Search found 302 matches

by jmg229
Mon May 02, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?
Replies: 65
Views: 5794

Re: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?

My spouse is more frugal than I am, but I like managing the money and investing, while she would rather hide it all under the mattress. So she causes us to spend less and then I figure out what to do with that money (with regular state of the financial union meetings). When we moved in together, one...
by jmg229
Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k 457b Fees
Replies: 6
Views: 572

Re: 401k 457b Fees

We pay $12 + 0.1% every quarter. Early on, it was painful, but now it's much less frustrating given that we have a couple of good low-cost options.
by jmg229
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Planner - College
Replies: 29
Views: 2217

Re: Financial Planner - College

You should also research the financial aid practices of schools your kids may consider. US News and World Reports' premium feature has some nice detail on things like average percent of need met. I encourage students I work with to apply to schools that meet high levels of need. If you only apply to...
by jmg229
Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with CapitalOne?
Replies: 28
Views: 2115

Re: Experience with CapitalOne?

Shrug. They're fine. I have a Capital One credit card and an online bank account at Capital One 360 (because they bought ING Direct). I guess my summary would be "no complaints." I've been with them for... hmmm... two decades and they've never ticked me off enough to make me change. Actua...
by jmg229
Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying siblings equity in inherited property?
Replies: 13
Views: 1520

Re: Buying siblings equity in inherited property?

This is correct. Think about it from your value that you own. Right now, you have $100k in equity: 1/2*(300-100). If you buy him out, you still have $100k: 300-100(to brother)-100(full loan). So, this is a fair deal.
by jmg229
Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High school curriculum: Is filling out tax forms part of it?
Replies: 49
Views: 1687

Re: High school curriculum: Is filling out tax forms part of it?

If it is anywhere, it is a rarity. Below is a nice article about the decrease in economics and personal finance courses. Even if these classes exist, curriculum for them is weak and it is often not something that teachers are prepared to teach. http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/u-s-sc...
by jmg229
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?
Replies: 28
Views: 2622

Re: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?

For what it's worth, we love our Crosstrek. Good gas mileage (over 30mpg in my experience, sometimes substantially), can tow a light trailer and fit 8 foot long pieces of lumber fully inside the vehicle, handles wonderfully in snow, and is stylish and well-constructed. I am in Northern Utah and deal...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Properly Assessing Public Schools
Replies: 55
Views: 3505

Re: Properly Assessing Public Schools

Most states have somewhat decent websites that host school data. It can be really hard to determine what makes for a "good" school, however, simply from this data. I would highly suggest visiting (even outside of open houses and such, I have found that schools I have worked in have been ve...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2016 hedge fund contest
Replies: 142
Views: 8184

Re: 2016 hedge fund contest

Bravo PP Holdings:
Long:
PCYG
CMG
TSLA

Short:
CTL
UNH
CXP
by jmg229
Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engaged...So how do we handle finances now?
Replies: 40
Views: 3856

Re: Engaged...So how do we handle finances now?

I'm going to go against the general consensus here and say that if you feel like comingling now, go for it. We comingled when we got engaged because, in our minds, that is when the commitment was made. We also have similar attitudes towards money, had very different (and low) incomes and knew that t...
by jmg229
Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Error: Wrong 401k max; Possible Remedies?
Replies: 7
Views: 660

Re: HR Error: Wrong 401k max; Possible Remedies?

Thank you all for the feedback. see if you can write them a check for $500 and have them make a special $500 contribution for 2015 on your behalf before the end of the year. It looks like this is what is going to happen. A bit of a pain, but oh well. Apparently they never updated their payroll softw...
by jmg229
Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Error: Wrong 401k max; Possible Remedies?
Replies: 7
Views: 660

HR Error: Wrong 401k max; Possible Remedies?

My HR stopped my 401k contributions this year at the wrong level (17.5k) in my final paycheck of the year. As a result, I have 2 questions: 1. I'm not crazy and the max this year was 18k, right? 2. What sort of remedies can I request/suggest. I suspect their response will be "whoops, sorry, not...
by jmg229
Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher Certification
Replies: 11
Views: 1105

Re: Teacher Certification

I agree with all that has already been said, but what you may very well run into is the fact that elementary ed is just not in as high of a demand in most places. Many of the transition to teaching programs are for high needs subject areas (special ed, secondary math/science/language, etc.) or high ...
by jmg229
Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Push child to avoid expensive college?
Replies: 207
Views: 15502

Re: Push child to avoid expensive college?

