Search found 101 matches

by Cobra Commander
Thu May 03, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?
Replies: 31
Views: 1964

Re: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?

My 2 cents.... I find realtors add limited value. The last two investment properties I purchased, I did not use a buyer's broker. If I was selling, I would use a flat fee MLS listing service and offer the buyers agent whatever the norm was or slightly higher (2.5-3.0%). The listing agent rarely sel...
by Cobra Commander
Thu May 03, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Gap in financial literacy widens for couples the longer the relationship lasts, study suggests"
Replies: 13
Views: 1777

Re: "Gap in financial literacy widens for couples the longer the relationship lasts, study suggests"

Makes a lot of sense for many aspects of the relationship beyond just finances. For example, DW is the primary meal preparer so while there are a handful of dishes I can make she definitely has greater expertise than me as that is her primary responsibility. Meanwhile, DW does not know how to start ...
by Cobra Commander
Thu May 03, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?
Replies: 31
Views: 1964

Re: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?

Another option might be to consider a flat fee listing agent that will get it on the MLS. These services offer various packages including photos, lockbox service, etc. at various price points. It also shields you from being bombarded by agents calling you trying to get your listing which will happen...
by Cobra Commander
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments
Replies: 84
Views: 6295

Re: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments

If I ever get married, I feel the best way to do it would be have a joint account for bills that you both deposit money into, then have your own separate accounts where your paychecks/investment income/etc is mainly deposited to..then you just transfer it to the joint account. Essentially the rever...
by Cobra Commander
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sad because I did not know what I was doing with inheritance
Replies: 34
Views: 7165

Re: Sad because I did not know what I was doing with inheritance

I lost about $20K when I was in my 20's because I was an idiot and I effectively gambled on Adelphia Cable. All we can do is learn from our mistakes.
by Cobra Commander
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees - Legal Benefit Plan
Replies: 1
Views: 329

Re: Federal Employees - Legal Benefit Plan

You should confirm whether the EAP includes estate planning documents, it probably does not. Usually the EAP covers a consultation and may provide a discount (10%-20%) on future services from that lawyer. I used the EAP once for an issue and I was disappointed that I knew more about that area of law...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does everyone here earn so much?
Replies: 131
Views: 7275

Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

Focusing on the second paragraph of your post, IMO what others on here earn isn't directly relevant to you given the diversity of employment fields represented here. It really only matters what you earn relative to other lawyers in your location and to some degree practice area. I'm sure you've seen...
by Cobra Commander
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I "get divorced" for tax purposes (PSLF)
Replies: 57
Views: 3921

Re: Should I "get divorced" for tax purposes (PSLF)

Many states have a waiting period prior to divorce during which you must live separately (often six months with no children and one year if you have children). So my question is do you plan to not have sex with your spouse for six months or do you plan to perjure yourself in court when you claim tha...
by Cobra Commander
Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Attorneys
Replies: 48
Views: 2730

Re: Advice on Attorneys

I'm a lawyer but not in trusts and estates so I'll offer my two cents. I only use specialists when I go see lawyers or at least lawyers that devote the vast majority of their practice to the area I need assistance with. First, you're far more likely to get someone that is competent and let me tell y...
by Cobra Commander
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why child care tax credit for double income families, but not single?
Replies: 32
Views: 3581

Re: Why child care tax credit for double income families, but not single?

The preschool would count as daycare but you will not be able to deduct it unless your spouse gets a part-time job and is working during those daycare hours as you note in the bolded sections of your OP. The deduction is meant to provide an incentive/subsidy for dual-income households to offset the ...
by Cobra Commander
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Splitting a cell phone bill
Replies: 35
Views: 2004

Re: Splitting a cell phone bill

I think everyone should contribute proportionately to the total cost of the plan. For example, if there are four lines then everyone pays 25% of the cost.
by Cobra Commander
Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time for twins to go to daycare
Replies: 38
Views: 2845

Re: Time for twins to go to daycare

I would add a different perspective than Bloom's. If you wish to continue separate finances consider having a joint account into which you both contribute in some % (possible pro rata by income) from which you pay all of the major joint expenses (mortgage, daycare, groceries, etc.). IMO this approac...
by Cobra Commander
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you live on a budget?
Replies: 65
Views: 3747

Re: Do you live on a budget?

