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Re: Instruments and kids

My two daughters are pretty social. We started both on piano at ages 7 and 5. It lasted one year. The issue is that to play an instrument, you must practice. For the piano, that meant sitting down by themselves in the den, alone. That wasn't going to happen without a whole lot of nagging. I figure I...
by SkierMom
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instruments and kids
Replies: 31
Views: 1928

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

I have always been the grateful recipient of a National Geographic subscription (Thanks, Dad!).

A little bit of science, engaged writing, adventure and great photography.
by SkierMom
Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3305

Re: 529 asset allocation for small windfall

How old are your children? Whoops - I see now they are 5. Their ages will influence the asset allocation that you chose for their college savings. You are correct to keep college savings asset allocation distinct from your own retirement asset allocation, as the time frames are different. The 529 pl...
by SkierMom
Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 asset allocation for small windfall
Replies: 17
Views: 1653

Re: Daycare payments - a way to get further discount?

1.) Research other Daycare centers in your area to find one with lower rates and/or offers a sibling discount. 2.) Volunteer for the center for a negotiated discount (can you do bookkeeping, carpentry). 3.) Propose flexible schedules to both your employers, say 9/80 or 10-hour work days where you al...
by SkierMom
Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daycare payments - a way to get further discount?
Replies: 11
Views: 1571

Re: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!

.....and the value of homes can also decrease (See 2008). Yep, Dave Ramsey is the current AM radio syndicate propagating the "Paid off home mortgage is the new status symbol replacing the BMW in the driveway" for....whatever reasons. Over-simplified investing advice based solely on the fac...
by SkierMom
Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!
Replies: 75
Views: 9050

Re: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!

I congratulate the financial goal achieved. That is the main point to be celebrated.

I don't believe in the paid-off mortgage as the new status symbol of choice, but I do believe in making financial goals happen.
by SkierMom
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off our Mortgage this evening!
Replies: 75
Views: 9050

Re: Mail order gift basket

Costco has great inexpensive gift baskets. You can purchase online . If purchasing in the store to see them in-person, a UPS store or Mailing center in a local mall can package and send for a nominal fee, even including a card or correspondence. This time of the year there are usually creative entre...
by SkierMom
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail order gift basket
Replies: 5
Views: 542

Re: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan

Only earnings in a 529 account are subject to a withdrawal penalty. Federal law imposes a 10% penalty on earnings for non-qualified distributions. The penalty is not assessed on principal. An exception to the penalty can be claimed if you terminate the account because the beneficiary has died or has...
by SkierMom
Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1808

Re: Private Placement Life Insurance

So....Mr. Donnelly, how did you become the publicist for Mr. Robbins?
by SkierMom
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 85
Views: 16524

Re: Private Placement Life Insurance

Who is Tony Robbins?
by SkierMom
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Tony Robbins Book on Financial Freedom
Replies: 85
Views: 16524

Re: Vacation in France

Go. How often do you celebrate a birthday ending in -0? I would rather spend my money accumulating experiences over accumulating things. You will be there just before the Tour....Think about traveling the countryside by bike - you keep your expenses down and there is no metal or glass between you an...
by SkierMom
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in France
Replies: 96
Views: 7215

Re: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan

OP, I woke up this morning remembering your post and realized that I forgot to mention to you to look at your own 529 state plan first for any potential state tax savings, which are available in about 2/3 of the state plans. If your home state does not offer the tax incentive, NY, Utah or Nevada all...
by SkierMom
Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1808

Re: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan

One last thing.

Kick your NWM salesman-guy (or girl) to the curb.
by SkierMom
Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1808

Re: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan

Put the $200/month into the NY direct-sold (Vanguard) 529 account. Since you have 15 years to invest, you can be aggressive in your asset allocation and favor stock funds. Signup for the Upromise college savings rebate program (if you are an Internet shopper) and link your Upromise account to the NY...
by SkierMom
Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child's Education Savings (529) and life insurance plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1808

Re: American Funds Roth IRA - Should I Make the Move??

abyan wrote:5% per transaction is criminal.


