Search found 2830 matches

by kenyan
Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How closely do you check your credit card statements?
Replies: 58
Views: 3014

Re: How closely do you check your credit card statements?

Very closely, especially since starting to budget everything with YNAB a few years ago. Anything I purchase gets entered immediately, but I need to enter my wife's purchases using the statements and other tools. I did find a significant pair of fraudulent charges a year ago, that were subsequently i...
by kenyan
Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to make $500 a month out of $30000
Replies: 8
Views: 3249

Re: How to make $500 a month out of $30000

Right. $6000 per year out of $30k is just too much (from passive investments) if you're expecting it to last long-term. I would say that your best bet would probably be something like (actively managed/landlording) real estate. Much more complicated, probably more risky, and a much bigger time commi...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early 30s Looking to Retire in 15 Years
Replies: 29
Views: 4301

Re: Early 30s Looking to Retire in 15 Years

Why are you voluntarily throwing away several thousand dollars in taxes? You could max the 403(b) and have an extra $4k-5k in savings to throw in taxable. If you're concerned with the ability to withdraw that money before 59.5, there are strategies to do so. Those strategies work better than trying ...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why are Treasury prices AND Stock prices both down today?
Replies: 45
Views: 4425

Re: Why are Treasury prices AND Stock prices both down today?

Stocks and bonds don't have to show negative correlation. The long term correlation is near zero for high-quality intermediate bonds and stocks. I have read that correlations have decreased in recent years (meaning that bonds tend to rise as stocks drop, and vice versa). As the above poster noted (e...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it typical to wait ~24 months for a meaningful/significant raise at work?
Replies: 45
Views: 4072

Re: Is it typical to wait ~24 months for a meaningful/significant raise at work?

I've been waiting 11 years for a significant raise. COLA (couched as 'merit-based raises') are the standard. Actually, my company started giving worse-than-COLA increases several years back, with half of the increase corporate-wide given as a lump sum. The only way I've gotten ahead of the inflation...
by kenyan
Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I upgrade my 6 year old plasma TV?
Replies: 81
Views: 5780

Re: Should I upgrade my 6 year old plasma TV?

There's little reason to buy a 4K TV right now, aside from bragging rights. Once the content is there, and you are regularly using said content, then I'd consider it (should it be worth it to you). In the meantime, you're just looking to pay an excessive premium without a good reason. Prices of new ...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?
Replies: 176
Views: 33734

Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?

I try to remain cognizant of this risk, particularly when it comes to spending (and effort spent!) on experiences/vacations for my children. My DW and I appreciate a good vacation, but also are not naturally inclined to planning interesting vacations, particularly with all of the considerations nece...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?
Replies: 35
Views: 4728

Re: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?

This is a very interesting thread, thanks for starting it. Has anyone used Redfin to but in a HCOL area? Are they helpful in navigating situations where the homes are priced in anticipation of escalation clauses and/or in assessing how competitive offers will be? Our experience was in a HCOLA durin...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?
Replies: 35
Views: 4728

Re: Has anyone bought a home with Redfin?

Does one have to declare the cash refund on their taxes that year? I believe the official answer is "check with your tax preparer," but in the vast majority of cases, the answer should be no. It's a rebate (of fees nominally paid by the seller), somewhat akin to credit card rewards, and n...
by kenyan
Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

Thanks for all the comments and differing perspectives. Certainly, the consensus is that the decision is pretty close, which is in line with my expectations. We'll definitely revisit as we approach the 3-year mark and beyond. Though there is a definite attractiveness to having that mortgage paid off...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

I have this same 5/5 ARM product that originated in July 2014 though with a little bit smaller balance. When I was originally doing the math, the breakeven vs 30 year rates at the time (3.5%ish) was about 11-12 years. I considered refinancing to a 15-year fixed since I have been paying it on a 15-y...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

It seems like you are contradicting yourself. 35k and 9k are not small numbers, true. 0.9% and 1.6% are small numbers. I do care what their interest rates are. I don't know why I would accelerate payments on these in lieu of putting that money toward higher-rate debt such as the mortgage. There is ...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

<<Possibly a couple difficult years just as the kids are entering college if the mortgage is not yet paid off, but could potentially use student loans to assist. >> OP, I do not understand why are you in a hurry to pay off the mortgage? Especially when you know that in 10+ years, you may have to bo...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

