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Re: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?

If paying down the mortgage allows you to take more risk in other parts of your portfolio, then there is your justification. Since many people want to reduce risk as they get older, paying down the mortgage could also substitute for that. Also you can also get closer to justifying it if the duration...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?
Replies: 14
Views: 833

Re: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?

Of course it is an oversimplification to say that you will get exactly the expected value.

The chances of getting exactly the expected value are quite low.

But that doesn't negate the meaning of expected value.
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?
Replies: 34
Views: 1832

Re: Vehicles are much safer! (just in the last few years)

I wonder if cash for clunkers played a role in getting some unsafe vehicles off the streets. Or more widespread use of GPS tracking systems in long-distance hauling might have played a role. Or stricter laws against cellphone use. I wonder if the single vehicle fatal crash rates would show a signifi...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 13
Views: 690

Re: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?

I don't see the expected 0.67% difference that meowcat is suggesting should be there. I am not saying that the actively managed fund is better, and i am not even really saying that it is *the same*, i am saying that the differences are *small*. Actually what you are saying is that they have been sm...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?
Replies: 34
Views: 1832

Re: Determining House Needs

It isn't just about size, it is also about layout. And changing the layout of a house can be harder even than changing the size. When we bought our first house in 2006, we chose one with the master on the same floor and close to the secondary bedrooms. This is handy when you are going in at night, w...
by sls239
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining House Needs
Replies: 10
Views: 950

Re: I'm thinking about making very large 529 contributions A

No, I will wait until college is within 7 years, which is the length of time it takes for the extra expenses of the state's 529 fund options to eat up the tax deduction they offer.

In the meantime, I'm sticking with the ESA and Vanguard's admiral funds.
by sls239
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm thinking about making very large 529 contributions ASAP
Replies: 71
Views: 5266

Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

We are pushing up against the 25% bracket after many years in the 15% bracket. Knowing this might happen, we've always maxed our roth contributions so they currently make up a full third of our retirement savings. There's no roth option for the 401k and the funds available are not the cheapest, but ...
by sls239
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2529

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

So what I do is streaming for several months, then a 2 at a time DVD plan for a few months.

It works out well.

Is it possible that the mail just bogs down over the holidays?
by sls239
Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 39
Views: 3544

Re: When is cash still king?

Garage sales
Craigslist
State fair
Local donut shop
Newspaper vending machines
School / municipal park concession stands
by sls239
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 2795

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Wood or laminate in the kitchen seems gross to me. Imagine a drop of "chicken juice" going into the seam... You can't bleach a wood floor.
by sls239
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 29
Views: 2858

Re: Transition to a single income household

We didn't plan to be single income this long either. The major change is missing the routine of going to work. Being a SAH spouse is almost like ADD is being forced upon you. There is a huge variety of tasks that are required and while some things have schedule flexibility, others have barely any. A...
by sls239
Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition to a single income household
Replies: 16
Views: 1262

Re: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question

We had a Civic (hybrid) and an Accord up until 2 months ago when the Civic got replaced by a hatchback. The Civic was fine for daily trips, or trips with 2 people. But when all 3 of us were going on a road trip or camping, we used the Accord. However if you are considering more children, I'd suggest...
by sls239
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question
Replies: 55
Views: 3318

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

Do either of you have other financial goals other than retirement?

Like possibly wanting to start a business, donate to charities, or care for an aging parent?
by sls239
Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 1941

Re: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?

If the account is a joint account but the check is made out only to him, then I think the bank will want an endorsement.

Is he married?
by sls239
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Deposit a Check for Someone Else in Their Account?
Replies: 27
Views: 2239

Re: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?

What does your atty say?
by sls239
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 2724

Re: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?

I'm going to disagree a little. I think you should pay the mortgage down until the LTV is 80% or less. Nothing sucks more than having a pregnant wife and having to bring money to the table to sell a 1bd condo. (It happens a lot.) That said, I cannot emphasize enough how much you are hurting yourself...
by sls239
Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 2021

Re: Emergency Road Service..........

It really depends on where you are and what coverage they have for the area. In my experience, in Austin AAA could show up quickly enough that you could get back from lunch on time or get to the airport in time for your flight. But 50 miles outside of Pecos was a 2 hour wait, which began with much c...
by sls239
Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Emergency Road Service..........
Replies: 36
Views: 2867

Re: Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

I'm confused.

You keep saying it would save you $12K / year.

But if you moved into the 2006 house, yes you would pay $12K less, but you would also lose the $500 / month extra you are getting from renting out the 2006 house.

