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Merging HSA accounts?

My wife recently lost her job. She and I each had had a high deductible health plan through our respective employers, and each of us had an HSA account in our own names (mine through Wells Fargo; she has two separate accounts due to switching employers - one with Optum Bank and one some other bank, ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merging HSA accounts?
Replies: 4
Views: 298

Re: Rental Property - help with financing options

Keep in mind that with the HELOC, the devil is in the details. It likely has a variable rate (probably adjustable monthly), tied to Prime so something like Prime +1.99%. Prime has been at 3.25% since 2009, but at some point it is likely to go up. Figure out if there is a limit on how much it can adj...
by playtothebeat
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property - help with financing options
Replies: 4
Views: 524

Re: Higher Downpayment a Good Idea?

After factoring in the cost of ownership, such as taxes, insurance, increased utilities and maintenance/repair costs, sales costs, mortgage costs, I think houses are usually an inefficient investment. Buy the house you want to live in. Second, third, and fourth this. In general, no need to look at ...
by playtothebeat
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Higher Downpayment a Good Idea?
Replies: 32
Views: 2776

Home refi - Roth IRA

My wife and I are going to be trying to refi our house in the next few weeks, which will require a substantial paydown from us. I'm wondering if I can use any of my Roth IRA funds as a "first time home buyer" withdrawal. I'm not currently on title or the notes (wife purchased the house bef...
by playtothebeat
Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home refi - Roth IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 268

Re: Buying a home in SF Bay Area

Until you're absolutely certain that you want to stay there long term, do not buy a house. Out of all areas, SF is one of those that just screams "bubble" - if/when the tech sector slows down, you could expect a correction in the housing prices, which would make it difficult for you to sel...
by playtothebeat
Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home in SF Bay Area [Dumbo]
Replies: 79
Views: 4335

Re: Bridge Loan vs mortage

What are the terms of the bridge loan? Is this a 1 year interest only loan? be careful with locking yourself into something too short term - what if you don't/can't sell your current home or get lower proceeds than you're anticipating? Is that an issue for you or will still be able to afford the ret...
by playtothebeat
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bridge Loan vs mortage
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Re: How best to use gifted 25k. . .

I'd put some in the Roth, since you can withdraw the contributions later (hopefully there isn't a massive correction and you lose 50% over the next couple of years...), and the rest in a regular savings account. With a potential baby on the way, I can tell you that those little suckers can get expen...
by playtothebeat
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How best to use gifted 25k. . .
Replies: 25
Views: 1945

Re: Extended car warranty - worth it?

I purchased an extended warranty, as well as a service plan (for all the maintenance, etc) for our BMW. It was something like $5k out of pocket total - huge sum. Financially, it may not be the best use of the money; however, it bought me a piece of mind knowing that I did not have to worry about any...
by playtothebeat
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended car warranty - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 1944

Re: House appraisal for a refi

I should have stated that we'll go with the appraiser ordered by a lender that we end up choosing, so my mistake for not stating that up front. Unfortunately, no equity in our house - at least very limited. We expect a pretty substantial paydown from our end at closing to meet a 90% CLTV requiremen...
by playtothebeat
Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal for a refi
Replies: 10
Views: 874

Re: House appraisal for a refi

I should have stated that we'll go with the appraiser ordered by a lender that we end up choosing, so my mistake for not stating that up front. Unfortunately, no equity in our house - at least very limited. We expect a pretty substantial paydown from our end at closing to meet a 90% CLTV requirement...
by playtothebeat
Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal for a refi
Replies: 10
Views: 874

House appraisal for a refi

I'm getting ready to refi my house, and thus will be ordering an appraisal in the next month or so. I wanted to see if there's anything I need to keep in mind as I do so. For instance, we recently had new flooring put in - do I need to inform the appraiser of that or do they figure stuff like that o...
by playtothebeat
Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal for a refi
Replies: 10
Views: 874

Pull permits for a minor remodel?

