Search found 214 matches

by berg
Fri May 26, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity check on home purchase numbers
Replies: 6
Views: 1180

Re: Sanity check on home purchase numbers

Here's how I look at it: If one of us loses our job and is unemployed for a long while, will we need to sell or can we make the payment each month without draining all our savings? You state your combined income, but not what each person makes. If you are making 200k and your spouse makes the other...
by berg
Fri May 26, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity check on home purchase numbers
Replies: 6
Views: 1180

Re: Sanity check on home purchase numbers

You are age, income, and asset appropriate for this amount of home purchase. Aside from normal risk issues I'd work hard to verify that you are not overpaying or paying bubble price for a specific home. At $1 mil for a home making a mistake and buying a dog is a huge problem. Look very closely at c...
by berg
Wed May 24, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity check on home purchase numbers
Replies: 6
Views: 1180

Sanity check on home purchase numbers

Hi all - looking for a sanity check on my home purchase numbers to make sure I'm in the right range. Please stick to advice about the finances of this home purchase and not the "I wouldn't spend X on a home" or "You don't need more space" or "Move to a cheaper town" com...
by berg
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?
Replies: 80
Views: 7399

How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?

I currently have a 1 and 3 year old. My 3 year old will be out of daycare in fall 2020 and my 1 year old in fall 2021. In the meantime, I'll be spending between $24-$30k per year on childcare. Curious for those who have already been through it. I know kids are still expensive long after daycare, but...
by berg
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit checks and mortgages
Replies: 5
Views: 511

credit checks and mortgages

My wife and I are looking to apply for a mortgage if we find the right home during the spring market. I was just about to switch up my cell phone plan from AT&T to Verizon and before I ordered the phone (my wife is on an old Verizon family plan and I want to consolidate). As I was going to purch...
by berg
Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads buy phones?
Replies: 43
Views: 3119

How do Bogleheads buy phones?

Despite my best efforts to hold on to my phone for a long time, it is starting to be sluggish. Wife and I are going to upgrade to new iPhones. Curious if you guys buy outright or monthly 0% plans with the provider. If it matters, I can get 5% back on Discover card if I buy online at the Apple store....
by berg
Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mass residents switching to Fidelity 529?
Replies: 3
Views: 301

Mass residents switching to Fidelity 529?

I have two 529s through Vangaurd (Nevada plan) for my two children, ages 2.5 and 9 months. I chose it based on fees and that I already have a Vanguard account and liked it all in one place. Massachusetts is now offering a tax deduction of up to $2000 for a Married couple (only about $67 per year aft...
by berg
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could a joint checking account with my sister impact mortgage application?
Replies: 2
Views: 326

Could a joint checking account with my sister impact mortgage application?

My father is in a nursing home and my sister and I want to have a shared account to share which we would spend out of for him if he needs anything (clothes, toiletries, etc.). He basically has no assets at this point beyond the $72 per month allotted to him for personal needs after medicaid pays for...
by berg
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?
Replies: 15
Views: 1925

Re: Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?

If you have Amazon Prime you can get the Amazon Prime store card, which has a 5% rebate, and not worry about prepaying for gift cards on the Discover and Sallie Mae. It also has a $50 sign-up bonus right now. m This does sound good since I have Prime. However, we might be applying for a mortgage in...
by berg
Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?
Replies: 15
Views: 1925

Maximizing credit card rewards, am I overthinking?

I have a few credit cards I use to maximize rewards. Curious if anybody else is maximizing like this or I am overthinking it to try to save a few bucks. I spend about $400 per month on Amazon on average. Right now, my Discover card has a quarterly benefit of 5% back on up to $1500 on Amazon and I ha...
by berg
Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NQSO Tax Strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1469

Re: NQSO Tax Strategy

To see how your strategy is flawed, compare your strategy with a) using some of your cash to buy your company shares at today's low price and b) keeping the stock options for their huge potential value. Apologize if I am being a little slow on this topic here, but I'm failing to understand this. Yo...
by berg
Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NQSO Tax Strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1469

Re: NQSO Tax Strategy

In case a), you will have a big loser on your hands. This is what happened to people who tried to be too cute in the tech crash of 2001. Frequently they also didn't have the cash to pay the taxes due upon exercise since they were counting on successfully selling the stock. That's the kind of analys...
by berg
Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NQSO Tax Strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1469

