Search found 636 matches

by NorCalDad
Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?
Replies: 180
Views: 8152

Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

Also, applying to Ivy League/highly ranked medical schools, law schools, or graduate schools might be easier to gain admission to if one comes from a top notch undergraduate university......some argue in favor of this view; others feel that one does not have to go to Ivy League/highly ranked med sc...
by NorCalDad
Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family
Replies: 38
Views: 3601

Re: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family

I thought this was going to be a question about whether you should vacation with or without your kids! I think you should feel free to travel where you please now. I don't know if you plan to settle down, but you'll wish you traveled the world more for yourself should you have kids. I agree with the...
by NorCalDad
Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2
Replies: 27
Views: 1723

Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

I recently replaced a failing iPhone 5c with a used 5c for $115. My plan had been to have the 5c tide me over until this week's iPhone release, but my used 5c works so well I may go another year or more with it. For starters, I'd look for a used iPhone 5 for your wife. As for the watch - I'm a high-...
by NorCalDad
Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is ready for iphone 7?
Replies: 149
Views: 11647

Re: Who is ready for iphone 7?

I'm ready for it. I usually get a new iPhone every 2 years. All I do is renew my contract with Sprint and trade in my old iPhone to get the upgraded phone for less than $20. At least I hope they would still offer me that deal this year. I used to be an Android guy but the simplicity of the iPhone k...
by NorCalDad
Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is ready for iphone 7?
Replies: 149
Views: 11647

Re: Who is ready for iphone 7?

I had regularly upgraded every two years on AT&T until they switched their pricing/subsidy policy in the last 18 months. AT&T did me a huge favor because I discovered MVNOs and went off contract, saving a ton of money each month. And since I now have to pay full price for our phones, I am fa...
by NorCalDad
Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TERM Life Insurance Only On Breadwinner?
Replies: 16
Views: 954

Re: TERM Life Insurance Only On Breadwinner?

Who will take care of your child if your wife dies? You will need to go to work. Price out day care and after care, My daughter pays $1500 a month for each child and you will pay for after school care until you get off work and can pick your child up). I'm 68 and we take care of 2 young grand kids ...
by NorCalDad
Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you view debt?
Replies: 108
Views: 6557

Re: How do you view debt?

I see debt as a tool. My bottom line is building long-term net worth. I believe our net worth in 30 years will be higher if we invest rather than pay down our historically low-interest, deductible mortgage interest. I'd feel differently, however, if I weren't in my prime accumulation years and my in...
by NorCalDad
Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maxing out 401k and Traditional IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 338

Re: Maxing out 401k and Traditional IRA

I agree with Nightfall. Also, since you are newly above the Roth limit, make absolutely sure that you have maximized your relevant above-the-line deductions before ruling out your Roth eligibility. Based on gross income, we are tens of thousands above the Roth limit. But since we can reduce our modi...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 and 29 y.o. married couple portfolio and plans
Replies: 17
Views: 2557

Re: 30 and 29 y.o. married couple portfolio and plans

You guys are doing fine savings wise. Keep at it. One observation: you mention an early retirement goal, as well as having kids in the next three years, all while remaining in NYC. Kids are expensive anywhere, but particularly in New York. Assuming you both have to work (at least when you're not off...
by NorCalDad
Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 4128

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

If you go through with this, I'd plan on lots of breaks and one extra night each way. And, depending on your comfort with your 3-year-old watching video, plenty of time with an iPad. If I were you, I'd fly. You and your wife can get TSA PreCheck to have a better chance at avoiding long security line...
by NorCalDad
Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Try to Fix Old LED TV or Buy New
Replies: 57
Views: 2887

Re: Try to Fix Old LED TV or Buy New

Looks like you already bought another TV, and I can't say I blame you given how cheap they are now. My TV cost somewhere in the range of $1,200 on sale when I bought it to watch the 2008 Olympics in HD; it's amazing how a TV with more features can now be had for under $300. If you're interested in k...
by NorCalDad
Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To pay or not to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 14
Views: 1349

Re: To pay or not to pay off mortgage?

