Search found 129 matches

by cbr shadow
Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Rwards Points?
Replies: 3
Views: 197

Tracking Rwards Points?

I'd like to find a single place where I can track all of my rewards points. I found an app recently, but it wouldn't track Marriot points, which was the only one it wouldn't track. I'd basically like to track Marriott and Chase rewards points and would like the ability to combine users if possible (...
by cbr shadow
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1203
Views: 148548

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My wife and I recently both applied for the Chase Reserve card for the 100k point sign up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Our next payment will put us over that $4000 limit on each card, so we'll get the points. I'm hoping to open another Chase credit card to use it for the sign u...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Issue - Advice needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Re: Rental Issue - Advice needed

The aquarium bag doesn't say "do not flush" on it.. but neither does a box of nails! hahaha I wouldn't think either would need such a label. I think you're likely right that I'm going to be on the hook for the $$$. Very frustrating, especially considering the tenants attitude about being p...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Issue - Advice needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Rental Issue - Advice needed

I posted on here recently with a question about whether it's worth keeping my rental property or not. Generally the answer was "no", so I decided after reviewing the numbers that we would sell it when the current tenant moves out 4/1/2017. I mentioned that we've always had very good tenant...
by cbr shadow
Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth keeping rental? (Numbers included)
Replies: 3
Views: 446

Worth keeping rental? (Numbers included)

My wife and I live in San Francisco Bay Area where we are both employed, but we own a house in a Chicago suburb that we rent out. We lived in the house originally, then moved and decided to be landlords. As our current tenant gets near the end of their lease I'd like to consider if it's worth keepin...
by cbr shadow
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions
Replies: 44
Views: 2739

Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions

My wife and I are flying to Hawaii in about 3 weeks for a week-long vacation. We've been to Maui many years ago, but nowhere else in Hawaii. My wife picked Hawaii because she wanted to see/hike on a volcano. What are the best things to do in this area? We are Open Water Certified for scuba diving, s...
by cbr shadow
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA income questions
Replies: 4
Views: 490

Re: Roth IRA income questions

Bump - any help appreciated
by cbr shadow
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA income questions
Replies: 4
Views: 490

Roth IRA income questions

I'd like to contribute to Roth IRA's for my wife ($5500) and myself ($5500) for 2016, but I'm not sure if we're eligible or not. We lived in Australia until April 2016 (Getting paid in AUD, but still paying some US taxes on that money). Then we moved to California and now both work for USD. We ended...
by cbr shadow
Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true
Replies: 186
Views: 25777

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Too good to be (completely) true

Is there any reason my wife and I can't both sign up for a card and take advantage of the signup bonus twice? She applied and was approved this morning. I assume she should refer me to get extra (I believe 10k) points? Note: We wont have any issue hitting the minimum spend for (2) cards in the first...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brother buying new car
Replies: 4
Views: 632

Brother buying new car

My brother asked me for advice on buying a new car for his wife/kids. He's nervous about the negotiating part of buying a new car. I'd do it for him, but I'm located across the country. When I bought a new car about 6 years ago I used a method that worked great: calling multiple dealerships and maki...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hard Endeavor/Exercise in Middle Age
Replies: 118
Views: 7188

Re: Hard Endeavor/Exercise in Middle Age

I'm similar aged (33) and have a similar background with football/wrestling and just droning to the gym 3x per week to stay reasonably fit. Then two years ago I decided to get a road bike and do some cycling with a friend of mine. This really woke up a competitive spirit that I had in my early 20's ...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Car Value For $10K Or Less
Replies: 30
Views: 2090

Re: Best Car Value For $10K Or Less

I didn't read through all of the posts above, but skimmed through most of them. I was in the exact same situation as you a few months ago and ended up finding a 2012 Toyota Prius with 74k miles for $9800. It satisfies all of your requirements and I believe is the best value car around (talking dolla...
by cbr shadow
Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.
Replies: 45
Views: 4609

Re: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.

