Search found 2231 matches

by Meg77
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT article: Everyone should hire a financial planner
Replies: 90
Views: 6046

Re: NYT article: Everyone should hire a financial planner

I also have questions about the extensive individual muni bonds in my mother's portfolio which I now manage for her. Whether I should maintain or grow the muni bond ladder, let it slowly mature, or sell everything and move to a fund - I understand some of the basic pros and cons, but I am no bond e...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT article: Everyone should hire a financial planner
Replies: 90
Views: 6046

Re: NYT article: Everyone should hire a financial planner

Most people don't need an investment manager, but I think most people could benefit from at least a couple of sessions with a financial planner. Maybe even an annual checkup. There are many worse ways to spend a few hundred or even few thousand dollars (depending on the amount of time you spend and ...
by Meg77
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at age 40?
Replies: 130
Views: 11415

Re: Can I retire at age 40?

I retired at 42. "Sit at home" does not describe my lifestyle at all. Out of curiosity, do you have children? I've noticed a lot (most?) of the very early retirees have children that largely occupy their time. Other than extensive travel, I'm wondering what childfree retirees do. I worry about this...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?
Replies: 31
Views: 2947

Re: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?

I understand that, but my point is that when you are trying to figure out where to park your money - let's say you are looking at several different money market funds for example - comparing the SEC yield easily tells you your expected distribution net of the expense ratio. This still is not correc...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at age 40?
Replies: 130
Views: 11415

Re: Can I retire at age 40?

For clarity... I don't have 120,000 of expenses after taxes. I have 120,000 BEFORE taxes. Out of that money I pay $25,000 for health insurance for my family of 6 and have been making a mortgage payment and 2 car payments of roughly $2500 a month. That is all paid off so realistically my other expen...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?
Replies: 31
Views: 2947

Re: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?

Also, the SEC yield nets out the expense ratio which also makes it easier to compare between funds. Are you saying distribution yield does not net out expense ratio? That's my understanding. Per Investopedia: "The distribution yield of a security is calculated by dividing the distributions paid (ye...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?
Replies: 31
Views: 2947

Re: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?

Also, the SEC yield nets out the expense ratio which also makes it easier to compare between funds. Are you saying distribution yield does not net out expense ratio? That's my understanding. Per Investopedia: "The distribution yield of a security is calculated by dividing the distributions paid (ye...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?
Replies: 31
Views: 2947

Re: Why is the SEC yield the one that Vanguard displays?

Also, the SEC yield nets out the expense ratio which also makes it easier to compare between funds.
by Meg77
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate % when tax deferred should take back seat
Replies: 16
Views: 794

Re: Mortgage rate % when tax deferred should take back seat

When I got my first mortgage in 2006, my rate was 7.25% or so I think. I seem to recall at the time that the standard advice (or my idea anyway) was to contribute a set percentage to retirement accounts - 15% or so - and then put the rest toward debt repayment. I think as interest rates come back up...
by Meg77
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative website for those in lower tax brackets?
Replies: 59
Views: 5219

Re: Alternative website for those in lower tax brackets?

You should google "FIRE blogs" and follow a few of them. The acronym stands for "Financial Independence / Retire Early" and is a essentially a sub-category or -genre of the investment community. There are lots of blogs and podcasts in that space, and because of a frugal/minimalist slant as well as a...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement - On the fence, need sanity check
Replies: 53
Views: 8502

Re: Early Retirement - On the fence, need sanity check

The sequence of returns risk is very minimal for you given your high early pension. For the first 6 years of retirement, you'll only be withdrawing about $10k a year from your portfolio - and that's if you don't work part time. The reality is that you'll be fine. A 3.25% withdrawal rate works in alm...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being unreasonable? [Send daughter to private kindergarten]
Replies: 70
Views: 3936

Re: Am I being unreasonable?

Setting aside whether private school Kindergarten is worth it, it sounds like you can afford it. If you can finance $20k a year for tuition by "curtailing" (not even stopping) 529 contributions, then you may not even need to be making 529 contributions. You can cash flow private education up to and ...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?
Replies: 74
Views: 5137

Re: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?