Not really. Obviously we considered our income and expenses when buying a house but otherwise we dont have a budget. We dont buy a lot of stuff and we're naturally relatively frugal so not tempted to buy everything we see.
by Cobra Commander
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling Locked into a Job
Replies: 26
Views: 3133

Re: Feeling Locked into a Job

Does the pension allow you to continue health coverage at the employee rate or in some other subsidized manner? That could be very valuable if you plan to retire early.
by Cobra Commander
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dear wife quits job and now we are down to 1 income
Replies: 190
Views: 16983

Re: Dear wife quits job and now we are down to 1 income

How much, if any, of that expense is daycare? You could cut that obviously if she stays home. OTOH, daycare slots are scarce in some places so if she is still deciding you may need to keep paying to hold the slot.
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan
Replies: 35
Views: 3471

Re: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan

Stan I’d retired just after the ability to convert some SL to creditable time, but had to use quite a bit for surgeries and recovery over the prior few years, and the resultant addition was almost negligible, so I do understand (I’d had over 2k hours of SL before then). But even then, over 2k hours...
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan
Replies: 35
Views: 3471

Re: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan

My understanding is that the FDIC, Fed Reserve and possibly the CFPB are on a different pension system so OP could be thinking of one of those agencies which also supports OP's view of the salary being over $200K because those agencies are not on the GS scale.
by Cobra Commander
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank 2% 12 month CD expires tomorrow
Replies: 13
Views: 2522

Re: Ally Bank 2% 12 month CD expires tomorrow

Just as an FYI I called them and they said so long as I began the application process prior to the offer expiration I will get the advertised rate even if it takes them a few days to open my account. Ive been meaning to migrate some of my banking from WF to Ally and this gave me a little push.
by Cobra Commander
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...
Replies: 19
Views: 1791

Re: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...

Seems like your mom could just withdraw the money now so you have $0 then she could gift the money back to you at a later time. Since the account is joint the money would be hers to withdraw.
by Cobra Commander
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private S corp stock
Replies: 6
Views: 477

Re: Private S corp stock

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:47 pm
How did you invest $140K in the business and are only a < 1% owner. Your less than 1% ownership is not going to get you much of the assets from the sale.
OP says $960k expected from the sale of his portion. Might not be much to you but $960k sounds good to me. :sharebeer
by Cobra Commander
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me evaluate job offer. From State DOT to FHWA. How to turn pension into present compensation value?
Replies: 14
Views: 1577

Re: Help me evaluate job offer. From State DOT to FHWA. How to turn pension into present compensation value?

I would consider whether the federal position is a ladder position (i.e. GS-12/13). If it is not a ladder position, you will have to compete for the GS-13 slot. If it is a ladder position, promotion to GS-13 is virtually guaranteed after one year provided you don't screw up.
by Cobra Commander
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse Money Management
Replies: 94
Views: 7302

Re: Spouse Money Management

You earn 15x more than her? I earn INFINITYx more than my spouse. We make it work. We are married though. Everything we have is “ours”. I would be more concerned about you making 35k/year than her being in college working part time. Regards, John I thought OP said the $35k was take home which presu...
by Cobra Commander
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse Money Management
Replies: 94
Views: 7302

Re: Spouse Money Management

Let's be very clear about this as the thread title "Spouse" confuses the situation. She is your girlfriend and not your wife. And there is a reason for that. You haven't agreed on any long-term goals, dreams, or aspirations. Until that happens, you shouldn't be co-mingling expenses. If you are livi...
by Cobra Commander
Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse Money Management
Replies: 94
Views: 7302

Re: Spouse Money Management

She should be covering her hopefully modest living expenses with student loans. I can see food being a joint expense you both contribute too because presumably youre eating the same meal.
by Cobra Commander
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No down payment for home purchase: what is worst-case scenario?
Replies: 39
Views: 2687

Re: No down payment for home purchase: what is worst-case scenario?