So what is the net cost of staying in the 20s house?
by sls239
Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should We Stay Or Should We Go?
Replies: 33
Views: 4098

Re: Can we afford to buy a home?

The math here is pretty simple. You are putting $1K / month into savings You are paying $400 in rent. Changing the housing to $1300 / month would leave you with a paltry $100 / month for savings which would almost certainly be eaten up by maintenance expenses and items generally needed for home-owne...
by sls239
Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to buy a home?
Replies: 41
Views: 3303

Re: Games

We like to do little adventure games on the PC together. Good ones lately have been The Longest Journey series - which just released it's 3rd, and The Book of Unwritten Tales. We've also been known to crank up the difficulty on a game like Civilization and play as a team. With most games the differe...
by sls239
Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Games
Replies: 38
Views: 4313

Re: Repair or Replace Car?

That Camry is worth more than $1500. Flat out.

As for stollers - try the Joovy Caboose.
by sls239
Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or Replace Car?
Replies: 13
Views: 1703

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION

2023.1
by sls239
Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 556
Views: 19740

Re: Average amount saved for retirement by age

I would not expect the distribution of retirement savings to look like a normal distribution so using the average or even the median just doesn't make sense. It is probably more like an S curve. Because the lower the income, the higher the proportion of social security payout to income will be. So t...
by sls239
Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Average amount saved for retirement by age
Replies: 92
Views: 18888

Re: Poll: How long have you been with your current AA?

I'm in the camp that changed due to less perceived need to take risk. But it was an ad-hoc decision, not the result of a predetermined trigger event. I feel like I need some sort of policy going forward - but the thought of planing out the entire rest of my investing life, up to and past retirement ...
by sls239
Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: How long have you been with your current AA?
Replies: 44
Views: 2475

Re: What do you drive, and why?

2013 Mazda 3

I was looking for a hatchback and it hit the price / reliability / fun stuff combination right.
by sls239
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 16986

Re: Another Down Payment Math Problem

Well I don't know what property taxes and insurance are like in your area, but less than $2K / month for a property worth $325K sounds likely to be a good deal. I'm not sure I'd be interested in buying unless I was interested in making some market prediction - which I am not. However, if you are sti...
by sls239
Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Down Payment Math Problem
Replies: 14
Views: 2106

Re: Buying Mazda CX-5 - to wait or not to wait?

Waiting doesn't necessarily do you any good. It sounds like you might be pushing the price limit for the exact vehicles you've negotiated on. Did they have additional features you didn't want? Can you find one that has fewer additional features? If not, then I would increase the offering price a lit...
by sls239
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Mazda CX-5 - to wait or not to wait?
Replies: 16
Views: 2059

Re: Target Retirement Funds - are they the AA you would choo

No. By age / date we'd be 2060 or so. Our AA currently looks more like 2035 or so. But it will not continue to taper as quickly as the 2035. We don't to a linear change, but we don't follow the TR glide paths either. It is somewhere in between. We are single income, LCOL area and have been saving re...
by sls239
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Target Retirement Funds - are they the AA you would choose?
Replies: 32
Views: 2783

Re: Helping Mom Healthcare

To be honest, if she is not wanting to apply for assistance when she clearly needs it, I have to suggest that she maybe isn't as "young minded" as you wish her to be. As for her being able to stay in the home, if she is needing healthcare multiple times a day that family cannot provide, th...
by sls239
Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Mom Healthcare
Replies: 19
Views: 1473

Re: What should I do? [Reversing transaction from wrong acco

What did the transaction confirmation say? You need to be clear about exactly what you want. You are obviously going to confuse them if you call once and are upset that they didn't let the purchase through, and then when they call you back and say they can let the purchase through, giving you what y...
by sls239
Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What should I do? [Reversing transaction from wrong account]
Replies: 20
Views: 1863

Re: What % of net worth is your home?

LCOL at 34 and 40 yo. Market value of home is about 1/3 the market value of the investment portfolio. Home equity is about 1/16 of current total net worth. (13.5 years left out of 15 @ 2.85%). I simply don't believe in a "forever" house. When we re-located for work, I took the opportunity ...
by sls239
Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of net worth is your home?
Replies: 127
Views: 10987

Re: Most/Least Boglehead 2014 Activity?

