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Re: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?

I won't talk net worth with many (so far my wife and by best friend), but I love to talk personal finance. The only thing I really don't like is when people ask me, specifically, what to invest in. I'd like to say build a portfolio of index funds and adjust you AA to meet your goals. But "build...
by sesq
Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 66
Views: 5647

Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

It is effective to make me default to amazon for smaller orders because I like the speed of delivery, and sometimes bigger orders I want on a schedule. When the dollars add up I still shop around. I use the streaming service and it really pays off for us at Christmas. It also helps that I can get 5%...
by sesq
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning
Replies: 50
Views: 2796

Re: soundproofing walls

The AVS guys are the right source for answers. I also built a HT in my old house and used many of their techniques, very effective. A key question is what kind of noise are you trying to beat? Loud tv/stereo? Impact noise (crazy tough)? Normal conversation? Subwoofer? Another is what is the current ...
by sesq
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: soundproofing walls
Replies: 13
Views: 1556

Re: Sellers Won't Fix Leaking Roof; Fear of Additional Damag

The first time I tried to buy a house, I thought I was a big-shot and made what I hoped was a strong offer and put 5% down as earnest money, nearly 20k. We did the inspection and nothing major popped. We arranged for our mortgage and went on vacation. While on vacation the mortgage contingency date ...
by sesq
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers Won't Fix Leaking Roof; Fear of Additional Damage
Replies: 50
Views: 4570

Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

This kind of contradicts, but stick with me. 1. Be willing to invest into your company. Make sacrifices, show you are willing to go the extra mile. For me, willingness to move to meet the company's needs has been rewarded. 2. If your company doesn't respect your sacrifices, (after a reasonable amoun...
by sesq
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 4852

Re: Selling a home - 1st timer

I'll pile on. If you have any clutter and/or too much stuff, rent a storage locker and move all that stuff there. Making your place not look like a dump makes a big difference. You should mostly empty closets and storage areas so people can see and navigate. Second, get a magic eraser and deal with ...
by sesq
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a home - 1st timer
Replies: 26
Views: 2395

Re: when did Backdoor Roth first become available?

I was aware of the "backdoor" strategy before 2010 and had made a couple of non-deductible IRA contributions (not all years as funds had other demands) in anticipation of the change. I just googled it, the planned change (lifting the income limits) was part of a 2006 budget bill. http://ww...
by sesq
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when did Backdoor Roth first become available?
Replies: 6
Views: 999

Re: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll

I selected winds / tides. While we are both frugal, I will "throw money at a problem" and/or rationalize a cost/quality benefit. My wife feels compelled to give a lot more gifts than I do.
by sesq
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll
Replies: 18
Views: 1818

Re: Convince me not to incorporate in Delaware

Google Delaware, unclaimed property and Kelmar. Though that is a big-business issue more than your friend's issue. As pointed out by others, your friend's biz will have a physical presence in PA and need to file both sales tax and income tax returns in PA. Further, it will have a duty to collect PA ...
by sesq
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convince me not to incorporate in Delaware
Replies: 10
Views: 978

Re: garbage disposals - are these still used?

Yup. Use ours daily. Don't put cucumber peels in though. :shock: wow, really? I hope I remember that if we get one because I love my cukes. Luckily we're in the country but on city sewer. The peels are just the right shape to slip past the teeth and jam the disposal (no spinning). I have done it a ...
by sesq
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 3681

Re: garbage disposals - are these still used?

Yup. Use ours daily. Don't put cucumber peels in though.
by sesq
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 3681

Re: BJs Perks Plus or Citi Double Cash?

I am big into reward cards, so the more the merrier is my basic viewpoint. But I'd get both. Your wallet wouldn't be that tough to manage - Sallie for gas/groc/amazon (5%), BJ for BJ (3%), and DC for everything else 2%.
by sesq
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BJs Perks Plus or Citi Double Cash?
Replies: 1
Views: 345

Re: How much in I bonds do you own?

I bought 10k earlier last year to start an inflation adjusting emergency fund. I went to get another 10k and I had forgotten my password and how to reset was difficult. I managed to lock myself out and will need to call at some point. I am not too worried about it as the fixed looks to be at 0 for a...
by sesq
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much in I bonds do you own?
Replies: 29
Views: 3113

Re: Downside of putting condo in a trust

IANAL. I am in PA and my house is in a revocable trust. I have refi'd numerous times (4 times over 7 years? Maybe 5). It isn't a big deal, but some lender's don't want to deal with me, or have suggested an extra fee to review the trust. I have always been able to sho around and avoid that issue with...
by sesq
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downside of putting condo in a trust
Replies: 29
Views: 2835

Re: Recommendations for Family Trip to San Diego

We were there two years ago with a 4 and 7 year old. Legoland and the Corvette Diner were highlights. We also stayed at a hilton near Seaworld on a beach (public) where there was concrete firepits on the beach and we let the kids stay up late and roast marshmellows. Simple pleasures. I don't want to...
by sesq
Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Family Trip to San Diego
Replies: 16
Views: 1402

Re: switch to Bank of America HSA

I am sorry I can't answer your question, but I am perplexed by the answer the TD rep gave you. I was under the impression that once money has been put in an HSA the employee can roll over assets to wherever on wished. So it seems odd to me that you could not just leave the assets where they are rega...
by sesq
Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: switch to Bank of America HSA
Replies: 8
Views: 1041

Re: Can I retire early? 38 y/o

Did you consider Life Insurance, Disability Insurance , Umbrella Insurance, LTC, property taxes, house expenses etc? If one retired early, with a $4M NW (incl the building), I don't think one needs life insurance or disability insurance. In the first case, his departure would be one less mouth to f...
by sesq
Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire early? 38 y/o
Replies: 89
Views: 10515

Re: Spousal Dynamics on Finance

We are #1 (I run the finances soup to nuts), but I am not worried. I have been married 11 years. My wife was on her own paying rent and managing her checkbook fine before I came along. She didn't know a thing about investments. In the years together she now knows the difference between stocks and bo...
by sesq
Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Dynamics on Finance
Replies: 59
Views: 6889

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

IANAL but, I would imagine a dismissal hearing would just be part of a day, but the Judge's ruling will take time.
by sesq
Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 209
Views: 33285

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: 102
Views: 8243

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: 1036

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: 22476

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: 7791

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: 12854

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: 3732

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: 7412

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: 715

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: 4997

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: 1425

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: 3441

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: 4160

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: 19453

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: 3493

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: 5905

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: 803

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: 8747

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: 7497

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: 89501

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: 1237

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: 691

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: 691

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: 691

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: 18429

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: 18429

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: 7413

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: 833

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: 6122

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: 3149

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: 7273

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: 906
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