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Re: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpaymen

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of an annualized return did you generate with this allocation? I earned between 4-5% annualized vs. a high-interest savings return of ~1%. Some of that was luck (timed muni bonds successfully), and different times. I wouldn't necessarily expect that in the fut...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpayment?
Replies: 7
Views: 885

Re: VNQ & VNQI

10% of my AA goes to REITs. This is a hard rule for me. Then I split 50/50 between US and International, but this is a soft rule, I don't plan to be anal about it. I chose this split because: 1. it is simple and well diversified 2. it is consistent with my US vs International equity split 3. it giv...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VNQ & VNQI
Replies: 22
Views: 2126

Re: Home purchase = sell REIT?

Hi Kenyan, In the excellent investment book "Unconventional Success" by David Swensen, REITs are recommended for additional diversification and also inflation protection. Best. I admit that I did not delve deeply into the numbers, and that seems to be the conventional wisdom. A quick goog...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home purchase = sell REIT?
Replies: 12
Views: 751

Re: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpaymen

Also, I would prioritize a Roth IRA over a taxable down payment fund. You could withdraw Roth contributions (and some earnings if you wished due to the first-time house buyer exception) without penalty down the road, but you can't stuff your taxable account back into your Roth if circumstances change.
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpayment?
Replies: 7
Views: 885

Re: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpaymen

Very common question on these forums, and for good reason. I tend to lean more aggressive than most here in the recommendation when: (a) You have a moderate amount of time to invest (>3 years or so) (b) You have flexibility in your purchase date (c) You have flexibility in your purchase price Your s...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where Should I Put Savings for a Future House Downpayment?
Replies: 7
Views: 885

Re: Home purchase = sell REIT?

There is no right answer. REITs and houses are both exposure to the real estate sector. That said, they are extremely different instruments to gain exposure to that sector, and by and large do not move in tandem. REITs are primarily commercial real estate investments that are income-producing. Publi...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home purchase = sell REIT?
Replies: 12
Views: 751

Re: Refinance: 5/5 ARM or 30-year fixed?

We refinanced into a PenFed 5/5 ARM a bit over a year ago. Our savings was a lot higher than yours potentially could be, going from a 4.75% 30-year fixed (only 4 months old at the time of refinance) to a 2.625% 5/5 with no closing costs. That rate is a bit of a teaser, with the true indexed rate cur...
by kenyan
Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance: 5/5 ARM or 30-year fixed?
Replies: 5
Views: 409

Re: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?

Another reason that zillow isn't accurate on older houses is that houses that have sold recently have the purchase price as public record and zillow can use that. But other similar houses may not have sold for 10, 20, or 30 years and part of their zillow estimate is likely based on outdated purchas...
by kenyan
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?
Replies: 43
Views: 4664

Re: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?

I'm on the flip side of Prop 13 in California - the disproportionately burdened new owner. Around $7k.
by kenyan
Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?
Replies: 180
Views: 8676

Re: Using Fraud Alert or Security Freeze at credit bureaus

He's a thread on freezing your credit:

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 2&t=131599

I froze mine a couple of months ago.
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Fraud Alert or Security Freeze at credit bureaus
Replies: 3
Views: 383

Re: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?

My eyes aren't quite as bad as yours, but I can't function effectively without correction (I can walk around the house without bumping into things, but can't read and certainly can't drive). I always have a backup pair of glasses, but it's primarily for pre-bedtime reading or iPad use, not for carry...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 1011

Re: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advi

Assuming these are group events, I might go on the off chance it's not a sales pitch, but make it extremely clear from the outset that I am completely comfortable with my investments and have zero interest in a financial advisor. If he presses, I would smile and nod without expressing anything that ...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advisor]
Replies: 32
Views: 2835

Re: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?

The Zestimate might be fun to look at over time for trending and such, but it is not really a tool to use when buying/pricing a house. The error bands are simply too large. +/- 20% is not that uncommon - in my area that could mean $100k off or even more. My house is consistently low (though has been...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?
Replies: 43
Views: 4664

Re: What's your average monthly expense???

