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Re: What are your 2015 Financial Goals?

18k - Fund Roth 401(k) 5k - Fund HSA (Employer kicks in too) 11k - 2014 & 2015 backdoor roth contributions for me & spouse. 28k - Fund kids 529s 4k - Pay off remaining car loan 45k - Pay off remaining mortgage 111k - Total (gasp) + hope for the best in the market In my budget I have about 80...
by sesq
Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your 2015 Financial Goals?
Replies: 79
Views: 4820

Re: This looks like a decent credit card.

The bonus is usually $100. Really nice when paired with Ink Plus (business card) or (to a lesser extent due to no 5X on office supply or telecom) Sapphire Preferred, which opens up transfers to certain airlines/hotels. The rotating 5x categories and no annual fee make it a keep forever card. I picke...
by sesq
Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This looks like a decent credit card.
Replies: 6
Views: 919

Re: Extreme Generosity / Limiting Net Worth

I don't find the 2% figure to be shocking. The savings rate is generally sub 5%. 40% of the amount saved is very generous. Perhaps too generous. I am open to the idea of being more charitable, but I am highly skeptical that many charities or legacy bequests are subject to waste, bloat and capture. F...
by sesq
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extreme Generosity / Limiting Net Worth
Replies: 113
Views: 14910

Re: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?

The good year effect of 2013 gave me a sense of being dwarfed. But at this point, being mid-to-high 6 figs, at 42, I am really only saving for early retirement or a more comfortable retirement. If I stopped now a retirement in my mid sixties with SS is very likely. In a more normal year, or a volati...
by sesq
Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When do your account returns dwarf your contributions?
Replies: 51
Views: 6851

Re: What have you done to cut costs this year?

-Switched insurance (home/auto/umbrella) when quote came in too high - Saved $750/yr -Refi ARM to HELOC - Saved 300/yr + liquidity benefits. -Ramped up Credit card hustle - yields at least $2K/yr cash + a ton of points (no longer pay for flights or hotels for fam of 4, domestic coach and mid tier pr...
by sesq
Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you done to cut costs this year?
Replies: 134
Views: 12382

Re: Ashley Furniture

I have an office set from them. Its fine. Not heirloom quality or anything, but it gets the job done. We went in to get an extra file cabinet recently and the real young sales guy would make a used car dealer blush. I was pretty annoyed at the run around to get to a price as they kept trying to enti...
by sesq
Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ashley Furniture
Replies: 42
Views: 3430

Re: Do you dream about retirement?

On the titular question - I am very future oriented and have been doing retirement projects since my early twenties, since college basically. I am 42 now. I am very interested in financial freedom (or critical mass as Brinker calls it, which I'd hear driving around with my father as a teenager). Off...
by sesq
Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you dream about retirement?
Replies: 91
Views: 6860

Re: Tax Rules on Telecommuting

If you are self employed you pay taxes based on where the service is provided in most instances. If the contractor does 80% of the work in State A, but goes in for client visits located in State B 20% of the time, then they will file in both states. The mechanics of the filings may be that the taxpa...
by sesq
Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Rules on Telecommuting
Replies: 12
Views: 694

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

Unless you have a specific future trip that may be more lucrative, I just take what I can get with miles. But I am heavy in credit cards, so there is always more to come in the pipeline.
by sesq
Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4725

Re: Our plan to pay off our mortgage by Age 40

Look hard at the PenFed 5/5 ARM. Currently 2.75%, would only adjust once in your 9 year plan, a max of 2%, so worst case you are back at 4.75% for the last 4 years.
by sesq
Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our plan to pay off our mortgage by Age 40
Replies: 10
Views: 1392

Re: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?

