Search found 132 matches

by Charon
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a $400k house?
Replies: 44
Views: 4408

Re: Can we afford a $400k house?

OP, yes, of course you can afford this house. You could afford to put 50% down and have a housing-cost-to-income ratio of less than 15% - i.e., you're in a better position than almost any home buyer who isn't paying cash. (Now, I wouldn't actually recommend putting 50% down, but on the other hand, I...
by Charon
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a $400k house?
Replies: 44
Views: 4408

Re: Can we afford a $400k house?

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:26 am
1) The median house price in the USA is around 200K.
This is not true: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS , https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/HOSMEDUSM052N .
by Charon
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs. Buy - Running the numbers, what am I missing?
Replies: 55
Views: 3896

Re: Rent vs. Buy - Running the numbers, what am I missing?

mervinj7 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 am
If you have no desire to buy a home, then don't. It rarely makes sense from an absolutely pure financial sense.
+1
by Charon
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active
Replies: 87
Views: 4643

Re: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active

A fixed mortgage will show up on the credit report but not on a Fico score, as long as it is in good standing. One cannot borrow more from a fixed mortgage. I'm not surprised it showed up on the credit report - I was surprised that it showed up in a section detailing "debt-to-credit" ratio in my Eq...
by Charon
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 247
Views: 6009

Re: Does anyone here have no credit cards? How is that working out for you? Do you have any trouble without them?

I don’t even know if we have credit scores anymore. If there is an inconvenience, we’ll gladly deal with it. Times I've had my credit report pulled: changing cell phone providers, renting an apartment, buying a house, buying a car (with cash!)... Not having a credit history can make your life very ...
by Charon
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active
Replies: 87
Views: 4643

Re: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active

And in your case, your credit utilization is almost certainly completely dominated by your mortgages. Fixed mortgages don't count towards credit utilization, home equity lines of credit do. A fixed mortgage does count against one's debt to income ratio though. Eh, good to know. I misinterpreted my ...
by Charon
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rates low: leverage up?
Replies: 63
Views: 4547

Re: Interest rates low: leverage up?

What does leverage have anything to do with being a Boglehead? ... More risk does not a non-boglehead make. It actually does. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_investment_philosophy More than 100% of your assets in stocks is "too much risk" by any Boglehead definition. OP is also try...
by Charon
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active
Replies: 87
Views: 4643

Re: Ideas for Little Charges to keep Cards active

As I said, in the long run, maybe I would cancel a few, but I am concerned that I will drop to a worse mortgage rate on my next loan if the credit takes a hit. I have a bunch of mortgages and plan on getting a bunch more so this would not please me. I have a hard time understanding how closing seve...
by Charon
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 247
Views: 6009

Re: Does anyone here have no credit cards? How is that working out for you? Do you have any trouble without them?

I still like Dave Ramsey's thinking also of using your own money instead of the banks. A good idea, but this has nothing to do with using credit cards or not. When I make a purchase, I immediately deduct that amount from my budget log. It doesn't matter that the money won't actually get withdrawn f...
by Charon
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 247
Views: 6009

Re: Does anyone here have no credit cards? How is that working out for you? Do you have any trouble without them?

I lived without credits cards for a while in undergrad, under the mistaken impression that I could use a debit card as an identical replacement, and was being more virtuous for not flirting with debt. I'm very, very glad a friend convinced me to get a credit card. I had no credit score. I would have...
by Charon
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would investors ever choose arbitrary allocation of US/nonUS stocks?
Replies: 69
Views: 4661

Re: What would investors ever choose arbitrary allocation of US/nonUS stocks?

No, it should not be equal weight, because proportionally these countries are of different sizes economy wise, so we should have the % whatever the actual, real % is aka "the index". ... But if you are weighting a small country with 2 million population the same as a country with 1 billion populati...
by Charon
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds in an HSA
Replies: 19
Views: 1467

Re: Bond funds in an HSA

OP, I'd probably go with BCOIX, I guess? But another option would be to keep a portion in cash, and put a portion in equities. I keep a cash position that exceeds my deductible, and then more aggressively invest the remainder. It depends on your view of your HSA. Is it only savings for potentially n...
by Charon
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds in an HSA
Replies: 19
Views: 1467

Re: Bond funds in an HSA

I don’t agree with your choice of bonds in HSA - mine is set to highest risk, VTI. No taxes means I want the biggest possible gains - I have my bond allocation in my tIRA. This depends strongly on the goal of your HSA. If it's an investment vehicle that you don't plan on touching for 30 years, your...
by Charon
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K / RothIRA question
Replies: 5
Views: 291

Re: 401K / RothIRA question

Sounds right to me. You may have access to other tax-advantaged accounts (529, 457(b), HSA, etc.) depending on your situation.
by Charon
Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency $: best in Bank CD or brokerage acct VMMXX?
Replies: 16
Views: 2030

Re: Emergency $: best in Bank CD or brokerage acct VMMXX?