By and large you seem to be doing ok, though it does seem like you're missing some categories - car maintenance, medical/dental costs, clothes, cleaning supplies and household sundries, gifts, life insurance (if any), haircuts and personal care, clothing/shoes, travel and vacation, donations (if any...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your average monthly expense???
Replies: 85
Views: 7635

Re: Helpful apps and/or spreadsheets

YNAB (You Need A Budget) for budgeting. Very helpful to see exactly where our dollars are going - I was a budget skeptic before, but I like it.

For retirement planning, Excel/Google Sheets and Morningstar.com.
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helpful apps and/or spreadsheets
Replies: 2
Views: 361

Re: Would you buy a house without AC?

It would depend on the cost of installing the system. It wouldn't just be for your comfort but also as an investment in the future ability to sell the home. Do you think the lack of a system is already built into the price of the home, or could you use or as a bargaining point? For what it's worth,...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without AC?
Replies: 60
Views: 4623

Re: Would you buy 1.5 M house without AC?

I've lived in various regions of the South Bay for the past decade or so. Most of those locations have lacked A/C. Depending upon your proximity to the ocean, it can be perfectly bearable almost year-round without A/C. If you're close to the coast, there may be 2-3 weeks per year that you kind of wi...
by kenyan
Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without AC?
Replies: 60
Views: 4623

Re: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?

Doing pretty well at keeping federal income taxes down per this poll. Not doing so well if I add in payroll and state/local/property taxes.
by kenyan
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?
Replies: 67
Views: 4671

Re: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?

Q1: No, my family doesn't know my net worth. They might be able to guess, but I'd wager that they'd guess much lower than reality. Interestingly, they might guess high on the salary side, though they probably have a better idea there. Q2: I think I could ballpark it, though I might be pretty far off...
by kenyan
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?
Replies: 98
Views: 11238

Re: Why would anyone use Ally's 11-month CD?

I had a similar thought back in the first half of the 2000's when I saw CD rates similar or lower than Money Market rates (~5%). In retrospect, it definitely would've been nice to lock up some of those rates in 5-7 year CDs after the MM rates dropped by 3-4% over a couple of years. Obviously, the or...
by kenyan
Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why would anyone use Ally's 11-month CD?
Replies: 5
Views: 1111

Re: How to fix high fee taxable portfolio?

Is there a big distribution in the capital gains of the various shares? One strategy could be to donate the shares that have appreciated the most to charity. No tax to pay on those shares, and you get the deduction on your taxes on the value. Obviously, that might not actually net you more than just...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to fix high fee taxable portfolio?
Replies: 4
Views: 451

Re: New or Used Subaru Outback?

Has anyone considered how insurance payments factor into the new vs used Outback buying decision? I wouldn't have to pay for comprehensive/collision car insurance if my car cost under 10k and would therefore save quite a bit on car insurance if I went with a used Outback. It seems like it is usuall...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or Used Subaru Outback?
Replies: 24
Views: 3294

Re: Buy now or wait?

Buy now. From a expected earnings standpoint, you're losing money every day you're not in. Ignore the drivel in the news - all you're doing is maintaining what your previous investments were.
by kenyan
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy now or wait?
Replies: 13
Views: 1567

Re: Saving for College with Roth Vs 529

qwerty3020 wrote:Um, is that legal?


It's legal if they have earned income.
by kenyan
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for College with Roth Vs 529
Replies: 20
Views: 1293

Re: Saving for College with Roth Vs 529

Welcome to the forum! Asking for some advice from the crowd regarding a college savings strategy. I have some extra cash that is earmarked to college expenses for my kids and was hoping for some advice re: 529 plans VS Roth IRA. I am fairly knowledgeable re: 529 plans and Roth IRAs: The general cons...
by kenyan
Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for College with Roth Vs 529
Replies: 20
Views: 1293

Re: Two Comma Club

Congratulations! When I hit that number (hopefully within 5 years), I will be plenty excited myself.
by kenyan
Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two Comma Club
Replies: 66
Views: 8776

