Search found 2259 matches

by smitcat
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans
Replies: 16
Views: 810

Re: Student Loans

Besides all of the posts above which I believe to be correct, you asked this.... "My question is does anyone recommend loan consolidation or refinancing for student loans? Thank you in advance." My information was that you cannot refinance a loan in such a way that it still qualifies for PSLF since ...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?
Replies: 107
Views: 4300

Re: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?

I watch quite a bit of football (4-6 games most weeks), but wouldn't even go to a game for my local team, let alone to one of the busiest airports in the country during a government shutdown. :P Now if I could have made it work, I would have been more than happy to spend "Super Bowl money" to atten...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?
Replies: 107
Views: 4300

Re: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?

I've been to three Super Bowls, two were work related, though my particular activities were completed before kick-off. The other Super Bowl was when DW and I were in a service club, and sold programs before the game. We were allowed in after a few minutes into the game. Today I wouldn't pay to see ...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?
Replies: 107
Views: 4300

Re: Paying thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl?

Would you (or have you) paid thousands per ticket to attend the NFL Super Bowl game? Share your thoughts and/or experiences if was worth it. Yes it was worth it , I did a couple but it was a long while back - I an really glad I went. We also did the pre and post parties with retired and active NFL ...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actionable information in order to invest in physical gold
Replies: 25
Views: 1211

Re: Actionable information in order to invest in physical gold

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:18 pm
Any opinions of Kitco?
No - have not tried them. We have also utilize JM Bullion for the most part for silver , palladium and some limited gold with good results.
by smitcat
Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce w/child. Spouse wants to move.
Replies: 128
Views: 7866

Re: Divorce w/child. Spouse wants to move.

I didn't add the below in initial post, because I felt if I put too many details, it would over complicate and not clarify an already complicated situation. But, it seems like, it may, in fact, help clarify the situation and so I added the following below: Additional Possibly Relevant Facts: 1. I m...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used electric car - a good deal?
Replies: 28
Views: 1524

Re: Used electric car - a good deal?

I did not know that used ones were going that cheap. That is what, about 50-75% depreciation in the first 3 years! Because of the various incentives, the net new price of these vehicles was far below MSRP. Taking that into consideration the real depreciation is much less than it would otherwise app...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)
Replies: 110
Views: 10996

Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

As a companion to the thread on leaving money to children, I thought it might be interesting to flip this around and discuss how much we received, at what age, and what impact it had on us. I note that many people are nervous about leaving large sums to their children. I wonder if there are negativ...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

I'd rather own a $20k car, and spend $30k on 300-600 little $50-$100 luxuries than spend $50k on a car. Or own a $20k car, and spend $30k on a boat and jetski. Or own a $20k car, and spend $30k on 3 totally awesome vacations. All those things would give me more pleasure than upgrading an existing d...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importance of college summer internships??
Replies: 44
Views: 1791

Re: Importance of college summer internships??

In our area near NYC internships for marketing hopefuls are very important. They want to see experiences within marketing companies to get a leg up on eventual hiring. We also have a daughter that has worked each year since junior in HS in various jobs in escalating skills that pay 2-3X that of most...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retire in 2 years. Advice for plan for withdrawals, Roth conversions & SS
Replies: 41
Views: 3341

Re: Retire in 2 years. Advice for plan for withdrawals, Roth conversions & SS

For i-orp, be sure you are using the extended version, and that you are checking the appropriate tax bracket ceiling. It is the last field under retirement plans. If you don’t mind spending 5 bucks on an android app, try the pro version of the Can I retire yet app. You can put in actual amounts of ...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

Dude just buy the Tesla. Money is for buying stuff. Either now or later. Which one you pick is totally up to you. Just be mindful that the one thing you can’t buy is more time on this earth. While you can't buy more time, you can use the money to add quality to your time, AKA retiring earlier from ...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

Dude just buy the Tesla. Money is for buying stuff. Either now or later. Which one you pick is totally up to you. Just be mindful that the one thing you can’t buy is more time on this earth. While you can't buy more time, you can use the money to add quality to your time, AKA retiring earlier from ...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retire in 2 years. Advice for plan for withdrawals, Roth conversions & SS
Replies: 41
Views: 3341

Re: Retire in 2 years. Advice for plan for withdrawals, Roth conversions & SS

Medicare is so much cheaper than aca insurance, I don’t know if it is worrying about reaching the first tier. Open social security doesn’t take into account doing Roth conversions, so certainly you need to think about them. In general, withdrawing from taxable first is best . Run some scenarios at ...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle "5% Gold"
Replies: 75
Views: 6856

Re: Bogle "5% Gold"

Jack said that the 5% allocation to gold would be "a hedge against some kind of catastrophe." 5% seems low for the purposes of doing much good, but OTOH, it's unlikely to do much harm if the catastrophe never manifests itself either. This makes me feel a little better about our physical gold holdin...
by smitcat
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When would you stop being a Boglehead?
Replies: 95
Views: 7384

Re: When would you stop being a Boglehead?

