Search found 519 matches

by sesq
Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 37
Views: 3267

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

Around me I see billboards for low rate HELOC's (like below 2% for 12 months). If you plan to substantially pay it off within the teaser period you might be able to arbitrage 5.65% to 2% or so and be at most out the appraisal cost ($3-400). After the teaser period the loan goes to prime +/- 25-50 ba...
by sesq
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Child - Financial Decisions / Impacts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1181

Re: First Child - Financial Decisions / Impacts?

The advice I always give to new parents is the importance of securing appropriate levels of term life insurance on both mother and father. The insurance should not be tied to an employer to avoid the obvious risk of one's health declining to the point of being uninsurable around the time of losing/c...
by sesq
Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas gift expectations
Replies: 61
Views: 4160

Re: Christmas gift expectations

Both sides of our families do secret santa. My side - ~$25 price target, everyone buys stuff for the kids who aren't done with college, everyone exchanges gifts with my parents (they don't do secret santa and want to get people gifts, so we reciprocate). My wife's side - $100 price target siblings a...
by sesq
Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stopped at the Crossroads
Replies: 21
Views: 3035

Re: Stopped at the Crossroads

Are you also paying into social security or is the state pension in place of SS? If you have a pension and SS I would suggest that you may want to allocate your $300/mo towards building up a down payment. If you stay in state government you may not see astronomic income gains. Perhaps when you are r...
by sesq
Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car leases: not that expensive, after all, if you can't do maintenance yourself?
Replies: 32
Views: 3093

Re: Car leases: not that expensive, after all, if you can't do maintenance yourself?

OTH, I am an older guy and may start leasing as I may not want to be driving 10+ years from now. My neighbor's mother died a year ago and had very negative things to say about dealing with a leased vehicle as the executor. Very difficult and expensive to terminate the lease early. On the main topic...
by sesq
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new chapter of life started - want to save and grow money
Replies: 84
Views: 7704

Re: new chapter of life started - want to save and grow money

It may be worth checking the terms of those furniture loans. I listen to Clark Howard (podcast) and he has mentioned that some of the "no-no-no" loans (no interest, no downpayment, no payments til) have dirty tricks in them like stating that your payments aren't due til say October 2018, b...
by sesq
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?
Replies: 299
Views: 39256

Re: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?

I know several people who have "enough" to retire (high 7 figures, some with low 8), and I asked them why they keep working. They were not spending their savings nor living extravagantly. They were honest in saying that legacy was their motivation. Their children were not on a trajectory ...
by sesq
Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Someone wants to pay me to manage their finances
Replies: 46
Views: 4244

Re: Someone wants to pay me to manage their finances

From time to time I suggest or even help people get their assets into a target date retirement fund.
by sesq
Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 & Multiple Children
Replies: 26
Views: 1917

Re: 529 & Multiple Children

I have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader. I have a bit more money in the 5th graders account but project the 2nd grader will have more when he matriculates. I am planning to overfund the amount needed for 4 years at a public university, but probably only fund 75% of a private school. A part of me wants ...
by sesq
Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undergrad business UMass Amherst Isenberg or Bentley
Replies: 14
Views: 1096

Re: Undergrad business Isenberg or Bentley

I have never heard of Isenberg, but I can see its UMass. I have two degrees from Bentley and have worked outside of New England most of my 20 year career. Until fairly recently outside of the accounting industry no one really had heard of Bentley in the rest of the country. They would have heard of ...
by sesq
Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?
Replies: 76
Views: 6040

Re: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?

Considering it as a hobby is fine. Otherwise I would spend the time and efforts to get a better-paying job or to study for a better-paying degree. I don't know... MS was better than our regular job. Very sad that it's ended :| +1. I still have about 2.1M points and miles in the kitty to burn off. J...
by sesq
Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Job: Take Paycut by leaving Big 4?
Replies: 32
Views: 4325

Re: New Job: Take Paycut by leaving Big 4?

