Search found 387 matches

by dsmil
Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k
Replies: 39
Views: 1982

Re: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k

I always thought I understood the advantages of a Roth. Investments grow tax-free...that should be an automatic win, right? If I invest $1,000 today, and it grows to $10,000 by the time I retire, I'd rather pay taxes on the $1,000 than the $10,000, right? That is, until I read the following scenari...
by dsmil
Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 29 years old, just beginning to invest, 38k salary.
Replies: 12
Views: 1373

Re: 29 years old, just beginning to invest, 38k salary.

First off, tax brackets are mentioned a lot here and it's important to know that tax brackets have to do with taxable income, not gross income. When mentioning your tax bracket and making decisions based off of this, you will fall into the 15% bracket, not the 25% bracket. Your gross income is $38k,...
by dsmil
Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I go for 0% down, no PMI, on a mortgage in SF?
Replies: 22
Views: 838

Re: Do I go for 0% down, no PMI, on a mortgage in SF?

I wouldn't start thinking about buying a house again just because the bank is willing to give you a loan. The banks haven't learned much from the housing crisis and are still giving loans out that they shouldn't. The bank is the one with little skin in the game because they first get the origination...
by dsmil
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I make Roth or Traditional 401k contributions?
Replies: 5
Views: 309

Re: Should I make Roth or Traditional 401k contributions?

From your other post, it seems like you're in the 25% tax bracket (remember this is taxable income from tax return, not gross income). In the 25% bracket, most people would recommend traditional 401k contributions. But as a young person, it's nice to also fill your Roth space with emergency money, o...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 1748

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Your mortgage payment won't be recalculated though, so you're still paying the same interest. You just might have the house paid off a few months earlier, 30 years down the line.
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 1748

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Making normal payments the PMI is going to be around for about 5 years. Our budget is fairly tight but I could probably get that down to 3yrs or less with the extra money I could put towards it. We do like the home and plan to stay - no plans short or long to move right now. Both our cars are now p...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 1748

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Making normal payments the PMI is going to be around for about 5 years. Our budget is fairly tight but I could probably get that down to 3yrs or less with the extra money I could put towards it. We do like the home and plan to stay - no plans short or long to move right now. Both our cars are now p...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 1748

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

What kind of extra money per year are we talking about here? How long do you think you'll be in the house for? I'm guessing that you'll get the extra $25-30k of equity into your house in about 5 years based on normal payments. Maybe you'll find that you'd rather have some more accessible funds at yo...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby deals
Replies: 43
Views: 2322

Re: Baby deals

Craigslist and yard sales. You can basically buy things used, use them for a couple of years, and sell them again for a similar price. We also bought used cloth diapers (in great condition). We paid probably $300 and should be able to use them for multiple children.
by dsmil
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What shape is your net worth curve?
Replies: 44
Views: 5026

Re: What shape is your net worth curve?

Ours has been exponentially increasing for a few years after college (good thing because we started at $-90k) and then has been and should be fairly linear in the positive direction going forward.
by dsmil
Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads Budget?
Replies: 104
Views: 12192

Re: Do Bogleheads Budget?

We've written down everything and kept a pretty strict budget since getting married. It's helped us meet our goals as we've gone through the period of building an emergency fund and are nearing paying off student loans. I'm hoping that one day we'll only have to "budget" for our savings go...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?
Replies: 16
Views: 1110

Re: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?

The shorter the payback time and loan amount, the less risk there is with the variable rate. I recently went with variable to refinance student loans but was getting more like a 1.5% discount, and was dealing with 1/4 of the money that you are.
by dsmil
Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Now the time to open S&P 500 Roth IRA?
Replies: 14
Views: 901

Re: Now the time to open S&P 500 Roth IRA?

There is no reason to wait. Think of it this way, would you rather you lose 50% of $3k or 50% of $300k?
by dsmil
Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much vacation time do you get at work?
Replies: 155
Views: 10171

Re: How much vacation time do you get at work?

27 days of vacation/sick
by dsmil
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you view debt?
Replies: 108
Views: 6524

Re: How do you view debt?

