Search found 770 matches

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: 10015

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: 1479

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: 17232

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: 734

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: 3691

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: 5465

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: 4471

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: 10806

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: 3879

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: 2626

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: 10806

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: 8333

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: 1091

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: 11328

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: 5278

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: 5278

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: 5278

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: 5278

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...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5278

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

This may come off as overly simplified, but I recommend you follow your heart, whatever decision that takes you to. You seem like a rational individual and do not appear to be allowing emotions only to drive your thinking. Good luck. Thank you. I just want to be certain that I don't take Mrs. Scuba...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5278

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

If you have at least one salary lined up that is a pretty nice safety cushion. Lots of couples live their whole lives on one salary. If you wait until you both have the perfect jobs lined up in a new location you may hit retirement age before that every happens. Thank you for sharing your story. Mr...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5278

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

The grass is always greener. This is a great point and something my wife and I have talked about at length. The only reason we are in DC now is my job, and while I really enjoy it, the quality of life here is just not what we want. Traffic is horrible and it alone determines much of my daily schedu...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5278

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

Life isn't always about making the best financial decisions. Happiness and contentment can be found at many salary levels. If it was me and my wife and kids were fully on board, I would do the move. Take the time to figure out where and what your careers may look like. Plan the work, work the plan....
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 5278

Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

Background My wife and I live in the Washington D.C. area where I work for the federal gov't. We have decent equity in our home and have saved ~5x my GS 14/15 salary in retirement / college / cash savings. I have been in my current position since 2011 and was in industry 10+ years before that and h...
by scubadiver
Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 435
Views: 179775

Re: TV show recommendations?

We cancelled our cable subscription about five years ago. Most of today's TV shows are mind numbingly idiotic. Critics, reviewers and frankly anyone with a cursory knowledge of television says this is the best era for television ever. Just read this thread. In addition to all the excellent suggesti...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings % Target 2016?
Replies: 168
Views: 11228

Re: Savings % Target 2016?

20-25% of gross, not counting employer match to retirement savings.

EDIT: Only on this forum would that put me at the low end of the savings spectrum.
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A dead year, never get it back
Replies: 84
Views: 8394

Re: A dead year, never get it back

If the actuaries are to be trusted, my wife and I have a 50 year investment horizon that includes both savings and drawdown periods. Who cares about one year?!?! For that matter, given our investment horizon, another 2008 is not at all out of the question. These things happen and should be expected....
by scubadiver
Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military and House Buying
Replies: 8
Views: 770

Re: Military and House Buying

Thanks everyone for the replies! I think it's probably best to follow the advice and continue to rent. The more I think about it, the less I would like either having a house vacant trying to sell or becoming an accidental landlord. Renting still emotionally (and irrationally) feels like throwing mo...
by scubadiver
Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm down 2.5% for 15'
Replies: 41
Views: 3872

Re: I'm down 2.5% for 15'

Some of you folks are being hard on me, I just wanted to point out what happened to me. Sheesh, I love Vanguard and what they stand for. I do own four individual stocks, Ford, Medtronic, RIG and Health Care Reit. I've been wondering what to do with these positions. I'm about even on three of the fo...
by scubadiver
Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 136
Views: 20746

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

Age 31, which I only knew from looking back on 10+ years of tracking mine and DW's finances. The one milestone that I remember very clearly was the day I hit $0 net worth when my savings equalled outstanding student loans. I remember joking with some of my older co-workers (who had advised me on val...
by scubadiver
Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 435
Views: 179775

Re: TV show recommendations?

Some current, some not so current: Battlestar Galactica Breaking Bad Bloodlines Burn Notice (ok, last season or two was a chore, but liked it overall) Dexter Firefly (only one season, but it was outstanding) House of Cards Lost Stargate SG1 Sons of Anarchy (currently watching and loving every minute...
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Share how you like to vacation
Replies: 113
Views: 10844

Re: Bogleheads: Share how you like to vacation

We spend about 7-10 days each summer in upstate New York visiting family. We tend to pack that trip with a lot of activities. We're taking a pass this year, but for the two years prior we also took a 5-7 day ski trip in late January. We have young children so at some point there will be an obligator...
by scubadiver
Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal umbrella insurance policies
Replies: 34
Views: 3360

Re: Personal umbrella insurance policies

I would encourage you to consider a personal umbrella policy. My wife and I are in our late 30's / early 40's and with relatively modest assets and income but maintain a $1M umbrella policy. I think we pay about $150 per year for it. Call it peace of mind. A few comments from someone who is neither ...
by scubadiver
Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue to work or stay at home?
Replies: 28
Views: 2306

Re: Continue to work or stay at home?

We have two children, 3 year old and 1 month old. My spouse makes $175k and I make $60k. If I continue to work, we would incur $2k/month in daycare expenses. The only debt we have is a 15yr mortgage of $2.2k/month, including taxes and insurance. From a financial/tax perspective, can you guide or he...
by scubadiver
Sun May 31, 2015 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 80k to invest. Spoke to Fidelity
Replies: 38
Views: 4659

Re: 80k to invest. Spoke to Fidelity

Welcome to the forum.