Great feedback from all. Delamer and CppCoder, we are pretty solidly in the 28%/jointly so I am not giving much consideration to tax implications. While the 10 or 15 yr notes seem reasonable, I bought the home about a year ago and am not really up to refinancing again. Agree with delamer and Coder....
by NorCalDad
Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage, budgeting, and taxable accounts
Replies: 41
Views: 2837

Re: Marriage, budgeting, and taxable accounts

I think the OP's approach is fraught with problems. Logically, I agree with where he is coming from. But I think it's problematic because it makes his spouse feel guilty. The only way in which I think you relieve this guilt is if you say that you intend to spend this invested savings on a major purc...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our beach house?
Replies: 11
Views: 1788

Re: Should we sell our beach house?

I'd sell it. In past threads, when people have advocated for keeping or buying a vacation property, they've mentioned some intangible, emotional attachment to it. From a financial and time perspective, though, it doesn't seem worth it to me. I can have the same access to a rental property without th...
by NorCalDad
Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas grill recommendations please
Replies: 52
Views: 2380

Re: Gas grill recommendations please

Our old Kenmore died after 11 years, many more years than we probably deserved for what we paid. I looked into repairing it but ran into so many roadblocks that I decided it would be worth buying a Weber for the first time. It comes with a 10-year warranty and the major components, plus I figure I'l...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on one income so partner can go to school
Replies: 31
Views: 2624

Re: Living on one income so partner can go to school

You've done well to save $345,000 on those incomes at your age. 1) Why would your husband want to take out a 3.5% loan with 1% origination but pay off a 2% loan? Even accounting for interest tax deduction, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I can understand wanting more cash, but you'd be payin...
by NorCalDad
Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage immediately? Or keep plugging along?
Replies: 57
Views: 4309

Re: Pay off mortgage immediately? Or keep plugging along?

It may be helpful to know the rate and term of the loan and whether or not you are able to get a tax deduction on any of the interest. Based on how much you have saved in retirement accounts and your age, my first impression (without knowing the terms of your mortgage) would be to keep the loan and...
by NorCalDad
Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Housing/mortgages the boglehead way
Replies: 20
Views: 1865

Re: Housing/mortgages the boglehead way

Agree with Moose on babies not needing much space. Our first child spent his first 2.5 years in the small 1,000-sf starter home we bought as a young couple. As we planned for our second, we moved to a 4/2, 1,850-sf home. It is enough space for four of us, though considered small by today's standards...
by NorCalDad
Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help moderate-income family get ducks in a row?
Replies: 24
Views: 2473

Re: help moderate-income family get ducks in a row?

Some thoughts: 1) Life insurance: I'd explore a term life policy outside your employer and increase your coverage significantly. I'd suggest the same for your spouse, but given the health situation, what you have may be what you can get there. 2) You mention 403b rather than 401k; does this mean tha...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Auto Loan Vs. Investing
Replies: 36
Views: 2475

Re: Auto Loan Vs. Investing

However, the OP mentions only a (singular) 401k, so presumably there are unused tax-sheltered investment options, such as her 401k, her spousal TIRA (if she has no employer plan), her Roth IRA, or his Roth IRA. Here, the safe investment would have to guarantee "only" 3% ... still a fail. ...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on How to Keep our Roth IRAs?
Replies: 6
Views: 1071

Re: Advice on How to Keep our Roth IRAs?

I would probably just do what you laid out: $18k traditional 401k + $18k wife's traditional 401k to reduce your AGI below $184,000. Agree with others that you should use traditional 401k rather than Roth. Unless, say, you plan to move to California in retirement, where you'd pay state income taxes (...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 27, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running in new pair of shoes
Replies: 41
Views: 2572

Re: Running in new pair of shoes

To some extent cushioning on a shoe absorbs energy and slows you down but the average runner should never trade cushioning for speed. Unless you are an elite runner running a 10K in racing flats could severely strain your legs and joints. Flats have very little cushioning compared to a training sho...
by NorCalDad
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying Advice
Replies: 31
Views: 3103

Re: Car Buying Advice

Thanks for your service. In my view, car incentives are just noise to get you in the door, kind of like how mall retailers always seem to have 50% off sales. There will always be another rebate, and if there isn't one that's advertised, they'll find a way to create one once you negotiate. I believe ...
by NorCalDad
Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Student Loans vs. Retirement
Replies: 9
Views: 1070

Re: Student Loans vs. Retirement

First off, welcome to Bogleheads! C is the worst option. As James noted, you'll pay a penalty and taxes. I would just leave the money where it is, assuming the expense ratio at Fidelity is low, which I would generally expect unless your previous employer had an unusually bad 401(k) plan. You could r...
by NorCalDad
Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sport players Cards (Football, Baseball, Basketball), anyone collect?
Replies: 52
Views: 4222

Re: Sport players Cards (Football, Baseball, Basketball), anyone collect?

