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Re: giving money

Easiest approach is for you and your spouse to each give <$14k to the person, so no IRS reporting requirement.
by hand
Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: giving money
Replies: 13
Views: 743

Re: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?

Tenuous financial justifications as follows: 1) You expect or fear deflation during the term of the mortgage 2) Asset protection 3) There are costs / risks to having a mortgage (paperwork, extra tax prep, risk of mortgage payment screw-up, hassle of mortgage servicer changes) 4) Cash used to pay off...
by hand
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2975

Re: Should mom transfer house title before dying or in will?

I would think it is in your Mom's best interest to keep control of all of her assets as long as possible. Under the current arrangement, it appears there is risk that you "lose" the house if: 1) You are not truly named as the beneficiary of the house in her will, or 2) There is a change to...
by hand
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should mom transfer house title before dying or in will?
Replies: 51
Views: 3579

Re: Took the GRE test [- Suggest a masters degree]

Have you considered an MBA? Likely somewhat applicable across a number of domains, quantitatively focused, and possibly valuable in a wide variety of future employment. In many cases, I feel non top tier MBAs are overpriced, but if "free", almost certainly worth the time. Classes while wor...
by hand
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Took the GRE test [- Suggest a masters degree]
Replies: 39
Views: 2324

Re: 36 yo looking for early retirement

A couple of quick thoughts: 1) 4% withdrawal rate is typically mentioned in reference to a 30 year retirement, I'd plan for lower withdrawal rate if there is no fudge factor in your planned annual retirement expenses 2) I often see medical professionals discussing asset protection, and I think that ...
by hand
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36 yo looking for early retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 3579

Re: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?

Even if you buy with cash, you probably want some sort of title insurance to protect you if future issues with the title crop up, so likely not too much of a savings for that line item.
by hand
Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much do I save if I buy house with cash?
Replies: 11
Views: 1483

Re: Mortgage refinance: 15 year vs. 20 year vs. 30 year

I'm personally a fan of 30 year fixed at this time: 1) Yield curve is relatively flat - nominal interest savings of 15 vs. 30 year rates is small, real savings is miniscule assuming 2% inflation. 2) As noted, there is always the option to pay off a 30 year loan early 3) 30 year provides more cash fl...
by hand
Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage refinance: 15 year vs. 20 year vs. 30 year
Replies: 12
Views: 1324

Re: New retirement home timing

Perhaps you should consider mortgaging your current house now while you are still employed.

You can then buy your retirement house with cash and pay off the mortgage on the current home when you sell.
by hand
Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New retirement home timing
Replies: 5
Views: 547

Re: Buying a Low Supply Hight Demand Car

This seems like a good situation to try to find an affinity discount (perhaps your employer has a relationship with the manufacturer) or a volume buying service (Costco?) that offers a standard percentage off MSRP.
by hand
Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Low Supply Hight Demand Car
Replies: 26
Views: 3186

Re: Investing advice for mid-career couple with high savings

With your high taxable investment, 529 & Cash balances, I was a bit surprised to see retirement savings at *only* $500k. I see that you max your 401(k) contributions, are you also maxing IRA / backdoor Roth IRA contributions? Dependent on health considerations, you might consider moving to a hig...
by hand
Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing advice for mid-career couple with high savings
Replies: 7
Views: 1509

Re: What to prepare for first baby due next month?

As already mentioned, take the birthing class ASAP.
Also get hospital planning, travel bag, transport and alternate transport organized NOW.

Babies don't always come on schedule.
by hand
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to prepare for first baby due next month?
Replies: 55
Views: 6878

Re: TWO home internet connections with two ISPs

P.S. If you do buy the suggested product, consider using the Amazon link in the upper right hand corner of the forum - proceeds go to support continued operation of the forum!
by hand
Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TWO home internet connections with two ISPs
Replies: 19
Views: 1403

Re: TWO home internet connections with two ISPs

Multi-WAN routers do what you are looking for, however many are geared (and priced) towards business users. Take a look at the TP-LINK TL-R470T+ Load Balance Broadband Router, 3 Changeable Ethernet WAN/LAN Ports, 64MB DRAM which has good Amazon reviews and costs ~$50. I have not used, but appears to...
by hand
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TWO home internet connections with two ISPs
Replies: 19
Views: 1403