There is evidence in some of the most recent retirement studies that starting lower and increasing equity exposure throughout retirement - as opposed to the traditional advice to decrease equity exposure steadily over time - is actually preferable. I can't remember the exact metrics (I think it dec...
by Meg77
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments
Replies: 56
Views: 4351

Re: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments

I was in a similar situation when I got married 4 years ago. I had 6 rental properties and a sizeable nest egg; husband had student loan debt but a positive net worth (mine was 4x higher though). I made a bit more than him when we met not even counting investment income. We work in the same industry...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?
Replies: 74
Views: 5137

Re: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?

There is evidence in some of the most recent retirement studies that starting lower and increasing equity exposure throughout retirement - as opposed to the traditional advice to decrease equity exposure steadily over time - is actually preferable. I can't remember the exact metrics (I think it decr...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$
Replies: 48
Views: 2149

Re: Would you pay off the student loan or keep the $$$

Pay off the student loan! 1. Clean slate (done with debts owed prior to marriage) 2. Wife wants to (not that she should get anything she wants, but there are some brownie points here for going with her idea) 3. It's a guaranteed 4%+ return. 4. Fed rates are set to increase 2 more times this year, so...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I roll over Roth 401(k) to Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 892

Re: Should I roll over Roth 401(k) to Roth IRA?

Post by thehappycampers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:32 pm Pre-tax 401(k) dollars 2. Open new Vanguard traditional IRA that would accept pre-tax 401(k) dollars. 3. Roll over pre-tax 401(k) to newly opened Vanguard traditional IRA. 4. Convert Vanguard traditional IRA into Vanguard Roth IRA, paying taxes at ...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Everything :)
Replies: 7
Views: 1127

Re: Help with Everything :)

Emergency funds: $1000 (first on to do list to bring to 3 months, which can be done by the end of the year) Great goal, good next step. Debt: His Student Loan $42,000 at 4% and Mortgage 350,000 at 4% (we pay bi-weekly for one additional payment each year) I'd quit doing this. Just pay your minimum/...
by Meg77
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a house of 600-700k?
Replies: 56
Views: 4054

Re: Can we afford a house of 600-700k?

You can afford it, but I'd stay put for another year or two until your oldest is ACTUALLY ready to start school. The only kicker might be if your commute would go from horrible to reasonably with a move. But so many people upgrade homes years before they "need" to and spend those years paying the in...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What can go wrong with multi family syndications?
Replies: 32
Views: 4059

Re: What can go wrong with multi family syndications?

I've invested in 8 multi family syndications over the past few years. Most are with one group of principals who specialize in value add - "fix n flips" if you will. They buy B-C class 20-30 year old buildings run by mom and pop types. They renovate half the units (often adding things like washer dry...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?
Replies: 247
Views: 12653

Re: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?

I was pissed and shocked when I noticed this, as I'd been buying fresh for years assuming the price would be the same. Why? You don't think they added value? Then don't pay for that extra service. 90% of business is "added value" like that. That butcher or watermelon slicer doesn't work for free. I...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?
Replies: 247
Views: 12653

Re: Healthy eaters -- is this grocery budget normal to you?

I haven't read all the responses, but I'm in a similar boat - dual income, no kids, MCOL city (Dallas), shop 100% at Whole Foods. We buy mostly organic, healthy stuff and eat plenty of meat, fish, and other expensive staples. We do eat out a fair bit (my husband every day for lunches and both of us ...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 9014

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

I value all my real estate holdings at cost. That's not accurate, especially for properties I bought many years ago, but I started doing that as an alternative to my original plan. I used to just assume 3% property appreciation per year, but since I had several rental properties and owned a home, my...
by Meg77
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off Mortgage with Windfall?
Replies: 57
Views: 5299

Re: Pay Off Mortgage with Windfall?

I'm struggling with whether to use an upcoming windfall of $600k to pay off my current mortgage, and would love opinions or tips on considering anything that I haven't already. My current mortgage is a 30-year fixed of $500k at 4% taken out in 2016. 4% is a pretty solid guaranteed rate of return. I...
by Meg77
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which mortgage is better?
Replies: 4
Views: 645

Re: Which mortgage is better?

