Search found 2048 matches

by Meg77
Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home Owner Help
Replies: 8
Views: 421

Re: New Home Owner Help

Step One - Call your realtor. You need to check to make sure the seller did not pay for a home warranty for you during the closing transaction which you may not know about. As referenced above, these are different from homeowners insurance policies and usually cover this kind of thing. Step Two - De...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wondering if I need to balance better
Replies: 7
Views: 943

Re: Wondering if I need to balance better

I think you are doing great, particularly given the setback of your divorce. Sure it would be ideal to have a bit more saved for retirement, but you have a very good nest egg started that will continue to grow. You have a good income, but of course anything you can do to boost it over time will real...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car fund in index fun or savings?
Replies: 19
Views: 1305

Re: Car fund in index fun or savings?

This depends on how much you are saving outside of retirement accounts and how much you expect to be willing to pay for the new car. If you save $5K per month and would buy a $15K car (an extreme example to make the point), then I would simply not save for the car at all. When you get close to wanti...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a rental property before primary home?
Replies: 17
Views: 1307

Re: Buy a rental property before primary home?

Should I buy a rental property before my primary home (not planning to buy a duplex)? There's nothing wrong with owning a rental but not owning your own home. It's a question of lifestyle - do you want to be a homeowner or have the flexibility of renting? A separate question is whether you want to ...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 104
Views: 5866

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

I track my asset allocation using Personal Capital, and I track my account balances and net worth with Excel. I do the same. My only complaint (very minor and nitpicking) with Personal Capital is the "Alternatives" allocation. I wish they would just show stocks/bonds/cash. The alternatives throws m...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 104
Views: 5866

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

I track my asset allocation using Personal Capital, and I track my account balances and net worth with Excel. However I don't track my portfolio performance. I just keep buying and watch the balances rise over time. I have no idea what my aggregate personal rate of return is. Although I can find tha...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: F.I.R.E. Portfolio help please
Replies: 7
Views: 1732

Re: F.I.R.E. Portfolio help please

Thank you so much for your replies! I really appreciate the feedback. Here a few replies to your thoughts. The commercial real estate seems pretty safe to me, much more so than stock. Most of the tenants in our spaces have been there long term and weathered the last recession just fine. Maybe this ...
by Meg77
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 tax help before deadline!!! 401k excess
Replies: 21
Views: 800

Re: 2016 tax help before deadline!!! 401k excess

I'm not aware of penalties for over-contributing to a 401k, but I'm NOT a tax expert. I've over-contributed before, and what is supposed to happen is that your employer (or former employer) has to distribute the over-contribution to you (plus any earnings), which will register as additional taxable ...
by Meg77
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: F.I.R.E. Portfolio help please
Replies: 7
Views: 1732

Re: F.I.R.E. Portfolio help please

I'll chime in on the land question - I think you should sell it. If you didn't want to FIRE then it's a luxury you could afford to hold onto, but it seems like keeping it is at odds with your current plan. Also consider: if you had whatever the value of that property is now in your checking account,...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing: Appraisal Value Lowered During Underwriting
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: Refinancing: Appraisal Value Lowered During Underwriting

Mortgage lender here. It sounds like you're stuck. Unfortunately I had this happen to me once on the consumer side and my lender (a former employer no less) got the appraisal report back and didn't like the cracks in the brick on one of the pictures. So they requested that I pay for a structural eng...
by Meg77
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How young is too young to retire.
Replies: 49
Views: 5804

Re: How young is too young to retire.

I don't think there is an age where you are too young to retire. Plenty of people are born with enough to "retire" and never launch traditional careers. Others inherit windfalls from deceased spouses or parents; still others earn millions or sell a company, giving them the ability to give up their c...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Managing home equity
Replies: 6
Views: 1032

Re: Managing home equity

I didn't read the entire article, but it seems to boil down to the following: borrow as much as you can against your home and invest it. You'll make more than the cost of the loan and end up better of than having simply paid off the mortgage. This isn't a new or complicated idea, despite the tone an...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to save for a house down payment, but want some risky earnings potential..advice?
Replies: 4
Views: 339

Re: Want to save for a house down payment, but want some risky earnings potential..advice?

