Search found 444 matches

by hightower
Fri May 11, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally online savings now at 1.60%
Replies: 171
Views: 25622

Re: Ally online savings now at 1.60%

This thread will seem funny when rates hit 3-4% again in the near future. We will be like "remember when we used to get excited about a 0.1% increase in interest rates?"
by hightower
Wed May 09, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii vacation suggestions
Replies: 34
Views: 3464

Re: Hawaii vacation suggestions

I'm just now booking my first trip to the Islands in March of 2019. I'll be on the big island for 6 days and then 4 days on Maui. I am a fan of outdoor stuff... Hiking up to 20 miles a day, I tired surfing on the west coast a few times(but I stick to snow sports now) Scuba diving, running, cycling,...
by hightower
Wed May 09, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii vacation suggestions
Replies: 34
Views: 3464

Re: Hawaii vacation suggestions

We try to go to Hawaii every winter. Winter is wonderful usually, but it can rain. It's also not as hot. But, we want to go back for a spring or summer trip next time so that the ocean is calmer and we can swim/snorkel in more spots. Just got back from 2 weeks in Maui this March actually! It was gre...
by hightower
Sun May 06, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can We Move To Oahu ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2875

Re: Can We Move To Oahu ?

Very familiar with COL, traffic, etc. Right now we don't leave before 9 AM and return before 3 PM if we want to go to Honolulu. Between the earthquakes shaking and lava eruptions burning up homes on the Big Island, the USA record for rainfall and flooding on Kauai last week, and errant nuke threats...
by hightower
Sun May 06, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park
Replies: 49
Views: 2922

Re: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park

@OP It's wonderful you're planning a trip out west to visit our amazing national parks. Yosemite is the park I first fell in love with and somewhere you should certainly visit if you have the opportunity. Glacier NP is another gem I highly recommend. For Yosemite I recommend going the week or two af...
by hightower
Wed May 02, 2018 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!
Replies: 129
Views: 9962

Re: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!

My wife has someone managed to give up added sugar. She claims it isn't that hard. She does still crave simple carbs like that found in white bread/pasta,etc. But, she doesn't touch anything with added sugar. My goal is to do the same, but I haven't been able to pull it off yet. We eat out too often...
by hightower
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury yields climbing...tap the brakes on paying low interest student loans?
Replies: 7
Views: 1041

Treasury yields climbing...tap the brakes on paying low interest student loans?

I'm sitting on around 85k of student loans at 2.6% fixed for 20 years. Payments are 488/month. Now that we see the costs of borrowing are going up (treasury yields hit 3% today), does that change anyone's mind on the pay off debt vs invest argument? My plan was to pay this all off by the end of the ...
by hightower
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Oliver- All you have to know about planning for retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 2262

Re: John Oliver- All you have to know about planning for retirement

John Oliver is great For the general public who takes zero interest in their retirement accounts, segments like this, that are both entertaining and packed with useful, factual information, can be game changers. Of note- one major legislative change since the Oliver piece aired in 2016: The fiduciar...
by hightower
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$
Replies: 48
Views: 2274

Re: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$

Okay, you can believe what you want to believe in terms of the value of your cars (you remind me of the people on pawn stars who come in wanting some ridiculous price for their stuff only to find out that their perception of the value of their stuff is pretty much delusional) Regardless, even if the...
by hightower
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$
Replies: 48
Views: 2274

Re: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$

You're looking for validation to spend more money on cars when you already have 4. 2 of which are completely optional. Those 2 extra vehicles are not only depreciating in value every day, but they are also costing you money in interest everyday since you decided to spend money on cars instead of pay...
by hightower
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable or backdoor Roth?
Replies: 20
Views: 879

Re: Taxable or backdoor Roth?

In answer to the OP's original question: Taxable or Backdoor Roth?...You should always max out all tax advantaged space first, before opening a taxable account. Contribute the max to your 401k, HSA, and Backdoor Roth. Then, if there is money left over to invest, put it in a taxable. Congrats on your...
by hightower
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I refi and still get a lower rate right now? UPDATE: Bonus HELOC??
Replies: 31
Views: 2041

Re: Can I refi and still get a lower rate right now?