I walked away from a home purchase when it popped on the flood zone during the mortgage process (not disclosed, sellers claimed unaware, though they were definitely aware of the wetland deed restrictions that weren't disclosed). I was past my financing contingency date and had to later fight about t...
by sesq
Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NJ - Buying house in flood zone (FEMA)?
Replies: 48
Views: 2948

Re: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth

I do a monthly calc of all assets and all liabilities. I record a deferred tax liability for a portion of my tax deferred accounts, currently I use 30% as my estimate for a blended tax rate to include Fed/State/local/impact of means-testing. The house is just zillow, cars are KBB. Zillow lags realit...
by sesq
Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth
Replies: 56
Views: 3955

Re: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like

Sideways - Glad to see I am not alone in hating it.
Lost in Translation - ugh
Leaving Los Vegas - also ugh
Braveheart - would have been ok if edited to half the length
by sesq
Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Critically Acclaimed Movies you did not like
Replies: 150
Views: 13552

Re: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?

Personally I would do something like the following. 1) Get 401(k) match 2) Pay max towards CC's until gone 2a) open 0% interest balance transfer promo (some are 15 months) and get it paid off in time. 3) build EF to comfort level (some like 1 month, others like 3 months, some like 6 months, I would...
by sesq
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?
Replies: 29
Views: 3356

Re: What did you always wish for but never got?

As a 13 year old I wanted a pair of sai's desperately (kind of like daggers). I envisioned myself mastering all these cool moves, way cooler than a butterfly knife. My parent's said no on the grounds that they were weapons. The Patriots went to the superbowl that year to face the Chicago Bears. My f...
by sesq
Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you always wish for but never got?
Replies: 87
Views: 5622

Re: What can I do next?

I think you know this, but your best "investing" move would be to stay in the military to vest in the pension.

After that, TSP.
by sesq
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can I do next?
Replies: 5
Views: 787

Re: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?

The employer also knows your rate of 401k contributions and how much your balance is in your 401k, so they know about some of your cushion... ? I question whether they know the balance. I would like to think there is a firewall between custodian and employer. Can someone confirm? They know the bala...
by sesq
Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?
Replies: 72
Views: 8560

Re: Did you reveal to your kids...your savings and salary

My father, who is 78, just told me (I am 42) his best year was $500K, since he had a full professional salary plus he had severance from his prior employer hit at once. That would have been around 1989, so pretty serious cash. That is also the only instance of him telling me his salary, or anything ...
by sesq
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you reveal to your kids...your savings and salary
Replies: 75
Views: 7323

Re: Rewards credit card advice

Hello, 1) Converting one of the freedom cards (5% rotating categories) to Chase Sapphire Freedom (2% back on restaurants and travel). Credit line on card is $15,000+ No bonus if you convert. Apply new, move credit if you need to, collect the 40K sign on bonus. I would love to have two Freedoms to d...
by sesq
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards credit card advice
Replies: 66
Views: 88882

Re: Buy a 30 and 20 term policy at the same time?

Its not a terrible concept. I am not sure how the premiums would play out. I got $1M, 20 year level term at around age 33 when my daughter was on the way. I went with 20 year with the expectation that my net worth would rise in those 20 years to allow me to self insure. A few year later, after my so...
by sesq
Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a 30 and 20 term policy at the same time?
Replies: 16
Views: 1196

Re: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?

The actuarial report doesn't look too bad.

http://www.pa529.com/lib/pdf/GSP-Actuar ... t-2014.pdf

The assumptions are interesting - 7.65% expected return (plus fee revenue), tuition inflation in the 4.5% - 6.75% range. Hard to show a negative outcome when asset growth > liability growth.
by sesq
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 656

Re: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?

The free lunch is the guarantee that your contributions will grow based on tuition inflation. Only, its not a free lunch since if things tank you will be stiffed. In other plans if things tank it will be driven (in part) by your AA. I guess I am leery of a plan sponsored by the state which likes to ...
by sesq
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 656

Re: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?

I assumed this was limited to students who would track into state schools, so I was intruiged when I saw it advertising guarantees for Ivy level tuition, etc (not that my kids are necessarily Ivy bound, who knows at this point). So I clicked the disclosures: ACCOUNTS GUARANTEED ONLY BY GSP FUND AND ...
by sesq
Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 656

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

celia wrote:[
The same thing can be said for two individuals who each have their own trusts. But a joint trust will only say one thing in regards to a guardian. Our trust specifies the guardian.


