Search found 2865 matches

by kenyan
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Pre-approval
Replies: 6
Views: 231

Re: Real Estate Pre-approval

Are you actually going to purchase the house in cash? No financing contingencies in the contract, short escrow? If not, then I don't think showing them your bank statement does anything for a seller. If you're willing to waive the financing/appraisal contingencies, that's another matter.
by kenyan
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting Vs Savings Rate
Replies: 56
Views: 3421

Re: Budgeting Vs Savings Rate

We lived for a long time without a budget, while saving 40-50%. I only started budgeting when we were getting serious about purchasing a house, with all of the new expenses that come with it. My feeling now is that we use it as a tool to highlight where we are being wasteful/can trim down expenses, ...
by kenyan
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’
Replies: 207
Views: 22647

Re: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’

Does bitcoin do anything that other cryptocurrencies don't do? From what I've read, which is limited, it has very high transaction fees and inconvenient transaction times (possibly hours). Won't something else in the future improve on these and other aspects? Don't some of the other cryptos already ...
by kenyan
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max It Out Tomorrow [your IRA]
Replies: 162
Views: 17157

Re: Max It Out Tomorrow [your IRA]

Contributed $5500 today. Wife no longer eligible for tax-advantaged IRAs (above Roth limit and can't Backdoor due to SIMPLE IRA), but I can backdoor Roth. It'll be in money market initially, and I might try a limit order. This is the first year I contributed the full amount immediately; last year wa...
by kenyan
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SALT Tax Deduction Max of $10K is NOT indexed to Inflation
Replies: 29
Views: 4252

Re: SALT Tax Deduction Max of $10K is NOT indexed to Inflation

In political finance, indexing to inflation is another 'cost.' Avoiding that indexing is a cost savings measure. The same rationale applies for shifting tax bracket and other inflation indexing to chained CPI; it's not about what's fairer or more accurate (as there are plenty of other things still i...
by kenyan
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your threshold for paying down debt?
Replies: 89
Views: 5728

Re: What is your threshold for paying down debt?

Let's see: We had a car loan at 0.9%. No prepayment on that. We have student loans at 1.625%. No prepayment on those. We had an ARM at 2.625%, fully deductible (would no longer be in 2018), and prepaid aggressively. Reset rate would be at least 3.75%, potentially higher in the future. It's been refi...
by kenyan
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh
Replies: 19
Views: 2644

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh

You're likely over the limit. You don't subtract taxes, or nearly anything else aside from certain payroll deductions (401k, medical premiums, FSA/Dependent care FSA/LPFSA/HSA), and you've got a lot of headroom from $257k down to the MAGI limit. Just take a look at a 1040 form, line 37 to calculate ...
by kenyan
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank 11 month [No-Penalty CD]
Replies: 382
Views: 30790

Re: Ally Bank 11 month [No-Penalty CD]

I don't understand this thing about a credit check to open a checking account. I have opened a number of checking accounts at Ally without a credit check. Perhaps you're talking about a freeze on ChexSystems? I have no idea if that's an issue, because I didn't freeze ChexSystems. I may not have ope...
by kenyan
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 398
Views: 30718

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

Struggling with this decision myself (at least, in theory, since it will still be some time before I get the option). I've been starting to think more strongly about early retirement - possibly in my 40s - and actually following through on the Model 3 certainly wouldn't be conducive to that goal. I ...
by kenyan
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48490

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

People should be re-examining whether or not to prepay their mortgage, at least if they are potentially in a position to do so. Switching from itemization of deductions to standard deduction completely nullifies any benefit of mortgage interest deductibility. In addition, the increase in the standar...
by kenyan
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account
Replies: 26
Views: 3318

Re: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account

I bonds also have deferred taxes, which is another benefit. On the savings account, you're paying taxes every year on your earnings; I bonds only result in a taxable event (on the gains, federal only) when you withdraw.
by kenyan
Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh
Replies: 19
Views: 2644

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh

You can subtract your 401k contributions, Flex Spending Account, Dependent Day Care, Health Savings Account, Workplace medical premiums. I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple, but not much else of your gross income comes out of your MAGI. If I understand correctly, much of this is taken out by the emplo...
by kenyan
Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh
Replies: 19
Views: 2644

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - uh oh

You can subtract your 401k contributions, Flex Spending Account, Dependent Day Care, Health Savings Account, Workplace medical premiums. I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple, but not much else of your gross income comes out of your MAGI. You're going to have to recharacterize your contributions as Tradi...
by kenyan
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What 529 plan is recommended for California residents?
Replies: 15
Views: 1455

Re: What 529 plan is recommended for California residents?

