Search found 342 matches

by sesq
Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for age 62 - 70?
Replies: 33
Views: 3226

Re: Strategy for age 62 - 70?

I think the thing to factor is whether the RMD's will make your SS benefits taxable. More to the point, whether the conversions would prevent that. Then its no longer horse trading 15% now versus 15% (subject to change) then. Keep in mind the threshholds for taxing SS are not subject to inflation ad...
by sesq
Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to go from here with my Personal Finances?
Replies: 19
Views: 3270

Re: Where to go from here with my Personal Finances?

need to stop spending, $3k - store cards $3.3k - furniture $5.7k - honeymoon This are the symptoms of your past spending habits (possibly the medical if it was cosmetic). Its harder to fix when the kids come along. Good job selling stuff to reverse this a bit. The bit quoted above, learning to defe...
by sesq
Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession
Replies: 146
Views: 20151

Re: When saving money becomes an irrational obsession

I had a great uncle who always wanted to got to the Hiltop Steakhouse, north of Boston. A local joint, better than Outback, but nowhere near in price to say Morton's. His wife always told him they couldn't afford it. This went on for decades. When his wife died he learned that they had a passbook sa...
by sesq
Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home renovation funding
Replies: 36
Views: 2768

Re: Home renovation funding

Most 401(k) loan plans that I have seen are capped at the lesser of 50% of the balance or $50k. Make HEL or HELOC (or refi) more likely.
by sesq
Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 66
Views: 6772

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Like many here my wife and I generally agree on stuff. We just had a debate this past year about whether to do some renovations now or wait a year (my schedule stock vesting is a lot better then). We went back and forth and I ultimately agreed to move forward with the reno. On her pro side: This is ...
by sesq
Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard conundrum
Replies: 61
Views: 9284

Re: Backyard conundrum

H Golden 1 numbers: 1. APR(fixed) conventional at 3.25% | 2. 1.250% points | 3. NO PMI | 4. taxes/home insurance and mortgage is all included rasing our payment to $960/month for 15years!!!! | 5. new balance would be ~$138/k [/url] This would be a good/wise deal right? (I realize we are borrowing m...
by sesq
Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Slat Wall / Pegboard Systems for Garage Storage
Replies: 15
Views: 1800

Re: Best Slat Wall / Pegboard Systems for Garage Storage

I have the Gladiator gearwall stuff covering all the walls in my garage. Way more expensive than pegboard but I felt it was worth it. I bought it all in January when HD, Lowes, Amazon and Sears all had sales going. My wife and I (not especially handy) installed it all ourselves. The electric bill fr...
by sesq
Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard conundrum
Replies: 61
Views: 9284

Re: Backyard conundrum

I would look at the rates of the refi and its closing costs (assume you find a loan that folds them into the rate) versus the HELOC and build an amortization schedule for each in excel. Pick the one with the lower cost, although be wary of the variable rate on the HELOC, PMI (not likely unless your ...
by sesq
Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifting Money at Parties
Replies: 220
Views: 13628

Re: Gifting Money at Parties

Also, I've declined every co-worker wedding invite I've ever gotten. I don't socialize with them, and frankly I never understood why I was even invited just because our paychecks have the same company logo. And especially the invites to co-worker's children's weddings! So no doubt that's saved me f...
by sesq
Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on what to pay off first: mortgage or car payment
Replies: 23
Views: 2349

Re: Suggestions on what to pay off first: mortgage or car payment

If you are in the 25% bracket or higher its close to a push interest-wise (3.4*.75=2.55% vs 1.9%). Unless money burns a whole in your pocket in the form of upgraditis automotive I'd pay the car first to open up future cashflow benefits. I assume you already getting the match in your retirement plan ...
by sesq
Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Phantom" Tipping
Replies: 68
Views: 10742

Re: "Phantom" Tipping

And there are honest mistakes. My wife and I had a terrific meal and great service at a Ruth's Chris Steak House, and when they brought the check, it seemed... high... and I noticed it was for three steaks. The waitperson apologized and immediately carried that check to a nearby table with three pe...
by sesq
Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big Decision to Make
Replies: 58
Views: 8117

Re: Big Decision to Make

If you retain the ability to quit and leave, the wife is on board, then why not try. You and your wife have a better understanding of the middle east than many of us do. I will mention that a $1M NW isn't all that. Its not bad either. Crossing the line just didn't have the payoff that you might imag...
by sesq
Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mint + Santander
Replies: 3
Views: 559

Re: Mint + Santander

I have had an account for about 15 months and used Mint that entire time (used daily). I find that every account has periods where it updates poorly. Santander doesn't stick out as being bad in that regard. I like getting $20/mo.
by sesq
Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing over finances.
Replies: 70
Views: 6344

Re: Divorcing over finances.