Pretty much everyone here (myself included) is convinced about the low-cost, do-it-yourself investing philosophy. But I’m curious: at which point would you start considering to delegate the management of your portfolio to firms like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley? $10M? $50M? Literally never? Wit...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

Since FAFSA doesn’t ask about your home equity, or balance in retirement accounts, or assets in parent’s business with fewer than 100 employees, there really isn’t much to disclose besides how much cash you have in your checking/savings accounts as of today. That may be the case in many instances, ...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 5974

Re: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?

I have zero concern about the size of the legacy I leave behind. Shortly after I joined the board the question was asked about how to assure that an individual with no legacy interests could consume 100% of their assets before death. The answer was: Put it all into an annuity. In that way, the maxi...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20273

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

Many entry level professionals (geology and engineering) fresh out of undegraduate from accredited state schools are making at least what the OP makes with no professional experience. He is in enviroenmental consulting in Fla. - not the petroleum industry. That's correct. Environmental consulting i...
by smitcat
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

"Thing is, outside of upgrading a home or car, what "splurge" is going to cost you $50k ?" -college education - boats - parents assistance etc... Remember that is a 50k purchase every 10-15 years and something like 15-25k of it more or less a lifestyle requirement in most areas unless you don't val...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

Anyway, it isn't just about the specific car. I am trying to wrap my brain around any similar large purchase where your heart REALLY wants to spend the money while your brain REALLY wants to keep and invest it. Thing is, outside of upgrading a home or car, what "splurge" is going to cost you $50k ?...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20273

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

OldSport wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:26 pm
Many entry level professionals (geology and engineering) fresh out of undegraduate from accredited state schools are making at least what the OP makes with no professional experience.
He is in enviroenmental consulting in Fla. - not the petroleum industry.
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

As an 2019 X3 owner we researched and test drove the usual suspects. A few google searches revealed the Benz and Audi Q5 are just the C300 and A4 propped up on stilts. The X3 was its own platform (wid wheelbase etc.). The driving performance was notably the best in the X3 (brakes, comfort, etc.). A...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Sources? I was requesting the positive reviews from you since we are somewhat looking ourselves... As an 2019 X3 owner we researched and test drove the usual suspects. A few google searches revealed the Benz and Audi Q5 are just the C300 and A4 propped up on stilts. The X3 was its own platform (wid...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 234
Views: 29025

Re: Social Security for Millennials

In light of the trajectory of government finances, we are planning to leave our daughter (a millennial) a pretty decent inheritance to compensate for whatever may happen. I don't want her to be burdened by the financial decisions of earlier generations. She does save and invest, but I fear it will ...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 5974

Re: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?

Very intrigued by the answers. They are falling along the lines I was expecting for BH. It does seem like in general BH don't either believe it is a surplus or don't believe in acknowledging it in that manner. This does lead me to question how you ever figure out if you have enough or what your num...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

Zero tuition at Calif community colleges for 1st time freshmen is one of the best deals around, but you have to fill out FAFSA. You get it regardless of income, and courses transferable to UC/CSA systems and most other colleges. is this true?? can freshman can get free 1st year tuition even if they...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

X3 is very nice. Get the extended warranty on the purchase date. There is huge markup in the warranty. I think they asked $8k for the extended warranty but it was easy to bargain them down to $3k. I thought that the X3's got pretty poor reviews on independent tests for the most part? Was I mistaken...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

There are Us which require FAFSA to be completed for merit awards and Us that don’t. Our kids both attended the same U. It didn’t require forms about finances for merit awards. Our child was given >1/2 tuition for 4 years and we never completed provided any financial info except showing the U the m...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20273

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

I see a lot of remarks on the water bill. Without knowing how many gallons the op uses per month, it is a little bit of a waste of time to go after. I've lived in many cities across the us and typically use between 1200 gallons to 2500 gallons a month in most cities I lived in. This resulted in wat...
by smitcat
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Ha, I actually have wondered how much a used Porsche suv would cost. I berated a colleague of mine when she traded hers in for a shiny red Range Rover last year - literally a week after she'd lamented the fact that she was still paying off student loans. She said it was "only" $40k or $45k though, ...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $40,000 in debt, bankruptcy seems to be the best option right now
Replies: 258
Views: 20273