We use both CA scholarshare (some of the very low fee options) and the NY saves plan. Both are excellent, in addition to Utah, Nevada...possibly some others now; I haven't been on top of changes in the past year or so.
by kenyan
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a new family home [Australia]
Replies: 19
Views: 2108

Re: Would you buy a new family home

Ignore the part about 15% increases per annum. Those are wild assumptions and should not be used in your calculus. As others have said, it might be a bubble, especially if the underlying fundamentals (price/rent, price/income) don't support such increases. I will admit that even if it is a bubble, t...
by kenyan
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential downsides of placing a credit freeze?
Replies: 24
Views: 2235

Re: Potential downsides of placing a credit freeze?

I've had ours frozen for a couple of years. The first 1.5 years, we didn't need our credit. I did need to thaw it a couple of times while refinancing my mortgage recently, which was a little annoying (all three bureaus when applying, then just one bureau right before closing). It's 10 bucks per bure...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two Comma Club
Replies: 94
Views: 18752

Re: Two Comma Club

Congratulations! When I hit that number (hopefully within 5 years), I will be plenty excited myself. Ok, I hit the 2 comma number this week, but only including home equity. Rather than 5 years, it was a bit less than half that time. When I made the post, I'm not sure if I was considering liquid ass...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Baby - adjusting investments
Replies: 8
Views: 940

Re: Baby - adjusting investments

Hi all, First time posting, and I want to seek some guidance on changes in my personal investing decisions following the birth of our child. I'll try my best to be concise. My wife and I (27 y.o) just welcomed our daughter to the world. Our annual household income has dropped from 100K to 65k (Wife...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1728
Views: 304758

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

AA 70/30, ~55/45 US/International, sliced and diced with Small, Value, EM overweight. Gross Increase of 20.7% Beardstown (not annualized) XIRR of 16.5% annualized. International crushing domestic returns this year. US Small Value has the lowest return, trailing intermediate bonds. Far fewer threads...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1728
Views: 304758

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

AA 70/30, ~55/45 US/International, sliced and diced with Small, Value, EM overweight. Gross Increase of 20.7% Beardstown (not annualized) XIRR of 16.5% annualized. International crushing domestic returns this year. US Small Value has the lowest return, trailing intermediate bonds. Far fewer threads ...
by kenyan
Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aerospace Stress Engineer Salary History
Replies: 13
Views: 3309

Re: Aerospace Stress Engineer Salary History

I am a combination of ME and IT ( software development ) Year 1 - 54 k ( with Masters ) Year 17 ( today ) - 120k I've always been an individual contributor. Although my salary has doubled, using the rule of 72, the growth has been only ~4.5%/year . After adjusting for inflation the growth is minima...
by kenyan
Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard REIT ETF (Symbol VNQ)
Replies: 7
Views: 876

Re: Question about Vanguard REIT ETF (Symbol VNQ)

I don't own VNQ, but I own the mutual fund version of it. I would not put that in a taxable account - REITs have to distribute most of their earnings, so these types of funds are extremely tax-inefficient. Put it in tax-advantaged.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax-eff ... _placement
by kenyan
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aerospace Stress Engineer Salary History
Replies: 13
Views: 3309

Re: Aerospace Stress Engineer Salary History

Why not, I'll play. Same industry and region. Starting salary - Ph.D. y0 27yo 90k y1 28 90k (missed first raise cycle due to start date) y2 29 93k y3 30 97k y4 31 101k y5 32 101k + 3k variable pay (salary freeze) y6 33 113k (salary freeze, but two promotions and a transfer) y7 34 120k + variable pay...
by kenyan
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Loan-to-Value Ratio Effect on Rate?
Replies: 4
Views: 393

Re: Mortgage Loan-to-Value Ratio Effect on Rate?

