Search found 1961 matches

by jharkin
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Millionaire by 40 and How you Did it?
Replies: 90
Views: 9874

Re: Millionaire by 40 and How you Did it?

Hit it at age 45-close right? Son of a hardworking depression era dad set my fiscal tone. Married a beautiful, humble, giving wife. Raising 3 kids w/ old cars and no cable TV, saving as much as we can. Oh and I'm at about 17,000 PB n J's and counting...brown bag that lunch my friend! Im on track to...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning Car Battery Terminals
Replies: 26
Views: 1536

Re: Cleaning Car Battery Terminals

Next time buy an AGM battery … no corrosion. Twice the price and it does not last any longer than a regular battery. Ask how I know. And AGM has nothing whatsoever to do with terminal corrosion or lack therof. AGM batteries have lead terminals the same as standard wet sealed car batteries. They als...
by jharkin
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Negative 13.6% return in 401K for 2018
Replies: 55
Views: 5622

Re: Negative 13.6% return in 401K for 2018

You got tons of good advice above ^^^ Its normal, you ill recover.. In fact you probably will forget about this one which was just a minor blip so far. As you will learn the more you read around here, most moves you might try to make to avoid such situations are actually counterproductive in the lon...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time homebuying
Replies: 17
Views: 1175

Re: First-time homebuying

This isn't true for Roth 401(k) contributions, right? The roth 401(k) could be rolled over to a Roth IRA, and then the contributions to the Roth 401(k) are available to withdraw without penalty. Its not so simple. #1 - Depending on your employers rules, this may only be an option if the "emergency"...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time homebuying
Replies: 17
Views: 1175

Re: First-time homebuying

It seems to me that if the house is 3x either of your incomes that means the house is 1.5x your total income. To me it makes no sense why you wouldn’t be able to come up with 20% to avoid PMI. You should be able to save that in a few months. You should have more money than you need when you buy a h...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is buying a $700K first home crazy?
Replies: 70
Views: 7236

Re: Is buying a $700K first home crazy?

If your income is stable and 700k is a resalable market price for a house that fits your needs (i.e. not some 8 bathrom McMansion that you will never fully utilize) than I dont see why not... your ratios are well within the range that's typically considered safe. Think of it like this.. If some youn...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Battery
Replies: 48
Views: 3121

Re: Car Battery

It's probably a bunch of woowoo, but there's clearly more going on with some of those chargers than a simple voltage/current monitoring. It probably doesn't matter much, and I've never had any sulfation issues with my very basic charger. Sulfation doesn't occur during charging. It occurs when a bat...
by jharkin
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?
Replies: 81
Views: 6235

Re: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?

I already voted upstream, but I want to cheat and put in another vote for Mass. Consider my second vote as being cast on my wife's behalf :D Taxes are a bit higher than JackFFR suggested ("Middle of the road taxes,") but on the bright side, we get a lot for our tax dollars (contrast to NJ with its ...
by jharkin
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washer dryer rec
Replies: 22
Views: 1492

Re: washer dryer rec

My Maytag toploader has run for 35 years without problems until this week. It now has an intermittent water leak underneath but the machine still washes well. Might be the pump. Those old top loaders are extremely simple machines. I have a 90s vintage Kenmore (rebranded Whirlpool) and the pump is a...
by jharkin
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?
Replies: 81
Views: 6235

Re: What do you think are (some of) the best states to live in?

Florida in the winter and Massachusetts in the summer. +1 Massachusetts gets a bad rap but other than the hectic pace of life its actually a very nice place to live IF you work in a high salary industry. * Lots of high tech, bio/pharma, and finance jobs within the Boston metro. * Our taxes are actu...
by jharkin
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we at "Peak FI"?
Replies: 93
Views: 9838

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

A couple of my observations: -I've never heard FIRE mentioned outside of the internet. And rarely outside of Bogleheads or Reddit. I even work with a bunch of younger (non-tech) engineers, and while they tend to be fiscally conservative types, I get the sense that most of them aren't trying to live...
by jharkin
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20161

Re: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now

[ THIS^^^^^x100 :moneybag :moneybag jharkin is giving you an excellent and easy to follow plan that will lead to you and your wife becoming financially solvent. I hope you follow his advice as it makes a lot of sense. Thanks. And to the OP I would like to stress - this IS FIXABLE. People have recov...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20161

Re: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now

Without reading every reply in detail the #1 thing you have to realize that is the credit cards are not your problem. they are just a symptom - Your true problem is that you are living a mid 6 figure lifestyle with a 5 figure income. You HAVE to break the over spending cycle. Bankruptcy would just b...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At 95% loan to value with PMI. Refinance or pay down to 80%, or keep $ invested?
Replies: 8
Views: 472

