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Re: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in b

In addition to credit cards, a home equity line of credit can give you access to large amounts of money. I keep less money in the bank these days (I don't have a set amount) because I know I can always temporarily borrow from my HELOC while I get the money from other sources.
by markcoop
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to keep "emergency fund" and how much to keep in bank?
Replies: 19
Views: 2684

Re: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation

Livesoft - I don't disagree with anything you said. I do have other options if I need - If I'm not working toward the last few years (who knows what life will throw at me at that point), I have some I bonds that I can use for education. I also plan to pay $4k/year to get the AOC education credit. Af...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 277

11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation

I'm about to start 11 years of college payments for my 3 kids. Up to recently, I viewed my whole portfolio (primarily college + my retirement) as one big investment. This has worked out well. However, now that college payments are starting, I decided to separate my college savings money. I've been s...
by markcoop
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 11 years of college payemnts and asset allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 277

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

I'd love if someone can explain the logic why someone already holding REITs should continue to hold them, but a new purchase would be ill-advised. I can understand if capital gains were involved. However, I believe most people hold their REITs in a tax-advantaged account where capital gains don't ma...
by markcoop
Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 6980

Re: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?

I believe Small Value contains a very healthy dose of REITs. So, many be holding more than they think.
by markcoop
Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you have a dedicated REIT allocation?
Replies: 123
Views: 6980

Re: Hit our number, should we change our asset allocation?

50-50 does not mean getting out of the game. If you really hit your number, then something like 100% TIPS is getting out of the game. I would think 50-50 would be a good move giving the information provided.
by markcoop
Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit our number, should we change our asset allocation?
Replies: 34
Views: 2760

Re: Retirement age for software engineers

A couple of posts mentioned save as much money as you can during your career. Always sound advice. I'd be curious what some people thought was a good nest egg in this field.
by markcoop
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement age for software engineers
Replies: 94
Views: 9483

Re: Nevada's 529's website

I have New York's plan. I had to add the 529 plan in the "Outside investments—Linked online accounts" section. It sounds like for Nevada's plan you don't have to do that. Even if you have to do it, it is trivial and I see all my 529 accounts. Perhaps the only difference would be when the a...
by markcoop
Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nevada's 529's website
Replies: 4
Views: 328

Re: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?

I think this is an interesting question. In my case, I have about 90% of my money in tax advantaged (Trad'l, ROTH). I have felt a bit strapped at times. Between my income, HELOC and in an emergency the ability to tap into some of that tax-advantaged money (can tap the principal in the ROTH), I have ...
by markcoop
Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?
Replies: 54
Views: 7231

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

I totally agree that the tax savings are meaningless in this case. I actually had another 529 question about using it for my child's gap year program. Don't want to go into those details here, but it's just frustrating when it's difficult to get answers. I like to understand these programs to get th...
by markcoop
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 849

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

So no 1098t will be issued for the tuition deposit, but the college did say it is a pre-pay of tuition for next year. My hunch is any pre-pay, whether in December for the Spring Semester or May 2014 for the fall 2015 would be similar. But who knows?
by markcoop
Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 849

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

Thanks. Anyone know for sure?
by markcoop
Sat May 31, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 849

Re: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

So I call my 529 plan and ask them this question. First response was no because the expense needs to be in the same year. I then respond that you can pay tuition in December of the current year for the next year and use 529 funds for the current year. He says true but it has to be an expense that is...
by markcoop
Fri May 30, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 849

529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015

I posted this question on another web board, but didn't get a satisfactory answer. My daughter paid a $500 tuition deposit this month to a college. She is planning to do a gap year program for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. She got a deferral from the college for one year. She will start the college...
by markcoop
Fri May 30, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Q: tuition deposit 2014, start college 2015
Replies: 10
Views: 849

Re: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

Thanks for all the replies so far. I was thinking a hybrid because most of my miles are not highway miles. I also like to do what I can for the environment. Livesoft - that's an interesting point. If I got a really good deal on a more expensive car, I'd probably be ok with that. May look into that. ...
by markcoop
Fri May 23, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 4135

What would be considered the best Boglehead car?

