Search found 802 matches

by scubadiver
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3508

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

You didn't address my earlier question. You mentioned that "funding their b-day parties" was their only gift from you. What did their parties consist of and how much did you spend on them? Am I under cross examination? Truth: I don't remember the dollar amounts. Our 4-year old's party was...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3508

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

It is not extremely unusual in my community. Birthday parties today are usually held at some sort of event space (jumpy house place, trampoline place, museum, etc.). And parents are expected to buy small gifts for each kid who attends the party. It's very expensive (and nuts, IMHO). After shelling ...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3508

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

Seems odd to tell a 6 year old (age of the OP's kid) that their present is a pack of paper plates/cups, some cheap decorations, and a cake. Yes, and that's exactly how we said it to them too, "You're getting some paper plates, cups and cheap decorations..." I wanted to add a "and you...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3508

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

We don't buy them birthday gifts since we organize the parties and they get presents from the guests I find it extremely bizarre that you do not buy birthday gifts for your own kids. I find it more bizarre that you justify not buying birthday gifts because you "organize the parties." Do y...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think I'm ready, but not overly confident
Replies: 28
Views: 2774

Re: Think I'm ready, but not overly confident

Welcome to the forum.

I'm 20+ years younger than you and if I had your finances, I would retire now. You should be good to go. :)

Congrats!

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Member Here, Looking for some suggestions
Replies: 24
Views: 1690

Re: New Member Here, Looking for some suggestions

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service. So, you're not in a bad situation. In fact, learning these lessons at such a young age puts you on a very good path longer term. I think your plan looks good. Since you have been listening to Dave Ramsey, I'll foot stomp his debt snowball strategy...
by scubadiver
Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet insurance for new puppy
Replies: 54
Views: 3163

Re: Pet insurance for new puppy

Long time pet owner here and we love our dog. He truly is a member of the family. Pet health care is pretty simple really and there is no need for insurance. We pay everything out of pocket. If we got to the point where our vet bill was being measured in thousands of dollars, euthanasia would become...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please tell me if I can afford this Porsche
Replies: 81
Views: 5306

Re: Please tell me if I can afford this Porsche

Get rid of the student loan first, but yes, you can get afford to get the porche.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?
Replies: 56
Views: 6592

Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

My own story.... We (DW and two kids) currently live in northern VA just outside DC. Moved here for career opportunity about 7 years ago when oldest kid was 1. The work is good, but cost of living is very high and general quality of life is low. We have no personal ties to the area - the only thing ...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: asset allocation: 36 years old, $800k to invest
Replies: 3
Views: 928

Re: asset allocation: 36 years old, $800k to invest

Welcome to the forum! A possible plan of action... 1) Since you not appear to have an explicit emergency fund, mentally earmark $100K of your current $800K for just that. 2) Put $100K on your mortgage and refinance to 15 or 30 year conforming loan. You may pay a slightly higher rate than what you cu...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we pay off our student loan?
Replies: 44
Views: 3621

Re: Should we pay off our student loan?

The following seem like good ideas to me: (1) Put the $48K all on the student loan. With your current monthly payment, those will be gone in less than 4 years or (2) Assuming you get a lower rate, refinance the home lone to 15 year, putting entire $48K on principle. I would tend to favor (1) because...
by scubadiver
Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ok to pull plug and retire?
Replies: 52
Views: 7505

Re: ok to pull plug and retire?

Were I in your shoes with your assets and expenses, I would be calling in sick tomorrow (and I like my job).

