Search found 4413 matches

by madbrain
Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reverse Mortgage Considerations
Replies: 51
Views: 3450

Re: Reverse Mortgage Considerations

Alrighty, so the follow-up question arises: how much is the effective APR for the $50,000 loan I mentioned, and is it significantly less than what I would pay on my HELOC with zero application/origination fees, not $125? There are various options for financial flexibility in retirement. Can't look ...
by madbrain
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?
Replies: 57
Views: 8084

Re: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?

The only caveat is that the cash back doesn't appear automatically. The credits have to be applied manually to "travel" expenses on your last 12 months of statements. I also say "travel" expenses because in my experience these are broadly defined, and I have never had an issue using every available...
by madbrain
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?
Replies: 57
Views: 8084

Re: Fidelity 2% CC or Citi double cash card?

Citi's Price Rewind feature is a big feature of the card and one I use extensively. Yes, Price Rewind is quite nice and is available on all Citi cards. Another nice benefit is 24 months extended warranty which is on almost all Citi cards, vs 12 months on most other credit cards. This is very nice f...
by madbrain
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reverse Mortgage Considerations
Replies: 51
Views: 3450

Re: Reverse Mortgage Considerations

If you have a Flagship portfolio and no mortgage, why did/do you feel you need hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit, with your home as collateral? Could you not simply get a loan (or a bank line of credit) with your $1m+ in assets as collateral? I suppose it's similar to a HELOC, albeit with ...
by madbrain
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does personal wealth affect job hunting?
Replies: 57
Views: 6426

Re: How does personal wealth affect job hunting?

Folks, In my own personal experience, as I am getting wealthier, I am less willing to compromise my work life balance for a job. Did this happen to you? If yes, how does this affect you in term of the job that you are willing to accept? A) Pay -> minimum pay that you are willing to accept. B) Commu...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 62
Views: 47382

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Experience this year trying to sell a 2011 Prius in January with 125,000 miles that had been in several accidents but was fixed : - dealer trader-in offer : $4500 . - Carmax offer : $2500 - they claimed they would only auction it, because they didn't like the way it was repaired. - craigslist : $700...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 74
Views: 5176

Re: please help...am I overextended - first home

Also maintainence will vary wildly. I've never spent over 1% a year for house maintainence. Did you mean 1% of home value a year in house maintenance, or 1% of income in house maintenance ? I definitely spend more than the later every year, but also less than the former usually, but there are some ...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 74
Views: 5176

Re: please help...am I overextended - first home

What about a bigger place is really going to change your life? I suggest you pick up some hobbies that will get you outside more. Back when I lived by myself I didn't really enjoy coming home either. Take up running, biking, hiking. I have a small house that during the whole of summer is completely...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Visa Travel Insurance
Replies: 6
Views: 896

Re: Costco Visa Travel Insurance

Anyone use their travel insurance? We usually buy travel insurance for our cruises. We are taking a relatively inexpensive cruise to the Caribbean for 10 days. Total cost for our inside cabin AND airfare is just under $2600. I was thinking of just purchasing a medical insurance plan for $92-95 and ...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 74
Views: 5176

Re: please help...am I overextended - first home

I'm going to disagree with most posters. IMO, you will be OK as far as debt to income ratio. I would recommend checking your tax-adjusted net - will you benefit from itemizing for your interest and property tax deductions, or will you still take the standard deduction ? Hopefully, your income taxes ...
by madbrain
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Cancellation Insurance.
Replies: 37
Views: 2463

Re: Trip Cancellation Insurance.

New serious illness to your or your spouse? I wouldn't want to bet on it and the vacation money would be the last of my concerns if it happened. It doesn't need to be a very serious illness to stop you from vacationing . A flu can prevent you from traveling. Even young people get that ! And if you ...
by madbrain
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 90
Views: 5981

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

0-2% . Currently about 2%.
by madbrain
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3790
Views: 988882

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

BanditKing wrote:I think I'm just going to move everything into Treasuries and Toilet Paper.
My kittens tell me that Toilet Paper is not a stable investment.
by madbrain
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harry Bosch: the Amazon Series vs the novels
Replies: 47
Views: 2237

Re: Harry Bosch:the Amazon Series vs the novels

[Titus Welliver is too young to play a Vietnam viet . That was an interesting Freudian slip. I watched whole series - 2 seasons last years, 1 this year. Pretty much the only Amazon content I found worth watching, so my Prime video is now cancelled again. I will probably renew it one month a year wh...
by madbrain
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Love your family car? Under $16,000 Used? Please share!
Replies: 39
Views: 4295

Re: Love your family car? Under $16,000? Please share!

