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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 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 579

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 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 579

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 11:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PA529 Guaranteed Savings plan -- is it worth it?
Replies: 12
Views: 579

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 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16430

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 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16430

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 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgages and financial freedom
Replies: 111
Views: 6667

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 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flyer Miles:Transfer, Gift or what...
Replies: 12
Views: 700

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 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: discover card rewards points
Replies: 46
Views: 5657

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 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kitces - Think Twice about those Conversions
Replies: 15
Views: 2933

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 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 60
Views: 6789

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 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Theater seating for basement projection TV
Replies: 5
Views: 844

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 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 21129

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 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 187
Views: 21129

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 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2869

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 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't think I can afford to die in Pennsylvania
Replies: 35
Views: 3345

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 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down (not off) mortgage?
Replies: 53
Views: 4989

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 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Current Credit Card Bonus for $10k Purchase?
Replies: 14
Views: 1556

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 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 121
Views: 8845

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 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 121
Views: 8845

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 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to start building wealth as a teenager
Replies: 28
Views: 2387

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 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2824

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 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water/sewer backup coverage: buy or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2824

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 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bluebird
Replies: 14
Views: 1698

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 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Comma Club!
Replies: 55
Views: 5705

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 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the latest in credit card offers?
Replies: 8
Views: 1284

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 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card to pay mortgage
Replies: 29
Views: 3401

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 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 16490

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 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card to pay mortgage
Replies: 29
Views: 3401

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 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture
Replies: 70
Views: 9464

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 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Year Bogleheadiversary - Before and After Picture
Replies: 70
Views: 9464

Re: AMT Planning Strategies

Note on the marginal rate: it's not 28%. Every 4 dollars you earn kills one dollar of exemption, which is equivalent to being taxed on one more dollar of income. So your AMT marginal rate is probably 28% + .25 * 28% = 35%. Then add on any state and payroll taxes. In a high tax state, 45% isn't out ...
by sesq
Tue May 27, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMT Planning Strategies
Replies: 13
Views: 1361

Re: Who is doing In Plan Roth conversions?

Doing a conversion while still working??? I'm not surprised it is nearly nobody. I had one of the exceptional cases a few years ago, when I had some headroom in the 28% AMT bracket and took advantage of it. I would do it this year as I am in that exact circumstance. But, alas, my plan does not offe...
by sesq
Tue May 27, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who is doing In Plan Roth conversions?
Replies: 41
Views: 3017

Re: When did you tell your children how much you had amassed

My parents are both 78 and they won't tell their kids (ranging from 42 to 52). My father and I both like personal finance and discuss the subject routinely but without specifics. He told me we'd be able to find the papers if something were to happen. I hope my mother is in charge of filing them sinc...
by sesq
Tue May 20, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you tell your children how much you had amassed
Replies: 135
Views: 11037

Re: Share your networth progression

We're about the same age. Interestingly, my experience up to age 29 and getting to 100K matches yours. No lawsuits though which is why you're first datapoint is 100K higher than what I posted above. And like you, 2008 and 2010 were cruddy for the same reasons...invested fully in the market as a who...
by sesq
Wed May 14, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 97
Views: 14053

Re: Share your networth progression

I have 10 years of data, starting when I was 31 (a year after marriage). Prior to that it was a long slog to $100k at around 28 or 29, then a lawsuit settlement bumped me to ~$200k (sadly the doctors and lawyers made more and I have a lifetime of medical expenses to enjoy). 7.2004 - $257k ye 2004 - ...
by sesq
Tue May 13, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 97
Views: 14053

Re: "Double billing" FSA and HSA?

Is your CPA sure its legit to have the spouse have an FSA with a family HSA (even w/o the double dip)? You may want to limit your expenses to dental/vision if your spend there is sufficient, as it is possible to have a limited use FSA (Dental, Vision only) with an HSA.
by sesq
Sun May 11, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Double billing" FSA and HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 348

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

I'd give yourself the year to decide and in that year be more assertive with your employer to set hours that are fair to you.

What's the worst that happens, they fire you?
by sesq
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 27955

Re: Newly Widowed, what to do with the life insurance money.

