Search found 542 matches

by dsmil
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effects of 20% Down payment over time, thoughts?
Replies: 19
Views: 2174

Re: Effects of 20% Down payment over time, thoughts?

Can you get a non-FHA with 3.5%? If not, PMI is now for the life of the loan on FHA, I believe. Did you add that in? The big idea behind 20% down, I think, is that you avoid PMI and your dollars build equity quicker. So even if you move before the lines cross, assuming they are correct, you are sti...
by dsmil
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effects of 20% Down payment over time, thoughts?
Replies: 19
Views: 2174

Re: Effects of 20% Down payment over time, thoughts?

I don't mind putting less than 20% down on a house because I've done it twice and have been happy with my decision. That being said, I don't think it makes sense to ignore the equity in the home, because you are recovering that additional $41,250 upon selling.
by dsmil
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 211
Views: 22227

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

Me: 30
Wife: 29

We save around $14k per year, which comes to 12% of gross income. 6% to the HSA, 3% to the 401k, and 3% employer contribution.
by dsmil
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First iPhone upgrade for VZW Post Contract Subsidies: Where to Buy?
Replies: 6
Views: 391

Re: First iPhone upgrade for VZW Post Contract Subsidies: Where to Buy?

If you do an internet search, you may find deals here and there from the various companies. I also think that you'll be able to make payments on the phone over a period of 2 years, rather than paying for the whole thing up front. The cheapest deals are by finding people who are selling their phone l...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 205
Views: 10653

Re: How Far is too Far, Commuting?

A long commute is definitely a negative, so there needs to be something making it worth it (pay, hours at work, job). I'm in the car for 2 hours a day, but I get home before 5 everyday, have a ton of vacation days, a low stress job, and the total time commitment (job + commute) is 50 hours per week,...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Maintenance/Upkeep Guide or Planner
Replies: 1
Views: 280

Re: Home Maintenance/Upkeep Guide or Planner

I recently bought "How to Operate Your Home" upon moving into my new house and I really enjoyed it. It summarizes the components of the major systems in the home and provides advice regarding maintenance. https://www.amazon.com/How-Operate-Your-Home-Professional/dp/098320182X https://htoyh.com/ http...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you always use a 529?
Replies: 30
Views: 1373

Re: Should you always use a 529?

Are you already maxing a Roth? I like the idea of filling the Roth first, since there is less restrictions on the money. You'll only be able to pull out contributions tax free, but since your earnings will stay in there for retirement, you can decrease your retirement contributions during their coll...
by dsmil
Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 5624

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

My wife has stayed home since our first child was born 3 years ago, and the plan is for her to stay home for the foreseeable future, unless she wants to go back or we have money issues. She always wanted to stay home, but we didn't really think it would be possible. Luckily, my career has gone bette...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To HSA or HSA -- explain like I'm 5.
Replies: 32
Views: 2466

Re: To HSA or HSA -- explain like I'm 5.

It seems like you have low healthcare costs and you'd be getting a free $1,440 of contributions from your employer, plus saving $1,800 in premiums. To me it seems like a slam dunk to do the HSA. You say that you are not in a position to use the HSA as a retirement savings vehicle, but a lot of peopl...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments
Replies: 56
Views: 4345

Re: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments

I think that you always want to communicate that you are on the same team financially, and try to make things as even as possible. While it might be "fair" to say that you work harder and should be able to spend more money, I would only do that if your wife is ok with this. Maybe you start at the sa...
by dsmil
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling audio gear on ebay, 7-day auction or "30-day Buy it now"?
Replies: 20
Views: 1107

Re: Selling audio gear on ebay, 7-day auction or "30-day Buy it now"?

For items that won't get a lot of clicks, buy it now is probably the way to go.
by dsmil
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 134
Views: 7842

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

I don't think 401k loans are a terrible idea, if you can pay it back and have a stable job. Just find a way to have the loan come from your bond holdings, so you aren't losing possible stock gains.
by dsmil
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House down payment - Smart for anything between 3.5% and 20%?
Replies: 23
Views: 1637

Re: House down payment - Smart for anything between 3.5% and 20%?

