Search found 376 matches

by hightower
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique
Replies: 143
Views: 11794

Re: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique

I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong. I initially looked at your finances and thought there was "no way" you should be contemplating a move to HI, but after hearing further detail regarding your situation (especially the military medical coverage) and the specifics from some actual locals, I think it...
by hightower
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking progress to $1M portfolio and no mortgage by 40
Replies: 85
Views: 18475

Re: Tracking progress to $1M portfolio and no mortgage by 40

I think you're doing all the right things at this point. I don't necessarily think you need to pay off your mortgage at such a young age. You could try refinancing to a better rate and do a 15 year term? That would allow you to put more cash in investment accounts now, which ultimately will pay off ...
by hightower
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4k UHD TVs worth it?
Replies: 55
Views: 3437

Re: 4k UHD TVs worth it?

Well, I'm certainly glad I asked. It sounds like most of you don't think they are worth it. I did go and look at these TVs yesterday and I could definitely tell there was a fairly big difference in picture quality compared to my current TV, but it wasn't "shocking." The OLED TVs were pretty darn imp...
by hightower
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To the doctors on the forum
Replies: 88
Views: 5024

Re: To the doctors on the forum

I just have to ask all the Drs here... Why, in this day and age of HDHP, is it still so difficult to get a Dr, or the office, to tell you what a procedure will cost? Recently had an issue where wife needs and MRI. We wanted to shop this to some MRI specialist places. Ortho response was “why? You ha...
by hightower
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4k UHD TVs worth it?
Replies: 55
Views: 3437

4k UHD TVs worth it?

I don't know if I'm just bored or what, but lately I've been looking into buying a new TV even though we don't "need" one. We have a 6-7 year old Samsung LCD 1080P TV now. I'm amazed at how cheap the new 4k UHD TVs are right now and it's tempting me to upgrade, especially now that all the streaming ...
by hightower
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique
Replies: 143
Views: 11794

Re: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique

Can't really comment on your financials, but did want to share my dream of eventually winter'ing in Maui November - April and living in Maine the rest of the year. We plan to do that in our early 50s. My plan is long term rentals for the first year or 2. I have the same dream:) Haven't been to Maui...
by hightower
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique
Replies: 143
Views: 11794

Re: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique

So you're saying you would spend all of your retirement savings on building a house and buying land? Or would you acquire an 800k mortgage? Then you would just live off of the pension? Doesn't seem smart to me. I don't know anything about military pensions or how safe/reliable they will be in the fu...
by hightower
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding 200k to Portfolio, don't want boring old VTSAX again -your criticism, suggestion for a little extra risk?
Replies: 39
Views: 4302

Re: Adding 200k to Portfolio, don't want boring old VTSAX again -your criticism, suggestion for a little extra risk?

Just seems a bit boring to be sitting on the sidelines, especially with all the millionaires popping up overnight with the whole cryptocurrency revolution. There aren't that many that are actual millionaires. They may have millions in crypto-currency, but unless they cash out and sell their bitcoin...
by hightower
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 2425

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

Also, you're not considering the advantage of having some energy independence. Having a way to generate your own electricity, especially coupled with battery storage, means you can function off grid in the event of power outages. With climate change causing more and more unpredictable bad weather l...
by hightower
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 2425

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

I just don't see where investing $20k in a home solar system is a wise financial investment. You wait 15 years (best case) for payback, and then after 5-10 more years, the system is worth $0 because it's at the end of its lifetime. Most well designed solar systems are engineered to break even on co...
by hightower
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 2425

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

I have decided (I think) to purchase solar panels for a home in Colorado (great sun exposure). Want to take advantage of federal investment tax credit before it expires (30% through 2019, then starts decreasing). I received two bids: (a) LG 350 W panels, total 7.7kW system. It would produce 8162 kW...
by hightower
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do with a 25 million windfall?
Replies: 47
Views: 2790

Re: What would you do with a 25 million windfall?

