Search found 157 matches

by Rebecca_S
Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two pensions. Interesting predicament.
Replies: 11
Views: 1657

Re: Two pensions. Interesting predicament.

Is there a reason why you contribute the max to your retirement, but your wife only $3600/yr? Typically couples will not have such a disparity in retirement funding unless one has much better fund options than the other, but you appear to have the same employer. I would increase your retirement savi...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it
Replies: 38
Views: 2577

Re: HELOC for emergency and when you would use it

We had a HELOC as part of our emergency plan in the past, but have let it expire now that our taxable investments are significant and could be used in an emergency. At one time we were in the middle of a bathroom renovation, paid for with savings but extra problems were found when we opened up the w...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off the house leaving only $15k
Replies: 32
Views: 2118

Re: Pay off the house leaving only $15k

We did it, even down to about $5K, but we were DINKs with secure incomes and knew we could easily pay all bills off a single salary if one of us lost a job. That is not a recommendation necessarily, but we were excited to pay it off and had very low monthly bills otherwise.
by Rebecca_S
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage or Taxable Account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1694

Re: Mortgage or Taxable Account?

I would consider paying down the mortgage to the point where you can refinance as a conforming loan. You should be able to refinance at a rate much better than 4.25%.
by Rebecca_S
Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Marriage Penalty Tax vs. Cohabitation
Replies: 99
Views: 9153

Re: Paying Marriage Penalty Tax vs. Cohabitation

I would like to recommend this article that illustrates the marriage tax penalty and bonus for different income levels in easy to read graphs. http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/marriage-penalty/ We have had a penalty some years and a bonus other years. Overall, I am quite happy to be married f...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High income earners and retirement budget?.
Replies: 37
Views: 4706

Re: High income earners and retirement budget?.

For planning purposes when you are far from retirement, it isn't a bad rule of thumb. However, as you get closer to retirement it is better to work off your actual expenses, which may have changed a lot over the years. You might no longer have the expenses of mortgage, income taxes, childcare, child...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Source For Unroasted Coffee Beans
Replies: 16
Views: 1386

Re: Source For Unroasted Coffee Beans

I like my coffee just barely roasted although I am not a connoisseur. 7-11 of all places sells green coffee beans a quite nice price.
by Rebecca_S
Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with this ESPP plan?
Replies: 4
Views: 478

What to do with this ESPP plan?

My husband just started a new job this week and has the option to contribute to the ESPP at up to 15% of his salary. Stock is bought quarterly at at 15% discount so I was originally planning to have him contribute the maximum. It appears there is no limit on selling immediately, which is what I do w...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car advice for tall person
Replies: 29
Views: 2441

Re: Car advice for tall person

My husband is 6'4" and I am 5'2". We share a Mini Cooper and find it to be quite comfortable for both of us.
We have the 2-door, so not good for a carseat but you might check out the 4 door option.
by Rebecca_S
Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Martial arts for beginner adults
Replies: 45
Views: 3808

Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

The most important factor will be the instructor at the dojo. There are good and bad instructors in every discipline and it can be difficult to tell from the webpage or sign on the wall whether a particular place will be suitable for you or not. I would avoid places that feel like a factory assembly...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Semi-formal flatware
Replies: 25
Views: 1712

Re: Semi-formal flatware

Flatware needs to be chosen for ergonomics, not just looks. It makes a big difference to me how a fork or spoon feels in my hand. We have 16 sets of an old Crate and Barrel design in stainless, it was relatively inexpensive but feels really nice to hold.
by Rebecca_S
Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Must-haves and Legal Needs for a Millionaire
Replies: 27
Views: 8064

Re: Must-haves and Legal Needs for a Millionaire

One of our friends does cat rescue. We have named her as being responsible for finding our cats a good home should something happen to us. She has 5 cats herself and a rotating array of fosters, I don't expect her to keep our cats but to be the person responsible for finding them another good home.
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper car for someone who enjoys cars?
Replies: 63
Views: 9800

Re: Cheaper car for someone who enjoys cars?

