Search found 2297 matches

by Meg77
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another mortgage payoff question
Replies: 3
Views: 558

Re: Another mortgage payoff question

You aren't getting any tax benefit from keeping the mortgage, because you don't have enough deductions to itemize. So your effective mortgage rate is the same as the stated interest rate: 4%. If the excess funds are sitting in cash I would probably just pay off the loan. If they are already invested...
by Meg77
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Direct Real Estate Returns
Replies: 219
Views: 9996

Re: Direct Real Estate Returns

I've got 7 rental units and sold 3 last year. Some have done better than others (and it's impossible to predict exact returns due to unknowns like having to spend $30K on a property you paid $130K for to re-pipe the plumbing under the house). However in general I've calculated that if I buy a retail...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 years old and Accumulating
Replies: 10
Views: 1063

Re: 28 years old and Accumulating

You're doing amazingly well! 1. I agree that you don't need to buy a house at this stage. You want to maintain flexibility to move for a job, plus home ownership will come with lots of expenses you don't need. 2. Yeah, you're really cash heavy, especially given your very low level of expenses. Start...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 90
Views: 5884

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

About $110k (no kids though). Like you, pretty much all expenses go on credit cards except our mortgage and property taxes. I think it's pretty common for annual credit card spend to be fairly synonymous with annual spending - and therefore bound to be high in many cases. You spend $110k a year?!! ...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young colleague please
Replies: 26
Views: 2059

Re: Advice for young colleague please

1. Create an account at Mint or Personal Capital to begin tracking spending and net worth. Of course you can just use Excel too. But seeing progress is hugely motivating. 2. Use emergency fund to pay off the two credit card debts today. Yes it's scary having no savings - but you make enough to rebui...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: House purchase: pay cash or get mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 2262

Re: House purchase: pay cash or get mortgage?

Mortgage banker here. Pay cash! 1. You will save on title fees (lender policies are more expensive than owner policies usually) and lender origination fees in addition to the interest savings. You will also save yourself a huge hassle - I can attest to how burdensome the disclosures and underwriting...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 90
Views: 5884

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

About $110k (no kids though). Like you, pretty much all expenses go on credit cards except our mortgage and property taxes. I think it's pretty common for annual credit card spend to be fairly synonymous with annual spending - and therefore bound to be high in many cases. You spend $110k a year?!! ...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?
Replies: 174
Views: 11255

Re: Why is leveraging property good but leveraging stocks bad?

I'm a private banker, and I find this discussion very thought provoking. In my view, it is not the thing or investment being purchased that makes leverage "good" or "bad" - or more advantageous or more risky. It's the loan structure. If the only way to borrow to buy a home was on a high interest rat...
by Meg77
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 90
Views: 5884

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

About $110k (no kids though). Like you, pretty much all expenses go on credit cards except our mortgage and property taxes. I think it's pretty common for annual credit card spend to be fairly synonymous with annual spending - and therefore bound to be high in many cases.
by Meg77
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's your *real* asset allocation?
Replies: 30
Views: 3070

Re: What's your *real* asset allocation?

I guess I don't understand this definition of "liquid" then. Liquidity is the ability to quickly buy or sell an asset without impacting the asset value. All of my assets are liquid now. In the past, this was not true. But I never included non-liquid assets in my allocation plans. I never counted re...
by Meg77
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What time do you get up in the morning?
Replies: 138
Views: 8957

Re: What time do you get up in the morning?

I don't set an alarm but wake up around 7:30am every day (dog, cat and/or husband will wake me up around that time if I'm still sleeping). I walk the dogs first thing which wakes me up. Beyond that my schedule is not set in stone. I will make a latte and take it to the roof to check out the plants i...
by Meg77
Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 years to lose wealth applicable to bogleheads ?
Replies: 32
Views: 3722

Re: 10 years to lose wealth applicable to bogleheads ?