I'm planning to remodel my kitchen which will involved new cabinets and countertops. I'll also be changing out the old fluorescent light box with some canned LEDs, and installing a new junction box for a light fixture. I'm my doing any of the work myself and will hire contractors/subs etc (all licen...
by playtothebeat
Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull permits for a minor remodel?
Replies: 35
Views: 3056

Re: Any art "investors" here?

We have probably 8 or 10 pieces from Peter Lik at our house. Beautiful stuff which we love to look at, and can likely sell in the future for far more than we paid for them (some pieces are no longer available in the galleries, and others have been selling quite well on artbrokerage.com). We've run o...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any art "investors" here?
Replies: 69
Views: 6085

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Take a look at waterproof laminate. http://www.usfloorsllc.com/display-category/coretec-plus/ I just ordered this to be installed throughout the house (replacing a 10+ year old laminate which was damaged in a recent flood due to a plumbing issue): http://www.usfloorsllc.com/product-category/coretec-...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 29
Views: 2937

Do you read online reviews?

I'm currently searching for a contractor to remodel my kitchen, and this really got me thinking about how much weight we tend to put into online review and overall online presence of companies nowadays. For instance, I received a quote which seems very reasonable to me, but the company has no online...
by playtothebeat
Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you read online reviews?
Replies: 26
Views: 1775

House flood --> time to remodel

My house had a flood issue about two weeks before Christmas. Luckily, it was only downstairs, so things could have been far worse. Insurance is covering the remediation that had to take place (rip out some dry wall, flooring, dry and dehumidify the whole area, make sure there is no molding, etc), an...
by playtothebeat
Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House flood --> time to remodel
Replies: 2
Views: 584

Re: FSA: how much do I fund?

FYI, if you're about to lose your FSA dollars, check out www.fsastore.com. quite a bit of stuff that's FSA-eligible!
by playtothebeat
Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA: how much do I fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 810

Re: Eliminate PMI or add to 401K

You may consider reducing your 401k just to 5% (so you get the full match), and putting the extra towards the mortgage. Depending on what your tax situation looks like, that 4.5% could mean a guaranteed after-tax return of 6% or so. how much quicker could you get rid of PMI then?
by playtothebeat
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eliminate PMI or add to 401K
Replies: 3
Views: 426

Re: What doyou splurge on?

Pete's Coffee - slightly more expensive than many other brands, but I love it. Recently trying to buy more grass fed chicken and beef. Also over the past few months I noticed that I'm willing to pay more for kitchen appliances that are of higher quality. I.e. a Vitamix, a Breville juicer, a Breville...
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 237
Views: 25157

Re: War on Debt

$175/week would be a bargain, but I live in a high cost of living state. I wouldn't be surprised if we are talking $800/month. I think you maybe right, we are for all intents and purposes are close to bankruptcy, even I had mentioned it numerous times to her, but it seemed to have no effect other t...
by playtothebeat
Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32860

Re: War on Debt

One issue is that you need to both pay off your debt (consumer debt is your priority, I don't disagree personally) AND get an emergency fund before the baby is born. I hope you don't have to deal with this, but what if your baby had any sort of medial issues? Or what if your wife does? Hell, you mig...
by playtothebeat
Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32860

Re: War on Debt

Technofox, how did you go from $62k of student loan debt in 2009 (from a post you published on Bogleheads in 2009) to $200k in student loans today? I am guessing you guys were working jobs then and out of school. You came on here with similar questions and responses in 2009... it looks like you guy...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: War on Debt
Replies: 247
Views: 32860

Re: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund

I am going to put this investment in during a down market day this week (started my Roth in mid october during a dip and have pretty good returns so far). How do you know when the market is down? Is there a certain dip from current levels that you're looking for? Don't try to time it. Dollar cost a...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund
Replies: 67
Views: 7026

Re: Should we refinance?

Why should he refi a mortgage that he's only been in 12-14 months? This doesn't make sense to me at all. Take advantage of the higher value, which will allow him to eliminate PMI I'm not aware of any way to eliminate PMI unless your LTV is 80% or less. He is nowhere near that. It's quite possible. ...
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we refinance?
Replies: 30
Views: 2166

Re: Should we refinance?

nelson1015 wrote:Why should he refi a mortgage that he's only been in 12-14 months? This doesn't make sense to me at all.


