Search found 88 matches

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: 2253

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: 3107

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: 3182

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: 3458

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: 330

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 ...
by hightower
Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?
Replies: 169
Views: 18083

Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

I regret that I DID NOT live a frugal lifestyle from the age of 29-34. Those were the first 5 years of attending salary after residency. We could have easily paid off all my student loans and put a very nice chunk of change into retirement accounts. Instead we upgraded our lifestyle with a big fixer...
by hightower
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank - Savings Account Rate Increased!
Replies: 70
Views: 7899

Re: Ally Bank - Savings Account Rate Increased!

Definitely encouraging. We have a ways to go before it feels like savers are finally being rewarded for their efforts. I'll be throwing a party when it hits 3%! :sharebeer
by hightower
Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody purposely loading up on mortgage debt?
Replies: 107
Views: 10062

Re: Anybody purposely loading up on mortgage debt?

I currently have about $25k-30k in home improvement projects that need to be done on our home (exterior painting, masonry work, storm windows, etc). I'm trying to decide if I should take out a home improvement loan and pay it off quickly (4 yrs at 4%) or just refinance my mortgage and take cash out?...
by hightower
Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building your own fence
Replies: 35
Views: 2529

Re: Building your own fence

If its a small job do it yourself. Its a lot of physical labor so if you have a lot of ground to cover its worth it to pay someone else to do it. They will send a low wage worker out to do all the grunt work.
by hightower
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age when you started to max out your retirement accounts?
Replies: 177
Views: 24648

Re: Age when you started to max out your retirement accounts?

Well, its always better late then never;) I almost maxed out all my accounts last year for the first time. I also got rid of a ton of student loan debt. This will technically be the first year I truly max out both 401ks and both Roth's. I'm also hoping to put aside a nice chunk of change in a taxabl...
by hightower
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 4089

Re: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice

I personally don't see the value in having 20% of ones portfolio in international stocks. That just feels like too much. But, it seems reasonable to me to have a smaller amount. So, I chose 10% for my total international exposure (VXUS). Will I regret or be glad about that decision 30 years from no...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?
Replies: 75
Views: 5786

Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I do a lot of DIY stuff around my house. Its an 1885 Victorian home and it basically requires constant attention. I personally love the work, so I don't mind it. I just installed a new staircase in the basement and I'm currently working on restoring the original windows. I've done everything from el...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cabo San Lucas ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1447

Re: Cabo San Lucas ?

We had our honeymoon in Cabo 12 years ago. We stayed in a resort, but spent much of our time in town exploring things. I don't remember the specific places we ate or names of places we went to. Some of the highlights were an ocean kayak trip. It was fun. They picked us up at the hotel and drove us t...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 4089

Re: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice

I personally don't see the value in having 20% of ones portfolio in international stocks. That just feels like too much. But, it seems reasonable to me to have a smaller amount. So, I chose 10% for my total international exposure (VXUS). If you are just thinking maybe international stocks will slig...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy new house in Seattle area?
Replies: 19
Views: 1548

Re: Buy new house in Seattle area?

Hi everyone, Long time lurker, first time poster. My spouse and I own a 2 bed condo in the burbs of Seattle, in a desirable area for commuting, school districts, etc. We are planning to have a child in the next year or two, and "casually" started looking at what our next house could look ...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 4089

Re: Article-Argument against Buffet and Bogle's International Advice

I personally don't see the value in having 20% of ones portfolio in international stocks. That just feels like too much. But, it seems reasonable to me to have a smaller amount. So, I chose 10% for my total international exposure (VXUS). Will I regret or be glad about that decision 30 years from now...
by hightower
Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:58 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: 3107

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
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid
Replies: 29
Views: 2491

Re: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid

Sorry for the long post, but this is a subject that's important to me, so I couldn't resist:) I'm an introvert myself and suggest reading up on the subject. I highly recommend the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain. Remember that introvertism is just as "normal" as extrovertism (half the...
by hightower
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36yo looking for feedback
Replies: 25
Views: 3607

Re: 36yo looking for feedback

Kristen, sorry to hear about your bad luck with the medical stuff. That's rough. You guys deserve an early retirement for sure. At least you did an excellent job saving. For your age, you guys are in great shape financially. And as a physician, I hear stories of people (with insurance) going bankrup...
by hightower
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new
Replies: 28
Views: 1764

Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Funny you posted this when you did because I JUST went through the same scenario as you. We had a 2008 Honda Element, which had been a great car, very reliable, very useful for hauling things, including our dogs. However, it needed around $1500 in repairs all of the sudden (front struts and tires). ...
by hightower
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand 0% APR Credit Card Offers - Is it a good loan option?
Replies: 21
Views: 1648

Re: Help me understand 0% APR Credit Card Offers - Is it a good loan option?