... how do I put this nicely?... Stop complaining about something that's benefitting you. That would be a good way to put it. There is no obligation to provide any type of employer match at all. I understand your point, but I think it's fine to complain about a bad 401k program if it's deceptively ...
by cbr shadow
Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How will you tip this Christmas?
Replies: 51
Views: 4358

Re: How will you tip this Christmas?

I grew up in Chicago but moved to Australia a few years ago and was thrown off by the "no tipping" policy there. I was so used to tipping EVERYONE, which comes off awkwardly in Australia. Minimum wage is higher and Australians pride themselves about paying everyone a good living wage. Once...
by cbr shadow
Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to those who don't invest?
Replies: 70
Views: 4459

What happens to those who don't invest?

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago in an upper-middle class area and went to college in the midwest. I've always "worried" about my finances and saved a good amount, married someone who was financially responsible, learned about investing, etc. I think we're in good shape financially, but no...
by cbr shadow
Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [55% of households have Zero Credit Card Debt]
Replies: 30
Views: 2948

Re: US households (indebted) average $16k credit card debt!!!

White Coat Investor wrote:Since I started paying my taxes by credit card I'm sure my monthly average is higher than $16K. Always paid in full of course, but that's what gets reported to credit bureaus.


This caught my attention! How do you pay your taxes on a credit card? I'd like to do this as well :)
by cbr shadow
Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Verify my Backdoor Roth Procedure
Replies: 5
Views: 351

Re: Verify my Backdoor Roth Procedure

I believe the fact that wife and I both have IRA's means we cannot do the backdoor roth ira, correct? You can do it, but you wouldn't want to because the conversion would be pro-rated with the IRAs. This does not produce the desired result and is something you don't want to get into. If that's the ...
by cbr shadow
Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Verify my Backdoor Roth Procedure
Replies: 5
Views: 351

Verify my Backdoor Roth Procedure

This year will be the first year that my household income is over the limit to contribute to Roth IRA. I've been reading about a backdoor roth though, which sounds like a good option for me. Here are a few facts: - Household income (wife + Myself) = ~$250k - Wife max 401k ($18k), I'm not yet eligibl...
by cbr shadow
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation
Replies: 131
Views: 15520

Re: Retiring in a Decade after Graduation

[Post removed by admin LadyGeek] OP, I'd check out MrMoneyMustache if you're looking for some responses that are a bit more open-minded than the above. There's nothing wrong with your goals and plenty of people have done this successfully. You'll need to get used to hearing resistance from people t...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does Dave Ramsey mean by "ride the wave"
Replies: 29
Views: 5396

Re: What does Dave Ramsey mean by "ride the wave"

I found Dave Ramsey before I found MrMoneyMustache before I found bogleheads. Each helped me in some way, but I was totally turned off by a Dave Ramsey podcast when a caller was asking for advice and Ramsey said "The first thing you need to do is find a good church!" I was confused about w...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?

Makes sense. At 33 are you 100% stocks? If investing, it should line up with your desired asset allocation. 80/20, 70/30, etc Other uses: Back door roth? College fund? Any upcoming spending you can pre-load? Car purchase, vacation? If you have any inkling of "retiring early", having a tax...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?

Why would you want to sell your rental and give up on $1,700 a month in income? Well it currently ties up $60k in equity, plus exposes me to some risk like large things breaking in the house, possibility of bad tenants or vacancy, etc. Then there's insurance/taxes that could change, etc. It's hard ...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?

Thanks for the reply. I don't mind being a LL from San Francisco. I've been a LL for this rental from Australia for the last 2-years, so SF feels local :) The $60k is on top of our emergency fund that we have in another account. The $60k is just "extra" that we don't want to just sit aroun...
by cbr shadow
Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?
Replies: 8
Views: 727

$60k Towards Rental, or VTSAX?

Below I've listed some stats to help form a better picture of our situation, but I'm wondering if we should use our $70k cash to pay down our mortgage on our rental or if we should invest that money in our Vanguard taxable account. Ages: 33, 33 Kids: No Income: ~$220k + variable bonus somewhere betw...
by cbr shadow
Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.
Replies: 45
Views: 4609

Re: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.