I got extremely lucky and locked in a 15 year 3.25% refinance rate just before the rates jumped last month. I closed about 4 weeks ago.
by hightower
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?
Replies: 126
Views: 11494

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

I will say that I was blown away with Montana the first time I went there. Glacier National Park is a real treasure. Absolutely stunning scenery everywhere you go there. Also, the drive from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone was incredible. That part of the country is obscenely beautiful. I've ha...
by hightower
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage is better?
Replies: 4
Views: 667

Re: Which mortgage is better?

They both basically work out to be the same. The rate is the same in the end and your out of pocket/up front expense is around the same. Loan 2 is $375 cheaper, so you're splitting hairs. I'd go with the company that has a nicer/easier to use website or something. But, I agree with Meg77, it's not i...
by hightower
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1793

Re: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?

I absolutely LOVED Berlin. Hands down the most interesting city I've ever visited. The history is amazing. The modern day culture there is amazing. It's all around incredible IMO. I hope to go back some day. We spent like 5-6 days there in early 2016 before embarking on a tour of the rest of the cou...
by hightower
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 329
Views: 22624

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

I deleted my account right after the 2016 election when I realized my own mother had been using it and sharing memes and fake news that we now know came from the Russians. I also gave up instagram close to a year ago because I realized it's the same BS. "Social Media" is not social. We need to go ba...
by hightower
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money
Replies: 189
Views: 16797

Re: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money

It really makes zero sense for someone in your financial standing, who's feeling stressed about money, to be giving away nearly $5,000/year to a church. You simply can't afford it. You don't make enough money to justify that kind of charitable giving. I agree with the notion that volunteering is a f...
by hightower
Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Priority of payoffs
Replies: 12
Views: 983

Re: Priority of payoffs

I would spend some time watching or listening to Dave Ramsey to help you get a grip on your spending problem (which is why you have a debt problem). You have some serious behavioral issues to address before you'll actually be able to get out of debt. It's good you're here asking questions though, th...
by hightower
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paging BH Gearheads: Reasonable Net Worth for Exotic
Replies: 104
Views: 6600

Re: Paging BH Gearheads: Reasonable Net Worth for Exotic

First off, this is a fantastic forum that I came across relatively recently. Really looking forward to picking up some wisdom on these pages! First, a bit about me. 34yrs old, happily married with 2 awesome kids (2 & 4 yrs old). While I don't consider myself to be a materialistic person, I do have ...
by hightower
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paging BH Gearheads: Reasonable Net Worth for Exotic
Replies: 104
Views: 6600

Re: Paging BH Gearheads: Reasonable Net Worth for Exotic

I think I would stick to the rule of spending no more than 20% of your annual income on a car (I don't know who first proposed this rule, but I like it). If your investments bring in enough cash each year to justify 250k on a car using that rule, then you can afford it. FWIW to stick to this rule, a...
by hightower
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what point does it make sense to pay down your mortgage?
Replies: 76
Views: 8057

Re: At what point does it make sense to pay down your mortgage?

I just refinanced my mortgage to a 15 year at 3.25%. I don't plan on making any extra payments any time soon. Once my student loans are completely gone and I've got a healthy taxable going, I'll probably consider adding a little extra each month if I'm still making good money at that point. We'll se...
by hightower
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with GIANT interest car loan (28%)
Replies: 44
Views: 5420

Re: Help with GIANT interest car loan (28%)

This thread reminds me of the John Oliver episode about “sub prime” auto loans. It’s a sad fact that these types of situations are incredibly common right now. But yeah I agree, your wife’s family needs a Dave Ramsey intervention big time. Have you ever tried making them watch or listen to his progr...
by hightower
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell house to pay student loans?
Replies: 12
Views: 1235

Re: Sell house to pay student loans?