I can't lock it away for too long though. There may be a wedding in the near future and I'm almost due for a new vehicle. But my 30-day rolling CD is a fantastic deal (for its term length) at 1.85%, so I never bothered with the longer term CD rates. Nonetheless, this is something for me to consider...
by Charon
Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we considered House poor?
Replies: 21
Views: 3449

Re: Are we considered House poor?

The standard rule of thumb for being housing cost burdened is 30% (e.g., https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/comm_planning/affordablehousing/ ). Over 30% of the US is burdened by that standard. Severely burdened is 50% (about 15% of the US). Obviously these rules of thumb are only very broad guideli...
by Charon
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aggressive loan paydown on sub-2.5% fixed debt?
Replies: 18
Views: 1186

Re: Aggressive loan paydown on sub-2.5% fixed debt?

xraygoggles wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:58 pm
I would just need to not go on any extra lavish vacations or buy another Tesla.
At some point I lose interest in the money problems of people who talk like this :wink:
by Charon
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency $: best in Bank CD or brokerage acct VMMXX?
Replies: 16
Views: 2030

Re: Emergency $: best in Bank CD or brokerage acct VMMXX?

Longer-term CDs are also appropriate for emergency funds, provided that you can break the CD and the money truly is emergency dollars (i.e., money you do not actually expect to spend). Indeed there can even be a psychological benefit to having the emergency money "locked" away, because then you won'...
by Charon
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aggressive loan paydown on sub-2.5% fixed debt?
Replies: 18
Views: 1186

Re: Aggressive loan paydown on sub-2.5% fixed debt?

It doesn't really matter. At your income levels, and fairly similar timelines (one year vs. five years), it really doesn't matter. The only issue is that you say "live like a resident for one more year" to pay off this debt. I assume this means you will not "live like a resident" if you choose not t...
by Charon
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter Forever?
Replies: 68
Views: 6216

Re: Renter Forever?

Renting forever is fine. For most of US history, on average houses have barely returned more than inflation. (An exception is the period from 1990-2006, which made great impressions on the Gen Xers and Boomers who are the majority of this board - so take their advice with lots of grains of salt.) Th...
by Charon
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter Forever?
Replies: 68
Views: 6216

Re: Renter Forever?

I've asked the the question of "traveling extensively while retired," such as having a rented home base in a desirable part of the world so you can explore the areas for 90 days or more and then move around....so basically short term rentals. That is what an RV is for, not a building. "Travel the w...
by Charon
Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawals During Retirement - Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly?
Replies: 51
Views: 7191

Re: Withdrawals During Retirement - Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly?

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:47 pm
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund Admiral Shares (VMRXX)
https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... view/vmrxx
You mean the non-Admiral version, VMMXX ( https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... file/VMMXX ). Admiral shares require a minimum of $5M :shock:
by Charon
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: pros and cons of target date funds?
Replies: 78
Views: 11902

Re: pros and cons of target date funds?

Disadvantage is that, while you may not be able to tinker with your asset allocation, the fund company can. At the very least do an annual "check up" to make sure the target date fund hasn't drifted too much from what you were expecting. Case in point: Vanguard, the "stay the course" flag bearer, i...
by Charon
Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your moving from HCOL to LCOL stories
Replies: 36
Views: 3659

Re: Share your moving from HCOL to LCOL stories

Housing prices will change dramatically. Other prices won't. Job opportunities are incredibly dependent on your personal situation and the location (LCOL areas include places that are booming, places that are stagnant, and places that are moribund). It's worth considering commuting costs. Living in ...
by Charon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FitnessBank 3% savings with 12,500 daily steps - has anyone heard of them?
Replies: 26
Views: 3977

Re: FitnessBank 3% savings with 12,500 daily steps - has anyone heard of them?

H-Town wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:20 pm
I average 15k steps every day so this should be a slam dunk.
Just curious what your job is? This is 8-9 miles a day. That's only slightly less than an average successful Appalachian Trail through-hiker (10-14 miles/day), who is literally spending their days mostly just walking.
by Charon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the benefits of 403(b) over IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1362

Re: What are the benefits of 403(b) over IRA?

