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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: 161
Views: 9589

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: 63
Views: 9182

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: 6315

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: 26
Views: 3753

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: 4256

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: 60
Views: 5783

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: 4168

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: 141041

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: 2550

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: 2669

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: 2091

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: 11537

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: 3735

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: 23535

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: 4639

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: 7566

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: 1852

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: 1217

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: 9074

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: 2086

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: 619

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: 5486

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: 141041

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: 47973

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: 10489

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: 5714

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: 10489

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: 8817

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: 1073

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: 47973

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: 9497

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...
by sesq
Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?
Replies: 84
Views: 6776

Re: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?

I've tried everything but I keep coming back to the BB non-iron slim fits. I wish they were a little cheaper and the elbows didn't tear so easily, but I haven't found any off-the-rack shirts that match up in terms of fit, look, and comfort. I stopped buying them because of the elbow tear issue, so ...
by sesq
Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fully Depreciated Rental Condo - Question
Replies: 31
Views: 1593

Re: Fully Depreciated Rental Condo - Question

Is there a need to sell? Is it practical/possible to hold the property to death and let the heir's receive it with a stepped up basis? Will the total estate be over $5M? If cash is needed, is borrowing an option versus a sale? There is no need to sell. I was just trying to find out what the tax con...
by sesq
Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fully Depreciated Rental Condo - Question
Replies: 31
Views: 1593

Re: Fully Depreciated Rental Condo - Question

Is there a need to sell? Is it practical/possible to hold the property to death and let the heir's receive it with a stepped up basis? Will the total estate be over $5M? If cash is needed, is borrowing an option versus a sale?
by sesq
Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a mess?
Replies: 31
Views: 4043

Re: am I mess?

How stable is your employment? I'd strongly consider paying the 11% loan off with half the emergency fund. Then apply the past car payment to building it back up. I'd then discuss with the wife that purchasing a house isn't in the cards for at least 24 month. Any mortgage you would get with a 650 sc...
by sesq
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americas best 401-k ?
Replies: 11
Views: 1493

Re: Americas best 401-k ?

My father worked for a company where they undid the pension in the 1980's and replaced it with 401(k), but wasn't looking for cost savings, just risk reduction. They were also fairly paternal to the employees, and didn't want people to miss out. They set the match at 5 to 1 for the first 1%. I was a...
by sesq
Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Rewards Card Users (Airline)
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Question for Rewards Card Users (Airline)

The advice above is good. As a general rule, a name brand "airline/hotel" specific card is going to deposit with the FF account and not be tied to the card. The only thing you then lose would be miles from the last month's purchases when you cancel. In rare instances there are clawback pro...
by sesq
Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 38
Views: 2962

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

For those who contribute to 529's, which seems like the minority, I am curious what their goal is for their balance. My goal is to save enough so they have enough for 3 years private, which by its nature should be more than 4 years public. I like to think I will then let them make choices, but I ma...
by sesq
Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 87
Views: 9682

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
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning
Replies: 50
Views: 3092

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
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: soundproofing walls
Replies: 13
Views: 1654

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 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers Won't Fix Leaking Roof; Fear of Additional Damage
Replies: 58
Views: 6162

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
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 5304

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
Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a home - 1st timer
Replies: 26
Views: 2652

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
Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when did Backdoor Roth first become available?
Replies: 6
Views: 1065

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
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll
Replies: 18
Views: 1972

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 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convince me not to incorporate in Delaware
Replies: 10
Views: 1032

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
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 3849

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 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garbage disposals - are these still used?
Replies: 52
Views: 3849

Re: garbage disposals - are these still used?

Yup. Use ours daily. Don't put cucumber peels in though.
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: 378

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%.

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