Re: At 95% loan to value with PMI. Refinance or pay down to 80%, or keep $ invested?

np... The other thing I notice in his plan: a 457b + 403b suggests he is likely working in government, eduction, healthcare or some nonprofit. If its anything government (or public education with a state pension) then the WEP rules might reduce or nearly eliminate his SS - drastically altering his p...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At 95% loan to value with PMI. Refinance or pay down to 80%, or keep $ invested?
Replies: 8
Views: 472

Re: At 95% loan to value with PMI. Refinance or pay down to 80%, or keep $ invested?

He is saying the 5% equity is 2% of his net worth. Doing the math backward I estimate his net worth around 800k. If he is saving a 457 and a little 403b he is adding maybe 20-25k per year. With a 5 year retirement target that will mean a bit over $1MM to last 15 years until pension, Medicare and SS ...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HRBlock Appears to be Calculating Tax Wrong 1/4/2019
Replies: 25
Views: 2149

Re: HRBlock Appears to be Calculating Tax Wrong 1/4/2019

Given the size of the discrepancy, the importance of it, and the general difficulty of debugging and SQA-ing software, it seems to me that the line of least resistance would be purchase TurboTax as well, enter the same data into both, and see if they get the same results. If they come up with diffe...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a pay cut now for potential of higher pay later
Replies: 19
Views: 1538

Re: Taking a pay cut now for potential of higher pay later

OP said days, nights and weekends. If he is working 80 hours a week and taking no vacations is more like $40/hr not 200. If the salary job has full benefits and paid vacation it’s probably more than worth it for the stress reduction and growth potential ( and actually more pay per hour). I’d just be...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Growth projection percentage (6%?) and young retirement withdrawl rate (4%?)
Replies: 16
Views: 986

Re: Growth projection percentage (6%?) and young retirement withdrawl rate (4%?)

For Americans, who are not covered by state health insurance until they are 65, a particular problem is forecasting insurance costs between retirement and getting Medicare. That's a very significant uncertainty which would bias me towards staying in the workforce for as long as possible. With dilig...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Growth projection percentage (6%?) and young retirement withdrawl rate (4%?)
Replies: 16
Views: 986

Re: Growth projection percentage (6%?) and young retirement withdrawl rate (4%?)

I think I'm generally in line with what folks posted above... In my projection I assume: * Inflation 2% * stock s 6% nominal (4% real) * bonds 3% nominal (1% real) * fixed income/mm 1-2% nominal (-1% to 0% real) But then I also use tool like firecalc to sanity check (backtesting). And all of this is...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your ideal home size
Replies: 130
Views: 8271

Re: Your ideal home size

Interesting the range of perspective on sizes here, and especially refreshing to see more people on the smaller size considering some of the high incomes. Right now we have 4 people living in 1380sq ft of finished space with only one bathroom (and about 1/3 of that space is on a cape upper floor wit...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance overview feedback and some questions
Replies: 3
Views: 285

Re: Finance overview feedback and some questions

First off, I would let the anxiety go. really. You already worth over $3MM. You are better off than nearly 97% of people in this country financially. 99% by income. 99.9% of people in the world. Think about it... even if you never saved another dime in your 401k and the market tanks 1929 style, in 2...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on a family SUV.
Replies: 63
Views: 2512

Re: Looking for recommendations on a family SUV.

Lots of people will say that a compact SUV like a RAV or CRV is fine for 2 kids... well all I can say is they must never have road tripped with toddlers. When we had 2 toddlers we practically had to get a roof box for the pilot with all the pack and plays, high chairs, diaper bags, etc etc you need ...
by jharkin
Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions sought $3.5 M Net Worth
Replies: 76
Views: 8883

Re: Opinions sought $3.5 M Net Worth

I’m not sure how this is even a question. OP has $3mm + 800k trust and a paid of house. Call it 3.8mm of investable assets of which only 1.2mm is pretax, rest is after tax and cash. Over 40 years he could leave it in a savings account!! and still draw down 90k a year or so. Invested conservatively, ...
by jharkin
Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Contrast between the haves and the have nots
Replies: 10
Views: 2206

Contrast between the haves and the have nots

A recent article came up in my newsfeed on a new retirement savings study done by Kiplingers and Personal Capital: https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T047-C000-S002-saving-for-retirement-how-do-you-stack-up.html Considering all the news about low saving rates in this county I was quite sur...
by jharkin
Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep Calm and Boglehead On!
Replies: 36
Views: 5474

Re: Keep Calm and Boglehead On!

