Search found 259 matches

by il0kin
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 8233

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Find a venue that is truly just a space rental, no restrictions on catering or alcohol vendors, which allows you to come in the day before. This will save quite a bit. We catered a higher-end BBQ place for something like $15/head with staff who set up and took down the buffet. People LOVED it! We al...
by il0kin
Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)
Replies: 155
Views: 11575

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

You need to install systems in your life that account for, and manage, variability and have the self-discipline to follow them. I’m talking systems down to the level of standardizing the Tupperware containers you store food in so that everything is efficient and effective. We are two working parents...
by il0kin
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?
Replies: 93
Views: 4005

Re: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?

Stick with the 30-year. We are 30 and a few years into a 3.875 30 year, with two kids in daycare. Daycare is within $250 of the monthly mortgage cost ($1440 for daycare). I’ve been eyeing a refinance to a 20 year at 3.25 as it would only raise the payment a bit. I don’t know your income, but we have...
by il0kin
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 82
Views: 9497

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I just went to 3.22%/20yr from 3.5%/25yr with all closing costs covered. Barely worth the hassle, but it does work out in our favor by about $25k so I did it Can you share the lender? I’ve been targeting a 3.25% 20 year versus our current 3.875 30 year as it would shave off 6.5 years and only chang...
by il0kin
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?
Replies: 105
Views: 6946

Re: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?

I own a 2015 Nissan Frontier crew cab 4x4. It has been reliable and the only issue I had was a faulty belt tensioner which was replaced under warranty. I bought it new for 28k or so. I use it for home remodel work, towing a Jon boat, hunting and fishing, towing 6x12 type trailers both open and enclo...
by il0kin
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY
Replies: 27
Views: 2071

Re: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY

I was able to leverage my work benefit of Hyatt pre-paid legal service to have an estate plan which includes a comprehensive set of wills and a trust set up for only the monthly benefit cost, it was 100% covered. I elected the benefit for this year and it’s $18/month. We met twice with a lawyer who ...
by il0kin
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Go for new job (more pay but travel) or stay?
Replies: 65
Views: 3921

Re: Go for new job (more pay but travel) or stay?

I walked away from a well paid consulting job to quit traveling to have a family and have not regretted a minute of it. Think about how you’ll feel when your kids are crying and telling you “Daddy, I don’t want you to leave!” and then how much worse it will feel when they barely notice you leaving. ...
by il0kin
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a graduate data science job offer, or doing a MSc in Statistics
Replies: 34
Views: 2302

Re: Taking a graduate data science job offer, or doing a MSc in Statistics

Not personally in data science but I am in the data analytics field and really enjoy it. I’m very glad I’ve got 6 or 7 years of professional experience in the IT world under my belt as I am taking advantage of my employers tuition reimbursement and getting a MS Information Systems and Business Analy...
by il0kin
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?
Replies: 119
Views: 9223

Re: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?

Tried the Beyond Meat burger, was impressed with the texture and appearance, very beef-like and the taste was good while eating it but didn’t taste like beef per se and had a bit of a chemical aftertaste, I thought. All that to say, I’m not going to buy any $BYND (not that I buy individual stocks an...
by il0kin
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pursued the wrong career?
Replies: 37
Views: 7075

Re: Pursued the wrong career?

I’m in the healthcare data analytics field at an academic employer and can assure you if you retooled through the data science program and learned Python/R and SQL and could demonstrate your capabilities combined with a PhD you would have no problem finding a job with starting salary of 90k, possibl...
by il0kin
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 289
Views: 21797

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

However, in a LCOL area I have witnessed wealth and wealth accumulation beyond my wildest dreams. Wealth is also different in a LCOL rural area. Even a medium size farm is a multi-million dollar business. Think about that the next time you are flying over "flyover" country and see all those funny l...
by il0kin
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lightweight, durable, ~15.6" Windows laptop
Replies: 25
Views: 1608

Re: lightweight, durable, ~15.6" Windows laptop

Whatever you get, I highly suggest either running Fresh Start or doing a clean install of windows to remove the factory bloatware.
by il0kin
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 289
Views: 21797

