Search found 386 matches

by mattshwink
Wed May 06, 2020 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2952
Views: 229016

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Certainly interesting times. Currently working with Keystone (locked 2.75/2.854% APR 30 yr). First Mortgage Direct Quote 3% with 0 fees/points but no other details (I hate when they don't send me an APR upfront - makes it hard to compare). Loan Depot also was quoting me 3.125% but I think it was alm...
by mattshwink
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are your personal expenses down during stay home and shelter?
Replies: 180
Views: 10882

Re: How much have YOU reduced spending during downturns?

I feel that we are spending less, but it hasn't hit yet. Last month we were the same, even though I am commuting less and we have not had child care in three weeks. But after looking at last month I realized why: We paid tithe for the first three months last month, we paid childcare (they told us th...
by mattshwink
Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IPS Suggestion
Replies: 15
Views: 681

Re: IPS Suggestion

So I'm not 100% equities anymore (haven't been for five+ years, starting moving slowly into bonds as I get older) but I'm 90/10. Staying the course, not nervous. Even if the market falls further I'll still do nothing.
by mattshwink
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who is staying course and how are you dealing with net worth going down?
Replies: 359
Views: 26575

Re: Who is staying course and how are you dealing with net worth going down?

I was trying to get to 90/10 this year, and was off at the end of last year thanks to the runup and getting a year older. So I switching my 401k to bonds this year and bought bonds with my wife and my Roth IRAs. We'll see where the year goes from hear. With the S&P down roughly 16% I suspect we are ...
by mattshwink
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attn: Social Security Experts **question**
Replies: 33
Views: 3207

Re: Attn: Social Security Experts **question**

Because the W2 information is not required until March 31st. I am surprised that programs updating statement data would be done already. According to the Internal Revenue Service, W-2 forms should be mailed out to employees by no later than January 31. It's not clear where you got the March 31 date...
by mattshwink
Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 19303
Views: 2679433

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

I hate this stage in a drop. Not down enough to make me want to buy, but down enough to stirs emotions. It's is different this time when you consider the possible election outcome, virus, and late in the business cycle. Perfect storm brewing? It's always different. Every time. Spend a day and read ...
by mattshwink
Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what age did you begin adding bonds?
Replies: 138
Views: 7549

Re: At what age did you begin adding bonds?

So my wife added a target date fund which her contributions have been going to for about ~10 years, so since about age 35. But our bond percentage has been really low (<5%) until the last few years. Currently my target is 10% bonds at age 45 (2020). We will be adding 2% bonds a year until age 60, wh...
by mattshwink
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k options -- give your recommendation
Replies: 12
Views: 812

Re: 401k options -- give your recommendation

So you list in the first part of your post that your Tax rate is 22% Federal but then in the notes it is 12%. Both of those cannot be true :) Also, it seems to me you are not maxing your 401k ($19,500 for 2020 for those under 50). So with that if you are not maxing Roth is a moot point. You want to ...
by mattshwink
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you/did you spend your bonus on?
Replies: 103
Views: 8071

Re: What do you/did you spend your bonus on?

My wife gets a five figure bonus at the end of February each year which is about 18% of her income for the year in one check (and she still gets her normal paychecks as well). It goes straight to the checking account. Once our checking account hits a threshold we will spend a little of it (make an e...
by mattshwink
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Silly Not To Cut And Run?
Replies: 15
Views: 3764

Re: Am I Silly Not To Cut And Run?

...The formulas can be really complex,as each plan has its own rules and PBGC has limits (set in Federal Law) on the maximum benefits paid per month. As the OP stated, lump sum can be affected to. But I wouldn't worry about benefits being paid (and the OP stated they are under the max limit). The q...
by mattshwink
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Silly Not To Cut And Run?
Replies: 15
Views: 3764

Re: Am I Silly Not To Cut And Run?

How much have you researched the PBGC? I do not know anyone who has ever used it, but having seen other government programs in action, I suspect that the reality is not quite as rosy as people who might use it think. I would research this very carefully and very soon before making a decision... So ...
by mattshwink
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)
Replies: 357
Views: 44012

Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Area: Wash DC metro (live in NVa, work in DC) Degree: None Title: Systems Engineer III (IT infrastructure/security, cloud) Salary: $179,000 (may also get some small bonuses this year, 3k-10k) 401k match: 3% up to $5,000 max Stock:. Private company, 2,000 shares, maybe worth $4k, maybe nothing Vacati...
by mattshwink
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Death of The Stretch IRA
Replies: 153
Views: 11102

Re: The Death of The Stretch IRA

So once we realized that we had implicitly agreed to delay the taxes until 70.5, paying them as was expected was not that big a deal, once the owner realized the taxes were DEFERRED, not FORGIVEN. Similarly, the accounts were meant for our retirement years, not for estate planning needs. I'm not su...
by mattshwink
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMD how do you use them?
Replies: 42
Views: 3023

Re: RMD how do you use them?