This article confuses wealth with income, as others have pointed out. Income fluctuations are not the same thing as "not staying rich" or "losing money." Very few people have recurring incomes in the 1% range, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As others have pointed out, large one time bonuses...
by Meg77
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Midlife investing crisis? At a crossroads; need book advice.
Replies: 29
Views: 2363

Re: Midlife investing crisis? At a crossroads; need book advice.

Hey there. I agree with others that you seem to be more at a midlife crisis than a midlife investing crisis. However, like many of us here, you view life through the lens of money and investing. Perhaps you truly do just want to diversify and ramp up your wealth building, but reading between the lin...
by Meg77
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4256

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

In April you told us you had $700k sitting in a bank account. No need to borrow money, then. I am not comfortable purchasing a home cash and much less in another country. Got too little ones at home a large amount of my liquidity to that amount of risk I don’t think is a smart decision. Banker here...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Northwestern Mutual (65 Life) Whole Life Insurance - Add to it?]
Replies: 7
Views: 719

Re: [Northwestern Mutual (65 Life) Whole Life Insurance - Add to it?]

Cash it out, invest the cash value in a brokerage account (or almost anything else). Fast forward 10 years and you'll have goodness knows how much more money.
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation once you reach your target
Replies: 42
Views: 3017

Re: Asset Allocation once you reach your target

My grandfather added more bonds to his AA when he sold his business and "retired" in his early 60s years ago. When he was 75 or so he asked me what % I thought he should have in equities and was worried about the market (this was either before the Great Recession or after most of the losses had been...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 62
Views: 4892

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

I am not sure how far they travel, but personally I don't think there's much difference between a 3 hour drive and a 4 hour drive to the cabin. You're considering boosting your commute in either case. Assuming you make 12 trips a year (3 times a month 4 months out of the year), that's an average of ...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax questions for newbie to single member LLC
Replies: 8
Views: 533

Re: Tax questions for newbie to single member LLC

Thanks for these responses! I understand opening a solo 401k is an optiom and changing withholding and may be a direction to go now. Currently, is there anything WRONG with just keeping the income? Is there set “rules” for estimated taxes, or do they not apply to single member llc since it all goes...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What % of your equity is int’l?
Replies: 141
Views: 7741

Re: What % of your equity is int’l?

25% (and 25% of that is in Emerging Markets)
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 62
Views: 4892

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

My husband and his family are from Minneapolis, and I've visited many times over the years. I haven't been to Madison so can't compare, but Minneapolis has a great culture and is a super cool city from my outsider point of view. It also is a much more economically relevant city, so if your career is...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expected windfall that I currently manage?
Replies: 7
Views: 1391

Re: Expected windfall that I currently manage?

In my opinion this is much too conservative a portfolio given that it will be invested for the long term. This is an appropriate portfolio for a retired person of advanced age - mostly bonds and cash. But now the goals have changed and so has the timeline so the portfolio should change too. Remember...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting married, car buying and apartment by myself?
Replies: 18
Views: 2644

Re: Getting married, car buying and apartment by myself?

You're doing fine! Rent of $1500 a month is affordable as it's 20% of your income. You have only been spending 25% of your income, so it's natural to have some anxiety around boosting expenses so much. But as long as you continue to save at least 20% of your income, you will be fine. Remember that y...
by Meg77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on paying off Mortgage and/or Car?
Replies: 6
Views: 847

Re: Advice on paying off Mortgage and/or Car?

It sounds like you are living comfortably on your wife's fixed income, which is great. Once you begin collecting, you will have even more of a cushion and perhaps even be able to save/invest a bit more. Here are my thoughts: 1. Will your wife's pension continue if she dies before you do? If no, then...
by Meg77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 4728

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

Of my total investment portfolio, I hold the following: 2% cash, 2% tech start up accelerator, 5% bonds (17% of which is international).

