Search found 142 matches

by Rebecca_S
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lock for $500 bike
Replies: 27
Views: 2461

Re: lock for $500 bike

All the new Kryptonites cannot be broken with a Bic pen, that was an older style from years ago. I like the Ulocks, they are quite sturdy. Small ones are lighter than heavier ones which matters a lot to me since I am a small person. On the other hand, back wheels are more expensive to front wheels, ...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?
Replies: 36
Views: 3677

Re: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?

I would do the 1-bedroom. Getting the chance to test drive the exact same building and neighborhood before you purchase is invaluable and your savings rate is high. If you were just scraping by then my choice would be different.
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What ratio are you stocks/bonds and how old are you?
Replies: 278
Views: 27853

Re: What ratio are you stocks/bonds and how old are you?

38 + 39 years old, we use age in bonds. This is conservative but fits our needs and risks.
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Boston trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1555

Re: Advice for Boston trip

USS Constitution is great for kids. It is over in Charlestown but part of the Freedom Trail.

I suggest some downtime in the Boston Commons or adjacent Public Gardens. The "Make way for ducklings" statues are always a hit.
by Rebecca_S
Tue May 26, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 30
Views: 2004

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

Consider getting a kettle to boil water and an outdoor grill. You can make hot drinks with a kettle of course, but can cook several things by placing them into boiling water. Noodle dishes, instant rice, soups, blanched vegetables.
by Rebecca_S
Tue May 26, 2015 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?
Replies: 38
Views: 3432

Re: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?

Like the others suggest, I would not renovate at all but just hire a service to deep clean once everything is cleared out. Was the landscaping kept up? If it had not been, it might be worthwhile to have the bushes trimmed back and minor landscaping done. For example, when my grandfather passed the b...
by Rebecca_S
Wed May 13, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?
Replies: 19
Views: 2271

Re: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?

Our check was finally cashed today.
by Rebecca_S
Fri May 01, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Karate for kids—Thoughts?
Replies: 47
Views: 3015

Re: Karate for kids—Thoughts?

If you decide to pursue a martial art, the most important factor will be the abilities of the teacher and if they mesh personalities with your child. There are karate instructors who are awesome and who are terrible; there are judo instructors who are awesome and are terrible; there are aikido instr...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?
Replies: 30
Views: 3569

Re: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?

If you did not pay the mortgage, why would you not max out tax deferred accounts still using the taxable dollars?
by Rebecca_S
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?
Replies: 19
Views: 2271

Re: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?

We paid MA taxes by check mailed April 13, the check still hasn't cleared either. I think they are just overloaded with returns.
by Rebecca_S
Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying condo in commercial building
Replies: 10
Views: 945

Re: Buying condo in commercial building

I live in a condo in a mixed use building where the commercial units have more value than the residential ones. We didn't have any problems getting a mortgage in 1999 when we bought or 2005 when we refinanced; our neighbors haven't had problems getting mortgages that I am aware of. I know that some ...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who follows Age in Bonds
Replies: 62
Views: 5590

Re: Who follows Age in Bonds

I am 38 and have had our asset allocation set at age=bonds for the past 5 years; prior that that it was age-10 in bonds. We were frugal and lucky, accumulated a lot for a while and now are earning less. I want to protect what we have more than I want to risk it. I imagine I will keep age=bonds until...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 174
Views: 13420

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Bar mitts. These are basically like mittens that go over the bicycle handlebars for riding in weather below freezing. They block the wind beautifully so that I only have to wear thin gloves underneath which lets me retain dexterity compared to big thick gloves, and my hands are much warmer than wear...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best microwave to replace kitchen stove
Replies: 26
Views: 2351

Re: Best microwave to replace kitchen stove

I have found that an electric kettle and toaster over were valuable additions to the microwave during kitchen renovations. With a toaster oven you can warm up pizza slices and sandwiches, bake a few cookies or potatos, and reheat leftovers without changing the texture of food. With a kettle you can ...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need intro resource on Roth conversions and RMDs
Replies: 2
Views: 238