Advantage IRA: In an IRA you are free to move the money around as you wish whenever you wish. If you have a 403(b) your money is generally locked in with your employer's plan for the duration of your employment and can only be rolled into another plan or IRA after you leave. I think this is changin...
by Charon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to Investing/Planning
Replies: 3
Views: 239

Re: New to Investing/Planning

My 403b contribution is currently invested in VIVLX (vanguard target retirement 2055) What are the options in the 403b plan? List the fund names, ticker symbols, and plan expense ratios. List any extra account management fees. How much are you contributing annually? OP said they're maxing the 403(b...
by Charon
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to Investing/Planning
Replies: 3
Views: 239

Re: New to Investing/Planning

Sounds like a good plan. If your time horizon is three years, protecting the assets is much more important than rate of return, so you want to be in savings/CDs/money market. Since you already have a Vanguard account, you could put in the money in something like VMMXX (Vanguard Prime Money Market) a...
by Charon
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I missing out on Roth IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 4594

Re: Am I missing out on Roth IRA

Hi Does it make sense to do a conversion ira to roth ira This comes back to hurt you if you apply for medicaid at a later time because the roth ira does not have to make a distribution and could disqualify you for medicaid if you end up in a nursing home at least until you spend down? Ricqas, pleas...
by Charon
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive to Olympic National Park from Midwest
Replies: 26
Views: 1978

Re: Drive to Olympic National Park from Midwest

As for the drive 00 10 years ago wound up on a pretty intense road going through the rockies that wasn't rugged, the road was fine, but it was costantly switchbacking, hairpin turns with steep drop offs. That was with the rented car and I think by the time we got back it needed new brakes and the t...
by Charon
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?
Replies: 111
Views: 18303

Re: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?

I think that people can make effective decisions for money within a 1-year timeframe, but trying to plan for or judge against age-based metrics is nearly meaningless. The goal would be to save and invest regularly each and every year and stay the course with those investments. It depends on your ci...
by Charon
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1295

Re: Evaluating interest-only mortgage

I think this has more to do with psychology than finance. The simple fact of owning a home isn't a financially smart decision for most people in most of the country (renting + investing often has higher returns). Yet many of us want to own homes anyway. I personally would get the amortizing loan, be...
by Charon
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 11215

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

Yes and no... There is a higher percentage of childless women today than a few decades ago, but a lower percentage than in the early 20th century, so it's not a new situation. The late 20th century was a blip in fertility. There was an article in the Economist about it a couple of years ago. This i...
by Charon
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Life-strategy MODERATE growth and Life-strategy GROWTH for 70/30 mix?
Replies: 42
Views: 2480

Re: Life-strategy MODERATE growth and Life-strategy GROWTH for 70/30 mix?

I'm not a fan of target date funds because someone else is controlling your asset allocation at a glide path which may not fit your needs (why would everyone aged 48 have the same asset allocation needs?). This isn't quite fair. The Target 2035 fund isn't for those who are 48; it's for those who in...
by Charon
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?
Replies: 62
Views: 5375

Re: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:13 pm
Your tax calculations are way off:
Thanks for checking that. I was using an online tax calculator, that for some reason and unnoticed by me kept changing the income when I changed the location, and changed the location when I changed the income!
by Charon
Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 24 Years Old - Need Advice
Replies: 10
Views: 1417

Re: 24 Years Old - Need Advice

I think I would still be in the 22% tax bracket after deductions. How are you in the 22% bracket? If you make $45k/year, and take the $12k standard deduction, that puts you comfortably into the 12% bracket (which topped out last year at almost $39k). Forgive my ignorance, but how would my Roth IRA ...
by Charon
Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?
Replies: 62
Views: 5375

Re: 25 years to retirement, advice on speeding up growth?