Re: NQSO Tax Strategy

To see how your strategy is flawed, compare your strategy with a) using some of your cash to buy your company shares at today's low price and b) keeping the stock options for their huge potential value. Apologize if I am being a little slow on this topic here, but I'm failing to understand this. If...
by berg
Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NQSO Tax Strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1469

NQSO Tax Strategy

Hi all - I have uniformly exercised and sold same day for the NQSO I have from my company. However, I'm considering a different strategy right now and while unconventional, wondering if this makes sense or is very flawed. Here is the situation. Due to the birth of our second child, my wife took some...
by berg
Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust date for beneficiary form?
Replies: 2
Views: 216

Trust date for beneficiary form?

Recently created a revocable trust as some of estate planning and I'm updating my beneficiaries on Vanguard, Life Insurance, etc. Vanguard is asking fir a Trust creation date. Anybody know if this is the date the legal doc was signed and the trust created or technically when I opened the trust accou...
by berg
Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EPO vs. PPO?
Replies: 2
Views: 513

EPO vs. PPO?

Choosing between EPO and PPO for family plan. The EPO plan is $120 cheaper per month ($1440 per year). When I looked at the EPO - 10 doctors my family uses for various needs are all in network. All major Boston hospitals (and suburban hospitals near us are in network). Copays are basically the same ...
by berg
Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EIN needed for revocable trust?
Replies: 6
Views: 870

EIN needed for revocable trust?

Just want to double check the information I am getting from my bank is correct. We recently did some basic estate planning (not particularly complicated, but we have kids so wanted to get it squared away). This included setting up a revocable trust to leave our assets to if something happens to both...
by berg
Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bigger mortgage for lower rate?
Replies: 7
Views: 1057

Bigger mortgage for lower rate?

Curious what your thoughts are on this one. I was talking to a mortgage broker and currently rates are lower for a jumbo loan. Non-jumbo is around 3.75% to 3.875%. However, jumbo loans in my area are $523,250 or more. We are looking at homes in the $800-$850 range. My plan was to put down about $450...
by berg
Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need an accountant this year?
Replies: 5
Views: 649

Re: Do I need an accountant this year?

You may want to check and make sure you have the right accounting for your NQSO sales... if you did a same day sale, the 1099 from your broker will show a gain, as they no longer include the taxable compensation that is also in your W2. So if you just entered straight from the 1099 you will be seei...
by berg
Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need an accountant this year?
Replies: 5
Views: 649

Do I need an accountant this year?

Just looking to get a sanity check here. I've done taxes myself through Turbotax forever (I'm 33). I don't think my tax situation is particularly complicated: Income: W2 (including some NQSO and RSU sales), bank interest, and some dividends from my two Vanguard mutual funds Deductions: Mortgage inte...
by berg
Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the benefit of paying credit card interest is just to get the item NOW instead of later?
Replies: 24
Views: 2035

Re: Is the benefit of paying credit card interest is just to get the item NOW instead of later?

Out of the blue I just had car problems to the tune of nearly $4000. For me it was a mere annoyance to have to spend funds on something not particularly enjoyable because of my income and savings. However, I could see how a lot of people might need to put it on a card without having a lot of options...
by berg
Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will closing a checking account (with overdraft) hurt credit?
Replies: 5
Views: 740

Will closing a checking account (with overdraft) hurt credit?

I'm closing out a Citibank account as they are no longer brick and mortar in Massachusetts. I have a $5000 overdraft protection with them. I want to close this account out, but might be mortgage shopping in the next few months. According to credit karma, my TransUnion score is 811 and my Equifax is ...
by berg
Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double check home loan numbers
Replies: 9
Views: 1501

Re: Double check home loan numbers

At a high level you should be fine, provided that you and your wife are comfortable with doing without a few of the finer things for the first couple of years post-move (e.g., not going hog-wild with new furniture, remodeling, etc). The one thing you might have overlooked is the increased property ...
by berg
Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double check home loan numbers
Replies: 9
Views: 1501