I have a relatively small RMD (~$2,500) from some inherited IRAs that I use to pay federal taxes (have 100% taxes withheld). I have less withheld from my paycheck throughout the year so I owe a little federal tax each year. My plan for retirement will be to do at least some Roth conversions before 7...
by mattshwink
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $1 in 2010 = $90,000 in Bitcoin 2020
Replies: 62
Views: 5317

Re: $1 in 2010 = $90,000 in Bitcoin 2020

Who are these people that are willing to pay $1 for bitcoin (let alone $90,000), and what are they doing with it that makes it worth money? If/when a majority of bitcoin holders try to sell bitcoin/trade it in for money, would it be worth anything to anyone? The first question is both easy and hard...
by mattshwink
Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3074
Views: 536690

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

2019 Retirement Return: 28.32% (excluding contributions). Roughly 94/6. Last year through my AA somewhat out of whack somewhat (should be 88/12). Fixing some with IRAs and 401k changes (moving provider so will move existing funds and contributions to bonds). 2019 529 Return: 24% (excluding contribut...
by mattshwink
Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 1624
Views: 411953

Re: Share your net worth progression

January 1, 2010: $274,575.39 January 1, 2011: $390,550.76 January 1, 2012: $432,760.24 January 1, 2013: $612,438.00 January 1, 2014: $828,576.98 January 1, 2015: $1,120,689.09 January 1, 2016: $1,220,777.29 January 1, 2017: $1,169,978.45 January 1, 2018: $1,428,592.40 January 1, 2019: $1,388,467.32 ...
by mattshwink
Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When should I take my RMD from an inherited IRA
Replies: 19
Views: 1328

Re: When should I take my RMD from an inherited IRA

I may be doing the math wrong, but if I take $20,000 on Jan 1, after tax I have $12,400. If it appreciates 6% and I sell it Dec 31, I have $12,965 after about 24% of investment tax and cap gains tax. If I just let it appreciate the 6% till Dec 31, then withdraw it, I now have $13,144. Is my math wr...
by mattshwink
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA - so who hit 'enter' at 12:01AM this morning?
Replies: 113
Views: 10969

Re: Roth IRA - so who hit 'enter' at 12:01AM this morning?

Roughly 10AM here for both mine and my wife's IRAs. Will see when the EFT goes through and I can convert to Roth IRAs. Usually takes a couple of days.
by mattshwink
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Computer with or without SSD?
Replies: 79
Views: 5881

Re: New Computer with or without SSD?

I completely agree with Jester. I have a laptop that is about five years old with a SSD, no issues. I bought my wife a laptop a year ago and would only consider models with a SSD. I also don't have a need for a mechanical drive as SSDs have gotten larger (though not as large as mechanical drives). I...
by mattshwink
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Withdrawals
Replies: 3
Views: 491

Re: Roth IRA Withdrawals

1. If this is true, does the institution track the principle value vs the gains? Would I need to somehow manually call in or write them to request a withdrawal of just the principle? Yes, I can see my cost basis for "original" accounts. But rollovers usually do not track basis (so if you have rolle...
by mattshwink
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 9488

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Are withdrawals from child's or parent's 529 counted as income to the child's income in the appropriate year? If not, sounds like it is better to not have it in grandparents' names in that case. 529's are parental assets for the benefit of the child. They count as parental assets. Qualified (for ed...
by mattshwink
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 9488

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to suffer a massive drop in income later on down the road (IDK, say it is cut in 1/2 by the time college is approaching), does that change the equation in terms of what instrument to put excess cash now ? What I mean is, if it becomes a question of assets and inco...
by mattshwink
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?
Replies: 16
Views: 1058

Re: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?

Another vote for the Advantium. Had an over the stove model in our townhouse and now have a cabinet model in our single family home. Love the advantium and never had an issue. They can be expensive, but Sears Outlet has lots of discounted units, though it depends on if you have a local one and if th...
by mattshwink
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529: Should account be under parent name or student's?
Replies: 12
Views: 1134

Re: 529: Should account be under parent name or student's?

crypto11 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:50 pm
so 529 may hurt chances for financial aid.
What about scholarships (merit)? Does a 529 also makes one less likely to get a merit scholarship?
Merit scholarships are not impacted by 529s. And, to be clear, any parental assets impact financial aid. These include taxable accounts, home, etc.
by mattshwink
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 10788

Re: How old is your cellphone?

