Search found 203 matches

by fittan
Thu May 23, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage almost paid off
Replies: 31
Views: 3376

Re: Mortgage almost paid off

And don't forget to call your town assessor office. Make sure you receive paper statement for your property tax bill. If your town has online bill pay, it is quite easy to pay your property tax every quarter online.
by fittan
Thu May 23, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2022

Re: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement

I am all for owning a home to build equity but I think renting could be a advantageous in your particular situation. As you're aware, owning a home cost a lot of money AND time. In addition you have to worry about when the big ticket items like roof, water heater, furnace, AC, exterior paint, water ...
by fittan
Thu May 23, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement
Replies: 23
Views: 2022

Re: Changing from owning to renting a home for retirement

I expect to transition from owning to renting, tho more accurately owning a home to owning a 'share' in housing co-op. Or a ROC (resident owned community). More along the lines of Fixed 'Rents' (actually 'reserves / (taxes and Maint)). I travel a lot and am keen on finding (or building) a rural cot...
by fittan
Wed May 22, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Do Homeowners Have Higher Net Worths than Renters?
Replies: 30
Views: 2384

Re: Why Do Homeowners Have Higher Net Worths than Renters?

rocket354 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:54 am
Why do Lamborghini owners have higher net worths than Kia owners?
Oh I have another one. Because lambo owners get to their destination faster. You know what they say "time equals money".
by fittan
Wed May 22, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Do Homeowners Have Higher Net Worths than Renters?
Replies: 30
Views: 2384

Re: Why Do Homeowners Have Higher Net Worths than Renters?

rocket354 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:54 am
Why do Lamborghini owners have higher net worths than Kia owners?
Because KIA depreciates....A LOT?

Oh...I have another one. Because Lambo driver gets to their destination faster. You know what they say "time equals money".
by fittan
Wed May 15, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 76
Views: 5809

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

You’re so young that an extra $10k now could easily be worth $2M-$5M later in life. I’d expand the search to include the 2015+ Kia Forte and buy used. Whatever you buy please inspect it and drive it safely. Good luck! You’re so young that an extra $10k now could easily be worth $2M-$5M later in lif...
by fittan
Tue May 14, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 76
Views: 5809

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Lots of differing advice here. You can afford a new car. Get something you like because 10 years is a long time. Toyota and Honda are fine but expand your list. There are many brands more reliable than Honda. Maybe a Subaru crosstrek. They are very nice. Also good options from Mazda, Hyundai and Ki...
by fittan
Tue May 14, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 76
Views: 5809

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

If I am you.... 1) I will avoid buying new due to the much higher expenses. You'll need to pay "destination fee" for about $1K, your insurance premium and excise tax will go up and of course you'll need to pay higher sales tax. Everything adds up. Noted. I do acknowledge and will take into consider...
by fittan
Tue May 14, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 76
Views: 5809

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

If I am you.... 1) I will avoid buying new due to the much higher expenses. You'll need to pay "destination fee" for about $1K, your insurance premium and excise tax will go up and of course you'll need to pay higher sales tax. Everything adds up. 2) I would buy a 3 year old Accord (or similar) that...
by fittan
Thu May 02, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car shopping advice (sanity check)
Replies: 56
Views: 5059

Re: Car shopping advice (sanity check)

OP, I am in similar situation. Have a 2008 RAV4 with 150K miles. Good, reliable car, nothing wrong but I am itching to "upgrade". Financially I am more stable since I am much older. Anyway here's my 2 cents... 1) You are in a great financial position. Good income, young, no debts and no major expens...
by fittan
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying car using carvana.com
Replies: 22
Views: 1768

Buying car using carvana.com

Hi fellow BH,
Has anyone had experience buying car from carvana.com? Seems legit. All their cars have clean carfax with no accident. They deliver to your house and they are no dealer or documentation fee. And they also provide a no question ask 7 day return policy.
by fittan
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those with years on me...Can I afford this home?
Replies: 70
Views: 4734

Re: For those with years on me...Can I afford this home?

