Search found 735 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay down some credit card debt?
Replies: 19
Views: 1147

Re: Should I pay down some credit card debt?

Those rates are high. I would use the emergency fund and completely pay off the credit cards and use the funds the roommate provides to begin to slowly replenish the emergency fund. Another option is to transfer the balances to a 0% or low-interest card. If that isn't possible, paying off this high-...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 3897

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

It's a pretty good work/life balance. <40 hrs per week for me. Wife is SAHM. This is good, in my opinion. I think you should actually try to save a tad more if possible. Spend time with your family rather than money. You have two young kids. They need you, not fancy vacations and meals. It sounds l...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 3897

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

How much do you and your spouse work?
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife start a 401k
Replies: 25
Views: 1153

Re: Should my wife start a 401k

Our situation is similar to yours, though our household income is about $25k less. I plan to retire at age 61.5 with a pension that's a little under $100k (2.4% of salary x number of years). We also have one child (age 3) with no plans for another. Our mortgage is also 3.25% fixed. We also have tax-...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14150

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Any recommendations on making it out here in this crazy market? I'm doing various buy vs. rent analyses and can't seem to make sense of buying (am I missing something obvious?) We bought in the Bay Area on a combined income of a little over $100k in 2010. It's a 4 bedroom/4 bathroom home in a great...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]
Replies: 68
Views: 5614

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]
Replies: 68
Views: 5614

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advise on what to do with additional savings
Replies: 27
Views: 2619

Re: Advise on what to do with additional savings

$100k in the emergency fund seems like a large amount. Do you need that much? I'd probably use $13k and pay off the car loan right away. You're paying 2.4% interest and the emergency fund is only yielding you about 0.7% after tax. You're relatively young and have a low-interest mortgage for only 15 ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3587

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

Even if you do have legal grounds, once it gets out to the other staff members, how will that reflect on you? The other staff members know I have high standards. They may not agree with my actions. I think it could potentially be quite a bit worse than them not agreeing with your actions. They may ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3587

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

OP: Just saw your last post. I was typing at the time so didn't see it come through before I posted. Good decision to move on.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3587

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

Take it as a compliment. You do good work others want to use. :happy I like this advice. If you can take it and just move on, it may the best way to proceed. If you don't want to approach the topic one-on-one with her for whatever reason, I would move on rather than get lawyers/administration/union...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 165
Views: 15389

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

Income: $150k
Expenses: $80k/yr
FI number without pension and and s.s.: $2.5M
FI number with pension and s.s.: $500k
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18284

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

Time is the bigger constraint for me. It takes time to go out to lunch and our cafeteria at work serves food I'd rather not eat. So I bring something from home the vast majority of time. I am going out to dinner with a coworker today since we have a four hour break. This isn't usually the case, thou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less
Replies: 27
Views: 2206

Re: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less

Bottom line is that you seem totally set. I would cut my hours and work-related travel as much as possible to be able to enjoy life while still being able to pay the bills and put a small amount toward retirement. Also, you can increase your retirement contributions once childcare costs go away. Whe...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?
Replies: 167
Views: 8695

Re: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?

I use the price similar homes sell for. Over the years, Zillow has provided a decent estimate for our home but has probably underestimated a bit some years and overestimated other years.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?
Replies: 66
Views: 5552

Re: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?

I need my job to pay the bills but would continue to do it even if that weren't the case. If I won a jackpot over the weekend, I'd show up to work on Monday morning. I love what I do, so I guess I'm at #1. I've been at it for 15 years with hopefully many more to go.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?
Replies: 16
Views: 1595

Re: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?

Sounds like it makes sense to apply the bonus toward the loan in your situation.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments
Replies: 62
Views: 6419

Re: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments

I'd keep to my budget and buy a house I could afford. The rate factors into this because it affects the size of the payments. I wouldn't, however, buy as expensive a house as possible just because rates happen to be low at this time. The rate can affect how quickly you decide to pay off the loan onc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?
Replies: 16
Views: 1595

Re: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?