As someone who is a current high school teacher who attended an Ivy League school, I will say that I wouldn't give up my experience at a top tier school for much of anything. Having a top tier school on my resume has opened up many doors for me. Sure, it's easy to get a teaching job, although not as...
by jmg229
Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-monitoring principle (Mindfulness) & Tools
Replies: 16
Views: 1578

Re: Self-monitoring principle (Mindfulness) & Tools

I think the "returns" depend on where a person is in terms of their financial management skills. I know that for myself, when I first started paying attention to money, I put in each individual expense daily. This had a huge impact on getting me to pay attention to costs and what they mean...
by jmg229
Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Yellowstone Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1584

Re: Another Yellowstone Question

I agree with the prior two posters. Idaho Falls is a smarter choice. Salt Lake would add quite a bit to the drive and I don't know that it is much less likely to have issues. As far as the car, definitely consider AWD and some clearance. Roads will likely not be plowed in a timely fashion if it snow...
by jmg229
Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dog / Pet insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 33
Views: 2441

Re: Dog / Pet insurance - is it worth it?

We self-insure. We put aside a set amount (something like $1000 per year) for medical expenses. Whatever he doesn't use when he is young is for his care as a senior. We found that there were too many limitations for it to make sense. Plus, if you can self-insure, you probably should. While costs can...
by jmg229
Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to send to set someone up in an apt (Vegas)?
Replies: 8
Views: 1480

Re: How much to send to set someone up in an apt (Vegas)?

I don't think that prepaid cards help in this situation, with the exception of if you are able to see the spending online. Something like a gas card is so easily sold, usually for a not-insignificant discount on face value, that it will not likely accomplish what you are hoping it to. It sounds like...
by jmg229
Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason why I shouldn't accept this student loan refinancing offer?
Replies: 12
Views: 1574

Re: Any reason why I shouldn't accept this student loan refinancing offer?

They also offered me the rates below. I'm only interested in 5 or 10 years refinancing. Can pay the whole thing off in 5 years or less but would like to have some flexibility for emergencies and save to buy a house. Any other suggestions? I'm worried LIBOR might go up and I end up paying more in in...
by jmg229
Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?
Replies: 36
Views: 3087

Re: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?

While property taxes are definitely important, as they are an on-going expense, I think that you may be beyond the point of it being helpful. Property taxes depend on 2 things: Taxable value and Rate. The Value will depend on your purchase price. It doesn't matter what it is assessed at now, just wh...
by jmg229
Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live
Replies: 20
Views: 2152

Re: How to predict state taxes to help decide where to live

Just one more possibly useful resource from the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy. It is from 2015 and talks about overall tax burden, taxes by type, and taxes by type by income quintile by state. http://itep.org/itep_reports/2015/01/who-pays-5th-edition.php#.VZSPyhNViko ETA: found 2015 ed...
by jmg229
Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NJ state pension
Replies: 39
Views: 3034

Re: NJ state pension

How underwater is the pension plan? Funding ratio of 54% in 2013. State is putting in 30-35% of its newly agreed upon amount (from a deal in 2010 or 11). So it's in rough shape. At the same time, I wonder about the likelihood of cuts to current retirees; it seems so politically unlikely, yet the st...
by jmg229
Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying a home with daughter and son in law
Replies: 17
Views: 3403

Re: buying a home with daughter and son in law

It is better tax wise to not put your daughter on the deed in ownership as a joint tenant owner while you are alive or she gets the cost basis at the purchase which would be more capital gains tax if she ever sold it once you are gone. I am questioning this logic. If PA has a 4.5% inheritance tax, ...
by jmg229
Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Fraud [Understanding fraudulent returns]
Replies: 6
Views: 993