Take advantage of the higher value, which will allow him to eliminate PMI
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we refinance?
Replies: 30
Views: 2166

Re: Should we refinance?

If my math is correct.. your current payment is $1,091/month. If you refi with Discover, it goes down to $962 (I assume you're not rolling the fees into the loan).

Do that, and keep making your current payment, and your 30 year mortgage gets repaid in 23.7 years.
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we refinance?
Replies: 30
Views: 2166

Re: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund

Historically, small cap returns are higher than large cap. Value are higher than growth. Of course risk goes up as well, and there is no guarantee that the pattern will continue. And even though in the long term it probably will, there is nothing to say that you won't have a 10 year drought in a cer...
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 22, I want to be rich, looking for a high reward fund
Replies: 67
Views: 7026

Re: Buy commercial real estate

If you just discovered loopnet, you are not ready to be a commercial real estate investor...

Now that that is out of the way.. CRE returns vary greatly. Far too many variables. I work in commercial real estate for what it's worth (I'm on the lending side).
by playtothebeat
Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy commercial real estate
Replies: 18
Views: 3158

Re: Mortgage decisions

I'm in a similar boat, albeit at much higher amounts ($740k combined loans, house value about the same; 1st loan at 6.5% interest only - OUCH, 2nd at 8.5% with minimal amortization and a huge balloon in about 8 years - OUCH). I'm doing some similar analysis, but hoping that the year end bonus and sa...
by playtothebeat
Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decisions
Replies: 16
Views: 1382

Investing when one spouse is older

I tried searching to see if this was explicitly addressed before, but wasn't able to find anything specific. What are some factors to consider when it comes investment/retirement planning strategy, if one spouse is older than the other? My wife and I have a 12-year gap between the two of us. Given t...
by playtothebeat
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing when one spouse is older
Replies: 10
Views: 1070

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

Sit down with your wife with all the numbers in front of you. Figure out what you bring in. Figure out what your bills are. Whatever is left, figure out how you want to spend it/save it/pay off debt with it. Tell your wife she gets $200 cash (or $100 or whatever) each month. Period. she can do whate...
by playtothebeat
Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 15353

Re: Tough spot, decided to lease a car

There are a lot of different issues going on in your discussion. First of all, you need to have a serious conversation with your wife about her lifestyle. It doesn't sound like it's overly exuberant (I agree that family, friends, fitness, etc are important), but given that you have limited financial...
by playtothebeat
Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough spot, decided to lease a car
Replies: 209
Views: 15353

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

What state do you live in? I just purchased a Volt. I'm in southern california. The Volt gets me access to the HOV/carpool lane, which helps my wife tremendously with her commute to work (100+ miles round trip on the 405 freeway, for those who know orange county/LA). That was the main deciding facto...
by playtothebeat
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 7005

Re: Vegas Vacation!

This depends entirely on what you like to do with your time on vacation (and in particular in Vegas). are you a gambler? do you golf? do you like the outdoors? etc

My Vegas vacation is always the same - sports book, blackjack tables, and the pool. I usually stay at the Wynn or Venetian.
by playtothebeat
Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas Vacation!
Replies: 50
Views: 4468

Re: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]

One thing I've noticed is that while Costco is not the cheapest option, the quality is better than a regular grocery store. At least in my opinion. Seafood and red meat especially. Fruits and vegetables also.
by playtothebeat
Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 11789

Re: 401k rollover

I'm not sure I understand this. Presumably you have the 401k invested in something now. You roll it all to an IRA and invest it the same way. There is no lump sum whose asset allocation you are changing. Even if you convert the 401k to cash for the transfer, you could leave it in cash in the IRA an...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1442

Re: 401k rollover

This is something that can be done from a legal standpoint however the plan rules might not allow it but why would you want to? dollar cost average. I view it as no different than if i had a lump sum to invest. I wouldn't want to invest it all at once, but would spread it out over time. In the long...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1442

Re: 401k rollover

Is it possible to rollover over a period of time, rather than doing it all at once? In other words, can i roll over 10% of the account once a month, for 10 months, rather than doing 100% right away?
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1442

401k rollover

My wife recently took a new job, and thus we need to figure out with the money that was in her 401k account with the old employer. From what i understand, our options are: 1) Keep with the prior employer 2) Rollover to the new employer's 401k plan 3) Rollover to a Traditional IRA The prior employer'...
by playtothebeat
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k rollover
Replies: 21
Views: 1442

Re: We have a grocery problem...