I don't know exactly how many months are left on your lease, but we learned a lot by going to the New England auto show that they hold every January. You can sit in tons of cars and get all their specs, talk to knowledgeable sales people but you cannot test drive. It is a very low pressure environme...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: December Vacation
Replies: 17
Views: 2031

Re: December Vacation

I like Puerto Rico a lot for winter vacations. From the east coast it is a quick flight into San Juan, they use US dollars and US cellphones, lots of history and culture but also beaches and nightlife.
by Rebecca_S
Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I wrong? [to assist family members with finances]
Replies: 32
Views: 4533

Re: Am I wrong? [to assist family members with finances]

After my father died, my mother was unsure about what to do with the investments he had always handled. I have an interest in investing and handle it for my household, and now I have taken over her investments, but this was the process I went through first. 1) We waited about a year to get over the ...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lock for $500 bike
Replies: 27
Views: 2898

Re: lock for $500 bike

All the new Kryptonites cannot be broken with a Bic pen, that was an older style from years ago. I like the Ulocks, they are quite sturdy. Small ones are lighter than heavier ones which matters a lot to me since I am a small person. On the other hand, back wheels are more expensive to front wheels, ...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?
Replies: 36
Views: 4238

Re: Rent a studio to save money or 1-bedroom that is twice the cost but in my "dream" area?

I would do the 1-bedroom. Getting the chance to test drive the exact same building and neighborhood before you purchase is invaluable and your savings rate is high. If you were just scraping by then my choice would be different.
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What ratio are you stocks/bonds and how old are you?
Replies: 278
Views: 32995

Re: What ratio are you stocks/bonds and how old are you?

38 + 39 years old, we use age in bonds. This is conservative but fits our needs and risks.
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Boston trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1877

Re: Advice for Boston trip

USS Constitution is great for kids. It is over in Charlestown but part of the Freedom Trail.

I suggest some downtime in the Boston Commons or adjacent Public Gardens. The "Make way for ducklings" statues are always a hit.
by Rebecca_S
Tue May 26, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 30
Views: 2299

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

Consider getting a kettle to boil water and an outdoor grill. You can make hot drinks with a kettle of course, but can cook several things by placing them into boiling water. Noodle dishes, instant rice, soups, blanched vegetables.
by Rebecca_S
Tue May 26, 2015 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?
Replies: 38
Views: 3914

Re: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?

Like the others suggest, I would not renovate at all but just hire a service to deep clean once everything is cleared out. Was the landscaping kept up? If it had not been, it might be worthwhile to have the bushes trimmed back and minor landscaping done. For example, when my grandfather passed the b...
by Rebecca_S
Wed May 13, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?
Replies: 19
Views: 2879

Re: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?

Our check was finally cashed today.
by Rebecca_S
Fri May 01, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Karate for kids—Thoughts?
Replies: 47
Views: 3652

Re: Karate for kids—Thoughts?

If you decide to pursue a martial art, the most important factor will be the abilities of the teacher and if they mesh personalities with your child. There are karate instructors who are awesome and who are terrible; there are judo instructors who are awesome and are terrible; there are aikido instr...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?
Replies: 30
Views: 4067

Re: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?

If you did not pay the mortgage, why would you not max out tax deferred accounts still using the taxable dollars?
by Rebecca_S
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?
Replies: 19
Views: 2879

Re: MA slow to use my check? should I do something?

We paid MA taxes by check mailed April 13, the check still hasn't cleared either. I think they are just overloaded with returns.
by Rebecca_S
Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying condo in commercial building
Replies: 10
Views: 1261

Re: Buying condo in commercial building

I live in a condo in a mixed use building where the commercial units have more value than the residential ones. We didn't have any problems getting a mortgage in 1999 when we bought or 2005 when we refinanced; our neighbors haven't had problems getting mortgages that I am aware of. I know that some ...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who follows Age in Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 7432

Re: Who follows Age in Bonds

I am 38 and have had our asset allocation set at age=bonds for the past 5 years; prior that that it was age-10 in bonds. We were frugal and lucky, accumulated a lot for a while and now are earning less. I want to protect what we have more than I want to risk it. I imagine I will keep age=bonds until...
by Rebecca_S
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 174
Views: 15520