OnePlus 6t bought in January of this year. Replaced a Note 4 I had for four years (dropped it in the garage and shattered the screen while watching a video on how to fix the snowblower - snowblower was fixed but needed a new phone). I hope to have the 6t for four years as well.
by mattshwink
Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on selling real estate (Family Property)
Replies: 30
Views: 2420

Re: Advice on selling real estate (Family Property)

Sorry to be harsh, but selling a piece of property is not worth strife in your marriage. Sell it. If your grandparents are fine with it, no one else has reason to object.

Also, if you are not looking for work now, get to it. No time like the present to move on.
by mattshwink
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited IRA investments
Replies: 13
Views: 1750

Re: Inherited IRA investments

How do you know the stock and bond markets are "high" priced? Are they high compared to what they will be next year? 5 years from now? 10? A 3% withdrawal rate is very safe, even 4% would last a good long time. You should be thinking about how these will be invested for the "long" term and not neces...
by mattshwink
Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What makes your dream house so special?
Replies: 41
Views: 3408

Re: What makes your dream house so special?

1. Lot Size. In the surrounding area lots are generally 0.25 acres or smaller. All the houses in our neighborhood are ~0.6 acres 2. "Custom" House for good price - bought a short sale and was able to gut kitchen, master bath, guest bath. Have huge island, hand-picked appliances, everything we wanted...
by mattshwink
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sudden infusion of cash “problems”
Replies: 26
Views: 2559

Re: Sudden infusion of cash “problems”

You're secure. Don't try to time the market. I wouldn't prepay the mortgage at 2.9%, but then again you're not getting much (if any) deduction on interest. It is a guaranteed return. But honestly, you don't need guaranteed. You don't need the money for at least ten years. We don't know what tomorrow...
by mattshwink
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?

No children in college right now. My oldest son is a senior and graduates in 2020. I have 2 twins that graduate in 2022. I rolled my daughter's unused funds to my oldest son. We have not fully funded our IRAs yet and were planning on doing so. That still leaves almost $22,000 to possibly invest int...
by mattshwink
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?

No children in college right now. My oldest son is a senior and graduates in 2020. I have 2 twins that graduate in 2022. I rolled my daughter's unused funds to my oldest son. We have not fully funded our IRAs yet and were planning on doing so. That still leaves almost $22,000 to possibly invest int...
by mattshwink
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Investing large sum into 529 plans wise?

I can contribute up to $4,000 per beneficiary. Thanks for pointing that out, had not thought about that. When you mention using a combination of US Stock Index Funds and US Savings Bonds, are you suggesting setting this up myself (I recently created a Vanguard account) or using these strategies wit...
by mattshwink
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dept Outsourced - Job Worries - Need your Advises
Replies: 69
Views: 7970

Re: Dept Outsourced - Job Worries - Need your Advises

First - good luck to you. It can be a stressful time. While not outsourced I work as a federal IT contractor and contracts end/are awarded to a different team. Being in this field for 20+ years (same as you, I am 44) and being a contractor 11 years of that has taught me to be flexible. I was in the ...
by mattshwink
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 19303
Views: 2679433

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

Perhaps the 100% stock investors are learning something about risk. I was 100% in 2008. I stayed the course. I was ~94% last year. I stayed the course. I was between 92% and 94% on Monday. I stayed the course. I didn't learn anything new, I reaffirmed what I already knew - I have a higher than aver...
by mattshwink
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Oh geeze. How should I pay for this? Walk me off the ledge
Replies: 52
Views: 6693

Re: Oh geeze. How should I pay for this? Walk me off the ledge

#2.

But if you had a HSA or FSA that would be a good option. But if you don't, you can't start them now (requires plan year setup). But with kids, one of those can still be useful....
by mattshwink
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you getting rid of your gas appliances?
Replies: 43
Views: 3421

Re: Are you getting rid of your gas appliances?