I'm in the exact same boat I live in Orange County, and we have a family of 3, including my wife and a near-one month old son. We are spending around $1200/month on all food expenses (groceries, baby food, restaurants, etc). I've tried my hardest to cut it down, but really couldn't shave off more th...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 11789

Re: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars

Part of this answer will depend on where you live and what your tax situation looks like. I just purchased a Chevy Volt, and couldn't be happier. I get access to the carpool lane (I'm in California), and qualify for the full $9k back in tax rebates/credits. This brought the overall cost of the car t...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars
Replies: 7
Views: 751

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

I am 28 years old and was regularly playing against guys in their late 40s and early 50s about a year or two ago in a competitve league. I have to say, those guys can really PLACE the ball. If you can hit the ball with consistency and place it, you'll beat any young guy who thinks he can out run you...
by playtothebeat
Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1347

Re: Suggestions for 10 days on Hawaiian Islands

I second the Kauai and VRBO suggestion.
Rent a car and drive the island. It's one of the most beautiful places you'll see. I got married there last year, and hope to go back on a regular basis.
by playtothebeat
Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for 10 days on Hawaiian Islands
Replies: 24
Views: 1516

Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

Are you kidding? I'm also in OC. I have a 3300 SF house. I'm on a level pay plan of $37/mo. We don't run the AC until 78. We never run the AC at night. We open all our upstairs windows in the summer. I'm also on a plan with SCE that allows them to cycle off my AC in high use periods (they installed...
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 10112

Re: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan"

I wonder if you can get a "virtual" CC and provide it for this purpose. I think Amazon lets you do that, or maybe paypal. I recall doing that a few years ago.

Or better yet buy a prepaid Visa card and try to use that as the CC #.
by playtothebeat
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan" READ UPDATE 9-10-14
Replies: 58
Views: 11650

Re: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan"

This is really interesting, and definitely makes you wonder whether we're headed for another bubble. As someone who works in finance, I always get a kick out of this stuff. I'm still grandfathered into a 6.99% credit card, which is just like an unsecured personal loan from Discover, Wells Fargo, etc...
by playtothebeat
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.99% Unsecured "AnythingLoan" READ UPDATE 9-10-14
Replies: 58
Views: 11650

Re: Cord Blood Banking

We ended up doing it through ViaCord with our boy when he was born 11 month ago. I haven't thought twice about it since, to be honest. I think the annual cost is about $150 or so, and luckily it's not a huge sum to us. Further, If i'm not mistaken, the annual storage cost is locked in for 25 years, ...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1306

Re: How do you keep your electricity bill low?

A lot of excellent responses here , thanks all! A couple of items worth addressing: - I just got the Volt about 2 weeks ago, so it is not yet part of the latest figure. In fact I've only charged it twice at home (the rest have been at work). - My usage between May and August (4 months) has been betw...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 10112

How do you keep your electricity bill low?

I was looking through my electricity bill (Southern California Edison; I live in Irvine, CA), and my most recent monthly billing cycle ended up with a $312.91 charge for a 1600-sf house. Now, we have had a somewhat hot summer, and with a newborn in the house, I'm much more mindful of making sure tha...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your electricity bill low?
Replies: 123
Views: 10112

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

She started the job/commute about 6 weeks ago. I trust her when she says the carpool lane would make a difference (albeit not a huge one, but still enough to prefer to be in it). The issue is that there is a limited number of HOV stickers available. I would hate to "miss the opportunity" t...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 3069
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