Re: IRS Fraud

Tax return fraud occurs when someone uses your SSN and fake income/withholding info to collect a return. This happens early in the year because the IRS isn't set to match up self-reported info against W2s and such that early, but they want to get returns out quickly. The reason why this is less of a...
by jmg229
Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with tax-gain harvesting
Replies: 11
Views: 1129

Re: Help with tax-gain harvesting

As far as Vanguard giving choice, it depends on how your cost basis accounting is set up. If you sell with Specific ID, you should be fine, just sell the shares with the LT Gain. As far as other impacts, just be aware of a potential impact on state/local taxes. This caught me off guard for a second ...
by jmg229
Sun May 24, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)
Replies: 39
Views: 3659

Re: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)

If the son with the interest in education is interested in teaching K-12 (especially HS Science), there are funded MEd and MAT programs that pay tuition and a stipend in exchange for committing to teach in a certain geographical area for a certain amount of time. This is typically useful if the unde...
by jmg229
Sun May 17, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Checking
Replies: 23
Views: 3184

Re: Capital One 360 Checking

We have had really good experience with CapitalOne360. We started back when it was ING, but the transition hasn't been too terrible. The interest rate isn't bad, customer service is still pretty good, and I really like the ability to have multiple linked accounts and multiple sub-accounts for target...
by jmg229
Mon May 04, 2015 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Tax Question...
Replies: 3
Views: 670

Re: Life Insurance Tax Question...

Why not just handle everything after tax (adjust line 2)? I would imagine the taxes in line 7 could include things like on-going property taxes.
by jmg229
Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: 9 or 12 month salary?
Replies: 26
Views: 6371

Re: Teachers: 9 or 12 month salary?

One other thought, which depends on your labor situation, is that to me it would depend on which summer the 12 month covers. I would rather get 9 months ending in June than 12 months ending in September. This would be due to a concern about that last year, especially if it ended up being short for s...
by jmg229
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PivotTables for Schedules B&D for useful info
Replies: 9
Views: 873

Re: Using PivotTables for Schedules B&D for useful info

As to posting: I like keeping my spreadsheets in Google Sheets already, but I tend to have a copy that is a clean template, free of personal info with dummy info instead. Then I make this copy public and can share the link. If you were willing to do that here, it would be really convenient for some,...
by jmg229
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Where's] a Family to Live in New York?
Replies: 22
Views: 3556

Re: Where a Family to Live in New York?

You might want to check out Orange County. Across the river, but not terrible commute (for that area). Much cheaper than Westchester and includes some good school districts (like Monroe-Woodbury).
by jmg229
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adjusted Gross Income / Solar Power Question
Replies: 1
Views: 297

Re: Adjusted Gross Income / Solar Power Question

I can't quite tell for sure, but isn't the limitation the lesser of 30% * cost = $3000*5 (federal) or 35% * cost = 750*5 (state)? It is the credit that you would get that you should be comparing to your tax liability, not the total system cost, right? To your actual question, I should think that tha...
by jmg229
Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...
Replies: 35
Views: 3193

Re: Health Insurance Debacle, need advice...

You might also want to look into PPACA's changes to the law regarding rescission. I'm sure that non-payment is a valid reason to cancel insurance, but retroactive rescission seems like a whole other matter and it seems like you likely should've at least received a 30 day notice. I'd go straight to t...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 10325

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

I might be a little bit contrarian here, but I think it is unwise to entirely ignore it. I wouldn't let knowledge of a future inheritance decrease my retirement saving, but I would still consider that it may be there and impact my life. Consider life both with and without and then use those possible...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Finances
Replies: 6
Views: 1109

Re: Tracking Finances

This is about where I am. I am in my late 20s and would say this looks a lot like my routine, except that a lot of my year-end work happens in the summer (academics/educators with salary changes happening around that time). I would say I adjust my retirement spreadsheets and look for rebalancing ban...
by jmg229
Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take union pension now & invest, or wait for higher payout?
Replies: 14
Views: 1265

Re: Take union pension now & invest, or wait for higher payo

There are others who are better that this kind of analysis than I am, but here's a stab at it. You say you you can save up $40,000 from taking the lower payment early. How much could you get from an annuity at age 65 for $40k? Probably not $468 a month (the difference in what you will be making mont...
by jmg229
Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we continue with CPA for filing taxes?
Replies: 17
Views: 1428

Re: Should we continue with CPA for filing taxes?

