Search found 55 matches

by FrugalProfessor
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Savings - Is it enough?
Replies: 38
Views: 3510

Re: 529 Savings - Is it enough?

CA offers a total US stock market fund for 0.08%: https://www.scholarshare.com/research/fees.shtml. It is where I am planning on putting 529 contributions in excess of my state's 10k limit. Regarding the optimality of prioritizing 529 above retirement, I have a hard time conjuring up such scenarios....
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which BoA Credit Card to use?
Replies: 15
Views: 961

Re: Which BoA Credit Card to use?

The Premium Rewards card gives 2.625% on everything, redeemable in cash. $95 annual fee. There are a few additional perks, but that's mostly it. The Travel Rewards card gives 2.625% on everything, redeemable in statement credits for travel. $0 annual fee. If the OP's family travels a decent amount,...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which BoA Credit Card to use?
Replies: 15
Views: 961

Re: Which BoA Credit Card to use?

My understanding of the new Premium Rewards card is that you get the increased base rewards rate of the Travel Rewards card (i.e. 2.625% at platinum honors), but that you can redeem the rewards for cash back, not just travel. The Cash Rewards (for groceries/gas/costco) and the Premium Rewards (for ...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which BoA Credit Card to use?
Replies: 15
Views: 961

Re: Which BoA Credit Card to use?

Thanks alvapert. Ugh wasn't aware there was a Premium Reward. We do grocery, costco, gas, restaurants. About $10k per month paid in full. Sounds like we'll just stick with Cash Rewards. Got the Travel Rewards for when we start traveling more - we hit the $2k or whatever is required to get the initi...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Question
Replies: 19
Views: 913

Re: Tax Question

Other posters have done a great job, of course. At your level of income, you want to max out other accounts prior to putting a penny in taxable brokerage accounts. Prioritize using something like this: www.frugalprofessor.com/hierarchy-of-savings/ Once you fill up tax advantaged buckets (HSA, 401k, ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 13784

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

MMM: Younger demographic. Less rich. Discussions about cell phone plans + DIY home & car repairs. BH: Older demographic. Much richer (I'm amazed at the abundance of multi millionaires here). Discussions about tax optimization and index investing. Similarities: Both think critically about problems th...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?
Replies: 200
Views: 14767

Re: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?

I loathe dividends and am perplexed by people's obsession with them. If a mutual fund or stock's dividend yield isn't high enough for your liking, sell some stock and create your home grown dividend. For an investor with a multi decade investing horizon, I hate the drag caused by dividends, as show...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?
Replies: 200
Views: 14767

Re: Dividends vs. Capital Gains for Spending Needs?

I loathe dividends and am perplexed by people's obsession with them. If a mutual fund or stock's dividend yield isn't high enough for your liking, sell some stock and create your home grown dividend. For an investor with a multi decade investing horizon, I hate the drag caused by dividends, as shown...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you value your time?
Replies: 97
Views: 3885

Re: How do you value your time?

My effective marginal tax rate is 45%. If I can spend $1 less, it's the equivalent of earning an extra $1.82 (=1/(1-.45)). Don't forget taxes when valuing DIY activities (mowing lawn, paying for parking, making own meals, etc). Unfortunately taxes are the great distortion of modern societies and DI...
by FrugalProfessor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you value your time?
Replies: 97
Views: 3885

Re: How do you value your time?

My effective marginal tax rate is 45%. If I can spend $1 less, it's the equivalent of earning an extra $1.82 (=1/(1-.45)).