It’s a tough call. Mortgage rates will likely be higher than your student loan rates very soon (30 year loans are already almost 5%). So part of me says to not do it. On the other hand you’re planning on moving soon anyway, so might not be a terrible idea to do it now if you can still get a good pri...
by hightower
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balance in Marriage and Student Loans
Replies: 26
Views: 1913

Re: Balance in Marriage and Student Loans

My initial thoughts are that if you two are getting married and plan on combining finances, it's in both of your best interests to get rid of those relatively high interest student loans asap. I would do the following: 1. From your savings, hold on to about 6 months of living expenses as an efund in...
by hightower
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Refinancing Advice - First Home Buyer
Replies: 9
Views: 661

Re: Home Refinancing Advice - First Home Buyer

I'm guessing you didn't own any property during the 2008/2009 housing and market crash? That's a risky loan you have right now. I'd refinance (no cash out) and get a 15 year or 30 year fixed with the proper 80-20 loan to value ratio or better.
by hightower
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Age Old Question: Invest or Pay Down Student Loans
Replies: 8
Views: 608

Re: The Age Old Question: Invest or Pay Down Student Loans

I agree, refinance and make paying them off a priority now. The longer you hold on to them, the longer they will be a thorn in your side. At 26 years old, you've got plenty of time to save. I would get rid of the loans first. Take advantage of any employer sponsored retirement plan matches, but outs...
by hightower
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will REIT funds ever see another drawdown like 2008?
Replies: 51
Views: 4793

Re: Will REIT funds ever see another drawdown like 2008?

Buy and hold. 30 years from now they'll be up
by hightower
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?
Replies: 150
Views: 12139

Re: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?

I’m saving up $88,000 to pay off my student loans
by hightower
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 3914

Re: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance

Just to add my experience with American Express. First, they offer rental car insurance without paying for it, just by using your amex to book the rental. We used this option a couple years ago when we rented a car in Hawaii. While parked in a parking lot, someone backed into the car and caused som...
by hightower
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 3914

Re: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance

Just to add my experience with American Express. First, they offer rental car insurance without paying for it, just by using your amex to book the rental. We used this option a couple years ago when we rented a car in Hawaii. While parked in a parking lot, someone backed into the car and caused some...
by hightower
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund
Replies: 119
Views: 7372

Re: Sell me on the benefits of an emergency fund

For me keeping an efund depends on how secure I feel in my job. I'm well insured against disability so i'm not worried about losing my job for that reason. But, if I were concerned about my line of work drying up at any time, I'd be more inclined to keep at least 3-6 months cash on hand to cover me ...
by hightower
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Chevy Volt - Which year should I look at?
Replies: 33
Views: 2657

Re: Used Chevy Volt - Which year should I look at?

My brother in law drive a Volt and he now wishes he would have waited for the Bolt. He says he hates that he has to plug it in every single day whereas with a bolt he could drive for multiple days in a row without charging it. If you don't drive a lot, you'll have very low cost of ownership with a ...
by hightower
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please critique my portfolio and savings
Replies: 9
Views: 1259

Re: Please critique my portfolio and savings

55% of your total portfolio is cash. That's a bit crazy. You're missing out on growth of over half of your portfolio. Reduce that to just 6 months living expenses and you'll still be in great shape if an emergency arises. Invest the rest according to your target AA and stop worrying about it. In fac...
by hightower
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 6789

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

I was pricing a Na Pali boat tour yesterday for our June Hawaii trip and the price was higher for the summer months because it was during their "high season". I would think Hawaii's high season was the winter months. Winter is the more heavily visited season in Hawaii. But, boat tours and things in...
by hightower
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Chevy Volt - Which year should I look at?
Replies: 33
Views: 2657

Re: Used Chevy Volt - Which year should I look at?

I finally need another car, and I've been eyeing Chevy Volts for a long time. I don't want to lease, as my plan to is to keep it for a long time, and I'm not that bothered by technology changes. As long as I can handle the range anxiety, I'm good. Not that I drive a lot - I barely average a couple ...
by hightower
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 6789

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:55 am

Other friends have homes in cold climates and condos or townhouses in Hawaii. They are year round snowbirds.
That is my dream
by hightower
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 6789

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

You would have likely found a lot better deals if you had booked something a few months ago. Many of the best deals are booked by people that make reservations up to a year in advance so many of the nicer or more affordable hotels are fully booked now. So it is true that airfare goes up the closer ...
by hightower
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?
Replies: 77
Views: 6789

Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

In my opinion it's totally worth it. I wouldn't do it if it's going to break your bank account though. My wife and I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot over the last 5 or 6 years. For at least the last 3 years, including next month, we've gone to Hawaii in February. I can't tell you how amaz...
by hightower
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car - how much can we afford?
Replies: 78
Views: 5991

Re: New car - how much can we afford?