Expenses are ~6K/mo. [Edit (corrected tax amounts)]: There's a mismatch here. $133k gross, $12k to 401k, total state and federal income taxes + FICA about $41k in NYC, leaves you with $80k/year take home after retirement contributions. If your expenses are $6k/month, then there's $8k/year unaccount...
by Charon
Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403B and 457 Plan Options
Replies: 12
Views: 817

Re: 403B and 457 Plan Options

In my view, you should definitely try to max out both accounts (403b and 457b) as well as your IRA. The only reason I’d leave tax advantaged space on the table is if it were excessively expensive and I wasn’t going to quit that job for a long time. I think you have an optimistic view of how much mo...
by Charon
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b's and 457b's and HSAs, Oh my! + early retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1476

Re: 403b's and 457b's and HSAs, Oh my! + early retirement

The other thing I'd add to the discussion is to ask if you have a pension option? When I started in WA state higher ed, I had a semi pension plan option (TRS plan 3), where my contribution went to a 401(a), and the employer contribution went into a state pension system. Egads! You are right. I’m el...
by Charon
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?
Replies: 111
Views: 18303

Re: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?

It's really about your individual situation, the lifestyle you currently live and what it will take for you to maintain that lifestyle for the remainder of your life when you stop exchanging your time for money. Well, sure. I was just answering Quirkz's question about Fidelity's assumptions behind ...
by Charon
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?
Replies: 111
Views: 18303

Re: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?

Whether or not it's reasonable to assume that 10x salary and 25x expenses are the same I'm not sure. Are expenses typically only 40% of salary? The Fidelity targets (which they changed a couple years ago...) can be found here: https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/how-much-do-i-need-to-ret...
by Charon
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 403b's and 457b's and HSAs, Oh my! + early retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 1476

Re: 403b's and 457b's and HSAs, Oh my! + early retirement

I was going to chime in that the 457 DCP info is available online, but EdLaFave beat me to it. The other thing I'd add to the discussion is to ask if you have a pension option? When I started in WA state higher ed, I had a semi pension plan option (TRS plan 3), where my contribution went to a 401(a)...
by Charon
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing a job in your 50's...
Replies: 404
Views: 53520

Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Let's look at just one of these levers, not owning a car. Assume your car costs $10k per year (u get a nice one you've seen 10,000 commercials/billboards of). You buy it when u get your first job out of college at age 22. If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% ove...
by Charon
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Posponing FIRE to go back to School
Replies: 20
Views: 1820

Re: Posponing FIRE to go back to School

my intention was to ask if taking this money and time in order to shift careers is worth the amount of time it might prolong my journey. We can't answer that for you, since it's a very personal question (and even for you, involves a lot of conjecture). As other posters have pointed out, you do need...
by Charon
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Posponing FIRE to go back to School
Replies: 20
Views: 1820

Re: Posponing FIRE to go back to School

Are you burned out in your career or in your current job ? I too am puzzled how one could be burned out in a career that you've had for, what, 3 or 4 years? (Presumably 4 years of pharmacy school after your bachelors?) You've presumably spent longer training to be a pharmacist than practicing as one...
by Charon
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with car decision
Replies: 31
Views: 2142

Re: Help with car decision

I'll also chime in to recommend a look at the Crosstrek. You're single, so unless you normally go out with three buddies and a lot of gear, the Crosstrek should have enough space. (There's also now a plug-in hybrid version of it! But it's spendy, so probably don't go for that.) I've driven my Crosst...
by Charon
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Am I a Boglehead?
Replies: 31
Views: 2758

Re: Am I a Boglehead?

I don't think there's an official membership committee :) I think the most basic principles are 1) live modestly enough to save a fair amount and 2) invest in low-cost funds for the long haul. I suppose more officially the principles are given here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_i...
by Charon
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: any other post-docs on here? (or former post-docs?)
Replies: 51
Views: 6180

Re: any other post-docs on here? (or former post-docs?)

I did three years as a postdoc and then self-funded (with grants) one more year at that institution. It was pretty great. I was paid reasonably well (~$65k in 2019 dollars), with a generous retirement plan (10% them, 5% me), and I got to just sit around and think about the universe. However, when it...
by Charon
Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2% withdrawal rate
Replies: 182
Views: 13439

Re: 2% withdrawal rate

Nope - no bragging at all. Yes, yes you are bragging. You saved 50x your expenses early enough to retire early. The median family in the US has almost nothing saved for retirement. The median person 56-61 years old has <0.5x expenses saved ( http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2016/03/04/Retireme...
by Charon
Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: any disadvantage to holding a Vanguard fund at Fidelity?
Replies: 8
Views: 1139

Re: any disadvantage to holding a Vanguard fund at Fidelity?

Thanks for all your replies. I was hoping there would be an easy answer without contacting Fidelity, but perhaps there's no uniform standard. My SO would rather leave money in an account with a 2% expense ratio than deal with thinking about it at all, so I have to do the leg work - but that excludes...