Most: Paid cash for a newer used car
Least: Paid cash for a newer used car
by sls239
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most/Least Boglehead 2014 Activity?
Replies: 93
Views: 9450

Re: Car purchase: Buy or Finance

What fees in addition to interest are associated with the financing? I tend to think if you absolutely know you are buying brand new, that financing is often reasonable. Where paying cash can really save you money is in getting a used car (because used car rates are higher). I'd also suggest putting...
by sls239
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car purchase: Buy or Finance
Replies: 41
Views: 4463

Re: long term capital gains in 15% bracket

What about state capital gains taxes?

They aren't as large, but in the 15% federal bracket, it is easy for state taxes to be at least half that much.
by sls239
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: long term capital gains in 15% bracket
Replies: 5
Views: 1236

Re: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, par

I'll buy the ESC, there is strong data to support that. But major safety improvements like ESC don't happen every year. Maybe not even every 10 years. Anybody in the car industry here know of anything in the pipeline that would even approach the breakthrough that ESC was? And I can't help but think ...
by sls239
Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 139
Views: 11613

Re: Replacement Car Savings

How funny - up until last week I had a 2003 Civic and was dithering the same way about trying to wait it out for the Tesla. My car actually needed a substantial repair though, so that tilted in favor of go ahead and getting a newer car. I switched to a 2013 Mazda 3. When I did the math, the Mazda 3 ...
by sls239
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement Car Savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1628

Re: Home Mortgage payoff

When do you expect your next car purchase? (For you, SO, or kids)

If I had to choose between a mortgage at a fixed 3.37% and a car loan at some yet to be determined future interest rate...
by sls239
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Mortgage payoff
Replies: 22
Views: 2592

Re: In the event that your employer is hacked...

Honestly - I think everyone should probably behave as if someone already does have their data. Obviously once someone has your data, it can't be undone, you have no control over where it goes after that. There are enough old doctors offices and what not such that much of your data was never secure t...
by sls239
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In the event that your employer is hacked...
Replies: 5
Views: 896

Re: funds which glide in <10 years

If you look at what you are suggesting, it is essentially a 50/50 split on average. But instead of trying to predict what the market is going to do (and 6-8 years is a very narrow time window for predictions), you could just do the 50/50 split from the get-go. I see no reason to think that it is mor...
by sls239
Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: funds which glide in <10 years
Replies: 7
Views: 953

Re: Car buying questions ...

I think this depends on what state you are in. I bought a newer car last week. I looked up pretty much the exact vehicle I wanted and went to the dealer that had it. We basically talked in terms of out the door prices the whole time, including my trade in. In this state you don't pay taxes or whatno...
by sls239
Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Car buying questions ...
Replies: 10
Views: 1803

Re: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera

Honestly, so many parents have DSLRs and can e-mail you the pictures. (And many parents don't know how to use them or forget their manners when they are using them.) Also, there is professional photography. What you get with a good camcorder is good sound. Those first sounds and early attempts at sp...
by sls239
Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camcorder vs. iPhone vs. DSLR Camera
Replies: 39
Views: 2459

Re: How do you contribute to your IRA?

Crazy hybrid method.

$550 / month, 10 months of the year.
by sls239
Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you contribute to your IRA?
Replies: 33
Views: 1712

Re: Pay down mortgage or do nothing?

Not claiming extravagant math skills but 4% (Or even 3.75% if you get the tax deduction) is higher than the 20 year treasury rate so I think the extra $166 / month makes sense for now.

You can always stop paying extra if rates go higher.
by sls239
Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down mortgage or do nothing?
Replies: 27
Views: 2545

Car Repair

There are various "rules of thumb" about how much to spend repairing a car versus how much the car is worth. But I'd like to question the validity of that. Given two identical cars, but one needs a $3K repair at 5 years old, when the value of the car itself is still reasonably high, but th...
by sls239
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Repair
Replies: 1
Views: 344

Re: High(ish) earner; spending too much?

Do you have financial goals beyond funding your retirement?

For example are you interested in a significant amount of charitable giving or would you like to start your own business, make your money active in politics (perhaps run for office yourself), or anything along those lines?
by sls239
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High(ish) earner; spending too much?
Replies: 71
Views: 9182

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

Those who attend specialty math science high schools are probably working on or towards already doing original research. I think that most of what has been suggested is probably either tangential to his research interests or well below his level. So I would actually head in a different direction, an...
by sls239
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3396

Re: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?

Any 1st generation Prius owners out there? My 2002 Prius has 144,000 miles. Averaging about 44-45 mpg these days. Recently switched to a harder tire (Michelin Defender) from the OEM Bridgestones in an effort to approve tire longevity. Slight mpg hit but the tires are definitely wearing better. Not ...
by sls239
Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why So Many Used Prius for Sale?
Replies: 51
Views: 7033
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