I am in tax and did 8 years in public and now 13 years in industry. When I was ready to leave public it was due to the fact that you don't control your schedule - yes, you work hard but the unpredictability stunk. If the client calls on Thursday your weekend was shot to pieces. In industry you can s...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 4410

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

... Doesn't help with RMD's (may complicate them a bit since there will be multiple accounts which may require separate withdrawals if he hasn't married them up by age 70.5). ... He has another option. He has to compute RMDs for all accounts, but can withdraw RMD total from a single account. As the...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: External auditors: Vanguard & Fidelity
Replies: 9
Views: 1282

Re: External auditors: Vanguard & Fidelity

I am almost positive that Coopers & Lybrand audited Fidelity when I worked in their Portland Maine Office in 1997. C&L merged with PW in 1998 to become PwC (famously spending $1M to a brand company that came up with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a name). I think Coopers was their auditor in 1990...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone ever "churn" investment/retirement accounts for deposit bonuses?
Replies: 11
Views: 1082

Re: Anyone ever "churn" investment/retirement accounts for deposit bonuses?

I moved $$ from Fidelity to Merrill Edge to get a bonus, but the preferred reward program has stopped me from moving it again. If I can get my wife's IRA over $100K then that will be an option to move around. When I exit my employer after my mega-merger I plan to shop for bonuses. There is a decent ...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 4410

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

I'm just not sure if converting taxable accounts to Roth is useful, if the traditional balance remains the same (future RMDs). Doesn't help with RMD's (may complicate them a bit since there will be multiple accounts which may require separate withdrawals if he hasn't married them up by age 70.5). J...
by sesq
Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 4410

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

Has already happened: Due to downsizing from very lucrative (hit the second SS bend point in 2007) tech positions (and changing technology - I'm now like a IT paleontologist), I'm at a job at a Charitable organization, single, in the 15% tax bracket, taking home just enough to pay the bills. If I w...
by sesq
Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?
Replies: 193
Views: 16941

Re: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?

Don't you have to have your wife's consent to put your assets into a trust? (BTW, I was almost broke when I married my wife 12 years ago. So all the money we have saved, we have saved together and my kids have no legitimate complaint about her marrying me for my money). Its a state law thing (not a...
by sesq
Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?
Replies: 193
Views: 16941

Re: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?

Might be a moot point because my wife is a lot younger than I am (17 years) and unless something unexpected happens she should outlive me by quite a few years, in which case she legally gets it all any way and will be the one to divide it up. You may want to consider a specific bequest to your chil...
by sesq
Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After death, is an HSA still an HSA?
Replies: 22
Views: 3930

Re: After death, is an HSA still an HSA?

I am using the HSA as a "stealth" IRA. However, due to the short circuit caused by a non-spousal inheritance I am planning to use it as the first account to draw against. I am an amputee and incur substantial out of pocket expenses. I log/save receipts and expect even with growth I should ...
by sesq
Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 3763

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

I am wearing the opposite shoe. I am losing my gig in a LCOL (maybe MCOL) area and most of my prospects are in HCOL areas. My kids are in elementary school and I need the next location to be stable for ten years to get them through high school. At that point, assuming full employment I should be FI ...
by sesq
Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA- how much do you actually invest?
Replies: 42
Views: 3236

Re: HSA- how much do you actually invest?

My HSA requires something like $5k in savings to avoid fees. I let it build up for a bit more than two years (my employer drops $1,500 in January), then this past February I moved everything in excess of $5K into VTI. I am letting all of this year's contributions build up in savings and I expect to ...
by sesq
Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "starter" vs "regular" home
Replies: 47
Views: 3686

Re: "starter" vs "regular" home

If your "starter" home has land and is well located (commute/schools/life) then you may have the option of making an addition. Then again in some areas zoning or historic restrictions may be a limitation. I move for my job. We buy the house that matches where we are right now. I hope I can...
by sesq
Tue May 31, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA for early retirement income?
Replies: 11
Views: 1199

Re: HSA for early retirement income?

I keep a spreadsheet and scan copies of my bills into my google drive. For the last 3 years my expenses have nearly matched my contributions (we have had a few procedures). There is a counter argument (bird in the hand?) which says if you put say $6K and had $500 of expenses you may as well reimburs...
by sesq
Mon May 23, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bikes
Replies: 70
Views: 3806

Re: Bikes

Funny, when I was bike commuting I used my cheap, hand me down, beat up ugly hybrid, never the expensive (to me) road bike. But I had to lock my bike in a semi-public place and I didn't want it to look interesting at all.

