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Re: Guidance with employer's 401k fund selection

I agree with the prior post about the choice of funds, especially getting a reasonable percentage of bonds. Getting the international mutual fund is likely a good choice but even without it you would be OK since something like 60% of the S&P 500 earnings come from international operations. I hav...
by Watty
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Guidance with employer's 401k fund selection
Replies: 4
Views: 201

Re: Anyone consider retiring to Vancouver, Washington?

Portland’s (and the entire Northwests) reputation for being cloudy and deary has an interesting history since it dates back to the first trip that Lewis and Clark made to that area. They ended up spending the winter on the Oregon coast which has an order of magnitude worse weather and they also happ...
by Watty
Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone consider retiring to Vancouver, Washington?
Replies: 23
Views: 1394

Re: Getting another key made for my car

When getting an extra key made it is a good idea to also ask how much it would cost to get two or three extra keys made and programed at the same time. I bought extra keys on eBay for my Honda Fit and the dealer had to cut and program them but the cost for doing two at the same time was just a littl...
by Watty
Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting another key made for my car
Replies: 50
Views: 5246

Re: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement

.18 is nothing. Use the life cycle fund and keep it simple. +1 Keep it simple, especially since she doesn't want to deal with it. She is fortunate to have great choices, in case she wants to split it out later. Another +1 If something ever happens to you she could just leave the investments on auto...
by Watty
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investing for my wife's retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 767

Re: Do I need life insurance?

I have a decent-sized nest egg (~400K), I'm rapidly accumulating more +1 on having a big need for insurance, for insurance to fill a need there are a lot of "if"s. 1) If you develop heath issue that prevent you from getting insurance in the future. 2) If you have a future need for it. 3) ...
by Watty
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need life insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 1301

Re: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 1

with 182k,


Unless your hobby is working on cars and you can do major work yourself, and enjoy doing it, you would be crazy to spend nearly $10K on a car with that many miles.
by Watty
Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 182k
Replies: 16
Views: 776

Re: Pension Early Buyout Offer

There is no inflation adjustment in any benefit option. That is the big wildcard and it would make me uneasy with the options other than the lump sum since I can remember the double digit inflation years and . To turn things around if you had $46K in an IRA and someone offered to sell you an annuit...
by Watty
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Early Buyout Offer
Replies: 20
Views: 1787

Re: Is a 0.9% wrap fee too high to consider?

Is a 0.9% wrap fee too high to consider? You can search the old posts and wiki but depending on your tax bracket and the rest of your details the expenses need to get well above 2% before they are so bad that a taxable account would be better. Even then if you are likely to change jobs in the fores...
by Watty
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a 0.9% wrap fee too high to consider?
Replies: 8
Views: 652

Re: Closing a house on Thursday but...

You are likely having some "buyers remorse", most people have at lease some so what you are feeling is likely pretty normal. Even with a complete disclosure about the break-in at the house you would still not know if there were break-ins at neighbors houses. I would suspect that even befor...
by Watty
Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing a house on Thursday but...
Replies: 21
Views: 2112

Re: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?

FYI, The stainless steel inside a dishwasher is functional and not a fashion statement. It helps deaden the sound and helps dry the dishes quicker since it retains heat from the washing cycle. We're getting ready to buy new appliances for our home and though my wife wants all SS appliances in the ki...
by Watty
Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?
Replies: 54
Views: 2602

Re: Retiring without any additional investments for 25 years

Even if you get to a more realistic number a pitfall with that plan is that you might decide or need to retire earlier and that greatly change your situation. For example if you retired at 60 then not only would your retirement last longer but your nest egg would have five less years to grow.
by Watty
Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring without any additional investments for 25 years
Replies: 20
Views: 2810

Re: Need Help! Sell My Condo or Rent It

.....someday start a family in around the same area as the condo and will take out a 400-500K mortgage on the new house and have a 20% down payment saved. Our income is fairly high combined 400K plus so we are in the high tax bracket and we do hit the Alternative minimum tax and do live in a high t...
by Watty
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help! Sell My Condo or Rent It
Replies: 11
Views: 1038

Re: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?