C'mon, the new guy has full leeway to ask the bold questions. At my previous place of work, after a presentation all the employees in the room would turn to me and give an expectant look. One of the employees would ask, "OK, livesoft, was this presentation legit? I'm sure you have some questio...
by cbr shadow
Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Match on 401k.. sorta.
Replies: 45
Views: 4609

20% Match on 401k.. sorta.

I recently switched jobs to a small company that offers a "20% 401k Match", meaning they'll match 20% of whatever you contribute. This seems strange to me that they don't do a 1-to-1 match up to a certain percentage. So basically if I max my contribution ($18,000) they'll put $3,600 into m...
by cbr shadow
Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?
Replies: 5
Views: 349

Closing very old bank account - Credit Score?

My wife and I are both 33 and have ~800 credit score. We have a bank account in the town we grew up in which has been her account for 18 years. They're actually a very bad bank and we'd like to close the account, but we're worried that it will have a large impact on our credit score. We've kept it f...
by cbr shadow
Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 401k for a year - IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 558

Re: No 401k for a year - IRA?

Every employee can contribute to their IRA, the lesser of $5,500 or earned income. If at least age 50 there is an additional $1,000 on that maximum contribution. If you are covered by an employee plan at work, you may not be allowed to deduct your contribution. See Table 1-2 on page 13 here: https:...
by cbr shadow
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 401k for a year - IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 558

Re: No 401k for a year - IRA?

Yes I plan on maxing the 401k and Roth IRA every year. In this case it sounds like my only other option is going to be to be to add to my taxable account.
by cbr shadow
Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 401k for a year - IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 558

Re: No 401k for a year - IRA?

I switched jobs recently and the new company doesn't let me participate in the 401k program until I've been there a year :(. At that point they have a great 20% match. So what are my options in the meantime? I believe I can start a traditional IRA through Vanguard on my own, correct? Then I can con...
by cbr shadow
Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 401k for a year - IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 558

No 401k for a year - IRA?

I switched jobs recently and the new company doesn't let me participate in the 401k program until I've been there a year :(. At that point they have a great 20% match. So what are my options in the meantime? I believe I can start a traditional IRA through Vanguard on my own, correct? Then I can cont...
by cbr shadow
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2266

Re: Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?

Where will you be working; at their facility or home? Do you get expenses reimbursed? How will you account for the extra utilities and supplies if you work from home? In addition to "benefits" you really should plug in some kind of "profit". I'd probably just double my $30/hr sa...
by cbr shadow
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2266

Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?

I'm leaving my company for a new job, but have been asked to do some contracting work on the side for the company I'm leaving. I'm unsure about how much to charge hourly for the contracting work. Is there a general rule for this, based on the numbers I'm providing below? I assume there's a happy med...
by cbr shadow
Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a business, contracting. How?
Replies: 6
Views: 452

Re: Starting a business, contracting. How?

That's all good information - thanks!
by cbr shadow
Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a business, contracting. How?
Replies: 6
Views: 452

Starting a business, contracting. How?

Yesterday I gave my 2-weeks notice to my employer, as I found a new opportunity. I also brought up to my supervisor that I'd be interested in doing contract work in my free-time. He showed a lot of interest in me doing this, and said "Go ahead and set up a business and we'll send you as much wo...
by cbr shadow
Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expenses for Work Travel - Assume it's covered?
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Expenses for Work Travel - Assume it's covered?

I'm receiving a job offer today for an engineering type of position. The company is small and recently opened a new department that I'm being hired for. This department has contracts with large tech companies around the Bay Area, and I'll be working for a couple of months at a time at these companie...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?
Replies: 95
Views: 6570

Re: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?

Wow thanks for all of the responses. Yes, this is for a "Design Engineer" type of position in a small (less than 50 people) company that has been around for 35 years. There's such a variety of responses here that it's hard to really conclude anything. I did see a company picture on their w...
by cbr shadow
Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?
Replies: 95
Views: 6570

Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?

