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by dsmil
Mon May 18, 2015 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Insurance
Replies: 33
Views: 1345

Re: Trip Insurance

Did you book your trip with a credit card that includes trip insurance?

Our chase sapphire card comes with trip interruption insurance and saved us a lot of money when my wife had to come home from Europe early due to pregnancy sickness.
by dsmil
Fri May 15, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 201
Views: 37088

Re: Share your networth progression

Combined numbers with wife: -2009 Net Worth = -$90k (just graduated college, 100k of student loans, minimal investments, renting apartment, hired for good job but didn't start until a few months after graduation) -2015 Net Worth = $60k (1 child, good jobs, investments and student loan amount equal a...
by dsmil
Thu May 07, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?
Replies: 57
Views: 2785

Re: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?

I have a '97 Acura Integra with similar miles to your car. I don't think $1k a year is terrible considering what a car loan on a $30k car would be. Also, brakes and tires have to be replaced regardless of how old your car is, so looking at the costs of fixes, rather than maintenance items, is more u...
by dsmil
Fri May 01, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of personal time
Replies: 24
Views: 1990

Re: Value of personal time

The only time that I'm really thinking about the value of my personal time is when making career choices. Currently I make enough to support my family, work 40 hour weeks, and get 27 vacation days a year. I really couldn't even think of a situation (other than job loss) that would get me to take a j...
by dsmil
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 394

Re: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA

Considering that you don't have much of an emergency fund, if you'd like to fill up your IRA space this year than I think the Roth is the way to go. Just put it somewhere safe and use it as an emergency fund. In the future, if you have more than enough cash flow to fill up the IRA, you can start bui...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 Y/O - where to put surplus money
Replies: 10
Views: 1442

Re: 25 Y/O - where to put surplus money

If I were you I'd throw the extra money into the Roth and earmark it as emergency funds (invest in something safe). I doubt that $10k will equal 6 months of expenses in the long-term, which means that you'll have to beef up the emergency fund at some point. I think it makes sense to max out the Roth...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover IRA/College Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 241

Re: Rollover IRA/College Fund

If the $13k in the 403b was planned on being used for college, and you're hitting your retirement goals, than you could take the next $13k that you planned on putting in the 401k, and put that into a 529 or Roth. Or directly roll over the balance into a Roth if allowed. That way, you've basically r...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover IRA/College Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 241

Re: Rollover IRA/College Fund

If the $13k in the 403b was planned on being used for college, and you're hitting your retirement goals, than you could take the next $13k that you planned on putting in the 401k, and put that into a 529 or Roth. Or directly roll over the balance into a Roth if allowed. That way, you've basically re...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who still have Cable TV?
Replies: 63
Views: 3083

Re: Who still have Cable TV?

I watch so many sports on TV that at this point, I'm not even thinking about cutting the chord. $100 is worth it for the convenience that cable tv offers me for my sports viewing.
by dsmil
Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds Poll
Replies: 72
Views: 3920

Re: Age in Bonds Poll

I prefer the curved models that Vanguard and others use for the target retirement portfolios, but using a straight line model seems nice a simple for the average investor.
by dsmil
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It
Replies: 51
Views: 3883

Re: Has Anyone had a Credit Card Cancelled for not Using It

This thread spurred me to find an old credit card that my wife hasn't used in years. We used the card and logged into her account to find that we had $75 of cash rewards to redeem. Thanks Bogleheads!
by dsmil
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 17502

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

I think that a student's major and grades have more to do with success than what school they go to. I'm sure that there are a lot of Ivy leaguers who picked useless majors and are now living on their parents' dime. I went to a solid state school, picked a good major, got decent grades, and accepted ...
by dsmil
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Concert Goers?
Replies: 64
Views: 3665

Re: Boglehead Concert Goers?

I went a ton in college (a few years ago), but the tickets for the rock shows that I went to were very cheap, other than Bamboozle. These are bands that weren't well known outside of the scene, and almost everyone at these shows were between 15-25 years old, without much money to burn. I don't go mu...
by dsmil
Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Watch Television?
Replies: 81
Views: 6316

Re: How Do You Watch Television?

I watch too many sports on TV to ever considering cutting the cord. Whatever I'm paying is worth the convenience to me. If I want to save $100 a month on something, there has to be less painful ways for me to do it than cutting the cord.
by dsmil
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 71
Views: 7094

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

I read that Betterment post a couple of weeks ago and love what it had to say, because I always feel bad about my emergency money just sitting there. Rather than having 6 months of expenses at on online savings account, my new plan is to have 4 months at an online savings account and 4 months in eq...
by dsmil
Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 71
Views: 7094

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

I read that Betterment post a couple of weeks ago and love what it had to say, because I always feel bad about my emergency money just sitting there. Rather than having 6 months of expenses at on online savings account, my new plan is to have 4 months at an online savings account and 4 months in equ...
by dsmil
Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: When to pay down debt rather than invest
Replies: 49
Views: 4155

Re: Poll: When to pay down debt rather than invest

Correct me if I'm wrong, but interest rates aside, isn't paying off the loans early pretty useless if once the loan payment is gone, you are then spending some of that extra cash flow rather than saving it all? I'd rather invest and pay some loans with reasonable interest rates for longer, rather th...
by dsmil
Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you buy a house because of low interest rate?
Replies: 25
Views: 1893

Re: Did you buy a house because of low interest rate?