In a competitive market your offer will look less attractive for two reasons. First, it suggests you are one financial setback away from having to void the contract or having your financing fall through. Second, if there is an issue with the appraisal coming in a little low you have no room to negot...
by Cobra Commander
Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring a real estate agent to buy home
Replies: 21
Views: 1983

Re: Hiring a real estate agent to buy home

I prefer to use a discount broker that will rebate a portion of their commission to me. On my last house I got a rebate for 2% of the purchase price. I knew the area and the comps so she was just filling in a form and showing up for the inspection and closing.
by Cobra Commander
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The old Federal CSRS Retirement System question
Replies: 14
Views: 1578

Re: The old Federal CSRS Retirement System question

This suggests you do get the survivor benefit. Given the stakes I would definitely have him check with his HR person though. https://www.opm.gov/faqs/topic/retire/index.aspx/index.aspx?cid=73707e40-be26-406d-ae28-ae5059bf5e30&page=2 May I receive benefits if I am the surviving spouse of someone who ...
by Cobra Commander
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring Work Locations - Cost of Living Decrease?
Replies: 17
Views: 2019

Re: Transferring Work Locations - Cost of Living Decrease?

This sort of happened to my spouse when we moved from NYC to DC. She was receiving a promotion at the same time and her pay effectively stayed the same due to the increase from the promotion offsetting the decrease as a result of the move. Absent the promotion they would have cut her pay.
by Cobra Commander
Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner
Replies: 40
Views: 5568

Re: Accidental landlord turning to for sale by owner

Just painted it myself. If I was smart I would have put an open house sign while I was over there all Sunday. Is it worth making a Craigslist ad? We are signing with a broker on Wed? I don't know what market you're in but generally I think making a Craigslist ad for a house is a waste of time. Hone...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8204

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

... No, the real problem is that the preconditions outlined here are absurd. Nothing legally allows husband's employer to put specific restrictions on his spouse's employment. ... These two sentences don't necessarily go together. And, at least in many states, the second one is probably wrong. (Dep...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8204

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

... No, the real problem is that the preconditions outlined here are absurd. Nothing legally allows husband's employer to put specific restrictions on his spouse's employment. ... These two sentences don't necessarily go together. And, at least in many states, the second one is probably wrong. (Dep...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8204

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

My two cents on structuring the agreement off the top of my head would be the following formula: 1/2 the difference in your incomes payable for a time period that is the difference of a mutually agreeable retirement age - current age. I would structure the formula in a neutral manner so that if you...
by Cobra Commander
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8204

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

^Matthew Bender publishes a practice guide titled "LexisNexis Practice Guide: Pennsylvania Family Law." That's where I would start my search.
by Cobra Commander
Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8204

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

Some of the advice on this thread is terrible. To start with, whether the agreement is enforceable and on what terms is going to vary by state. I don't see your state in this post (maybe people are gleaning this information from other posts you have but I'm too lazy to do this) so I would disregard ...
by Cobra Commander
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of real estate agent for buying new construction?
Replies: 25
Views: 1944

Re: Benefits of real estate agent for buying new construction?

It might be helpful to have a go between for negotiating issues as they arise. That said, some agents are more willing to go to bat for you than others and some are more effective at negotiating than others. Some don't want to cause any issues that might derail the deal so they'll try to mollify you...
by Cobra Commander
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to federal job?
Replies: 80
Views: 9394

Re: Switch to federal job?