Need intro resource on Roth conversions and RMDs

I've handled my Mother's investments for years now since my father died. Last year she retired and is now in a much lower tax bracket. I would like to start and conversation with her about RMDs and doing Roth conversions, if they make sense for her. The only investing book I've gotten her to read wa...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting vs. Buying a Home
Replies: 15
Views: 1674

Re: Renting vs. Buying a Home

I would lean towards renting. As a resident and fellow with a small child, you won't want to spend precious time doing house maintanance on a home you won't keep long-term. Renting a home still requires some work (lawn care is often your responsibility) but is a lot less headache than renting.
by Rebecca_S
Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you dump your life/disability ins?
Replies: 10
Views: 1240

Re: When did you dump your life/disability ins?

These are 2 separate questions. My husband and I have about equal earning potential and low expenses, no kids, so we don't have life insurance. Disability insurance is a much bigger deal, you are more likely to need long term disability than to die early. The consequences could be much greater finan...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Investing vs. pay down mortgage feelings
Replies: 79
Views: 4613

Re: POLL: Investing vs. pay down mortgage feelings

We paid off the mortgage about 4 years ago, so the market has done well since then and mathematicallly we could have done better with balanced investments. We were maxing out tax advantaged space however and if had done more taxable investing it would have been at very low risk, since my husband wan...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Houses Debt vs. Building the 529 plans
Replies: 9
Views: 830

Re: Rental Houses Debt vs. Building the 529 plans

I wouldn't withdraw any money from the current 529, the taxes and fees wouldn't be worth it. You didn't consider the situation where you leave the 529 balance alone but direct the $400/month to the rentals. That should get at least the one, possibly both, paid off before the older child graduates HS...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schooling for a 2year and 4 year old
Replies: 58
Views: 3799

Re: Schooling for a 2year and 4 year old

I would encourage you to look at the research that supports praising childeren for process, not outcome. "You worked so hard" and "your practice really paid off" versus "you are so smart" or "you are so talented". I came out of a decent elementary and high sch...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year versus 20 year mortgage
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: 15 year versus 20 year mortgage

I would not make too many assuptions about what the high school quality will be like when your toddler grows up. Schools improve/decline and district lines can be redrawn, magnet and charter schools can open up. If you can swing the payments for the 15 year without sacrificing liquidity I would take...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond Fund appropriate for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 2104

Re: Muni Bond Fund appropriate for Emergency Fund?

We keep the bulk of our emergency fund in a Muni bond fund. Our expenses are low compared to income and we do keep a slush fund in cash at our credit union. We have a large taxable account. Therefore we are less concerned about needing to draw down in an emergency, it has been about 10 years since t...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do I owe my children?
Replies: 119
Views: 10673

Re: What do I owe my children?

Based purely on the title of the post, you don't owe your grown children anything anymore. I'm not one who considers $30K in grad school loans to be onerous to anyone who is employed with an MBA. Budgeting for debt can help teach financial awareness. What if you had the son suspend payment on the no...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building Credit -- Keep the loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 1278

Re: Building Credit -- Keep the loan?

If you have been paying on time for the current credit card, can you call them up and ask to raise your limit? Even a small raise, from $500 to $1000, would have a dramatic impact on your utilization. Then wait a couple months and try to open up a new card. In the meantime I would take harikaried's ...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation between spouses - together vs separate
Replies: 13
Views: 1111

Re: Asset allocation between spouses - together vs separate

I handle all the nitty-gritty investment decisions and rebalancing for the both of us. We have chosen to have one asset allocation that we share so that each account may only have 1-2 investments. It is not wrong to do it the other way of course. For me, it was much easier to have a combined allocat...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflicted About Expected Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 47
Views: 6233

Re: Conflicted About Expected Lifestyle Creep

Our household income doubled when I defended and got a job; we first allowed our lifestyle to expand about 10% and then later as we got more comfortable an additional 10%. My spouse was working while I was in grad school so we had been living frugally but better than the average grad student. Make s...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off my mortgage or invest more each month?
Replies: 33
Views: 2952

Re: Pay off my mortgage or invest more each month?