We didn't buy our house because of interest rates, but I do believe that we bought our house a year or two earlier because of interest rates. In the fall of 2012, we went against the Boglehead philosophy and went with an FHA loan with 3.5% down. We were able to catch low prices and interest rates, s...
by dsmil
Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Student Loan with SoFi?
Replies: 26
Views: 1568

Re: Refinance Student Loan with SoFi?

My wife and I both just refinanced our student loans to SoFi, and went from 6.55% fixed to 3.42% variable with SoFi. I would never do a variable rate on a house, but our loans are low enough that the max interest rate still wouldn't be awful, and we have only 5 years left so I don't see a reason to ...
by dsmil
Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 410
Views: 22490

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

I budget (via YNAB) with cash flow. I don't budget via net worth, though I fully understand how that works (and I do track my net worth separately). In that budget, 'savings' are things that are disappearing from my monthly cash flow, are elective, and are earmarked for the future. The fact that th...
by dsmil
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 410
Views: 22490

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

A lot of debate on this issue! I only calculate my retirement savings rate, but I would have no problem counting my mortgage principal payment in a total savings calculation. For my monthly budget, I do consider my entire mortgage payment as an "expense" because it is money going out on a ...
by dsmil
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 9608

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

18.5%, which includes principal, interest, FHA MIP, insurance, taxes, HOA, and utilities.
by dsmil
Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on replacing tires?
Replies: 60
Views: 3946

Re: Thoughts on replacing tires?

I trust my mechanic and a few months ago he told me that I'd have to get new tires soon. They had 50k miles on them and I planned on getting it done during my next oil change in 3 months. A few weeks later, one of them totally exploded on the highway but I made it to the side of the road safely. I j...
by dsmil
Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why don't I see more people arguing for a world portfolio?
Replies: 41
Views: 3098

Re: Why don't I see more people arguing for a world portfoli

Modern portfolio theory was based on past performance and came up with a sweet spot for international investing that a lot of people hover around. If this sweetspot was more in line with the world allocation, I believe that more would go this route.
by dsmil
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To all: How have you used your emergency fund?
Replies: 40
Views: 3107

Re: To all: How have you used your emergency fund?

Here is a related thread that I started in December for some more results https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=152808 We are working towards a 6 month emergency fund but I don't really know the right answer regarding if we've used it or not. We have a $500 random section in our m...
by dsmil
Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki - For new investors: The Importance of Saving Early
Replies: 27
Views: 2517

Re: Wiki - For new investors: The Importance of Saving Early

This is why I'm always thinking about lowering my emergency funds from 6 months to something lower. I can't stand money just sitting there when it can be at work for another 40 years until retirement!
by dsmil
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Loans vs. Investing
Replies: 17
Views: 1878

Re: Loans vs. Investing

I like keeping our student loans around because it's money that my wife can't go shopping with! Seriousuly, an overlooked reason to invest rather than paying down loans is that when loans are paid down, and monthly cash flow improves, this extra cash flow is often used for spending, rather than savi...
by dsmil
Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on my aggressive asset allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 1146

Re: Thoughts on my aggressive asset allocation

Your asset allocation looks good to me. At your age and mindset of staying the course, I don't see anything wrong with avoiding bonds for a bit.
by dsmil
Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock/Bond Ratio
Replies: 24
Views: 2373

Re: Stock/Bond Ratio

Using a straight line model for bonds/stocks allocation is easy, but I don't think that it makes a lot of sense. I like using a curved model, as is usually used in the target retirement age funds.

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/what-percent ... tocks.html
by dsmil
Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your financial situation before having first child?
Replies: 34
Views: 2854

What was your financial situation before having first child?

My wife and I are due to have our first child next month. I feel like I've been obsessing over money lately even though we're in decent shape financially. I'd like to see how you fellow Bogleheads we're doing before taking the jump into parenthood. Our situation is that we are in our mid-upper 20's,...
by dsmil
Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing jobs and PTO
Replies: 9
Views: 1208

Re: Changing jobs and PTO

I was paid unused PTO a couple of years ago when I left my job in Maryland
by dsmil
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 38
Views: 2963

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

It's amazes me that this many people max out all tax-advantaged accounts...Bogleheads are really the cream of the crop. Once student loans are gone, our plans for college are to throw an extra $1k per month into the 401k. During college we'll try to use cash flow as much as possible, along with borr...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b 457b Investing order
Replies: 12
Views: 460