I dont remember where I first heard it, but I like the 20% of salary rule of thumb. For you that would mean 28k and pay cash. I know..standard thread that appears every other day on the board, today is my turn. Me: 29 Girlfriend: 30 We are expecting a baby end of the year and we need a bigger car. I...
by hightower
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your U.S. : International ratio?
Replies: 190
Views: 35150

Re: What's your U.S. : International ratio?

I have 10% of my total portfolio in VXUS. The rest is all US based and includes 10% REITs. No judgments here, but I'm curious as to why so many people on here have such large or increasing holdings of international equities? For example, since inception, vanguard total stock market has done quite a ...
by hightower
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26yr old - Check Up - How am I doing?
Replies: 9
Views: 1557

Re: 26yr old - Check Up - How am I doing?

Thank you all for the responses. Great feedback and advice so far. Do any of you all have suggestions for reputable online savings accounts? I see Ally mentioned a lot on here... I've been using Ally for over 10 years now and love it. Great company, great online platform, easy to use. I remember wh...
by hightower
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House renovation financing
Replies: 17
Views: 1318

Re: House renovation financing

If you can not afford to pay for renovations out of your annual income [while saving for retirement], you can not afford to do the renovations. I disagree with this. House renovations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and not many people have that kind of cash sitting around. Using a mortga...
by hightower
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House renovation financing
Replies: 17
Views: 1318

Re: House renovation financing

I recently finished a whole house renovation with my wife on an old building (1880s). We bought it cheap and started pouring cash into it. Initially we used some savings and borrowed from the in-laws. Once the value of the home started to rise we refinanced and took out a HELOC. Over 5 years we refi...
by hightower
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26yr old - Check Up - How am I doing?
Replies: 9
Views: 1557

Re: 26yr old - Check Up - How am I doing?

You guys are killing it for your age. Not many 24-26 year olds have this kind of awareness of their finances. I certainly didn't. I was 34 before I started to pay attention like this. Great work! I would not contribute to a taxable account though for savings for things like vehicles or house down pa...
by hightower
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: advice for too much student debt and a bit of extra cash
Replies: 3
Views: 281

Re: advice for too much student debt and a bit of extra cash

Hello! It makes zero sense to hold on to $95k cash when you are strapped with 280k of student loans and an 11k car loan. You need to pay off the car loan asap...like today. Empty your traditional IRA and use that and any remaining funds to pay off a big chunk of your student loans. Pay off any small...
by hightower
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How risky is Med school student loan debt?
Replies: 151
Views: 9969

Re: How risky is Med school student loan debt?

As others have said, as long as a medical student matches in to a categorical residency and completes it, things will be generally OK. You need to add to this: "AND passes specialty board certification exam." Very few hospitals and physician groups will consider non-board certified physicians these...
by hightower
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How risky is Med school student loan debt?
Replies: 151
Views: 9969

Re: How risky is Med school student loan debt?

If you want to avoid debt in medical school, some combined MD/PhD programs waive tuition and even provide a stipend. Doing a PhD definitely isn't for everyone, and it adds years of schooling. But it can allow you to graduate with much less debt, possibly debt free. MD/PhD programs are incredibly di...
by hightower
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How risky is Med school student loan debt?
Replies: 151
Views: 9969

Re: How risky is Med school student loan debt?

I see lots of posts from Docs on this site with mounds of student loans, and following that mounds of income. How many people end up saddled with 150k+ debt but miss out on the high income jobs afterwards? I think right now it's still a pretty solid career to "invest" in, but could change significa...
by hightower
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: general "am I on the right track" question
Replies: 29
Views: 2625

Re: general "am I on the right track" question

I like your overall strategy. People are commenting on your stocks because bogleheads.org is the land of index fund investors;) I agree with renting in that market, but it's a hot topic on these forums so you'll likely get different opinions on this.
by hightower
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do many bogleheads feel they can time the housing market but can't time the stock market?
Replies: 63
Views: 4966

Re: Why do many bogleheads feel they can time the housing market but can't time the stock market?

So, another question that would be equally fair to ask is "Why do so many bogleheads think it's okay to invest most of one's net worth in a single, risky asset such as a piece of real estate, but discourage stock picking shares of a single company?" The word "invest" that I bolded in red in your se...