I believe the commission cost to purchase American Funds is 5.75%.

For every $100 your wife put into the 529 account, only $94.25 was actually invested.
by SkierMom
Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds Roth IRA - Should I Make the Move??
Replies: 30
Views: 2907

Re: Tracking investments

I love Quicken for tracking personal expenses and budgeting, but it too is horrible for tracking investments. You need to enter share #'s and prices instead of working in dollar amounts, same problem that the OP is having above. Question: What parameters are you trying to track? The Vanguard site wi...
by SkierMom
Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tracking investments
Replies: 7
Views: 824

Re: Boglehead family vacations

LeeMKE

I checked out the dog sledding site you recommended. Outstanding. My daughters have a fascination for wolves, and this is close to the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN.
by SkierMom
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 44
Views: 4186

Re: Best Online Brokerage - TD Ameritrade vs. Schwab

Kraven (OP) If you have a hard copy of the actual Kiplinger's magazine (December 2014) where this fine example of journalism was published, read the opening remarks from the editor. I was very pleased when I read that Vanguard politely declined from even submitting/returning the survey that was sent...
by SkierMom
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Online Brokerage - TD Ameritrade vs. Schwab
Replies: 24
Views: 2765

Re: Selected photos of recent bicycle ride across New York

Thanks for posting & sharing, Raybo!

I see the occasional posts by BH's to splurge on vacation trips/cruises. For me, the only way to see a country (or state) is by bike.

Cheap too! Why haven't more BH's discovered this?........
by SkierMom
Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selected photos of recent bicycle ride across New York
Replies: 13
Views: 1203

Re: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?

EmergDOC - I agree with your statement about not paying more in taxes than what the law deems, and I respect your well-written opinions on this board. However, aren't we talking about a percentage of Principal Loan Forgiveness here in the OP scenario extended to ten years? Do you think what is missi...
by SkierMom
Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?
Replies: 44
Views: 2708

Re: Life insurance outside work?

Claudia- Look into Term Life policies only. Check out Amica.

Term policies are inexpensive, and at your age(s) you can get 20-yr policies to cover your 3-year old through college.
by SkierMom
Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance outside work?
Replies: 11
Views: 664

Re: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?

Forbearance of medical school debt on the backs of the tax payers isn't an honorable thing to do, even if it is a legitimate option given by the government.

I understand your wife has taken a low-paying public service job, but your annual combined income is more than twice the debt.

Pay it off.
by SkierMom
Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $116k Med School Debt - Pay Off or PSLF?
Replies: 44
Views: 2708

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

We have one child who is two months old and then would like to have at least one more, but maybe three. This is what throws me off. If it is just two kids, 20 for a big number seems fine since the children will be 20 and ~17-18. What worries me more is potentially having a 14-16 year old and not hav...
by SkierMom
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 949

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

Take into consideration how old your kids are right now, and how much your are saving into their 529 plans, etc.

Additional insurance after the 20 year mark is probably not necessary.

I like your approach and strategy, makes sense to me.
by SkierMom
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 949

Re: Buffett Says ‘No-Brainer’ to Get a Mortgage to Short Rat

[quote="newbogleb" So to save [$0.00 to $0.396]* on my taxes I should spend $1 in interest? But seriously, please enlighten me. [/i][/quote] Because it's cheap money, that's why. A 3.5% mortgage equates to about 2.8% in the 25% tax bracket. In the long term of 30 years you will likely do m...
by SkierMom
Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buffett Says ‘No-Brainer’ to Get a Mortgage to Short Rates
Replies: 77
Views: 9839

Re: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple

Wanted to add that just because Federal student loans are dischargeable after 25 years, is that an honorable thing? Our character is defined by what we do in life.