As other have said, with the amount of cash, stocks and equity on hand, you have more than enough to buy this new home. I think it is a question of wants vs needs. That said, I am in similar situation as you, age wise, with young kids, same size house, net worth, wife looking at zillow etc. While re...
by fittan
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Joint Accounts Matter if Spouse Stays Home with the Kids?
Replies: 31
Views: 2352

Re: Do Joint Accounts Matter if Spouse Stays Home with the Kids?

Frankly most of our financial entities are individual anyways: 401k, Roth, credit cards, insurance. So we're really talking savings account, checking account and perhaps a joint brokerage. I am sure there are so pros and cons, but since you and your wife financial situation is so simple (i.e. no con...
by fittan
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Loan Question
Replies: 10
Views: 346

Re: Auto Loan Question

IF your credit score is not in top tier (i.e 800 plus), keeping this loan will increase your score over time. IF your credit score is in top tier and you don't really need this $7500 (i.e. you still have 6 month emergency fund), just pay it off and move on. For this amount, "the squeeze is not worth...
by fittan
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Trust
Replies: 25
Views: 3255

Re: Family Trust

... There are really 3 ways to go about. One is buy a program like Willmaker (which include trust) for $70. The other is use an online resource like Legalzoom which cost about $350 (they give you access to an attorney for questions). Third is to use an attorney which cost about $3K. You're right th...
by fittan
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Trust
Replies: 25
Views: 3255

Re: Family Trust

There are also several "intangibles" pros about using an attorney. The first is that it help/force my wife to confront this issue. Setting up will and trust is still consider a taboo that most people don't try to think about. You are literally planning for all the worse case scenarios. What if one d...
by fittan
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family Trust
Replies: 25
Views: 3255

Re: Family Trust

I just setup an Estate plan (which includes will and trust) with an attorney that specializes in EP. The cost is about $3K but wife and I agree that it is well worth the cost. I am in similar situation, 40+ and 2 kids around 9. There are really 3 ways to go about. One is buy a program like Willmaker...
by fittan
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?
Replies: 72
Views: 3905

Re: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?

When I bought my house in 2010, I used a buyer agent but didn't find she added much value. I knew exactly which towns and house I am interested with. Wife and I went to all the open house ourselves. It is after we are 90% sure we found the house(s) we want that we randomly called up an agent. All th...
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home sale proceeds
Replies: 5
Views: 492

Re: Home sale proceeds

Yes we are putting 20% down on the new home. Yes, we are both receiving the match for our work 401k and yes we both have term life insurance. Thanks! Looks like you have your ducks all lined up. I don't think you need to do anything significant, just keep saving away. One suggestion is to look at i...
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?
Replies: 37
Views: 2790

Re: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?

I love the CX-5....but 2 things bother the hell out of me. First is the "pizza" wheels design. From the sides, all I see are 10 slices of pizza :oops: Second, the...well...bland?...rear. I mean the designer spent 99% of the time with the slick front design and then for the rear just round it out and...
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home sale proceeds
Replies: 5
Views: 492

Re: Home sale proceeds

I won't rush to pay off the 0%. Few questions...Are u paying at least 20% for the downpayment? Also have you match your work 401k contribution? Also do you have a term life insurance to protect both you and spouse?
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%

The Freedom never seemed worth it to me with the $1500 limit per quarter on the 5% categories - a lot of extra work for maybe $300/year. Maybe if I was into UR points, but I'm not. Actually it is less than that. Assuming our "baseline" card is doublecash 2%. This strategy only "earns" an extra 3%. ...
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:54 pm
Costco gas is much cheaper than Speedway, 4% back.
Of course...hard to beat Costco gas price. The only problem is that not all Costco have gas station (I live in MA).
by fittan
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%

Don't forget, if you have a CSR the Freedom points aren't worth 5%, they are worth 7.5% when booking travel on the Chase website. What's the fee to buy a Visa gift card? that's only if you have the Chase sapphire reserved (50% more) or the CS preferred (25%) more. without either, you're not getting...
by fittan
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Re: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%

Great ideas, thanks for sharing. I will purchase grocery store gift cards to use throughout the year for groceries and gas. I also buy gift cards (some for me, some for gifts for upcoming birthdays, etc.) at the grocery store during the April-June time period so that I can receive a 5% discount on ...
by fittan
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?
Replies: 11
Views: 718

Re: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?

