Search found 360 matches

by dsmil
Thu May 05, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your age in bonds minus ten? Not according to Vanguard
Replies: 93
Views: 8002

Re: Your age in bonds minus ten? Not according to Vanguard

I like the curved models that are currently followed in most of the target retirement funds, so I think I'll be at 90/10 until age 40.
by dsmil
Thu May 05, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Replies: 41
Views: 3990

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred

I tried to downgrade to the new Chase Freedom Unlimited a few days ago but they said that only the normal Chase Sapphire was available to downgrade to.
by dsmil
Wed May 04, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3138

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

Monthly gross income: $8000 (yearly gross income $96000 divided by 12) we have one income from my husband. Monthly net income for each of you: $4800 for both Percent being saved into your 401k: my husband has thrift savings plan from last August. I will check the percentage.(we are not fluent with ...
by dsmil
Wed May 04, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3138

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

Follow-up: We found a small rowhouse for $400,000 in the city and are about to make a contract. The seller is not using real state agent, so the price is relatively reasonable compared to other properties around. My question is: How much from our savings($240,000 roughly) should we put for the down...
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman's Emergency Fund Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 3453

Re: Paul Merriman's Emergency Fund Recommendation

I've been slowly moving emergency money from Ally online savings (taxable) to the Vanguard Short Term Federal Fund (Roth) in order to be able to max out our $11k of annual Roth contributions. In the long term, I'll likely move the emergency money in the Roth to my retirement AA, and have the emergen...
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5-yr House-buying fund
Replies: 2
Views: 668

Re: 5-yr House-buying fund

It looks like a reasonable plan to me.
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 6275

Re: How Much House

Bought a townhouse in 2012, 40 minutes from work, and house was 2.5x income (now 3x with wife staying home). We went with a FHA loan and put the minimum 3.5% down. It wasn't the Bogleheads' thing to do, but we are likely to come out ahead vs. renting, and have a nice townhouse rather than a 1 bedroo...
by dsmil
Mon May 02, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?
Replies: 65
Views: 5794

Re: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?

My wife and I are pretty much on the same page financially. Early on, she wasn't sold on the importance of investing for retirement, but she now fully trusts my retirement savings strategies because she knows how much time I've put into learning about it. We put a budget together which allows us to ...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Degree, College and Career
Replies: 20
Views: 1803

Re: Degree, College and Career

It is correct that if degree is AACSB Accounting Accredited Program then college ranking doesn't make a big difference for first recruitment ? I think that employers want to go to good schools and big schools. Good schools because they know that they students are smart, and big schools because it's...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1318

Re: Chase Sapphire Question

We were just approved for this card and it's our first in the rewards game. I was wondering if car payments or student loans are eligible? She has both and we are about to pay them both off at once and I was wondering if we could capitalize on this. Thanks. Anything is eligible as long as you use t...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1318

Re: Chase Sapphire Question

We were just approved for this card and it's our first in the rewards game. I was wondering if car payments or student loans are eligible? She has both and we are about to pay them both off at once and I was wondering if we could capitalize on this. Thanks. Anything is eligible as long as you use t...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 488
Views: 53639

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

CPA - 200K. I only saw one other one so far... so as a group maybe we're shy or aren't Bogleheads. I'll bet on shy. Def shy. CPA here also. Earn above $100K but would like to earn $200K. Any advice and/or tips? Thanks so much!!! Are you in public accounting? If so, then I think you pretty much have...
by dsmil
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Diversification
Replies: 11
Views: 700

Re: Tax Diversification

It's definitely nice to have some tax diversification, and I'm also in the camp that believes that if tax rates are going anywhere, they are going up. But I'm assuming that you are above the income threshold for a Roth IRA, and in that case, normally Traditional is the better way to go. Could you co...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protection against sewer line breakage/backup
Replies: 9
Views: 733

Re: Protection against sewer line breakage/backup

We just had a sewer line replacement and it cost $2,500. I'm now left with a pile of dirt that is slowly settling into place. The original break was due to a large piece of cement that was underground for some reason (probably left by the old builder). The cement put pressure on the line and finally...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have any of you overextended on housing? What were your experiences?
Replies: 42
Views: 3890

Re: Have any of you overextended on housing? What were your experiences?

Our PITI is 25% of gross income and our home price is 3x of our gross income, and we do not feel overextended at all. The home price to income ratio doesn't take into account the size of the down payment, or the fact that the low interest rate environment makes more expensive homes more affordable. ...
by dsmil
Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why have a formal budget?
Replies: 82
Views: 5713

Re: Why have a formal budget?

We have a budget, and I hate it, but it's a necessary evil. It gives us a way to stay on course with our financial goals and I do think that we'd spend more without it.
by dsmil
Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 655
Views: 103680

Re: Boglehead Beer

Speaking of Founders, I am so happy that Founders is finally coming to Maryland! Now that Bell's and Founders are here, my occasional drives from MD to DC for beer are over.
by dsmil
Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I do a Roth conversion or keep funds in a rollover IRA?
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: Should I do a Roth conversion or keep funds in a rollover IRA?