Pay off my last remaining debt (mortgage, student loans) Buy a small vacation home in Hawaii (probably Kauai, I'm thinking Hanalei), I would keep it under 1 million for sure. Not going crazy here. I still would want to live below my means. I would rent it out when we're not living in it. Invest the ...
by hightower
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law
Replies: 39
Views: 5108

Re: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law

There are probably a bunch of these threads already. I have about 250k remaining on a mortgage and quite a bit more than that sitting in tax exempt money market and tax exempt bond funds at VG. My rate on the 15yr mortgage is 2.75% which was always low enough especially after the tax benefit (39.6%...
by hightower
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan for Stay at home mom within 1.5yrs - what to do about mortgage/saving/expenses
Replies: 46
Views: 3187

Re: Plan for Stay at home mom within 1.5yrs - what to do about mortgage/saving/expenses

We have young kids ranging from ages 0 to 7 and are planning for mom to start staying at home with them within the next 1.5 years. We are trying to decide what to do financially in the next 6-12 months to best position ourselves for this change - in particular what to do with the mortgage so that w...
by hightower
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: My Christmas Present to You
Replies: 90
Views: 8197

Re: My Christmas Present to You

Dear Boglehead: Seventy-three years ago on Christmas Eve, during the Battle of the Bulge, I was a 20-year old scared paratrooper in a snow-covered foxhole protecting the important transportation town of Bastogne, Belgium. The Germans had us surrounded and demanded our surrender. Our commander said ...
by hightower
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 20006

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

I don't think I'll really notice much of a difference with the new tax bill, other than maybe slightly larger paychecks due to the lower tax brackets. But, what is going to change is my outlook on my mortgage. I'll no longer be itemizing which means that I'm not as comfortable paying a 290k mortgage...
by hightower
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin in Freefall
Replies: 90
Views: 5875

Re: Bitcoin in Freefall

dccboone wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:09 am
Eddie Murphy described this sme situation in Trading Places - just replace "porkbellies" with Bitcoin. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI4fVgVVpiwa
Awesome movie! And Jamie Lee Curtis was unbelievable at that age :shock:
by hightower
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax-planning - What to pay in '17 before it's too late?
Replies: 33
Views: 1778

Re: Tax-planning - What to pay in '17 before it's too late?

If you donate to charities you can look at bunching these. Right!? Do people not usually give much to charity? Even with the new standard deduction, our charitable contributions will allow us to still itemize. I wonder if charities are going to hurt, if people who normally itemize for a contributio...
by hightower
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax-planning - What to pay in '17 before it's too late?
Replies: 33
Views: 1778

Re: Tax-planning - What to pay in '17 before it's too late?

Very basic question. Our itemized deductions, MFJ, are: State Tax: $24K Prop Tax: $14K Mort Int: $12K Under the new likely regs, I'm limited to $10K in state inc and prop tax. Thus the new itemization is $10K +$12K (Mort Int) = $22K. Which means we'll take the standard deduction? Yep, you'll be tak...
by hightower
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 10531

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

1. His Employee contribution: full 18k
His Employer match: ~12k
Her Employee contribution: 18k
Her Employer match ~5k
2. Me 35, wife 34
by hightower
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can I afford? (First Home)
Replies: 27
Views: 2425

Re: How much house can I afford? (First Home)

Hi everyone, Long time lurker, first time poster. I am I my mid twenties and am looking to purchase my first home with my wife. Due to my HCOL area I do not know what the appropriate budget should be. A median 1 bedroom apartment within 10 miles of my current home is renting for $2000/month. My cur...
by hightower
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 2596

Re: Bitcoin IRA

And if they do all cash out, the price will come crashing down. It's a classic bubble This. It's important to recognize that not EVERYONE can possibly get rich off bitcoin. Many people will indeed lose money. Anyone investing a huge chunk of their net worth in bitcoin is taking a big risk. Now it c...
by hightower
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 2596

Re: Bitcoin IRA

Makes me wonder.. If Bitcoin goes to $20K by end of 2017, 40K by 2018, and $100K by 2020, will people on this board keep saying "too late to the game" "end of the Bitcoin bubble" then? :D I will feel no remorse if I "miss out" on bitcoin prices continuing to skyrocket. Unless all these people holdi...
by hightower
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 2596

Re: Bitcoin IRA

Makes me wonder.. If Bitcoin goes to $20K by end of 2017, 40K by 2018, and $100K by 2020, will people on this board keep saying "too late to the game" "end of the Bitcoin bubble" then? :D I will feel no remorse if I "miss out" on bitcoin prices continuing to skyrocket. Unless all these people holdi...
by hightower
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VTI-Is this truly the total us stock market?
Replies: 6
Views: 1190

Re: VTI-Is this truly the total us stock market?