Early in my accumulation phase, my thought is that I'd rather have $50k in the bank and $50k in loans, than $0 of both. It makes me feel more secure in the case of an emergency. I've generally tried to save 10% of my income in a Roth before making extra student loan payments. This is especially nice...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for Children
Replies: 32
Views: 2542

Re: Planning for Children

My tip is look for things at yard sales and Craigslist. Your child won't know if their toy came straight from the store or from a yard sale, but your wallet will. Plus, if you buy used and then sell those things later, you might break even.
by dsmil
Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 765
Views: 73491

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've been doing the credit card rewards game for 2 years now, since becoming a one-income household and needing to make vacations more affordable. In that time, we've used points for 5 nights in a luxury Paris hotel, flights to/from Charleston, SC and 5 nights in a Hyatt, and flights to/from Rome a...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying used car smarter than buying new?
Replies: 89
Views: 4708

Re: buying used car smarter than buying new?

I feel like buying new is better if you are going to run the car into the ground. Your cost per year should be very similar to buying used (more $ and more years), so why not buy new? If you are buying a car but will later sell it, let someone else take the depreciation hit and buy used.
by dsmil
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 765
Views: 73491

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've been doing the credit card rewards game for 2 years now, since becoming a one-income household and needing to make vacations more affordable. In that time, we've used points for 5 nights in a luxury Paris hotel, flights to/from Charleston, SC and 5 nights in a Hyatt, and flights to/from Rome an...
by dsmil
Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules of Thumb: Max House Value as % of Net Worth?
Replies: 79
Views: 5679

Re: Rules of Thumb: Max House Value as % of Net Worth?

I feel like most rules of thumb for housing are overrated. Sure, they can be used as starting points (or to make you feel good or bad about yourself), but they are usually inferior to just sticking it into your budget and looking at the outcome. Using house value doesn't take the down payment into a...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Steering the young couple into right direction
Replies: 11
Views: 1173

Re: Steering the young couple into right direction

Morning Bogleheads, Two questions- What should the wife do if she doesn't have employer matching 401k plan? Explore other tax-deferred options if any or start taxable investment? If our savings grows to large amount then what is good place to keep our savings for future vehicle or another property?...
by dsmil
Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car do Bogleheads like to drive?
Replies: 123
Views: 8682

Re: What kind of car do Bogleheads like to drive?

I'd like to drive a convertible but instead I have a 1997 Acura Integra with a terribly loud engine at the moment.
by dsmil
Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts
Replies: 24
Views: 1863

Re: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts

The argument isn't really that you shouldn't save anything for college until tax advantaged space is maxed. It's more that some recommend not using a 529 or taxable account for college until tax advantaged space is maxed. You can put $11k per year into a Roth and earmark the contributions for colleg...
by dsmil
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you spend your money on???
Replies: 149
Views: 13710

Re: What do you spend your money on???

Me: -I like to play golf a couple of times per month, and go to the driving range 1-2 times per week. -1-2 six packs of craft beer per month -Occasional sports/concert tickets -Music Me/Wife: -Go out for coffee on weekends -Go out to eat 2 times per week -Vacations - although we keep it cheaper by e...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 226
Views: 24516

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

I'm 29 which is close enough. But to the original poster, Bogleheads are not typical of the average American. Not that you'd necessarily want to be an average American, but don't get discouraged if you don't match up to the average Boglehead at 30. Married, 1 child $25k emergency fund (5 months) $60...
by dsmil
Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2090

Re: house affordability question

If you bought a house for $700k, put $350k down and kept the other $350k for retirement and emergency fund purposes, you'd be in nice shape. Sure it's highly priced house for an $100k income but you'd be rewarded for your savings habits. A lot of people have a $350k mortgage on a $100k income and do...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College vs. retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1153

Re: College vs. retirement

What is everyone's thoughts on college savings for two children (14-13 years out). Does it make sense to fully fund retirement now, and then switch to paying cash for college when the time comes or to save in multiple accounts at the same time? I think that it's good to start saving for college but...
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: 8815

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: 51
Views: 5801

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: 3360

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: 3360

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: 3802

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: 718

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: 6792

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: 6279

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: 2032

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: 1478

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: 1478

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: 560
Views: 67949

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: 786

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: 828

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: 4192

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: 6372

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: 689
Views: 114359

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: 528

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: 4181

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: 1890

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: 1485

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: 1890

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: 11282

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,...

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