No, we went the opposite way three years ago. The house (short sale) we bought had a 50 gallon water heater (replace with gas tankless), two gas log fireplaces (replaced with gas fireplaces as they were 30 years old) , replaced the 30" electric cooktop with a 36" gas range, and replaced the furnace....
by mattshwink
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 55
Views: 7870

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

Used Amerisave for a purchase in 2005, goodmortgage.com for a refi in 2012, aimloan for a purchase in 2016. All were responsive and didn't have any issues (even with the 2016 purchase being a short sale). All were responsive and easy to use. For the goodmortgage refi, they even came to the house to ...
by mattshwink
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One data breach
Replies: 56
Views: 5616

Re: Capital One data breach

I used to periodically have lunch with an ex collegue who was a security manager for capital one a few years ago... it amazed me how he described them spinning up VM's in AWS and migrating systems month to month... rather than patch Software they would just migrate everything from an old VM to a ne...
by mattshwink
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apollo 11 (In Real Time)
Replies: 62
Views: 5787

Re: Apollo 11 (In Real Time)

I went last night to the National Mall with my 7 y/o daughter. They played the launch and landing on the Washington Monument, complete with a replica of the countdown clock and extra screens showing other scenes. It was amazing. We also went to Air and Space and they celebrated the exact moment Neil...
by mattshwink
Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 - lump sum or annual?
Replies: 13
Views: 1053

Re: 529 - lump sum or annual?

Not all 529 plans allow for frequent trading - they cap the number of trades per year. So putting it all in cash/bonds and then DCA from within the 529 by monthly re-allocation might not be feasible. While frequent trading caps are in place in a lot of 529 plans, this generally means you can only s...
by mattshwink
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited ira
Replies: 21
Views: 2138

Re: Inherited ira

Question for the forum: my father recently passed away away as a Virginia resident and named my sister and i as beneficiaries of his tira I spoke with the firm today and was presented three options: 1) roll over beneficiary ira. 2) 5 year plan, draw account down by year 5, and 3) lump sum pay tax n...
by mattshwink
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At What Age or Point in your Career did your investments start outweighing your regular paychecks?
Replies: 85
Views: 12869

Re: At What Age or Point in your Career did your investments start outweighing your regular paychecks?

I know this question is sort of vague but at what point did the earnings from your investments significantly outweigh any regular income you receive from your 9-5 job? I am still youngish at 29 but with 100k in investments, it already feels more significant than my 60k a year in salary income. Or a...
by mattshwink
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Federal employee financial planning question
Replies: 33
Views: 3819

Re: Federal employee finanacial planning question

Hi So I am a federal employee who can retire in about 9 years and it's just me. My TSP is valued at approximately 650k (80-C, 10-S, and 10-I), I have a Vanguard account with about 25k among total stock, total bond, and total international funds (3 fund theory) as wells as approximately 6k in a Roth...
by mattshwink
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Drawing down Inherited IRA vs. Roth Conversions
Replies: 13
Views: 1126

Re: Drawing down Inherited IRA vs. Roth Conversions

Assuming one has ample tax bracket "space" during early (pre-65) retirement to draw down an inherited stretch (non spousal) IRA or convert TIRAs to Roth, is it generally advisable to prioritize the Roth conversions (vs. drawing down more than the RMDs in the inherited IRA) to maximize tax free grow...
by mattshwink
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-
Replies: 14
Views: 1150

Re: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-

Got my wife a HP Spectre x360 (i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for personal use and travel. We got it on a Cyber Monday deal for $950 (with tax). She loves it. She even has had times where it's useful to fold it and use it as a tablet. I previously (for work) had a Surface Pro 4 (with a Surface Dock at work...
by mattshwink
Mon May 27, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tankless water heater?
Replies: 37
Views: 4019

Re: tankless water heater?

We bought a short sale and put a good bit into fixing it up. One of those things we as replacing an old 50 gallon gas tank water heater with a gas tankless. It uses so little energy. From spring-fall my gas bill is only a few dollars for gas delivery (taxes and connection fees are higher then the ac...
by mattshwink
Mon May 20, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convince me that a 529 plan is a good idea.
Replies: 42
Views: 4782

Re: Convince me that a 529 plan is a good idea.

I'll be back to try to answer some. But, thank you for posting some of the #'s. My issue is how do you qualify the risk of not using the funding for college because sometime in the next 20 years college becomes free. I view this the same way I view tax rates in retirement. I have no idea what they ...
by mattshwink
Mon May 20, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Ready for Windows 10
Replies: 39
Views: 3453

Re: Getting Ready for Windows 10

Norton Ghost doesn’t run on WIndows 10, so I intend to use Macrium Reflect 7 free edition for image backups. Anything I should be aware of here? One issue is I use the NIS Deluxe cloud backup feature for some files, so I’ll need to find a different solution. It appears IDrive has a Basic plan with ...