Re: Double check home loan numbers

I'm 33, my wife is 30. That is still a lot of house that would not be a right choice for everyone so you need to be prepared to trade that off with your spending in some other areas for a while. You are in a great financial position but there is an old saying, "You can do anything you want, bu...
by berg
Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double check home loan numbers
Replies: 9
Views: 1501

Re: Double check home loan numbers

I also think you are lowballing closing costs and what it can cost to move. Yes, you can get low/no closing cost mortgages, but they recoup the lower closing costs by having a higher rate. When it comes time, shop, shop, shop for the best mortgage (and in your situation I would pay discount points ...
by berg
Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double check home loan numbers
Replies: 9
Views: 1501

Double check home loan numbers

Hi all - looking for a sanity check on my home purchase numbers to make sure I'm in the right range. Please stick to advice about the finances of this home purchase and not the "I wouldn't spend X on a home" or "You don't need more space" or "Move to a cheaper town" com...
by berg
Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exercise stock options to hold while price is lower?
Replies: 9
Views: 1107

Re: Excercise stock options to hold while price is lower?

Thanks all! My gut was telling me it wasn't the right thing, but thanks for articulating it so well! :sharebeer
by berg
Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exercise stock options to hold while price is lower?
Replies: 9
Views: 1107

Exercise stock options to hold while price is lower?

I doubt this is a sound strategy, but wondering what you guys might think. I have some options that are fully vested and don't expire until 2022. My company's stock has been volatile as of late (as have many companies). While I exercise and sell RSUs immediately, since I have already been taxed on t...
by berg
Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension
Replies: 21
Views: 2010

Re: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension

Thanks all! I appreciate all the opinions on different calculations! At the end of the day, I'm not trying to calculate like an exact science. Just looking to illustrate the value to my wife. I handle the finances, but she was curious. She knows in theory that her pension as currently laid out is a ...
by berg
Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension
Replies: 21
Views: 2010

Re: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension

Trying to calculate the value of a Mass. teacher's pension. As we plan, I think it is important to understand the value there. Currently 11% is deducted toward the pensions, with a full 80% payout at age 58. My wife will have worked 37 years at retirement, and at current salary and conservative gro...
by berg
Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension
Replies: 21
Views: 2010

Re: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension

Will she also be eligible for SS. That's the biggest gripe I have about my wife's teacher pension plan: she gets a pension, but no SS. In her case she would be better off with SS and a 6% match in a 401k type vehicle. She is not - but she also doesn't contribute to SS. I haven't done the calculatio...
by berg
Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension
Replies: 21
Views: 2010

Re: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension

jwtietz wrote:don't forget the contributions that the local district and the state has made into her fund. All three contribute a percentage.


Right - this is where I was saying, essentially she is getting a 100% match, even though she isn't explicitly in 401k type vehicle.
by berg
Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the value of a teacher's pension
Replies: 21
Views: 2010

Calculating the value of a teacher's pension

Trying to calculate the value of a Mass. teacher's pension. As we plan, I think it is important to understand the value there. Currently 11% is deducted toward the pensions, with a full 80% payout at age 58. My wife will have worked 37 years at retirement, and at current salary and conservative grow...
by berg
Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feeling guilty for reducing taxable investments
Replies: 8
Views: 1047

Feeling guilty for reducing taxable investments

Curious if anybody else has experienced this. Due to some stock options that I sold I was contributing to a taxable account while also saving a large portion in cash for a new home downpayment or home renovation fund. The time horizon was vague during the past few years, but we are getting to making...
by berg
Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 4500

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

Can't one of you forego your career and stay home with the children ?? Have you price out how much that costs?:) Is it possible? It's funny -- I think this is the dilemma of high five figure salary. I know plenty of people who have a parent with a lower income and the decision is simple, not worth ...
by berg
Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 4500

Re: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

So what do you do with that 110k? Stick it in CDs? Invest it in stocks and you run the risk of the money not being there. In general any of these bucket schemes just make life hard. Accept daycare is expensive and pay it out of cash flow. If you can't cash flow it, you should reconsider your budget...
by berg
Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?
Replies: 54
Views: 4500

Anybody budget for daycare like it is college?

