Search found 47 matches

by stevekozak2
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a house, downpayment vs. retirement and other considerations
Replies: 173
Views: 9295

Re: Purchasing a house, downpayment vs. retirement and other considerations

Hey all, Figured I would give a six month check in on the house. We are loving the house and the neighborhood. From a savings perspective, we have kept 401k contributions low at the match, however are maxing out both HSAs. Trying to save as much for some near term house expenses, including some lan...
by stevekozak2
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall
Replies: 44
Views: 2889

Re: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall

I am with other posters: Don't offer advice unless they ask you for advise. Otherwise all you are doing is creating an opportunity for saying "I told you so" when they wind up blowing it all. Not worth it, unless you are just into that sort of thing.
by stevekozak2
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lifestyle creep
Replies: 56
Views: 5161

Re: Lifestyle creep

***Below was my response to another similar post the other day regarding "spending and expenses while saving for retirement." It also applies to our position on what you are calling "Lifestyle Creep." Here's the thing: We decided early on after watching our own parents work so.damn.hard to only str...
by stevekozak2
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?
Replies: 183
Views: 8458

Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

After having finally read this entire thread, I have different thoughts. It seemed, in the beginning, that the husband was being horrible and unreasonable in his actions. Reading further in, however, we learn that the OP is getting everything she wants, in terms of the joint finances, other than con...
by stevekozak2
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?
Replies: 183
Views: 8458

Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

We have been married for 8 years and do separate accounts. We each put 60% of our paycheck into joint account, the rest goes into our personal account. This is enough to pay for all joint bills and a little more. Personal spending comes from your own personal account, joint bills come out of joint ...
by stevekozak2
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?
Replies: 183
Views: 8458

Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

Fundamentally disagree. Of our retirement assets (we have twice that in taxable assets), 70% are in my name, 30% in my wife's. Of that 30%, I contributed probably 70% of it. While legally in each of our names, and treated that way if one of us passes and for designating beneficiaries, this is OUR m...
by stevekozak2
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mom retired with not quite enough savings, questions about annuity
Replies: 44
Views: 5379

Re: Mom retired with not quite enough savings, questions about annuity

What is the balance on her mortgage? How much equity does she have in it? Refi'ing a 30 year at 60 seems like a really poor plan.
by stevekozak2
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher
Replies: 35
Views: 4111

Re: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher

My suggestion is that you use the money to pay off your car, and then start saving for your bpnext car, so that you can buy with cash. Buying depreciating assets on credit is asinine to me. If you get to a point you have extra, throw it at your mortgage. Being debt free is a wonderful thing!! I don...
by stevekozak2
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Next Steps for Single 34 Year Old with Savings and Roth IRA (VASGX)
Replies: 37
Views: 3463

Re: Next Steps for Single 34 Year Old with Savings and Roth IRA (VASGX)

The traditional IRA is the safer option. If a Roth account wins it is unlikely to be by much and the trad is likely to win by a fair amount. The OP might consider deciding how much of the savings account is needed as an emergency fund, and set up a taxable investment account to be considered part o...
by stevekozak2
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?
Replies: 148
Views: 12965

Re: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?

I dont include it in my planning because I think, at a minimum, I will be means-tested out by that point. If I do receive any benefits, well then I can increase my charitable giving!
by stevekozak2
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher
Replies: 35
Views: 4111

Re: Best use for a $2k raise for a middle-income teacher

My suggestion is that you use the money to pay off your car, and then start saving for your bpnext car, so that you can buy with cash. Buying depreciating assets on credit is asinine to me. If you get to a point you have extra, throw it at your mortgage. Being debt free is a wonderful thing!!
by stevekozak2
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At a crossroads. Does my plan make sense?
Replies: 29
Views: 3100

Re: At a crossroads. Does my plan make sense?

So here are some questions: 1. Does my plan make sense? Or is there something I’m missing that makes a lot more sense? To me it does but I would move the money to Vanguard anyway. 2. Would I be better off transferring the entire amount of the Account Balance plan to a Vanguard IRA and annuitizing t...
by stevekozak2
Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would YOU retire
Replies: 67
Views: 10074

Re: Would YOU retire

In a heartbeat!
by stevekozak2
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?
Replies: 97
Views: 8736

Re: Why paying off loans would be better than fully funding 401k?

OP, I am fairly new to investing, and would not offer advice on that, but your problem is one of personal finance. You and your wife have had horrible spending habits. I think, based on your early posts, that your wife has had "docitis" meaning she has been in a mode of "I grew up poor and struggled...
by stevekozak2
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Did you learn anything from the market correction?
Replies: 160
Views: 14396

Re: Did you learn anything from the market correction?