One concern that was briefly touched on but I think is worth considering is job security as a new hire. She will probably have a probationary period and if the agency needs to reduce headcount it is easiest to terminate probies. My division has frozen hiring and recently canned several employees in ...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water
Replies: 27
Views: 3368

Re: Structuring payoff offer for house in foreclosure, above water

I've done a little bit of foreclosure defense while I was on a fellowship at one point in my career and this was my experience. When the house was above water the lender did whatever they could to continue the foreclosure proceedings because they could tack on a ton of extraneous fees (late fees, pr...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FERS credit for Active reserve time
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: FERS credit for Active reserve time

Yeah, I would submit everything you have, including the annual points statement. I would think that would be sufficient to meet the criteria as worded in the regulation. No downside to going for it. When/if you do hear back from them, would you post your results here? I'm definitely curious to hear...
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FERS credit for Active reserve time
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: FERS credit for Active reserve time

Interesting, and you're correct - I only have experience from the Guard side of the house. The OPM regulation seems pretty straightforward in that AT should count, though. Put the AT time on your RI97-20; the worst that can happen would be that they say no. Another federal employee will make the ac...
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FERS credit for Active reserve time
Replies: 8
Views: 743

Re: FERS credit for Active reserve time

I'm certainly no human resources expert, but I've never seen anyone get FERS credit for AT. I think the requirement for FERS credit is for either title 32 or title 10 service, which I believe excludes annual training time. If you have spent any time on orders for operational support (ADOS) I believ...
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FERS credit for Active reserve time
Replies: 8
Views: 743

FERS credit for Active reserve time

I am wondering if anyone on here has been able to receive credit for their Active Duty for Training (ADT) in the reserves. For clarity, this is not the weekend drills but includes the "two weeks" over the summer. I was able to use my DD214 and DD220 to get credit for most of my military time but I h...
by Cobra Commander
Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 16828

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

I got married a few years ago and DW's parents paid for the wedding (around $25K including dress, reception venue, food, photographer, church, etc.) and my parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. My parents also paid for the plane tickets and hotel room for our honeymoon and we paid for meals. I paid...
by Cobra Commander
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof - Questions
Replies: 16
Views: 2242

Re: New Roof - Questions

I disagree with the advice to call the insurance company first. IMO if you have an experienced roofer they can get up on the roof with the adjuster and point out where the roof is damaged. The insurance company is not your friend and they don't make money by paying out claims. I do agree that you sh...
by Cobra Commander
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?
Replies: 67
Views: 8049

Re: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?

When DW and I were first married we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment (900 sq. feet) and it was stressful at times because there was no way to get alone time. She primarily worked from home so the 2nd bedroom was her office during the day and I also used it to telework one day per week when she went in...
by Cobra Commander
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small tax refund or owing taxes?
Replies: 35
Views: 3167

Re: Small tax refund or owing taxes?

I prefer to get a little money back because that way if I file late, which I often do, its no big deal.
by Cobra Commander
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?
Replies: 67
Views: 8049

Re: I'm considering buying a house in the $800k range.. can I?

Your relationship status is unclear so forgive the broad advice here. If you have a SO and are either engaged or know SO is the one you will marry I agree you should get their buy in before purchasing a home. You work from home but consider SO's commute and whether you think SO is likely to change j...
by Cobra Commander
Tue May 30, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a monitor and computer software
Replies: 9
Views: 1108

Re: Recommend a monitor and computer software

One small note for humble software developers. Having a disk is not the same as having a legal license to use said software. :idea: Right but if it's a home use program and I still work for the same employer I'm pretty sure the license is still valid. It's a legit disk that I ordered from Microsoft.
by Cobra Commander
Tue May 30, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a monitor and computer software
Replies: 9
Views: 1108

Re: Recommend a monitor and computer software

You might also look int monitors that rotate between portrait and landscape mode. Toms hardware has some good reviews. Are you interesited in 4K? This is a link to their standard (not top of the line gaming) monitors review. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-monitors,4533-2.html I'm n...
by Cobra Commander
Tue May 30, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a monitor and computer software
Replies: 9
Views: 1108

Re: Recommend a monitor and computer software

What version of MS office do you have? I also use Chrome for most of my internet browsing. I only use Internet Explorer when I have to. For anti-virus I use ESET, but it's not free software. I'm not an IT guy so it's hard for me to make a suggestion on anti-virus software. I went with ESET based on...