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Bar mitts. These are basically like mittens that go over the bicycle handlebars for riding in weather below freezing. They block the wind beautifully so that I only have to wear thin gloves underneath which lets me retain dexterity compared to big thick gloves, and my hands are much warmer than wear...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best microwave to replace kitchen stove
Replies: 26
Views: 2598

Re: Best microwave to replace kitchen stove

I have found that an electric kettle and toaster over were valuable additions to the microwave during kitchen renovations. With a toaster oven you can warm up pizza slices and sandwiches, bake a few cookies or potatos, and reheat leftovers without changing the texture of food. With a kettle you can ...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need intro resource on Roth conversions and RMDs
Replies: 2
Views: 280

Need intro resource on Roth conversions and RMDs

I've handled my Mother's investments for years now since my father died. Last year she retired and is now in a much lower tax bracket. I would like to start and conversation with her about RMDs and doing Roth conversions, if they make sense for her. The only investing book I've gotten her to read wa...
by Rebecca_S
Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting vs. Buying a Home
Replies: 15
Views: 1782

Re: Renting vs. Buying a Home

I would lean towards renting. As a resident and fellow with a small child, you won't want to spend precious time doing house maintanance on a home you won't keep long-term. Renting a home still requires some work (lawn care is often your responsibility) but is a lot less headache than renting.
by Rebecca_S
Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you dump your life/disability ins?
Replies: 10
Views: 1428

Re: When did you dump your life/disability ins?

These are 2 separate questions. My husband and I have about equal earning potential and low expenses, no kids, so we don't have life insurance. Disability insurance is a much bigger deal, you are more likely to need long term disability than to die early. The consequences could be much greater finan...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Investing vs. pay down mortgage feelings
Replies: 79
Views: 5210

Re: POLL: Investing vs. pay down mortgage feelings

We paid off the mortgage about 4 years ago, so the market has done well since then and mathematicallly we could have done better with balanced investments. We were maxing out tax advantaged space however and if had done more taxable investing it would have been at very low risk, since my husband wan...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Houses Debt vs. Building the 529 plans
Replies: 9
Views: 901

Re: Rental Houses Debt vs. Building the 529 plans

I wouldn't withdraw any money from the current 529, the taxes and fees wouldn't be worth it. You didn't consider the situation where you leave the 529 balance alone but direct the $400/month to the rentals. That should get at least the one, possibly both, paid off before the older child graduates HS...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Schooling for a 2year and 4 year old
Replies: 58
Views: 4174

Re: Schooling for a 2year and 4 year old

I would encourage you to look at the research that supports praising childeren for process, not outcome. "You worked so hard" and "your practice really paid off" versus "you are so smart" or "you are so talented". I came out of a decent elementary and high sch...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year versus 20 year mortgage
Replies: 21
Views: 1862

Re: 15 year versus 20 year mortgage

I would not make too many assuptions about what the high school quality will be like when your toddler grows up. Schools improve/decline and district lines can be redrawn, magnet and charter schools can open up. If you can swing the payments for the 15 year without sacrificing liquidity I would take...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond Fund appropriate for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 2398

Re: Muni Bond Fund appropriate for Emergency Fund?

We keep the bulk of our emergency fund in a Muni bond fund. Our expenses are low compared to income and we do keep a slush fund in cash at our credit union. We have a large taxable account. Therefore we are less concerned about needing to draw down in an emergency, it has been about 10 years since t...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do I owe my children?
Replies: 119
Views: 11516

Re: What do I owe my children?

Based purely on the title of the post, you don't owe your grown children anything anymore. I'm not one who considers $30K in grad school loans to be onerous to anyone who is employed with an MBA. Budgeting for debt can help teach financial awareness. What if you had the son suspend payment on the no...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building Credit -- Keep the loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 1484

Re: Building Credit -- Keep the loan?