I am brand new in the market. Just got my Roth IRA going towards the end of January, fully funded 2017, DCAing 2018. Have lost money and continue to contribute my monthly amount. I learned that I am committed to my course. I learned that the silver lining to the market dropping is that my monthly co...
by stevekozak2
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Here is how things stand, any comments welcome
Replies: 9
Views: 1336

Re: Here is how things stand, any comments welcome

Congratulations, Peter! I think you are doing great! Being 100% debt-free including your house means you can concentrate your income on investing (even if some do not realize it). I do agree with an above poster that you should go ahead and max your 2017 Roth IRA while you still have time. You are o...
by stevekozak2
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard help
Replies: 6
Views: 954

Re: Vanguard help

OK, finally to someone on the phone at Vanguard and got it figured out. If the mods want to just delete this thread, that would be fine.
by stevekozak2
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard help
Replies: 6
Views: 954

Vanguard help

I finally got my Vanguard account opened (had to mail in the application, etc) Got back into the account today (had to reenter a lot of things) However, I can't find my money. My bank account shows the $5500 is pending as a Vanguard Buy, but when I go on Vanguard to purchase my fund (VTSMX) it asks ...
by stevekozak2
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick answer
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Re: Quick answer

Thank you all for your replies! These answered my questions perfectly!
by stevekozak2
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick answer
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Re: Quick answer

It doesn't matter now and can be changed at any time you want. In some of our Roths, we have dividends automatically reinvested and in other Roths we don't. Thank you for your reply. If my purpose is to just let this grow in an index fund, would the reinvestment idea be correct? I am happy to know ...
by stevekozak2
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick answer
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Quick answer

I am setting up a Roth at Vanguard. In the application process, it asks if dividends and capital gains are to be reinvested or placed in a settlement fund. I am assuming for my retirement investing purposes that they should be reinvested. Is this the correct answer?
by stevekozak2
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which Vanguard funds would work best?
Replies: 8
Views: 1819

Re: Which Vanguard funds would work best?

VTI, VTSAX, and VTSMX are different classes of the same fund. VTSMX is the regular mutual fund. It has a $3000 minimum initial investment and a higher expense ratio. VTSAX are Admiral shares. There is a $10,000 minimum to start, but the expense ratio is lower. VTI is the ETF version. It trades like...
by stevekozak2
Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First time Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 726

Re: First time Roth

So, just a targeted retirement fund? For both sets of money? Suggestions? I am debt-free and committed to staying the course, once I determine what the course is. Am I only able to put a total of 5500 each year into a combination of Roth and TIRA, or 5500 in each (I realize my rollover of 14000 will...
by stevekozak2
Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First time Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 726

First time Roth

I am about to open a Roth, to get my hands-on retirement going. I have been a state government worker for most of my career (social worker) and the only retirement I have, at age 42, is what goes into my state retirement plan (which is basically a pension). I don't make a lot of money (around 36,000...
by stevekozak2
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which Vanguard MMF?
Replies: 13
Views: 2853

Re: Which Vanguard MMF?

You could also link an FDIC insured Ally high-yield savings account directly to Vanguard brokerage. When using mutual funds, you can make same day buy's and sell's directly from/to an external account. I believe Ally savings is currently paying >1.2% yield, so pretty competitive with MMF This was m...
by stevekozak2
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance student loan? (Federal->Private)
Replies: 6
Views: 939

Re: Refinance student loan? (Federal->Private)

11.8k? Why don't you just buckle down and get it paid off quickly so you can put ypur money to work for ypu, instead of messing around for 8 years flipping interest rates?
by stevekozak2
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please look at my financial situation and give me your insights
Replies: 21
Views: 2930

Re: Please look at my financial situation and give me your insights

I think a necessary component of your retirement plan is for your wife and you to learn to work together on finances. Having one person with out of control spending (as the other sees it) leaves the "saver" nervous, afraid, and resentful. She spender would see the saver as over bearing, and be rese...
by stevekozak2
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to prioritize? Or hire a financial advisor?
Replies: 10
Views: 1388

Re: What to prioritize? Or hire a financial advisor?

1. Pay off car
2. Pay off student loans
3. Increase ER (it seems low for what you are making)
4. Retirement to 15%
5. College funding
6. Everything else
by stevekozak2
Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I need a strategy to address debt and savings
Replies: 38
Views: 5764

Re: I need a strategy to address debt and savings

Buckle down and tighten up your budget considerably. Try to increase your income, if possible. Hit the credit cards fast and hard, and then knock out that car loan. Attack the school loan with a vengence! You should be debt free in less than 4 years, if you get after it! Good luck!
by stevekozak2
Sun May 21, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job change--crazy financial move?
Replies: 9
Views: 1780

Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

To me, unless you are just miserable in Job 1, it seems that, long term, it will get you to freedom sooner. With the amount of time you get off (9-12 weeks!) you should be able to travel to see family and soak up some culture as much as you want. Early retirement, properly funded, means you get to d...
by stevekozak2
Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?
Replies: 240
Views: 34983

Re: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?