Just in a general sense, I would be wary of using any sort of a credit card-based "loan" to fund your business operations. It's just not good practice. It's possible it will work for you, sure, for six months. But what happens if a payment you make is not properly credited, or is credited...
by hightower
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand 0% APR Credit Card Offers - Is it a good loan option?
Replies: 21
Views: 1648

Re: Help me understand 0% APR Credit Card Offers - Is it a good loan option?

I keep getting 0% APR offers on balance transfer on my existing cards. I've never taken them up as I think there are still fees associated with the balance transfer, and I don't carry a balance anyway. But recently, I've gotten more into the reselling game, and I'm trying to generate float for my o...
by hightower
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 196
Views: 15681

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Just went through the analysis and am looking for a reason to be talked into the S. I'd love to have a Tesla, but frankly, I can't rationalize paying literally twice the value. The Bolt Premier is about 40K MSRP after shopping around (minus the fast charger at 750). The S is about 75K+ new, or 60K ...
by hightower
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 3923

Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

I've gutted a house down to the studs and now am in the process of renovating it. It occurred to me I should probably prewire it for Direct tv and internet. Is it worth it to get an installer out to do this? Has anyone gone through this process? Any do's or don'ts? Its not going to add much cost to...
by hightower
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Put $6,500 bonus check to pay off car or max out Roth for the year?
Replies: 29
Views: 1732

Re: Put $6,500 bonus check to pay off car or max out Roth for the year?

Thanks everyone for their input. I think I just get so frustrated with how behind I feel in the game, so feel the need to just dump everything in the Roth despite having some debt. I read some posts on here of those who are younger than me, having 100-200K in their retirement already, and I say, &q...
by hightower
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking up with my Financial Advisor
Replies: 37
Views: 2457

Re: Breaking up with my Financial Advisor

After reading a lot on this forum and also the Boglehead guide to Investing I've decided that I need to take back control and stop paying high fees but I don't know how to break up with my financial adviser of 11 years. Naively I never thought to ask about his fees and with no experience of investi...
by hightower
Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Put $6,500 bonus check to pay off car or max out Roth for the year?
Replies: 29
Views: 1732

Re: Put $6,500 bonus check to pay off car or max out Roth for the year?

Well, I think it depends. Are the car payments stressing you out? If so, go ahead and get rid of them. Will you be able to earn enough money the rest of the year to still fully fund your Roth? If so, go ahead and pay off the debt. I know how it feels when you just want to get rid of debt. It can be ...
by hightower
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)
Replies: 17
Views: 1546

Re: Viewing Northern Lights (the full colors)

I would love to go on a trip like that! I've been fortunate enough to see the Northern lights once actually by mistake. Coming home from Seattle on an east bound overnight flight, I happened to have a window seat on the northern side of the airplane. And for about 3 hours we were able to see the nor...
by hightower
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 2094

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

I've done the SF/Yosemite trip a couple of times. Yosemite is heaven on earth (and don't worry about the crowds, all you have to do is hike about a mile into the wilderness and the crowds completely disappear). Camping at Bridalveil campground is highly recommended, very secluded, lots of trails up ...
by hightower
Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold weather family summer vacation ideas
Replies: 24
Views: 1794

Re: Cold weather family summer vacation ideas

Glacier National Park is a good one in the summer. It rarely gets above 75 or so, especially if you spend time at higher elevations. Although, with climate change the park is warmer than its supposed to be lately. Hopefully this summer will be cooler. Bannf National Park in Canada is definitely a go...
by hightower
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of Charging an Electric Car
Replies: 85
Views: 5910

Re: Economics of Charging an Electric Car

Only considering the fuel costs, then yes your 31.8 MPG Crosstrek costs the same as an electric car would. The electric car is still 3x more energy efficient than the Crosstrek though. For most consumers though, energy efficiency is probably less of a priority than the costs of fuel. +1 in five yea...
by hightower
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of Charging an Electric Car
Replies: 85
Views: 5910

Re: Economics of Charging an Electric Car

With electricity prices for us at $0.129/kwh (including delivery charges, taxes, etc) and an average of 4.5 miles/kwh, the electric car costs us around $8 to fill up with enough electric to go 300 miles. You are very lucky to be getting 4.5 miles/kWh average. I can get that on some trips, but my av...
by hightower
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?
Replies: 149
Views: 8466

Re: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?

