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Re: Another "Am I ready to buy?" post

I'd say you can definitely afford it; though how long do you anticipate you'd keep a 1BR condo? If kids in 5 years is a real possibility then it seems like such a purchase would be short-lived.
by yosef
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "Am I ready to buy?" post
Replies: 3
Views: 894

Re: Wife Expecting, Down to One Income Source

My wife hasn't worked in 9 years. She quit to be a SAHM with our son in 2005, and then life happened and it took longer than we wanted to have our second child. She will likely return to work in a couple of years. Without knowing anything about your specific financial situation, I'd say you will be ...
by yosef
Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife Expecting, Down to One Income Source
Replies: 116
Views: 8011

Re: Managing Finances - Categorizing on Mint

I try to keep things simple wrt Mint budgeting, which to me means considering these sorts of payments expenses (or outflows). To me, the bottom line is that the money is not available to be spent again. Modeling it as a transfer makes some sense, but why would you only model extra principal payments...
by yosef
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing Finances - Categorizing on Mint
Replies: 6
Views: 476

Re: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?

Maxing out 401k is good. Saving for the emergency fund is good. But you don't state how much you actually have going toward CC debt (or anything about your income). How long will it be until your CC debt is gone at your current pace? What is the interest rate? I'm guessing the answers will result in...
by yosef
Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?
Replies: 29
Views: 3114

Re: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?

Agree with most of what has been said. This is not about budgeting. This is about living within your means. The thread title is very misleading, OP thinks her husband is a spendthrift since he spends too much on plants. She on the other hand wants to save....for a ski lodge :oops: Do you seriously w...
by yosef
Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my husband a spendthrift? Or I a tightwad?
Replies: 198
Views: 15719

Re: Should I buy this house

- I am looking for some impartial advice on buying a home - I have an income of $450,000 which is stable for at least 3 more years after which may stay the same or could go down to 300,000 per year. My wife makes $220,000 which also is stable for 3 years - I would like to buy a home for $1,480,000....
by yosef
Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy this house
Replies: 37
Views: 2156

Re: Home affordability

You need to determine whether or not you can swing another $1000/month before you "buy in" to your dream house any more than you already have. Almost doubling your largest single expense also means that your existing emergency fund won't cover the same number of months if you buy this new...
by yosef
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Should I convert my TIRA/401k to Roth?

I don't understand the details, but I think having rolled over an old 401k to a TIRA complicates or prohibits doing backdoor Roths. Regardless, if you're still working then yes doing a conversion would likely result in a substantial tax bill. You'd likely be better off waiting until retirement (when...
by yosef
Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I convert my TIRA/401k to Roth?
Replies: 11
Views: 581

Re: Help for New Investor

You could direct your current DRIP and Roth contributions to the 401k to capture some additional tax benefits. Also your mortgage rate seems high; have you considered refinancing?
by yosef
Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for New Investor
Replies: 5
Views: 363

Re: My paycheck.

Once you hit the contribution limits for your tax deferred accounts, you'll start having federal tax withheld though, right? If I follow you correctly, you're essentially contributing 100% of your salary to retirement accounts and living off savings instead. I don't think you have anything to worry ...
by yosef
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My paycheck [all to Roth 457, living off savings]
Replies: 12
Views: 2187

Re: Home affordability

It doesn't seem that financial advice is what the OP is looking for here. Because I can't pay cash? That was more or less your suggestion right? I would look into the immediate area then! Home prices double outside of those two neighborhoods? Not quite double but get significantly more expensive ye...
by yosef
Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Home affordability

We could likely sell our existing home for ~$230k. Ideally, I'd like to purchase a new place for around $350k. But there isn't much available around that price. http://www.badgerflats.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Scratch-head2.jpg Perhaps you missed this sentence, cleverly hidden before that...
by yosef
Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Home affordability

To provide an update, I have a realtor coming by this week to discuss what I could sell my existing place for, and to get info on commissions, etc. Also got some detailed pricing info on the new community. No idea what we'll wind up doing, but we at least got up the nerve to get the ball rolling so ...
by yosef
Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Home affordability

Are you saying that in order to have a paid-off house in 2 decades or so, you need to hurry up and buy a more expensive house now? It doesn't quite work that way. As I admitted to another poster via PM, this was not a well thought out point and I readily admit that. I'm with your wife on that one, ...
by yosef
Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Home affordability

Part of this has to do with how stable your job is, and how tied to it you want to be. Part of our home affordability analysis was whether either of us could take a pay cut if a good opportunity came up. As for the burbs are the schools as good? If they are, the plus of having a cheaper house is yo...
by yosef
Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Home affordability

You mention your salary/income & that you have enough to cover a 20% downpayment. But what about your retirement savings? If buying this new house and taking on higher mortgage payments means you won't be able to continue your contributions to retirement plans at the max, I would say stay where...
by yosef
Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Home affordability

Some background: We purchased our current home in late 2004. Almost 10 years later, we have 2 kids (3 and 9) and all the "stuff" that goes along with them. We love the area we live in. Unfortunately, outside of our neighborhood and one other near us, housing in our immediate area is genera...
by yosef
Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2762

Re: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$

I don't understand why a builder would use electric if the home already has gas available. Costs aside, gas heaters are MUCH nicer. Electric heaters take much longer to heat up in my experience. I can tell you that our gas heater costs my family of 4 about $23-$25 a month to run. I know this because...
by yosef
Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$
Replies: 31
Views: 1832

Re: Investments for beginners.