I would go used if $200 was my budget.
by sesq
Thu May 19, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best moving option
Replies: 15
Views: 1550

Re: Best moving option

You may want to look at the Pod's competitor ABF U-Pack. Perhaps they would be more flexible in reaching a solution.

http://www.upack.com/about/compare-portable-storage.asp
by sesq
Thu May 19, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making an Outdoor Grill Last
Replies: 39
Views: 3507

Re: Making an Outdoor Grill Last

2004 Weber, mid level propane grill. Had a vented cover - got rid of it when I read about condensation. I replaced the bars and grates a few years ago. Its due for that again. Maybe a burner since the third one is out. Its kind of long in the tooth, there are bits of rust here and there. We may dump...
by sesq
Mon May 09, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities good for living abroad?
Replies: 110
Views: 11349

Re: Cities good for living abroad?

An idea: since you want to skip the European high season, set up base camp at a holiday destination, for example the Spanish island of Mallorca. Cheaper long term rentals should be relatively easy to find off season. Additional benefit: sun and moderate temperatures during winter season https://en....
by sesq
Thu May 05, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie...request critique of early retirement thoughts...
Replies: 9
Views: 1466

Re: Newbie...request critique of early retirement thoughts...

If you are working in a job that qualifies for social security and you can keep your cost of living at $25K, your investments aren't really for retirement since you likely will qualify for a benefit in that ballpark. In fact, $25k x 27 years (67, full retirement age less 40) says you'd need a bridge...
by sesq
Thu May 05, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sci-Fi ... your favorite movies and episodes??
Replies: 145
Views: 13176

Re: Sci-Fi ... your favorite movies and episodes??

Valuethinker wrote:Let's not forget Star Blazers aka Space Cruiser Yamato. That was as good a space opera as anything by EE Doc Smith etc.


I am planning to watch it with my kids this summer. Can't wait. This show was everything to me when I was a kid around their ages. Hope it stands up to the test of time.
by sesq
Tue May 03, 2016 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of relocation packages have you gotten?
Replies: 15
Views: 2293

Re: What kind of relocation packages have you gotten?

I relo'd twice as a Manager/Director at my current employer. They paid for, and grossed me up, for the movers to come, box everything, move it and unbox at the new house. They also arranged to purchase the house from me directly UPON my assignment of an valid P&S from a qualified buyer. This mea...
by sesq
Tue May 03, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sci-Fi ... your favorite movies and episodes??
Replies: 145
Views: 13176

Re: Sci-Fi ... your favorite movies and episodes??

Seasons 3&4 of Babylon 5. Farscape.

I like "I, Robot" more than most.
by sesq
Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spouse's new job. Should we do Roth 401(k)?
Replies: 4
Views: 549

Re: Spouse's new job. Should we do Roth 401(k)?

Only a limited number of deductions reduce AGI. Itemized deductions, personal exemptions, standard deductions all reduce AGI to arrive at "Taxable Income". Look at your most recent 1040, you'll see the difference. Of course the measure for roth eligibility is not AGI, but MAGI or Modified ...
by sesq
Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 11778

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

I appreciate the posts. They give me perspective. Like some others my answer is "right now". My mega-corp is merging and rather than take a demotion I am negotiating severance. This will mean relocation and a new job and there is enough uncertainty around those issues that dealing with the...
by sesq
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay TV channels - streaming only
Replies: 15
Views: 2106

Re: Pay TV channels - streaming only

scouter wrote:Acorn TV has all the British series, at $5/month.


Thanks. I'll check it out when Dr Who comes back around.
by sesq
Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for guidance
Replies: 4
Views: 419

Re: Looking for guidance

Move the 100K to Ally and at least get 1%, FDIC insured. Move the 50K car fund there too while you are at it. You could ladder the 100K into CD's and be closer to 1.5% or 2% (at Ally). I would dump the Vanguard Tax Exempt fund straight into the mortgage. Its earning 1.43% per this link. https://pers...
by sesq
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay TV channels - streaming only
Replies: 15
Views: 2106

Re: Pay TV channels - streaming only

I would cancel cable but the wife and kids still find value in it. I mostly binge watch old tv shows on netflix and prime. I supplement this with current movie rentals via VUDU. I fund VUDU by using my discover card rewards which gives me $25 of credit on $20 "rewards" I turn in. The promo...
by sesq
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harry Potter World: Trip Advice
Replies: 30
Views: 3183

