Search found 94 matches

by mrsytf
Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Strategy for Grad School
Replies: 5
Views: 571

Re: 529 Strategy for Grad School

If it were me I would leave the MD plan as is. I would contribute the $4500 in VA annually for myself and take it out for my education. There will be no growth but at least a tax deduction. 4 semesters should span 3 Years - $13500 in total. The reason I say this is because if she needs the money in ...
by mrsytf
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase W4 withholdings or make estimated tax payments
Replies: 18
Views: 1113

Re: Increase W4 withholdings or make estimated tax payments

. Adjust your W4 withholding to get the right taxes and forget about for now. But check back and revise your tax estimates in October or so. That way if you still need to have more taxes held out you can revise your W4 again for November or December to make a one time big tax payment to cover any t...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 39
Views: 4287

Re: Time savers - life on automation

You use a 5:1 water to rice ratio, lot it set at a low boil for 30 minutes, drain it, then let it sit(off the heat) for a few minutes to absorb any excess water. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? But I have yet to get it right. And I have tried multiple multiple combos, recipes, heat settings etc. ov...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?
Replies: 31
Views: 3460

Re: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?

I don't know if I would do it for just cash, even if it was $500, unless I had a specific plan for that cash. For example, I'll open up this cc, get my $500 and blow it on a vitamix. Or I could see myself going through the trouble if I had an opportunity to earn enough miles for a round trip domesti...
by mrsytf
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 39
Views: 4287

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Does this rice cooker know how to handle brown rice? If so that would be a game changer.
by mrsytf
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?
Replies: 24
Views: 2558

Re: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?

We had ours done two years ago, mostly because the garage is the unofficial entrance to the house and I couldn't stand how it looked. It was $5 per square foot. They emptied the garage for me. I basically said, "keep or discard". Twenty minutes later garage was empty. I would google "...
by mrsytf
Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?
Replies: 39
Views: 4446

Re: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?

No not at all,,, Personally we have never spent anywhere close to that amount. Matter of preference. :happy Sorry felt compelled to comment again as we are still furnishing our home nearly six years after we bought it. As others have mentioned no need to get it all done immediately. With regard to ...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?
Replies: 39
Views: 4446

Re: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?

15k to furnish an entire house is pretty darn good-even if you purchased most used or second hand. It surprising how things add up. Shopping at thrift/antique stores was difficult for me because I have a hard time imagining in my mind how different finishes match as well as the scale of items unless...
by mrsytf
Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Significant Student Loan Debt + Retirement
Replies: 3
Views: 618

Re: Significant Student Loan Debt + Retirement

If I were in your situation, I would do whatever possible to pay them off in two years. Two years is really a blip in time. Yes you are not saving as much as you like but if you continue your wife's contribution up to match you are still in the game. Any opportunities for additional income? Doesn't ...
by mrsytf
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: It's not too late to make a last-minute T-IRA contribution via Vanguard.com, right?
Replies: 11
Views: 621

Re: It's not too late to make a last-minute T-IRA contribution via Vanguard.com, right?

If you have an existing IRA, you can always mail in a contribution as long as it's postmarked on April 18.
by mrsytf
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost Creep and Teen and College Years?
Replies: 52
Views: 3496

Re: Cost Creep and Teen and College Years?

Are big kids more expensive than little kids? I feel like I spend a small fortune on my 3,6 and 8 year old. Camp is $300 each/week for the big kids. My cousin told me about the ID tech camp for my eldest but that one is $800/week so that was a no. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the little ...
by mrsytf
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 32
Views: 3357

Re: million dollar condo?

. If I bought the condo I feel like I would just be riding the hedonistic treadmill to more house, and moving away from the LBYM tenet many bogleheads advocate. To me this sounds like a classic case of keeping up with the Jones'. Or at least that's how you are coming across. Most posters on here as...
by mrsytf
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school tuition
Replies: 42
Views: 3223

Re: Can we afford private school tuition

This does not mean you can't send your kid to private school, you just have to make sure you plan and prioritize appropriately, possibly cutting back in other areas. Choosing the private school route without making any other changes just decreases the already sketchy likelihood of achieving your re...
by mrsytf
Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?
Replies: 77
Views: 8405

Re: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?