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

There’s a middle ground... MCOL! Look at Midwest/Southern cities with 1-3M people. Lots of major companies with HQs in these cities (think Berkshire Hathaway and its many subsidiaries in Omaha). Plenty of 70k+ jobs, houses in good areas are in the 200k range. A dual income family can have a very nic...
by il0kin
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 118
Views: 7735

Re: Buying a Smoker

Electric smokers are 85% as good in terms of taste/texture but take 15% of the work of a traditional smoker setup. I’m a Boglehead, so I like things to be both simple and efficient in all aspects of life. I realize that I will never be as good of a pitmaster as a professional, and accept that I will...
by il0kin
Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio review and general early retirement advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1473

Re: Portfolio review and general early retirement advice

Don’t underestimate the amount of expense daycare takes. Try and get rid of the car loan and the student loan ASAP so that you can maintain your savings rate while kids are in daycare. We spend $180/week ($9360 per kid per year, so $18,720 total or $1560 per month) on childcare and ours is VERY reas...
by il0kin
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Cashing out an inherited IRA or not?
Replies: 11
Views: 1214

Re: Cashing out an inherited IRA or not?

Seems like you’re putting the cart way before the horse here. The money is there and available, set it in low volatility funds so it maintains principal, build two buildings with your available money and get a year or two of steady, stable occupancy at 90%+ and figure out the operations. If you’re t...
by il0kin
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Careers that combine art/design and science?
Replies: 36
Views: 1743

Re: Careers that combine art/design and science?

Industrial design could fit her well.

It’s worthwhile to take the time to explain to her that very few people end up getting “dream jobs” like their counselors tell them, but it’s not so uncommon to find something you generally find appealing and find work.
by il0kin
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm thinking about buying a supercar anyone here done this and feedback?
Replies: 241
Views: 14999

Re: I'm thinking about buying an exotic supercar anyone here done this and feedback?

What about a Corvette ZR1? It’ll smoke just about everything except the highest end supercars and starts at 120k brand new. Option it out to 150k and you’ve got a hell of a brand new car. I’ve ridden in a 450 rwhp trans am and the power was almost incomprehensible, I can’t even fathom 700+. Be caref...
by il0kin
Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Fishing" Shirt Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 1554

Re: "Fishing" Shirt Recommendations

Sounds crazy to wear a hoodie, but these are incredibly cool and keep your neck and ears out of the sun. Combined with a ball cap you only need a bit of sunscreen on your face. https://www.amazon.com/Columbia-Terminal-Tackle-Hoodie-Collegiate/dp/B01GS9SI0K/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=fishing+hoodie&qid=...
by il0kin
Fri May 31, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

UPDATE: I did decide to go ahead and reduce retirement contributions from 17% to 10% and will be paying for the Masters program in cash rather than taking out loans. Thank you all for your comments and contributions!

:sharebeer
by il0kin
Sun May 26, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my AC?
Replies: 27
Views: 2457

Re: Should I replace my AC?

It is probably only a 2 ton unit and it won't be terribly expensive to replace. Tip - MAKE SURE the company who replaces it pulls permits! You do not want to take a gamble on a shoddy HVAC install and if a company pulls permits for every job, it is an indication that they do good work. You may be ab...
by il0kin
Fri May 24, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

$22k all in for a masters sounds like a bargain to me. I would definitely go with the pay cash option. I would look at it this way - would you take out a 6% loan to invest more money in the stock market? Because that is effectively what you would be doing if you took out a school loan. Thanks for t...
by il0kin
Fri May 24, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Would you drop to 10% and pay cash for the degree, or keep the 17% contribution and take $13,000 of loans at ~6%? Is there a 3rd option? Max your retirement accounts and cash flow your degree? You posted on a previous thread: I know exactly how you feel as we went from a 1200 sq ft house to a 2500 ...
by il0kin
Fri May 24, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Cons: Miss out on compounding growth of $17,400 over time You're only missing out on the growth that's over 6%, since that's the interest you would otherwise be paying. It's entirely possible that market returns over the next decade will be significantly less than that. I'd definitely take the guar...
by il0kin
Fri May 24, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Dropping your 401k to 10% seems like a good approach. You didn't state your tax bracket. Is there any chance you would qualify for any education credits? That might change the math a little if dropping your 401k contributions increases your AGI to the point that you wouldn't qualify for the credits...
by il0kin
Thu May 23, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