I'd be interested to hear anyone's opinion about what would be a good car for me to get. I am married with 3 kids (ages 17, 15, 11). I have always been a "car is to get me from point A to point B" person. It's not that I don't like nice cars, I just don't value them to spend more money on ...
by markcoop
Fri May 23, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would be considered the best Boglehead car?
Replies: 43
Views: 4135

Re: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies

1. How old are your children who you're saving for? 17, 15, 11 2. Which 529 Plan do you invest in? NY 3. What's the current balance? $330,000 4. How much do you contribute and how often? How did you come to this number? I've been maxing out the NY deduction ($10k/yr) and maxing out Coverdell ($2k/yr...
by markcoop
Thu May 22, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your 529 Plan - Thoughts and Strategies
Replies: 39
Views: 2809

Re: 401(k) Loan make sense?

401K loans need to be evaluated from two separate perspectives. From the perspective of the retirement savings, you are getting an above average 4.25% fixed income payment. So that is good. From the perspective of the taxable account, you're taking out a loan with a fee and a rate higher than the ho...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) Loan make sense?
Replies: 31
Views: 3687

Re: Tough college choice

I'm too late to the party to advise about the "which school" decision, but with a 22-year-old graduate for whom we made a debt-free education possible, I cannot imagine what life would be like now if she had debts to pay back. She's got a reasonable and relevant entry-level job, full-time...
by markcoop
Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

Now that her decision is made, are you going to go ahead with her taking loans for the difference in cost between the schools? If so, did she factor that into her decision? I told her she only has to pay the amount of the Stafford loans. I believe that amount is $27K over 4 years. I also plan on pa...
by markcoop
Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

Thought I should give an update. My daughter, with my agreement, decided to attend the University of Delaware. I did use alot of the suggestions mentioned above when doing the comparison. In almost every way, the University of Delaware came out to be a better school. I looked at graduation rates, po...
by markcoop
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

No one said it was a stupid question. However, as you discovered, the answer could be found by reading the form. One was clearer than the other, but to my mind the answer was there in both versions. As I mentioned, I have never filled out the form, but I read it because you asked the question. If I...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5387

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

Perhaps some students were confused about what it meant when someone else paid their tuition. "Was that a bill paid on my behalf?" Duh! Well, they did feel the need to clarify. Especially the 529 point. Then you have the point about FAFSA versus other methods used. Then you have the quest...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5387

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

I have never filled out a FAFSA, but I can read. Money received, or paid on your behalf, also includes distributions to you (the student beneficiary) from a 529 plan that is owned by someone other than you or your parents (such as your grandparents, aunts, and uncles) . You must include these distr...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5387

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

I never heard about a grandparent's 529 being considered income on the child's following year FAFSA. How about if the grandparent contributes to a grandchild's education cost. For example, grandparent gives a grandchild $5K for education in year 1 of college. Does that $5K become part of the followi...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5387

Re: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?

You can go to any college site and do a simulated FAFSA. My son is going to Wentworth Institute in the fall and I've used their calculator many times to A -> B many scenarios. Remember also that LOANS are the majority (vast majority) of what is considered financial aid. Although our "need"...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does 529 really hurt the chance to get financial aid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5387

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

"I think if one needs the money to attend college (no other options), [Stafford loans are] a pretty good deal." There are always other options. And plenty of them. The loans just seem easier. Of the 2 1/2 million students who will be taking BA and MA degrees this year, only about 35% will...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

I just received the financial aid package for my son who is starting this fall. Besides his merit scholarship, he is offered a Stafford for $2750 per semester. I could pay full boat and have saved to do so, but my son will be taking the full amount in Staffords. I'm actually quite happy to see the ...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Income Based Repayment: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based Public Service Loan Forgiveness: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service Thanks for the links. I did not know about either program. I guess that tilts the decision ...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Make sure you check out the education tax credits docs from the IRS. You may be able to get up to $2500/year back via the AOC for the first 4 years if you pay the tuition from your bank account rather than from a 529. I am aware of this credit and will be eligible for it. That does bring up an inte...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

...despite the yearly variable nature of the loan. What does this mean? Are you referring to the fact that every year you're taking out a loan and the rate may be different every year? If so, that would be true of any loan unless I took out the whole amount I wished to borrow at one shot. For someo...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

You did fill out the FAFSA, correct? I did fill it out. My EFC is greater than the TCA, so we only qualify for unsubsidized Stafford loans. A large part of the reason the EFC is that high is I put a decent amount of money into the 529 plans. I don't regret that decision as I think the savings I got...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Thanks for the replies. I like the idea of my kid having "skin in the game" as well. But assuming I don't need the Stafford loan, I can just have my kid take out a loan with me as the bank. Although I do like the idea of them knowing they owe to an external entity (not family). May seem mo...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