How likely is it that your wife will switch jobs in the next few years? Even the worst 401k is generally good to fund if you won't be in the same job for more than 10 years. We paid off the mortgage, but only after maxing out both 401ks and the Roths (in years we were eligible). I would leave the ta...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have no idea what I want to do as a career
Replies: 80
Views: 5156

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Most workers will have several job changes and a few career changes over their lifetime. I don't suggest looking for a career right now, simply finding a job that you like okay is a good step. Learn how to work for a business, learn how to manage up, work on developing some expertise. Volunteer to d...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage question
Replies: 21
Views: 1603

Re: Paying off mortgage question

While I agree that in principle one shouldn't let the emergency fund get down to zero... When our mortgage was our only debt and we were paying it down rapidly, once it was the same size as our emergency fund we liquidated that money and paid off the mortgage. Caveats: we had 2 stable jobs, no upcom...
by Rebecca_S
Mon May 27, 2013 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending it the easy part??
Replies: 27
Views: 2547

Re: Is spending it the easy part??

I have a few answers to this. One, I went to grad school so felt I started saving late and wanted to catch up. After a few years of working I was able to ease up the saving rate because I felt more comfortable with what I had accumulated. My husband, while frugal, was not as much of a tightwad as I ...
by Rebecca_S
Wed May 01, 2013 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wedding gift - tacky or not ....
Replies: 57
Views: 3348

Re: wedding gift - tacky or not ....

The thoughtfulness of the gift will vary greatly depending on the needs and personality of the bride and the groom. How well do you know them both? Are you choosing this gift for them or for yourself? A gold coin is not a gift I would have appreciated. I didn't have a safe or deposit box to store it...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT Professionals - Applying For Job Without Requested Skills
Replies: 34
Views: 2397

Re: IT Professionals - Applying For Job Without Requested Sk

I remember reading some statistic that on average men would apply for a position if they met about 75% of the posted requirements while on average women would only apply if they met all of the requirements. Considering how much HR is involved in writing up job descriptions, I would apply if you meet...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: espp?
Replies: 11
Views: 962

Re: espp?

I put money into the 401k for retirement in diversified funds. I participate fully in my company's ESPP, but I consider it to be akin to a 6 month CD paying at 15% (my discount buying the stock). It is a short term holding, I liquidate the stock as soon as it is available. This is a short term cash-...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Bogleheads view "lottery tickets" (illiquid equity)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1372

Re: How do Bogleheads view "lottery tickets" (illiquid equit

I valued mine, from 2 different companies, at zero.
One company, bought eventually by another and my stake now would buy a pizza or two after trading costs.
Another company, not public after 8-9 years but not quite dead (yet).
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adjusting Strategy when you hit your # early
Replies: 38
Views: 2592

Re: Adjusting Strategy when you hit your # early

About 2 years ago we hit the first number I had in mind, the number that means we can live off the portfolio with a low-but-not-cat-food standard of living if we never add another penny. This gave me much comfort since my husband quit his job to start his own business 10 months ago. Perhaps that is ...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Massages for stress relief?
Replies: 9
Views: 950

Re: Massages for stress relief?

If the stress is so much that it is knotting up your shoulders, neck and back then a massage will provide physical relief. I generally get massages to cope with physical stresses such as overtraining and muscle aches, however. I don't find the deep-tissue massages I get to be relaxing while I am on ...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri S&T
Replies: 30
Views: 2231

Re: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri

I graduated from UMR in '98. For me, I greatly valued being at a school where practically everyone else was doing some sort of engineering/science curriculum. In contrast to other engineering students I met from other schools when I had internships, at Rolla I knew engineers who were stoners, who we...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contract Chicken Growing
Replies: 51
Views: 3209

Re: Contract Chicken Growing

We get our chicken and pork from a local, organic operation. We pay a lot for the meat but it is worth it to us. Tufts University nutrition dept works closely with small farmers and those who want to become farmers, the chicken farmers we use work extensively with them to help train new farmers. Sin...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners, Auto, Umbrella Strategy.........
Replies: 13
Views: 1836

Re: Homeowners, Auto, Umbrella Strategy.........