For much of my childhood, collecting cards was my main hobby. I used to love getting boxes of baseball and basketball card packs and opening them and putting together sets. I'd go to baseball card shows on the weekends, even once to a national card show where big-name players signed autographs. I lo...
by NorCalDad
Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning a Bogle eye on auto insurance for first time
Replies: 28
Views: 3841

Re: Turning a Bogle eye on auto insurance for first time

Definitely look at raising your deductible given your EF. It's hard to recommend umbrella and discuss your liability coverage without knowing more about your situation, but I'd at least consider raising your liability limits, which are low for someone on BH (presumably a saver and earns a decent inc...
by NorCalDad
Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting to Family Members
Replies: 26
Views: 2569

Re: Renting to Family Members

I would also ordinarily say never rent to family members, but these seem like good people and you seem to be going into this eyes wide open. To offer the kids' perspective - I was someone who never wanted to live near my parents. And now, with two young kids, I'd love if they moved to our street. I ...
by NorCalDad
Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pessimist trying to get into Stock Investing
Replies: 35
Views: 3171

Re: Pessimist trying to get into Stock Investing

I would suggest that you read the wikis on getting started with investing: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investing_start-up_kit The way I look at it, everything is a risk. Sure, you could lose money long-term in the stock market. But by putting all of your money into bonds, you co...
by NorCalDad
Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?
Replies: 64
Views: 5059

Re: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?

No it isn't the same at all. Expense ratios are lost money that give you no benefit. Insurance products are gambling where the odds are stacked against you;) It all depends your exact results. What happens if you crash your car in year one. How many years of savings would it take you to make back t...
by NorCalDad
Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase
Replies: 18
Views: 1799

Re: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase

I'm going to confess that when we were saving up the $110,000 for our home down payment, we throttled back our 401k contributions. We still contributed more than most people, but fell short of maxing out for 2 or 3 years. I don't regret it. We ended up buying a few years ago before the housing marke...
by NorCalDad
Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage loan modification?
Replies: 14
Views: 1210

Re: mortgage loan modification?

I wouldn't stop paying a mortgage. That would only hurt her financial future by damaging her credit. Bottom line, as you've concluded, is that this situation cannot continue for long. The biggest problem isn't her house; it's her lack of income compared to her expenditures. I assume this is why she ...
by NorCalDad
Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New kid: new car needed?
Replies: 24
Views: 1304

Re: New kid: new car needed?

In our experience, it's easier with an infant seat and a front-facing convertible seat. The challenge comes in the 1-2-year stage when your child outgrows the infant seat but must still sit rear facing according to recommendations/guidelines. Our convertible seat is huge compared to our infant seat,...
by NorCalDad
Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance?
Replies: 7
Views: 1057

Re: Should I refinance?

Short answer: If you intend to be in the home long enough to recoup your closing costs, yes, you should refinance. PenFed has a 3.375% 30-year rate with no points right now. They charge an origination fee of 1% of your loan and you'll pay appraisal and doc fees, so you'd want to figure out how long ...
by NorCalDad
Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacation Homes
Replies: 78
Views: 10467

Re: Vacation Homes

It's easier than ever to rent vacation homes through VRBO, and rental agencies have had to get more competitive with pricing because there are more options for renters in the sharing economy. There's also a lot more pricing transparency for vacation rentals. We could probably afford a vacation home,...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider
Replies: 23
Views: 2304

Re: Looking for another cell provider after AT&T ended 2-year subsidies

Thanks, everyone. I am pretty much convinced an MVNO fits our situation better since we keep our phones beyond two years, are willing to buy phones in cash upfront and don't use tons of data. I'll check out these suggestions.
by NorCalDad
Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider
Replies: 23
Views: 2304

Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider

I expected to upgrade my iPhone this month the same way I have in the past, with a subsidized 2-year contract through my longtime carrier AT&T. But I learned that AT&T on Jan. 8 finally did what every other carrier has done by discontinuing this program and requiring that users pay for all i...
by NorCalDad
Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to live in CA for a young family
Replies: 82
Views: 7407

Re: Best place to live in CA for a young family

Without knowing more about what you want, I'll say Sacramento is pretty ideal for our young family. We have a house in an older suburb 5-10 minutes from my office with access to a top-notch school. Our house would easily cost $1M to $1.5M in the Bay Area, but it is less than half that here. Access t...
by NorCalDad
Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your best time-savers?
Replies: 108
Views: 13696

Re: What are your best time-savers?