Hi, I currently use VTI (Total US Stock) as my domestic equity allocation. I know I'm probably fine, but does the VTI small cap allocation match the recommendations of the other well-regarded "lazy" portfolios? A lot of people use VTI or equivalent and then tilt to small caps or REIT or others with...
by hightower
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 92
Views: 11458

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

Make a lot of money. Either pay off my student loans (100k at 2.6%) or put the money in my taxable brokerage account. If the stock market crashes, I will definitely start pouring money into buying shares and hold off on paying down debt. We will also max both 401ks, Both backdoor Roths, and the HSA....
by hightower
Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down loans or invest
Replies: 14
Views: 1168

Re: Pay down loans or invest

Yeah that interest rate is a bit too high for my liking. I have 100k of student loan debt at 2.6% and I am kind of torn about paying it off over the next 6 months or investing. I'm still leaning towards paying it off even at the lower interest rate. It will just be great to say I'm debt free except ...
by hightower
Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Back door ROTH eligibility
Replies: 11
Views: 868

Re: Back door ROTH eligibility

If you're asking if you can place 5500 in a regular Roth AND put another 5500 in a Roth using the backdoor procedure in the same year, then the answer is no. You're only allowed to put 5500/yr in a Roth IRA no matter how you get it in there. There is no eligibility for it. Anyone can put money into ...
by hightower
Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin
Replies: 64
Views: 4192

Re: Buying index funds is just as speculative as buying Bitcoin

The vast majority of people buying index funds don’t care much about the underlying companies they are purchasing shares of. Their primary goal is to perform as well as the underlying market and hopefully beat inflation. They are speculating that by throwing their money into a little bit of everyth...
by hightower
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5998

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

Isn't paying down a mortgage considered saving once you exclude the interest paid since that doesn't increase your ownership percentage of the house? nickjoy, How does that help you financially until it is totally paid off? It does not. Let's assume that you have a 400K house, 300K mortgage, and 10...
by hightower
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5998

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

No more than 2x your gross annual salary for the size of your mortgage. I like this rule. It prevents you from becoming house poor. If this was a universal standard, realtors would need to survive on cat food. Let's look at the Top 25 Metro Areas per US Census and compare median household income, m...
by hightower
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?
Replies: 41
Views: 1709

Re: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?

I'm pretty certain that my 30 year old sister in law has never paid for a subscription service her entire life because she's the world's biggest moocher. I'm not sure why this bugs me, but it does, so I will never share passwords for this sort of thing. It's like what 10 bucks a month for Netflix? I...
by hightower
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5998

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

No more than 2x your gross annual salary for the size of your mortgage. I like this rule. It prevents you from becoming house poor.
by hightower
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or pay off mortgage?
Replies: 77
Views: 6445

Re: Invest or pay off mortgage?

Long time lurker, first time poster. Hello! 45 years old and max out 401k annually. Over $800k in retirement accounts. $150k mortgage at 3.37% on $500k home; no other debt. Have an extra $3k monthly to invest or pay off mortgage early. Really like the idea of being debt free, but also like the idea...
by hightower
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another House Affordability Question
Replies: 18
Views: 1522

Re: Another House Affordability Question

I personally follow the 2X salary rule to decide on house affordability. You make ~180k/yr combined. That means you can afford 2X that in mortgage, so a 360k mortgage. Unless you can put down 440k, you can not afford an 800k house IMHO. Don't become house poor at such a young age. If you absolutely ...
by hightower
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good friend has nearly $1M in BitCoin what do I tell him?
Replies: 149
Views: 16700

Re: A good friend has nearly $1M in BitCoin what do I tell him?