The rate of the loan would be a factor in the decision for me if I were in your situation. If the rate is low enough, I'd take my time in paying it off. If high enough, I'd make it my top priority to get rid of it. If somewhere in the middle, I'd likely put some toward the loan and the rest toward i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overextended in Bay Area housing?
Replies: 37
Views: 3879

Re: Overextended in Bay Area housing?

OP: a couple of questions for you. 1) Do you expect your expenses to increase or income to decrease if you were to have another child? If so, by how much? 2) How much income are you expecting from pensions in retirement? I'm a teacher in the Bay Area and the size of my expected pension definitely fa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 16038

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

Heck, some classroom teachers are pulling in over $100k. Add in some pre-school monitoring, yearbook advisor and after school basketball, and they can really get up there. Summers off and great health care. This is very geographically dependent. My base salary with six years of experience is $34k. ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 16038

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

I don't think it makes sense to become preoccupied with an arbitrary dollar amount. You have to look at the big picture. This includes things like: How much time off the job offers, the schedule, is the work interesting and rewarding to the individual, benefits, and job security. The salary is impor...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 12264

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Working 60-70 hours per week along with doing things like getting ready in the morning, commuting, and sleeping means the amount of time left to spend with your family is relatively little compared to what many other people get. Personally, there is no way I'd sign up for such a schedule. My wife an...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California - clarification on taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 2631

Re: California - clarification on taxes

Two points. First the decision to live in CA should be viewed as a form of luxury consumption if you make even just a solid income. Second, CA residents should spend more effort finding ways to reduce spending (which must be paid for with after tax dollars) and less on increasing income, over 40% o...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 130
Views: 8583

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

You said you can afford it and that's a good place to start. The question I would ask in a situation like this to myself is: Does this purchase bring me and my wife enough joy above and beyond other less expensive alternatives that I'm willing to pay the difference in price? How much time will this ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down home or increase Retirement Contributions
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Re: Pay down home or increase Retirement Contributions

I suggest you calculate your effective rate to make an informed decision. Subtract any mortgage interest deduction benefit that you're getting that exceeds the standard deduction and also subtract your local/regional rate of inflation. Your actual rate seems to be great and you may even possibly be ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple
Replies: 29
Views: 2433

Re: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple

Do you have a similar portfolio to mine in terms of where you are investing and the things you are investing in? The underlying investments are essentially the same, though we don’t do target date funds. Our overall portfolio is roughly 50/30/20 (Total US Stock Market/Total International Stock Mark...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple
Replies: 29
Views: 2433

Re: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple

You remind me a bit of my younger self. I’m also a business major who worked for a financial company and then became a teacher (about to start my 15th year). I’m a decade older and on the other coast but my salary and expected pension mirror yours closely (currently salary is about $105k, expecting ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback
Replies: 35
Views: 6611

Re: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback

Appreciate all of the comments everyone. Something I was hoping to get a little more directive on is - still in my 20s and with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a 3.8, 4+ of years of management and sales experience, what would I be eligible/able to go back to get an advanced degree in? And...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhome or condo?
Replies: 29
Views: 2318

Re: Townhome or condo?

I own a townhouse in the Bay Area and based on the two options you provided, I think it would be better to go for the townhouse because you get a lot more space for a little more money (in terms of percentage difference in square feet and price between the two choices). An extra room, an attached ga...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?
Replies: 57
Views: 4005

Re: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?

Ours is maybe not the most conventional set-up but I thought I’d share it since there can be a wide range of experiences in this area. Basically, we’ve managed to spend very little on our kid in a VHCOL area (Bay Area). She is three years old. Our work schedule has stayed the same so there has been ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?
Replies: 62
Views: 9913

Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Take a 6 month long vacation in another country with a lower cost of living. Try Costa Rica, or Thailand or for a more intense experience go to India. You will meet lots of interesting people who will give you a new perspective on life. You will meet lots of people like yourself who worked hard, sa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 24355

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

Sorry, I posted a few minutes ago without seeing that you had recently updated your original post. I'm expecting a pension that should be close to six figures in 2017 dollars. If I were to assume I'd get $0 from that instead, I'd probably want around $2.5M in my accounts. However, while pensions cou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 24355

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

I'm 42 with plans to retire around 60. Need $0. Want $1.5 M. Pension and social security should cover our necessary expenses.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?
Replies: 22
Views: 2939

Re: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?

