Search found 533 matches

by hightower
Tue May 21, 2019 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?
Replies: 23
Views: 1545

Re: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?

I vote no more debt for these non-essential repairs. They may seem like they are necessary, but they are not. Your dog can be taken out on a leash. Your car can be driven on gravel if needed. Save your money and pay cash for this stuff when you can afford it. One thing I would consider is a cash out...
by hightower
Tue May 21, 2019 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and Cons of Refinancing Mortgage
Replies: 21
Views: 1638

Re: Pros and Cons of Refinancing Mortgage

Mortgage balance is about $268k. 15 year fixed, 2.75%, about nine years to go. Obviously this is a great rate and a good case can be made for just leaving well enough alone. It is possible we could stay in the house for another nine years....but just as possible that we could move in another 4-5 ye...
by hightower
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering purchasing a new point-and-shoot camera
Replies: 25
Views: 1479

Re: Considering purchasing a new point-and-shoot camera

Hello fellow Bogleheads and photo enthusiasts, I am thinking about purchasing a new camera. I currently have an older-model Canon Powershot S120. I have really enjoyed this camera but it is starting to show its age. I love taking scenic photos; this camera is great for printing 8x10 or even 11x14, ...
by hightower
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Your opinion on debt?
Replies: 111
Views: 6600

Re: Your opinion on debt?

I have noticed that many people seem to see debt mainly as a burden. Some even take special pride in being 100% debt-free. I see debt merely as an agreement from which both parties usually benefit. Being debt-free is safe and may be good psychologically, but usually it's not the smartest position t...
by hightower
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yo Checking In
Replies: 13
Views: 1913

Re: 30yo Checking In

It's great that you're already paying attention to this stuff at 30. I didn't start until I was like 34 or so, maybe a little earlier. Anyway, your priority should be to pay off that debt. But, you should be maxing out your tax advantaged retirement accounts each year too. 401ks, HSAs, and consider ...
by hightower
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris - Is It Safe?
Replies: 143
Views: 8874

Re: Paris - Is It Safe?

Stay away from Paris. You might get beaten by a baguette! LOL

Sounds like you guys don't get out much? Live in a gated community in a small Midwestern town I'm guessing? You'll be fine just about anywhere you want to go in the world, except the middle east. Relax and enjoy your life
by hightower
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 60 YOs ask a BH for advice - 200K+ student loan debt, and more...
Replies: 66
Views: 4393

Re: 60 YOs ask a BH for advice - 200K+ student loan debt, and more...

they had already resigned that their hole was too big to dig out of so they were just going to act like it didn't exist. I wonder if this is what a lot of people's plans will be. The only way to get out of student loan debt is death. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if the lenders try to come afte...
by hightower
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 60 YOs ask a BH for advice - 200K+ student loan debt, and more...
Replies: 66
Views: 4393

Re: 60 YOs ask a BH for advice - 200K+ student loan debt, and more...

My spouse mentioned me as their "financial genius" spouse to a coworker (note, I am merely a Boglehead, nothing more...), and the coworker wanted to see if I had any suggestions for them with their situation. I am inclined to tell them to read Dave Ramsey and call it a day but they seem genuinely i...
by hightower
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where would you park/grow $250K?
Replies: 10
Views: 1618

Re: Where would you park/grow $250K?

Wow, sounds like a great idea. That will truly be a great experience for you and your family. Good luck with pulling it off. It won't be easy, I do think it will be worth it.
I would park your cash in an online savings account earning whatever rate you can get (currently Ally is like 2.4% I think?)
by hightower
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate
Replies: 97
Views: 7389

Re: Savings Rate

Hi Bogleheads, I'm interested in how accumulators choose a savings rate. We are saving as much as we can at 31 years old, and have a second baby on the way. I thought maxing tax advantaged space would be a good goal, but we hit that last year and I feel like we are saving to much (33%). Any suggest...
by hightower
Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 year old water heater, should I be worried?
Replies: 73
Views: 4021

Re: 30 year old water heater, should I be worried?