Re: 403b 457b Investing order

I haven't funded any of these yet, but plan on using the 457b over the 403b in the future. The 457b allows for distributions upon separation of employment, regardless of age. I believe that a governmental 457b is the way to go, while non-governmental 457b's have some disadvantages.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I balance debt v. investing in my situation
Replies: 28
Views: 1979

Re: How do I balance debt v. investing in my situation

I dont think a little debt hurts, especially if you are making payments and still have $2k left over every month.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Minimum Annual Expenses
Replies: 37
Views: 3866

Re: Your Minimum Annual Expenses

$46k for my wife and me (no kids yet)

$28k housing
$8k student loans
$1k other fixed expenses
$3k transportation
$6k food/other random items from grocery store
by dsmil
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency funds
Replies: 9
Views: 1125

Re: Emergency funds

Ally Bank has some good options. .99% for the online savings account and 2% for the 5 year CD. The penalty on the 5 year CD is 150 days of interest, so opening a bunch of small balance CD's could be a good option.
by dsmil
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing betwen funding emergency fund and Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 853

Re: Choosing betwen funding emergency fund and Roth IRA

I agree with previous posters, enough said.
by dsmil
Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining House Needs
Replies: 12
Views: 1561

Re: Determining House Needs

I like the idea of buying a house that "could" work for you forever, even if you'd ideally want something larger down the line. That way you keep your options open depending on your future financial and family situation. I don't think I"d be able to get myself to spend money on a hous...
by dsmil
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?
Replies: 50
Views: 5690

Re: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?

We were 1:3 when we bought 2 years ago, and are now at 1:2. I found that I wasted a lot of time with ratios before buying our house, when applying the housing costs to our budget was much more useful.
by dsmil
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance
Replies: 20
Views: 2039

Re: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance

I've seen a lot of articles that state that on average, happiness increases until you make a certain amount of money (which you already do). After this, happiness stays the same. I'm not an expert but I tend to think that experiences and relationships are what drives long term happiness, while mater...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare and Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 755

Re: Childcare and Taxes

Deleted
by dsmil
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH as a Emergency Fund Vehicle
Replies: 19
Views: 1999

Re: ROTH as a Emergency Fund Vehicle

I agree with the previous posters. If you aren't able to completely max your Roth with retirement money, than fill up the rest with emergency funds. My wife and I use this strategy since we're building our emergency fund and find ourselves a little short on maxing the Roth from retirement investment...
by dsmil
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 828
Views: 116157

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Just got back from seeing American Sniper. It was a good movie, as expected, and I can't turn down a good war movie. I've never heard such a quiet crowd coming out of the theater.

I also finally watched The Godfather for the first time today, and will be watching The Godfather Part II tomorrow.
by dsmil
Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help setting up college savings account
Replies: 37
Views: 2732

Re: Help setting up college savings account

I just looked at the Virginia plan info and the fees are quite low and comparable to the Vanguard (Nevada) plan, so I'd definitely consider that route if I lived in VA because of the tax incentives. I'm a little envious as a Maryland resident, as their plan at T Rowe Price is pretty bad IMO from a ...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help setting up college savings account
Replies: 37
Views: 2732

Re: Help setting up college savings account

If you're already putting away enough of your income for retirement, why would you put more into the 401k that can't be used to pay for college? Here are three reasons: 1. One can generally borrow from 401(k) plans for any reason including college expenses. We borrowed from a 401(k) plan and put th...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help setting up college savings account
Replies: 37
Views: 2732

Re: Help setting up college savings account

Generally, a family should make maximum possible legal contributions to their retirement plans before contributing even one cent to a 529 plan. Can you explain the reasoning for this? I'm also thinking about starting a 529 plan but am considering other options. If you're already putting away enough...
by dsmil
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home downpayment/Roth IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 397

Re: Home downpayment/Roth IRA

I think that this would be a good idea, only if you were already contributing a good portion of your income towards retirement. As I read your post, 6% of your income is going towards retirement and any other savings would go towards a down payment. I think at least doubling that retirement savings ...
by dsmil
Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio
Replies: 42
Views: 4222

Re: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio

I clicked "other" because I have a different allocation, but you can't go wrong with target date or 3 fund as well. 44% Total U.S. (VTSAX) 20% Total Int'l (VGTSX) 10% REIT (VGSIX) 10% Bonds (VBMFX) 9% Small Cap Value (VISVX) 7% Emerging (VEIEX) I got to 10% bonds by doing 115-Age in stocks...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 2098

Re: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?

I think that investing 15% of your income is a nice goal. The best option would probably be to max out the Roth IRA ($5,500/yr) and put the rest into your Roth 401k. The interest rate on your mortgage is so low that I wouldn't even think about paying that off early. In addition, in the case of an em...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best product to clean golf clubs?
Replies: 14
Views: 1103

Re: What is the best product to clean golf clubs?

Another good tip is to wet the bottom half of your towel before the round. Then you can wipe the club with the bottom half and dry it with the top half.

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