I'm weighing various options to pay for my children's college educations. I do have a good chunk put away in 529 plans, but it may (probably) not cover the total cost. I'd be curious to hear opinions about whether unsubsidized Stafford loans are a good deal. The details: 1) Fixed rate loan, new loan...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 1286

Re: $10K for College

If I understand it correctly, to max out the AOC credit, you need to pay $4K toward college. That $4K cannot come 529/coverdell funds or grants/financial aid. I believe financial aid in the form of loans don't impact this at all. So, I'd consider paying $4K for the fall and take the credit for 2014....
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $10K for College
Replies: 7
Views: 1203

Re: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage

I remember when I was younger, a percentage change was not a big deal. If I had $30K in saving, 10% was $3K and just didn't seem like that amount would make or break me. Yes I was able to buy what seemed like alot with $3K, but I had pay checks coming in and could quickly recover that amount. Now, a...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage
Replies: 21
Views: 1659

Re: Tough college choice

livesoft wrote:Which place has the best chance for an ideal son-in-law?


That's funny because my wife and I actually discussed it.
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

DanDav - I think the issues are more connected than you state. If my daughter learns better in smaller classes, then the size of the school (assuming it relates to the number of kids in classes) is a factor to how good an education she will get. But the main issue is as you state - Where will she ge...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

Some responses: 1) JamesSFO - I have always viewed college savings as one pot of money shared by all. If daughter 1 spends more than her share, and I feel I can't make up the difference out of my savings (clearly if they all cost this much I wouldn't be able to), than there will be loans that the ki...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

Thanks for all the responses. I showed this conversation to my daughter and I think she got alot out of it. A couple quick answers to some of the questions asked: 1) We visited both schools. She liked them both. Delaware would get the edge based on the visit. We plan to make round two of visits befo...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

... Delaware: 1) Cost: $157,014 ($67,278 more) ... I have 3 children and have saved $330,000 in college savings plans for them. ... One quick observation, you have 3 children but this would be about half of the savings. How does that work out for you and the other two children? Not trying to be a j...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

I think U of D will open more doors, it's name is more widely known at least regionally. Also had a bit of a reputation as a real party school, amongst other things. $40K for that school, though is a bit crazy, for $10K more you could go to Cornell. Oneonta, I know of one grad who majored in a gene...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

This is research that she should be doing. My son (starts college in the fall) has done the research and as a result, changed his intended major 3 times. First, every college will have a % of graduates who find a job in their field within the first 6 months/year. They'll also have average starting ...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Tough college choice

What school does you daughter wish to attend? She likes both schools. Probably prefers Delaware. To be honest, I don't know how much better one is considered over the other in the fashion world. My comment about Delaware being a better school with a bigger name was more meant in general. To me an i...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Tough college choice

My daughter is a senior in high school and we're trying to decide between two schools that offer a certain program. She wants to major in fashion merchandising and wants to go to a school that has a joint program with the Fashion Institute of Technology (she'd spend 1 year in NYC going to FIT). The ...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16918

Re: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)

Today I am working on looking into Roth IRA accounts Why? You should first develop a plan for contributing enough to your 401k and possibly a deductible spousal TIRA so that your federal marginal rate drops from 30% to 15%. Then you need to consider you state tax situation. Some states favor tradit...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)
Replies: 69
Views: 5246

Re: Tipping should be based on time not amount

One of my issues is that it's not always clear how much the person is making. When I get a massage or a hair cut, is it the owner doing the service? Do I then even need to tip? How about around Christmas time - Who's delivering the paper? Do I tip the garbage man? How do I tip the garbage man? I als...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping should be based on time not amount
Replies: 33
Views: 2344

Re: Is there a best way to prepare for the expense of colleg

I always felt that you need to make one assumption that clarifies the picture. For me that assumption was I will not qualify for needs based aid and any loan I may get won't be a great loan. Once I made that assumption, I no longer was concerned about hiding/spending/shifting money and it allowed me...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a best way to prepare for the expense of college?
Replies: 31
Views: 1660

Re: Possible erroneous collection letter

Having had stuff like this happen to me many times (there's a guy with my same name and bad credit in the same county I live), I'd call the credit agency to clear up the confusion and tell them what you did. Since they associate some other person with the same last name with your address, you want t...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible erroneous collection letter
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Re: Gap Year Between High School and College

My daughter is also 17 and considering doing a gap-type of year abroad. In her case, she's considering doing an organized program where part of the time will be spent studying (hopefully earning some transferable credits) and part of the time spent volunteering. She won't be making any money doing t...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gap Year Between High School and College
Replies: 6
Views: 788
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