How many years is the program? What is the return for getting the Masters? Will you get a pay bump in your current role? Or is it just for future roles? The program will take 3 years, assuming I take 1 class per semester (this program has 5 8-week semesters per year). 1 class is about all I can han...
by il0kin
Thu May 23, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Re: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Personally, I'd drop the 401k to minimum to get the match and put enough in the 529 to get max state tax credit, pulling it right back out to pay for your college courses. Note....I do the 529 thing right now. Max state contribution for tax credit is $2k. I put it in and take it out. Pay my son's b...
by il0kin
Thu May 23, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1482

Pay for Masters in cash vs. retirement contributions?

Bogleheads, I am starting a Masters program with a total cost of about $22,000. My employer will pay for $9000 ($3000/yr), leaving an out of pocket balance of $13,000. I currently save 17% + 3% match into my retirement accounts. I am considering dropping retirement contributions to 10% and redirecti...
by il0kin
Sat May 18, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4 ?
Replies: 82
Views: 7660

Re: Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4 ?

Can't speak to the new ones, but our 2015 CR-V EX has been completely trouble-free and reliable for 56,000 miles . It is a naturally aspirated engine, as a bit of a gearhead, turbos make me nervous. A turbo is one thing on a Porsche, but a commuter car... no thanks. If you are open to buying used wi...
by il0kin
Sat May 18, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1627

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

Myself and friends/family have had excellent results from the Novaform brand (memory foam) at Costco. We are two years into ours with no issues, and when we got it my back pain disappeared almost literally overnight. I believe our queen size was $500 on sale. I doubt I’ll change your mind, but as t...
by il0kin
Sat May 18, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term
Replies: 17
Views: 1627

Re: Foam vs pillow-top? Mattresses for the long term

Myself and friends/family have had excellent results from the Novaform brand (memory foam) at Costco. We are two years into ours with no issues, and when we got it my back pain disappeared almost literally overnight. I believe our queen size was $500 on sale. I doubt I’ll change your mind, but as th...
by il0kin
Fri May 10, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Replies: 19
Views: 1111

Re: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Any mower with a Honda GCV 160 will work well. I’ve got a 6 year old Craftsman with that motor, the mower will break down far before the e fine. It is worth paying extra for self-propel (FWD is fine, AWD is overkill) and a dual blade system for a more consistent cut.
by il0kin
Fri May 10, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?
Replies: 54
Views: 3224

Re: Vacant Lake Lot. Sell or Hold?

Have you considered building a reasonable 3 bed 2 bath cabin on it and then selling it? Lake properties always sell quicker when they have a cabin it seems like.
by il0kin
Wed May 08, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice
Replies: 56
Views: 4665

Re: Bathroom Remodel - Looking for Advice

The trade-off for heated floors is they are super expensive to run...at least they were when I was installing them 5+ years ago. Customers would complain about the extra $50/ month on their electric bills. Contractors also upsell this feature and charge a fortune for something that is only a couple...
by il0kin
Sun May 05, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 79
Views: 6806

Re: College/life prep for young kids

My kids are still young, so I really don’t know yet about preparing them for college, but a piece of advice that is already paying dividends with my oldest is to teach them how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Personal growth comes from being challenged at all ages. My parents were comple...
by il0kin
Fri May 03, 2019 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boat close enough to the dock? Career transition question
Replies: 10
Views: 1330

Re: Boat close enough to the dock? Career transition question

How does your financial planning business make you feel when you do the work versus your IT consulting career? You have the resources to make the jump, but I would say to walk away from that kind of income, your heart has to be 100% in the new business. Keep your IT skills sharp, if after several ye...
by il0kin
Fri May 03, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At 28, I Don't See How I Can Make Any Projections for My Retirement Amount or Age?
Replies: 83
Views: 6800

Re: At 28, I Don't See How I Can Make Any Projections for My Retirement Amount or Age?

