Search found 51 matches

by mass88
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 year vs. 30 year Term Life Insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 2129

Re: 20 year vs. 30 year Term Life Insurance

Thank you for all of the comments and suggestions. We are leaning towards a 30 year policy - we like the idea that we would be covered until our early 60s when (hopefully) our children are fully financially independent.
by mass88
Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 year vs. 30 year Term Life Insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 2129

20 year vs. 30 year Term Life Insurance

My wife and I have begun to shop around for life insurance. We have a daughter, who is 2 months old, and plan on having 1 more child in the next 2 years. We both work and make roughly the same annual income. We each have small life insurance policies through our employers but want our own in additio...
by mass88
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for College Savings
Replies: 17
Views: 991

Options for College Savings

My wife and want to start saving for our daughter’s (she’s almost 2 months old) college education. From what we have read there’s essentially two routes; either open up a 529 plan or open up an IRA. We initially are leaning towards a 529, we live in Massachusetts. Our state’s 529 plan allows for a s...
by mass88
Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Planning Checklist
Replies: 42
Views: 3868

Re: Child Planning Checklist

Thank you for all of the suggestions - keep em' coming! Between my wife and myself we have 2 nieces and 3 nephews so we are lucky and will be getting a ton of hand-me-downs in the form of clothes and toys. We plan on taking full advantage especially considering how fast kids grow out of clothes and ...
by mass88
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Planning Checklist
Replies: 42
Views: 3868

Child Planning Checklist

My wife is expecting our first child in a couple of months and we would like to start getting things in order before our child is born. If you were to list the 4 or 5 most pressing items we should, what would they be? Life insurance? A will? College savings plan? If we went term, how long should the...
by mass88
Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

Why not just ask your HR or finance department? They may have just changed the way they are doing calculations or something but in any case, should be able to tell you. I spoke with our HR person and she is baffled so we reached out to the company that handles the paychecks so they can look into it.
by mass88
Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

When comparing the total federal income tax withheld in 2016 vs. 2015, we had less tax withheld in 2016. Our incomes went up in 2016 so we're a bit confused why less tax was withheld from our paychecks. We file our taxes married filing jointly. We did not make any changes to filing status or allowa...
by mass88
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

Let's treat each person's income and withholdings separately. Which spouse had the reduction in withholding? Both of us did. I looked at our W-2s for 2015 and 2016 and each of us had less federal tax withheld. Our incomes both went up. Do the W-2s and year end pay stubs show similar numbers for Fed...
by mass88
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

DSInvestor wrote:Let's treat each person's income and withholdings separately. Which spouse had the reduction in withholding?


Both of us did. I looked at our W-2s for 2015 and 2016 and each of us had less federal tax withheld. Our incomes both went up.
by mass88
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

Did you change your 401k contributions? Did you make larger contributions to Traditional 401k in 2016 vs 2015? Did you change from Roth 401k contributions to Traditional 401k contributions? What about HSA contributions withheld from paychecks. These items can result in smaller tax withholdings. You...
by mass88
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Re: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

Did you change your 401k contributions? Did you make larger contributions to Traditional 401k in 2016 vs 2015? Did you change from Roth 401k contributions to Traditional 401k contributions? This could definitely result in smaller tax withholdings. I contributed $4,748.97 to my 401k in 2016 and $4,1...
by mass88
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016
Replies: 18
Views: 2292

Taxes in 2015 vs. Taxes in 2016

I am in the process of doing my taxes for 2016 and have an issue. When comparing the total federal income tax withheld in 2016 vs. 2015, we had less tax withheld in 2016. Our incomes went up in 2016 so we're a bit confused why less tax was withheld from our paychecks. We file our taxes married filin...
by mass88
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking our expenses
Replies: 40
Views: 3439

Re: Tracking our expenses

An excel spreadsheet. You can easily build a simple spreadsheet that allows you to log your expenses and then have it total the categories up on a monthly basis and you can see how you're doing. I have found the less automated everything is, the more I pay attention. One tab would be a transaction j...
by mass88
Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 12195

Re: Owning a Chromebook

I bought an Acer C720 Chromebook 2 and a half years ago and love it. It's thin, lightweight and gets great battery life. Oh and it also cost under $300 which was nice. It's funny, Microsoft never really gave Chromebooks much of a thought as far as a threat in the beginning, flash forward and year an...
by mass88
Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11006

Re: Honda Cars

One of the reasons I am going with Honda over a Toyota is the fact that Toyota is not allowing Android Auto on their cars.