Can’t speak for grok but if he’s saying that Bogleheads should guard against complacency, or any idea that we have the “magic sauce” that guarantees we’ll be definitely OK “if we Stay the Course,” then that’s worth reflecting on. We like to say that “we don’t know nuthin,” can’t predict the future ...
by jharkin
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 903
Views: 232620

Re: What is your Year 2018 networth change?

Well lets see... First off you are not discussing net worth. You are discussing the value of your investment portfolio. Your "net worth" includes everything else - value of real assets, vehicles, personal possessions, other accounts such as short term savings, checking, cash... minus any debts. Seco...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to afford a sports car?
Replies: 128
Views: 8930

Re: How to afford a sports car?

“28 is very old” The day will come that you will look back and it will seem very young. And you will kick yourself for still having to get up at 6 am and go to work because you spent frivolously in your 20s. Having $1k a month to save at 24 is amazing... I barely managed a couple hundred. I had frie...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do people buy- performance cars?
Replies: 67
Views: 2361

Re: Why do people buy- performance cars?

Acura TLX is not a performance car. +1 I don't even know why they make those when an Accord V6 is the better option. Not to mention the accord sport 2.0T/6MT is more fun to drive than either. Or better yet... You know it’s coming... Wait for it... Miata :) OP, like everyone says, if you have to ask...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5465

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

I had a friend in college that received a grant covering all tuition and even money toward housing. Since the grant was paying for everything he eventually took the money his father saved for tuition and bought a new house. I'm not sure exactly how much cash daddy had given him for college but afte...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economy car vs Luxury - confirmation of a good decision
Replies: 29
Views: 1669

Re: Economy car vs Luxury - confirmation of a good decision

You know... Ive driven Audi's, BMWs, and Mercedes owned by friends and relatives. All beautiful veshicles, superbly comfortable, and in hte case of hte first two a total blast to drive. But then I hear these horror stories of recurring 4 figure repair bills and the massive depreciation. And I go bac...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: brick-and-mortar vs online bank
Replies: 50
Views: 2624

Re: brick-and-mortar vs online bank

I keep a BofA checking account for this reason. The only thing I have to do to keep it free is direct deposit my paycheck there. I use it for check writing and bill pay and just transfer out long term money to my online savings or brokerage. There are so many options out htere for free accounts you ...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nobody asked me but
Replies: 46
Views: 4583

Re: Nobody asked me but

I feel like I'm reading a coded language. Daily range of what? Traveled distance to where? Actual change of what? I have relatives that do this all the time, start a conversation apparently in the middle of a train of though and start spouting off facts/numbers with no context. Then get upset when I...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MIL looking for a large "luxury" sedan
Replies: 51
Views: 4979

Re: MIL looking for a large "luxury" sedan

Is this thread a joke?
OP makes a serious request for recommendations for their mom who has a 30k budget and obviously sticks with reliable Japanese cars.. and you guys are recommending money pit Benzs Maybachs and Bimmers? :oops:
by jharkin
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What common everyday inconvenience have you intentionally suffered for frugality?
Replies: 152
Views: 9281

Re: What common everyday inconvenience have you intentionally suffered for frugality?

You'd feel right at home over at MMM if changing your remote battery seems a bit spendy. +1000 A $0.50 fob battery??? If you are trying to be ultra frugal sell the new car and buy a cheap used car that doesn't have keyless entry. That will make more of an impact than 10 lifetimes worth of cheaping ...
by jharkin
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Online Game Teaches Investing
Replies: 5
Views: 997

Re: New Online Game Teaches Investing

On my iPad it would only work in Safari, not chrome..... and it was difficult to play because it moves so fast for the clumsy touch screen keyboard input. I did play it though on PC... it was fun, but you constantly feel like you are racing against the clock to move money around. I liked the fact th...
by jharkin
Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Now is the time to REJOICE!
Replies: 102
Views: 11628

Re: Now is the time to REJOICE!

My portfolio drifted a few % higher in bonds than target. Not strictly required but I did a small rebalance in one Roth, and adjusted future contributions on my 401k a couple points heavier to US stocks. All in barely into low 5 figures of changes, but at least it defuses the urge to "do something"...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)
Replies: 57
Views: 2771

Re: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)

Well everything is relative... those Sherborn prices may be low considering the massive multi-acre estates some of those grand houses are built on, but they are still priced out of reach for most of us. Interesting that I'm probably less than 5 miles from you, and my house cost less than 1/4 of what...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)
Replies: 57
Views: 2771

Re: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)

Ok, you got me. I was thinking of the Wellesley Hills stop... your right it is commuter rail not T. Brain fart. As to Newton. Nice town sure, and I’ve lived there twice over the last 25 years. But it’s far from the only nice area to live around here. And even the worst school system of all the towns...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Now is the time to REJOICE!
Replies: 102
Views: 11628

Re: Now is the time to REJOICE!