Should I just keep saving into the index fund? Yes. Moving up in house "slightly" isn't something you probably need to save for anyway assuming you have a good cash cushion and some home equity. You can always just get a small home equity line of credit to bridge the gap if you don't want to sell y...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refund from Home Closing - 13+ years later (!?)
Replies: 12
Views: 1646

Re: Refund from Home Closing - 13+ years later (!?)

As a banker and real estate investor (and regular refinancer), I can tell you that it's perfectly normal to receive a small refund check a few months after a mortgage closing. This has happened to me personally several times. The title company - i.e. the title attorney - collects all funds from all ...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning - What next?
Replies: 2
Views: 534

Re: Retirement Planning - What next?

You don't say how old you are now, but it sounds like you're still fairly young. And in any event you are doing great! Don't worry too much about all the "what ifs" in the whole rest of your life. You've tackled one thing at a time and made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. There's no rea...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5772

Re: Question About Long Term Care

I haven't read all the comments, but my advice is to table this decision for a few more years and revisit when you turn 60. The odds of needing long term care prior to turning 60 are very low, and since the premiums adjust anyway you'd be effectively throwing away the money on the policy over the ne...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Millionaire Next Door (Thank you Bogleheads)
Replies: 81
Views: 11139

Re: Millionaire Next Door (Thank you Bogleheads)

Congratulations to you both. What a meaningful milestone for you. Thanks for sharing your story. :beer
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We're Debt Free (Except our House)!
Replies: 34
Views: 3170

Re: We're Debt Free (Except our House)!

Congrats, much of the american population would love to achieve your current status and building blocks for the future. Assuming that your mortgage rate is low and that the mortgage interest deduction survives tax "reform", then I would personally keep my mortgage and focus on taxable investments o...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)
Replies: 57
Views: 4019

Re: Too much house? (nervous 1st time buyer)

You can definitely afford it - heck, it sounds like you could pay cash for it if you wanted to. Personally in your situation though, what I would do (and what I did) is buy a place that you want to live in but that would also make a decent rental property. Plan to live there until you get married an...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment
Replies: 7
Views: 887

Re: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment

1. I am toying with either a larger down payment for a 30 year mortgage or a smaller (20%) down payment and a 15 year mortgage. From a cash flow perspective, we could swing either, but would (obviously) be tighter doing a 15 year. Is there a right answer There's not a right answer. A 15 year loan w...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks, how safe are they?
Replies: 31
Views: 1879

Re: Paper checks, how safe are they?

Banker here. Checks are just as safe as they ever were - moreso really as they are somewhat harder to forge now. Your name and address are public record and easy to find, and so are bank routing numbers (just google it). There's not much anybody can do with your account number though, which is the m...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement contributions - account options after Roth & Employer Plan?
Replies: 12
Views: 531

Re: Retirement contributions - account options after Roth & Employer Plan?

You could max out an HSA (health savings account) each year. They are really the best tax deal there is since you get a tax deduction for contributions AND can pull money out tax free - if it's used for medical expenses. Funds roll over from year to year, so many people use these as an ancillary ret...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this housing budget reasonable?
Replies: 28
Views: 1311

Re: Is this housing budget reasonable?

Are you okay if the house sits empty and you can't find a tenant you like for like 6 months? Are you okay losing the whole house including the down payment if you lose your job and don't have a renter and you can't pay the mortgage? If you're ok with the above, then go for it. Otherwise it's too ri...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time home buyer - gut check
Replies: 19
Views: 1316

Re: First time home buyer - gut check

Runner23, lots of wisdom here! (And based on her other posts, I believe Meg77 is a mortgage banker and landlord, so she knows what she's talking about). Agree with everything Meg said. Excellent post. Aw, thanks guys. :) Now I'm feeling like a sucker for being a homeowner myself! Haha. It has pros ...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial arrangement for in-laws in guest house
Replies: 13
Views: 1162

Re: Financial arrangement for in-laws in guest house

Just let them gift you money each year as they see fit. Then there are no contracts, no tax implications, and they can stop or adjust the amount over time if they want/need to. Individuals can give other individuals up to $14,000 a year tax free without having to even report it to the IRS. So the tw...
by Meg77
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time home buyer - gut check
Replies: 19
Views: 1316

