Search found 614 matches

by NorCalDad
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying Advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2745

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: 980

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: 3725

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: 3627

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: 2374

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: 2914

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: 4653

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: 1678

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: 1142

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: 1182

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: 762

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: 9847

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: 2131

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: 2131

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: 6763

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: 13135

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: 13135

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: 13135

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: 5170

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: 1515

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: 1067

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: 5388

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: 7519

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: 5433

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: 5428

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: 553

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: 9977

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: 39186

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...
by NorCalDad
Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...
Replies: 22
Views: 2394

Re: Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists,...

I've been a competitive runner for 18 years, regarding cost you might find it is not much cheaper than cycling. I've raced from 1600 to marathon distance over that time and ran 65+ miles a week for quite a while, since then I got married and my wife made it very clear I was *not* spending 30-40 hou...
by NorCalDad
Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to prepare for first baby due next month?
Replies: 55
Views: 7506

Re: What to prepare for first baby due next month?

After we had our second kid, we realized we probably spent way too much time and energy preparing for the first kid. The best advice I'd give is to relax and realize that you're only going to learn how to be a parent by being a parent, not by reading books or what we post here. You're smart and reso...
by NorCalDad
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!
Replies: 18
Views: 2232

Re: Is My Car Insurance Plan Enough? - the Bogle way!

Agree with everyone here - I cringed when I saw how low your liability is. Liability, not comprehensive/collision, is the most important part of your auto insurance policy. Especially for someone who has assets such as you and decades of wealth accumulation ahead of you. I'd carry at least $250,000/...
by NorCalDad
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2467

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

Jim - We stay for at least a week every year on the California coast in a vacation home. It's someone's dream home, but not ours - except for the week we rent it. It sounds like we are in a similar financial place - we max 401ks and Roths and are trying to build a 529. Like you, we could buy a coast...
by NorCalDad
Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?
Replies: 92
Views: 6108

Re: Graduating Debt-Free, or with Elite College Degree?

I love Jim in Austin's post. Like Jim, I went to an Ivy on financial aid. But because we are firmly in the upper middle class zone where we won't qualify for financial aid and can't afford to put tens of thousands into a 529 (at least not while achieving the retirement savings goals shared by many o...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?
Replies: 60
Views: 8508

Re: How much do you plan to save in your 529 plan?

I personally don't think it's worthwhile paying for a "2nd tier' expensive private college if a flagship public college is available. Agreed. Eldest felt differently after the athletic official visit to our best in state. So we could have forced the issue with the very real possibility of a fl...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELP! Budget Out of Control
Replies: 47
Views: 4393

Re: HELP! Budget Out of Control

Here is some follow up information: At 32 years old, it looks like you two were sold crummy whole life insurance policies, or are worth a heck of a lot more dead than alive. Get some term life insurance and then cancel the whole life plan. The life insurance listed includes 3 term policies and 1 wh...
by NorCalDad
Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding a Down Payment
Replies: 11
Views: 1728

Re: Funding a Down Payment

While I don't disagree with what Phineas said (and I appreciate his or her rational tone) can someone help me understand real estate? I make almost the median income in Massachusetts, but median home value in this state is $100,000 higher than the home I'm trying to buy. If what Phineas says is tru...
by NorCalDad
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?
Replies: 77
Views: 8941

Re: How much do you spend on your hobby annually?

Glad to see so many people list running as their hobby. Good luck, Rockies1978, on your quest toward age group greatness! I think the discipline that running requires translates well to the BH philosophy, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Once you know which model(s) serve you best, I've found th...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 2557

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

2) Technology changes - This may sound silly, but the one simple feature I salivate over in new cars is a USB port and auxiliary audio input. I think 06 was the last model year before they started putting these in most cars. I live in Calif but am home sick for Colorado. I'd love to be able to list...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix Car or Get a New One?
Replies: 11
Views: 1274

Re: Fix Car or Get a New One?

