Search found 2079 matches

by Meg77
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time for my checkup - **Warning - long post**
Replies: 16
Views: 1566

Re: Time for my checkup - **Warning - long post**

Assets Current asset allocation per Morningstar X-ray: US Equity - 50% Foreign Equity - 25% Fixed Income - 15% Cash - 10%, Average Expense Ratio: 0.29% My wife's investments were picked by her financial advisor at Edward Jones in both her roth/401k. They're significantly more expensive than mine, b...
by Meg77
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concerned parent :(
Replies: 40
Views: 4433

Re: Concerned parent :(

Save for him if you want to, but the best thing you can do for a 12 year old financially speaking is to teach him the value - and excitement - of working and saving and investing (and giving and spending too, within reason). If he's a reader, give him a book on the subject. I started my first broker...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question re: my high fee 401k plan/my investments
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: Question re: my high fee 401k plan/my investments

I would 100% put all of your 401k assets and future contributions into the S&P 500 index. That's what I do and what my husband does as well. We use Roths and taxable to diversify further with bonds/international/small caps as we can. In a perfect world we'd just use total market index funds, but our...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "To Rent or Sell" Question
Replies: 10
Views: 557

Re: Another "To Rent or Sell" Question

I'll add that I managed my rentals myself for a few years, but I hired a property manager a few years ago and it has definitely been worth the money. Actually they've helped me get such cost savings on repairs and maintenance that it has more than made up for their fee. My cash flow on average incre...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "To Rent or Sell" Question
Replies: 10
Views: 557

Re: Another "To Rent or Sell" Question

Hi there, landlord here. A couple of clarifications: --You want to assume that you'll have 1 month of vacancy per year in case tenants move every year (it'll take a month on average to clean up the place and get it re-leased). So if you can charge $1900 a month your annual income will be more like $...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end windfall and job loss
Replies: 16
Views: 2123

Re: Year end windfall and job loss

Can you more than support your normal expenses on just your income? Yes but no savings are possible Then pay off the loan. It seems obvious. If "no savings are possible" includes contributing your 401k or other tax-advantaged retirement accounts, draw down from taxable the amount required to keep f...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?
Replies: 25
Views: 3857

Re: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?

If you're just looking for the best place to put $3K a month, paying off a loan with an effective rate of around 2% (depending on your state tax bracket) is only about as good as inflation. You ARE getting the tax deduction on the rental mortgage interest, you just can't realize it every year becau...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?
Replies: 25
Views: 3857

Re: Pay down a 3.25% 15-year mortgage?

Based on your numbers, you are breaking even on the investment or making $100 or so a month, even after taking the mortgage interest expense into account. That's not great of course, but it's not bad enough for me to be in a hurry to lock in a 6 figure loss on the place either. I wouldn't be in a hu...
by Meg77
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mother in retirement: Withdraw annually or monthly?
Replies: 19
Views: 1956

Re: Mother in retirement: Withdraw annually or monthly?

In general if someone is used to being paid monthly or bi-monthly, monthly retirement distributions simulate that and may make budgeting easier (even if just psychologically). Financially I think monthly is ideal as well, since selling all at once puts you more at market timing risk. I wouldn't want...
by Meg77
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Decision
Replies: 15
Views: 1042

Re: Refinance Decision

Hey there, banker/lender here. This refinance definitely makes sense when you break it down - a lot of the things being considered are really just noise though. The refinance appears to be a true no closing cost refinance. Property taxes and home insurance are not refinance closing costs - they are ...
by Meg77
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning for a surviving spouse's income
Replies: 16
Views: 1648

Re: Planning for a surviving spouse's income

So my general question is: have you based your asset allocation on the worst case scenario of looking out for the survivor who will have lesser guaranteed income streams? Or have you gone more aggressive figuring that your spouse can reallocate appropriately once she is on her own? Or something els...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breaking point to get a new to newish car
Replies: 59
Views: 3376

Re: Breaking point to get a new to newish car

It's always going to be cheaper to keep the older, paid off car - even considering repairs - than to buy a much newer one. But cheaper doesn't mean it makes sense. Here's how to consider repairs. If the car really is worth $5000 then you would never want to do a $1000 repair if that repair isn't goi...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is a reasonable emergency fund for HI family?
Replies: 67
Views: 3764

Re: What is a reasonable emergency fund for HI family?

I argue that the higher your income, the less you may need an EF. I don't keep one at all anymore. My reasons are as follows: 1. My husband and I both work, and we each earn enough to cover our typical household expenses if the other were to get laid off. Our actual fixed, non-discretionary costs ar...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Open a Roth but Vanguard minimum investment too high?
Replies: 19
Views: 1016

Re: Open a Roth but Vanguard minimum investment too high?

Do you have other investments? A 401(k) or similar plan? Generally one doesn't look at the Roth in isolation. Hi Earl. I just wanted to add two Roth IRAs for my wife and I. I want to start working maxing these out each year. My investments so far looks like this: TSP 401K: $42,679.64 (50% is pre-ta...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The average American retiree household
Replies: 57
Views: 10730

Re: The average American retiree household

Averages and even medians don't tell you much. Plus even to the extent that reports on retiree income and assets are accurate (which I always doubt), they don't tell you nearly as much as you think. I have retired family members and clients with incredibly low taxable income who have plenty of wealt...
by Meg77
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing For "Early Retirement" In A Couple of Years
Replies: 77
Views: 7444

Re: Preparing For "Early Retirement" In A Couple of Years

Background: My wife caught on in the last year of my bogleheads tactics and that we're actually a lot richer than she thought. After she made this realization, she now wants us both to quit our jobs and travel the world (or something of the sort). ... My wife has run copious amounts of spreadsheets...
by Meg77
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 12868

Re: Why make more money?

