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Experience saving a big down payment? ($200k+)

Would love to hear from those of you who already did this. How you did it, how you stored the assets, etc. For reference, I'm 31 and my wife is 28. We own a home worth about $500k with $150k in equity. We are saving for a larger home someday (3 to 5 years) or a addition to our current home. We max o...
by berg
Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience saving a big down payment? ($200k+)
Replies: 5
Views: 807

Re: Healthcare HSA Option with Pregnant Wife?

Is the HSA deductible per person or per family? (Mine has both a individual and a family deductible.) If it is per person, there would be a possibility of some stuff being billed under your wife and some under the baby. That is a great point. It is $1250 per person, with a $2500 family max. I hadn'...
by berg
Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare HSA Option with Pregnant Wife?
Replies: 6
Views: 525

Healthcare HSA Option with Pregnant Wife?

My wife's insurance plan changes on July 1st. My company goes Jan. 1 to Dec 31st. This qualifies her to change her own plan or join mine on July 1st (as well as give me the option to switch mine on July 1st). She is due to have our first baby in August. I've been running the numbers to try to see wh...
by berg
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare HSA Option with Pregnant Wife?
Replies: 6
Views: 525

Re: Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?

I just hope you don't turn yours into a monster house out of size scale with the other houses in the neighborhood. The last neighborhood I lived in had that happen. I thought my present neighborhood had escaped this, but there's a completely out of scale house like a blight on the landscape a coupl...
by berg
Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?
Replies: 15
Views: 2639

Re: Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?

Why not buy one of the large homes in your neighborhood now? Certainly if one came for sale in the time frame we were interested in, we would strongly consider this. Again, hard to say given we are a few years out... Does maintaining our 3.75% mortgage rate factor in at any point vs. a rate in a fe...
by berg
Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?
Replies: 15
Views: 2639

Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?

I'm wondering if anyone here has "priced themselves out of a neighborhood" through an addition and home renovations and how it ended up working out for them. From a purely financial standpoint, I think with the time comes for us to have a bigger home, it would make more sense to move. But ...
by berg
Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience pricing yourself out of a neighborhood?
Replies: 15
Views: 2639

Re: Invest in taxable opposite weeks of non-taxable?

I didn't mention IRA's because I max those out at the beginning of the year.

I do get you should invest right away, but I'm still new to my taxable portfolio and sort of DCA'ing my way in to the process.
by berg
Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in taxable opposite weeks of non-taxable?
Replies: 10
Views: 361

Invest in taxable opposite weeks of non-taxable?

Probably just over thinking here, but wonder what the brain trust thought of this strategy. I contribute every other Friday on payday (26 weeks a year) to my 401k and my wife to her 403b. I also contribute to a taxable account on this day. What if I contributed to the taxable on the other Friday. Th...
by berg
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest in taxable opposite weeks of non-taxable?
Replies: 10
Views: 361

Re: Options & Taxes

Is your strike price really zero? If it is, your math is correct - $100*(1-.33) is equal to $111*(1-.396) But I seem to remember from another thread your strike is $20 In which case your math is flawed, you only pay taxes on the spread not the sale price Ah, good point. I have some around 20 and so...
by berg
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options & Taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 350

Options & Taxes

As part of my options strategy, I'm trying to consider taxes. Wondering if my math here makes sense. I'm considering selling a portion of stock that will keep me in the 33% tax bracket, but not put me much higher. So for the sake of argument, let's say the stock price is $100. If I wait and end up s...
by berg
Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options & Taxes
Replies: 5
Views: 350

Re: Which options to exercise?

Another variable to add to the mix. My company switched from offering options to RSU's. With RSU's, it is no question for me, when they vest, I cash out and add to my normal asset allocation. Given that more options might not be coming my way, perhaps yet another reason to hold off on the sale?
by berg
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which options to exercise?
Replies: 18
Views: 1160

Re: Which options to exercise?

That is a great point, since I would want the same amount. The reason I'm so conflicted is the stock has done quite well, and even after taxes the portion that I'm eligible to exercise represents about 40% of my net worth (cash, investments, retirement), and about 34% if you include home equity. At...
by berg
Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which options to exercise?
Replies: 18
Views: 1160

Re: Which options to exercise?