With boglehead style investing, there's almost no real difference between "beginner investments" and those that the most knowledgeable people here use. The philosophy is simple: 1) You don't have to beat the market, you only have to match it. 2) Matching it is trivial due to index funds th...
by yosef
Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investments for beginners.
Replies: 6
Views: 582

Re: Roth IRA v. 401(k)

Sounds about right. It's mostly about your tax rate now vs retirement. Max the 401k first, but don't overlook a Roth if you are eligible since as you said it gives you some more flexibility to control your taxes in retirement.
by yosef
Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA v. 401(k)
Replies: 7
Views: 739

Re: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?

The early withdrawl penalty is 3 months interest. But perhaps more importantly for EF purposes is that they cannot be redeemed at all for the first year. So make sure you keep enough in cash or equivalent in case you need it during that time. Not sure how long it would actually take to put hands on ...
by yosef
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1216

Re: Am I in over my head?

I'm going to be the dissenting voice about the OP going to college. He doesn't like going to school, and he doesn't have a specific career he wants to train for. In that case, going to college just because that's what people his age are "supposed" to do is a waste of time and money. Don't...
by yosef
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4709

Re: Am I in over my head?

While I agree that the OP should certainly maximize his human capital, there's a bit of a troubling undertone in some of the posts in this thread. Who is a $9 an hour job good for and why is the OP so much better than that? What troubles you? To answer your question, a $9/hr job is good for a stude...
by yosef
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4709

Re: Am I in over my head?

You need some kind of post-HS education, period. It doesn't have to be a 4 year college, a community college program preparing you for a career that's in demand would be fine. Though I will point out a 4 year college would give you time to decide what you like and your money would almost surely allo...
by yosef
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I in over my head?
Replies: 51
Views: 4709

Re: First post, Investment Questions

Yes, statistics show that more often than not it's better to do a lump sum, but generally It's fine to dollar cost average in if you know that emotionally you can't handle a major drop right after you invest. That said, you should consider how long it will take you to get all your money invested at ...
by yosef
Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First post, Investment Questions
Replies: 31
Views: 1240

Re: roth ira funds help

Congrats on getting started so early. I think most folks on here would advise you to dump the USNQX. It's great that it's worked for you so far, but it's not nearly as diversified as TSM.
by yosef
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roth ira funds help
Replies: 19
Views: 778

Re: Lifestrategy Fund questions?

Yes, that works. The suggestion to use a TR fund is a good one also but keep in mind that allocation will gradually change based on the fund's glidepath. Lifestrategy funds maintain a fixed allocation.
by yosef
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lifestrategy Fund questions?
Replies: 8
Views: 772

Re: New Job 401K vs Roth401K Which One?

You shouldn't have to contribute the 2k to traditional depending on your other deductions since MAGI is what counts for the child tax credit phaseout. But, if you do contribute heavily to traditional, you should be able to get down to the 15% tax bracket (again depending on your other deductions). I...
by yosef
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Job 401K vs Roth401K Which One?
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Re: Holding Cash because Tried to time Market

So DCA in? Historically speaking it has been better to jump in with a lump sum. But there are no guarantees other than you can't win the game if you're not playing.
by yosef
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding Cash because Tried to time Market
Replies: 78
Views: 6554

Re: ATM did not dispense cash but account was debited

Yeah, this should be easy to resolve. You're probably not the only person this happened to and the ATM will be out of balance. Just contact the bank.
by yosef
Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM did not dispense cash but account was debited
Replies: 8
Views: 1821

Re: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 4

I wouldn't let it stop me from making a move I wanted to make.
by yosef
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 921

Re: Ally Bank CD

I've held a CD ladder with Ally as well as a savings account. I've since cashed in one CD upon the renewal date because they have lowered their bonus amount for renewing. As the other three CD's come due I plan not to renew them and I will transfer the cash back to my taxable Vanguard MM fund for f...
by yosef
Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank CD
Replies: 12
Views: 1631

Re: Ally Bank CD

I've been very happy with Ally. Their rates are very good but not typically the absolute highest if you are willing to go with a perhaps lesser known institution. But their website is nice, and the couple of times I have had to use their customer service it has been excellent. They have a tool now t...
by yosef
Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank CD
Replies: 12
Views: 1631

Re: HSA - how to decide if it is worth it?