I'm from Chicago, but recently moved to San Francisco and am interviewing for a small company (mom & pop type of company, not a startup) in Silicon Valley. I'm wondering if I should wear a suit/tie or not. I've seen a similar question asked in the past, and I believe people said to ask what's ap...
by cbr shadow
Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying second home - how much $?
Replies: 6
Views: 525

Re: Buying second home - how much $?

What's your main motivation for keeping the first home? If it's to have an investment property, make sure you objectively run the numbers and decide if it's actually worth keeping AND that you want to be a landlord. You have a new baby, student debt and car loan, one income, and want to buy a house ...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a Taxable Acct. with Vanguard - Quick Review
Replies: 6
Views: 895

Starting a Taxable Acct. with Vanguard - Quick Review

My wife and I recently returned to the USA after 2-years in AUS working as contractors. We saved about $100k and plan on opening a brokerage account with the money. We are already maxing 401k's and fully funding Roth IRA's. This isn't another DCA vs Lump Sum conversation. I plan on lump summing and ...
by cbr shadow
Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 226
Views: 26524

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

Wife and I both 32 Household income: $180-$200k Both completed college very late (age 25 for her, 26 for me) due to not being focused and mental health issues Owe $165k on house worth $240k Net Worth = $330k No consumer debt or student loans No kids We're not doing as well as many on this forum, but...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

Re: 401k with Principal - Any options?

I appreciate the help so far - thanks!
Ok so I finally got all the information. Please let me know what options seem reasonable.

Image
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

Re: 401k with Principal - Any options?

I just went to my 401k account, click the tab "investments" and then click "investment performance". This brought up a tab for all the investments I can invest in and at the end of the columns is the "Total expense gross". There is also a tab of just the investments th...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

Re: 401k with Principal - Any options?

I called Principal and spoke to their services person who explained the Principal ER for these funds. Does this sound right?... I asked about the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Admiral Fund, which I see has a 0.12% ER. She said that the expense ratio of 0.12% is correct, and that's the onl...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

Re: 401k with Principal - Any options?

Look up investment performance. At the end column will be your ER. Show the funds and the ER. the S&P500 for my 401k through principal was .72% ER which was the best option and isn't too bad. I also have Principle for my 401k, and my S&P 500 fund thru Principle is .32% Wonder why such a big...
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

Re: 401k with Principal - Any options?

Principal makes it difficult to compare ER of each plan. It took me a long time to find the page pictured below - is this what would be needed to compare?

Image
by cbr shadow
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with Principal - Any options?
Replies: 17
Views: 1000

401k with Principal - Any options?

My wife and I use Vanguard for our Roth IRA's, her traditional IRA (converted 401k from previous job) and my employer's 401k. Her employer's 401k is through Principal Financial, which charges all types of fees that we would like to avoid. Is there a way to get existing 401k investments converted to ...
by cbr shadow
Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we contribute to Roth IRAs this year?
Replies: 4
Views: 565

Can we contribute to Roth IRAs this year?

My wife and I lived in Australia for a work contract for the last 2 years. We moved back in April 2016 and both work for our companies here in the US again. We missed a couple years of contribution to Roth IRA's while we were gone so I would like to contribute as soon as possible. Since we have US i...
by cbr shadow
Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or Rent it out
Replies: 9
Views: 1285

Re: Sell or Rent it out

In my opinion the only numbers to consider are the $275k price he can get now, and $1600/mth rent. These numbers do not make for a profitable rental property. In most areas of the US you can achieve the 1% rule, meaning the monthly PITI payment is 1% of the value of the house. Some places people wil...
by cbr shadow
Mon May 09, 2016 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have one of those standing desks?
Replies: 45
Views: 5241

Re: Anyone have one of those standing desks?

I also have the Ergo Depot Jarvis desk. It's electric and has (4) memory heights and the push of a button. My wife and I have our preset sit/stand heights programmed. We both work from home (me 100%, her 80%) so we decided this year to get a nicer home office setup that would be ergonomic and make w...

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