Yes, you're good to pull the plug. Congrats!
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Value of House in Planning for Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 3307

Re: Value of House in Planning for Retirement

My own view on this.... We plan to live in the same home post-retirement. As such, I do count on having the mortgage paid off in our financial planning, but I do not incorporate the value of the home when calculating the $$ we have to spend based upon our assumed safe withdrawal rate. If planning to...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 10007

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

Last time we went out was a few weeks ago. A family of four at Red Robins cost $45 plus tip. I think we could have came in under $40, but the kids insisted on milk shakes. EDIT: We live in a very HCOL area. I remember going home last summer to visit family and took my wife and kids along with 4 aunt...
by scubadiver
Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor, small windfall
Replies: 12
Views: 1845

Re: Young Investor, small windfall

If I understood you correctly, your brother is set to "receive" ~$37.5K and will be going to college in 2.5 years. Correct? I would NOT use his portion as a down payment or anything else that might benefit me no matter how sincere I am in my desire to reimburse the funds. Stuff happens and...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 267
Views: 48270

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

My own response to this question is neither yes or no. For me, it's not about retiring or retiring well, but about getting to a point where I no longer need to worry about a job loss. I may or may not choose to continue working, but probably will, albeit at a much slower pace. I don't think $2.5M is...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To those with a pension...
Replies: 52
Views: 6586

Re: To those with a pension...

No to both.

I'm a federal employee who will likely not stick around till full retirement age. Saving as much as I can while the money is good.

The modest pension that I will have buys down risk, but I maintain my asset allocation as if the pension did not exist.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How're we doing?
Replies: 33
Views: 3457

Re: How're we doing?

Congrats on the recent wedding and on your efforts to manage your new joint finances. I agree with you that you should not put off having kids. Life's too short. I do think you should put off the house until you get rid of the debt which you currently have quite a bit of. Almost $150K by my accounti...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody else Age - 10 in bonds, rest in stocks
Replies: 58
Views: 4070

Re: Anybody else Age - 10 in bonds, rest in stocks

Avg age of DW and Boglehead Husband: ~40 Stock % / Bond %: 80 / 20. Plus federal pension, but will likely leave federal service long before retirement eligibility, so this will be a modest (albeit reliable) component of retirement $$. Our stock allocation is 75% domestic, 25% international Just reba...
by scubadiver
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Experienced investor: For your portfolio, at what point compound interest really kick in for you? $500k? $1million+?
Replies: 35
Views: 4553

Re: Experienced investor: For your portfolio, at what point compound interest really kick in for you? $500k? $1million+

Our portfolio is currently greater than it was last year at this time by an amount equal to a little more than my annual salary. NOTE: I did not contribute 100% of my earnings to savings last year. Hard not to notice that.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?
Replies: 138
Views: 13143

Re: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?

Re Wife/RN : She will eventually be able to pick up some part time work, but I do not want to plan or budget my housing based around this , as there are many variables with wife/kids/health/future expansion possibility. Her income will come and go over the years. This is a perfectly acceptable stra...
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Wine anyone?
Replies: 22
Views: 19883

Re: WSJ Wine anyone?

About my own tastes in wine: I drink a combination of high end box wine (yah, I typed that with a straight face ) and wine by the bottle, though I rarely spend more than $10 on a bottle. Not exactly the consumption habits of a wine connoisseur. I have never bought any of the WSJ wines myself, so I a...
by scubadiver
Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?
Replies: 138
Views: 13143

Re: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?

OP, Here's a confession: While I generally encourage individuals to save a 20% downpayment for a home purchase, we put down ~10% at closing for both of the homes my wife and I purchased. I did have the salary and job security to back it up and we paid on the mortgages aggressively to get rid of PMI,...
by scubadiver
Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 54K left in Federal Student Loans.....wanting to buy/build a home.
Replies: 19
Views: 1844

Re: 54K left in Federal Student Loans.....wanting to buy/build a home.

zig25, I would keep your current cash savings as they are at ~$10k. If understand your posts correctly, it sounds like you paid off $50K in debt (7 auto, 43 student) in 1.5 years and have a remaining $30k in student loans. Well done! At that pace, you should be able to wipe out the remaining student...
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Replies: 136
Views: 7916

Re: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)

