Search found 133 matches

by hightower
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assess our possible new house purchase
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Assess our possible new house purchase

Well, you've been doing a good job saving and have a healthy amount in retirement accounts already. Also having a rental property is nice. Can you afford another $1000/month? Yes, it appears so. How old of a house is it? What kind of upgrades/repairs are you anticipating? I would go ahead and get a...
by hightower
Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling rental properties and investing the proceeds
Replies: 5
Views: 548

Re: Selling rental properties and investing the proceeds

Well you've done well for yourself without the stock market. That's great. Why not just sell one of your rental properties and invest that money while keeping your other one going? That's a nice steady stream of income and it can always be sold later if you change your mind. It's nice to have that d...
by hightower
Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assess our possible new house purchase
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Assess our possible new house purchase

Well, you've been doing a good job saving and have a healthy amount in retirement accounts already. Also having a rental property is nice. Can you afford another $1000/month? Yes, it appears so. How old of a house is it? What kind of upgrades/repairs are you anticipating? I would go ahead and get a ...
by hightower
Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Bogleheads success story
Replies: 20
Views: 4943

Re: A Bogleheads success story

Ur friend is lucky to have u! He not only got an inheritance, but he got good advice at exactly the right time.
by hightower
Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to attempt repair on A/C condenser?
Replies: 33
Views: 1835

Re: Worth it to attemp repair on A/C condenser?

Hello all, I have 2 zones of central air in my home. Each has an air handler and an outside condenser. The upstairs zone was changed out completely about 2 years ago. I have both zones serviced every year religiously. The most recent servicing of the downstairs unit was about a month ago. My heatin...
by hightower
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 68
Views: 4114

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

Forgot to add RAV4, which I've seen a lot of new ones around lately and looking up sales figures seems to explain why. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4#Sales You like acceleration? Go all electric. Lot's of savings on gas costs when you drive that much as well. The new Chevy Bolt is around...
by hightower
Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 68
Views: 4114

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

OK, guys, I asked you for some advice 7 years ago and you told me to get an Acura MDX. I did so and it has been a great car. 116,000 miles so far with no problems whatsoever. My daughter Pebbles turned 16 this week and I gave her the car for her birthday. So now I need a new car. Background: I driv...
by hightower
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?
Replies: 48
Views: 3849

Re: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?

My wife will have a similar option at her job if we ever have a kid. I know for a fact she is very much looking forward to that possibility. I say, if your wife wants to do it, support her. It sounds awesome to me. Who cares about the finances. It's a life experience. All the money in the world can'...
by hightower
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 167
Views: 18700

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

This conversation is both eye-opening (something I had not yet thought about) and terrifying at the same time. I enjoy hearing from American's living overseas and their experiences with foreign healthcare...something people tend to demonize here. Not to start up any political talk, but it makes no s...
by hightower
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mid/Late 20's - Student Loan Paydown vs Saving for Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 887

Re: Mid/Late 20's - Student Loan Paydown vs Saving for Retirement

Why do you need a 35k emergency fund? How much are your monthly expenses? Unless you're living way above your means, 15k is plenty for an emergency fund at this stage. If I were you, I would start dumping as much money as possible into your 6.8% student loans and get rid of them asap. While you're ...
by hightower
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mid/Late 20's - Student Loan Paydown vs Saving for Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 887

Re: Mid/Late 20's - Student Loan Paydown vs Saving for Retirement

Why do you need a 35k emergency fund? How much are your monthly expenses? Unless you're living way above your means, 15k is plenty for an emergency fund at this stage. If I were you, I would start dumping as much money as possible into your 6.8% student loans and get rid of them asap. While you're d...
by hightower
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2795

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Given you have now been rejected twice, I suspect you do not understand the market as well as you claim. You want the home and the seller has a price. That is the market price. I know housing markets vary widely, but I don't believe there is a single market in the USA where housing has not apprecia...
by hightower
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2795

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Given you have now been rejected twice, I suspect you do not understand the market as well as you claim. You want the home and the seller has a price. That is the market price. I know housing markets vary widely, but I don't believe there is a single market in the USA where housing has not apprecia...
by hightower
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2795

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

We are looking to buy a house in a smaller town where the housing market is cold. The reason is new houses are being built in the town every day, which drives down the resale value of older houses. We found a house we like in a community with tons of young families like ourselves. The houses range ...
by hightower
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?
Replies: 113
Views: 8630

Re: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?