Vanguard Security Concern - Status emails

Hi, It recently occurred to me that the Vanguard "status" branded emails seem to represent a security risk. On a regular basis I receive email from Vanguard which are branded with my personal "status" level (Voyager, Voyager Select, Flagship, Flagship Select). I am concerned that...
by hand
Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Security Concern - Status emails
Replies: 4
Views: 864

Re: First time home buyer - realtor?

If you are comfortable assessing condition and value of the property, plan to bid low and won't be devastated if the sale doesn't go throug, and are willing to expend some DIY effort, this is likely a good opportunity to go sans realtor. Making an offer unrepresented is a great bonus to the selling ...
by hand
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time home buyer - realtor?
Replies: 4
Views: 495

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

And it isn't all about the agent fees. IMO, there isn't anything that requires the buyer's agent to have the buyers best interest in mind (that I am aware of). They make money by making the sale. Once they find a house you are even considering, they benefit by convincing you to buy it. I don't need...
by hand
Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 43
Views: 2931

Re: Email on specific words

Not sure if this site provides the requested functionality, but you could accomplish something similar by setting up a Google Alert for "LifeStrategy" site:bogleheads.org.
by hand
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Email on specific words
Replies: 3
Views: 1134

Re: Suggest an AM - FM Stereo Receiver?

If I were you, I'd look at the power handling capacity of my speakers and then do a search for a receiver which can't overdrive them, i.e., if the speakers are each rated to handle 50 watts into 8 ohms continuous, I'd be looking for a receiver that puts out say 40 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Any...
by hand
Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an AM - FM Stereo Receiver?
Replies: 24
Views: 2110

Re: Building a New House, Advice please.

A couple of quick thoughts: 1) Consider tamper resistant outlets if children may be in the house, upcharge is minimal, but they appear to be a real safety improvement. 2) Consider wiring circuits and panel(s) in such a way to make adding a future generator easy (grouping essential circuits into a si...
by hand
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a New House, Advice please.
Replies: 66
Views: 6206

Re: How would one negotiate with daycare?

It is rumoured that my daycare enforces a no PITA policy - while I agree that you have been adversely impacted by the late start (though less clear who is at fault), I would be hesitant to pursue some small monetary redress 1) from someone who is caring for my child, and 2) unless I had a backup chi...
by hand
Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How would one negotiate with daycare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3301

Re: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident

While I understand the arguments that it is likely cost effective in the short run to pay the $1k deductible vs. trying to recover, and also low likelihood of recovering if perpetrator is truly indigent, I'm surprised at the lack of focus on the longer term / societal impacts of pursuing damages vs....
by hand
Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE
Replies: 47
Views: 3858

Re: LED Flashlights

Oh and as for the second question, I upgraded a 20 year old 2D Maglight with this: http://www.amazon.com/TerraLUX-TLE-6EXB-MiniStar5-Conversion-MagLites/dp/B001I9TI4Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1412196789&sr=8-2&tag=bogleheads.org-20&keywords=led+replacement+maglite It is not bad for $1...
by hand
Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flashlights
Replies: 51
Views: 3959

Re: Unexpected Emergency

Depending how large the medical / dental bills are, you may consider going back to the college(s) and asking for a review of your financial aid award in light of new circumstances.

You might also look into a home equity line of credit / loan to cover your cash needs in these peak spending years.
by hand
Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected Emergency
Replies: 33
Views: 3359

Re: 1 year from Retirement, Help with simplifying investment

Wow - company stock looks really, really high as a percentage of your total portfolio. Conventional wisdom is that company stock is a double no-no; 1) uncompensated risk for concentrated holding, 2) additional risk because your income is dependent on this company as well as your portfolio (though le...
by hand
Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1 year from Retirement, Help with simplifying investments
Replies: 12
Views: 1941

Re: Unexpected Emergency

Situation would have to be pretty desperate for me to stop funding 401(k) enough to capture employer match. In case of emergency, I would likely get funds as follows: 1) Spare taxable holdings / dollars earmarked for discretionary spending 2) Emergency fund 3) Sell unwanted / unneeded goods 4) 401(k...
by hand
Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected Emergency
Replies: 33
Views: 3359

Re: Is it safe to pay down rental property?