AlohaJoe wrote: luckybamboo wrote: So, my question is where do you draw the line and decide that is my frugality stopping me from living. Does the 'high' I get from seeing my net worth grow stop me from living life? That you get a high from that is a problem. It is a tool, a means to an end, and yo...
by mrsytf
Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?
Replies: 77
Views: 8405

Re: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?

This is where the concept of "fun money" should come into play. You have seen from both your parents and your aunt/uncle how one spouse's extreme frugality can negatively impact the life of the other spouse. The white coat investor and I apologize I don't have a link for you describes his ...
by mrsytf
Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA Dependent?
Replies: 10
Views: 509

Re: FSA Dependent?

I've done it two ways. I have 3 small kids so <2 months of child care payments and I've hit the $5000 allowable for the year. If i do it in March, i get a lump sum of the amounts contributed to that point usu 1k or so and with every paycheck I get the additional amount that was taken out of that pay...
by mrsytf
Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Forced retirement-Can this work?
Replies: 17
Views: 2327

Re: Forced retirement-Can this work?

What do you plan to do with the principal after you die? As another poster suggested, you could withdraw 2.6% of your principal annually to meet your monthly expenses and likely still have a good portion left. Running the numbers through firecalc will likely be reassuring. Are you afraid you will ru...
by mrsytf
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Require Access to School Records?
Replies: 100
Views: 4093

Re: Require Access to School Records?

**At one parent talk, it was brought out that, if possible, the student's old bedroom should be left as it is until after the first visit back home, so the student doesn't feel "pushed out". We didn't do that for our first child, but immediately let another child start using the bedroom. H...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2382

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

[quote] Income: Alimony ($24,000); Rental income ($25,200); Social Security ($9,957 total); SS from Ex ($26,400). Total income: ~$85.5k Total expenses this year were: $12,574 (mortgage); Property Tax ($12,857); HO Insurance ($3,900); Cable (3360); Oil ($4,482); Electric ($2,299); Water/Sewer ($786);...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2382

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

So roughly $10k is social security. How much is the rental income and how much is alimony? I wouldn't count on alimony forever. She is basically a 75 year old man's heartbeat away from losing it. Let's say she nets 500k from the sale. 800k home - 250k mortgage -50k closing costs. At a 4%withdrawal r...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2382

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

What are her annual expenses? What is she expecting for social security? Is she taking it now? How much is alimony and for how long will she receive it for?

Personally I wouldn't sell a house with tenants in it. For how long can she manage without the rental income?
by mrsytf
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?
Replies: 81
Views: 8276

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

As a mom with a special needs kid, it doesn't get easier (financially that is) as they get older just to warn you. My oldest boy has ADD and anxiety. I'm sitting here in my car as I write waiting for him to come out of his "social skills" group that I just paid $360 for. The session spans ...
by mrsytf
Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many financial secrets?
Replies: 58
Views: 5508

Re: How many financial secrets?

I hide the true cost of items from my husband all the time. I am planning a master bath renovation and I have no intention of telling him how much it will be. Sometimes he will ask me how much something is costing us and even though I would like to tell him the true price, I always tell him a lower ...
by mrsytf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?
Replies: 31
Views: 2433

Re: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?

Bottom line is some resentment on my part in that: without a recent career change by my wife, and purchase of a DC residence, we'd be able to retire....at my age 55, her age 60. The new mortgage, and expenses have left us cash poor, seriously affected our savings rates, and push our income needs in...
by mrsytf
Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?
Replies: 31
Views: 2433

Re: Did you and your spouse have different opinions on retirement income need?

We do. My husband wants to live off of dividends and not touch principal. He doesn't understand or trust the 4% withdrawal rate. His viewpoint is clouded by the memory of both sets of grandparents running out of their savings. The problem with this viewpoint is that obviously this strategy elevates ...
by mrsytf
Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparent owned Merrill lynch 529-how to avoid fees?
Replies: 6
Views: 427

Grandparent owned Merrill lynch 529-how to avoid fees?