I'm just going to say that I am astonished by the large number of replies of folks not having a true EF, and wanting to rely on credit. I don't think a lot of people understand what a true emergency is/could be. To each his own. I keep 6 months of living expenses in an immediately available savings ...
by stevekozak2
Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell rental property?
Replies: 11
Views: 1810

Re: Sell rental property?

Sell it.
by stevekozak2
Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF has long commute, should we buy a house to avoid long commute?
Replies: 62
Views: 6635

Re: GF has long commute, should we buy a house to avoid long commute?

A few things: Do not buy a house with someone you are not married to. Do not purposefully have children with someone you are not married to. Do not get married to someone who is not onboard with your views on money (this will lead to heartache and loss of money) Questions: What is her income? Why wo...
by stevekozak2
Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

Re: Purchasing 4 Family House for Rental Income

I'm cringing reading this thread. This is a really terrible idea. I know several people who have gotten into these kinds of partnerships and nearly all of them ended in a disaster. As time goes on you guys will have different priorities (get married / have kids) and things will happen that are outs...
by stevekozak2
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get $100k for home remodel?
Replies: 34
Views: 4621

Re: Where to get $100k for home remodel?

#5. If the wife gripes, tell her to get another job to speed up the process. Don't buy things you cannot afford.
by stevekozak2
Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest
Replies: 61
Views: 6796

Re: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest

I like reading threads with fairly simple questions, as it lets me know which posters' advice I am likely to be interested in when I have more complex questions.

As to the OP, I say pay it off, get that debt out of ypur life, and start investing that monthly payment in the investment of your choice.
by stevekozak2
Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing spouse to sell losing investment
Replies: 58
Views: 6040

Re: Convincing spouse to sell losing investment

It is my opinion, that more than financial diversity, you need marriage counseling. I am seeing some pretty strong undertones that you and your spouse are not a cohesive unit.
by stevekozak2
Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on buying a house from a colleague
Replies: 37
Views: 4113

Re: Thoughts on buying a house from a colleague

My thoughts are simplistic. You have a paid for home now, and no real need to move for five years. You have $70,000 in savings to use as a down payment right now. With a $200,000 income, and a paid for residence, I would think you would be able to aggressively save for the next 5 years and have, at ...
by stevekozak2
Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Loan [vs. investing]
Replies: 41
Views: 4673

Re: Auto Loan [vs. investing]

Pay cash. Debt is risk.
by stevekozak2
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Cash vs. having a Mortgage on Retirement Home
Replies: 11
Views: 2008

Re: Paying Cash vs. having a Mortgage on Retirement Home

Stay mortgage free. Your retirement will be much more enjoyable without debt!
by stevekozak2
Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or Keep the rental?
Replies: 5
Views: 602

Re: Sell or Keep the rental?

I would probabley sell it and save on top of the profit to buy another rental locally, for cash (if you like landlording). Long distance landlording is fraught with peril.
by stevekozak2
Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs buy dilema long term - seeking impartial advice
Replies: 4
Views: 977

Re: Rent vs buy dilema long term - seeking impartial advice

I would get the debt paid off first. With the money you make, you could get that done relatively quickly, if you buckle down. Being debt free makes sunny days a little brighter.
by stevekozak2
Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing to buy a home
Replies: 8
Views: 1443

Re: Investing to buy a home

Personally I used a much more aggressive AA to invest for buying a home. Something like 60/40 stocks/bonds. VTSAX for the stock portion, and whatever bond fund strikes your fancy. At the time I used a combination of GNMA & I-Bond, which worked for me, but may or may not have been entirely sound. Bo...
by stevekozak2
Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing to buy a home
Replies: 8
Views: 1443

Re: Investing to buy a home

Thank you for the replies. This is the kind of information I was looking for!
by stevekozak2
Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing to buy a home
Replies: 8
Views: 1443

Investing to buy a home

I am new here, and know very little about investing. I am reading The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, which is what lead me here. I am mostly just reading on the forum right now, but do want to ask a question. I plan to buy a house as personal residence, in about 8.5 from now. I would like to...
by stevekozak2
Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rush to pay off 0% Auto Loan?
Replies: 44
Views: 6244

Re: Rush to pay off 0% Auto Loan?

Pay it off! Not having that debt hanging around is that much less risk hanging around. If some diasater befalls you ( heaven forbid) not having that payment, even if ypu are not paying interest on it, is one less thing to worry about. :beer
by stevekozak2
Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being smart with this car purchase?
Replies: 58
Views: 6373

Re: Am I being smart with this car purchase?

You have over $100K in debt, were not able to max out your retirement accounts, and can't pay cash for the car. Taking out a loan to buy a car that costs over $40K and has a reputation for high maintenance costs and rapid depreciation is not smart especially since you will likely need to replace yo...