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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: 14
Views: 456

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: 398

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: 215
Views: 18321

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: 31496

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: 31496

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: 31496

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: 6409

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: 1853

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: 1853

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: 1853

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: 6409

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: 3003

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: 1360

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: 979

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: 14395

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: 14395

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: 6440

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: 4032

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: 11372

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: 1349

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: 1349

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: 1349

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: 1349

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: 11372

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: 732

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: 1335

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: 1499

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: 9680

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: 10750

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: 10750

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: 1270

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: 9680

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: 9680

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: 2904

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

Since I haven't purchased a car in close to 8 years.. What's the best way to negotiate? I am of the mindset that I don't mind paying a little extra if it means I get out of the dealership sooner, but I definitely don't want to "overpay".. Any advice on the "car buying experience"...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2904

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

My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. If this is the case you should consider a pure electric ... Since you live in CA, there are a large number of EV vehicles, many sold only in CA. Honda Fit / Accord EV, Ford Focus Electric, etc. Nissan L...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2904

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

Lots of great responses here, appreciate it. I plan on looking at both this weekend at some local dealerships. My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. My concern with the Volt is room in the back - our son's car seat is quite bulky (Recarro), ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2904

Re: Robin Williams

Surprisingly, I thought RV was a really funny movie. Definitely didn't expect it to be. By the way, I'm interested to see how his will/estate will play out. For those of you who followed the James Gandolfini's case, it's definitely a case study in making sure you have your financial/estate/trust aff...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robin Williams
Replies: 42
Views: 4910

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Dress shirts and casual shirts - Charles Tyrwhitt (ctshirts.com) - fantastic quality, in my opinion. I buy them for about $40 each. Other dress clothes (slacks etc) - mostly Calvin Klein at Macy's, with a few Hugo Boss sprinkled in from Nordstrom. Shoes - i have a few pair of Allen Edmonds, and the ...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9957

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

What about a used prius? Seems like they're hard to find with an HOV sticker - I wouldn't buy one that isn't HOV-eligible, as gas savings alone aren't worth the added car payment (which is also why a diesel isn't going to work) Perhaps someone can correct me if i'm wrong, but my understanding is th...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2904

Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

My wife and I have been discussing this over the last few days. This is a direct result of the recent position my wife took which now has a 100 mile roundtrip commute four days a week (Irvine to Century City, for those who are familiar with OC/LA area - yep, it's brutal). She's an attorney - her gro...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2904

Help me choose a new tv

The TV in my living room finally went out. It was a Sony DLP, and while the quality was great, it took up quite a bit of space. I can probably get a new bulb for it for abotu $200-$250, but frankly don't think it's worth doing any more; plus, I would like to get a TV mounted to create some more floo...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose a new tv
Replies: 31
Views: 2068

Re: Cost to appraise a real estate LP

What kind of property(ies) are you talking about? Single family houses? Apartments? Industrial?
by playtothebeat
Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost to appraise a real estate LP
Replies: 5
Views: 348

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

I have a 9 month old now. 1) sign up for their mailing lists. you'll get coupons ($5 off, usually) in the mail. use them. look for sales at Babies R Us - i've found that Enfamil formula is about the same price everywhere, but BRU will have deals about once a month or so where you get $10 off if you ...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 1374

Re: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Thanks for the replies. After doing some research, I found a lot of complaints with Sonatas not getting the advertised gas mileage. I'll probably spend about $14k more and get a new loaded Outback instead If you are worried about MPG, Outback certainly ain't your vehicle :? That. Also, unless they'...
by playtothebeat
Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
Replies: 23
Views: 2470

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Keep in mind that once you cross certain "thresholds" the price seems to go up just because of the threshold. I.e. a 1.50 will be significantly more expensive than a 1.48 carat diamond, even though you'll never be able to tell the difference. I spent about that much (before the setting) an...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 61
Views: 4683

Re: What Do You Eat For Snacks?

Almonds
Apples dipped in peanut butter (use simple organic peanut butter - look at the list of ingredients - if it has more than "peanuts" and maybe salt, don't buy it)
Bananas
Figs
Dark chocolate
Sprats
Full fat cheese
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Eat For Snacks? [for exercise-induced hunger]
Replies: 129
Views: 9234

Re: Car for a long daily commute

So try it, but if the job works out, your priority should be to move. Go ahead and plan on moving back in 5 years when he gets to kindergarten. A lot of things can change in that much time. Great point. We'll give this a try - we know it won't be easy, and won't love it. We know it will make things...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6627

Re: Car for a long daily commute

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Really appreciate all the input. I haven't considered the idea of doing extended stay or anything like that once or twice a week; that might not be a bad idea. We have a lot of friends in the LA area, so she could probably stay with one of them once or twice a week...
by playtothebeat
Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6627

Re: Car for a long daily commute

No argument that moving would solve the issue, but OC is far superior to LA county (in my opinion) for quality of life and raising a child (especially in the area we are in). So moving is not really an option at this point for us (plus, given that our house is probably still underwater, it'd be toug...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 6627
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