I see no need to "close" accounts and thus affect any rating/scores. Do any of you in this position simply store the unused cards or just destroy them to avoid complexity/possible theft? When I have had to call about a compromised credit card one of the questions they asked me was if I st...
by Watty
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Store or cut up un-needed credit cards?
Replies: 28
Views: 2458

Re: anticipating tax rate in retirement

Can anyone simplify this for me.... One thing you can do is make up a dummy tax return with your expected retirement number in tax software then add and subtract $100 to the various numbers to see what the affect is. The nice thing about this is that it will also calculate your state taxes and catc...
by Watty
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anticipating tax rate in retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1627

Re: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight

Move to one of the market rate places in the area and dramatically reduce my savings rate: I'd probably have to stop contributing 10K/year into my Roth (via 401K in-service rollover). I know this space will be gone forever, so this idea hurts. Are you sure? If you have enough of your savings in tax...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling rich to feeling poor overnight
Replies: 85
Views: 10596

Re: How to do taxes for sale of deceased father's stocks?

How to do taxes for sale of deceased father's stocks? Hire someone to do the taxes this year. Not only do you need to consider the federal tax but your state taxes may have issues too. Even though I normally do my own taxes there have been a few years when I had a complicated year when it was worth...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to do taxes for sale of deceased father's stocks?
Replies: 18
Views: 1520

Re: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?

Remember, with a 100 year flood zone you have a 30% chance of getting flooded during the life of your 30 year mortgage. It is actually worse than that sounds. A "100 year flood zone" still has the same chance of being flooded in the future after a flood so if you get flooded in year 10 of...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?
Replies: 42
Views: 2031

Re: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?

I owned a house that had relatively minor flood damage and even though I had flood insurance and it worked out OK financially I would never buy a house in flood zone again. To make the story short the house was outside the flood zone when I bought it but later the flood maps were redrawn. When I ref...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?
Replies: 42
Views: 2031

Re: Our plan to pay off our mortgage by Age 40

Look hard at the PenFed 5/5 ARM. Currently 2.75%, would only adjust once in your 9 year plan, a max of 2%, so worst case you are back at 4.75% for the last 4 years. +1 That is what I am using to get my mortgage paid off in about seven years so it will be paid off before I retire. With aggressive pr...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our plan to pay off our mortgage by Age 40
Replies: 10
Views: 1342

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

I understand about 11 days being short but this is the middle of a 6+ week trip where we end up in Athens and next have to leave from London. Since you will be in Athens first you should be OK if there is a strike or some other disruption. Unless you will be really jet lagged it might be best to sp...
by Watty
Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 1946

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

The Rick Steve's books and be sites would be best place to find out more information for both of those locations.. Other the the historical sites Athens has a lot of the negatives of being a big city without a lot of the positives. Unless there is something of special interest to there it is often s...
by Watty
Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 1946

Re: Feasibility of just-in-time health insurance for expats

Also be sure to check to see if you will qualify for Medicare when you turn 65. The qualification for it is not automatic and normally requires a certain amount of work history of paying into Medicare.
by Watty
Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feasibility of just-in-time health insurance for expats
Replies: 7
Views: 445

Re: Mortgage Options For Home

In your likely tax bracket it would be insane to withdraw money from a retirement account in less than a dire situation. Getting the 401K loan is almost as bad since you would not be able to deduct the mortage interest and would be in a bind if you changed jobs. Getting the loan from your dad is a v...
by Watty
Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Options For Home
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: Is this worth it?

You would want to check to see how the capital gains might affect how much of your social security is taxed. I’m not a tax guru but a quick google found this link which makes it look like capital gains could cause an increase in the amount of your social security that is taxes, even if the capital g...
by Watty
Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this worth it? [capital gains issue]
Replies: 7
Views: 1461

Re: How much to spend on a remodel?