So my father wants to contribute to his grandchildren's 529. This past year he contributed $14k to each of his five grandkids via 529 accounts set up up through his personal advisor at Merrill lynch. I opened up the statements only to see that a 4.5% advisor fee was levied on the contribution. This ...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for 2017 back door ROTH IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 321

Re: Preparing for 2017 back door ROTH IRA

My advice would be to start now. Both my husband and I have pretax IRA's. Since I have self employed income i opened up a solo401k with fidelity with the intent of rolling my IRA's into it. A month later the money is still not rolled over. I had no idea it would take this long. My husband's 403b pro...
by mrsytf
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help starting fresh from years of financial disaster
Replies: 29
Views: 3809

Re: help starting fresh from years of financial disaster

I was not married when I had my first kid with my (now) husband. We were co-habitating and I got pregnant (surprise!). My husband at the time was into the whole, "we don't need a piece of paper to prove our commitment" kick. In any case, i insisted if we were not going to get married we ha...
by mrsytf
Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term unemployment planning
Replies: 61
Views: 2754

Re: Long term unemployment planning

This doesn't answer your question but you have $40k in cash under investments. Why isn't this invested? You mentioned reallocation but you can reallocate with he $2k/month you are contributing. That's what I do. If everything is balanced the money goes in according to my AA. If my bonds for example ...
by mrsytf
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crowdfunding real estate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1273

Re: Crowdfunding real estate?

I don't mind illiquid, not at this stage in my life. I have an ample emergency fund of approx 1 year and a $200,000 credit line on my credit cards alone. I also have a HELOC of $150,000. If I manage to blow all that money, as a last resort I also have family that love me and have their act together ...
by mrsytf
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crowdfunding real estate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1273

Re: Crowdfunding real estate?

The white coat investor dabbled in a few and writes about his experience here. He's hinted at an update shortly. This is from May 2016. http://whitecoatinvestor.com/our-real-estate-empire/ I have 10K in peer street. Im less than a year in and a few on my investments are suppose to be coming due in a...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1119

Re: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?

To prequalify I don't believe they ask for any documentation. I recall getting a prequalify note to strengthen our offer and it came in via email in an hour based on a simple questionnaire. Income, assets, liabilities purchase price of home etc. Granted the mortgage guy worked out of the same office...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1119

Re: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?

A similar thing happened when my husband and I purchased this home. I was between two jobs so to simplify matters we just put the mortgage in my husband's name. I was still able to be placed on the title. That's what I would recommend. It would be disheartening to lose out on their dream home for th...
by mrsytf
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help saving for college in Taxable Account
Replies: 9
Views: 762

Re: Need help saving for college in Taxable Account

I'm not so sure I would continue contributing to the older child's account. If you plan to keep on working while the child is in college, why don't you simply cash flow college and supplement with what you already have saved. College is just two years away and four years long (possibly shorter) to r...
by mrsytf
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time Saving Tactics: Kids Edition
Replies: 57
Views: 3721

Re: Time Saving Tactics: Kids Edition

I'm sure we are not as organized and clean as stoptothink but we too only do two maybe three loads of laundry/week. I never understood why some people do laundry every day. What a time sink! Friday night I take the three boys' dirty clothes and put in washer. We have dinner. Clothes go to dryer or h...
by mrsytf
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to make large auto loan payment, Chase doesn't accept credit cards
Replies: 13
Views: 1164

Re: Want to make large auto loan payment, Chase doesn't accept credit cards

You might try plastiq.com which allows you to pay for anything with a card including mortgage and rent. You have to pay a 2.5% fee however for the privilege which in my mind negates the point/miles benefit. Folks mostly do it to meet minimum spending requirements for credit card bonuses.
by mrsytf
Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me with my portfolio - from a naive doctor
Replies: 13
Views: 1620

Re: Please help me with my portfolio - from a naive doctor

How old is your husband? Why is he insured for such a small amount? If he goes, so does your childcare. And your child is still small. I would look into a term life insurance policy for him- 10 years should suffice. You can always cancel it if you find yourself in better financial footing before the...
by mrsytf
Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 18573

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Formal dining and living room. I still hold on to the illusion that one day I will host a dinner party in which the dining room will be of use. Hasn't happened yet, but hope springs eternal....
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maxed the 457 for the first time - Can I reach my goal?
Replies: 8
Views: 729

Re: Maxed the 457 for the first time - Can I reach my goal?