I recommend the tax software. It's not just filling out the forms. They take you through an interview process and decide which forms you need. L. I would argue the opposite, actually. With the prior years' returns, you should be able to figure out which forms you need. And if you are paying the CPA...
by jmg229
Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Couple Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2439

Re: Young Couple Need Advice

I would say that the last thing that you need in your life if you are in med school while working part time is a house. Enjoy paying someone else to deal with the broken water heater and leaky roofs. I'd go with the car or nothing. Does your gas guzzler serve a specific need? If not, I'd consider se...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another online banking thread
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Re: Yet another online banking thread

I have had my checking/savings at Capital One (formerly ING) and CDs at Ally. I like Capital One's interface better, though that may just be my being used to it. I found that customer service was easier to reach and very quickly got me to a human being who treated me like a human being at Capital On...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll
Replies: 18
Views: 2116

Re: spousal or partner frugality comparison poll

Our situation is that my spouse is better at not spending money, but would hide it all under the bed. I need a budget to keep me on track, but once we have money set aside feel more confident in knowing what to do with it. Works nicely.
by jmg229
Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing Calculation
Replies: 25
Views: 2457

Re: Rebalancing Calculation

Is relative or absolute bands better - or does it really matter as long as you take the emotion out of the mix and just rely on the numbers. As others have mentioned, it probably doesn't matter. There is so much debate on this board about rebalancing or not, that deciding when exactly to rebalance ...
by jmg229
Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly Engaged - Time to Talk Finances with Fiancee
Replies: 25
Views: 3089

Re: Newly Engaged - Time to Talk Finances with Fiancee

We were pretty in agreement on a lot of the more philosophical bits (being pretty frugal, our risk tolerances are similar, etc.), so I was able to come up with some longer term plans and float them by her. The big thing we did though was grab a white board and make our budget. We also update our bud...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 6009

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

If you do intend to do it by hand, I suggest at least using FreeFillableForms. But it should be simple enough for someone with your education.
by jmg229
Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...
Replies: 47
Views: 5710

Re: Looking for low cost cell phone plans...

Also a huge fan of republic wireless. $10 for text and talk plus wifi data. $25 for cell data and you can switch between plans twice a month. We usually keep 1 phone on each plan and then switch the $10 up to $25 temporarily if the data is needed and we aren't traveling together.
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my Vanguard Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1521

Re: What to do with my Vanguard Roth IRA?

Not sure why no one else has jumped in here, but welcome to the forum. A good place to start is with an IPS ( http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement ). Begin thinking about your desired stock/bond ratio and the like. Then post the question using this format: https://www.boglehead...
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing My Taxes With Free File Fillable Forms?
Replies: 8
Views: 1339

Re: Filing My Taxes With Free File Fillable Forms?

I have used free fillable forms for a number of years with great success. Always works without a problem for me. I can't bring myself to pay to file taxes and use my own spreadsheets for forecasting. I almost bought TT this year with the Amazon bonus, but didn't. I just like looking at the actual fo...
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not sure about Inlaws' Financial Advisor. What ?s to ask?
Replies: 12
Views: 1581

Re: Not sure about Inlaws' Financial Advisor. What ?s to ask

You could start by asking for account statements and reading more about what they are invested in. Maybe with a string of statements you can see if not where, then at least that, money is being funneled off somewhere.
by jmg229
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use
Replies: 13
Views: 2127

Re: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use

I like this document: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=119346 I keep it electronically and a paper copy in our safe. Attached at the bottom is important how-to steps for things like immediately after an incident, things to consider a week-month after, things to consider 6 mont...
by jmg229
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fun stock market simulator - educational
Replies: 15
Views: 2086

Re: Fun stock market simulator - educational

I think that these can cause more harm than good. By dumb luck you will occasionally get some massive wins and the last thing that a teenager needs is evidence that they are amazing at this thing that the adults in their life was a sucker's bet. In my mind, it's like giving a class of HS students $...

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