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

I’ll focus on the groceries. Who does the grocery shopping? I do the shopping since I am better at math. I clip coupons. I use the grocery store app for more coupons. I price shop and stock up when things are on sale. Early on when my wife would shop with me the bill was always so much higher. She ...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth
Replies: 17
Views: 1938

Re: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth

I have been reading here about converting IRA and 401k funds, to a Roth, and knowing that when doing so the distributions are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. So the idea is to be in a low enough tax bracket when doing the conversion, so as not to get hit with too high of a tax burden to do so. ...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

I don't see the need to work with an admissions counselor at a college, whatever that is. Every college has a financial aid page on their website, and they will let you know whether: - You have to fill out FAFSA to get merit aid (this is unusual, but a few colleges have this requirement) - You have...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

I am planning to replace my 2009 CR*V during the next year. The default would have been to buy another CR*V because I love it and it has been extremely reliable. However, with the CR*V's oil dilution issue and Honda's delayed reaction, I am going to buy something else. The CX-5 looks appealing, esp...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

"How would you approach making your mind up about any purchase that you both really want to make, but also know is an unnecessary expense?" Try comparing then with 'equivalent units". A Tesla will have a price of XXX now and a sales value of YYY over the years you plan to own it. (above your base t...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

In view of your statement that your budget is flexible, and as you candidly acknowledge the role status and prestige play in what you drive, perhaps consider a Porsche Macan (available in a range of trim levels and corresponding price points) or a Mercedes GLC AMG 43 or 63. Both are relatively comp...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Love my 2017 CX-5 and 2018 Mazda 3. I find Mazda gets very little respect outside of Mazda fans. I hear a lot of, “isn’t that just a rebranded Ford?” I am planning to replace my 2009 CR*V during the next year. The default would have been to buy another CR*V because I love it and it has been extreme...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

"How would you approach making your mind up about any purchase that you both really want to make, but also know is an unnecessary expense?" Try comparing then with 'equivalent units". A Tesla will have a price of XXX now and a sales value of YYY over the years you plan to own it. (above your base t...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

I recently filled one out, but have very low expectstions of receiving anything as a result. It was fairly easy to fill out, and these days I have no illusion of privacy of personal data. I would get several emails every week from the high school reminding us to fill one out, and my kid bugging me ...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9277

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Love my 2017 CX-5 and 2018 Mazda 3. I find Mazda gets very little respect outside of Mazda fans. I hear a lot of, “isn’t that just a rebranded Ford?” I am planning to replace my 2009 CR*V during the next year. The default would have been to buy another CR*V because I love it and it has been extreme...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep
Replies: 91
Views: 7119

Re: Strategies to combat or justify lifestyle creep

"How would you approach making your mind up about any purchase that you both really want to make, but also know is an unnecessary expense?" Try comparing then with 'equivalent units". A Tesla will have a price of XXX now and a sales value of YYY over the years you plan to own it. (above your base tr...
by smitcat
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carryon for 7-day FL vacation?
Replies: 63
Views: 2597

Re: Carryon for 7-day FL vacation?

Keepcalm wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:18 pm
Am I dreaming to think I can get away with a carryon?
Leaving Tuesday for Fla for 9 days - always a carryon, never a problem.
by smitcat
Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

For those of you that needed to fill out the FAFSA in order to get merit aid....how did you know this? Is this advertised or clearly explained by the school? Just curious if this is something that can be predicted or whether one should fill this out "in case" it is needed for merit scholarships. In...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

Bingo. This thread only solidifies my plan to avoid of things FAFSA and student loans. For those that feel this way - is there a $$$ amount that you would be willing to share your info with? Very soon I'll be going through the same decision, and we too have a chunk saved up and don't expect aid. Bu...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8249

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

^ You misunderstand. It's the nature of taxes, not the magnitude. The financial nature of taxes is completely different to any kind of "expenditure". I think that our payroll, income, and property taxes are just like any other expense. Sales taxes are bigger than those, even with modest spending. A...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?
Replies: 108
Views: 5482

Re: FAFSA - is it worth filling out?

I did not fill it out. Not willing to trade intimate detail of my finances with no possibility of any benefit. The end result is the same. I pay for everything. Bingo. This thread only solidifies my plan to avoid of things FAFSA and student loans. For those that feel this way - is there a $$$ amoun...
by smitcat
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8249

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

b0B wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:26 pm
^ You misunderstand. It's the nature of taxes, not the magnitude. The financial nature of taxes is completely different to any kind of "expenditure".
I think that our payroll, income, and property taxes are just like any other expense.