Haven't been there, but probably yes. It would be a basic compatibility thing for me.
by sesq
Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: booking travel to Disney
Replies: 23
Views: 1980

Re: booking travel to Disney

I am going this week, family of 4. How I did it: Airfare - flying southwest on points transferred from chase's Ultimate rewards points (CC signups). Lodging: Starwood Swan 5 nights 40k spg points from a credit card sign up a couple years back and a biz stay or two. There are "resort fees" ...
by sesq
Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Improvement Projects
Replies: 9
Views: 1566

Re: Home Improvement Projects

Sometimes cash. Once it was timed around the time rates had dropped so I did a cash out refi (into a 5/1 ARM). Most recently I used my HELOC. I recently used the HELOC as a cheap refinance vehicle and despite recent 25k project I expect to pay it off next year and be debt free. None of my moves have...
by sesq
Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kids and TV Viewing - Your Thoughts?
Replies: 28
Views: 2610

Re: Kids and TV Viewing - Your Thoughts?

My kids are 6 & 9. We don't have hard and fast rules or quotas but all the screens are in common areas and subject to moderation by their parents. No protests, no appeals. My wife is stricter than me. What burns the nine year old up is that she can't have a personal device (e.g. tablet or ipod t...
by sesq
Thu May 28, 2015 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Sock drawered" credit cards.
Replies: 18
Views: 2702

Re: "Sock drawered" credit cards.

Unless your score is bad credit scores aren't worth much thought. That said, a sock drawered card helps you two ways - length of credit and overall utilization. Length of credit - if you/they close it - - IN TEN YEARS - - it will drop off your report that will alter your average age of credit. Barel...
by sesq
Thu May 28, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landscaping architect?
Replies: 12
Views: 1160

Re: Landscaping architect?

I used one. All in, I think it was about $7k on a (gasp) $75k+ job (patio, regrading, retaining wall, play area, swing set, stone steps, planting plans and plants, drainage work, new front walk, etc). It was money very well spent, especially since the contractors were difficult. The biggest issue fo...
by sesq
Mon May 18, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 12539

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I have done detailed calculations using both my current lifetime earnings and the impact of hitting the wage base max till I am 50 (earliest I could imagine retiring) and earning to FRA. I have computed that as a high earner I am already past the second "bend point" and thus my future bene...
by sesq
Mon May 18, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 74
Views: 12735

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

I once read an anology on another forum comparing the journey to financial independence to a giant moonshot worthy 4 stage booster rocket. The idea being that the size of the boosters and fuel required diminished as the rocket got higher up, momentum made things easier, gravity's pull grew weaker, e...
by sesq
Fri May 15, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6690

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

Yes , you are. But your retirement accounts (401k and IRA) has not been taxed yet. I personally calculate the value after tax, so take 25% off of that 500k. This way I can compare my retirement savings vs my taxable investments. This is my view also. Though the % estimate could be 20% or 30% or 40%...
by sesq
Thu May 14, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 102
Views: 11200

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

When we sold our first house in a subdivision with substantially identical units we had one go for a quick sale and it cut the us down at the knees once it came out of pending and became a comp. I'd rather compete head-to-head on the market than have to compete against the ghost of a quickly sold co...
by sesq
Thu May 14, 2015 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4862

Re: Networth question

I always include it in my net worth calc. But I am an accountant, so NW is assets less liabilities. I make an estimate of deferred taxes for my tax deferred accounts too (30%). I don't have any appreciated assets in a taxable account so there is no liability to compute there.
by sesq
Sun May 10, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophies of frugality.
Replies: 64
Views: 7208

Re: Philosophies of frugality.