Thank you for all of your responses. I went to the Honda dealership and finalized the purchase of the Accord.
by mass88
Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11006

Re: Honda Cars

Here's something more to think about: Since we've usually bought new and plan to keep cars for a long, long time, I've found that it's money well spent to rent a car like the one you're considering buying for a week, and drive it a lot. It's really cheap compared to realizing that you don't like th...
by mass88
Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11006

Re: Honda Cars

I've owned 6 Hondas/Acuras since 1988 and have generally enjoyed them. Like you I am looking at a 2017 Accord. However I recently discovered that the 2018 Accord is scheduled for big changes so decided to wait. Some of the spy photos look interesting. A much sleeker look and a possible turbo 4 cyli...
by mass88
Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11006

Honda Cars

Looking to get thoughts on Honda cars. I am thinking about buying a 2017 Honda Accord EX-L and would like feedback from others as to what they think of the Honda brand? Well made, reliable cars?
by mass88
Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer/Manufacturer Financing
Replies: 2
Views: 448

Dealer/Manufacturer Financing

Is there a way to find out, or get a goo idea of the interest rates a dealer, or car manufacturer would offer on a car loan?
by mass88
Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting one credit card to another
Replies: 1
Views: 334

Converting one credit card to another

I am looking to change my Citi credit card from a Dividend card to a Double Cash card. Is there anything I should know before I call them up and ask if this is possible? I don't want to close the card out given I've had it since 2007 and it's my second oldest credit card (my oldest is 2004) and want...
by mass88
Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No-cost refinace to save 1/2 percent
Replies: 15
Views: 1489

Re: No-cost refinace to save 1/2 percent

I am in a similar situation as you are - my wife and I are not even a year into our mortgage and we're refinancing with a no cost mortgage. We've only made 9 payments and by the time we close on our new loan we'll have made 11 payments. Given you're not even a year into your mortgage, going with ano...
by mass88
Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - Refinance Offer
Replies: 11
Views: 928

Re: Help - Refinance Offer

Just as an update, I've started going over the formal application. These are two screen shots of the loan details.
by mass88
Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My student loan refi experience (SoFi, Earnest, CommonBond)
Replies: 20
Views: 8260

Re: My student loan refi experience (SoFi, Earnest, CommonBond)

Thanks for sharing. I am in a similar situation (great credit, principal is under $28k, good cash flow) and like you was not getting the best advertised rates and in some cases was not really close. Citizens Bank was the most frustrating of them all - I was qualified for a rate that was 2.25% above ...
by mass88
Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - Refinance Offer
Replies: 11
Views: 928

Re: Help - Refinance Offer

I don't know the circumstances, but I always get a little leery when there are arbitrary deadlines. In order to lock the 3.25% rate, I need to submit an application. I think the key question is, are there really 'no closing costs or fees?' It feels like I've heard this line before, only to realize ...
by mass88
Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - Refinance Offer
Replies: 11
Views: 928

Help - Refinance Offer

Given interest rates are the lower they’ve been in 3 years, I decided to start looking around to see if I would be able to lower my interest and save some money. I have a lender who is offering my 3.250% fixed for 30 years. Apart from the escrow deposit, there would be no other closing costs or fees...
by mass88
Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Re: Refinance Offer

Another question - is there such a thing as refinancing your mortgage too many times? Yes and no. Basically you reset the clock each time you do it, so you pay for 2 years then refi into another 30 so you just tacked 2 years on the end. Also, I really question the whole "no cost". Often t...
by mass88
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Re: Refinance Offer

Another question - is there such a thing as refinancing your mortgage too many times?
by mass88
Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Re: Refinance Offer

Jeff P wrote:By selling it to Chase in 2 months?


Why they would come back to us to refinance after they sold our mortgage.
by mass88
Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Re: Refinance Offer

We are leaning towards it given the zero closings costs to us.

Why would the bank offer something like this to us? How will the make money off of it?
by mass88
Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Re: Refinance Offer

I just confirmed with the bank - there are zero costs at closing. The only money we would have to pay at closing would be to establish an escrow account. I also confirmed that they would not roll the closing costs into the principal balance.
by mass88
Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Offer
Replies: 18
Views: 1992

Refinance Offer

My wife and I bought a house back in August of 2015 and so far have only made 7 payments on our mortgage. Our original lender sold our mortgage to Chase (their servicing leaves a lot to be desired) after only 2 months. Now the original lender has reached out to me with an offer to refinance our mort...
by mass88
Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Help
Replies: 29
Views: 2359

Re: Rental Car Help

I am not a Cosco member, so that's not an option for me.

Thanks for all of the suggestions - I'll checkout kayak.com and vroomvroomvroom.com.
by mass88
Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Help
Replies: 29
Views: 2359

Rental Car Help

What is your preferred method for pricing out rental cars? Or how do you shop for deals? I've always been loyal to Enterprise for my rental car needs as they usually have the lowest, or very competitive rates and I have never had any issues with their cars. I am wondering if I could score a better d...
by mass88
Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordcutters - Playstation Vue
Replies: 14
Views: 2231

Re: Cordcutters - Playstation Vue

How are you all handling the internet connection issue? I've thought about using Vue (I've always owned a Playsation as my game console of choice) but am wondering how much I would end up saving considering how much stand alone internet service costs from Xfinity or Verizon.
by mass88
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 anyone?
Replies: 279
Views: 24788

Re: Tesla Model 3 anyone?