Re: First time home buyer - gut check

It sounds like you are doing great and can afford to buy, but we don't have enough info to know for sure. If your wife is the breadwinner and plans to stay home with kids at some point, then that's something to consider. If your income is super volatile, if you have 6 figures of student loan debt, o...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2377

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

It sounds like you've graduated from a monthly budget to an annual one - or at least a quarterly one if you really prefer. At a certain income/expense level - or when income/expenses are irregular enough - tracking your spending monthly is fairly pointless. Now tracking expenses is different from ac...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 41
Views: 2810

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

My mom says she keeps enough cash in the house to buy enough gas at today's prices to drive and pick up each of her 4 children (and their families) and bring them back to the house where we grew up in Alabama. Her 4 kids are spread from TX to OH to KY so that's a fair chunk of gas $ - and I think sh...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help raise mortage FICO score/plan for house purchase
Replies: 4
Views: 348

Re: Help raise mortage FICO score/plan for house purchase

Mortgage banker here. First of all please be aware that the VA loan is one of the absolute worst mortgages you can get! It has incredibly high funding fees and is one of the highest cost mortgages. I have family members in the military and think that it's a travesty that the VA option is so bad - pa...
by Meg77
Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage
Replies: 34
Views: 2464

Re: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage

Meg77, could you clarify about scores dropping to zero? Is that a literal zero? It can't be, as there is a minimum. It can be "no score". Just like I didn't get a 0 on the SATs, as that's not possible because there's a minimum score. I didn't take that test so I have no SAT score. If your credit re...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Likelihood of a crash and lump sum investing
Replies: 32
Views: 2688

Re: Likelihood of a crash and lump sum investing

The odds are not 50/50. There are various studies that compare lump sum investing to dollar cost averaging, but they evaluate different historical periods (the last 20 years versus the last 50 years, for example) and different investment time periods (dollar cost averaging over 6 months versus 2 yea...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage
Replies: 34
Views: 2464

Re: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage

Yep, it's very odd but definitely true. Technically I am not sure if it goes to "0" but it disappears; any credit inquiry will come back "no records found" or "no score" much like a young person's will if they have never borrowed in the first place. This is because records don't stay on your report...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:58 pm
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

I don't think there is a lot of value in hiring an investment manager, but there can be quite a bit of value in a financial planner/advisor. As for what I'd pay, I'd probably pay a flat fee for the construction of a comprehensive financial plan (they run $1,500 - $10,000 in my area) plus a $500 year...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Certified Financial Planner (CFP) ???
Replies: 26
Views: 2890

Re: Certified Financial Planner (CFP) ???

A CFP is just another certification that lets someone offer investment advice, same as a Series 65. No. The Series 65 is offered by FINRA and is a regulatory requirement to offer certain services to the public. Nothing requires you to get a CFP. It is more akin to a MBA. It is a stamp of certain le...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage
Replies: 34
Views: 2464

Re: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage

I'm a banker, and I think you are right to be concerned. Typically once you close all your credit accounts, your score will begin to drop after about 6 months and then it will really nosedive all the way to zero over the course of the next year or so. Reports vary and we don't know the exact algori...
by Meg77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What best to do with 150k cash in medical school?
Replies: 14
Views: 1249

Re: What best to do with 150k cash in medical school?

Medical school plus living expenses may cost more than $150K, depending on where you choose to go/live. Once you have a detailed budget established, I would add up everything you expect to pay to attend school and live over X number of years, subtract $25K or so for an emergency fund, and borrow any...
by Meg77
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Smartest Financial Moves
Replies: 62
Views: 5968

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

About 6 years ago when I was in my late 20's, I bought a brand new Audi coupe for close to $50,000 with my first big bonus check (plus some savings). This was not my smart move, obviously. But when I totaled the car 6 months later (also not a smart move...), I took the insurance check and put 20% do...
by Meg77
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage
Replies: 34
Views: 2464

Re: Paid off Debt...credit score dropping and future mortgage

I'm a banker, and I think you are right to be concerned. Typically once you close all your credit accounts, your score will begin to drop after about 6 months and then it will really nosedive all the way to zero over the course of the next year or so. Reports vary and we don't know the exact algorit...
by Meg77
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 142
Views: 11662

