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Re: My deployed soldier is coming home!

Not an expert by any means, but I thought there were special financial opportunities for military while deployed. Here's the first article I found when searching: http://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T065-C000-S001-5-key-financial-moves-before-and-after-deployment.html Key points appear to includ...
by hand
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My deployed soldier is coming home!
Replies: 24
Views: 2505

Re: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?

Are there estimated taxes due before the 1 year period is complete?
by hand
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?
Replies: 39
Views: 3552

Re: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?

I like rentals so you won't get any guff from me about that. That said I think a bit of de-levering might be in order before buying more properties, more from a safety than returns perspective. I'd recommend the following: 1) Pay off the car loans for sure, you've got $37k in cash coming and only o...
by hand
Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?
Replies: 67
Views: 5182

Re: Building a new house. Any recommendations?

In general, I would focus on the quality / infrastructure / mechanical items that are difficult or more costly to address after construction is complete: Electrical Indoor electrical outlets under each front window + front outdoor outlets tied to a single switch / timer for holiday lighting. Use Tam...
by hand
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a new house. Any recommendations?
Replies: 51
Views: 4368

Re: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?

Be 100% sure you understand the mechanics of eliminating PMI before you commit to a course of action. In my (limited) experience, it is often not as simple as reducing outstanding balance to 80% of value, and may include fees for re-appraisal. Given today's low mortgage rates, if I were in your shoe...
by hand
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get rid of PMI or Max out 401K?
Replies: 13
Views: 1242

Re: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan

Hand, how do your calculations change if you only keep the house for 5 years? To account for your cost on an annualized basis in this way you need to assume you pay the whole mortgage according to schedule, right? Real annual cost of the loan continues to be 1% even if you keep the house for 5 year...
by hand
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan
Replies: 14
Views: 2369

Re: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan

It will just continue to be a thorn in my side when I run amortization calculations to see the $30k-$50k we could save in intrest!!! I just think of all the other things/projects/trips that money could go to. While there are many worse things to do with your money than paying off debt, I too have a...
by hand
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The BIG question Regarding Home Loan
Replies: 14
Views: 2369

Re: How Much To Negotiate Realtor Commission

6% as the standard commission is a bit of a myth - especially for higher priced houses. The Economist, referencing REAL Trends, states average real estate commission in 2011 was 5.4% http://www.economist.com/node/21554204 If house is higher priced, and market is hot, I would be very aggressive in ne...
by hand
Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much To Negotiate Realtor Commission
Replies: 31
Views: 2728

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

To my mind, the biggest benefit of a larger downpayment is the cash flow improvement over the life of the loan due to the smaller required payment.
by hand
Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2360

Re: Loans from 401k -- back door investing?

You may be missing at least three things: 1) The amount invested outside the 401(k) isn't guaranteed to return in excess of the interest you are paying back to your 401 - you may end up with $0 or less than $0 outside the 401(k) 2) In most cases there is a penalty if you are unable to pay back your ...
by hand
Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Loans from 401k -- back door investing?
Replies: 11
Views: 659

Re: Fly or drive?

The discussion seems to think that there is no cost to driving. It is money to fly compared to time to drive. Driving costs. You just don't think of them directly except for gas. At $0.575 per mile the 2,100 mile round trip by car is about $1,200 in car costs . This is the 2015 reimbursement rate f...
by hand
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 4586

Re: Fly or drive?

1) Rent a car at home and do the drive if you can find a cheap rental price + unlimited mileage 2) Catch a cheaper direct flight to a location nearish to your location with cheap rental cars (Las Vegas?) and drive the rest of the way - this saves you a layover, and cuts rental car costs. Curious ab...
by hand
Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 4586

Re: Fly or drive?

Consider the following options: 1) Rent a car at home and do the drive if you can find a cheap rental price + unlimited mileage 2) Catch a cheaper direct flight to a location nearish to your location with cheap rental cars (Las Vegas?) and drive the rest of the way - this saves you a layover, and cu...
by hand
Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 4586

Re: Buying a home without a realtor

Wow, sounds like a great opportunity to strike a deal without some of the typically high friction costs of buying / selling a home (5+% for realtor alone). Specific to negotiating, keep in mind that your goal doesn't have to be to get the perfect price, but merely to get an acceptable price that is ...
by hand
Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home without a realtor
Replies: 23
Views: 1670

Re: Landlord requested addendum to lease

I agree with previous posters that this seems ridiculous and I would likely ignore, and if pressed actively decline to sign. That being said, be aware that not signing likely guarantees your lease won't be renewed at the end of the lease and plan accordingly. Also, CA is known to have very tenant fr...
by hand
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord requested addendum to lease
Replies: 24
Views: 2133

Re: Foreign film night recommendations.