Does anyone else get a little uneasy when they look at their portfolio balances go up up up seemingly every day? I can understand why new investors might be uneasy. I was uneasy in 2008-2010, just after retiring. After the market dropped over 50% I didn't know if it would drop another 50% or more a...
by hightower
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?
Replies: 113
Views: 8630

Re: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?

Stock markets (both US and non-US) are having a really great 2017 and many are at record highs. Real estate is at record highs in many places. Even bond prices (the past few months at least) have been going up. Does anyone else get a little uneasy when they look at their portfolio balances go up up...
by hightower
Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House
Replies: 36
Views: 4162

Re: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House

I ran a wired system I picked up from Sam's Club. It's pretty good, but was a major PITA to install because running the wires is not easy. I would consider adding a wireless system if I could find one with solar power so I didn't have to change any batteries. For what it's worth, our camera system a...
by hightower
Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Stocks as Emergency Fund Tier 2
Replies: 4
Views: 398

Re: Taxable Stocks as Emergency Fund Tier 2

I consider my emergency fund in the following order: Tier 1 Cash in savings Tier 2 Roth contributions Tier 3 Taxable account My reasoning is that the roth contributions can be withdrawn tax and fee free. Selling stock from my taxable will create a taxable event. Obviously I don't want to take money ...
by hightower
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe on REITs
Replies: 66
Views: 7159

Re: Larry Swedroe on REITs

http://www.etf.com/sections/index-investor-corner/swedroe-important-changes-nature-reits REITs are currently quite expensive. Also their correlations to stocks and bonds are perhaps much higher than most of us think now. Dave The first sentence goes against the boglehead investment philosophy. It d...
by hightower
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dealing with Impatience reaching financial goals
Replies: 30
Views: 3232

Re: Dealing with Impatience reaching financial goals

I have found that as I approach a financial milestone I get more and more impatient trying to reach it. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] I have a decent savings rate and have had one most of my life but in my current state I can totally sympathize with people who are not prioritizing saving f...
by hightower
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing Renewable Energy From My Electricity Supplier
Replies: 14
Views: 794

Re: Choosing Renewable Energy From My Electricity Supplier

For an additional monthly fee, my electricity supplier (NYSEG) offers the option of designating that 200 kwh of my monthly electricity use will be derived from wind power. From the NYSEG website: "We can assure you that the wind energy you purchase is delivered to the New York power grid for s...
by hightower
Wed May 31, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonable HVAC Quote?
Replies: 34
Views: 2921

Re: Reasonable HVAC Quote?

Seems like a reasonable price to me. We needed 2 furnaces and 2 A/C units in our house (it's a big old house in the city, approx 4400 sq/ft) and the total for the two was around 28k I believe. Ours required a lot of new duct work though and they had to be careful of historic plaster walls and ceilin...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Debt or invest with my Unique situation. Help!
Replies: 23
Views: 1968

Re: Pay Debt or invest with my Unique situation. Help!

Here's what I would do... 1. Refinance the student loans asap. You can save thousands of dollars by doing that and give yourself some flexibility with cash flow. If you can refinance and get your rates down to say 4% or better, then I would take a slightly less aggressive approach and I would say st...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Approach for 'doing better' with emergency funds?
Replies: 23
Views: 2038

Re: Approach for 'doing better' with emergency funds?

Right now we have a little over 12 months worth of emergency funds. I keep the cash portion in an ally savings account getting 1.05%. The second "tier" of my emergency savings is in our Roth accounts. That money would only be touched if the cash emergency fund was used up and more was need...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk
Replies: 206
Views: 15336

Re: DON'T pay off your mortgage; instead reduce Sequence of Return Risk

Not our cup of tea. Eliminating mortgage early and having no debt worked out fine for our retirement at 53. Would be curious how the group might see this in a more stressful environment (anyone recall steep housing price and equity market declines in 2007-2009? ..... Throw in a job loss or major me...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just realized I have been doing wrong my whole life financially.
Replies: 10
Views: 2951

Re: Just realized I have been doing wrong my whole life financially.