Don't forget taxes when valuing DIY activities (mowing lawn, paying for parking, making own meals, etc).
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14301

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

As other posters have commented, one thing is often neglected with the CA rent vs buy decision: Property taxes due to Prop 13. My grandfather recently sold his Los Altos home for $2.2M in 2013 (Zillow currently has it pegged at $3.5M) which he purchased in the early 70s. Built in the 60s, it was 250...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted
Replies: 34
Views: 2454

Re: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted

I've had my credit frozen for years. The only time I've had to unfreeze is when applying for new credit (Mortgage). Check your credit report. Any instance of a credit inquiry in your recent past is an instance in which you'd have to unfreeze your credit going forward. My preferred method of unfreezi...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value
Replies: 67
Views: 6425

Re: I am in the investment advice industry and I'm not sure if I provide any value

Don't conflate value with price. They are not the same thing. You can provide a lot of value but you can still be vastly overpriced. Value belongs to the consumer. This was the best comment on the tread so far. Well said TFB! My vote is for you to transition from an AUM to an hourly fee model. Doin...
by FrugalProfessor
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Smartest Financial Moves
Replies: 62
Views: 5984

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

1.) Spending my early 20's reading Random Walk Down Wall Street, Boglehead's Guide to Investing, Millionaire Next Door, Little Book of Common Sense Investing, Richest Man in Babylon, Four Pillars of Investing. 2.) Living significantly below my means (no TV bill for past decade, around $10/year in VO...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9635

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

1.) Blindly following advice of HR woman during intern onboarding at MegaCorp in which she advised opting out of 401k. I pissed away a 6% company match. Total cost < $1k. 2.) Blindly following advice of HR woman during onboarding at phd student onboarding. I learned after the fact that I was eligib...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9635

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

1.) Blindly following advice of HR woman during intern onboarding at MegaCorp in which she advised opting out of 401k. I pissed away a 6% company match. Total cost < $1k. 2.) Blindly following advice of HR woman during onboarding at phd student onboarding. I learned after the fact that I was eligibl...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BOA Premium Rewards Card
Replies: 29
Views: 1745

Re: New BOA Premium Rewards Card

Look at the "Earn more cash back as a Preferred Rewards client" portion of the first link. I know how Preferred Rewards works, since I have Platinum Honors status, but my understanding is that it does not apply to the points sign-up bonus. Doctorofcredit.com agrees that it doesn't apply (see the FA...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BOA Premium Rewards Card
Replies: 29
Views: 1745

Re: New BOA Premium Rewards Card

75% bonus from your offer once you plop $100k in Merrill Edge and achieve "platinum honors" status. https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/cash-back-credit-card/#headlineCcalcModule https://info.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/#benefits I don't see anything that suggests that the p...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BOA Premium Rewards Card
Replies: 29
Views: 1745

Re: New BOA Premium Rewards Card

BOA Cash Rewards (no annual fee): 5.25% gas, 3.5% grocery & wholesale (i.e. Costco) Max rewards spending cap of $2.5k/quarter defeated with multiple cards Where are you seeing this offer? I have a BofA cash rewards card that is 2% groceries/wholesale, 3% gas and 1% everything else 75% bonus from yo...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BOA Premium Rewards Card
Replies: 29
Views: 1745

New BOA Premium Rewards Card

I've been waiting for this news for a while after seeing the initial WSJ article. It was finally revealed today. The card seems weak. https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/premium-rewards-credit-card/ http://www.mymoneyblog.com/bank-of-america-bofa-premium-rewards-card-review.html http...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)
Replies: 17
Views: 2218

Re: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)

Got it on the TIRA for the EITC. Could the TIRA then possibly be used to "hack" the savers credit and get into a higher % reimbursed space due to lower AGI? Spendiso, can you post additional tax-related info so we can run some scenarios? Things like are you taking standard deduction or itemizing (a...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 165
Views: 15442

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]

Age 35/33
Income: $250k
Expenses: $50k (it would be $25k if not for 5 kids)
Goal: $1.5M + paid off house
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

No. We like where we live and it works for us. I guess the affirmation of that was when our kids told us it was a good place to grow up even though two of them are elsewhere now. Living someplace you hate while you are working seems like a problem a person should have fixed a long time ago. I do un...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for smartphones.
Replies: 31
Views: 2694

Re: Strategy for smartphones.