Food for thought. Good luck. Not trying to be Debbie Downer (she's on the Ed Jones investing board).
by SkierMom
Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple
Replies: 9
Views: 652

Re: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple

Holy Student Loan, Batman. $550,000 is that a typo? I'm hoping that is medical school or a graduate degree in computer engineering, meaning her income will likely triple in the near future. Throwing about $4,500/month at it to clean up the mess, you would be done in about 10 years or so. Much better...
by SkierMom
Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple
Replies: 9
Views: 652

Re: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple

Get out of the student loan AGI-based repayment program, it is doing nothing but adding psychological weight onto a marriage by prolonging the agony of repayment, hampering your financial freedom and choices. The AGI-based program allows you a lower monthly bill - at the expense of minimalized princ...
by SkierMom
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking Investment/Financial Advice for Married Couple
Replies: 9
Views: 652

Re: What bumps were along your road?

My Bump was basically, three years of my life: Laid off from my professional engineering position in 1998 with a very generous severance package (including an additional one month salary if I chose NOT to use their employment "placement" service. I didn't.) Decided to use savings to travel...
by SkierMom
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What bumps were along your road?
Replies: 44
Views: 3340

Re: Time to go back to cash and ditch the Credit Card?

I don't have any problems with these breaches because we use a regular credit card with $0 fraud liability and not a "fake" credit (debit card with VISA or MC logo) card to make purchases. It's the credit card companies that will drive the security improvements. As far as changing all my p...
by SkierMom
Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to go back to cash and ditch the Credit Card?
Replies: 39
Views: 3389

Re: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]

anonforthis, Can I hire you to come in my house and do this for my family?
by SkierMom
Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 11417

Re: Rainy day fund

OP: I've found a lot of variance on this topic depending on individual circumstances and investing risk tolerance. Accounting for a percentage that should be an "emergency" fund, we have ours in Vanguard Wellington. Both husband and I have secure government jobs, that given the odds, both ...
by SkierMom
Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rainy day fund
Replies: 6
Views: 671

Re: College Savings vs Aid: 529s, UTMAs, FAFSA, and all tha

[quote="Ybsybs"][quote="TomatoTomahto"] Cost of College - EFC (expected family contribution for a US college) = Need (which US colleges and the US government cover through a combination of grants and loans) What I find frustrating with the above equation, and I'm sure it echoes B...
by SkierMom
Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Savings vs Aid: 529s, UTMAs, FAFSA, and all that
Replies: 47
Views: 2381

Re: This Forum is Amazing! Newbie ready to jump in the deep

Is there a general agreement among Bogleheads to fully fund your retirement accounts prior to 529 savings? Definitely a discrepancy between BH's on this one. IMHO, even if you invested a moderate sum at the sale of your condo (say $15,000) in a low cost, direct-sold 529 account for each of your boy...
by SkierMom
Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This Forum is Amazing! Newbie ready to jump in the deep end!
Replies: 17
Views: 1969

Re: Mortgage Lender Question

DH and I were in a similar situation in 2012. We bid on a Short Sale in the foreclosure process and the realtor representing the home we wanted to purchase made a requirement that our offer include a pre-qual letter from the bank that was currently holding the first mortgage. In a way, it was the ba...
by SkierMom
Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Lender Question
Replies: 7
Views: 2129

To Roth or Not to Roth for College Savings?

Good article here from Vanguard's Maria Bruno. http://vanguardblog.com/2014/08/22/to-roth-or-not-to-roth-for-college-savings/ Point of clarification I have, can I take out the contributions we've made to our children's 529 accounts without penalties (tax penalties or general penalties otherwise) jus...
by SkierMom
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To Roth or Not to Roth for College Savings?
Replies: 4
Views: 445

Re: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio

[quote5. Can you speak to the tax efficiency or inefficiency of the portfolio?][/quote] You're holding bonds in your taxable account through the Hartford Balanced Fund: bad news for both short-term and long term Capital gains = tax inefficient. I hate "mutual funds" by insurance companies ...
by SkierMom
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio
Replies: 36
Views: 3653

Re: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture

Thank you for posting a great story.