That is a great point, since I would want the same amount. The reason I'm so conflicted is the stock has done quite well, and even after taxes the portion that I'm eligible to exercise represents about 40% of my net worth (cash, investments, retirement), and about 34% if you include home equity. At ...
by berg
Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which options to exercise?
Replies: 18
Views: 1160

Which options to exercise?

I'm considering exercising a portion of my in the money options. I have two sets, one expires in 2018, the other in 2022. The 2018 price is around $20 per share, the 2022 is set is around $40 per share. The stock is trading close around $90. If I had to predict, it is unlikely I will wait until the ...
by berg
Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which options to exercise?
Replies: 18
Views: 1160

Re: Thoughts on my glidepath

There's a lot of "I" "my" and "me" in there. Do you consider your portfolio separate from your wife's? Or, are you talking about all accounts you and the wife have as one? All as one. Ours. :D And while I discuss these choices with her, she allows me to drive the resea...
by berg
Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on my glidepath
Replies: 9
Views: 796

Thoughts on my glidepath

I'm 30 and my wife is 28. My wife is a public school teacher and pays 11% into a pension system (in addition to us maxing out 401k/403b and Backdoor Roths). With her current pension she will retire with 80% of her top three highest earning years. I'm certainly not counting on this or using it as a b...
by berg
Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on my glidepath
Replies: 9
Views: 796

Re: Selling NQ Stock Options Early for Lower Taxes

Are you contributing the max to your 401k plan and IRA? If not, the option exercise is an ideal opportunity to offset taxable gains from option exercise against higher pre-tax deductions for 401k contributions. In that situation, you are effectively shifting (some of) the stock option proceeds into...
by berg
Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling NQ Stock Options Early for Lower Taxes
Replies: 2
Views: 143

Selling NQ Stock Options Early for Lower Taxes

I have some stock options that are in the money. My general plan is to hold options closer to expiration (which is still 4 years off for the earliest set). However, as I have been accumulating options, RSU's and my income has been growing taxes will take a bigger hit. Would it make sense to take may...
by berg
Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling NQ Stock Options Early for Lower Taxes
Replies: 2
Views: 143

I Bonds as part of a portfolio

I currently max my 401k and wife's 403b. Additionally we do backdoor roth's. I'm 30 and she is 28. I also am beginning to invest an additional $500 per paycheck ($13k annually) into a taxable account. I'm wondering if I should look to buy I Bonds part of the bond portion of my portfolio. Right now m...
by berg
Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds as part of a portfolio
Replies: 10
Views: 1003

Re: Automatic investing in a taxable account

I guess I was just trying to keep it simple. With my other accounts I currently: - Roths - max in January - Wife's 403b - max as early in the year as I can (no company match) - My 401k - max through even bi-weekly to ensure I get full company match (they do a annual catch-up, but I would miss it if ...
by berg
Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automatic investing in a taxable account
Replies: 10
Views: 451

Automatic investing in a taxable account

I have just added a taxable account to my retirement savings. I would like to add $1000 per month. I set up an automatic investment of $250 weekly. Is there any reason not to do a weekly investment? Does the fact that this is a taxable account make it more complicated at all?
by berg
Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automatic investing in a taxable account
Replies: 10
Views: 451

Who are Consumer Directed Health Plans good for?

Looking at my options and looks like I could opt for a consumer directed health plan this year. My deductible would be $1250 for myself and $2,500 if I went with the plan for my wife and I. I could provide $3,300 pre tax for myself or $6,500 for the both of us. I like the idea of additional ways to ...
by berg
Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who are Consumer Directed Health Plans good for?
Replies: 5
Views: 574

basic bond fund question

Apologies if this is too basic. I keep reading about bond funds, but I just want to clarify one thing. A bond fund like Vanguard's Total Bond fund has a NAV. This can go up and down. So if I were to sell my shares at any given point in time I could gain or lose money from this asset. But if I am buy...
by berg
Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: basic bond fund question
Replies: 6
Views: 548

Re: Investing for the long haul, but could need the money so

As long as the amount saved in this taxable account is safely larger than what you might want to spend, you can just invest it as a long term asset. Here is how it works. Suppose after awhile you want to spend a portion of that money, but you are in risky assets that have fallen. Well, just spend t...
by berg
Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for the long haul, but could need the money sooner
Replies: 7
Views: 590

Investing for the long haul, but could need the money sooner

I'm hoping to get some great insight from the mighty Bogleheads! Especially those who are older than I and have more experience. I currently max out my and my wife's retirement accounts (401k, 403b + backdoor roths). I have a more than sufficient emergency fund. And about 30% equity in my home with ...
by berg
Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for the long haul, but could need the money sooner
Replies: 7
Views: 590

Re: How did you decide to sell your stock options?