A second vote for Three Idiots (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1187043/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

Also, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120735/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)
by hand
Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign film night recommendations.
Replies: 124
Views: 6258

Re: UGA: Locking in the Current Price of Gasoline

Would you sell a small portion of the fund every time you filled up the gas tank? I would be cautious about the time required to manage, costs associated with the fund, and the tax drag / accounting hassle. Perhaps it is worth reconsidering the goal: 1) by reconsidering how much gas/oil you use both...
by hand
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: UGA: Locking in the Current Price of Gasoline
Replies: 15
Views: 1294

Re: Best Condo Sell Strategy?

Consider ways to publicize that the property is available for the right price without formally listing. Strategies I have used / heard of include: 1) a pocket listing with a well known local agent 2) listing a make me move price on Zillow and similar sites 3) talking to buyers agents with purchases ...
by hand
Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Condo Sell Strategy?
Replies: 17
Views: 965

Re: Early rental lease termination - what is reasonable?

Ugh, don't agree to take the security deposit in lieu of rent - what happens if there are damages to the property? Take the extra time, collect whatever rent is agreed as outcome of your negotiations and return security deposit only if property is turned over in appropriate condition. I'd also consi...
by hand
Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early rental lease termination - what is reasonable?
Replies: 20
Views: 1163

Re: Advice: New Retirement Offerings

In the unlikely case where some of the new funds have a front end load, you would almost certainty want to move to cash prior to the switchover and then be thoughtful about how you invest.
by hand
Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice: New Retirement Offerings
Replies: 11
Views: 576

Re: Using listing agent as my buyer's agent

If I were in your shoes, I would get multiple mortgage pre-approval letters - one for slightly above your initial offer and one exactly at your max offer. Are you suggesting that I should get two fresh pre-approval letters from my lender every time I make an offer and customize the pre-approval amo...
by hand
Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using listing agent as my buyer's agent
Replies: 21
Views: 1449

Re: Using listing agent as my buyer's agent

I am in the market to buy a property and facing multiple-offer situations due to low inventory. I know that dual agency normally doesn't work in the buyer's favor, but in a multipler offer situation, wouldn't it work to my advantage since the agent will be inclined to give me an edge since he/she w...
by hand
Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using listing agent as my buyer's agent
Replies: 21
Views: 1449

Re: 401k Loan for house

First question you should address is whether you should buy or rent. Up to $10k in closing costs paid for seems nice, but $10k is not nearly enough to make buying worthwhile if you are in a situation where you probably should be renting: - Your expected stay in the house or location is < 5 years - Y...
by hand
Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k Loan for house
Replies: 22
Views: 1676

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

An additional thought: "standard" realtor commission is often quoted at 6% which is an exaggeration and obscenely high especially for higher priced properties. The Economist quotes REAL Trends in saying that average commission *rose* to 5.4% in 2011. Don't forget to review and negotiate y...
by hand
Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5270

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

6. Don't worry about your loan getting sold after closing. Unless you close with Wells Fargo or Chase, your loan will probably get sold to Wells Fargo or Chase. They buy the servicing for most mortgages, and I like Wells. They service 3 of my loans (I have rentals). Seriously great service - and th...
by hand
Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5270

Re: Rent or sell townhome

Both I and my spouse work and don't have want to have an additional stress on dealing with renters/maintenance etc so we will probably get a property management company which would charge ~10% As a somewhat unwilling owner of a similar rental property, your statement above is illuminating - it is a...
by hand
Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or sell townhome
Replies: 18
Views: 1154

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

An additional thought: "standard" realtor commission is often quoted at 6% which is an exaggeration and obscenely high especially for higher priced properties. The Economist quotes REAL Trends in saying that average commission *rose* to 5.4% in 2011. Don't forget to review and negotiate yo...
by hand
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5270

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

Why does it matter if a lender sells your loan? I have seen this turn people off more than once. Also, doesn't a buyer's agent have a legal obligation to have YOUR best interests in mind throughout the process? There is a non-trivial hassle and risk factor related to a change in mortgage servicer w...
by hand
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5270

Re: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)

1) Be wary of conflicts of interest throughout the process. Your realtor is highly incented to close the deal, and may prioritize closing a deal over getting you the *best* deal: a) they may recommend you bid high b) they may recommend you negotiate less before agreeing to a deal c) they may steer y...
by hand
Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Buying the Boglehead Way (1st Time Buyer)
Replies: 46
Views: 5270

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: 812

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: 35
Views: 3962

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: 52
Views: 4163

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: 2486

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: 28
Views: 4783

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: 1523

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: 1397

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: 568

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: 3237

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: 1526

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: 6966

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: 1429

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: 1429

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: 876

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: 507

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: 2961

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: 1189

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: 2168

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: 6357

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: 3321

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: 3943
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