First off, your tax bracket is actually determined by taxable income on your tax return, not gross income. If your gross income is $95k, and you receive the standard MFJ deduction and 2 exemptions, you are already on the border of the 15% bracket, which was $74,900 for 2015 taxes. Aside from that, l...
by dsmil
Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many "subscriptions" do you have?
Replies: 50
Views: 3754

Re: How many "subscriptions" do you have?

Cable (w/sports package) and Internet - $140/mo. (and this sports fan isn't cutting the cord anytime soon) Cell Phones - $90/mo. for our 2 cell phones AAA - $180/yr. (I seem to use this every few months with our old cars) Credit Card - $95/yr. (I've been churning cards lately but only keep one long ...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Roth IRA for Home Down Payment.
Replies: 23
Views: 1677

Re: Using Roth IRA for Home Down Payment.

Even if PMI adds up to 14k [I believe it will be more on a 400k house] . . . that is a guaranteed 40k we've 'earned'. Right now you are in a paid-off house, so raiding your Roth will not "earn" you $40k, but you are only comparing it against moving into a new house and paying PMI. What ab...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life insurance for 33 year old
Replies: 14
Views: 1365

Re: Term life insurance for 33 year old

Term4Sale.com was very easy for me. I put my information in, got some quotes, and an insurance agent from a local company called me soon after. I went with Banner Life Insurance, which had a good rate and financial rating.
by dsmil
Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Roth IRA for Home Down Payment.
Replies: 23
Views: 1677

Re: Using Roth IRA for Home Down Payment.

I know that you want to purchase your new home before selling your old one, but is that what would cause you to raid your Roth? If so, I would definitely try to sell your home while you are still living there and not touch your valuable Roth contributions. It seems like you think that raiding the Ro...
by dsmil
Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any stay at home parents regret the decision?
Replies: 100
Views: 10427

Re: Any stay at home parents regret the decision?

My wife is 1 year into staying at home and we both are happy with the decision. She has always wanted to stay home but we never thought that it was possible until recently, after my career has gone better than planned. Our final decision came between staying at home or continuing teaching part-time,...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?
Replies: 14
Views: 1361

Re: Don't Include 529s in Portfolio, Correct?

I wouldn't include 529 assets in my retirement portfolio total. But, for the people who overfund retirement accounts while saving, and then stop saving for retirement during the college years to pay the tuition bills, I would include everything in my retirement portfolio total.
by dsmil
Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Day Fund & Asset Allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 715

Re: Target Day Fund & Asset Allocation

Thanks! I didn't even realize that they now have index based target date funds. But based on the feedback, it seems I should invest in index funds and re-balance myself instead of using target date funds. Yes, if you buy Admiral shares ($10k minimum) of the various index funds held in the Vanguard ...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Day Fund & Asset Allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 715

Re: Target Day Fund & Asset Allocation

Target date funds are fine, but it takes some research to pick the one that suits your needs best. I don't use target date funds but I plan on changing my stocks vs. bonds allocation with age in a similar way (curved rather than straight line). This is an old chart from 2007 but it shows the point t...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How To Find My (retirement) Number?
Replies: 64
Views: 4945

Re: How To Find My (retirement) Number?

I've been using 25x projected expenses, minus projected social security. I'm planning on social security not being as strong in 40 years, so I haven't been including any social security for my spouse, who would get 50% of my earning per the current rules. I'm calculating that I'd need $750k of after...
by dsmil
Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down low interest debt or carry it?
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: Pay down low interest debt or carry it?

If you keep the debt and the second child comes, are you still able to find retirement and have a good emergency fund? If so, I'd personally side with filling up your Roth space instead of paying down those loans. I wouldn't want to waste that space, especially if you are in the 15% bracket. I'm not...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETF vs. index fund
Replies: 5
Views: 529

Re: ETF vs. index fund

The biggest reason that I chose mutual funds is that you can automatically buy a certain dollar amount every month automatically. ETF's require you to calculate how many shares to buy, so you can't set everything on auto-pilot.
by dsmil
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRS question re: Roth IRA e-fund
Replies: 7
Views: 661

Re: IRS question re: Roth IRA e-fund

Go with the Roth, you can withdraw contributions at any-time, penalty and tax free.
by dsmil
Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 10920

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

Probably moving to DC after graduation with my fiancee in 2009, meanwhile my future employer was having layoffs and pushed my start date back a few months. I went around looking for a job that I could hold for a few months before starting at my CPA firm, and was scolded by the manager at CVS for sho...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing Student Loans
Replies: 6
Views: 559

Re: Refinancing Student Loans

I went with a Sofi variable rate option but refinanced $40k of loans, not $400k. If you reach your goal and payoff everything in 5 years, the variable could work better, but it's riskier in the case that you don't reach your goal. I'd just make sure that you are pretty confident in your future job b...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing emergency fund in bond ETF
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Investing emergency fund in bond ETF

You understand that the disadvantage is the added risk of loss and are comfortable with that so it sounds like a fine plan.
by dsmil
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer - Can I afford this home?
Replies: 38
Views: 3543

Re: First time home buyer - Can I afford this home?