I would eliminate the CC and HELOC. Use the remaining funds to start a Roth IRA at a discount brokerage firm (e.g., Vanguard).

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaf blower (& Gutter cleaner) recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 3395

Re: Leaf blower (& Gutter cleaner) recommendations

I own this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_192729-86886-150BT_0__?productId=1054763&cm_mmc=search_google-_-Outdoor-Power-Equipment_rtc-_-Husqvarna_150bt-_-husqvarna%20150bt&k_clickID=5a0eebae-1d6c-dfa9-d234-00006deeb9f2 Great leaf blower and good brand in general (I also own a husqvarna weed wacker...
by scubadiver
Tue May 06, 2014 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 11464

Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

I can see how if the homes are in very close proximity that there could be issues, but we have sufficient acreage that this is not an issue Very close proximity and sufficient acreage are in the lungs of the beholder. I've lived in rural areas where 640 acre lots were not sufficient. Or possibly my...
by scubadiver
Mon May 05, 2014 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 11464

Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

Obviously, as the varying posts in this thread indicate, it completely depends on how you think you'll use it, what kind of neighborhood you live in, and how friendly you are with your neighbors. We put one in last summer - as part of a large stone patio we had built - and when it is warm we use it...
by scubadiver
Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 29130

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

ryuns wrote:In what world is 4000 sf a small yard anyway?

My driveway is 4000 sq ft.
by scubadiver
Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what?
Replies: 59
Views: 7980

Re: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what

Regarding the fact that your co-worker is storing personal files on a shared folder -> Not your problem. Mind your own business and move on. Regarding the fact that your co-worker makes substantially more than you -> If my math is correct, your co-worker literally has at least twice as much work exp...
by scubadiver
Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3647

Re: Saving on major renovations

Wanting to make some fundamental improvements to the home so that it is more livable is understandable. There's a lot of subjectivity in the word "livable", but I could see taking a liberal interpretation if you have the financial means. That being said, modifications such as moving walls ...
by scubadiver
Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 12671

Re: Frugal Fatigue

jackpullo997 wrote:it will all be squandered on limos, prostitutes, and cocaine when I die.

Wow, sounds like you really know how to throw a funeral.
by scubadiver
Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k vs Roth?
Replies: 12
Views: 1150

Re: 401k vs Roth?

To answer scuba's question, it's 36k in student loan debt, which we're planning to pay off over the next year and a half.

That being the case, I think your near term strategy is on the right track.

I would take a second look at things once you have the loans paid off and are married.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3647

Re: First things first

We are having the gutters cleaned but the problem is that water is deposited at the foundation. Unfortunately, due to the placement of one gutter it will require ripping up part of the driveway (asphalt on concrete) to be able to bury a hose for the water to drain from out of view. Funny, we had th...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with time share offer
Replies: 22
Views: 2257

Re: Need help with time share offer

DON'T DO IT!!! Take the cash you are about to piss away and put it in the bank. Add in the maintenance costs and fund an annual ski trip for the next 20 years. But it happens to be the end of the month, and our rep is close of hitting his sales bonus and he really needs this sale – so he threw in an...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 12671

Re: Frugal Fatigue

vachica wrote:How do Bogleheads handle the times when they feel that they are missing out on life by saving so much?

To be honest, this is not a feeling that I am at all familiar with.
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boxed Wines
Replies: 29
Views: 3217

Re: Boxed Wines

mfswatz9 wrote:We like boxed Franzia merlot or cabernet for table wine.

I second that recommendation.

I would not recommend the Vella Cabernet Sauvignon. That crap is undrinkable. I bought a 5L Box on Friday, had one glass and put the rest in the trash. :annoyed
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3647

Re: First things first

Thanks. I'm wondering if we need an architect vs a GC. Might be a good idea since we want to move some walls. For the most part, we are keeping the home's existing footprint. Financially speaking, this sort of renovation is not consistent with wanting to sell in a few years. So, first thing to do i...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k vs Roth?
Replies: 12
Views: 1150

Re: 401k vs Roth?

Thanks all, great suggestions so far. Sounds like I need to double check my math on the current tax rates. To answer Kenyan's question: currently the rest of our income is going toward paying off her student loans, building up the emergency fund, and paying for a wedding. If we're lucky enough to h...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help for a fellow seeker
Replies: 30
Views: 3574

Re: help for a fellow seeker

The problem with buying a home is that I can't afford it in my neighborhood.. my rent is $1.2k month and I really love where I live in Beachwood Canyon L.A. where the homes start at $1m. If you can afford it (and you can) and it allows you to live in an area you really like (and apparently it does)...
by scubadiver
Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree stump removal
Replies: 25
Views: 2460

Re: Tree stump removal

In January, high winds snapped a 5-year-old tree in my backyard in half, leaving a two-foot stump. I believe it was an ash. I think that it had already been weakened, as it lost its leaves early last summer. The stump is roughly 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Any recommendations in how to go about remo...

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