I'd at least wait to see what the mortgage rate resets to at the zero penalty point before even considering doing anything with it. Consider getting iBonds. They have more flexability than a 529 with no market volatility. Otherwise, I don't know that I'd make any changes to what you're doing now. T...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

Have you considered the plan of putting all your payments towards the current ARM? You have not mentioned if the ARM is capped, which is a critical piece of information. Over the last few decades a lot of people have paid a lot of money for the certainty of a fixed rate mortgages. This is of course...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

I agree with KlangFool. I don't care what your interest rates are on your car and student loan. 35k and 9k are not small numbers. Your casual attitude towards them implies you might have the good fortune of having student loans at the same time your kids have student loans! Don't refinance until af...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Re: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

Thanks for the replies. Yes, I think I will at a minimum wait until the 3-year mark to avoid closing cost repayment penalties, at which point I'll take a hard look at the various refinancing options. I should probably say "we" rather than "I" since the DW will definitely carry ve...
by kenyan
Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1086
Views: 184610

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

Up about 10.7% not counting contributions. XIRR gives about 17.5% return annualized (both numbers inexact; I only do real calculations at the end of the year).

It's been a good year thus far for EM and REITs in particular, with small value not far behind, but everything is up.
by kenyan
Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 22
Views: 1586

Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings

Esteemed Boglehead colleagues, I have a major financial decision that I am pondering. I believe that I have a pretty good handle on it, but thought I would bounce it off the wisdom of the board for additional inputs. I have included many other financial details, but the most relevant details are in ...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance for 31 year-old
Replies: 20
Views: 1686

Re: Life insurance for 31 year-old

Term is definitely the way to go. Duration and amount are variables that you two will need to decide. I was in a fairly similar position to you at that age, with slightly lower incomes. I didn't purchase term life until we had our first child, though. I'm a bit less conservative - if you can call it...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not paying mortgage, what???
Replies: 21
Views: 3305

Re: Not paying mortgage, what???

Per RealtyTrac, the US average (not sure if median or mean was used) number of days to complete foreclosure in Q2 2016 was 629. Some states/locales/banks will take longer, as well. Pre-recession, this was under 200 days. From that report: States with the longest foreclosure timelines were New Jersey...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid International?
Replies: 103
Views: 9731

Re: Avoid International?

Forgetting about past returns for a moment, the premise that one should invest in USA rather than international because the USA has higher growth prospects is a flawed one. That ignores the price of the markets - the relative growth is already priced in, to the best of markets' estimation. Sure, any...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2115

Re: Hourly Rate for Contracting - thoughts?

Where do employee's benefits cost .5x of salary? We model like 17-20% max. IMO he costs his company approx $35-$36/hour. I'm far from an expert in this, but back-of-the-envelope on my benefits/costs above my salary, which I don't think are comparatively exorbitant: 7.65% FICA ~7% Retirement match/p...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best jumbo mortgage rates esp 15 year
Replies: 10
Views: 682

Re: best jumbo mortgage rates esp 15 year

PenFed 15-year jumbo is at 3.125, 3.292 APR. 2.875/3.222 APR with 1.25 points. 15-year fixed high balance to 625k is 2.75/2.917 APR, or 2.5/2.846 APR with 1.25 points. Don't know if that is better than what you'd already seen since you didn't specify for sure if you were referring to APR or rate w/o...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hedging against home value decrease
Replies: 42
Views: 3266

Re: Hedging against home value decrease

1) If you are living in the house, drop in house value means that you are paying lower property tax. That is a good thing. While this doesn't necessarily hold elsewhere, it is largely true in California where property taxes are capped under Proposition 13 and can be decreased after a housing market...
by kenyan
Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I do ROTC?
Replies: 44
Views: 3497

Re: Should I do ROTC?

These are my opinions assuming you end up in AFRL or in the Space Command. While rare, there are exceptions to this - like aircraft maintenance. In which case you could have 10 enlisted guys working for you on day one (including a first shirt that's your parents' age, which can be a challenge). If ...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I do ROTC?
Replies: 44
Views: 3497

Re: Should I do ROTC?