One could argue stopping is more important. Preach it brother. AWD and 4WD are great in deep snow. I get the most value out of my wife's SUV on those occasions when we get 8" of snow in northern VA and I don't feel like clearing the driveway b/c I know it will melt in a day (we have a 200 ft d...
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix Question
Replies: 30
Views: 3961

Re: Netflix Question

Another option: We bought a netflix subscription for my SIL for Christmas last year. She really liked it. She told her other sister about it. We bought her a subscription for her birthday. Not exactly original gifts when we renew for them, but it's our way of helping a struggling med student and col...
by scubadiver
Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 1626

Re: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?

Thanks again for the thoughtful responses. What I'm leaning towards right now is funding the Roth for the year in March or April, but allocating a year's worth of contributions in both mine and my DW's Roths to a money market fund. Then next year if I do the lump sum again, I would just contribute t...
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 1626

Re: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?

Would this become a habit, or did 2016 have some expenses that threw a wrench in things? It wasn't an extraordinary year, but it did seem like we had a lot more unexpected expenses than usual. One of our monkeys, excuse me, kids, needed braces. Then we just had about $3K in car repairs. I seem to r...
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA contribution withdrawal to repay TSP (401k) loan
Replies: 4
Views: 309

Re: Roth IRA contribution withdrawal to repay TSP (401k) loan

I would just continue making the regular payments. You can always pay it off early later on down the road if carrying the loan still bothers you. Unfortunately, you can't put the $17K back into the Roth, so I wouldn't pull that lever unless it were an emergency. (If you really need to, do it, but it...
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 1626

Re: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?

iceport wrote:
scubadiver wrote:Simply put, I think we'll be more focused if it's repaying our emergency fund vice contributing to our Roths.

You are making my case for automating the contributions! If you never see the money, your "focus" becomes irrelevant. 8-)


Point taken. :)
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 1626

Re: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?

Thank you for the good responses. I probably could have been clearer on this, but my motivation for considering the lump sum option is psychological as opposed to a hopeless attempt to optimize the timing of our investment. Simply put, I think we'll be more focused if it's repaying our emergency fun...
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 1626

Do you have a preferred approach to making the max Roth IRA contributions?

I'm thinking about contributing in a lump sum at the beginning of the year, effectively borrowing the $11K from our emergency savings and then repaying that over the course of the year. The $11K is about half our cash savings. Any thoughts on that? For those who contribute the max allowed amounts to...
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache donates $100k to charity, writes about effective altruism
Replies: 100
Views: 11070

Re: Mr. Money Mustache donates $100k to charity, writes about effective altruism

Kudos to MMM. As for the Scubadiver family, here's our primary charities: Local Public Library Local Volunteer Fire Department The Purple Heart Foundation A food pantry my aunts run out of their church A few years ago we stopped donating to large charities (ok, the Purple Heart Foundation is an exce...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 1609

Re: Federal Employee- Leave without pay considerations

LWOP = Leave without Pay, so no, you do not get a 1% match. I would definitely investigate the possibility of advance leave as this would help mitigate the short term loss of income. As a bonus, there is also no loss of the 1% match under stat scenario. I feel your pain. My wife has been on "le...
by scubadiver
Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Milestone Today - $1.5M
Replies: 128
Views: 18259

Re: Net Worth Milestone Today - $1.5M

Congrats!

This is a noteworthy accomplishment, particularly given your relative youth (both you and DH < 40).

BTW, I too include home equity and a (very) conservative estimate of the value of our cars in net worth calculations.

Cheers,
Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Sat May 07, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post College Personal Finance Plan
Replies: 6
Views: 774

Re: Post College Personal Finance Plan

As far as savings, my first two priorities would be: *401k up to employer match *max Roth IRA From there you might want to consider additional 401k contributions (to a point, this will also help you retain ROTH eligibility as your salary increases) or cash savings for future home. Either way, save a...
by scubadiver
Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charities for Bogleheads?
Replies: 50
Views: 3854

Re: Charities for Bogleheads?