We had no need to do it anytime soon as it is only the two of us and we were not planning on starting a family for 5-7 years, You have at about ten years until you will need it. Not only would your "new" bathroom be ten years old by then but the extra $20,000 could have been invested for ...
by Watty
Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to spend on a remodel?
Replies: 7
Views: 841

Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

I would be nice to hear from some Retirees. Not retired yet but from what I have seen my relatives go through it really varies by age. People in early retirement may spend a lot on things like travel and setting up a retirement home. By the time people are in their mid-70's or so they often natural...
by Watty
Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 159
Views: 12431

Re: Can I stop saving for a retirement 30 years in the futur

Q1. Can I stop saving for old-age retirement? Q2. What should my next financial goals be? I agree that you are in great shape but until you are to the point that you could retire today it is too early to be thinking you are all set. College saving is important but other than that most of your other...
by Watty
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I stop saving for a retirement 30 years in the future?
Replies: 11
Views: 2579

Re: Windows XP

Another consideration with using an older machine is that your disk drive may be pretty old too if you have not replaced it recently. For that reason alone it would be good to have a better than normal backup plan. If your power supply is older then that might be a concern too. Unless you have speci...
by Watty
Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 62
Views: 2956

Re: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children g

I had a home once with 5 BR, 3 full baths, 2 kitchens, LR, and family room....all in 2600 square feet. So I'm wondering just how all the space is being used in your 4000 square foot home. Something just doesn't doesn't add up. +1 12x12 (144 sq feet) is a good size kids bedroom. Even allowing for cl...
by Watty
Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children grow)
Replies: 31
Views: 3334

Re: Australia and New Zealand

I happen to be heading off to New Zealand for three weeks this weekend and there will more than enough to fill up that time. The attraction on the north and south Island are so different that in some ways it will be like going to two destinations. @Watty - how was it? Overall it was a nice trip. It...
by Watty
Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 45
Views: 3738

Re: lump sum [How to invest?]

Any advice?


For most people that want an annuity the best thing that they can do is to use the money that they would use to buy an annuity to afford be able to delay starting social security in order to get a larger social security check.
by Watty
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: lump sum [How to invest?]
Replies: 5
Views: 650

Re: Former employee patent compensation

I would also look into what the term are of any employment agreement with your current employer. That might not allow contracting like that especially when it comes to patents.
by Watty
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former employee patent compensation
Replies: 5
Views: 711

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

I am thinking that in 20 years, I will be 65 and the house will most likely be nearly paid off. The only issue is that if I drop dead, there will be 2 kids in college. I plan to save for college, but with 2 kids in daycare sucking up $3K per month, this will be hard. What if I don't save enough Eve...
by Watty
Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 866

Re: need moral support (kinda)

how would i decide if it would have been better to wait til january ?? For future reference you can use tax software to make dummy tax returns to see how various choices work out. With all the interactions with phase-out's, AMT, state taxes etc that is the best way to get an idea of what the tax im...
by Watty
Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need moral support (kinda)
Replies: 33
Views: 2905

Re: Young Professional Looking to Consciously Invest

as I'll soon be moving abroad. Tax rate: 25% for federal and 6.27% for state Check to see if you will be eligible for the 401K or an IRA while you are out of the country. I suspect not. I have not followed it closely but there have been a number of posts from ex-pats about not being able to open or...
by Watty
Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Professional Looking to Consciously Invest
Replies: 7
Views: 1166

Re: Balance Transfer Credit Card 1% fee, no APR for 1 year

Is there anything else I need to factor in? Other than currency risk and taxes I need to pay in foreign country for the interest I will earn in CD. Cyprus and Iceland Currency conversion costs when you convert the dollars to and from that currency. It could be an expensive nightmare for the people ...
by Watty
Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Balance Transfer Credit Card 1% fee, no APR for 1 year
Replies: 9
Views: 359

Re: Helping prepare family financially if earner dies early

It would be good to have a written investment policy statement that she can use for investing guidelines if she needs to and to make she that she knows about this site. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement High fee financial "advisers" would have no qualms about putti...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping prepare family financially if earner dies early
Replies: 8
Views: 1064

Re: Max out Roth IRA or pay student loans faster?