If the house is affordable for you, go ahead and pay PMI if you have to. 4% interest rates with some PMI on top is still a great deal historically. If you are putting <20% down, I'd recommend putting 5%, 10%, or 15% down because these amounts will get you to the lower PMI tiers. I did a 3.5% FHA loa...
by dsmil
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on approach to student loans
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Thoughts on approach to student loans

I think a lot depends on what other assets you have (emergency funds, retirement, etc.) If you are light on savings and you wipe out all of the debt, you could be unprepared for an emergency situation. If you are meeting your goals in those other areas, it makes wiping out the debt look better.
by dsmil
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA vs No-HOA
Replies: 94
Views: 10928

Re: HOA vs No-HOA

A lot has to do with the value per dollar that you are getting with the HOA. In my old townhouse, $75 per month got us common area maintenance, pool membership, tennis courts, and a playground. My sister paid $250 per month for a similar deal, without a pool, so to me that would not be worth it. You...
by dsmil
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 9013

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

I calculate my net worth with and without the value of my home/mortgage. I used the zillow estimate until I recently moved to my new house, since the zillow estimate isn't very accurate with this one. I'll just use my own estimate until zillow catches up.
by dsmil
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?
Replies: 247
Views: 12646

Re: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?

That's double what we were paying at Wegmans before we had kids. Whole Foods is on the expensive side but Trader Joe's is usually well priced. Are you buying a lot of expensive meat? Substituting expensive meats for things like eggs, rice, beans, or plain greek yogurt is a way to keep the foods heal...
by dsmil
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah or Charleston?
Replies: 49
Views: 4050

Re: Savannah or Charleston?

We went to Charleston for a few days a couple of years ago and it was a great visit. Our son was 9 months old so we mostly walked around, went to the shops and out to eat, and did a couple of tours. I just sent an email to a co-worker and recommended Charleston so here is what I recommended: “Free” ...
by dsmil
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "free" ticket w/ miles or pay $?
Replies: 24
Views: 1172

Re: "free" ticket w/ miles or pay $?

I'd go with miles, personally, but not everyone likes playing the credit card game. We're about to pay $4k on some work that was done in the house, and I'll open up a Chase Sapphire to pay for it, which will earn us 60k Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Those are worth about $1,200 and will pay for one...
by dsmil
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best utilization of an HSA? Reimbursements?
Replies: 7
Views: 420

Re: Best utilization of an HSA? Reimbursements?

If you aren't able to max the Roth and the HSA, you can pay medical expenses out of pocket, withdraw funds from the HSA, and deposit them into the Roth. So you are getting the up-front tax break with the HSA, and the flexibility of the Roth. This is better than leaving the money in the HSA and not m...
by dsmil
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Points on Purchase Mortgage - Worth It?
Replies: 28
Views: 2288

Re: Paying Points on Purchase Mortgage - Worth It?

I'd rather add $8,800 to the down payment, rather than paying points, to lower the payment. I just feel weird about paying money like that to the lender without having to. Lowering you mortgage liability looks good on the net worth side of things, and will lower you payment in a similar way to payin...
by dsmil
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College vs Starting Income
Replies: 94
Views: 4154

Re: Cost of College vs Starting Income

I've heard a rule of thumb to not take on more college debt than what your expected starting salary after graduation will be. It seems like a reasonable rule to take note of. I took on $40k of debt (parents paid other $80k) and my starting salary was $52k.
by dsmil
Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: # X Gross = Home price?
Replies: 81
Views: 5715

Re: # X Gross = Home price?