Mostly negativity here but if your spending habits are in check, I see this being affordable. My wife stays at home with our child, our numbers are similar, and our monthly savings will be approaching $2k shortly. You are talking about monthly savings of $700-$1000 per month, after retirement contri...
by dsmil
Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring part of emergency fund into Roth IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 1153

Re: Transferring part of emergency fund into Roth IRA

I like the idea and have been doing it personally, as I haven't been able to max out our Roths with retirement contributions. Here is an example: You're able to contribute 9k of retirement funds towards the 11k limit for your Roth accounts on an annual basis, so you also move $2k of emergency money ...
by dsmil
Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new credit card and credit score
Replies: 9
Views: 967

Re: new credit card and credit score

The help that your improved utilization will give you could cancel out the effect of the credit inquiry. Would your average age of credit go down signifantly? This would count other debt like student loans, car loans, and your other cards.
by dsmil
Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card being closed for inactivity...Should I care?
Replies: 7
Views: 1000

Re: Credit card being closed for inactivity...Should I care?

Closing affects utilization and average age of credit, but the actual hit on your score would depend on your situation. If you only have one other card, and your credit limit is the same on both, than utilization would theoretically double if you close this card. If you have 10 cards, than utilizati...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer - Can I afford this home?
Replies: 38
Views: 3543

Re: First time home buyer - Can I afford this home?

Even on one salary, I think that you could afford this home. As long as it fits in your budget and you are still saving for retirement, it looks like it will work for you.
by dsmil
Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: starter home vs. final home
Replies: 37
Views: 3827

Re: starter home vs. final home

I don't personally like the idea of moving into a starter home that you could NEVER see yourself living in for a long time. Once you add up interest, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, there are a good amount of wasted costs with home ownership as well. Plus, buying and selling a starter home means ...
by dsmil
Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7995

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Does it make sense to book short haul flights with chase UR i.e. local within the US? I guess I wouldn't have to pay cash, but not sure if this is using the points in the smartest way Southwest has the same redemption rate no matter where you go, so it makes perfect sense to even use it for short f...
by dsmil
Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7995

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Jags4186 wrote:
dsmil wrote:I believe that the rule is now in effect for any Chase co-branded cards as well (Southwest, Hyatt, etc.). It just makes the decision of what bonuses to go after a little harder, if you're into that.


Not yet. I was approved last week for Hyatt. Way over 5/24.


I think that it started April 1st.
by dsmil
Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7995

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Is there a best bang for the buck re UR points? Wife and I have a bunch i.e. Over 100k+ and we were wondering whether it makes sense to use them for short haul flights or save for an extravagant trip? Also, if I buy a plane ticket through Chase without using the points, do I get more points than go...
by dsmil
Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7995

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

I believe that the rule is now in effect for any Chase co-branded cards as well (Southwest, Hyatt, etc.). It just makes the decision of what bonuses to go after a little harder, if you're into that.
by dsmil
Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 7995

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

This looks like a nice everyday card for me for almost everything other than gas and groceries, where I'll stick with the 5% back from the Sallie Mae card. Im hoping to downgrade my wife's Sapphire Preferred to this, and still have my own Sapphire Preferred to transfer the points to. For credit card...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice with Roth IRA/emergency fund, Age 29/married
Replies: 7
Views: 1181

Re: Advice with Roth IRA/emergency fund, Age 29/married

For our portion of emergency funds in the Roth, we use Vanguard Short-Term Federal Fund (VSGBX). It seems pretty safe and is at least keeping up with inflation.
by dsmil
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 826
Views: 131315

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Up 3.97% as of 3/31, mostly due to making my annual Roth contributions literally on the exact right day of February 11th.

44% Total US
17% Developed Int'l
10% Emerging Markets
9% Small Cap Value
10% REIT
10% Bonds
by dsmil
Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for Passing the CPA Exam 2016-17 edition
Replies: 23
Views: 1347

Re: Advice for Passing the CPA Exam 2016-17 edition

My best advice is to come up with a plan that works for you and allows you to study consistently. Some people study hardcore for a couple of weeks and are able to pass the test. Others need a few months with a review course. I originally bought the Yaeger review program, which comes with video instr...
by dsmil
Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new accounts for new goals
Replies: 10
Views: 852

Re: new accounts for new goals

I think it could be a good idea to put your first $5,500 into a Roth and then max out the Traditional 401k. Although your tax bracket is on the high side, at least this gives you some tax diversification and flexibility, in the case that you need to take out contributions in an emergency.
by dsmil
Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Off Student Loans or Mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 618

Re: Pay Off Student Loans or Mortgage?

I'd throw the money at the student loans. You'll be able to pay them off earlier which will give you some extra monthly cash flow, which could then go towards other goals. Even after saving enough for retirement and paying off student loans, I'd personally rather save for the next down payment than ...
by dsmil
Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Long-term investments vs. mid-term needs
Replies: 6
Views: 635

Re: Long-term investments vs. mid-term needs

I like to separate my shorter term and longer term investments as much as possible. Here is what I try to do with the items that you've listed: 1) Unexpected Life Surprises - Use from emergency fund (checking,savings, Roth if necessary, etc.) 2) Kids - Hopefully you and your spouse's income will sup...

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