Reading these threads I am astonished at how easy I have it and am reminded to count my blessings and not mess with a good thing. Small house. Two blocks from work. Job with reasonable work/life balance (smaller salary, which we can afford even with a SAHS because of the small house and single vehi...
by NorCalDad
Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your best time-savers?
Replies: 108
Views: 13696

Re: What are your best time-savers?

These ideas are great. Thanks, everyone, for chiming in. I like the ideas about using Sunday to plan the week. We need to do more in the way of making large meals that can last for a few days. I'd stop making the beds in a heartbeat if it weren't a priority for my wife. And I think I'll hold off for...
by NorCalDad
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your best time-savers?
Replies: 108
Views: 13696

What are your best time-savers?

Bogleheads, I'd love to get your best tips on how you save time. And when you think it makes more sense to pay someone to do a household task than DIY. My wife and I have two young kids and work full-time, demanding jobs. We earn decent money and are on track for retirement and college savings, but ...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 5424

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

+1 for Placerville on the top 25 best towns in California list. El Dorado County is great, I'd move there in a heartbeat if I had work there. Since you're in California and mention the Bay Area as a possibility if not for cost, the Sacramento region is underrated as a family-friendly option if you ...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confirming that I should not use my 401k
Replies: 18
Views: 1557

Re: Confirming that I should not use my 401k

Employee contributions via payroll deduction also saves on income taxes (FICA, etc.). This is incorrect with regard to FICA. 401k contributions are not exempt from FICA. Agree with others - go with the Roths. And you may not be in position to do this as an intern, but someone should anonymously sen...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with car insurance coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 1263

Re: Help with car insurance coverage

i'm not going to pretend to be an insurance expert but one thing sticks out. liability coverage of 50K is totally inadequate in my opinion. if you are involved in an at fault accident with injuries you could be wiped out. between auto coverage coordinated with umbrella you should have a million dol...
by NorCalDad
Fri May 22, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts
Replies: 69
Views: 5725

Re: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts

Yellowgirl, I think you're doing perfectly fine at your current savings rate. It'd be crazy for your husband to moonlight as an Uber driver for the sake of maxing out retirement accounts. But it does make sense to look for any ways possible for both of you to advance in your careers and earn more in...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 21, 2015 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: University of California Retirement Plan
Replies: 48
Views: 8227

Re: University of California Retirement Plan

Thanks for the updates, tenkuky. I was a little frustrated today upon realizing my wife's account will probably get dinged with redemption fees for the last six weeks of Spartan purchases since we have to sell all shares by July 2. Am I wrong on that? We just switched contributions to the UC funds f...
by NorCalDad
Sat May 16, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 5641

Re: Networth question

I wonder if the answer you'd get would be different on the coasts than inland, and whether the answer given would be different from people who are younger, recent homebuyers than from retirees. It seems easier for people to ignore real estate in NW calculations when it comprises a smaller percentage...
by NorCalDad
Thu May 14, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 5767

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I would look for another house unless you're willing to eat the cost and risk of getting it permitted. Consider all the pre-purchase angst you're going through. Would you want to be on the selling end of this transaction down the road, and how much of a discount would you give your buyers once they ...
by NorCalDad
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couple of Term Life Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 583

Re: Couple of Term Life Questions

My wife and I are in our late 30s, and we waited until our first child to buy 20-year term. Before kids, we each had decent jobs and felt the savings left to the surviving spouse would be enough. When we had our first child, we each bought 20-year term policies. Four years after that, we had our sec...
by NorCalDad
Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 10494

Re: Paying for childrens' college

@ktd, how much are you and your spouse contributing to retirement plans right now? We contributed to our 401(k)s and our Roth IRAs every year. I noticed that when my kids got to college, that we could simply stop contributing to 401(k)s, Roths, and stop donating to charities if we needed to and use...
by NorCalDad
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 286
Views: 42366

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Sorry if someone already mentioned this - long thread! - but gift cards are a good bargain if your store sells them for retailers/restaurants that you already patronize. We haven't abandoned our local Peet's despite the savings lure of cheap beans in the coffee aisle, and they sell $100 of Peet's gi...

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