One other thing - I don't have data to back it up, but plenty of anecdotal experience. Military engineering experience does not hamper later civilian engineering careers. They may not necessarily get the depth that you might get in a civilian engineering job, but they could potentially get superior ...
by kenyan
Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I do ROTC?
Replies: 44
Views: 3497

Re: Should I do ROTC?

I am trying to decide whether or not to do ROTC. I am 19 years old and will be entering my sophomore year of college at the University of Minnesota as a mechanical engineering major. When I was applying to colleges, I applied for and received an AFROTC scholarship. I was lucky and got a very genero...
by kenyan
Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting cable cord...
Replies: 52
Views: 6669

Re: Cutting cable cord...

If you have T-Mobile you get slingtv for $14/mo and MLB atbat premium for free! I use both through my Amazon firetv. Lots of good content on sling and you can watch virtually any baseball game with the MLB atbat premium. Wow! I didn't know about this. I have been using my over the air antenna, the ...
by kenyan
Thu May 19, 2016 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pride in no inheritance to kids?
Replies: 233
Views: 2479

Re: Pride in no inheritance to kids?

I have two young children, 3 and 5, and I plan to provide everything they need to become responsible adults. At this point, that includes life insurance and college savings. I do not plan to subsidize an irresponsible adult lifestyle for my children. I also plan to retire relatively early - in my 50...
by kenyan
Thu May 12, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can someone explain to me how Term life is a better choice than WLI.
Replies: 69
Views: 6793

Re: Can someone explain to me how Term life is a better choice than WLI.

I also have a question for the crowd in regards to WLI. I had this food for thought: In retirement when one is living off investment accounts, the WLI product gives an option to withdraw money during a down market and pay back once the market recovers. Doesn't this protect from a sequence of return...
by kenyan
Thu May 12, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can someone explain to me how Term life is a better choice than WLI.
Replies: 69
Views: 6793

Re: Can someone explain to me how Term life is a better choice than WLI.

I am about half way through a $2 million 20 term policy that will expire when I am 63. My agent (and friend) is suggesting that I convert $250k of it to whole life now as the option expires at the 10 year mark. I cannot think of any reason to agree to this. Based on this thread, I think you all agr...
by kenyan
Thu May 12, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Keep your focus on fees."
Replies: 3
Views: 1403

Re: "Keep your focus on fees."

The highest ER in my portfolio is .25 (in my 403b). This board has taught me to be cost conscious, so I often wonder whether that's objectively "too high" or just mildly irritating. Cost-conscious is good. Cost-obsessed is not very productive, especially when limited by employer accounts....
by kenyan
Wed May 11, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting vs owning
Replies: 141
Views: 16350

Re: Renting vs owning

The problem I have with renting is after 30 years of renting, you move and walk away with nothing. To make it worse, they will likely find a way to keep your security deposit too. When you buy, after 30 years, you own that house and have much equity. To me, owning is the better way. The major advan...
by kenyan
Wed May 04, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 32yo male - Contemplating Term Life Offers (had stage 0 skin cancer 7 years ago)
Replies: 5
Views: 1045

Re: 32yo male - Contemplating Term Life Offers (had stage 0 skin cancer 7 years ago)

A quick and dirty way to get the lay of the land is to go to term4sale.com. The numbers you see there won't necessarily be the same numbers that you would get after the underwriting process, but they should give you an idea for whether or not you are receiving competitive quotes.
by kenyan
Wed May 04, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3442

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

Follow-up: We found a small rowhouse for $400,000 in the city and are about to make a contract. The seller is not using real state agent, so the price is relatively reasonable compared to other properties around. My question is: How much from our savings($240,000 roughly) should we put for the down...
by kenyan
Wed May 04, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do these products exist?
Replies: 10
Views: 2209

Re: Why do these products exist?

My impression is that they're for entities (businesses, funds, endowments, or whatever) that cannot invest in personal savings accounts. Certainly, there could be an element of locking in the rate for the term, but I don't think the relative interest rates make that compelling enough on these offeri...
by kenyan
Tue May 03, 2016 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 6974

Re: How Much House

For all of the BH homeowners... What was the purchase price of your house in comparison to annual income, NW, etc? Did you pay cash or finance? How close are you to work? Do you feel like you are living comfortably or is too much/too little house? Thanks. Purchased first house not quite three years...
by kenyan
Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage pre payment, why?
Replies: 101
Views: 12276

Re: mortgage pre payment, why?