You can do all the modeling and tax analysis you want, but IMO once the value of vested options becomes a substantial percent of your overall portfolio (maybe $5k or 1-2% whichever is higher), the best bet for most is to do a cashless exercise and invest the proceeds based on your normal asset allo...
by berg
Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How did you decide to sell your stock options?
Replies: 18
Views: 1203

How did you decide to sell your stock options?

I've found a bunch of threads where people ask if/when they should sell options with varying opinions. I'd love to hear from people who have sold their options. What made you pull the trigger? Did you DCA sales over time? Sell right when it became available? Have a certain price point in mind? Sell ...
by berg
Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How did you decide to sell your stock options?
Replies: 18
Views: 1203

Considering opening a taxable investment account

My wife and I are 30 and 28 and trying to do our best to save, save, save. Right now we both max out backdoor Roth IRA's and max my 401k and her 403b. We still have money we are saving every month and the cash is starting to accumulate well beyond and emergency fund or cash for big ticket items such...
by berg
Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering opening a taxable investment account
Replies: 2
Views: 343

Re: Plan for my financially irresponsible Father

By your wording, I assume he's asked for help? You need to address his spending habits to avoid going down this path again. Make a budget and stick to it: Household budgeting (read the articles in "External links") Yes, he asked for my help. He has been irresponsible for years, blowing th...
by berg
Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan for my financially irresponsible Father
Replies: 12
Views: 1713

Plan for my financially irresponsible Father

The greatest gift my Father gave to me is being so financially irresponsible that it has made me neurotic about Personal Finance. Anyway, he's put himself in a bad spot again and I'm trying to help him sort it out. Here are the details. He is 74, rents, is divorced and lives alone. He works part tim...
by berg
Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan for my financially irresponsible Father
Replies: 12
Views: 1713

Best ways to proactively fight identity theft?

My father is a hoarder and we have been helping him clean out his apartment. We have filled up an entire dumpster with things he has been acquiring for years (yay!). However, while we did our best not to throw anything out with sensitive information, I can almost guarantee that some of his papers in...
by berg
Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best ways to proactively fight identity theft?
Replies: 8
Views: 996

When did you get term life insurance? How long and how much?

My wife and I are going to start trying for our first child soon. Starting to think about term life insurance. My wife is a teacher and I make 3 to 4x her salary in a given year. Wondering what others have done. Some of my questions: Should we get life insurance before we have thee baby? Did you? (I...
by berg
Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you get term life insurance? How long and how much?
Replies: 32
Views: 2428

Bill Gates quote reminded me of Bogleheads

Read this Bill Gates quote recently and it reminded me of the Bogleheads. Thought I'd share. "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” For me, the "easy way to do it" when it comes to retirement (certainly "a hard job" )...
by berg
Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gates quote reminded me of Bogleheads
Replies: 1
Views: 611

Just read The Bogleheads Guide to Investing, what next?

Just finished The Bogleheads Guide to Investing and trying to figure out what to read next because I really enjoy reading about this stuff, but some PF/retirement planning stuff is repetitive so wondering what the smart people here think based on my current situation. The back of the book suggests s...
by berg
Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just read The Bogleheads Guide to Investing, what next?
Replies: 8
Views: 816

Re: 403b Vendor Options

Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF are the two decent options. Fidelity (especially if it offers Spartan funds) is probably cheaper than TIAA-CREF depending on the choices available. Does she also have a 457 plan available? There is no 457 available. Do you know how I find out what funds her Fideli...
by berg
Thu May 30, 2013 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Vendor Options
Replies: 3
Views: 303