Your happiness is more important than how much money you make. Go back to school if it will potentially lead you to a job that makes you happier. Don't compare yourself to others too much. It usually doesn't do any good. The grass will always seem greener on the other side, even if you are a multi-m...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual house maintenance costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2626

Re: Annual house maintenance costs

If properly maintained it can last 50-100 years or more no problem. The original roof was 130 years old when we replaced it. A new house with typical shingles on the roof may need a new roof every 15 years. Kinda off-topic yet related to value of roof - anyone have any thoughts as to value and main...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual house maintenance costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2626

Re: Annual house maintenance costs

Good points. My house is still under restoration. We're almost done with all the big projects and I do expect our annual costs to go down after that. Older homes have some aspects that can save you money compared to newer homes. For instance, the type of roof we have is standing seam metal. If prop...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Millenial getting into the game: asset allocation
Replies: 19
Views: 1670

Re: Millenial getting into the game: asset allocation

I am in no way looking (nor would I want to, even in retirement) start an aquarium business. I'm going into medicine because helping people revitalize their health (or at least helping manage issues stemming from health problems) is one of my big passions in life. By my age those who were consideri...
by hightower
Mon May 29, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does Saving become missing out on life?
Replies: 74
Views: 8411

Re: When does Saving become missing out on life?

Something I've personally been struggling with lately, when does saving become obsessive? At 33, I find myself being obsessed with saving and cutting corners as much as I can (I don't even pay for Cable or Trash Service; only use netflix and convinced parents to let me use their trash service (they...
by hightower
Thu May 18, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs
Replies: 44
Views: 3353

Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Technically if its not leaking, you don't need a new roof. I wouldn't file a claim unless you really need it. There's no reason to jack up your premiums just so you can feel like you fit in with all your neighbors. Have an experienced, trustworthy home inspector come look at your roof and also check...
by hightower
Thu May 18, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual house maintenance costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2626

Re: Annual house maintenance costs

I agree its very hard to generalize. Even the older house = more maintenance is not always strictly true. My house is 200 years old and I doubt that I have 10x, 5x or even 2x the maintenance cost of a 20 year old house. In fact when I bought my house the inspector told me it had a lot less problems...
by hightower
Thu May 18, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual house maintenance costs
Replies: 30
Views: 2626

Re: Annual house maintenance costs

Good day, Bogleheads! I read somewhere that it's smart to save 1-2% of the value of your house each year to put aside for maintenance costs - new lawn mower, fixing siding, driveway patching, etc. General maintenance costs. So, a house valued at $350k = $3,500-7,000/year. Curious what people here (...
by hightower
Thu May 18, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Millenial getting into the game: asset allocation
Replies: 19
Views: 1670

Re: Millenial getting into the game: asset allocation

Do not go to medical school if your dream is to open an aquarium business by the age of 40. You will never find the time to do that (unless you slack at your job which will put you at risk of getting sued for malpractice). By the age of 40 you'll just be getting back on your feet after being beaten ...
by hightower
Sat May 13, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt Payoff Plan
Replies: 7
Views: 570

Re: Debt Payoff Plan

Hello BH! Long time reader, first time poster. I am wanting some advice on how to manage our debt payoff and if we should dip into our emergency fund to get started. Emergency fund: about 10 months Debt: Car loan- 12800 @ 0.99% (2 years left), Student Loan #1- 12k @ 5%, Student Loan #2- 12k @ 4%, S...
by hightower
Wed May 10, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young professional planning for early semi-retirement
Replies: 34
Views: 4133

Re: Young professional planning for early semi-retirement

The most important thing you can do if you want to retire early is learn to live well below your means. Yes, you should also try to find ways to make as much money as possible, but if you can't control your spending you won't retire early. You're ahead of the game in my opinion for thinking about th...
by hightower
Wed May 10, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: international stocks poised to outperform US ???
Replies: 80
Views: 6203

Re: international stocks poised to outperform US ???

My innvestment advisor has said the following to me "consider is increasing your allocation to international stocks. Currently, 25% of your equity allocation is in international stocks. My recommendation to you was 40%. Since you enrolled in Personal Advisor Services on January 20th, U.S. stoc...
by hightower
Wed May 03, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New physician - UC retirement options help (403b/457b/401a megabackdoor roth)!
Replies: 72
Views: 5683

Re: New physician - UC retirement options help (403b/457b/401a megabackdoor roth)!