In Canada, mortgage lending seems to be a lot different. We do not get 30 year fixed mortgages. Instead we normally get 5 year terms with either a fixed or variable interest rate. Every 5 years we have to "renew" our mortgage. So there is greater "interest rate risk," I think. A...
by kenyan
Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 97
Views: 9077

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

No website is going to be that reliable; they just don't have the ability to take enough into account that an appraiser would. You might get +/- 10%, but sometimes not even that close. For what it's worth, I use the average of Trulia, Redfin, Ziprealty, and Zillow in my net worth estimator. That is ...
by kenyan
Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 anyone?
Replies: 279
Views: 20958

Re: Tesla Model 3 anyone?

I'm skeptical of various things, but I did put down a deposit yesterday morning. The release timeline fairly well matches when I was planning on getting a new car (current car 9 years old), and I had been planning on a mini-splurge for that car (CPO Audi, BMW, Mercedes around $40k). I put down the d...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing Young + LBYM = No Corp Ladder
Replies: 92
Views: 9312

Re: Investing Young + LBYM = No Corp Ladder

KlangFool makes a good point. Where I work, the management track only has a small premium in base salary over the equivalent technical track titles. the difference is in the bonuses and stock/RSU awards (both tracks get them above senior level but the bonus are larger in mgt track). At the senior l...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing Young + LBYM = No Corp Ladder
Replies: 92
Views: 9312

Re: Investing Young + LBYM = No Corp Ladder

Interesting discussion. I'm at the point in my career (engineering) where I'm nearing the peak of where I can be promoted to and remain primarily technical. Further career advances will most likely require getting in to management, which I've assumed is the next step. I do have the necessary "p...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheaper to trade-in for new truck !?! Is there a free lunch here?
Replies: 23
Views: 2325

Re: Cheaper to trade-in for new truck !?! Is there a free lunch here?

In addition to losing $6500 right off the bat, your friend is going to have to pay tax, title, license, and any other fees. That could be several thousand dollars, depending upon where you live. I would not say that losing ten grand is a free lunch. Trading in a two-year-old truck is a bad, bad idea...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Off Student Loans or Mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 687

Re: Pay Off Student Loans or Mortgage?

What are the rates?

Your student loans could easily be anywhere from ~1.5% to 7%, and your mortgage might be between 2.5-5%. There are other considerations (behavioral, cash flow, etc.), but those numbers are material to this decision.
by kenyan
Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting to Boglehead investing
Replies: 8
Views: 825

Re: Converting to Boglehead investing

I am age 60, and have a pretty large portfolio (> $1M). I plan to retire in about 1 year (but I may work part-time)... Almost all of my assets are in Fidelity right now, and follow a "Dogs of the Dow" or Dividend Growth style of investing. Most of the money is in individual stocks, but I ...
by kenyan
Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your allowance?
Replies: 40
Views: 4141

Re: How much is your allowance?

We use a discretionary spending "allowance," budgeted in YNAB. Right now, it's pegged at $75/month each, and will increase with things like personal gifts or perhaps with the occasional mini-windfall. It was $50/month until about a year ago, when we had some fairly substantial income incre...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 - Maryland or Utah
Replies: 11
Views: 745

Re: 529 - Maryland or Utah

I would probably suggest going with MD and if they get to the point where they have a substantial amount ($50-60k) then they can decide to roll it over to Utah. MD does not (as of now at least) have any recapture provision for people pulling money out that was previously deductible. This. Start wit...
by kenyan
Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Well, I caved [bought new car]
Replies: 43
Views: 7305

Re: Well, I caved [bought new car]

Certainly nothing wrong with a new car. Yes a perfect Boglehead world would be to buy a 2-3 y/o off lease Toyota and drive it for 200K miles needing nothing but tires and oil. Nah, 2-3 y/o off-lease Toyotas and Hondas are still pretty expensive. I've noticed that year end/clearance deals for older ...
by kenyan
Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy House Now or Later?
Replies: 29
Views: 2004

Re: Buy House Now or Later?

I would echo what others have said. Don't jump into a condo/townhouse just to "get on the ladder," knowing that you have to sell/move again in 5 years. You will likely 'waste' more money in closing costs, realtor fees, PMI, extra utilities, condo fees, mortgage interest, property taxes, in...

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