403b Vendor Options

My wife's school system had some bad information on their web site and included Vanguard as a provider, but they no longer support Vanguard. I was told by someone in the payroll department that the following companies would be willing to do the payroll deduction and then transfer funds to Vanguard w...
by berg
Thu May 30, 2013 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Vendor Options
Replies: 3
Views: 303

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

Would you be more conservative and look more toward bond or bond funds instead? Yes, I would be more conservative, and would put it in CDs and/or I Bonds. I don't consider even 8 years a particularly long time period for equities, and as pointed out by Zvi Bodie and others, stock market risk does n...
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

For portfolio suggestions, you could also look at some 529 plans and see what they recommend for someone about 14 years old. For example, Vanguard's Moderate Option for ages 11-15 is 25/75 (stock/bond), Conservative Option for ages 11-15 is 0/75/25 (stock/bond/short term reserve). The Moderate Opti...
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

This is a sure sign of coming close to a top - people wanting to place money at risk that is 100% needed by in a short term period. I think you didn't read my whole post. We'd like this addition, but don't *need* this addition. We have no hard date that we would have to have it. And since our goals...
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

For portfolio suggestions, you could also look at some 529 plans and see what they recommend for someone about 14 years old. For example, Vanguard's Moderate Option for ages 11-15 is 25/75 (stock/bond), Conservative Option for ages 11-15 is 0/75/25 (stock/bond/short term reserve). The Moderate Opti...
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

This is a sure sign of coming close to a top - people wanting to place money at risk that is 100% needed by in a short term period. I think you didn't read my whole post. We'd like this addition, but don't *need* this addition. We have no hard date that we would have to have it. And since our goals...
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

Thanks. This seems like a great option, though it does seem to be right in the middle in terms of risk. Given I'd like to use the funds in the next 4 to 8 years, could this be too risky?
by berg
Tue May 28, 2013 9:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)

I currently am maxing out a 401k, my wife's 403b and we both do backdoor Roth's. Plus we have an emergency fund of 12+ months of expenses (though I'd like to take some of that an invest). In the next 4 to 8 years, we will likely want to do a serious home renovation. We love our neighborhood, our hom...
by berg
Mon May 27, 2013 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term taxable investment (4 to 8 years)
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Age 30 & 27, % in Bonds?

I've recently been doing more research (including reading the Bogleheads Guide to Investing) and realized how probably overly aggressive I was being by only having around 1% of my retirement funds in Bonds. I've started to shift some funds and I am now closer to 5% and looking to increase that % thr...
by berg
Mon May 27, 2013 11:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 30 & 27, % in Bonds?
Replies: 7
Views: 978

Lowering Expense Ratios

This might be a tough question without more info, but I'm just wondering if in general my logic makes sense here... So, I have a 401k with Fidelity, a Roth account for my wife and I at Vanguard and a 403b with my wife through Vanguard. With her 403b, she is not eligible for Admiral Shares. With the ...
by berg
Sat May 25, 2013 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lowering Expense Ratios
Replies: 6
Views: 593

Calculating blended expense ratio, gross vs. net

I'm trying to calculate my blended expense ratio, but not sure if I should use gross or net. My Vanguard funds seem to have one expense ratio for the most part. But in my Fidelity 401k, I have a S&P 500 Index (FUSVX), that lists a .05% net and a .07% gross. When I look at Google Finance it just ...
by berg
Sat May 25, 2013 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating blended expense ratio, gross vs. net
Replies: 2
Views: 172

Asset Allocation Across Companies (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.)

Just a question, curious what people do for ease of their AA. I have a 401k through Fidelity and Roth IRA through Vanguard and my wife's 403b is through Vanguard. For those of you have have assets across several companies, wondering what the different strategies are for AA. For example (for simplici...
by berg
Thu May 23, 2013 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation Across Companies (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.)
Replies: 7
Views: 607

Re: Any reason not to max my wife's 403b?

Yea - I was shocked to see Vanguard on the list when I checked the site for her town. I actually found what must be an old list as well and they weren't included so they must have been added in the last few years. I'm kicking myself for not asking questions earlier, but my wife is only 27 and we did...
by berg
Wed May 22, 2013 9:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to max my wife's 403b?
Replies: 4
Views: 498
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