My home was built in 1989 and still has the original water heater. It is propane and we have well water with a ph a bit above neutral. I have drained it and it seems fine. It sits upstairs with a drip pan but of course would not contain a total failure. Does anyone have any opinions or experiences ...
by hightower
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3
Replies: 286
Views: 18860

Re: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3

The nearest Tesla Service Center is 3 hours & over 200 miles away. I doubt that there are many local mechanics that can fix a Model 3. An Model S owner in the area was quoted a 4 month wait for a replacement windshield. The above gives me pause, and has convinced a friend in the neighborhood to pas...
by hightower
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3
Replies: 286
Views: 18860

Re: Talk me in/out of $35k Tesla Model 3

With the news last night, I am serious considering exercising my option of buying base model of Model 3. I deposited $1k for the Model 3 when it was first announced in 2016 but resisted the higher price models because I didn't think they were a good "value". Now that the $35k version is out, I am r...
by hightower
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit
Replies: 58
Views: 5467

Re: Consuming Electricity for Fun and Profit

The real issue is people do not understand electricity nor care about the giant machine needed to give them light and power. The US power grid is probably the largest system in the world. And physics controls electricity and requires the power company to balance the electric generated so that it ex...
by hightower
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit
Replies: 58
Views: 5467

Re: Consuming Electricity for Fun and Profit

So much for the environment. A bit of good news. Texas is the number one or number two state for wind power. By capacity installed and kwhr generated although I'd have to search for latest numbers (By percentage CA would be higher also some small states). On the fossil fuel side it's much more gas ...
by hightower
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit
Replies: 58
Views: 5467

Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Wow, only in Texas would people be rewarded to waste electricity when they don't need it. Unbelievable. So much for the free market being good for the people. Perfect example of how big corporate interests cause harm to the greater good in the name of maximizing profits. Ridiculous :oops:
by hightower
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Checkup
Replies: 8
Views: 1045

Re: Financial Checkup

Overall you're fine. I think you're a bit high on the mortgage size for your income, but not terribly so (I recommend the 2X annual income rule for determining the max mortgage size). I wouldn't bother putting any extra towards the mortgage monthly. You'd be better served saving that money and inves...
by hightower
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attempting To Be Debt Free
Replies: 56
Views: 4648

Re: Attempting To Be Debt Free

Hello everyone, I am a 38 years old male, divorced and deep in debt. My younger self made a lot of mistakes and I am learning from these mistakes everyday. Growing up, I have no financial education and no one to learn from but I want to change that for my children. By the time my divorce finalized ...
by hightower
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a Mortgage when You can Pay Cash for a House
Replies: 162
Views: 9008

Re: Getting a Mortgage when You can Pay Cash for a House

As a banker who does a lot of mortgages, I advise most people in this situation (who are usually in their 50s or older) to pay cash for the house and/or to pay off their mortgages if they have the cash, especially if they are at or near retirement age or have obtained financial freedom (in other wo...
by hightower
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a Mortgage when You can Pay Cash for a House
Replies: 162
Views: 9008

Re: Getting a Mortgage when You can Pay Cash for a House

Hi. I’d appreciate it if anyone who has done this can chime in. Say you have 300k cash. That’s on top of other savings such as retirement accounts, taxable funds, and college funds for kids which are adequately funded and will continue to be adequately funded. You want to buy a house. You could pay...
by hightower
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3739

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

Couple of thoughts... Can you afford to buy a house in the 1.5-1.7 m range on your income? Yes, with the proper down payment, you can afford to have a mortgage as big as 1.1 m. I use the 2X income rule for determining the size of a mortgage. However, SHOULD you do this is another question. How big o...
by hightower
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bull market is over, run for cover says Alan Greenspan
Replies: 41
Views: 6242

Re: Bull market is over, run for cover says Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan is 92. I recently saw him going into Neiman Marcus with his wife (Andrea Mitchell). He looked quite frail. He had a great run of being famous, but I don’t know why his views about financial markets are newsworthy now. Or at least actionable. Must be doing well! :moneybag He's 92 and ...
by hightower
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 122
Views: 18570

Re: Are we in trouble?

This post is a great example of why the 2X mortgage size rule exists. At 370k/year you really shouldn't have more than a 700-800k mortgage. That would require a 400k downpayment on a house that expensive. Also, never buy a home in a new location without first renting for a year and making sure your...
by hightower
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why did you decide to change your asset allocation?
Replies: 45
Views: 2080

Re: Why did you decide to change your asset allocation?