We just bought a house at 4x gross, in an area where housing prices are 2x the national average. I think that this ratio is less meaningful at higher income levels, because there is more money left over after making the mortgage payment to pay for the rest of your living expenses. Plus, those living...
by dsmil
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Modem Rental
Replies: 41
Views: 2774

Re: Comcast Modem Rental

Go ahead and buy a compatible one. I think in my case, it paid for itself in just a few months.
by dsmil
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer- Tips?
Replies: 18
Views: 1817

Re: First time home buyer- Tips?

I recommend goodmortgage.com (First Guaranty Mortgage Corp). I received good faith estimates from them, as well as some local lenders, and they beat the others by .6 points. The process was completely done online, my loan officer was very responsive, and we closed in 30 days. I really only used them...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: April in Paris - Your favorites or suggestions?
Replies: 48
Views: 2022

Re: April in Paris - Your favorites or suggestions?

We did a bike tour of Paris and it was my favorite part of the trip. It was 4 hours long and we got to see a ton of sites. The entire route is flat, so the only hard part is trying to stay with the group while biking among the traffic. Here is the company that we used... https://www.bluefox.travel/p...
by dsmil
Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying a home - Financial Benefits? HCOL
Replies: 75
Views: 3655

Re: Buying a home - Financial Benefits? HCOL

Buying a home is definitely more about the psychological benefits than the financial benefits. Your peers have probably pictured themselves owning a home, raising a family in a home, and being able to call it their own. People like to justify home purchases by stating the financial benefits, but the...
by dsmil
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 325193

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

17.5% for me in 2017. 90/10 stocks/bonds allocation.
by dsmil
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?
Replies: 21
Views: 2414

Re: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?

I'd max the HSA before contributing to the Roth. With the HSA, you get an up-front deduction (not the case with a Roth) and can take the money out tax free for medical expenses. Even if you accumulate more in the HSA than you have in medical expenses, it simply gets taxed like a 401k would (deductio...
by dsmil
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I doing HSA wrong?
Replies: 12
Views: 1408

Re: Am I doing HSA wrong?

I put my after tax money in my HSA. Like out of my bank account. Are you supose to ask your employer to deduct pretaxed money from your paycheck? How do you do this? I dont think my employer offers any match. I use hsa bank. I do the same thing as you since my company doesn't offer a way to directl...
by dsmil
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 130
Views: 8720

Re: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?

1997 Acura Integra, which they don't make anymore, so no. But considering that I've had it since high school and now have two kids, my requirements for a new car have changed quite a bit.
by dsmil
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children
Replies: 15
Views: 1767

Re: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children

Your summary of benefits and coverage may estimate the costs of a child birth for you. For us, the total bills were around $12k. We had to meet our $2,600 deductible and didn't pay a penny more.
by dsmil
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4964

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

I prefer putting the housing costs into your budget and seeing how it looks. But if a rule of thumb is to be used, I think PITI (plus HOA if applicable) as a % of gross income is a decent place to start, and maybe make 25% your ceiling. I would also note that people with higher incomes can push the ...
by dsmil
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this housing budget reasonable?
Replies: 28
Views: 1671

Re: Is this housing budget reasonable?

With that large down payment, the mortgage seems pretty reasonable, but it really just depends on how it fits in with the rest of your budget. The car payment is large and I'm guessing that you have daycare costs as well, so just plug it into your budget and see how it looks.
by dsmil
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1821
Views: 325193

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

Up 13% YTD, but it's not an exact number. I took my total returns and divided them by the average of my ending balances each month.
by dsmil
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Down Payment Sub-optimal?
Replies: 54
Views: 5092

Re: 20% Down Payment Sub-optimal?

Does anyone know if conventional mortgage interest rates are always better with the more you put down? As in, if you put down 5%, will your rate be worse than if you put down 20%? I believe so. What about 15% instead of 20%? Just curious if there's a percentage where it plateaus. Would be a helpful...
by dsmil
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20% Down Payment Sub-optimal?
Replies: 54
Views: 5092

Re: 20% Down Payment Sub-optimal?