We recently refinanced. In speaking to our broker, there wasn't going to be a difference in rate between 60% and >60% LTV (70% might've been the next breakpoint), but there would've been a difference in closing costs (lender credit, really), around $500 I believe. I suppose you could amortize that i...
by kenyan
Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refinancing mortgage to 15-year vs. college savings
Replies: 23
Views: 2391

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

(Update - fast forward one year) We ended up refinancing a few days ago; split the difference and got a 20-year mortgage. We had paid down below the conforming limit, and the payments on the 20-year will be a bit less than what we were paying before (including the extra principal payment each month)...
by kenyan
Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary History for Chemical Engineer
Replies: 30
Views: 5272

Re: Salary History for Chemical Engineer

To make this meaningful, I think that those reporting average raises should probably look at what their real raises were. Inflation in the 70s and 80s dwarfed what we're dealing with today. For instance, from 1974 to 2009, the cumulative rate of inflation was about 335%, or just under 5% per year, s...
by kenyan
Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 7165

Re: Bay Area housing

A) Heads you win, tails they lose. California is a non-recourse state. Just don't refi, and if you end up deeply underwater, turn in the keys and walk away. Your credit will be trashed for several years, but it's not the end of the world. With high paying jobs, not necessarily even a big inconvenie...
by kenyan
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 7165

Re: Bay Area housing

It's a lateral move, so what's the issue? You'll pay more for re taxes. I would think the California real estate bubble will have to pop sooner or later. Everyone is saying it's different this time....lol. To be fair, it is objectively different (certainly not the crazy mortgage-funding shenanigans...
by kenyan
Wed May 17, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No longer able to deduct tIRA contributions - but should I Backdoor?
Replies: 14
Views: 1227

Re: No longer able to deduct tIRA contributions - but should I Backdoor?

The limits you are exceeding - are they for TIRA deductibility when covered (you or your spouse) by a retirement plan at work, or deductibility when not covered by an employer plan? If they are the former, then there's quite a bit of headroom before you also can't just contribute straight to a Roth ...
by kenyan
Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts
Replies: 44
Views: 6708

Re: Reached a milestone: $500K in Retirement Accounts

Congratulations! We actually just reached this same milestone this past week. :beer
by kenyan
Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most creative and/or high value change
Replies: 31
Views: 2700

Re: Most creative and/or high value change

After purchasing our house, made a large number of changes to improve our budgetary situation. Most creative? I'll say - weightlifting daily. Had to have a teaser! Explanation: Weightlifting daily, at my (free) gym at work, during lunchtime. Instead of going out for lunch, I drink an inexpensive pr...
by kenyan
Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most creative and/or high value change
Replies: 31
Views: 2700

Re: Most creative and/or high value change

After purchasing our house, made a large number of changes to improve our budgetary situation. Most creative? I'll say - weightlifting daily.
by kenyan
Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 708
Views: 182627

Re: Share your net worth progression

Finished grad school at age 27 (married one year prior). Combined net worth/income estimates (definitely some guesswork in the earlier years), ignoring social security and small pension: Graduation/Age 27: -80k / 20k 28: -50k / 90k 29: -10k / 115k 30: 40k / 120k 31: 80k / 125k 32: 150k / 130k 33: 23...
by kenyan
Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2371
Views: 438709

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Very sad to get the mailer from my Sallie Mae/Barclay's Mastercard canceling it in a couple of months (transitioning it to a far inferior cashback card). The 5% on gas, groceries, Amazon has been fantastic. I may consider an Amazon card to replace that portion of our 5% cashback plan.
by kenyan
Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed have raised their CD rates
Replies: 6
Views: 2131

Re: PenFed have raised their CD rates

Noticed this yesterday. It's not the 3% that was available for ~2 months a couple of years ago, but definitely worth considering. For comparison, Ally is topping out at 1.75% for a 5-year at $25k minimum.
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: 4213

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: 3423

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: 4948

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: 5410

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: 4727

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: 13925

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: 36281

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: 5578

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: 5578

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: 23
Views: 2391

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: 23
Views: 2391

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: 23
Views: 2391

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: 23
Views: 2391

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: 23
Views: 2391

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: 23
Views: 2391

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...