Hello Bogleheads. I am a University of California physician early in my faculty career. :sharebeer finally made it after 18+ years of education. I have struggled to get a clear answer from our fidelity team and online about how to best approach the retirement/investment options offered. My situatio...
by hightower
Wed May 03, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you know exactly what % of income you spend?
Replies: 48
Views: 3569

Re: Do you know exactly what % of income you spend?

If we stick to our budget we save a little over 61% of our take home pay (after all taxes and health insurance). It can vary by about 5% though depending on if I'm making extra or if we spend more than we have budgeted for.
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with regret
Replies: 102
Views: 8982

Re: Dealing with regret

Hey guys, recently I've had trouble dealing with some absolutely boneheaded financial mistakes I made in the depths of the Great Recession. Namely, in 2007 I was 31, with 200k in my 401K. Nothing particularly impressive but I felt like I was making good progress. I got spooked in '09 and ended up g...
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a water heater recommendation
Replies: 14
Views: 1612

Re: Need a water heater recommendation

I installed a Rheem tankless gas water heater in our house a few years ago and it has so far been a flawless and awesome system to have. It saved us money on our gas bills for sure and we have an endless supply of very hot water now all winter long. I bought from home depot online. It has excellent ...
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 4192

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

This is definitely all part of buying and owning a home. Technically when you first tour the house you should be looking at things like the HVAC if possible and factoring that into your offer. But, it would not be unreasonable to try to negotiate a better price if you were unaware of the age of the ...
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?
Replies: 49
Views: 5110

Re: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?

Go to Vanguard.com and open your Roth IRA and contribute $5500 for the year 2017 ... VTSMX fund ( every year you can contribute max $5500 for this fund) Go to Ally.com and open a saving account with the remain balance @ 1%, next year 2018 / 2019 send another $5500 to the same fund I second this. If...
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stay Out Of REITs?
Replies: 35
Views: 4661

Re: Stay Out Of REITs?

Despite what the others say it does not make a lot of sense to diversify into REITs at all time highs. You're trying to time the market. This is one of the biggest "no-no's" in the boglehead philosophy. Invest early and invest often and never try to time the market. Ignore any talk you he...
by hightower
Mon May 01, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bigger home guilt or bad idea
Replies: 15
Views: 2170

Re: Bigger home guilt or bad idea

Yes you can afford it assuming you pay cash (350k from current home sale, plus another 200 in cash). If you feel that a bigger/nicer place would bring you some added joy to your life, then go for it. However, if you are already feeling some guilt and worries about spending that much, then maybe you ...
by hightower
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sell in May and go away - not this year?
Replies: 15
Views: 2681

Re: Sell in May and go away - not this year?

This completely goes against everything that bogleheads preach. You're trying to time the market. It doesn't work, unless you happen to get very very lucky. But, if you want to gamble with your savings, go right ahead.
by hightower
Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking at buying our first home, what can I reasonably afford. Also a tax bracket question.....
Replies: 27
Views: 3277

Re: Looking at buying our first home, what can I reasonably afford. Also a tax bracket question.....

We are renting an apartment now so I know there are other factors in monthly expenses when buying a house. My question then is somewhat two part. If I average about $3200 a month take home while staying on exempt, whats the guideline of a monthly mortgage. In answer to this question I like the Whit...
by hightower
Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home in the Bay Area
Replies: 28
Views: 3522

Re: Buying a home in the Bay Area

To the OP: I can tell you from experience that living close to where you work is a major benefit to your lifestyle. I've had to commute before (and unfortunately I'll be commuting again due to job changes), but living as close to work as possible is so nice. 45 mins - 1 hour sucks man. There's no ot...
by hightower
Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?
Replies: 31
Views: 3744

Re: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?

My goal is to become financially independent so that I can cut back on work and only make enough money to just barely pay the bills. That way I don't have to actually tap into my savings. But, I'll be working on a very part time basis, so lots more time to enjoy life.
by hightower
Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Changes (30 years old)
Replies: 5
Views: 390

Re: Portfolio Changes (30 years old)

With the exception of the 1.36% john hancock fund, those are absolutely acceptable ERs for retirement accounts. There's certainly no need to change the target funds. However, I would go ahead and get rid of the 1.36% fund for the cheaper S&P 500 fund. I personally am not a big fan of the target ...

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