I am curious what others have done and why when it come to changing your asset allocations (in particular, scaling back equity investments and how and why you did it). Why did you decide to change your AA? I would ask how you changed your AA, but I already found a lot of threads on that topic and r...
by hightower
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 122
Views: 18570

Re: Are we in trouble?

This post is a great example of why the 2X mortgage size rule exists. At 370k/year you really shouldn't have more than a 700-800k mortgage. That would require a 400k downpayment on a house that expensive. Also, never buy a home in a new location without first renting for a year and making sure your ...
by hightower
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....
Replies: 56
Views: 6031

Re: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....

Some close friends put their house on the market 9/1/18. Sale price was $299K and buyer put $3000 earnest money in escrow. Closing date was 10/25/18. That day came and went and the realtor released the $3000. back to the failed buyer who had purchased with a contingency that he sell his house. When...
by hightower
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dayton, Ohio -- Worth Visiting?
Replies: 41
Views: 3571

Re: Dayton, Ohio -- Worth Visiting?

I live in Cincinnati. If you're looking for a good place to stop for lot's of stuff to see and do, I recommend Cincinnati over Dayton for sure. However, the Airforce Base Museum in Dayton is pretty cool and worth a stop if you feel inclined.
by hightower
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 82
Views: 8348

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

I'm working an extra shift at my side hustle job. I plan on making extra dough and spending nothing. Now if I could only control my wife's spending, lol...
by hightower
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 10842
Views: 1892023

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

EVERYONE! SELL! SELL! SELL! Stocks are crashing! Get out now! Don't delay! Sell your entire portfolio asap!






So I can buy, buy, buy;)
by hightower
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping
Replies: 55
Views: 4188

Re: Tipping

Why are people here against tips but then is accepted that charitable giving is ok? To me charity makes absolutely no sense. I don't like tipping but at least I can understand the reason behind it... (well, not really but at least it makes some sense). I'm not against tipping as a way to show grati...
by hightower
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping
Replies: 55
Views: 4188

Re: Tipping

Tipping has it's roots in slavery. It's an American thing, born out of the post-civil war south, that isn't the norm outside of the US. I learned about the history of tipping when I first started traveling in Europe and was curious as to why it's not normal to tip over there. It's unfair to certain...
by hightower
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping
Replies: 55
Views: 4188

Re: Tipping

Tipping has it's roots in slavery. It's an American thing, born out of the post-civil war south, that isn't the norm outside of the US. I learned about the history of tipping when I first started traveling in Europe and was curious as to why it's not normal to tip over there. It's unfair to certain ...
by hightower
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acoustic Pianos
Replies: 42
Views: 2216

Re: Acoustic Pianos

Hi Bogleheaders. Anyone on here knows about acoustic pianos? We are in the market for a piano and of course the wife likes to buy new so don't even bring up the buy-used topic. We have 2 kids just starting to take piano lessons and we eventually would like to learn as well. So I wonder any brands y...
by hightower
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Debt Repayment
Replies: 36
Views: 2190

Re: Student Loan Debt Repayment

I would ditch the townhouse and use the proceeds to pay a chunk of your student loans. That property hasn't increased in value much since you bought it. It's probably not earning you much in actual profits either. The housing market is in a bit of a bubble at the moment in my opinion. I would sell ...
by hightower
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School Loan debt vs
Replies: 15
Views: 1328

Re: School Loan debt vs

I am 33 years old and have 90k in graduate school loan debt. I have been working at hospitals the last 7 years and now making $39 hour/65k year. My wife also has a good job in hospital and makes about $110k a year. Together we have $170k in school loans. I have about $90k invested in mutual funds a...
by hightower
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Debt Repayment
Replies: 36
Views: 2190

Re: Student Loan Debt Repayment

I would ditch the townhouse and use the proceeds to pay a chunk of your student loans. That property hasn't increased in value much since you bought it. It's probably not earning you much in actual profits either. The housing market is in a bit of a bubble at the moment in my opinion. I would sell i...
by hightower
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?
Replies: 65
Views: 7895

Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

And do understand that all the people encouraging you to make a change , find a lower paying job which is more satisfying etc. won’t be around to help you financially when you have a left a secure well paying job for another that does not work out. They will still keep saying all sorts of positive ...
by hightower
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?
Replies: 65
Views: 7895

Re: Job burnout - Keep grinding or change?