Good for him. He has an opportunity now to make an easy $1,000,000 dollars for having done essentially nothing. Hopefully he "sees the light" now and sells all of it and cashes in. He will have "won" if he does this. Could it go higher? Sure. Could it crash and burn and be worth nothing? Sure as wel...
by hightower
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’
Replies: 207
Views: 22793

Re: Jack Bogle Says ‘Avoid Bitcoin Like the Plague’

Like Duh you should avoid "investing" in bitcoin. Way too risky. However, that's not to say I don't believe in block chain technology. It sounds like a very good solution to a lot of important problems. But, I'm not putting my money on it.
by hightower
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles
Replies: 112
Views: 8699

Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

I charge mine at night on a level 2 charger (same as a dryer outlet). My dream is to eventually be off grid with solar and a massive battery array for storage, but can't do it at my current residence (roof too small, no land, house too big). I plan on downsizing to a smaller farmhouse soon. That wil...
by hightower
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 18382

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

The trendy thing these days is to talk about spending money on "experiences", basically a new-age description of a vacation, and how it's better than spending money on "things", basically a new-age description of hard assets. The news is full of pop-science articles touting the benefits of this, mo...
by hightower
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house, right?
Replies: 88
Views: 8333

Re: Too much house, right?

I think the answer to this is going to be a more resounding, "No!", but it seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I am wanting to get some opinions. We are rapidly outgrowing our current home due to our rambunctious 3yo and 18mo, and am looking to move within 1-2 years. We discovered a si...
by hightower
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay this off now or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2644

Re: Pay this off now or not?

Thanks for all the replies and discussion! This is a very informative thread and it's very helpful to hear so many people's take on this decision. I'm leaning towards paying it off still, but I'll keep you posted as the year progresses.
by hightower
Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?
Replies: 290
Views: 25933

Re: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?

I feel pretty similar. In fact, I just moved a small percentage of my portfolio to cash for this reason (3-4%). You have to keep your AA in a place where you feel comfortable. For me, I felt too exposed to equities and wanted to know I had some cash on hand for the next correction. I still left the ...
by hightower
Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay this off now or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2644

Re: Pay this off now or not?

Have you asked yourself the question in reverse? Would you take out a $100k loan at 2.6% interest rate to invest the money? I certainly wouldn't, but then I'm not a fan of debt. I would not either. I feel like I should get rid of it too, but I just want to make sure I'm thinking about this correctl...
by hightower
Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay this off now or not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2644

Pay this off now or not?

Hi Folks, I want to get everyone's input on this. I'm 35 y/o, physician, wife and I bring in around 350k/yr right now. I have a mortgage and student loan debt. No other debt. Mortgage is very affordable for us (291k at 4% for 30 years on a ~500k house). LCOL area I have 101k of student loan debt at ...
by hightower
Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geneology: finding the house a dead relative lived in.
Replies: 14
Views: 1276

Re: Geneology: finding the house a dead relative lived in.

Most major cities now have online searches of old city directories that were published yearly with the names, addresses, and often occupations of all of it's residents and businesses. They have been scanned in and can be searched online. So if you know the approximate dates and a name (often last na...
by hightower
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?
Replies: 10
Views: 650

Re: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?

Do you plan on staying in your current home for awhile (15 years or more?). If so, then I would go ahead and refinance to a 15 year and get the lower, fixed rate. If you think there's a chance you'll move in the next 5 years or so, then just refinance to a 30 year. Either way, get out of the adjusta...
by hightower
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Hawaii - what do I need to know
Replies: 46
Views: 4222

Re: Trip to Hawaii - what do I need to know

For a first time visitor I think the Big Island is the place to start. We spent 2 weeks there on our first trip and absolutely loved every second of it. There's so many different things to see/do there. Lot's of different landscapes. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must see. Green sand beaches, ...
by hightower
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive it till it dies. It died.
Replies: 54
Views: 6286

Re: Drive it till it dies. It died.

The transmission (CVT) went out in my 2010 Nissan Murano with 140K miles. It will cost $6,000 to replace the CVT at the dealership. I don't want to put anymore money into the car. I already spent $4,500 earlier this year. How do I sell a car that won't run if I don't trade it in at the dealership? ...
by hightower
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 14417

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

Thanks for the great responses so far. I enjoy hearing everyone's take on this. One thing I tell myself when trying to justify credit card use vs paying cash that goes above and beyond the rewards points argument is that since everyone is paying with credit cards these days, retailers are forced to ...
by hightower
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 14417

Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

This is from a segment 1 year ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np5i5oWfqAo Do you all agree with Dave on this? He says that it's stupid to use credit cards even in situations where you use credit cards for rewards points (credit card hacking) and pay them off each month without paying any interes...