Very sorry for your loss. I would encourage you to be quiet about the life insurance money and distrustful of kind offers to help. I support the idea to park it in your high yield account, and then when you are ready, come back here to learn about investments. Its really not that hard when you have ...
by sesq
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly Widowed, what to do with the life insurance money....
Replies: 28
Views: 3737

Re: The slackening...

This is personal because I see in my daughter a fair amount of ennui. I do not consider that we spoil her, and she is only seven I loved this, and have felt this about my 8 year old. I also know I inflicted this upon my parents, as I was always tough to motivate. So far so good for me, and I watche...
by sesq
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The slackening...
Replies: 61
Views: 7933

Re: Your thoughts on vacation home or second home

I used to live in NH. The beach and the mountains are about 1-2 hours apart. I used to imagine myself in retirement having a beach house and a ski condo. Only I'd rent out the high seasons for each and live in the other during the low seasons. I have since married and I doubt that my wife would be i...
by sesq
Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your thoughts on vacation home or second home
Replies: 61
Views: 4191

Re: Withdrawal Limit At Capital One Savings Account??

I thought it had to do with the Fed wanting to calculate M-1 and M-3 money supplies where savings accounts were presumed to be long term (could be wrong). I ran into this a couple years ago when I set up multiple savings accounts for my kids at Cap1-360. I set them up to do weekly automatic allowanc...
by sesq
Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawal Limit At Capital One Savings Account??
Replies: 9
Views: 1100

Re: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane

We like to grill steaks, pork, burgers, salmon, and occasionally chicken (has been the toughest for me to get right). This is my go to for chicken. I make the rub in quantity since we use it so often and even bought the fancy pan they sell after a while (regular cans are fine too, tallboys aren't n...
by sesq
Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane
Replies: 46
Views: 7363

Re: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card

ajcp wrote:
Ok yea if you want to do that that's fine. But there are no cards that will give say 3% back on income tax payments.


If you live on the west coast (I don't), this one might.

https://www.jcbusa.com/for_consumers/
by sesq
Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes Owed Using Credit Card
Replies: 10
Views: 1249

Re: Bogleheads Stance on Home Buying

I agree with the comment to think hard about the commute. The cost in time and fuel is not a trifle. If you work 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year a ten minute commute each way is the equivalent to 80 hours (5x48x10x2/60). Admittedly that is a bit less than 1% of the year (365x24 = 8760), but now imagi...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads Stance on Home Buying
Replies: 61
Views: 5426

Re: "Getting Real About Retirement"

I personally like the George E.P. Box quote All models are wrong, but some are useful. Hopefully the Boglehead models prove to be the latter. I recently saw this quote along the same lines (probably here): "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is ind...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Getting Real About Retirement"
Replies: 27
Views: 3267

Re: best cash back credit card

We buy our groceries at Walmart. How does Amex and other class that? We use our discover, but with an avg monthly bill of more than 6K, I wonder if there is a better option. Anyone make a tool that you can plug your spending types in and get a recommendation ? There are a couple out there. If you a...
by sesq
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 35259

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

Curious what types of cards you buy at 7-11? :) Prepaid reload cards and/or debit cards with pins that can be cashed out via money orders or loaded to other services and cashed out. Requires some time and effort, but can be profitable. I didn't think you could use cards with pins on Evolve. I am no...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1598

Re: Opinions on our situation? Very Long Post!

I think you are in great shape. Feeding the retirement space and killing the loans would be my priorities also. I would go out of my way to make sure you are the model son-in-law to your mother-in-law as the rent she is charging you is a gift and gifts deserve gratitude. But really, all in with a bi...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinions on our situation? Very Long Post!
Replies: 21
Views: 2517

Re: best cash back credit card

One to two PER BANK (rinse and repeat up to quarterly) is considered okay by heavy credit card churners. Just to confirm: I can apply for two different cards on the same day and the applications would not negatively affect one another? Yes. You will most likely have to call the reconsideration line...
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cash back credit card
Replies: 185
Views: 35259

Re: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers

tj wrote:
Curious what types of cards you buy at 7-11? :)


Prepaid reload cards and/or debit cards with pins that can be cashed out via money orders or loaded to other services and cashed out.

Requires some time and effort, but can be profitable.
by sesq
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing bonus on new credit card offers
Replies: 25
Views: 1598
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