At the moment we support two charities. One is the local food pantry. They have very limited storage for perishables, so during the time they are open I make a run to a supermarket and pick up some fresh produce and bring it to the food pantry. I know that everyone at the food pantry is a volunteer...
by scubadiver
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which news source do you use?
Replies: 67
Views: 5831

Re: Which news source do you use?

WSJ and a local paper.
by scubadiver
Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two spenders and buying a house
Replies: 43
Views: 4585

Re: Two spenders and buying a house

We looked at a property about 15 miles from our workplace. This house is 2800 square feet 5 beds 3 baths on 18 acres. It has a large pond about 5 acres in size, the current owner doesn’t know how deep. It is not in a flood zone area. We noticed a few ducks in it. The pond fenced off with a huge iro...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?
Replies: 111
Views: 11052

Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

The original poster might learn some things from his future father-in-law. That doesn't mean that the original poster has to adopt the future father-in-law's investment strategies. But there are always things to be learned. This thread is really more about family dynamics than it is about investing...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car tire replacement
Replies: 45
Views: 3999

Re: Car tire replacement

I would have to check, but I think the Kelly Blue Book value on my car is in the neighborhood of $1450. Not sure that I can provide any helpful advice.
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones accounts - leave open or close?
Replies: 31
Views: 2837

Re: Edward Jones accounts - leave open or close?

I would bail on EJ without a moment of hesitation. If there happens to be any exit fees associated with that, I would pay them out of my "stupid tax" fund and be done with it. Not judging here. Once upon a time I had a similar $$ amount invested with an equally reputable firm and transitio...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?
Replies: 111
Views: 11052

Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

Ok, so your future FIL has given your fiancé some not so great financial advice, and may have even personally been responsible for executing that advice. While undesirable, this is not the end of the world. It's not like he is moving her life savings to be managed by a "family friend" who ...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 29 and quitting job for long honeymoon. Is it a bad idea? Talk me out of it
Replies: 70
Views: 8673

Re: 29 and quitting job for long honeymoon. Is it a bad idea? Talk me out of it

Of all the things I have done in the past 70 years, one of the things that I am least likely to regret is taking an internship in Europe in the middle of graduate school in my late 20s. I was bored with school, and decided on the spur of the moment to do so. But I did not have to explain a gap in e...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming vs. DVD vs. Netflix vs. Amazon
Replies: 13
Views: 1377

Re: Streaming vs. DVD vs. Netflix vs. Amazon

DVD players are cheap. I would spring for another.

We have both a DVD player and Roku which we use to stream netflix.
by scubadiver
Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?
Replies: 81
Views: 11625

Re: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?

I'm 37 years old. I've been a heavy saver ever since my first job out of college. Yet, on a income versus expenses basis, money is still relatively tight. I could dip into my savings and splurge if I wanted to but that doesn't make any sense because I'd like to increase my net assets. My take today...
by scubadiver
Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5353

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. We were sold before I started this thread, but the comments and stories have reinforced in our minds that this is the right thing to do. To paraphrase EvelynM, "my children will never remember how much money their dad made, but they will remember ...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5353

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

As for Federal retiree health benefits. I think you have to have been employed with the Federal government for the 5 years leading up to your retirement so folks like us who leave Federal service long before retirement do not quality. At least that is my understanding from reading the OPM page on t...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5353

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

Go. We just did. I realized it was time when the only reason we were staying was the pension. Six months ago my wife and I relocated our family from NoVa back to a midwestern rustbelt area (albeit to a delightful college town) after several years of federal service, for all the same reasons you lis...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5353

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

You are limiting your choices to DC or the specific area where you came from. It would be good to open that up and consider other areas where you and your wife can find good jobs in your current careers to see if there is more opportunity somewhere that you would like even better, even though it wo...

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