Re: Harry Potter World: Trip Advice

We stayed at the Loew's Royal Pacific. I think I cashed like 30K AA miles for a one night stay. I am mile rich and cash stingy, so it was probably only a penny a point redemption but so be it. The hotel itself was really nice. We lounged by the pool the day we checked in and then did the overpriced ...
by sesq
Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Planner - College
Replies: 29
Views: 2409

Re: Financial Planner - College

Sesq, why don't I ever get to sit on a plane next to an interesting and informative person? I always get the one who believes in . . . I better not say. The funny thing is on that flight all I wanted to do was sleep. I had been schlepped up to Boston to interview for my own job (mergers are fun) an...
by sesq
Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: OK to spend Roth funds early in retirement?
Replies: 13
Views: 2313

Re: OK to spend Roth funds early in retirement?

I'd run the numbers to see where you will be in your tax bracket this year versus in your earliest retirement years. The Roth IRA does not have RMD's, so it will benefit you when you are older than 70.5 to have more in there versus in the TSP. To that end, say you expect to be in the 25% bracket in ...
by sesq
Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance for stay at home mom?
Replies: 21
Views: 1559

Re: Life insurance for stay at home mom?

I got 20 year level term policies for my wife and I when our first child was en route. Mine was for $1M and hers was $500k. I also get a bit more on each of us as part of my employment. I have always viewed the policy on her as something that would give me options if she were to pass. Maybe I take t...
by sesq
Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a new online bank for checking (Capital One 360, Ally?)
Replies: 22
Views: 2099

Re: Need a new online bank for checking (Capital One 360, Ally?)

Anyone use or look into First Internet Bank of Indiana? Schwab looks like a decent option, but they do a hard pull which is unfortunate. I have had FIBI for over ten years. They were one of the first to do ATM rebates - although it was limited to $6/mo. I think that changed. I pull cash so rarely n...
by sesq
Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Planner - College
Replies: 29
Views: 2409

Re: Financial Planner - College

I sat on a plane with a chatty woman who does financial aid for a Boston area private school (she didn't say which one, although a past job was Wellselley). Her school uses FAFSA and CSS Profile. Being interested I asked her about the planning people do to try to maximize aid. Her reaction was swift...
by sesq
Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 185
Views: 18240

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Downton is on Amazon Prime (except for the most recent, final season).
by sesq
Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 year old newbie. How to handle $190,000 "windfall"?
Replies: 28
Views: 4686

Re: 27 year old newbie. How to handle $190,000 "windfall"?

Fund the IRA's, max the TSP, keep the apartment, and GO SLOW with the girlfriend. New love is exciting and blinding. You do not want to be married, bitter and stuck because you were too impatient to see each other in good times and in bad before escalating the commitments.
by sesq
Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?
Replies: 39
Views: 5194

Re: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?

I watched a documentary called the "Queen of Versailles" on Netflix (recommended) last night about about a family that owns a big time share operation and how things went south when access to cheap capital dried up in the financial crisis. Anyways, the footage from the team meeting to hype...
by sesq
Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've had it with USAA insurance
Replies: 26
Views: 2766

Re: I've had it with USAA insurance

My comment is suck it up. Yes it is more time consuming to quote multiple policies, but that is the solution to your quandry. I did this two years ago and I got car/home/umbrella quotes from Erie (mid-atlantic) and Amica. Both were less and I went with Erie. I may have to do this again in April if t...
by sesq
Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Division of assets in divorce
Replies: 28
Views: 3675

Re: Division of assets in divorce

Probably best to mind your own business. I am not a lawyer, but as a finance type I get asked for advice on divorces with some regularity. That said, it sounds like 20 of 25 pension earning years was in the marriage and may likely be a marital asset (beneficiary elections are likely irrelevant). Per...
by sesq
Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load
Replies: 48
Views: 4870

Re: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load

With our front loader, we religiously kept the door open in a spacious laundry room. Still got mold. Much happier with the HE top loader (whirlpool).
by sesq
Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique my budget/debt plan
Replies: 13
Views: 1365

Re: Critique my budget/debt plan

If you are able to treat the emergency fund as an emergency fund and not a slush fund you may wish to put it into a Roth IRA. You can still contribute $5,500 for 2015 (assuming your wages in 2015 were at least that much). In the future, for an emergency you can pull the principal without penalty and...

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