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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
Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need intro resource on Roth conversions and RMDs
Replies: 2
Views: 209

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 Mar 14, 2014 8:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting vs. Buying a Home
Replies: 15
Views: 1582

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
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you dump your life/disability ins?
Replies: 10
Views: 1045

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
Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Investing vs. pay down mortgage feelings
Replies: 79
Views: 3936

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 Sep 22, 2013 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Houses Debt vs. Building the 529 plans
Replies: 9
Views: 802

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 25, 2013 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schooling for a 2year and 4 year old
Replies: 58
Views: 3327

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
Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year versus 20 year mortgage
Replies: 21
Views: 1632

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 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond Fund appropriate for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 1842

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 Aug 07, 2013 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do I owe my children?
Replies: 119
Views: 9674

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
Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building Credit -- Keep the loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 1150

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 28, 2013 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation between spouses - together vs separate
Replies: 13
Views: 1043

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
Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflicted About Expected Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 47
Views: 5771

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 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off my mortgage or invest more each month?
Replies: 33
Views: 2804

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
Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have no idea what I want to do as a career
Replies: 80
Views: 4631

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
Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage question
Replies: 21
Views: 1546

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
Mon May 27, 2013 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending it the easy part??
Replies: 27
Views: 2521

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
Wed May 01, 2013 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wedding gift - tacky or not ....
Replies: 57
Views: 3187

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
Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT Professionals - Applying For Job Without Requested Skills
Replies: 34
Views: 2313

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
Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: espp?
Replies: 11
Views: 899

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 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Bogleheads view "lottery tickets" (illiquid equity)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1279

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
Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adjusting Strategy when you hit your # early
Replies: 38
Views: 2491

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
Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Massages for stress relief?
Replies: 9
Views: 927

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
Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri S&T
Replies: 30
Views: 2033

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
Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contract Chicken Growing
Replies: 51
Views: 3113

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 Oct 08, 2012 7:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners, Auto, Umbrella Strategy.........
Replies: 13
Views: 1741

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 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your spouse know what you're worth?
Replies: 88
Views: 8765

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
Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just married and IBR student loans
Replies: 13
Views: 915

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 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding bike
Replies: 22
Views: 1523

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
Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Science PhD --> Engineering?
Replies: 62
Views: 5293

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
Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recently Engaged Need Financial Game Plan
Replies: 8
Views: 1182

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
Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: possible 30 yr fixed Mortgage, not repackaged as MBS?
Replies: 11
Views: 2176

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
Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most Expensive House in Neighborhood??
Replies: 38
Views: 4667

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
Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to allocate annual raise
Replies: 21
Views: 1651

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
Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else fighting off urge to pay off mortgage??
Replies: 104
Views: 8859

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
Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase a home now or wait until return to USA
Replies: 8
Views: 601

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...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay off your mortgage in our situation?
Replies: 23
Views: 2089

Re: Can public storage be used as a private library?

Mice and rats can chew through plastic bags, so do not depend on them to keep rodents out of your books. I would use hard plastic bins in a storage facilty if you are worried about rodents. Rodents won't chew books for food but will use them for nesting material. Do you have any family/friends with ...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can public storage be used as a private library?
Replies: 30
Views: 2216

Re: Please tell me I can stop saving for retirement

Some people have kids, we are having a dojo :-) We saved a lot for a while and paid off the mortgage, now my husband can quit his day job to turn his hobby into a business. 10 years ago we could not have predicted that he would find this passion and want to pursue it full time, but the financial bas...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please tell me I can stop saving for retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 4186

Re: Mathematicians/Scientists:Ever consider a career in fina

A few weeks ago I was at dinner with a group that included a commodities quant trader. He spent a long time talking about how they hire mathematicians/programmers from just a few of the top universities and how very few of the kids last long. He was practically bragging as he talked about how they b...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mathematicians/Scientists:Ever consider a career in finance?
Replies: 49
Views: 3036

Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

I would hazard a guess that this makes 90% of the American population financially incompatible with the typical Bogleheads. I believe I am emotionally, tempramentally and mentally incompatible for a long term relationship with 99.9% of people. That does not mean that marrying my spouse was a bad id...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reasons?
Replies: 154
Views: 9351

Re: Bike riders with no lights at night

I cycle for transportation, primarily to work but also for other needs around town. I am embarrassed by the behavior of some cyclists who ride without helmets, running red lights, earbuds in, no lights. However, I also despise being premptively judged by their behavior. I get yelled at for simply ri...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike riders with no lights at night
Replies: 60
Views: 2103

Re: Concealed Carry

He came within 10 feet and I just hollered at him "stop". He stopped and slowly walked away. Learned on the news that night 2 people had been robbed in the same vicinity that a Have you considered taking a self defense class? A good class would teach you that the first line of defense is ...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concealed Carry
Replies: 56
Views: 3586

Re: Do you exchange gifts with your wife?

I am the wife. Do you think that only men read and comment in the threads here? We do exchange gifts, but generally only nominal tokens. Throughout the year we mostly buy everything we need. Most of our good gift ideas go to others, e.g. he picks out the perfect pair of winter gloves for my mother i...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you exchange gifts with your wife?
Replies: 41
Views: 3370

Re: Best Stategy for 5-yr and 10-yr saving

If you plan to sell your current home when you move to the larger home, it might make sense to save some money by prepaying your current mortgage. While you will certainly need some liquid savings for moving and closing costs, if you plan to roll the proceeds from the current space into the new one ...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Stategy for 5-yr and 10-yr saving
Replies: 26
Views: 1476

Many, many years ago my boyfriend and I moved into a 350 sq foot studio apartment. Our household income was 19000/year at the time and we lived there for 8 months. The fact that we could live in that small of a space without killing each other was a signal that we had a great relationship (eventuall...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying your first home with cash? Am I crazy?
Replies: 55
Views: 5094

Re: consider radiant floor heating

One option my wife pushed for during our bathroom remodeling was radiant heating. We used products from WarmlyYours and it's a nice option on cold winter mornings. We did the same thing and it was probably the best $500 we have ever spent. Minimal extra costs compared to the bathroom price as a who...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom renovation-advice please!
Replies: 52
Views: 6108

Are you interested in learning to do scientific research or just to learn the facts and theories of a particular scientific field? Science is the method, it isn't the collection of facts. Science is the act of designing experiments with good controls, making observations, thinking about them and the...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any self-taught scientists?
Replies: 42
Views: 4364

Shorter strides with faster turnover and a midfoot strike will reduce injury whether you wear a minimalist shoe or not. I prefer minimalist shoes but they aren't necessary for everyone. I don't have any trails nearby but choose routes with asphalt or grass whenever I can. I can tell the difference i...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYT: Are Hard Surfaces Worse for Runners?
Replies: 47
Views: 3627

Why do the options have to be 5, 20 or 75% down? It appears that 20% would stretch their cash flow and 75% would leave them with insufficient liquidity. Put down 40-50% so their cash flow and their liquidity needs appear to be balanced.
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much down payment?
Replies: 14
Views: 1802

If you daughter will be living in a dorm she will probably have a bike rack at ground level in which to lock her bike. If she will be in an apartment, will she store the bike on the ground floor or in the apartment on a higher floor? If she has to carry the bike upstairs every day then a lighter wei...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Bicycles
Replies: 30
Views: 2748
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