Generally an umbrella policy requires an underlying homeowners or renters insurance policy. I would ask your agent if what you propose is even possible.
by Rebecca_S
Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your spouse know what you're worth?
Replies: 88
Views: 9115

Re: Does your spouse know what you're worth?

I was surprised by how low his guess was, he guessed a range that was 0.59 to 0.74 of the actual. He hasn't checked the accounts since his 401k was rolled over in April so that accounted for some of the growth plus he underestimated my 401k by a lot. Luckily when I asked him where all the accounts w...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just married and IBR student loans
Replies: 13
Views: 1022

Re: Just married and IBR student loans

Not to be a downer, but your wife is an adjunct professor looking for tenure track positions. There are literally hundreds of applicants for each position, most of whom would cut off their left arm for one. She won't be able to take more than a few months off to raise kids if she gets such a positio...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding bike
Replies: 22
Views: 1578

Re: Folding bike

My husband used to have a Dahon, sold it and we both have Bike Fridays. They have several models to fit various needs, we don't have speedy folders but they fit nicely into a standard suitcase for traveling. Not all bike shops are good at assembling them, the wobble might be due to that model or tha...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Science PhD --> Engineering?
Replies: 62
Views: 5435

Re: Science PhD --> Engineering?

Your PhD was supposed to teach you to learn how to learn, not lock you into a niche. Most of us have to switch subfields a few times over the course of a career. I am only 7 years out from my PhD and am working in a field completely different than what I started in. My advisor was an expert in one f...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recently Engaged Need Financial Game Plan
Replies: 8
Views: 1210

Re: Recently Engaged Need Financial Game Plan

I don't see anything in your post comparing the funds within your respective 401k plans. If there is a significant difference in the quality of the funds and their expense ratios then it may make sense to prioritize one of the other, after you are married. Do either of you expect large increases in ...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: possible 30 yr fixed Mortgage, not repackaged as MBS?
Replies: 11
Views: 2430

Re: possible 30 yr fixed Mortgage, not repackaged as MBS?

Our credit union held our mortgage. While the fine print states that they have the right to resell their mortages, in practice they have never done so. You might be able to find a local credit union that does not resell mortgages.
by Rebecca_S
Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most Expensive House in Neighborhood??
Replies: 38
Views: 5415

Re: Most Expensive House in Neighborhood??

Have you thought about offering significantly less than asking price?
If you could get this house for much less, but still more than the average home price in the neighborhood (400 to 425K, for example) would it be worthwhile?
by Rebecca_S
Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to allocate annual raise
Replies: 21
Views: 1671

Re: How to allocate annual raise

1. My thought exactly, and also it would put us on track to work on getting our small caps out of my 401k and into a cheaper VG fund in a Roth. The $1k and $3k limits are still in effect as of a month ago. After all that planning to redo our AA across the 3 accounts...now we throw in the STAR fund!...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else fighting off urge to pay off mortgage??
Replies: 104
Views: 8950

Re: Anyone else fighting off urge to pay off mortgage??

I like to listen to my gut, not fight off its urges. It is an error to think that all our best thinking occurs with the conscious parts of our brains. Trust me on this, I teach martial arts and self defense when I'm not being an engineer! A few years ago we realized that we were earning a lot more m...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase a home now or wait until return to USA
Replies: 8
Views: 630

Re: Purchase a home now or wait until return to USA

There are a lot of 3 family houses in Boston and the close towns, have you considered one of them? You could rent out 1 floor while FIL lives on the other for the next few years, then each have your own living space once you return for good. There should be several in your price range though you mig...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay off your mortgage in our situation?
Replies: 23
Views: 2119

Re: Would you pay off your mortgage in our situation?

I know it is not the most prudent thing to do, but we did it in an extremely similar situation. Our emergency fund was at $0 for about 2 weeks then very quickly replenished and nothing went wrong. Caveats, we have CC with high limits that we could have used to charge an emergency and pay off in a mo...

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