I'm about to put either 5% or 10% on a house and don't mind at all. 3.5% interest rates and monthly PMI payments for a few years is a fine deal to me. Rather than saving for another 3 years for 20%, and risking unknown interest rates, that money is going straight into the market.
by dsmil
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett Books
Replies: 35
Views: 3933

Re: Warren Buffett Books

I read "The Snowball" and considering that I finished the book, I must have enjoyed it.
by dsmil
Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads
Replies: 233
Views: 28398

Re: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads

I'm a 30 year old not-so-rich Boglehead, but very happy with where I am. Famly of 4, own a home and have $20k of student loans, $120k income, save 12% of income towards retirement, another 12% for other savings (college, down payment), and $180k of net worth. We put 3.5% down on our first house (FHA...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time
Replies: 8
Views: 731

Re: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time

Are you in agreement for what type of house you want to buy, and in what neighborhood? Are you looking online and do you have an idea of how frequently desirable houses come on the market? When we bought our current house we were not totally on the same page regarding what house to buy and really d...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time
Replies: 8
Views: 731

Re: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time

My wife and i just experienced this, but we were pretty lucky. By total coincidence, the person's house we were buying, also bought our house. So we just met at the closing attorney's office together, and signed all the paper work together. We both agreed we'd be out of our current properties by no...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time
Replies: 8
Views: 731

Buying/Selling Home at Same Time

Does anyone have any advice or good/bad experiences regarding selling and buying a house at the same time? We are a family of four (and dog) and just put our house on the market. We are in a seller's market and the comps suggest that we will most likely have a contract to sell in under 2 weeks. Our ...
by dsmil
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?
Replies: 50
Views: 3899

Re: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?

My wife and I (and a toddler and infant) budget $300 per month for shared entertainment, which is basically for any food or drinks consumed away from home. This is normally two small meals per week out, and a decent amount of Starbucks. Then we each budget $150 for our own things (golf, beer, sports...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 21405

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

My brown bagged turkey sandwich and yogurt probably costs me around $2.50 per day in groceries, and going out everyday would be around $7, so it's worth it to me. I read the paper, have lunch and coffee provided by my company, and save $1k on food for the year.
by dsmil
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments
Replies: 62
Views: 7530

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

It's hard for me to ignore interest rates when making a housing decision. We are beginning a new house search a little earlier than I originally planned, but I'm ok with it because the interest rates are so low. If interest rates go up 1%, we lose 10% of our buying power, and some houses that fit in...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 18475

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

Study accounting in undergrad + CPA. CPA It took me 7 years and leaving public to hit $100k and 3 more to hit $165k. Isn't 100K plus salaries for a CPA unusual? I looked on the net and most of what I found was akin to this: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Certified_Public_Accountant_(CPA)/S...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 18475

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

I studied accounting in college, went to a public accounting firm for 3.5 years and got the CPA, and now work for an accounting department at a real estate management company. It took me 6 years to double my starting salary after college and get over $100k in a HCOL area. I make enough and like my j...
by dsmil
Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with mortgage rates-closing soon!
Replies: 11
Views: 1199

Re: Help with mortgage rates-closing soon!

You can look at aimloan.com. The rates that I saw last week were 3.625% but are now back to 3.75%. I think that your rate sounds good.
by dsmil
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 29606

Re: A poll: How much money do you need to retire?

I'm 30, and am aiming for at least $1M in today's dollars and a paid off mortgage to retire at age 60. Saving 12% of my income with 4% real returns would get me there. This projection also assumes a cut in our social security by 1/3.
by dsmil
Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate your retirement number
Replies: 95
Views: 10861

Re: How to calculate your retirement number

Whenever I calculate my number (25x expenses minus SS and taxes), it shows how misleading the "save x percentage of your income" guidance can be. My income has gone up 50% in the last 4 years, but my expected retirement expenses haven't changed, so I can technically save less as a percentage of my i...