I bet your trust names the successor trustee, not the guardian.
by sesq
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 18222

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

If it were me, and indeed everything in the marriage is fine but this, I'd take my pre-nup and a copy of the will (if she has it) in to an attorney and spend a few bucks to see whether the spousal election would be available to her at the time of death. While I agree with the OP that this will torpe...
by sesq
Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 18222

Re: Mortgages and financial freedom

If you are in this camp, I ask the following: Why do you feel more financially free or secure with the mortgage paid off? If I chose to pay off my mortgage, it would require me to pile $170k into a fairly illiquid asset. *That* sounds scary to me. $170k could feed, clothe and house my family for so...
by sesq
Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages and financial freedom
Replies: 111
Views: 7296

Re: Frequent Flyer Miles:Transfer, Gift or what...

I book tickets for family (the in-laws, different last name, different state) from time to time.

There will be no investigation of a 25K domestic redemption you could buy for $300. Redeem 100K on an international Biz class ticket that retails for $5K+ and you may get a phone call.
by sesq
Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles:Transfer, Gift or what...
Replies: 12
Views: 790

Re: discover card rewards points

Do you like Car rentals? http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/08/18/discover-rental-car-discounts-and-upgrades/ I tend to sit on mine and occasionally redeem for credits for VUDU for 20% off (use in a year). I still have some from my sign on bonus a couple years ago, so its like free movie ren...
by sesq
Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: discover card rewards points
Replies: 46
Views: 5801

Re: Kitces - Think Twice about those Conversions

I appreciate the link. I found the example he gave to be laughable. He described a married couple with income of $350,000 a year and $15,000 of itemized deductions. I can't imagine someone with that income having only $15,000 of deductions. Is there any state in the union that has taxes that low? E...
by sesq
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kitces - Think Twice about those Conversions
Replies: 15
Views: 3115

Re: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?

I started with college costs http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-undergraduate-charges-sector-2013-14 and then estimated them out to the years my kids will be in college with a 4.5% inflation factor. I then worked backwards with declining returns (due to A...
by sesq
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 60
Views: 7176

Re: Theater seating for basement projection TV

There are sellers who used to post on AVS forum that had good reputations. One guy's name was Roman and was NJ based. Also, I believe Berkline's used to do a demo day once a year where they sold off demo stock at big discounts. I am not as active at AVS as I used to be, so I am not fully current. I ...
by sesq
Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Theater seating for basement projection TV
Replies: 5
Views: 888

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

About ten years ago I was involved in some scoping for captive co-ops for material supply for large taxpayers (I think we were looking at it for nuclear fuel rods or something like that). Its been ages since I thought much about this and would have to refresh myself on the limitations. I left public...
by sesq
Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 201
Views: 29509

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

Electric cooperatives are also non profit, owned by their 'Members' (consumers.) If the co-op has a margin (profit is a bad word, LOLs!) its treated as "Capital Credits' A.K.A Retained Earnings and returned with no interest to a Member at some future time, usually around 20 years. They are als...
by sesq
Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 201
Views: 29509

Re: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortga

My mortgage is low enough that I can live with the interest rate risk. I went to a HELOC with a teaser 1.99% for 12 month, prime +0.25% thereafter mortgage by a local bank, no closing costs. I thought I'd be able to fully pay off in the 1.99% period and having a LOC would be handy. Based on my curre...
by sesq
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2938

Re: I don't think I can afford to die in Pennsylvania

If you are thinking about spending your IRA's first or converting them to Roths, don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Why pay a 15% or 25% federal income tax +state income tax now to avoid your heirs having to pay 15% estate tax later. Since IRA's are not deductible in PA, Roth Conversions are ge...
by sesq
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't think I can afford to die in Pennsylvania
Replies: 35
Views: 3538

Re: Pay down (not off) mortgage?

Regarding the idea of a mortage as a negative bond and how it should affect your AA... If you're going to consider a mortgage as a negative bond, then before you adjust your portfolio, I think you should consider your house as a big undiversified investment in real estate. It produces an "inco...
by sesq
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down (not off) mortgage?
Replies: 53
Views: 5387

Re: Best Current Credit Card Bonus for $10k Purchase?