You are overthinking it (which I totally understand, I am an overthinker and like to consider all the variables). The rule of thumb around here and other places is really tied to % saved, assuming traditional retirement ages and a 20-something start date for saving. 10% results in a decent, no-fril...
by il0kin
Fri May 03, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At 28, I Don't See How I Can Make Any Projections for My Retirement Amount or Age?
Replies: 83
Views: 6800

Re: At 28, I Don't See How I Can Make Any Projections for My Retirement Amount or Age?

You are overthinking it (which I totally understand, I am an overthinker and like to consider all the variables). The rule of thumb around here and other places is really tied to % saved, assuming traditional retirement ages and a 20-something start date for saving. 10% results in a decent, no-frill...
by il0kin
Thu May 02, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year
Replies: 56
Views: 9020

Re: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year

I can’t see the benefit of living full time on an ocean. Hurricanes, flooding, salt ruins everything, tourists. Some great views, though. I’d rather live on a large interior lake and not have the problems that come with oceans. Plenty of lakes in most states where $40k would be just fine if the hou...
by il0kin
Wed May 01, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year
Replies: 56
Views: 9020

Re: 4 Gorgeous Beach Towns Where You Can Comfortably Retire on $40,000 a Year

I can’t see the benefit of living full time on an ocean. Hurricanes, flooding, salt ruins everything, tourists. Some great views, though. I’d rather live on a large interior lake and not have the problems that come with oceans. Plenty of lakes in most states where $40k would be just fine if the hous...
by il0kin
Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kids fishing gear
Replies: 23
Views: 1359

Re: Kids fishing gear

Get a Zebco 33 Micro Ultralight Combo. It is a spincast with smaller reel and shorter rod, much easier to handle for a smaller kid fishing for small fish such as sunfish. Should run you about $30 and is actually a decent reel. When I’m taking friends fishing, they get my tried and true full size Zeb...
by il0kin
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not Maxing 401K OK?
Replies: 53
Views: 5800

Re: Not Maxing 401K OK?

Take a look at your expenses. What do you spend per year? Average it out over a few years. Once you have that figure, you can run some pretty simple projections that include retirement account growth at 4-5% over time with a 4% withdrawal rate, combined with estimated SS payments (factor in the plan...
by il0kin
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 34547

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

There were two things that impacted us: 1. The child credit increase. This is a step in the right direction to helping offset the very high cost of child care. Unless you became newly eligible (over the old limit but under the new one), this was a wash; the old credit plus the (now-gone) personal e...
by il0kin
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 34547

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

There were two things that impacted us: 1. The child credit increase. This is a step in the right direction to helping offset the very high cost of child care. 2. I tuned the per-paycheck changes to be absorbed by an increase in retirement contributions last year, so I never noticed the extra money ...
by il0kin
Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House with Permanent Wood Foundation - Would You Buy?
Replies: 13
Views: 1450

Re: House with Permanent Wood Foundation - Would You Buy?

1. I wouldn't purchase a home where I couldn't lay eyes on most of the inner walls of the foundation, regardless of material. 2. If you're having these reservations, so will every other person who ever looks at the home when you sell it. Your buyers pool is automatically smaller. It's a want, not a ...
by il0kin
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leave a job with a pension?
Replies: 39
Views: 4676

Re: Leave a job with a pension?

Will your current employer return your pension contributions or are they gone into a black box forever? Will you be collecting SS at retirement? I think if you have an existing pension + SS + well funded 401k type accounts, you’ll have a great mix of income in retirement. A 20% raise is great and ge...
by il0kin
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High powered binoculars recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1229

Re: High powered binoculars recommendations

Vortex makes some really nice stuff. I have a pair of 8x42 Bushnell H2O waterproof and fog proof binoculars that I use a lot during hunting season. They are inexpensive enough at $75 that if I drop them in a lake I won’t be angry. Good quality, take a beating, no problems. They’ve been in the dash o...
by il0kin
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?
Replies: 13
Views: 1275

Re: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?

I had to amend and it took about 10 days.
by il0kin
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can/Should we build a new house?
Replies: 13
Views: 1401

Re: Can/Should we build a new house?

No way. You don't make nearly enough to build a custom 450k house in a VLCOL and hope to absorb the loss if you need to move. It's one thing if you have a 3M+ net worth and 300k annual income to build a custom house understanding it might result in a sale at a loss. Save up 30-40k cash over the nex...