What are your other options for the "extra" cash? My gut says ensuring adequate emergency funds (personal and rental) and maxing out retirement accounts should take precedence over paying down the rental mortgage. If you get to the point where you can completely pay off the mortgage, the c...
by hand
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it safe to pay down rental property?
Replies: 12
Views: 899

Re: Tip for the Roofing Crew

"Watch out for the first step... it's a doozy!"
by hand
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tip for the Roofing Crew
Replies: 13
Views: 1370

Re: Home purchase negotiation: credit or reduced price?

Using the numbers above, to highlight out of pocket difference between reduced price and seller fixes assuming an 80% mortgage:

1) Reduced price means you pay 20% of $270k ($54k) + $30k = $84k
2) Seller fixes means you pay 20% of $300k ($60k) = $60k
by hand
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase negotiation: credit or reduced price?
Replies: 17
Views: 1367

Re: Home purchase negotiation: credit or reduced price?

In general, a lower price and your ability to manage quality of the repairs are preferable, though a price reduction might reduce the amount you are able to borrow and increase your cash requirements for purchase + repairs. For the wiring and foundation issues you mention, I certainty wouldn't want ...
by hand
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase negotiation: credit or reduced price?
Replies: 17
Views: 1367

Re: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!

Why are you paying for rental insurance - would a couple days / weeks of paying for a rental if accident your fault be an undue hardship? Why are your deductibles so low, would an extra $500 or $1000 out of pocket be an undue hardship? I also agree liability coverage is too low, and suggest you cons...
by hand
Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!
Replies: 18
Views: 1496

Re: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction

Can you hire a home inspector who can monitor the construction? This is where I would spent my money. Hire a good home inspector to go out multiple times during construction to check / report back on the various stages. Dont confuse this with what your regional building inspector does. While their ...
by hand
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction
Replies: 58
Views: 4355

Re: How much should a New Jersey home inspection cost?

While home inspection is an important part of a housing purchase, be aware of the limitations of home inspectors: 1) Their inspections are typically limited to what can be seen without damaging the house, and many won't even move carpets / furniture which is often strategically placed 2) Inspectors'...
by hand
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should a New Jersey home inspection cost?
Replies: 7
Views: 603

Re: Is the 401k 10% early withdrawal penalty worth it?

Great question in that it challenges "conventional wisdom." Standard answer is that you need to run the math for your specific situation to get the right answer for you. My intuition says that while paying a 10% penalty is worse than not paying a penalty (duh), if you are paying the penalt...
by hand
Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the 401k 10% early withdrawal penalty worth it?
Replies: 32
Views: 1568

Re: XC90

I'm fascinated by the several comments from Volvo owners in this thread that the things have some rather crummy characteristics (such as being gas hogs, having lousy suspension) but people love them anyway. I have the feeling there must be Volvo people and then there is everybody else. :) I don't s...
by hand
Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 3278

Re: XC90

As a recent purchaser of a late model XC90 (3.2 I6) my impressions are as follows: This is a quality people mover with a generous amount of well appointed interior space, and while engine power and handling are sufficient for typical use, there is little risk of confusing with the power / handling c...
by hand
Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 3278

Re: Zoning Issue in PA

If a variance has been requested, there will likely be a public hearing at which you would have the opportunity to object if you attended. It is likely immediate neighbours would be formally notified of the hearing, though not necessarily everyone who would be impacted by the variance would be notif...
by hand
Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zoning Issue in PA
Replies: 8
Views: 1193

Re: What's Golf Course Frontage Worth - Indianapolis

Two warnings about living on a gold course: 1) If the design was not well thought out, you will be pelted by golf balls. I have a friend with a house adjacent to a course in North Carolina and he generally finds 6-12 gold balls in the yard daily. Personally, I don't want balls hit in my direction a...
by hand
Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Golf Course Frontage Worth - Indianapolis
Replies: 19
Views: 1297