My experience is no matter how you run the numbers the most economical decision is almost always to do the repairs (and keep doing them). Therefore the decision has much more to do with issues (that are no less important) such as convenience, aesthetic preference, safety concerns, and simply the pa...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's Fireworks
Replies: 50
Views: 5754

Re: Neighbor's Fireworks

Maybe it's because I live in a state going through a drought and where the whole place feels like a tinderbox, but I wouldn't just shrug this off. Where I live, fireworks that launch in the sky are illegal for personal use. Homes burn every year because people light bottle rockets and other such fir...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 3623

Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Cautionary tale: We had our son brush his own teeth and would help him get the back ones. I figured this was good enough, along the same lines as what has been mentioned here about it being his baby teeth and all. He did not drink much juice and had less of a sweet tooth than his friends. He still d...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Actually Using Quicken on a Mac?
Replies: 14
Views: 1598

Re: Anyone Actually Using Quicken on a Mac?

I use Quicken 2007 on a Mac. There's a product called "Quicken Essentials," but it's been panned by many people and is not much like the old Quicken we're used to (and that PC users still get new versions of). And Intuit created a patch for Quicken 2007 to work on modern-day OS X systems o...
by NorCalDad
Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage: Variable 7 vs Fixed 30.
Replies: 47
Views: 4362

Re: Mortgage: Variable 7 vs Fixed 30.

One more thought. Pre-paying a 2.9% mortgage makes you a MUCH HIGHER return than 2.9%. Remember that every dollar pre-paid, reduces the principal upon which interest is charged on the next payment, thus compounding the risk free return. Not unusual to see 45% APR on amount of the pre-payment for a ...
by NorCalDad
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times: Not enough younger investment advisors
Replies: 72
Views: 8439

Re: NY Times: Not enough younger investment advisors

Some of us 20-something and 30-something Bogleheads have explored careers in financial advising because we have an interest in the topic, but the common entry path involves doing things we don't believe in. Much of the job involves sales rather than advising, especially at the beginning when you hav...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?
Replies: 9
Views: 518

Re: Partially Deductible IRA or Roth?

You could do both - $2750 in traditional IRA and $2750 in Roth IRA. But I vote for Roth all the way if you can afford it. Easier to keep everything together, the Roths give you more tax flexibility down the line. And it saves you problems should you earn enough that you someday have to use a backdoo...
by NorCalDad
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1276

Re: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?

We were in this situation a few years ago and chose to prioritize saving the 20% down on the next house. We knew that in a worst-case scenario in which our home value remained underwater, we were willing to become accidental landlords on the first house. Even if it meant a monthly loss, as in what y...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 4047

Re: Reducing Expenses for Future Family

Where are the following: Car Insurance <-- comes out of paycheck directly Homeowner's Insurance <-- comes out of paycheck directly Property Taxes <-- part of mortgage payment Look into paying your car insurance and homeowner's insurance annually. Insurers usually charge a few bucks a month for inst...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 75
Views: 6988

Re: Experience with PenFed refinance

I think it's good that there's a blog refer to this thread. One problem with a straight poll is that the PenFed of 8 years ago may not be the PenFed of 3 years ago or the PenFed of last month. I gave them a pass when we did our refi because it was during a period of historically low rates and they h...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Expenses for Future Family
Replies: 77
Views: 4047

Re: Reducing Expenses for Future Family

You're probably not going to be able to save 43% of salary when you have a kid unless you make more money. That's life. Kids take up your time and resources. This is one of those "only on Bogleheads" threads where someone who saves nearly $6,000/month starts clearing space for ramen noodle...
by NorCalDad
Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 115
Views: 10300

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

I am not retired (not even close!), but recently moved to CA. If you're flexible on looking into northern CA, I would strongly suggest you look into Sacramento - we love it here! It's an easy 90 mins drive to SF bay area without the crazy housing prices. In my opinion (after having lived in SF and ...

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