Search found 32 matches

by majiaknight
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 117
Views: 6256

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

Me: $54,000 (Pre-tax + Match + After-tax)
Spouse: $18,000 (Pre-tax)
Age: both in mid-30s
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 14334

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

My wife and I are in mid-30s and both work at big companies in South Bay Area w/ similar income as yours. We bought our first house in 2014 before our kid was born. When we did the calculation, we wanted to have either of our salaries to be able to cover the 30Y fixed mortgage monthly payment so tha...
by majiaknight
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 4975

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

I understand personal finance just fine. We all look at finances at slightly different angles. My basic philosophy toward college is I want my kids to at least try to go to college, and if they succeed, I don't want them to have $190,000 in debt when they graduate. I know I can't count on the gover...
by majiaknight
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 4975

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

I really don't care for the expression "max your retirement accounts". For a two income family, that's $47,000 a year ($18,000 each for 401k plus 5500 each for Roth IRA). Few people can or need to put that much into retirement. I would recommend opening a 529 account, putting nominal amount (say $1...
by majiaknight
Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 4975

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

Congratulations on your baby and new home! Looking at your numbers, you should focus more on asset allocation (e.g. you shouldn't put your IRA in money market fund) and max your retirement account (e.g. max your and spouse's Roth IRA first) before considering 529. 529 should be at the bottom of the ...
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you use to capture/save web pages for archival purposes?
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: What do you use to capture/save web pages for archival purposes?

+1 Evernote and their web clipper extension

Every webpage you clipped could be easily reviewed and managed (via tagging) on your desktop/mobile Evernote app even offline.
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 2399

Re: Task management / organizing app

+1 for Trello (which you could share lists w/ your spouse; I use it mostly for project task management)
+1 for Wunderlist (more traditional to-do list and I use it daily for misc tasks)
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift to son buy a condo in San Francisco. Co-ownership?
Replies: 55
Views: 4640

Re: Gift to son buy a condo in San Francisco. Co-ownership?

We are interested in helping our son buy a condo in the pricey SF real estate market by contributing $500K towards the purchase. A gift of $500K would result in a substantial gift tax bill. The other option may be to become co-owners on the deed. In our minds the amount is going to be a gift, not a...
by majiaknight
Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?
Replies: 30
Views: 2984

Re: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?

I live in CA and choose CA Scholarshare 529 over Vanguard 529 due to the lower ER for the similar index funds. I build a two-fund portfolio for my kid starting w/ a 80/20 ratio: 1) Stock Index CA: TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund -- ER: 0.08% (was 0.10% when I created my 529 in 6/2016; great to see the E...
by majiaknight
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 14312

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

I live in Bay area and I could totally understand OP's situation. I have a friend (single) bought and lived in a 4B SFH two years ago and rent out the other 3 unused rooms. Financially speaking, this is a probably workable and I've seen even several married couples renting out 1 room in their house....
by majiaknight
Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 500K Retirement Account Milestone
Replies: 27
Views: 5289

Re: 500K Retirement Account Milestone

Congratulations to both of the $500K and $1M milestones which are exactly my family's next targets! :beer
by majiaknight
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Estate: Direct vs Indirect Investment
Replies: 92
Views: 8573

Re: Real Estate: Direct vs Indirect Investment

The question then is whether the legal differences actually achieve their purposes. Fortunately for us, Vanguard has studied this very issue, and this is what they found: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/icreecr.pdf Personally, I find that research pretty persuasive--REITs are not a perfect proxy,...
by majiaknight
Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529- should I stop contributing?
Replies: 46
Views: 6262

Re: 529- should I stop contributing?

You could try this 529 calculator:
https://www.scholarshare.com/tools/calculator/

After I run the number for your 6y old, you might be a little over of the 4Y expensive private school's cost w/o new contribution (6% investment return, 6% annual inflation rate for education costs).
by majiaknight
Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the way checklist
Replies: 34
Views: 3545

Re: Baby on the way checklist

Congrats! I think you could wait until your baby is born and you have the SSN info. Then you could add your kid to the beneficiary of all financial accounts. You may also need to buy 20 year term-life insurance. I also created a 529 for my kid even w/ no state tax incentive. I guess you are referrin...
by majiaknight
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I will pay off mortgage at 40. What next?
Replies: 22
Views: 3069

Re: I will pay off mortgage at 40. What next?

Check this webpage to prioritize investments after paying off mortgage:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Priorit ... nvestments

You have 4 lovely kids so you need a lot of money (liquid assets excluding your primary house) to support your large family for the next 18 years.
by majiaknight
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds May 2017
Replies: 66
Views: 10558

Re: I bonds May 2017

Can't imagine why someone would find something with a known nominal rate that has to be held for 20 years to be superior to something that has a known real rate that only has to be held for 5 years but can be held for 30 years. If you truly want known, then a known real rate would seem to be the wa...
by majiaknight
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved
Replies: 15
Views: 5323

Re: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved

Congrats! Looks like we have similar experience, as we also landed here in CA just over five years ago, with six figure debt, excluding mortgage :oops: Just this weekend I noticed we have entered two comma club with no mortgage and no debt :happy Big congrats to you! :sharebeer Sometimes I wonder f...
by majiaknight
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved
Replies: 15
Views: 5323

First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved

I didn't realize that I achieved the first milestone following the 'criteria' below until I learned how much my neighbor's house was sold last week. :moneybag My family is living in very HCOL area and fortunate enough to buy our lovely new house in 2014. Adding the latest house equity to the number ...
by majiaknight
Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?
Replies: 81
Views: 9953

Re: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?