You can get a used Chevrolet Volt for this price or less, 2015 or older models . It's a hatchback . It seats 4, not 5 . Great for road trips. And you can plug it in to drive about 38 miles on electricity, which typically means no gas for daily commute, and 300 miles on gas when the battery runs out....
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 31635

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

I get it. I drive a 2013 LEAF....that apparently has a somewhat more stable battery...in a cold climate. I DO use the seat heaters and still lose range in the winter for other reasons. And in January with snow tires the range IS down to 55-60 miles. And in my use case that is not a problem at all. ...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7156

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

I had my Zestimate change recently by $400,000 from one week to the next. I wouldn't trust it one bit.
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prescriptions drugs and claw backs
Replies: 20
Views: 1452

Re: prescriptions drugs and claw backs

If I understand correctly : - normal retail rate is $254 - if you use insurance, you must pay the full $254 towards deductible - if you don't use insurance, you can use a discount card and pay a lower rate of $116 . What's unclear is why you can't use both the discount card and insurance. But if you...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 8970

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

Yes and no. I'm still using 30% for safe bonds. However, I have played with term. For many years, I have used shorter-term bonds than I otherwise would have, due to the anticipation of rate rises. This means I have used intermediate term CA muni bonds instead of long-term, and stable value fund earn...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your monthly expenses?
Replies: 59
Views: 5921

Re: What are your monthly expenses?

Wow that is some amazing level of detail down to the penny. Good work Yeah, I put a lot of work into my Quicken data, but I think it's worthwhile. It's not that hard when most of the spending is on credit cards or checking accounts where transactions are automatically downloaded - I just need to ca...
by madbrain
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 31635

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

The point TomatoTomahto is that in a low-range Gen 1 EV, like the LEAF, if you turn on the cabin heater, the estimated remaining range instantly recalculates down. Even when the cabin heater is on low you lose a few miles, which on the LEAF is a few percent of your precious range. If you hop in on ...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 3968

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

1) My portfolio is 45/45/10 (Tax deferred/Taxable/Roth). 2) I will not be fully-employed until retired age of 62 years old. So, I will not be paying much tax. KlangFool Agree it won't be much tax, but still some tax that needs to be accounted for somehow, otherwise, predictions may be off. If you c...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 3968

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

Looking for savings rate formula around here, I seem to find too many textual descriptions of the savings rate and found it hard to decipher. I have a mathematical training as do most of us here, so here is my attempt to explicitly show the savings rate formula: Gross Income = Taxes + Spending + Sa...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 3968

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

I prefer gross as well. For a W-2, take total wages as denominator. For savings, I agree with what you wrote. Pretty easy. Total wages on W2 still excludes type of income like 401k matching, which appears nowhere on that form. The only places that number appears is on my 401k statements and payroll...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your monthly expenses?
Replies: 59
Views: 5921

Re: What are your monthly expenses?

Recently looked at our 2016 expenses in Quicken and put them into a spreadsheet. These numbers are household, for 2. No kids, living in a mansion in Silicon Valley, serious health issues, but the health insurance from Megacorp is very cheap - would add another $5000+ per month of healthcare costs ot...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

That's just not been my experience, I have gone all the way to 43% on housing debt with no other debt. Not something I was comfortable doing long term, though. My current PITI minimum payment is at 22% of gross only. How high was your income though? I think they are cut offs they don't post where u...
by madbrain
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

I swagged it and overestimated. But it will easily be over $20k per year with taxes and insurance on approx $250k loan. That really depends on where you live and what kind of insurance coverage you choose - in California, Prop 13 limits property taxes, so that simply wouldn't be the case - it would...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

Let's say this person has 150k cash (liquid). 8k car loan. Let's say 50k in yearly income. No other debts. No other major purchases. No kids, no spouse, etc. Can this person afford a 300k house? Can this person afford to buy more? If so, how much more? Let's say this person will rent 1-2 rooms out ...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account: to tax or not to tax
Replies: 6
Views: 591

Re: Taxable account: to tax or not to tax

Should I consolidate the mutual funds in my taxable account (in the low 6 figure range) to increase tax efficiency (looking at a 25+ year horizon before withdrawals)? I did read the tax-efficiency wiki (which was great) but I ended up doing some experimenting/hands-on learning and this is what resu...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

You forgot taxes and insurance, est. ~$1,500/month total, which is ~36% DTI. Not approved. And the up to 40% gross is for total DTI, not just the housing part. You have to satisfy the 28% housing DTI before they'll even look at total DTI (which can now actually be as high as 50% for Fannie Mae). I ...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

So we are talking about maybe $40k after tax income and probably $30000 a year in mortgage and property taxes? Doesn't make much sense to me. Even if you offset half of the mortgage and taxes still seems like a questionable proposition. The only way i could possibly see it making sense is if the OP...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

Yes. Putting 20% down ($60k), a $240,000 loan at 4.25% 30yr your monthly payment would be $1181. That's $14172/year or 28.3% of your $50,000 income. There should be no problem obtaining a loan. Property tax should be taken into consideration as well. Depending on location, that could be 4-10K/yr. Y...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much income and down payment to afford 300k house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4041

Re: Can this person afford a 300k house?

Yes. Putting 20% down ($60k), a $240,000 loan at 4.25% 30yr your monthly payment would be $1181.
That's $14172/year or 28.3% of your $50,000 income. There should be no problem obtaining a loan.