Hello, There was a recent post on HSA which was very informative on how valuable a HSA is (by letting the assets in it grow and saving receipts for later). My question is how to decide if it is worth it to get a high deductible health plan in order to get an HSA? We currently have a standard PPO he...
by yosef
Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - how to decide if it is worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1026

Re: Downsizing emergency fund

I already max all tax deferred accounts What does that mean? $17.5k in a 401(k)? $5.5k in an IRA? 401(k) + Roth IRA? How about $52k in a 401(k)? Maybe a Mega-backdoor Roth is in order. Is a HDHP w/ an HSA appropriate? Do you have kids? What about 529s? $17.5K in my 401k and $5.5k in his and her Rot...
by yosef
Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Downsizing emergency fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1434

Re: Downsizing emergency fund

Your EF isn't related to your net worth. It is related to your spending and the cost of possible emergencies. This is why people tend to size their EF in terms of a number of months worth of spending. A lot of people use the cost of finding new employment after a job loss or the cost of major medic...
by yosef
Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Downsizing emergency fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1434

Downsizing emergency fund

I was laid off from my job with a mega-corp a few months ago. I found something else right away, and it actually wound up being a bit of a windfall for me as the severance package I was given was pretty good. I was just paid the last of what I'm owed by my former company, and now that I step back an...
by yosef
Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Downsizing emergency fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1434

Re: Reducing time spent paying bills

All bills auto pay with cash-back credit card. Cash back credit card auto pays in full from checking account. Done, and you get money back to boot :D
by yosef
Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing time spent paying bills
Replies: 25
Views: 1763

Re: Smartest way to fund new car purchase?

Trader Joe wrote:Well it looks like you are no where near debt free, having $265,000 of debt. Given your circumstances I would first pay off my debt. Then I would consider buying a used car if my current one needed replacing.


So he should pay off his mortgage before buying even a used car huh?
by yosef
Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smartest way to fund new car purchase?
Replies: 20
Views: 1562

Re: Newly Minted Boglehead - Several Questions.

You don't mention what your expenses are but I'd say you have quite a ways to go before you need to worry about your emergency fund being too large. I'd definitely agree with beefing that up substantially. Online savings rates are ~1% and once you have a cushion there you can move to CDs/iBonds/etc ...
by yosef
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly Minted Boglehead - Several Questions.
Replies: 8
Views: 1107

Re: Two factor identification and your password safe

Food for thought regarding the security of storing your password safe on USB:

http://www.wired.com/2014/07/usb-security/
by yosef
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two factor identification and your password safe
Replies: 31
Views: 2076

Re: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?

First names always. Definitely don't do the "Mom and Dad" thing with in-laws, despite being fairly close to them. The whole Mr. and Mrs. thing just feels pretty dated to me, especially once married. We're all adults.
by yosef
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?
Replies: 84
Views: 4866

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

stoptothink, I think you are taking Professor Emeritus' posts too personally. His point of view, which I think I share, is at the end of the day, the grandfather is to blame for not providing for his children and the wicked stepmother partially to blame for not honoring her husband's wishes to the ...
by yosef
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 11197

Re: Cloud Base Password Manager

I use 1Password, which allows you to sync via Dropbox or iCloud. Works wonderfully, integrates with all web browsers, and even has an excellent iPhone app. Not to mention the 1Password folks have written some ridiculously detailed blog posts (http://blog.agilebits.com) about how they approach secur...
by yosef
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Base Password Manager
Replies: 14
Views: 1025

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

As you can see from my comments above, I do have a bit of an expectation for a modest inheritance. And naturally, I would like to provide as much as I can for my children after my death. But lately I feel a bit conflicted on this topic, because in aggregate I feel like passing significant wealth thr...
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 11197

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

Agreed about step-parents complicating things. My mother passed away about 4 years ago, and less than a year later my father remarried. He lives almost entirely on a pension + SS, so any monetary inheritance is likely going to be small. But he does have a house and obviously a lot of "stuff&qu...
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 11197

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

Agreed about step-parents complicating things. My mother passed away about 4 years ago, and less than a year later my father remarried. He lives almost entirely on a pension + SS, so any monetary inheritance is likely going to be small. But he does have a house and obviously a lot of "stuff&qu...
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 11197

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

Agreed about step-parents complicating things. My mother passed away about 4 years ago, and less than a year later my father remarried. He lives almost entirely on a pension + SS, so any monetary inheritance is likely going to be small. But he does have a house and obviously a lot of "stuff&quo...
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 11197

Re: Your opinion of mint.com

At my big bank, Mint.com claimed that they didn't need to store my password, but I'm not sure what else they're storing instead. If it's a hash of my password, which I've seen mentioned in a few places, then that's not secure even though it may have been secure in the early 2000s for some purposes....
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your opinion of mint.com
Replies: 38
Views: 3218

Re: HDHP vs PPO (least bad choice)

You don't mention if you have any dependents. If it's just you, the HDHP probably makes sense. I think it is much harder to make the case for it however if you have dependents, particularly children. Mostly because the deductible typically goes up a lot and children seem to need non-preventative car...
by yosef
Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs PPO (least bad choice)
Replies: 13
Views: 847
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