I don't think the OP family need to cut budget further. You are doing great as you've saved a lot in 401K and Roth IRA. One thing you could think about is to check the current return of $75K savings to optimize your cash flow. As you now only have ~$400/m after major spending, getting additional ~$2...
by majiaknight
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My son wants to move to Hong Kong
Replies: 35
Views: 5438

Re: My son wants to move to Hong Kong

I visited HK several times during my wife's ~4.5 year graduate study in HK. Now we both work in high tech in CA. My wife and I never thought about moving our family to HK or working there. To us HK is much more crowded than SF or NYC and the living expenses especially for housing could be even highe...
by majiaknight
Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable
Replies: 153
Views: 18754

Re: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable

I think that my wife and I (ages 38 and 40, respectively) may have become financially independent today. I simply cannot stop thinking about money, about our savings rate, about whether we have enough, about what else I could be doing better, and so on. I can't tell you how many times I spend each ...
by majiaknight
Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal
Replies: 125
Views: 13295

Re: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal

IMO your saving rate and spending both look good. I'm still learning how to enjoy restaurant meals w/ my little kid, so this is not a must-have in my case. For decent vacation, I think all you need is to spend a couple of weekends each year to sign up great credit card bonus and start earning points...
by majiaknight
Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...
Replies: 70
Views: 8557

Re: Another can I afford this $2M house thread...

I also live in the bay area, and yes, I agree that the housing market is kind of crazy now as my house has appreciated ~30% since I closed it in early 2015. I don't know why you have waited for 3 years given your assets and income. I know Bogleheads don't try to time the 'stock' market but I'm wonde...
by majiaknight
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to get on track
Replies: 35
Views: 2765

Re: Trying to get on track

If I get a 3-4% salary bump in the coming months (promo), where should I direct that? I'm over the income limit for pre-tax IRA, so remaining options are after-tax 401k, after-tax IRA or taxable. I'd default to after-tax 401k (because it's simpler to manage), is there a better choice? Thanks! I've ...
by majiaknight
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to get on track
Replies: 35
Views: 2765

Re: Trying to get on track

⋅ Groceries $1,950 ⋅ Clothing $1,700 ⋅ Kids toys and books $450 I have a little larger family than yours and live in HCOL area in CA w/ more than 2x of your income, and I believe your family should be perfectly fine by cutting the above expenses to save another $1.5K-$...
by majiaknight
Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?
Replies: 109
Views: 9004

Re: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?

With no 529 state deduction, a 529 tax savings is too minimal for me. I'd rather pay off debt, become financially independent first and have more flexibility. If I'm FI before my kids begin college, I'll probably fund a 529. Mr. Bogle doesn't use a 529 either for his grandchildren's college expense...
by majiaknight
Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A new milestone
Replies: 20
Views: 2996

Re: A new milestone

Between contributions and market gains, it looks like this will be the first year ever (we're 38 and 41) that our overall investment portfolio balances have increased by more than either of our gross salaries, including bonus and RSU vestments. Congratulations! But could you explain why you choose ...
by majiaknight
Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! How are we doing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1557

Re: Help! How are we doing?

Thanks everyone! Great feedback! So, a few follow-up questions: 1. Should we consider using our Cash Savings/EF to pay off one of the cars immediately? 2. For retirement, I have always heard the Dave Ramsey 15% of gross earnings...is that what we should aim for? 3. Should we focus on clearing the c...
by majiaknight
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weighing life trade-offs:commute vs school vs house vs time with family
Replies: 27
Views: 2632

Re: Weighing life trade-offs:commute vs school vs house vs time with family

Similar situation here w/ OP. My family choose 1) Stay in current house and pay for private school near us but we only have one 2 y/o kid so it is not a very difficult decision to make as we could simply afford it. The consensus between DW and me is we want to provide the best possible education for...
by majiaknight
Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?
Replies: 9
Views: 1894

Re: Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?

They don't provide the upside of equities. Even if they do beat equities, you'll need to pay regular income tax rather than the lower capital gains tax. IIRC this is not accurate. EE Savings is not subject to local/state tax. But long term capital gains from selling investments may be potentially t...
by majiaknight
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?
Replies: 9
Views: 1894

Re: Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?

Thanks for the above replies. To Grt2bOutdoors : Thanks for sharing a lot of insights. I agree that it's inappropriate to compare EE Saving's 3.5% return (after 20Y) w/ the 3% return of a balanced portfolio due to market dynamics for such long term and tons of re-balancing opportunities. However, I ...
by majiaknight
Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?
Replies: 9
Views: 1894

Should I consider EE Savings Bond (double in value in 20Y)?

After reading several previous posts on EE savings and recent IV w/ Jack Bogle below, I started to seriously consider EE Savings bond ($10K *2 per year for my family) and hold it for 20 years to get the safe >=3.5% return which is even better than the 3% return for a balanced portfolio as mentioned ...