The remaining portion is 56% investment real estate and 33% stocks (one quarter of which is international).
by Meg77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2074

Re: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice

Banker here. Per federal regulations, consumers are not responsible for fraud on credit cards, so the card companies will reimburse you whether you file a police report or not. In fact, some of them require you to file a police report depending on the amount and situation. Banks are not necessarily ...
by Meg77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife Leaving Work- 401K Plan Question
Replies: 6
Views: 756

Re: Wife Leaving Work- 401K Plan Question

Hi there. When your wife leaves her employer she will need to do a 401k Rollover into an IRA. Initially, the funds will be rolled over however they currently are held. If she has a Traditional 401k then the funds will be rolled into a Traditional IRA. If she has a Roth 401k then she'll end up with t...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlords- How Many Months of Expenses Do You Keep?
Replies: 8
Views: 1187

Re: Landlords- How Many Months of Expenses Do You Keep?

Technically I have 3.5 months of expenses on hand currently (fixed expenses plus 3 year average maintenance but not including vacancy expense). That equates to $30,000, but that is the high end of what I normally keep. I have 3 duplexes and a townhome so the odds of having all 7 units vacant for any...
by Meg77
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?
Replies: 73
Views: 6252

Re: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?

Can you elaborate on what you mean by “the equivalent yields don’t make it worth it except in the highest tax brackets”? Sure. Money market funds are generally taxable, but you can buy municipal money market funds which are tax free (it's kind of like regular corporate bonds versus municipal bonds)...
by Meg77
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your debt interest rate threshold?
Replies: 57
Views: 3405

Re: What is your debt interest rate threshold?

It's all relative - primarily relative to the inflation rate and the rate of risk free investments (treasuries, bank CDs). Inflation is running just over 2%, so any debt at that level or under is effectively free money. I don't worry about paying that off; after all my Vanguard money market is payin...
by Meg77
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House and HELOC refi advice
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: House and HELOC refi advice

I see you have $466k of non retirement investments? I corrected that as those are retirement funds. OK, well I would still probably just make paying the second lien off a priority rather than paying to refinance the entire mortgage. I'm not sure how much is in your stock (drip) account, but you cou...
by Meg77
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House and HELOC refi advice
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: House and HELOC refi advice

There's little point in refinancing the first mortgage. It would make more sense to just refinance the HELOC by itself into a home equity term note to fix the interest rate. Then pay it off quickly. Closing costs for a home equity loan should be a lot less, though your rate will probably not decreas...
by Meg77
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage pre-approval questions
Replies: 12
Views: 930

Re: Mortgage pre-approval questions

Banker here. You do NOT need a preapproval letter at this stage. Honestly you may not need one at all, but many realtors convince sellers that they are good to see (in reality they are worth about as much as the paper they are printed on). So when collecting offers, it makes them feel good to see a ...
by Meg77
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?
Replies: 73
Views: 6252

Re: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?

Regarding the 3% on the bond fund, what about after taxes? Bond funds are infamous for being tax disadvantaged, I’d be willing to bet the real rate of return is closer to what you get in a money market account Money markets are taxable too - as are stock index funds and anything else held in a taxa...
by Meg77
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?
Replies: 73
Views: 6252

Re: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?

5 year CDs are paying the same as 2 year CDs. No need to fix for the long term. YES you could get a 2 year CD at 2% if you look (Capital One 360 is offering this currently I think) but that is barely more than the Vanguard prime money market - which is totally liquid and also has the potential to g...
by Meg77
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?
Replies: 31
Views: 2749

Re: Would you pay off mortgage in my situation?

In your situation and with your risk tolerance, I'd pay it off in a heartbeat. You *might* get a slightly better yield after taxes and fees with future CD or muni options, but likely not enough to make it worth the hassle. Think about it - even if you manage to earn a whole percentage point extra ov...
by Meg77
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?
Replies: 73
Views: 6252

Re: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?

5 year CDs are paying the same as 2 year CDs. No need to fix for the long term. YES you could get a 2 year CD at 2% if you look (Capital One 360 is offering this currently I think) but that is barely more than the Vanguard prime money market - which is totally liquid and also has the potential to g...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?
Replies: 73
Views: 6252

Re: Where to invest $50K+ down payment money for five years?