If you have been paying on time for the current credit card, can you call them up and ask to raise your limit? Even a small raise, from $500 to $1000, would have a dramatic impact on your utilization. Then wait a couple months and try to open up a new card. In the meantime I would take harikaried's ...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation between spouses - together vs separate
Replies: 13
Views: 1261

Re: Asset allocation between spouses - together vs separate

I handle all the nitty-gritty investment decisions and rebalancing for the both of us. We have chosen to have one asset allocation that we share so that each account may only have 1-2 investments. It is not wrong to do it the other way of course. For me, it was much easier to have a combined allocat...
by Rebecca_S
Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflicted About Expected Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 47
Views: 6668

Re: Conflicted About Expected Lifestyle Creep

Our household income doubled when I defended and got a job; we first allowed our lifestyle to expand about 10% and then later as we got more comfortable an additional 10%. My spouse was working while I was in grad school so we had been living frugally but better than the average grad student. Make s...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off my mortgage or invest more each month?
Replies: 33
Views: 3227

Re: Pay off my mortgage or invest more each month?

How likely is it that your wife will switch jobs in the next few years? Even the worst 401k is generally good to fund if you won't be in the same job for more than 10 years. We paid off the mortgage, but only after maxing out both 401ks and the Roths (in years we were eligible). I would leave the ta...
by Rebecca_S
Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have no idea what I want to do as a career
Replies: 80
Views: 5752

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Most workers will have several job changes and a few career changes over their lifetime. I don't suggest looking for a career right now, simply finding a job that you like okay is a good step. Learn how to work for a business, learn how to manage up, work on developing some expertise. Volunteer to d...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage question
Replies: 21
Views: 1711

Re: Paying off mortgage question

While I agree that in principle one shouldn't let the emergency fund get down to zero... When our mortgage was our only debt and we were paying it down rapidly, once it was the same size as our emergency fund we liquidated that money and paid off the mortgage. Caveats: we had 2 stable jobs, no upcom...
by Rebecca_S
Mon May 27, 2013 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending it the easy part??
Replies: 27
Views: 2723

Re: Is spending it the easy part??

I have a few answers to this. One, I went to grad school so felt I started saving late and wanted to catch up. After a few years of working I was able to ease up the saving rate because I felt more comfortable with what I had accumulated. My husband, while frugal, was not as much of a tightwad as I ...
by Rebecca_S
Wed May 01, 2013 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wedding gift - tacky or not ....
Replies: 57
Views: 3760

Re: wedding gift - tacky or not ....

The thoughtfulness of the gift will vary greatly depending on the needs and personality of the bride and the groom. How well do you know them both? Are you choosing this gift for them or for yourself? A gold coin is not a gift I would have appreciated. I didn't have a safe or deposit box to store it...
by Rebecca_S
Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT Professionals - Applying For Job Without Requested Skills
Replies: 34
Views: 2690

Re: IT Professionals - Applying For Job Without Requested Sk

I remember reading some statistic that on average men would apply for a position if they met about 75% of the posted requirements while on average women would only apply if they met all of the requirements. Considering how much HR is involved in writing up job descriptions, I would apply if you meet...
by Rebecca_S
Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: espp?
Replies: 11
Views: 1057

Re: espp?

I put money into the 401k for retirement in diversified funds. I participate fully in my company's ESPP, but I consider it to be akin to a 6 month CD paying at 15% (my discount buying the stock). It is a short term holding, I liquidate the stock as soon as it is available. This is a short term cash-...
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Bogleheads view "lottery tickets" (illiquid equity)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1482

Re: How do Bogleheads view "lottery tickets" (illiquid equit

I valued mine, from 2 different companies, at zero.
One company, bought eventually by another and my stake now would buy a pizza or two after trading costs.
Another company, not public after 8-9 years but not quite dead (yet).
by Rebecca_S
Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adjusting Strategy when you hit your # early
Replies: 38
Views: 2754

Re: Adjusting Strategy when you hit your # early

About 2 years ago we hit the first number I had in mind, the number that means we can live off the portfolio with a low-but-not-cat-food standard of living if we never add another penny. This gave me much comfort since my husband quit his job to start his own business 10 months ago. Perhaps that is ...

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