My strategy that has saved me 10k over the past decade: 1.) inherent hand-me-down phones from friends/family members 2.) shove prepaid card in SIM port (https://tello.com/rates/pay_as_you_go?_language=en) 3.) use free VOIP (hangouts + skype + google voice + https://www.amazon.com/OBi200-1-Port-Adapt...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Milestone Reached - "Quarter Millionaire!"
Replies: 41
Views: 4847

Re: Milestone Reached - "Quarter Millionaire!"

Congrats!!!!!!! I'm in a similar situation to you. Late bloomer. 12 years of college dampens the savings rate. The good news is that once you have good systems in place, each additional $100k becomes substantially easier. I'm sure you're already doing this, but max out every tax advantaged account a...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

We are in the PHX area right now and planning early retirement. We have two rough plans... which both involve selling our current house (2-stories, we want 1 for later in life). 1) Sell the house, buy a small condo in the same area and a second condo in Eastern Washington (both wife and I are from ...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

DurangoWino wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:30 pm
Not sure if you have checked out Durango, CO. No Costco, but full of charm and an outstanding setting with a more moderate climate than northern CO. Closest Cosco is 160 miles.
I know nothing about Durango, so thanks for sharing. It's now on my list of cities to check out. Thanks!
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Frugal Professor, We currently live in the Southwest, but have purchased several properties in Bellingham since 2003 and plan to move into one of them once I retire in a couple of years. Last summer we sold one house and bought another into which we expect to move. We're renting it right now to a s...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

I would second an earlier response to take a look at Ft. Collins if your are considering the Springs. And while both have seen significant increases in real estate prices I would still consider both very affordable. You are probably aware of it but I will mention that in considering Colorado Spring...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Take a look at Fort Collins. Lots of the same benefits of Col Springs but smaller with more walkable amenities. Haven't spent much time in CO but of Col Springs, Denver, and FC, I liked FC the best and it is on our list of possible destinations. Thanks for the heads up on Ft Collins! I know several...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

We've spent much of the last week discussing this issue with my brother and his wife who after living there 30 years, are itching to get out of King County (Seattle area) due to high sales taxes, onerous local building restrictions, and what they consider to be intolerably progressive/oppressive po...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Retiring next year myself and have given this some thought. Considerations for me are: 1. Taxes on income (RMD and SS) 2. Access to children and grandchildren and other family members 3. Downsizing house and 3 acre lot to mow/maintain but still will prefer rural to big city 4. I do like to see all ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Well, I relocated about two blocks, does that count? We relocated about 7 miles. The main reason was to get a one-floor house for physical ease as we get older. We have family here, the cost of living is reasonable, we have excellent medical facilities, no hurricanes, and we are 5 minutes from Cost...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Well, I relocated about two blocks, does that count? :wink: It was really more of a tax management scenario, selling our prior residence as the gains were approaching the $500K exclusion, and setting up to potentially get a partial exclusion on the other house. It is quite possible that we will rel...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

One other thing to consider is Colorado Springs is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country - for many plus more of the reasons you stated. That means increased housing costs (if you can find a reasonable place at a reasonable price), increased congestion/traffic, and plenty of new sto...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

Your choice of place, like any other, will depend on which things matter the most to you, since it's almost impossible to maximize all good things in a single location. If taxes matter to you, then there is a marked difference among the three states you name. Washington and Nevada have no state inc...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Re: Relocate for Early Retirement?

sport wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:55 pm
I would suggest your questions and concerns apply to retirement in general, whether early or not.
Fair enough. :D
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocate for Early Retirement?
Replies: 41
Views: 3745

Relocate for Early Retirement?