I would imagine whomever is selling the package is happy to do split payments. So get both. Or get both and have your wife get an arrival card also and split the payment 3 ways. More, more, MORE!
by sesq
Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Current Credit Card Bonus for $10k Purchase?
Replies: 14
Views: 2029

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

How do you keep getting the offers of $ for sign up? I haven't gotten for at least a year. You don't have to wait for them to send you an offer. Just apply with the company directly. Two easy, fairly evergreen offers: Barclay Arrivals, $400 of travel after min spend ($3k?) fee waived first year. Ch...
by sesq
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 123
Views: 76471

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

At the moment I have 23 open in my name. I have closed a dozen others in the last couple years.

I get a lot of sign up bonuses.
by sesq
Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 123
Views: 76471

Re: Best way to start building wealth as a teenager

The best way to build wealth as a teen is to gather a full understanding of what is a want and what is a need. If you build the habits to learn to live below your means the accumulation of significant wealth will be pretty darn easy. Sadly, that likely means no jet ski's, unless there are jet ski sc...
by sesq
Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to start building wealth as a teenager
Replies: 28
Views: 2494

Re: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?

I liked USAA quite a bit, but I moved Auto, Home and Umbrella and saved about $700/yr, mostly driven by the fact that USAA used a dwelling coverage amount that was 50% more than my house would sell for. I argued with the gal The market price was irrelevant. You are insuring for the cost to rebuild,...
by sesq
Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 3412

Re: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?

I just switched from USAA to Erie in march. I was quoted $213 for $10K of Sewer backup coverage. I live in PA and had that rider at USAA for like $50. I elected to self insure with Erie. I liked USAA quite a bit, but I moved Auto, Home and Umbrella and saved about $700/yr, mostly driven by the fact ...
by sesq
Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 3412

Re: Bluebird

Be aware that loading BB with prepaid gift cards just got more complicated, yesterday.

So give it a couple days to see how it shakes out before anyone goes out and buys a bunch of cards to load for July. Lots of discussion at Flyertalk.
by sesq
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bluebird
Replies: 14
Views: 1741

Re: Two Comma Club!

Congrats. .

That said, your parents divorce and that triggered a $75K gift to their child?

I do like how appreciative (and upfront) you are of the help you've received.
by sesq
Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Comma Club!
Replies: 55
Views: 5815

Re: What's the latest in credit card offers?

You will need to wait 8 days between the AA Exec and Hilton Reserve apps. Though while they are handing out the AA Exec cards I would go with that and keep the surpass (I am on #3, will soon apply for #4). Even if you pay the AF on Surpass, they will prorate when you eventually cancel/downgrade.
by sesq
Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the latest in credit card offers?
Replies: 8
Views: 1344

Re: Credit card to pay mortgage

opus360 wrote: Too much work going to Walmart.


I am "lucky" in that I drive by one in my commute and in the morning its pretty quiet.
by sesq
Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card to pay mortgage
Replies: 29
Views: 3889

Re: The in-laws are broke!

I am sympathetic to the OP's wife being frozen out of the decision process by older siblings. I am the youngest and it happens to me all the time. This thread is of interest to me since it will happen someday with my in-laws. I can watch all their odd choices and know that one day the call to subsid...
by sesq
Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 16643

Re: Credit card to pay mortgage

Amex Serve or Bluebird are pre-paid cards with billpay (you can't have both). If your vendor is in the database (Pen Fed is not), Evolve Money can be done via purchasing visa/MC debit gift cards.

I use BlueBird. But frankly the mortgage payment a smaller part of my mile printing activities.
by sesq
Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card to pay mortgage
Replies: 29
Views: 3889

Re: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture

But on the 1st of each month I come into work early with my coffee, sit down at my desk and update the values of my holdings in my spread sheet (Column F) and with the help of the SMF Add-in all the calculations are done for me. This took a long time to make but it makes everything very easy. You m...
by sesq
Thu May 29, 2014 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture
Replies: 70
Views: 10389

Re: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture

Long post, but worth the read. Great to see so many horrible horrors be vanquished.
by sesq
Wed May 28, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture
Replies: 70
Views: 10389
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