Definitely make a change if you're burnt out. It doesn't have to be drastic though. Even a slight change can have big impacts on your happiness. I went through this several years ago. The changes I made were to the types of shifts I was working and the amount of work overall (I'm a physician). I als...
by hightower
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?
Replies: 27
Views: 839

Re: Can only take (1) DSLR lens..which one?

It's always a tough call on which lens to bring. I just did a 2 week trip through Germany and Austria in June. I wanted to pack very light (just one back pack total) so I choose to bring only a 27mm pancake lens on my Fujifilm XT-2. It was a good choice in terms of packing light. I felt that the len...
by hightower
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite, Sequoia
Replies: 32
Views: 1612

Re: Vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite, Sequoia

My family of five (kids ages 18,15,12) are currently planning a trip to San Francisco for end of May/early June 2019. I've only been to Southern Cal areas so my knowledge is limited. We will be flying into San Francisco and will have about 10-12 days to visit. Obviously we'll do several days in the...
by hightower
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee
Replies: 108
Views: 10871

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

" I love her, but I agonize about our future. How much of a red flag should this be? If the PSLF program were to fail, it seems paying back the debt would be insurmountable It's not all that bad IMO. She has some good earning potential and that level of debt is very doable IMO. I would refinance and...
by hightower
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mold in house and insurance won't cover - options?
Replies: 29
Views: 3909

Re: Mold in house and insurance won't cover - options?

How to deal with mold?

Bleach in a spray bottle
Fix humidity issue
by hightower
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else playing catch-up in their 40's?
Replies: 68
Views: 7609

Re: Anyone else playing catch-up in their 40's?

It seems most of the ppl here started saving diligently in their 20's or 30's....are there others here who didn't "wake up" like me until they were in their 40's or beyond? Just curious. My rough timeline playing catch-up.... 20's - 0 savings 30's - very minimal 401k savings 40's - maxing all (401k...
by hightower
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 8167

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

The real problem with cash is that it's becoming increasingly less convenient to use as prices rise over time (inflation over the long term). For example, getting back change (coins) is just a nuisance nowadays, whereas 50 years ago coins were actually very useful. The $11 that I spent on lunch the...
by hightower
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 8167

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

I'm in my mid 50s. I work make a decent living. Same with DW. Every 7-10 days or so I grab $3-$400 from the atm. That's how I spend money. I have credit cards and only use them if for travel or if I'm in a pinch. DW uses her credit card for everyday items. Perhaps it's a phobia of sorts but I feel ...
by hightower
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Very confused with the current market
Replies: 119
Views: 15116

Re: Very confused with the current market

show me the 80 years bull? 1990-2000-2008 all most every ten years Well, if you just look at the start and the finish (1990 to 2018), the market did nothing but go up. It's all about perspective and how long you stay invested. The overall trend is that given enough time the market ALWAYS goes up. T...
by hightower
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2559

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

You've got a lot of choices for PHEV. Chevy Volt - Small trunk, middle seat has no leg space Honda Clarity - Even smaller trunk due to being a sedan Toyota Prius Prime - No 5th seat, EV range only 26 miles BMW i3 - Ridiculously expensive, no 5th seat There's also the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, Chrys...
by hightower
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2559

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

Dude, get the Bolt. The volt is silly because you end up having to charge it daily and you're just lugging around a gas motor for no reason other than to try to avoid using it. My brother in law has one and says all the time he wishes he would have waited for the Bolt. The bolt has over 250 miles of...
by hightower
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH
Replies: 35
Views: 3696

Re: Octogenarian father in law's idea of balance: AAPL + CASH

Hi— Long time lurker first time poster. Thank you to all who have contributed to my education here, absolutely invaluable. I'm writing about my mother and father in law's finances, which I am slowly taking over at their request. FINANCIAL PICTURE Savings $425k in various super low interest checking...
by hightower
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?
Replies: 162
Views: 11103

Re: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?

I would . . . and did back in late 2016 when I bought my Subaru Outback. Make sure you understand the terms of the loan (no pre-payment penalty, etc.) but if the loan rate is lower than what you'd easily earn on a FDIC (or NCUA) insured account (let alone a bond fund), I'd rather keep my cash worki...