To those who have reached early retirement: Did you relocate upon retiring? If so, why (COL, geography, weather, taxes, proximity to family, etc)? What city did you retire to? Are you happy with your decision to relocate? To those planning early retirement: Are you planning on relocating upon retiri...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 7363

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

Property tax of 2% on $400k house = $8k/year (not deductible due to AMT...DOH!). But in my state they nail us on all dimensions (7% marginal tax rate) + high sales tax + high car registration fees. Schools and libraries are mediocre. To me, the ultimate arbitrage is to live in a state without incom...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 7363

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

Property tax of 2% on $400k house = $8k/year (not deductible due to AMT...DOH!). But in my state they nail us on all dimensions (7% marginal tax rate) + high sales tax + high car registration fees. Schools and libraries are mediocre. To me, the ultimate arbitrage is to live in a state without income...
by FrugalProfessor
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Announcement: Effective vs Statutory Marginal Tax Rates
Replies: 5
Views: 767

Re: Public Service Announcement: Effective vs Statutory Marginal Tax Rates

Edited to add: of course the effective marginal rate can be different depending on the type of income... Yes, many retirees may have three different marginal rates: 1) ordinary income 2) SS income 3) qualified dividend income You can't do much to change your SS income but you have some control over...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me game plan strategy- Newbie
Replies: 15
Views: 735

Re: Please help me game plan strategy- Newbie

If I were you I'd: * Lower expenses to what you can tolerate * Pay off all auto debt; hold off on mortgage debt * Max out every tax advantaged account you have (401k/401a/457/403b/HSA) * Only after you do the above should you contribute to IRAs * Think hard about your decision of Roth vs Trad IRA. ...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Announcement: Effective vs Statutory Marginal Tax Rates
Replies: 5
Views: 767

Public Service Announcement: Effective vs Statutory Marginal Tax Rates

I wanted to make a public service announcement on the difference between effective and statutory marginal tax rates. Most people know what their statutory marginal tax rate is. This is the same number that Taxcaster computes for you. To compute it you: * Take gross income * Subtract payroll deductio...
by FrugalProfessor
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me game plan strategy- Newbie
Replies: 15
Views: 735

Re: Please help me game plan strategy- Newbie

If I were you I'd: * Lower expenses to what you can tolerate * Pay off all auto debt; hold off on mortgage debt * Max out every tax advantaged account you have (401k/401a/457/403b/HSA) * Only after you do the above should you contribute to IRAs * Think hard about your decision of Roth vs Trad IRA. I...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)
Replies: 17
Views: 2218

Re: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)

Before funding Roths (which I'm a huge fan of), educate yourself on EITC hacking. I wrote the following post on it: http://www.frugalprofessor.com/etic-guest-post-on-gocurrycracker/ With two kids and your level of income, you are a prime candidate for EITC hacking. Conventional wisdom says you shou...
by FrugalProfessor
Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total International (VTSAX) - Taxable Account
Replies: 31
Views: 6973

Re: Vanguard Total International (VTSAX) - Taxable Account

If Fund A has an annual 2% yield and 6% capital gains, and Fund B has an annual 3% yield and 5% capital gains, then they will generate the same tax burden when distributed from a tax-deferred account. You are correct about that - actually a glass of wine helped me figure that out myself. But as lon...
by FrugalProfessor
Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)
Replies: 17
Views: 2218

Re: How am I doing? (Teacher Edition)

Before funding Roths (which I'm a huge fan of), educate yourself on EITC hacking. I wrote the following post on it: http://www.frugalprofessor.com/etic-guest-post-on-gocurrycracker/ With two kids and your level of income, you are a prime candidate for EITC hacking. Conventional wisdom says you shoul...
by FrugalProfessor
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is yodlee moneycenter dead?
Replies: 18
Views: 3873

Re: is yodlee moneycenter dead?

Will Personal Capital pull in all your historical transactions? That's a high priority for me in switching from Yodlee to something else. I haven't figured out how to do this and doubt the functionality exists. I import Yodlee every month into my own spreadsheet so preserving the historical stuff i...