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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: 23
Views: 1846

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: 37
Views: 3206

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: 2766

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: 1259

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: 3309

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: 2237

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: 2723

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: 2018

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: 2864

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: 3300

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: 4308

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: 19738

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: 18885

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: 2472

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: 190
Views: 15800

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: 2103

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: 2777

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: 10940

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: 9445

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: 4455

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: 1234

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: 11610

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: 895

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: 1802

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: 2457

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: 1710

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: 9179

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: 3394

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: 7027

Re: Am I being cheap?

Is this or is this not the ring she expects to wear every single day for the rest of her life?

I don't wear a ring, but if I did, I would not think that $2k-$5K was too much given the amount of use.

But I don't think going into debt to pay that is a good idea. Just save up.
by sls239
Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being cheap? [wedding/engagement ring]
Replies: 192
Views: 9210

Re: Fly or drive? Not just time vs. money anymore

With two adults and a newborn traveling in the winter, flying is probably easiest. I don't happen to think a connection is a big deal either. I would rather be stuck in an airport (newborn needn't be strapped into anything) waiting for a connection than stuck on the highway (with the baby strapped i...
by sls239
Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive [with a newborn]?
Replies: 58
Views: 4793

Re: Auto and Home Insurance Quotes

AAA

They run credit for a discount off rates, but I've been in 3 different states and AAA has consistently been cheapest.
by sls239
Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto and Home Insurance Quotes
Replies: 14
Views: 1206

Re: Lenovo vs Surface Pro 3

I got the Lenovo with the I3 processor in June. The Surface is nice, but the price difference, especially considering you have to buy the keyboard separately just wasn't going to happen. The only glitch I've had is that in "tent" mode the screen keyboard doesn't want to let me login to Win...
by sls239
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lenovo vs Surface Pro 3
Replies: 20
Views: 1688

Re: Is buying organic worth it financially in the long term?

I think a good organic certification (preferably beyond the USDA) is worth it for meats because of the antibiotic issue and the "closing the circle" issue. And for now, I'm sticking with organic dairy because I think there is rampant lying about rBGH use in conventional milk production and...
by sls239
Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic worth it financially in the long term?
Replies: 124
Views: 8609

Re: Boglehead family vacations

Spring break is actually a good time to visit the Grand Canyon weather wise or anything else in the desert you might want to see. For a cruise - there are two times when you can get the best prices - one is right when the dates become available, more than a year in advance, and the other is "la...
by sls239
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 44
Views: 4318

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar. 86% of rental cost

I'm not seeing what you are seeing. The road that goes smack down the middle of DFW is a toll road. The toll part, afaik, starts as soon as you get on that road, but I've only been on the north end of it. If there's some secret south entrance I don't know about, I'd love to know. Edited - apparently...
by sls239
Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 10614
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