I do question why I spend so much time worrying about relatively small re-occuring expenses and optimizing them. Things like the cable/phone bills or the house cleaners my wife hires. I am mid-career and doing well that none of these expenses matter in the big picture. My instinct though is to think...
by sesq
Sat May 09, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case FOR the Roth 401k
Replies: 46
Views: 4646

Re: The Case FOR the Roth 401k

I am an AMT tax payer who does not fully eliminate the AMT exclusion (thus a 34% rate), and I max out a Roth 401(k). For me its a question of the current rate versus my expected rate in retirement (including means testing impacts). To that end, I expect to be taxed at at least 25% in retirement, and...
by sesq
Sat May 09, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 262404

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

On Walmart Kiosk velocity limits - the machine locks up at $2k over 10 minutes or so. So assuming some one hasn't been doing loads just prior to you, you can load $500 x3 and $499.99 x1. So if you want to do $2,500 per trip you will need to kill some time in the middle, go shopping, people watch, wh...
by sesq
Sat May 09, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard playsets - worth it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2864

Re: Backyard playsets - worth it?

We bought something from a dealer for about $3k about 4 years ago. We haven't stained it yet, but it needs it this year. We have a good neighborhood with lots of kids. They fight a bit over who gets to use the swings, we have three, space for four may have made sense. We placed ours on an ocean of p...
by sesq
Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Inheritance
Replies: 34
Views: 2792

Re: Help with Inheritance

The default position around here is to favor investing versus reduce debt. That said, you have $387k of debt on a 95k income. I agree with the folks who suggest taking out the student loans, as that will have an immediate cash flow benefit. I would consider taking the mortgage out also. But if you d...
by sesq
Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several areas
Replies: 37
Views: 2363

Re: Take Two. New complicated member needs help in several a

With existing trad ira for both of you, are you really getting any benefit of back door roth? His Rollover IRA at Vanguard - 6% - Assumed trad ira His Traditional IRA at Vanguard - 7% Her Traditional IRA at Vanguard - 3.96 rounded to 4% Her Rollover IRA at Vanguard - 4.26% rounded down to 4% Total ...
by sesq
Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?
Replies: 98
Views: 11976

Re: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?

For Q1/Q2 - we all could make guesses, mine would be more educated for my wife's siblings since they ask me for advice. For Q3 - One of my brothers makes rich uncle comments about me to his (essentially grown) kids. He chose a family focused lifestyle and lives hand to mouth. Doesn't stop him from m...
by sesq
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Sammy Savers net worth?
Replies: 41
Views: 3901

Re: What is Sammy Savers net worth?

Less than $1M. His tax deferred accounts will be subject to some level of tax (with 25K of pension/ss income, though the SS may be excluded if he keeps is income below the threshhold), so he has a deferred tax liability of some amount. His taxable accounts have an unknown basis, so he may have a def...
by sesq
Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 257
Views: 25952

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mort

I would like to pay off my mortgage, but my behavior has been the other way. This year I am effectively borrowing money to put into equities, by making a net $40k draw on my HELOC while I max out 1. 401(k) - 18k 2. HSA - 6k 3. 2014 his/hers backdoor Roths - 11K 4. 529 plans, 2 kids - $28k And a bit ...
by sesq
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 commas and mortgage-free
Replies: 33
Views: 4877

Re: 2 commas and mortgage-free

Congrats from one who isn't there yet but closing in.
by sesq
Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?
Replies: 74
Views: 7950

Re: What Age Did You First Ponder Financial Independence?

As a teenager I would be in the car with my dad who was listening to Bob Brinker talk about critical mass. At about 19 my father showed me a compound interest chart of the impact of $2k contributions from 22 to 28 versus 35-ish to 65 (using 12% rates they both had a million bucks). It stuck with me ...
by sesq
Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ my mom's financial situation
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: Help w/ my mom's financial situation

blue, in answer to your quesitons 1) Do you know how much your mom will receive in Social Security? Your mom can register at http://www.ssa.gov to find out. She says she gets no SS benefits, she was a homemaker for most of her life and filed jointly with my dad pre-divorce. If she was married to yo...
by sesq
Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from NYC to Seattle, Must See places?
Replies: 12
Views: 1306

Re: Driving from NYC to Seattle, Must See places?