5 year CDs are paying the same as 2 year CDs. No need to fix for the long term. YES you could get a 2 year CD at 2% if you look (Capital One 360 is offering this currently I think) but that is barely more than the Vanguard prime money market - which is totally liquid and also has the potential to go...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flaw in Logic? CD ladder instead of bond funds
Replies: 63
Views: 4843

Re: Flaw in Logic? CD ladder instead of bond funds

I'm a banker. The market for CDs has crumbled over the last decade, though people are starting to think about them again. It hasn't been worth locking into a CD because even the longer term ones haven't been paying more than a money market fund. The thing about CDs to remember is that they aren't pr...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down interest only mortgage or invest?
Replies: 5
Views: 650

Re: Pay down interest only mortgage or invest?

Banker here. I wouldn't consider future rate concessions for having investments OR for having a larger mortgage part of your analysis. For one thing, mortgage rates and rules change all the time, and we're talking about five years out. The whole market will look different because refinance rates - w...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 5016

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

Without going into detail, the task was sufficiently arduous that I’d like to mark the milestone in a meaningful way. How do you mark a milestone in your marriage that isn’t related to a birthday or anniversary? I’m looking for ideas here... This is a marriage milestone for you? I would just flush ...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 5016

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

rob65 wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:31 pm
I’d say either a spa day for your wife or a nice dinner out for the two of you.

As I get older, I realize more and more that life is short and you should find reasons to celebrate.
+1
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to put in taxable brokerage account?
Replies: 12
Views: 1056

Re: What to put in taxable brokerage account?

In general I put my international equity holdings in taxable to take advantage of the tax credit on foreign taxes paid. This minimizes turnover (since I use index funds - careful as some active funds have massive turnover) and therefore capital gains taxes, plus the asset class is volatile enough to...
by Meg77
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth
Replies: 104
Views: 13922

Re: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth

I don't disagree with the message in general. He's talking to people who are aiming to be wealthy/affluent/financially independent or whatever you want to call it, not to the average American. I can't dispute his argument that $1MM or even $5MM is not enough to buy freedom from economic worries - es...
by Meg77
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash, getting to it
Replies: 8
Views: 972

Re: Cash, getting to it

I would keep 6 months of expenses in cash (maybe up to 12 months if you have one source of income and that source isn't stable, given you are very worried about safety and liquidity). Also keep in cash enough to cover any major expenses you plan to incur in the next three years: new car, large trip ...
by Meg77
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 456
Views: 102285

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Our mortgage has been fixed at 2.75% for the last few years (15 year note). We debated paying extra on it monthly and have debated paying it off entirely more recently since we have nearly the liquidity to do so. At present, I'm glad we chose to keep that loan in place and invest more in taxable ins...
by Meg77
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement
Replies: 74
Views: 7269

Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

I think there is always a leap to conclusions/generalizations when it comes to these topics, but as an older Millennial I do think there is some truth to this. Trends and values are changing, if not dramatically. 1. Fewer people are having kids, and those who are having kids are having fewer of them...
by Meg77
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan
Replies: 49
Views: 3120

Re: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan

In simple terms that averages out to 2% a year for the original loan balance; since the balance is declining annually the actual effective APR would be higher than 2%, but it's still fairly low - especially for unsecured debt. I approached a bit differently, but ended up in the same area for a cap....
by Meg77
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan
Replies: 49
Views: 3120

Re: Imagine a 10 year, 0%, noncallable loan

I'm a banker, and this thought exercise makes total sense to me. And for the record, the idea of a of 0% loan is not necessarily unreasonable from the lender's perspective. Car dealers extend them all the time - in order to induce you to spend more for a newer car than you perhaps otherwise would. T...
by Meg77
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 16716

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

I don't think refusing to accept the certified mail accomplishes anything. It may provoke him further to show up at your home to deliver the item (probably a bill for his time) in person. Receiving the bill or item doesn't make you any more or less liable; you are still free to discard it. Wondering...