Depreciation on Honda & Toyota is so low that it often doesn’t make sense to buy used. I would buy the new one. Agreed. OP might also consider getting the 2019 LX trim level, particularly if he lives in a cold area, as it has the non-turbo 2.4 liter engine. The higher trim levels have the turbo 1.5...
by fittan
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?
Replies: 11
Views: 718

Re: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?

I really really like the redesigned CRV. Looks nice and good bang of buck for the technology. However I would never buy it because of the oil dilution problem due to the new turbo engine. If you haven't heard about it, basically it is gas that seeps into engine oil. No, it is not normal despite what...
by fittan
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Chase freedom 5%
Replies: 27
Views: 2780

Maximizing Chase freedom 5%

Hi, I know many of us have this card. It gives a great 5% cash back but unfortunately each category last only 3 months. I have a "trick" to maximize this that I like to share (I haven't heard anyone mention this). When it is the gas category, I will top up my Speedway gas card for $1500. Speedway gi...
by fittan
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Re: Paid off mortgage!

OP here. True 2.875% is a very good rate and I did struggle a bit to pay off. If I place the funds in a CD, the after tax interest would almost cover the mortgage interest post deduction (i.e. it is a wash). Two factor influenced my decision to "just do it". First is that my retirement funds, taxabl...
by fittan
Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Re: Paid off mortgage!

I finally paid off my mortgage today! First time in my life that I am completely debt free Congratulations on achieving your goal. What was your mortgage rate? You had to ask :) It was 2.875%. I know it is technically free money after mortgage deduction. That’s why it took me a while to consider pa...
by fittan
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Re: Paid off mortgage!

OP here. Thanks everyone for your well wishes again. Yes, I did brought wife and kids out for a nice dinner (although I didn't tell kids about this as they are still young). It sounds like there are many other in this board that are close (few years away) to paying off theirs too. Great job, keep ch...
by fittan
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Re: Paid off mortgage!

We're planning on hitting it in another 3yrs, right around the time I hit 40 and wife hits 35. Then the real works starts: trying to convince the wife that there is no reason for us to upgrade (I'm going to lose). +1 We are 2 years away from paying off our primary home mortgage and I fight THIS bat...
by fittan
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Re: Paid off mortgage!

I finally paid off my mortgage today! First time in my life that I am completely debt free :) Thanks to everyone on this board who have been a great resource along the way. Welcome to the debt-free club! :sharebeer A giant leap to becoming bulletproof. What are your plans for the extra cash each mo...
by fittan
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 7375

Paid off mortgage!

I finally paid off my mortgage today! First time in my life that I am completely debt free :) Thanks to everyone on this board who have been a great resource along the way.
by fittan
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning....I finally did it
Replies: 2
Views: 665

Estate planning....I finally did it

I started off knowing that I need a will ASAP (I have 2 young kids). Then I read about the benefits of revocable trust. Then I found out about AB trust (i.e. 2 trust) because I live in MA which has a very low ($1 million) estate tax. I have educated myself along the way using google search, youtube,...
by fittan
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying cash for a vehicle
Replies: 51
Views: 4445

Re: Paying cash for a vehicle

Do not let the dealer know you plan to pay cash. This way they will drop the price more. They want you to have a loan from them. Absolutely. No discussion of financing (or not financing) until price is nailed down. Also, don't discuss trading in the old car until the end. Also this. If they think y...
by fittan
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer. Should we sell stocks for down payment on regular loan or get an FHA loan?
Replies: 8
Views: 717

Re: First time home buyer. Should we sell stocks for down payment on regular loan or get an FHA loan?

First of all, if you're saving for a down payment, you should have a separate "bucket" of savings held in risk free account (e.g. CD, treasuries). If you're banking on your stocks and ETF, you're putting yourself in too much risk (i.e. gambling). In short, stocks and ETF can be "fun" money, NOT down...
by fittan
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massachusetts Estate Planning
Replies: 48
Views: 2714

Re: Estate Planning

A well-qualified estate lawyer would probably have the best suggestions. +1 There is a difference in being frugal and being cheap. Being cheap is thinking I can "figure out" estate planning myself while hoping I'm not leaving any holes for my executor to have to clean up. I wouldn't attempt to "fig...
by fittan
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newbie question on trusts and estate planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1460

Re: Newbie question on trusts and estate planning

Hi, I am also researching on will and trust now so can chime in a bit. - Have you had a will setup? If not you should have one asap. One key purpose of a will is to assign a guardian to take care of your kids wellfare if you and wife pass. - To setup 2 wills, revocable living trust plus healthcare p...
by fittan
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?
Replies: 64
Views: 6529

Re: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?