I've got 9 years on the job. I can retire at age 54 with healthcare. Any earlier and I get pro-rated benefits, minus 3% per year. So the benefits you were referring to relate to just healthcare? I wouldn't necessarily let that tie me down to a job until 54 if I had thoughts of retiring early and co...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing when market is peaking
Replies: 49
Views: 5471

Re: Investing when market is peaking

I've been holding 15% of my portfolio in cash since before the election. This was new money I earned that I just put in a money market instead of index funds. I finally just put the money in. Without getting political I expected complete disaster and chaos post election. Didn't happen and I'm tired ...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maxed the 457 for the first time - Can I reach my goal?
Replies: 8
Views: 729

Re: Maxed the 457 for the first time - Can I reach my goal?

Looks like you are on track. You will have a pension plus your savings which seem robust. What are your plans for college? How old will your kids be at age 54? Are you planning on having anymore? Also if you plan to buy a home try for a 15 yr mortgage if you can afford it, to have it paid off by ret...
by mrsytf
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment plan for kids college
Replies: 76
Views: 3490

Re: Taxable investment plan for kids college

My husband and I had a similar debate. I wanted to fund the 529's aggressively. My husband favored retirement savings. The compromise was that I put $2k/Year per kid which is the OH state tax deduction limit. IL is a bit more generous- lucky dog. I would commit to putting a small amount in yearly, s...
by mrsytf
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment plan for kids college
Replies: 76
Views: 3490

Re: Taxable investment plan for kids college

For ages 0 and 3, I think 100% stock is ok. Many target date college funds start stock heavy in these young years transitioning to increasing bonds at around age 5. I really like 529's. I view it as free money. This may be controversial but it bothers me that people pay different amounts for the sam...
by mrsytf
Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3901

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

What's important is not how much or what, but saying no from time to time. My parents gave us nothing..not because they didn't have...they just didn't think toys and such were necessary. They grew up poor. Hence no toys for birthday, Xmas or really ever. The few toys I had were from relatives. I gre...
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room
Replies: 21
Views: 1707

Re: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room

I recommend some sort of down payment mostly to have some equity in the home in the case of a housing market downturn.
We used one of those physician loans as well which allowed us to put down 15% instead of 20 and not get burned by PMI.
by mrsytf
Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room
Replies: 21
Views: 1707

Re: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room

I don't think you need to be completely out of student loan debt to buy a home, especially if you do not live in a HCOL area. I wouldn't recommend buying the house right now, but in two more likely three years when the debt load has been cut by half, it might be an option. But I also would not buy a...
by mrsytf
Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b or 529 Contribution?
Replies: 12
Views: 698

Re: 403b or 529 Contribution?

Do you get a state tax deduction for 529 contributions?
by mrsytf
Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaning toward partial early retirement. I need guidance please.
Replies: 5
Views: 591

Re: Leaning toward partial early retirement. I need guidance please.

I say do it. You have enough in the pension to cover "basic" expenses. If the business does poorly one year, no stress you know that you can cover the bills. Plus your wife can also go back to work if need be. I would still advocate continued savings. I hate to say it...but you are kinda b...
by mrsytf
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ugh, why is buying a new car so painful?
Replies: 64
Views: 7359

Re: Ugh, why is buying a new car so painful?

The plot thickens...Got one email back late yesterday evening. My price quote: MSRP, sales tax, and doc processing fee. This email followed a stressful morning which started by my husband and I carrying our three kids down to the basement while the tornado sirens were blaring. I fired a quick email ...

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