I am sure most of this not your taste, but my favorite collection of stuff is in the SD/Nebraska area. Starting with the corn palace, then onward to Rushmore (okay, stop at Wall Drug), then down to see Crazy Horse, then into Nebraska to check out Carhenge. If you are going skiing in Colorado you wan...
by sesq
Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What won't you pay with Credit Card?
Replies: 77
Views: 9913

Re: What won't you pay with Credit Card?

I try to avoid making charitable donations with a credit card because I want the charity to get the full value of my donation, if possible. (A few charities don't have any easy way to contribute other than a credit card/paypal link.) I just bump up my planned contribution by 2% to cover interchange...
by sesq
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 74% of car loans are subprime.
Replies: 29
Views: 2220

Re: 74% of car loans are subprime.

I heard Ramsey the other day lamenting that something like 82% of cars are financed, and 1/3 of those are subprime. If the number was 74% Ramsey would have been all over it. Still 20%+ of cars being purchase at subprime rates is alarming. Full disclosure - I once bought with a subprime note. My cred...
by sesq
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC vs Refi Strategy
Replies: 7
Views: 657

Re: HELOC vs Refi Strategy

I see a few local banks offering 1.99 or 1.72 or 2.49 for a 12 month teaser, then its generally prime (currently 3.25) + .25-1%. Most will ding you for the appraisal cost ($300-ish) if you close the line within 24 - 36 months. I refi'd my mortgage into one of these products and will pass the teaser ...
by sesq
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 5959

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

I am taking my family of four in June. We will be there during one of the star wars weekends (coincidence) which I enjoyed as a kid and my kids are fired up about. I bought my tix before the price hike, through orbitz, with an online portal bonus, and mostly offset by credit card points. Hotel, flig...
by sesq
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 260
Views: 262404

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Pretty good thread. The international redemption discussion is a side I have had few chances to explore (working, family). I disagree with one of your earliest bullets against hoarding. I find as long as I can MS with enough cashback to offset any fees I prefer to build up stockpiles in each of the ...
by sesq
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 280
Views: 49027

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

I appreciate the co-op discussion. It was actually my first thought when I read about this, but hadn't had time to brush up on the applicable rules.
by sesq
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics
Replies: 89
Views: 10883

Re: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics

tfb wrote:Dave Ramsey lashes out at critics the same way MMM lashes out at critics -- "Don't bug me with these details. Look at the big picture!" The details are kind of important.


Solid point.
by sesq
Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large Age Gap with Spouse/Partner
Replies: 63
Views: 5929

Re: Large Age Gap with Spouse/Partner

Keep in mind that older men (probably women too) can get set in their ways. A woman in my family married a fellow who was in his late 40s when she was in her late 20s. They proceeded to adopt and when grind kicked in she found this guy was less than a full partner is raising their kid. He had built ...
by sesq
Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics
Replies: 89
Views: 10883

Re: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics

Its funny that "we" pound on Ramsey but there are relatively few threads on Jim Cramer. I think he is arguably worse the way he pimps that he gives all his trading profits to charity but will happily pocket the cash from a subscription to preview his trades. I think the distinction is Rams...
by sesq
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 9165

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

I can empathize with how the prospect of a windfall can mess with your mind. I had a non-car serious accident at age 22 that led to product liability / personal injury litigation. I was in grad school at the time preparing for a career and the prospects of the case could have reached as high as $1M,...
by sesq
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which of these 3 Things Should I Focusing On First?
Replies: 10
Views: 1137

Re: Which of these 3 Things Should I Focusing On First?

In the absence of details I voted Roth, since each year's opportunity closes on 4/15 of the following year. Also, the Roth can double as a nuclear emergency fund. Though I'd likely hit the credit cards first.
by sesq
Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 280
Views: 49027

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

There are two things going on here: - terminated employee, - IRS whiste-blower bounty. Frankly, if I were in the position of this employee, I would also have tried to do this. If there is, say, 10% chance, that the courts side with him, then, in case, of winning, you accomplish two things: - you ca...
by sesq
Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different means
Replies: 108
Views: 9849

Re: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different me

On my mother's side, when her grandmother passed there was a fight about money and the combatants proceeded to never talk to each other again. My mother was a kid and remembered it vividly. She is a strong advocate of even-steven (absent special needs or something). Like everyone else here, I am the...

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