Re: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower

I have a GreenWorks battery-powered mower, though it's lead-acid, not lithium-ion, and it looks like those are being phased out. Just under two years old. I had a bit of shipping damage that made it tough to start the first time, but I figured it out (bent component in the starter assembly) and it's...
by kenyan
Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower
Replies: 33
Views: 2099

Re: Help me Understand Why I Keep My Bond Allocations

rates have nowhere to go but up Says who? Oh, lots of people. Lots of people have said that, almost incessantly, since 2010 or so. Rates have marched down or stayed flat since then, aside from a significant blip in 2013 (which subsequently disappeared). It is true that upside is limited, but the ma...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me Understand Why I Keep My Bond Allocations
Replies: 15
Views: 1364

Re: Family member asking for money

If the b-I-l lives in a HCOL area and you do not, don't even begin to try and compare housing costs - it's apples and oranges (NYC vs. upstate western NY for example). This. I live in a HCOLA, and my house cost (almost exactly) three times what one of my brothers paid for his house in a midwestern ...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family member asking for money
Replies: 141
Views: 13604

Re: 25 years old, newbie investor making under 30k/yr

I hadn’t heard of the saver’s credit before, and while I’ve already filed taxes for 2014 (yup, super responsible like that), I have noted it for 2015. Big thank you for letting me know about this!! Don't ignore the credit just because you've already filed. You can file an amended 2014 return to cap...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 years old, newbie investor making under 30k/yr
Replies: 8
Views: 1483

Re: Haliburton vs. Exxon as a buy and hold

Individual stocks you don't pay cap gains unless you sell. This is a big plus in a taxable account when one is in the highest marginal rate. So my preferred strategy is go index/bonds/REITS in my smaller tax deferred space and a few large cap individual stocks in my taxable space. I'm hoping I neve...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Haliburton vs. Exxon as a buy and hold
Replies: 40
Views: 3422

Re: Best approach without 401k? (IRA+529)

Welcome to the forum! It's admirable that you wish to start saving early in your career. 15% is a good goal, and adequate for most people, especially if they start early. However, if you have almost no expenses, why limit yourself to 15%? Where is the rest of the money going? You have a few years (a...
by kenyan
Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best approach without 401k? (IRA+529)
Replies: 3
Views: 393

Re: Purchase vs lease solar panels?

I suppose the corollary is that if we had PV panels installed, an electric automobile could become a much more attractive financial option than it is currently.
by kenyan
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase vs lease solar panels?
Replies: 34
Views: 2546

Re: Purchase vs lease solar panels?

I would like to purchase panels someday, given my house's nearly ideal location (southern exposure roof with no tree cover over most of it, SoCal) and high relative electricity costs. However, through conservation efforts I've managed to get our monthly bill down to $60-70 per month from ~$140 per m...
by kenyan
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase vs lease solar panels?
Replies: 34
Views: 2546

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

The old quote about Wall Street, "Nobody knows nothing" was never more true than it was in 2008. I am still amazed that so few experts saw the financial meltdown coming. I did not see it coming but I am not an expert. I still think some of the "so called experts" should have see...
by kenyan
Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 8516

Re: It finally got though my think skull.

Taylor Larimore wrote:I started investing in 1950 when the S&P 500 Index was about 20. Today it is 21,996 (not including dividends).

Best wishes.
Taylor


It doesn't change your point, but methinks you might be off by a bit on the current level of the S&P.
by kenyan
Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 8516

Re: Is this a bad 401K?

As others have noted - it's not a great 401k, but it's not terrible, and it is definitely worth contributing enough to get your full match. For your long-term/retirement investing goals, I would prioritize in this manner. 1. Contribute enough to 401k to get the full match 2. Contribute to your IRA ...
by kenyan
Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a bad 401K?
Replies: 23
Views: 1682

Re: Is this a bad 401K?

As others have noted - it's not a great 401k, but it's not terrible, and it is definitely worth contributing enough to get your full match. For your long-term/retirement investing goals, I would prioritize in this manner. 1. Contribute enough to 401k to get the full match 2. Contribute to your IRA u...
by kenyan
Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a bad 401K?
Replies: 23
Views: 1682

Re: Is this a bad 401K?

