use...
by NorCalDad
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 23673

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Sorry if someone already mentioned this - long thread! - but gift cards are a good bargain if your store sells them for retailers/restaurants that you already patronize. We haven't abandoned our local Peet's despite the savings lure of cheap beans in the coffee aisle, and they sell $100 of Peet's gi...
by NorCalDad
Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...
Replies: 22
Views: 2256

Re: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...

I've been a competitive runner for 18 years, regarding cost you might find it is not much cheaper than cycling. I've raced from 1600 to marathon distance over that time and ran 65+ miles a week for quite a while, since then I got married and my wife made it very clear I was *not* spending 30-40 hou...
by NorCalDad
Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to prepare for first baby due next month?
Replies: 55
Views: 7159

Re: What to prepare for first baby due next month?

After we had our second kid, we realized we probably spent way too much time and energy preparing for the first kid. The best advice I'd give is to relax and realize that you're only going to learn how to be a parent by being a parent, not by reading books or what we post here. You're smart and reso...
by NorCalDad
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!
Replies: 18
Views: 1773

Re: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!

Agree with everyone here - I cringed when I saw how low your liability is. Liability, not comprehensive/collision, is the most important part of your auto insurance policy. Especially for someone who has assets such as you and decades of wealth accumulation ahead of you. I'd carry at least $250,000/...
by NorCalDad
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2331

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

Jim - We stay for at least a week every year on the California coast in a vacation home. It's someone's dream home, but not ours - except for the week we rent it. It sounds like we are in a similar financial place - we max 401ks and Roths and are trying to build a 529. Like you, we could buy a coast...
by NorCalDad
Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?
Replies: 92
Views: 5657

Re: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?

I love Jim in Austin's post. Like Jim, I went to an Ivy on financial aid. But because we are firmly in the upper middle class zone where we won't qualify for financial aid and can't afford to put tens of thousands into a 529 (at least not while achieving the retirement savings goals shared by many o...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 60
Views: 7627

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 04, 2014 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Budget Out of Control
Replies: 47
Views: 4117

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
Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding a Down Payment
Replies: 11
Views: 1645

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
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?
Replies: 77
Views: 8117

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
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 2495

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 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1220

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
Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's Fireworks
Replies: 50
Views: 5337

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
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 3308

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
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Actually Using Quicken on a Mac?
Replies: 14
Views: 1485

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
Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage: Variable 7 vs Fixed 30.
Replies: 47
Views: 4044

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
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times: Not enough younger investment advisors
Replies: 72
Views: 8207

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
Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?
Replies: 9
Views: 468

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 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1147

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
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 3629

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 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 75
Views: 6030

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 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 3629

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 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 114
Views: 8907

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
Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 114
Views: 8907

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
Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ? Best car for a new driver
Replies: 41
Views: 1881

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 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?
Replies: 24
Views: 1248

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 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?
Replies: 59
Views: 2262

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 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After TAX 403b contributions should I do it?
Replies: 59
Views: 2262

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

Does your employer offer a 457(b)?
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?
Replies: 33
Views: 2198

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
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 82
Views: 5281

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
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 75
Views: 6030

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
Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on my life insurance plan
Replies: 13
Views: 847

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
Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 vs taxable for 15% marginal tax bracket?
Replies: 41
Views: 2877

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
Sat May 31, 2014 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Please: Mortgage Advice
Replies: 15
Views: 1433

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
Fri May 30, 2014 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 22
Views: 1229

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
Thu May 29, 2014 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assistance in Whole Life Insurance Policy
Replies: 22
Views: 1229

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
Wed May 28, 2014 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2743

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
Tue May 27, 2014 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2743

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 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: in-laws/student loans
Replies: 57
Views: 2743

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
Mon May 26, 2014 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 16961

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
Mon May 26, 2014 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1100

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...

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