I think you're likely fine with a six-month emergency fund.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2255
Views: 392430

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If you fly to Hawaii from the west coast, you should consider getting the British Airways card. It's a chase card but isn't under 5/24. British Airways bases the required number of miles on distance. You can travel one way to HI from the west coast for 12.5k miles (25k round trip), on either Alaska...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2255
Views: 392430

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

For my Hawaiian vacation, I was flexible with my travel dates and found an itinerary that only cost 45k United miles round-trip. That would have been $875 if booked as cash, but I got it for 45k points/miles, which was about 1.9 cents per point. I've got another data point for a similar itinerary. ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 4139

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

Just curious but how are you categorizing the principal portion of mortgage payments and any extra payments toward a mortgage? Any difference in treatment if it is not for a primary residence? The principal portion and extra payments are lumped into expenses. For a primary residence, I need a place...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2255
Views: 392430

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I value Chase points around 1.6. When I book hotels though Chase Sapphire Reserve, the rate is 1.5. I've gotten around 1.7 when booking flights by transferring the points to Southwest or United.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 4139

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

Looking for savings rate formula around here, I seem to find too many textual descriptions of the savings rate and found it hard to decipher. I have a mathematical training as do most of us here, so here is my attempt to explicitly show the savings rate formula: Gross Income = Taxes + Spending + Sa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your monthly expenses?
Replies: 69
Views: 7311

Re: What are your monthly expenses?

Married with one kid (three year old) in the SF Bay Area: Mortgage: $1810 Property Taxes: $800 HOA: $290 House Cleaning: $270 Home Improvements/Repairs: $50 TV/Internet/Phone: $200 Electricity: $140 Cell Phones: $70 Water: $30 Garbage: $20 Health Insurance: $200 Auto/Home/Umbrella Insurance: $200 Li...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 7280

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

For those in HCOLA areas that own homes, how did you afford the down payment? Rent eats up everything and doesn't allow us to save toward a down payment, and the homes are so expensive that a 20% or even 15% down payment is prohibtive. We’re in the Bay Area and were making a combined income of a li...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13373

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

Something I have not seen mentioned is that you can RENT out of the area,commute and live in a much nicer rental in a nicer area for less money. You really do not sound ready to buy a house for 1.7 M and why put so much at risk and it will still be a mediocre house unless you commute. Any examples ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13373

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

Do not move out of the Bay Area. You said you're in your early 30s and work for tech companies as software engineers making $550k/year if you include your pay, bonuses, and RSUs. You have saved $600k in your 401k and cash in a short amount of time since you were in school through much of your 20s. A...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11885

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

The more I read this, the more I think that the savings rate used in this thread could be improved. I use the one the Fed government uses, specifically the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA): https://bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PSAVERT Easier...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13373

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

Looks like this will be a stretch for you based on your last post. Consider: Increasing commuting time (within reason, of course) and buying a home like the one you want Waiting to buy for another 2-3 years until you have more saved Buying a townhouse or condo Buying a less expensive single family h...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage
Replies: 24
Views: 1913

Re: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage

Palatineman, Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you wanted to try to take advantage of the $62k of new credit line that's available at 0% for 12-15 months. In your response, you mention $4k. That's a big difference and I'm not sure how much you're looking to charge. In any case, if you'd like to spe...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage
Replies: 24
Views: 1913

Re: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage

Prepaying a big amount on your utility bills may not be great either. Factor in inflation. I've prepared a few months of my electric bill to meet minimum spending requirements for a bonus but wouldn't do $4k. Just because a credit line exists doesn't mean you have to use it. You could just do your n...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11885

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

Our gross income is about 155k and we contribute 35k into retirement accounts ourselves. This includes two Roth IRAs ($11k), a 457b ($18k), and a 403b ($6k). I did not include any of the following (but maybe should?): -My wife’s employer’s contributions into a SEP-IRA for her (they put in 15% of her...