Citi 2% is a great card. Hard to beat. However I would also like to recommend Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Obviously you get 5% back from Amazon purchase. But 2 other benefit it provides is that 1) no foreign transaction fee (you can't use the DoubleCash overseas without incurring fees)...
by fittan
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massachusetts Estate Planning
Replies: 48
Views: 2714

Re: Estate Planning

I live in MA and have been researching extensively about wills and trusts. I called up several law firm that specialized in Estate Planning and the price quote I received ranges from $2500 to $3500. This is for 2 wills, 1 revocable trust and health care proxies, etc. I really want to use a professio...
by fittan
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and trust....software or attorney?
Replies: 41
Views: 3101

Re: Will and trust....software or attorney?

OP here. Thanks to everyone who replied. Maybe a bit of info about my situation. My family situation is very simple. Wife, myself and 2 young kids. No previous marriages. Finance are straightforward too. House, some 401Ks and term life insurance. The only "complication" is that wife and I are immigr...
by fittan
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting
Replies: 33
Views: 2912

Re: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting

Using a mortgage calculator, your monthly mortgage payment is $2750 (20% down, 30 years, 4.34%, $500K price, $8K/year property tax). Don't forget about condo fees and insurance. Let's assume they are $300 and $100 respectively. Your monthly expenses is now $3150. That is $750 MORE than what you're p...
by fittan
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and trust....software or attorney?
Replies: 41
Views: 3101

Re: Will and trust....software or attorney?

Just wrote the $1500 check to my lawyer for a complete trust and will. My situation was very simple, middle class people raising two kids....that's it. Since I am frugal by nature, it's hard for me to recommend the route I took, but if you are practical and want that "check box" item off your list,...
by fittan
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will and trust....software or attorney?
Replies: 41
Views: 3101

Will and trust....software or attorney?

Hi fellow BH, I have done my research and is about to create a will and trust. For trust, I plan to setup a "revocable living trust" meaning one that is valid when I am still alive and that I have to do my "homework" of transferring assets into it. I have all my "ducks" ready (e.g. guardian, trustee...
by fittan
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best way to borrow about $300K for a few months for new house
Replies: 33
Views: 2760

Re: best way to borrow about $300K for a few months for new house

here's my 2 cents...keep it simple. - There is NO need to disclose that you will pay off new loan. No banks or brokers will ask you "Eh, do you have $400K that you intend to pay off loan". Even if they ask, reply "It is none of your business". - If you sell the $180K taxable, you will have to pay ca...
by fittan
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of my bonus should I put in my 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 1163

Re: How much of my bonus should I put in my 401k?

OP, first of all when you receive your bonus in coming week, it is for 2019. You can no longer contribute to 2018 401K. I am in similar situation, I typically receive my bonus in Feb and it is counted on W2 as wages for the current (not previous year). You said you wanted to max out 401K and since y...
by fittan
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYC area, buying first home- where to begin?
Replies: 22
Views: 2151

Re: NYC area, buying first home- where to begin?

Just a "side" advice. Start working on your credit score now. Know what are your scores now, find out how to improve them, avoid pitfalls that will decrease them (like closing off a old credit card with a long history) and continue to monitor. You want to make sure you're in the top tier, if not the...
by fittan
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security survivor benefits
Replies: 16
Views: 975

Re: Social security survivor benefits

I'm not sure how the earnings test and the family maximum work together. You should research whether, if your wife's benefits decrease due to the earnings test, your kids' benefits increase until the family maximum is hit. I don't know the answer and am curious myself. They do not. For anybody curi...
by fittan
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security survivor benefits
Replies: 16
Views: 975

Re: Social security survivor benefits

Silk McCue wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:03 am
A $1M or $2M 20-30 year term life policy will be more helpful.

Cheers
Of course (and I do have term). But I just want to educate myself so I can prepare wife in case something happens to me.