Putting enough in the 401k to get all the employer match is a must. Unless you are on a high income career path putting retirement money in a Roth instead of a deductible retirement account is not a compelling choice when you are above the 15% tax bracket. One option would be to put part of your eme...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max out Roth IRA or pay student loans faster?
Replies: 8
Views: 717

Re: $72k in 3 fund or a $72k 2 bed/1 bath condo rented

I would suspect that you might already own a house in the same area. If so then I would look at your home equity combined with the condo to see if you would be getting too much of your net worth in real estate. If you are retired being a landlord now might not be too hard(if you are lucky) but as yo...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $72k in 3 fund or a $72k 2 bed/1 bath condo rented
Replies: 21
Views: 1490

Re: -11.33% YTD, asking for some guidance

The part that I don't get is that I would be -7% (still better than -11%) if I picked "S&P 500 Index Separate account" correct ? How folks are able to make money with their 401k I'm still at a loss. They make money in the long run. Stocks are not a short-term investment. You could ver...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: -11.33% YTD, asking for some guidance
Replies: 57
Views: 3398

Re: -11.33% YTD, asking for some guidance

I'm obviously in a very bad position and I'm a new 401k contributor (took a lot of time because of immigration status). ..... (I'm 28 years old) Actually you are in a pretty good position and lucky to have learned that lesson while you are starting out and are only down a moderate amount. Often peo...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: -11.33% YTD, asking for some guidance
Replies: 57
Views: 3398

Re: need moral support (kinda)

MORAL support anybodY?? Turn the question around. If you had the cash for your house sitting in a checking account then would you put it in the stock market now? I doubt you would or that anyone else would recommend doing that for a short term investment. The only reason that I can see for delaying...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need moral support (kinda)
Replies: 33
Views: 2905

Re: What is common for a severance package?

I have seen zero and I've seen 1 week per year. Unless you have a contract nothing is guaranted. +1 I have also seen companies that will go out of their way to find reasons to fire people for cause prior to a layoff to reduce headcount without paying any severance. If there have been prior layoffs ...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is common for a severance package?
Replies: 25
Views: 1821

Re: Thoughts on getting out [of job]

A good thing to do would be to consider what would happen you ran a bit short of money in retirement. For many people that live on the edge that could be dire but it should like for you a shortfall would only result in a modest reduction in lifestyle. If that is the case then it is likely not worth ...
by Watty
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on getting out [of job]
Replies: 37
Views: 5047

Re: Need dispensation to pay ROTH conversion taxes from tIRA

Since you will not be getting hit with a 10% early withdrawal penalty I don't see any problems with doing conversions in the 15% tax bracket even if it is coming out of a TIRA. The only exception that I can think of is if you will be leaving your estate to a charity or or heirs that are in a much lo...
by Watty
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need dispensation to pay ROTH conversion taxes from tIRA
Replies: 25
Views: 794

Re: Antique jewelry?

I figure this is a good a place to ask as any, but my girlfriend (hopefully soon to be fiancé) is pretty against diamonds (especially new) for various moral and thrift reasons. My question is, where does one find an honest antique dealer? Is there anyone online? Pawn shops just seem... wrong. As sh...
by Watty
Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Antique jewelry?
Replies: 10
Views: 813

Re: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area

I'm 29, have a very stable career in the area, I have seen job offers and promotions go to the person who could relocate the easiest so that could be an issue. Even in the same general area taking a job on the other side of town could make your commute bad. At your age being able to easily relocate...
by Watty
Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area
Replies: 21
Views: 2081

Re: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?

A good starting point would be to get the Rick Steve's books and then just look at booking the hotels he recommends yourself. It is way too early to be booking hotels for next summer unless there is some big event where you are going to. You will have a much more enjoyable trip if you don’t stay at ...
by Watty
Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?
Replies: 36
Views: 1574

Re: Australia and New Zealand

My advice would be to pick one country or the other. If you are an outdoors person, I tell people that they shouldn't go to New Zealand unless they can take five weeks. We did it in three and it felt rushed. We didn't get to spend near the amount of time we wanted to in any location. We went as bac...
by Watty
Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia and New Zealand
Replies: 45
Views: 3738

Re: Traditional 401k vs ROTH 401k? (hear me out!)

ROTH IRA: $52K Liquid $63K What are your annual expenses? You already have $115K in those account so most of that would be available to in a real crunch. You also have three sources of income. Even if you lost the two higher ones I would suspect that you could still last a long time on one income a...
by Watty
Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional 401k vs ROTH 401k? (hear me out!)
Replies: 2
Views: 299
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