Re: Lifestyle Creep

I have consciously embraced lifestyle creep. I don't see why it is considered such a negative thing. It's one thing to limit consumption while you are paying off consumer debt or trying to establish a basic financial stability. But after that, as my income (and net worth) has increased, so has my l...
by Meg77
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC w/ low or no initial draw
Replies: 11
Views: 1001

Re: HELOC w/ low or no initial draw

Home equity guidelines depend on your state. In Texas for example (where I'm a banker), home equity loans/lines of credit are not allowed to have balloon notes - therefore they must fully amortize. So home equity lines of credit must convert to a fully amortizing term note at the end of the draw per...
by Meg77
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 142
Views: 11662

Re: Lifestyle Creep

I have consciously embraced lifestyle creep. I don't see why it is considered such a negative thing. It's one thing to limit consumption while you are paying off consumer debt or trying to establish a basic financial stability. But after that, as my income (and net worth) has increased, so has my li...
by Meg77
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AirBnB Hosting - In lieu of traditional rentals
Replies: 13
Views: 2111

Re: AirBnB Hosting - In lieu of traditional rentals

I talked to a realtor recently who has several investor clients scooping up condos and renting them out as Airbnb rentals here in Dallas. He said one guy buys with hard money loans at 14% interest and says he still nets double his carrying costs (presumably including utilities, cleaning, etc.). Of c...
by Meg77
Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Loans paid off!
Replies: 17
Views: 1081

Re: Loans paid off!

That's amazing!! Congratulations. :)
by Meg77
Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank Employees - comfort level of getting a loan through employer?
Replies: 9
Views: 706

Re: Bank Employees - comfort level of getting a loan through employer?

I've been in this situation. At a previous employer I took out several mortgages. However it was a sufficiently large bank that no one on my direct team saw my finances or managed the loan origination process. Employee loans were always directed for processing to another market I think (not that I k...
by Meg77
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates
Replies: 16
Views: 2519

Re: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates

I'm surprised a banker would even say such a thing without understanding more details. A half percent on many loans could easily cover closing costs. I'd refinance every week if the differential had a payback under 12 months I'm a banker, and I very much doubt that makes sense to refinance your loa...
by Meg77
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large Mortgage
Replies: 24
Views: 2336

Re: Large Mortgage

The fact that you have assets or will have assets to pay the mortgage off after 7 years makes me lean on the side of the 7/1 ARM. If you have the funds to pay cash or pay the loan off, keeping it means you are just playing an interest rate arbitrage game. If that's the case then go with the lowest r...
by Meg77
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 40: Requesting Look At Portfolio
Replies: 22
Views: 3070

Re: Age 40: Requesting Look At Portfolio

Appreciate the replies. Couple things after posting last night still sitting in the back of my brain: The employer 401k match is 6%. I've been contributing 10%, even through I'm not happy with ML, but I've often thought of dropping to the match, 6%, and using the extra 4% to max the ROTH faster, wh...
by Meg77
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save/invest and buy house with cash - yes/no?
Replies: 16
Views: 1152

Re: Save/invest and buy house with cash - yes/no?

I have heard of it. Some Dave Ramsey followers eschew debt altogether and spend a few years in "Baby Step 3b" saving not just a down payment but the entire amount needed to buy a home. They forego all retirement investments during this time, focusing on the one goal of buying a home. (Dave doesn't l...
by Meg77
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help buying first house in Huntsville, Alabama
Replies: 12
Views: 1163

Re: Help buying first house in Huntsville, Alabama

My wife and I are planning to buy our first home when we move to Alabama to work in Huntsville in January. I was hoping to get any advice on this process. The job I'm getting is at a startup, $75k/yr salary. Mortgage banker here. You may have a problem qualifying if you haven't worked at least in t...
by Meg77
Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?
Replies: 50
Views: 3390

Re: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?

This doesn't sound like a budget issue - it sounds like you just aren't into the bar scene and feel out of sync with many of your peers. "I actually feel as though I've transcended that phase entirely, and rarely find myself wanting to go out on the weekends." There's nothing odd or wrong about that...