Lets just assume that you are healthy and financially OK. You have have 30x expenses in investments plus whatever socials security will eventually give you in some distant future. You have no debt and the kids college is covered. You don't live extravagantly, but you have enough to travel, eat out,...
by Meg77
Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low income but good savings rate... spend?
Replies: 23
Views: 2312

Re: Low income but good savings rate... spend?

I majored in a degree that does not pay well. I didn't know what I wanted to do and just wanted to finish college. I was foolishly under the impression that as long as I have a Bachelor's Degree in "anything", I could do well financially. I've thought about this many times and I regret it a lot but...
by Meg77
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm fairly young but done with saving money
Replies: 75
Views: 9409

Re: I'm fairly young but done with saving money

Congrats on your success. Your savings give you choices, but having too many choices can also be stressful as any psychology student can explain. I'm in a similar situation, and I've been thinking a lot about the kinds of questions you're asking over the last year. My husband and I are in our 30s, h...
by Meg77
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Put cash into a home or stock market.
Replies: 30
Views: 3488

Re: Put cash into a home or stock market.

You're in a great spot! Buying this home makes a ton of sense even if you don't want to be a homeowner forever due to the great gift your grandmother is effectively giving you by discounting the price so much. Here's what I would do: 1. $30,000 - Buy the home and put 20% down on the purchase and get...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on 401k Conversion Options
Replies: 6
Views: 443

Re: Advice on 401k Conversion Options

The primary benefit of moving the assets to your new 401k plan is that it will enable you to do "backdoor Roth IRA contributions" tax free if/when your income rises to the point that you make too much to make direct Roth IRA contributions. You can't do that without paying some conversion taxes if yo...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have mother-in-law pay for mortgage?
Replies: 32
Views: 2600

Re: Have mother-in-law pay for mortgage?

I actually did this exact thing with my mother. I had a rental property mortgage at 5.5% or so and refinanced it with her at 3% 5 or so years ago. It was her idea - she was thrilled to get a "guaranteed" rate of return of 3% (guaranteed in her mind), which was more than she could get on a safe bond ...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns
Replies: 22
Views: 1689

Re: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns

I imagine the banks would have a hard time refusing to deal with any problems arising from hackers to third party sites since they give those sites authorization to pull data. They don't have to do so - and not all do. My husband's 401k plan for example blocks access to Mint and PC and probably all...
by Meg77
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low income but good savings rate... spend?
Replies: 23
Views: 2312

Re: Low income but good savings rate... spend?

You sound like you're doing well, and the fact that you're thinking so much about this bodes very well for the future. Despite a good savings RATE, we still don't save as much as I'd like due to lower income and I CONSTANTLY worry about meeting our goals (sufficient retirement fund, house down payme...
by Meg77
Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns
Replies: 22
Views: 1689

Re: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns

I imagine the banks would have a hard time refusing to deal with any problems arising from hackers to third party sites since they give those sites authorization to pull data. They don't have to do so - and not all do. My husband's 401k plan for example blocks access to Mint and PC and probably all ...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New baby and considering going to one income
Replies: 28
Views: 2489

Re: New baby and considering going to one income

Try the TaxCaster app. It will give you a good estimate of your federal (although not state) income taxes. And you can play around with the inputs to see the net effect of increasing/decreasing your 401(k) contributions. Also, I think you may have missed the withholding for Social Security and Medi...
by Meg77
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to a K-1. What do I need to know?
Replies: 15
Views: 1458

Re: Moving to a K-1. What do I need to know?

I'm still learning, but I thought there are different considerations of deducting expenses now that previously could not be deducted (or that my employer would cover on my behalf and will no longer do so). And I don't know what else changes in the K-1 scenario. I hear I will lose the dependant care...
by Meg77
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell rental property before I would have to pay taxes on capital gains?
Replies: 18
Views: 1304

Re: Should I sell rental property before I would have to pay taxes on capital gains?

You should sell because it's not a great rental property, not because of the capital gains protection. (But of course, that is a reason to sell sooner than later.) You're barely breaking even on this property if you're lucky after vacancies, repairs and maintenance. Sure you're building equity, but ...
by Meg77
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fear about buying a house justified?
Replies: 72
Views: 6116

Re: My fear about buying a house justified?

The reason we have more cash in our savings account than in the retirement account is that we were hoping to buy a house in the area for the last two years. The market has been really hot, unfortunately, and it has been very difficult to find anything affordable & likable for us...So now we are pon...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% equity allocations v.s equity-bond allocations
Replies: 29
Views: 2577

Re: 100% equity allocations v.s equity-bond allocations

Statistically, and over the long-run, to what extent (if any) does bonds increase long-term capital growth? I don't believe bonds do increase long-term capital growth in a portfolio. I keep seeing the argument that for an investor with a long investing horizon, a 100% equity allocation would really...
by Meg77
Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping college costs of grandchildren
Replies: 37
Views: 2353

Re: Helping college costs of grandchildren

My husband and I don't have kids, but I have three sisters who all have children (different numbers of children I might add). I know my parents want to help pay for their grandchildren's educations and may even provide additional monetary gifts throughout their lives. They were always very particula...
by Meg77
Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home Owner Help
Replies: 8
Views: 509

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: 1011

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: 1464

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: 20
Views: 1722

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: 107
Views: 7076

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: 107
Views: 7076

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: 1792

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: 829

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: 1792

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: 1165

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: 55
Views: 8309

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: 1073

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: 377

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: 1723

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: 551

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: 6066

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: 11379

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: 3269

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: 4249

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...