I have had "normal" lenders do loans up to 40% of my gross. Not an issue.
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11325

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

I'm not sure what's wrong with that site...if I plug myself in I get 31% tax rate. I already stated I paid 16% last year. Even if I put in my 401k contributions and my itemized deductions I still only get it down to 26%. Maybe it's double counting something? I don't have any really exciting deducti...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?
Replies: 10
Views: 737

Re: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?

Everbank was great, did it many times with them. Recently got purchased by TIAA - have not done an international transfer since.
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chipping away at the mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 6615

Re: Chipping away at the mortgage

That's a large percentage of your mortgage interest money that is still going to your lender despite your tax deduction. Not of all of your money. If it were a large percentage of all of your money, you probably would not be able to -- and should not -- be paying extra on the mortgage -- or have a ...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 132
Views: 10501

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

In the worst case, house prices will climb even farther out of reach while they save for a bigger downpayment, but then they'll be able to buy a nice house for cash almost anywhere else in the U.S., so it's a win-win scenario. It would only be a win-win if you actually wish to live anywhere else in...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chipping away at the mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 6615

Re: Chipping away at the mortgage

But I think all that is besides the point here - my main interest in the comparison is the net worth total over the same period, using the same amount of cashflow If you are earning the exact same after-tax rate on your risk-free investment at the mortgage, it seems to me that the net worth total w...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chipping away at the mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 6615

Re: Chipping away at the mortgage

No. You're still having to come up with that full amount of money to pay to the lender. Even when you're the one of four taxpayers who exceeds the standard deduction and gets any tax deduction for your mortgage interest -- which the OP no doubt is -- you're still paying a large net percentage of yo...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chipping away at the mortgage
Replies: 38
Views: 6615

Re: Chipping away at the mortgage

The $104,000 investment has guaranteed that the loan will be paid off in 82.3 months at a total cost of 104000 + (82.26 x 2253.95) = $289,402 with $24,146 interest paid to the lender. That's $51,110 less interest paid to the lender, Yes, it's $51,110 less interest paid to the lender. And since it's...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 132
Views: 10501

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

If you're OK with buying into a market at all-time high prices at the limit of your affordability, then go for it. Otherwise, continue to rent, save aggressively, and wait for the next crash. That's what I did in the mid-late 2000s (bought in 2012), no regrets. Many other assets are also at all-tim...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11325

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

incendiary - are you saying you paid 34% or your gross income in taxes or that you reached a combined top marginal tax rate of 34%? Otherwise said - if you gross income was $300K you actually paid $102K in taxes? The latter. I'm taking into account only federal, state, and local income tax, as well...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11325

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

When I figure in SS , Medicare, Fed , and State I still do not see a way to get to 33% unless that couple is way above $500K per year. I would guess a tax rate of near 12-15% is typical. 12-15% would be very low. The majority of households do not make even $100K. m "The overall median has cont...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 132
Views: 10501

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

Follow your local housing market, find the right balance of value/price for you, save while living there, flip that house and upgrade homes in a few yrs when the time is right. You have time to not buy your "forever" house right away. Climbing the housing ladder doesn't really work in the...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 132
Views: 10501

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

1.7M on 350K a big stretch. You didn't say what you can/do save toward a house each year. I am inclined to recommend you wait until you can put 700 down on 1.7M home with 350k in income. It's 4.8x income which is not that big of a stretch in the current rate environment. But interest on >$1M mortga...
by madbrain
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11325

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

The more I read this, the more I think that the savings rate used in this thread could be improved. I use the one the Fed government uses, specifically the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA): m m Easier read: m So, it looks like the BEA uses (total savings) divided by (net income), essentially. Usin...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simplicity vs chasing bonuses
Replies: 29
Views: 2411

Re: simplicity vs chasing bonuses

Yes, this generates an undeniable benefit in terms of cashback and airline and hotel points - several thousand dollars worth of value per year. I question this. Not that the points have value but that the save you as much as you think. If I was paying cash I might stay at the $150 hotel. With point...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...
Replies: 34
Views: 2949

Re: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...

All the above plus your parents would have to pay gift taxes on the $100k they give you. Can you clarify why gift taxes would be due? Under federal rules, I thought the first $5MM or so was tax free. Maybe California has different state taxes. They aren't. But part of the $100K would go towards the...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...
Replies: 34
Views: 2949

Re: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...

It seems that the general consensus is no . Let's say I took out the condition that I'd have to rent to my relatives, and that I will find my own tenants (if I decide to go the landlord route). Is it still a bad idea? I am also leaving the option to live there for the first couple of years open, si...
by madbrain
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...
Replies: 34
Views: 2949

Re: Thinking about buying a house in South Bay Area...

1. The likely downpayment on any reasonable house in a decent neighborhood in the southbay will exceed the $100k your parents kick in by 1-2x (at least). Sure, if you only consider Palo Alto and Cupertino, but there are many parts of San Jose where you can find houses in the $600k - $800k range. Th...