My portfolio drifted a few % higher in bonds than target. Not strictly required but I did a small rebalance in one Roth, and adjusted future contributions on my 401k a couple points heavier to US stocks. All in barely into low 5 figures of changes, but at least it defuses the urge to "do something" ...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)
Replies: 57
Views: 2771

Re: Home purchase: how to effectively trade off location & price? (Boston area)

What are your main factors in this choice? Do you work downtown and looking for a good commute? Cambridge and Belmont are nice areas sure, but I wouldn’t want to live there... too crowded and urban for me. I find it odd you pick Medway as a 495 option... Hopkinton, Ashland, Holliston, etc are all on...
by jharkin
Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - now showing Jan 21]
Replies: 52
Views: 6587

Re: Impressive film in theater Dec 17 and 27 only

I heard about this recently and being a history buff I just have to see it... unfortunately the holiday week is already stuffed with plans.... and its not exactly something I can drag my young children to. On the bright side, I think I read somewhere there is going to be a second round wider release...
by jharkin
Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck Insurance Deductions Tax Deductible with Std. Deduction?
Replies: 5
Views: 269

Re: Paycheck Insurance Deductions Tax Deductible with Std. Deduction?

No worries , if your employer takes them out pretax then it directly reduced the box 1 total wages on the W2, this is what goes on the first line of the 1040
by jharkin
Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cox Cable -- Should I Switch to Verizon?
Replies: 25
Views: 1305

Re: Cox Cable -- Should I Switch to Verizon?

Verizon it TERRIBLE. Internet goes off several times a day. Can't get ANYONE to address the problem....it's SO spotty I have HUGHESNET as a backup, which is too expensive to have more than enough data to read articles basically ( no streaming or videos).. Customer "service" is non-existent with ver...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having minor panic about finances with second child, best way to budget?
Replies: 54
Views: 3040

Re: Having minor panic about finances with second child, best way to budget?

Stop the ESPP purchases - nothing worse than losing employment at the same time holding company stock. Now you have $16K. Why? As long as there is no mandatory holding period, a good ESPP with a lookback is free money. Just have a standing sell order to flip the shares as soon as they vest each cyc...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Having minor panic about finances with second child, best way to budget?
Replies: 54
Views: 3040

Re: Having minor panic about finances with second child, best way to budget?

OK, forgetting for a moment the folks in a bubble that think 200-300k is middle class. Its not but still it doesn't mean you have carte blanch to whip out the amex black card. Childcare is waaaaay too much on that income... We make a little more than that combined and I thought it was crazy expensiv...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why contribute to retirement funds?
Replies: 43
Views: 3226

Re: Why contribute to retirement funds?

If you are making 200-300k, maxing out 401K at 19k should not even be noticeable for you. And you get to save 5-6k in taxes that you can put in a taxable account. Win-win You do realize that 99% of people don't make 200-300k ? Lots of other ways to bridge an early retirement than just saving lots i...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank offered free interest rate reduction
Replies: 24
Views: 1790

Re: Bank offered free interest rate reduction

9 out of 10 times it was because they lost/couldn't find the original note and therefore had an exposed loan. Or the existing note was deemed useless due to an error. This happened a lot during bank acquisitions/acquired loans. Offering a rate discount is an easy excuse to get you to sign a new not...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457 vs 403b
Replies: 110
Views: 7057

Re: 457 vs 403b

You'll have to look into the specific language of your pension plan, but I would be suprised if 457 contributions had any effect - as I suspect they are taking money out for the pension regardless of what you put into 457. I know in the case of Massachusetts, most public school employees are in the ...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Rule for Home appreciation over 25 year+ period?
Replies: 48
Views: 2507

Re: General Rule for Home appreciation over 25 year+ period?

It gets complicated. From one perspective since homes are constantly depreciating and getting older, by the time they are 100 years old many will be pretty tired and the neighborhoods they are in may be well past their prime. Some houses will not even make it to be 100 years old and few will make i...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FAANG
Replies: 48
Views: 3700

Re: FAANG

I am not saying that the FAANGs are identical to the dotcoms... I am saying that the blind faith that they can never go down seems eerily similar. I dont always agree with him but I think Klang makes a very good point that these companies have got so big, so fast, its hard to see how than can grow s...