I do look for your thoughtful comments and the Stanford tree in the posting ID column, Swimirvine.
by SkierMom
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture
Replies: 70
Views: 10429

Re: Protecting one's bank account from PayPal

Link PayPal to a credit card, then cancel that credit card. This ensures Paypal will not make any charges to your account, at will, (which they are wont to do) nor have their hand in your pocket through your banking account. I originally set up a separate savings-only account at a credit union separ...
by SkierMom
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting one's bank account from PayPal
Replies: 29
Views: 3332

Re: Hit a financial milestone at an age milestone

OP, nicely-written post. Congrats. For perspective to other BHs, it is expensive to live in NorCal and our home equity portion of total worth does become skewed. I second the importance of taking international vacations, particularly with kids; money is to be enjoyed and life is about experiences, n...
by SkierMom
Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hit a financial milestone at an age milestone
Replies: 50
Views: 5239

Re: Mortgages and financial freedom

I'm in the camp that piling a bunch of money into an illiquid asset is not likely to "make" people feel more comfortable. In our case, it would mean that over 50% of our net worth would be tied up into California real estate. Now THAT's scary. Regardless, I would still owe property taxes a...
by SkierMom
Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages and financial freedom
Replies: 111
Views: 7306

Re: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?

...eBay has become more focussed on professional and corporate sellers. Not a good combo for cleaning out the hobby closet. Agree +1 eBay is often called, "The best idea for the Internet marketplace, run the poorest." eBay policy changes the last 4-5 years (high fees, feedback policies, P...
by SkierMom
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?
Replies: 79
Views: 6856

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

We took our kids (ages 8 and 10) last year (June 2013) on trip to SE Asia to visit my brother in Singapore. Loved the Lion City - great place for kids and adults and tropical to boot, tho very pricey. Sentosa Island has a waterpark and Universal Studios, and the museums and parks as well as the nigh...
by SkierMom
Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2959

Re: Considering a trip to Bali

Went to Bali in June 2013. Will never go back. What a disappointment. What you need to know is that Indonesia is the fourth-largest country in world population-wise. They have a surging birth rate and Bali, with a Western tourism-draw, generally has a much higher standard of living than can be found...
by SkierMom
Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a trip to Bali
Replies: 10
Views: 1380

Re: Vanguard's Facebook presence

Personally, I have fun on FB - Vanguards presence on FB mainly reminds me of upcoming seminars, webcasts, new book titles, etc.

And really, Ed Jones investors are not likely demographics to use FB.
by SkierMom
Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Facebook presence
Replies: 26
Views: 2516

Re: retirement fund or college fund?

Use the Vanguard College Cost Calculator - This calculator is far and away the best one I've seen; know that other calculators will always try to convince you to invest the maximum. Only the Vanguard one is modifiable to change your predicted return rate, change the inflation rate of college expense...
by SkierMom
Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: retirement fund or college fund?
Replies: 15
Views: 919

Re: Help holding persoanl finance workshops

I too am very interested in volunteering time as a BH to the community, specifically as a college savings adviser. I went to a "College Savings" seminar sponsored by my children's elementary school. This was just a presentation from a "Certified College Planner" that was attempti...
by SkierMom
Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help holding persoanl finance workshops
Replies: 18
Views: 1484

Re: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer

I quit drinking 18 months ago. The money you will save buying orange juice instead of micro beers ends up being significant, I'm surprised no fellow BH's have mentioned that. As for the boredom, you NEED to take up a hobby that you cannot possibly do while drinking. I like triathlons. As a manager, ...
by SkierMom
Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer
Replies: 111
Views: 14912

Re: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio

Hey abyan, your parents don't own your brothers' mortgage, they own your brothers' house. As such, I'd nudge them to quietly help him move out of the house to other rentable premises if he cannot make the payments. Clear this house issue up now - THIS is the pink elephant in the room. As a sibling w...
by SkierMom
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio
Replies: 53
Views: 5209

Re: Is 6 months of savings needed?

Kosmo - I love your numbers and analysis. Haven't personally fact-checked them but my thinking aligns with yours.
by SkierMom
Fri May 09, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 6 months of savings needed?
Replies: 33
Views: 3881
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