I like WCI's rule of thumb for car buying. The car shouldn't cost more than 20% of what you make per year. And he recommends paying cash for cars as well. For my wife and I we could technically afford a 64k car with that philosophy, but for me that's too much. I just bought a BMW i3 for 44k and that...
by hightower
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig Coffee Makers
Replies: 57
Views: 5579

Re: Keurig Coffee Makers

Keurigs are nothing more than fancy hot water heaters. You're paying for the cups that you have to buy to put in them. I'm not a coffee snob, so don't take this the wrong way, but you can have much better coffee for a lot less if you're willing to do a little work. My set up is a tea kettle for heat...
by hightower
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 144
Views: 13581

Re: Social Security for Millennials

I too do not consider Social Security to be something that will be part of my retirement. I am planning for a fully self funded retirement. However, if its still around and I start getting checks in the mail that's great. But, I just pretend it doesn't exist.
by hightower
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of Charging an Electric Car
Replies: 85
Views: 5910

Re: Economics of Charging an Electric Car

I just got an electric car this weekend and ran some numbers to see what its costing me in terms of electricity use compared to our second car which is a normal internal combustion engine that gets around 36 mpg. With gas prices at $2.30/gallon the ICE costs us around $20 to fill up and gets us 300 ...
by hightower
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 10469

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

For me, I'm saving more than 50% of my pre-tax income. I actually have my 401k set to put 50% directly into my 401k for the first 2/3 of the year to ensure I hit the $54k contribution cap, once I start getting close I drop it down so I can continue to get employer matching for the remaining paychec...
by hightower
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 10469

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

FWIW, I am able to live off of less than 50% of our take home pay per year without too much effort. I'm a physician and my wife works as an educator (so she doesn't make what I make). Its really not that hard to do. We have our paychecks set up to automatically withdraw the max amount needed to full...
by hightower
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much international stock? A suggestion.
Replies: 186
Views: 24673

Re: John Bogle on international

I personally think Bogle is probably right on this subject. But, just in case he's not, I hold 10% total international in my portfolio. Its kind of a compromise. I have some exposure, but not too much. I also have some total international bond shares as well. SO, all in I have about ~20% or less of ...
by hightower
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the secret to getting wealthy...
Replies: 48
Views: 4424

Re: Is the secret to getting wealthy...

Living well below your means AND finding a way to earn more money is certainly a surefire way to become wealthy. Most people do only one or neither of these. Some people have definitely become wealthy by blogging in the personal finance world (White Coat Investor is a prime example). However, you ne...
by hightower
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2262

Re: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?

If you've never done any electrical work before, then you should just hire an electrician. You need to install a separate 20amp GFCI protected circuit for a bathroom. That's the only way to be considered compliant with codes. This is a job I've done many times myself and its honestly pretty easy if ...
by hightower
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for late 20s couple with 100k cash
Replies: 14
Views: 1182

Re: Strategy for late 20s couple with 100k cash

That's entirely up to you, but at least 20%. You're doing well in terms of saving. There's no reason to have that much cash on hand though. You need to take advantage of your 401Ks and Roths simply because they will help prevent you from paying too much in taxes. As the money grows in those accounts...
by hightower
Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best take it everywhere camera
Replies: 99
Views: 8152

Re: Best take it everywhere camera

I use a fujifilm xt2 for my "real" camera (travel, landscapes, and portrait work), but for everything else my iPhone 7 is great. I see no reason to own a second camera outside of that. Most new higher end phone cameras these days are excellent. And the best camera is always the one you hav...
by hightower
Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 196
Views: 15681

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that its silly to even worry about what EV to buy 2 years from now. The market is changing too fast. BMW is expected to come out with 2 new EVs by then, for instance. The current i3 is expected to get a big range boost and they are supposed to have a new mo...
by hightower
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?
Replies: 58
Views: 3222

Re: Mortgage APR 4.96% - too high?

Though there's nothing wrong with trying to get the lowest rate possible, I think its important to remember that rates are still very low and a rate of 4.96% is pretty darn good historically speaking. Plus, the interest you pay is tax deductible so your actual rate is lower when you factor in the ta...
by hightower
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate vs debt payments
Replies: 34
Views: 2341

Re: Real estate vs debt payments

I do not think you should buy additional real estate at this time. At 37 y/o your net worth is not where it needs to be for someone with your level of income. Although I will say you certainly have demonstrated the ability to pay off debt, but you need to keep going. Pay off everything except the mo...
by hightower
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.
Replies: 26
Views: 1701

Re: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.

@yooper So, what is the point of your comment? I mean, I see that you're trying to be funny. That's fine, I don't mind that at all. But, are you mocking the entire idea of trying to do a job yourself? Are you mocking the idea of buying a cheap tool to do the job right as if its a waste of money? I'm...
by hightower
Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.
Replies: 26
Views: 1701

Re: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.

Yeah, I watched our plumber do it once. He accidentally left a cheap set of internal pipe wrenches behind when they finished the job. They then flooded our kitchen so I decided to keep it and from that point forward I was doing my own plumbing:)
by hightower
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.
Replies: 26
Views: 1701

Re: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.

In my opinion this is an easy DIY job. If the chrome is not badly pitted, you could try using some steel wool to shine it up. But, a new pipe is cheap and easy to replace if you're willing to put the work in. Advice: Do NOT use pliers to loosen the pipe. There is a tool specifically designed for thi...
by hightower
Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 40
Views: 5654

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

When can you cancel the card so that you don't get charged a second year's membership fee? I want to take advantage of this program, but I have no interest in continuing to use the card for $475/yr

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