While I am not in the market for a new car, I've been a big fan of Tesla from the beginning and love what they're doing. It's unfortunate several states have banned their sales due to flawed and outdated thinking. I hope the model sells well and pushes innovation further.
by mass88
Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining Insurance Needs
Replies: 3
Views: 382

Determining Insurance Needs

Curious what the best way, or how you have gone about determining adequate levels of insurance? I am referring to life insurance. I am 31, my wife is 30 and we do not have any kids yet. I have a $50k policy through work and she has a $25k policy. At what point should we look to up our coverage? When...
by mass88
Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spirit Airlines
Replies: 38
Views: 4277

Spirit Airlines

Has anyone ever flown Spirit Airlines? Their prices are low but I am guessing there are a ton of additional charges (checked luggage, printing boarding passes, seat selection etc.). I am looking to fly Boston-Detroit-Boston and had a laugh when one of the options they presented on their website had ...
by mass88
Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Variable vs. Fixed Interest [Student loan]
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Re: Variable vs. Fixed Interest

A couple of important factors are whether there is a cap on the variable rate, and the amount of the loan. A $20k loan that hits a cap of 9%, isn't a big deal, but it is a big deal on a $100k loan. My current loan balance is $29,085. I spoke with Citizens Bank and the cap on the variable rate is 21...
by mass88
Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Variable vs. Fixed Interest [Student loan]
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Variable vs. Fixed Interest [Student loan]

At what point does it make more sense to opt for a variable rate on a loan vs. a fixed rate? I am specifically referring to a student loan. In another thread I touched on my current student loan. I periodically check to see what lenders would offer to refinance and currently one bank, Citizens Bank,...
by mass88
Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 652

Re: Loan Questions

1. Does it matter if I make the additional monthly payment with my normal minimum payment versus making the minimum payment and then doing a second payment of the $150? Since I’ve upped the monthly additional amount to $150, roughly 68% of my monthly payment has been hitting principal. I was not su...
by mass88
Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 652

Loan Questions

I have a student loan that I am currently making payment on. As background, this loan was used to consolidate 2 loans I previously had with 2 different lenders. This loan carries a lower interest rate and shorter repayment period. Admittedly, I probably made the mistake of going with a variable rate...
by mass88
Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ROTH TSA
Replies: 1
Views: 381

ROTH TSA

What is a TSA, or a ROTH TSA? My wife is being recruited for a job at a hospital and they offer a TSA for the retirement savings plan.
by mass88
Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Home Equity
Replies: 23
Views: 2132

Re: Calculating Home Equity

Makes sense - thanks for the responses.
by mass88
Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Home Equity
Replies: 23
Views: 2132

Calculating Home Equity

Is there a general calculation that should be used to calculate how much equity you have in your house?
by mass88
Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing Student Loan Debt
Replies: 6
Views: 1049

Re: Refinancing Student Loan Debt

I was looking at Citizens Bank and SoFi for refinancing.

I made the mistake of going with a variable interest rate on my consolidation loan - I saw the lower interest rate and went for it.
by mass88
Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing Student Loan Debt
Replies: 6
Views: 1049

Refinancing Student Loan Debt

When I graduated from college I had 4 separate loans from 2 different lenders. 2 years ago I consolidated them into 1 loan from a single lender. In the process I also cut my interest rate for by 1.25% (took the average interest rate of the 4 loans vs. the interest rate for my new loan). I've found a...
by mass88
Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....
Replies: 72
Views: 6939

Re: Plan on your Credit Card Getting Hacked once a year....Some Tips....

Good suggestions. DH and I have had our accounts hacked several times in the last few years. Last time was right after using it at a restaurant. I also dislike the inconvience of having to change the card# for my autopayments. I'd really prefer not to use a separate account, however, since I am max...
by mass88
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable Accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 702

Re: Taxable Accounts

Makes sense. Thanks for the responses.
by mass88
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable Accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 702

Taxable Accounts

When people refer to, or say taxable accounts, what accounts are they referring to exactly? Would a regular IRA be an example?
by mass88
Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Quesation
Replies: 3
Views: 705

Student Loan Quesation

I currently have a student loan with a balance of $29,500 and a variable rate of interest at 5.62% interest. My lender recently raised my interest rate .25% to the current 5.62%. I am looking at my refinance options and am wondering when is it ever a good idea the have a variable interest rate on a ...