This might just be me moving numbers around, but curious if anybody else thought of daycare costs like this. With our second on the way and four years of care expected for each child, I'd estimate in total it is about $110k (yes you read that number right). So from a budgeting perspective I could sa...
by berg
Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home budget calculations
Replies: 13
Views: 2076

Re: Home budget calculations

Looks like there are a ton of 4 bed / 2.5 bath homes in the $200-500k range all over the "HCOL" Boston area. Have you read the book, "The Millionaire Next Door", and similar books that talk about wasting money trying to keep up with the Jones's instead of what you need? You can ...
by berg
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home budget calculations
Replies: 13
Views: 2076

Re: Home budget calculations

There are perfectly good forever homes for 150k. Where are we talking for 900k? Silicon Valley? I don't think there is anything that could ever make me want to pay 900k for a house. At 1%/y maintenance that's 9000 which is more than half of my yearly rent by itself. I would rather own a 300k house ...
by berg
Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home budget calculations
Replies: 13
Views: 2076

Re: Home budget calculations

If you're feeling uneasy with both options, this is a sign that you're probably stretching yourself too far to purchase the home. What is the motivation for seeking a new home? Is it really a need or is it just a want? Ha. I had a feeling I'd get a response like this as I was typing the words uneas...
by berg
Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home budget calculations
Replies: 13
Views: 2076

Home budget calculations

I'm trying to run some numbers and would love a take from the Bogleheads. Thinking up upgrading to a permanent home and thinking about a range of $800-$900k. So two scenarios I'm looking (I suppose this is just a different version of pay down or invest). 1. Use equity in current home + savings to pu...
by berg
Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-buy after TLH? First timer!
Replies: 12
Views: 1507

Re: Re-buy after TLH? First timer!

Well, if you put it that way: Doing it today is market timing. Waiting is market timing. I think the only you can say it is not market timing is to roll the dice and do the exchange in 2 to 12 days. Or roll one die and do the exchange in 1 to 6 days. I honestly wasn't trying to be cute. Just my fir...
by berg
Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-buy after TLH? First timer!
Replies: 12
Views: 1507

Re: Re-buy after TLH? First timer!

livesoft wrote:
Also, since you like VTIAX, why not wait until VFWAX goes down some more? I don't see what the rush here is myself.


Isn't that just market timing? If I'm down $4k, which is a substantial amount, why not just take it?
by berg
Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-buy after TLH? First timer!
Replies: 12
Views: 1507

Re-buy after TLH? First timer!

Quick question for the experts here. I sold VTIAX for a loss on 12/28/15 and bought VFWAX. Since then, VFWAX is down another $4,100. Today is the 30th day from when I sold. So am I safe to buy VTIAX back tomorrow on the 31st day? Given I'm down another $4,100 seems like the right thing to do. Thanks!
by berg
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-owner of safe deposit box?
Replies: 13
Views: 1713

Re: Co-owner of safe deposit box?

Feels like there should be a simpler solution for keeping the original copy of your will! Sigh.
by berg
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-owner of safe deposit box?
Replies: 13
Views: 1713

Co-owner of safe deposit box?

Finally got a will and I am thinking of opening a safe deposit box at my local bank for the will and some other items. I'd feel more comfortable not keeping it in the house. One idea I had was to make a trusted friend a co-owner, so they would have access to the box in the event something happens to...
by berg
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

Signature Guarantees: Preventing the Unauthorized Transfer of Securities m An investor can obtain a signature guarantee from a financial institution – such as a commercial bank, savings bank, credit union, or broker dealer – that participates in one of the Medallion signature guarantee programs . T...
by berg
Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

In researching Needham Bank, they seem like a really great. The one thing that came up is they have a "signature guarantee," but not a "medallion signature guarantee." I've never needed that before. Is that a big difference that I need to be worried about? I don't currently own a...
by berg
Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

I've always only had Citizens Bank coming up on nearly 20 years now. I like that they have branches at supermarkets and that they are open late and on weekends. Never had a reason to leave - although I am grandfathered into a pretty good fee-free checking account. Funny you mention that! My wife an...
by berg
Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

I just found out (which shows just how often I use my brick and mortar bank), that Citibank has closed all of it's retail locations in Massachusetts. For about 10 years I've used them as my primary brick and mortar, while also using Ally for savings. I generally like the idea of having a brick and m...