Welcome to the forum! I would say that you are definitely missing the boat on this one. Very few 401k plans allow for rollover while still employed. Many do not allow any sort of brokerage options. Many also do not have cash options, but it's pretty rare not to have any bond fund options - do you ha...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a bad 401K?
Replies: 23
Views: 1682

Re: Any other investors with 70/30 portfolio?

Currently at 73/27. I hope to retire in my mid-50s, and I'm currently gliding toward 70/30 in an Age-10% in bonds allocation. My original plan was to keep gliding at that rate, but I'm pondering a change to my IPS to quit gliding at 70/30 and remain there for 10 years. We'll see if I make that chang...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any other investors with 70/30 portfolio?
Replies: 71
Views: 8141

Re: 26 year old beginner, What should I do?

There are a few people recommending that I contribute to 2014 before I work on 2015. Since I have already filed my taxes and received a refund for 2014, can I still go back and do this? Wouldn't this just make things more complicated? Perhaps it's worth the headache. You can't fund your 457 for 201...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 year old beginner, What should I do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2415

Re: To TIP or not to TIP?

There are basically four differences between Total Bond Market and Vanguard TIPS, - TBM is an index fund. Vanguard TIPS is not, but basically acts just as one, for all intents and purposes other than Admiral Shares limits. - TBM is a mix of corporates, treasuries, mortgage-backed securities. TIPS is...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To TIP or not to TIP (funds)?
Replies: 23
Views: 3349

Re: 26 year old beginner, What should I do?

Your tax rates don't need to be anywhere near as high as they currently are. $64500 - $6300 (standard deduction) - $4000 (exemption) - $XXXX (medical/dental/FSA/other employer deductions) - $18000 (457 contributions) would put you in the 15% tax bracket, with less than $900 tax paid to the IRS. CA t...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 year old beginner, What should I do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2415

Re: $1.5M in 401K. What to do with it at retirement?

If you just want a zero-effort annuity stream of income, then why not invest in a zero-effort annuity (SPIA)? Much simpler than trying to manage various dividends. Edit: I suppose you said that you didn't want to touch the principal, and this will eat all of your principal (that you invest). Is the ...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1.5M in 401K. What to do with it at retirement?
Replies: 15
Views: 4403

Re: Investing in patio sliding doors; any guidance?

I assume you're talking just about the price of the door (and not the installation)? $700-800 is awfully cheap if you're paying to have it installed. Emphasis on the awful.
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing in patio sliding doors; any guidance?
Replies: 7
Views: 741

Re: My Term Life Insurance

Definitely seems on the expensive side, and the kids' policies are no-brainers to drop. I love my children, and losing one would be devastating on many levels - but strictly from a financial standpoint, they are burdens that I don't need life insurance for. Assuming I wouldn't be disabled (emotional...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Term Life Insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 3438

Re: Why would real estate be sold for $1?

There can be a number of different explanations (some noted above). When I was looking up comparable prices for a recent purchase, I disregarded prices that were clearly out of line. Comps are supposed to ignore transactions like this that are not "arm's length transactions" as they would...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why would real estate be sold for $1?
Replies: 17
Views: 1837

Re: Another can I afford this house thread

A few comments - even on things you didn't explicitly ask about. I guess everybody is scared interest rates will go up (as am I). This is not a good reason to buy. In a cost-constrained (high-cost) environment where most buyers buy toward the upper end of what they can afford to make payments on, in...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another can I afford this house thread
Replies: 11
Views: 1083

Re: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for w

I recently got a smartphone from work, and have kept my personal phone. We are not disallowed from using our work phone as our personal phone, but have been advised that it is "at my own risk." Basically, Big Brother could be watching. I forward my calls and texts from my personal number, ...
by kenyan
Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth buying a smart phone if you already have one for work?
Replies: 25
Views: 2149

Re: Restaurant tipping

I purposefully eat at the "take out" place (or take it to go) rather than order delivery so that i don't have to tip (I used to deliver pizzas), so it's a bit frustrating, that a lot of those places have tip spots on the receipt. The tip line has been a peeve of mine for many years, thoug...
by kenyan
Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 12562
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