Re: Former Employer Over Payment

My understanding is that debt collectors are not always the most scrupulous or truthful. It would behove you to learn more about the rules and regulations related to debt collections (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). From a Bankrate article (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/6-tips-for-dealin...
by hand
Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Over Payment
Replies: 37
Views: 2454

Re: Two month car rental

For a multi-month rental, be sure that your insurance (primary auto, credit card) does not have exclusions / limitations based on length of rental.
by hand
Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 2112

Re: Should I go back?

From a financial standpoint, you need to estimate the value of the state pension, the likelihood of remaining in the state job until you are eligible for the pension, and the likelihood of the pension being solvent when you retire. You also need to compare salary trajectory in the public sector with...
by hand
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I go back?
Replies: 32
Views: 3281

Re: Pay down (not off) mortgage?

If your mortgage interest is deductible, your return from paying down the 3.25% mortgage is less than 3.25%.
Assuming a 25% marginal income tax rate, your actual return for paying down the loan is just under 2.5% (0.75 * 3.25%).
by hand
Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down (not off) mortgage?
Replies: 53
Views: 5568

Re: What To Do With Underwater Rental

Problem 1) Long story short, I have a underwater rental in California. Currently owe 170,000 at 5.875% with 20 years remaining. Payment is $1373. The Market is up and Zillow puts the value at 161,571. Rent is $925 after management fee, putting me out of pocket about $445. To be honest with myself, ...
by hand
Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What To Do With Underwater Rental
Replies: 33
Views: 2707

Re: Kindle - Which one to buy?

I'm a happy user of the first generation Paperwhite, love the e-ink, and backlight, though would be interested in a version with page turn buttons in addition to the touchscreen. As a buyer, you should be aware that there have been persistent rumors of a new and improved Kindle Paperwhite to be rele...
by hand
Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle - Which one to buy?
Replies: 36
Views: 2196

Re: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI

A couple of quick thoughts: 1) Have you considered refinancing to a non-PMI loan rather than trying to remove PMI? 2) Make sure you understand PMI removal rules - on recent loans, may be very different than the commonly understood 80% LTV 3) It is very possible the appraiser chosen by the bank will ...
by hand
Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to get an appraisal to remove PMI
Replies: 16
Views: 1736

Re: School me on my rental property understanding..

One additional thought for the OP, if you do convert to a rental, spend the money to get an appraisal at the highest value possible when you convert to a rental - this will increase depreciation during the rental period and decrease future capital gains assuming property gains value. This is incorr...
by hand
Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School me on my rental property understanding..
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: School me on my rental property understanding..

One additional thought for the OP, if you do convert to a rental, spend the money to get an appraisal at the highest value possible when you convert to a rental - this will increase depreciation during the rental period and decrease future capital gains assuming property gains value.
by hand
Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School me on my rental property understanding..
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: School me on my rental property understanding..

b I would suggest refinancing to a 30 year mortgage at ~4.25% I have a rental and my mortgage rate for a 30yr fixed is 4.75. My broker told me that the rate is higher because the loan amt is small and it is an investment property. Does this sound right. How much higher is the rate for an investment ...
by hand
Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School me on my rental property understanding..
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: School me on my rental property understanding..

Example B - my real-life situation) I have a $1900 mortgage payment on a $210k house (15-yr loan @ 3.75%, taxes/insurance included) and can get $1600/month renting it out. So every month I have to pay $300 towards the mortgage, but each payment $900 goes toward paying principal. So my $300 pays off...
by hand
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School me on my rental property understanding..
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: out of residency since 07 - please advise

I'm a bit surprised that I haven't seen mention of risk reduction and asset protection as part of this thread... While I sympathize with the view towards reducing interest paid (paying down highest rate loans etc.) I thought doctors often had specialized asset protection needs due to high risk of la...
by hand
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: out of residency since 07 - please advise
Replies: 29
Views: 3909
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