Hi there. I'm a banker, but it's a bit hard to see which mortgage is "better" with just this info provided. That depends on your goals, the amortization, the loan term, and the down payment requirement. If you want to know which loan is "cheaper" then all you have to do is look at the APY that was d...
by Meg77
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Purchase - Sanity Check On Financials
Replies: 53
Views: 4254

Re: House Purchase - Sanity Check On Financials

I am a little surprised with the majority saying this can't be afforded. It certainly is pushing it, but OP is still talking about a mortgage that would be ~2.5x his gross income. I realize many here like that number to be closer to 2.0x income, but this isn't that crazy, is it? It's not the mortga...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money
Replies: 189
Views: 16427

Re: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money

We bought our first house last year. And we had a baby last year. Before that, I felt like I was rolling in the dough. Now I fee like we're struggling to stay even. ... We're only saving less than $200/month. It's making me feel like we're treading water and can't get anywhere. I just feel poor whe...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a friend sign a large check for me?
Replies: 23
Views: 1928

Re: Can a friend sign a large check for me?

Banker here. That's check fraud. Definitely NOT ALLOWED!

For the record, mailing a $1,000,000 check is no more risky than mailing a $1 check. Nobody who intercepts the check can get their hands on your money either way.
by Meg77
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?
Replies: 71
Views: 4714

Re: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?

1-2% seems about right. Remember that's tax free though. My mom just inherited a big portfolio of muni bonds - about 45 bonds in total maturing from 2018-2040 - but even though they are all paying around 5% coupons, the actual return she is getting (which I only know because the statements from thi...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?
Replies: 71
Views: 4714

Re: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?

Most bond managers/companies make a substantial chunk of their money on the bid/ask spread when you buy the bond. Basically the rate you'll get is discounted and you never know or see it. It is not necessarily true that you can't see the bid/ask spread, or that you can't see what dealers and larger...
by Meg77
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?
Replies: 71
Views: 4714

Re: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?

1-2% seems about right. Remember that's tax free though. My mom just inherited a big portfolio of muni bonds - about 45 bonds in total maturing from 2018-2040 - but even though they are all paying around 5% coupons, the actual return she is getting (which I only know because the statements from thi...
by Meg77
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rent & Invest vs Mortgage for mid-30's saver
Replies: 25
Views: 2620

Re: Rent & Invest vs Mortgage for mid-30's saver

Financially speaking, it's generally better to rent - especially when it costs less to rent than to own in your area for a similar property. This is largely because most people don't BUY what they would otherwise be comfortable RENTING. And they tend to upgrade their lifestyle dramatically when they...
by Meg77
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?
Replies: 71
Views: 4714

Re: How to Determine Actual Muni Bond Return?

1-2% seems about right. Remember that's tax free though. My mom just inherited a big portfolio of muni bonds - about 45 bonds in total maturing from 2018-2040 - but even though they are all paying around 5% coupons, the actual return she is getting (which I only know because the statements from this...
by Meg77
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large life style creep that was completely worth it
Replies: 112
Views: 14263

Re: Large life style creep that was completely worth it

Dream house - our current house is just fine and I'm not sure I'd want to manage everything with a big house, but have the means to get something very nice and suited for our lifestyle (enjoy hosting, the outdoors) Probably worth it. My husband pushed me above my comfort threshold for our home - we...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice Rental Property -- Rent not covering PITI
Replies: 18
Views: 1637

Re: Need Advice Rental Property -- Rent not covering PITI

Does the lease have a contractual "break" clause permitting the owners to get out of it? Hard to sell a property that could be a true live in residence for the prospective buyer when you have a lease that contractually bounds the two parties together over the next 2 years. You may be eating the los...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?
Replies: 39
Views: 2671

Re: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?

News just came out this week that San Francisco lost the largest number of residents than any other city in the fourth quarter of last year, 24% more than the second city, NYC. https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/san-francisco-losing-more-residents-than-any-other-us-city/vp-BBJUjqo Man...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mortgage or Pay Car Loan?
Replies: 5
Views: 322

Re: Refinance Mortgage or Pay Car Loan?

I don't think you're going to get a much better rate on your mortgage. It's more expensive to refinance a mortgage under $100k, and it may be difficult to find a lender that will do one under $50k. And the closing costs will likely be prohibitive since you plan to pay it off in just a few years anyw...
by Meg77
Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?
Replies: 39
Views: 2671

Re: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?

News just came out this week that San Francisco lost the largest number of residents than any other city in the fourth quarter of last year, 24% more than the second city, NYC. https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/san-francisco-losing-more-residents-than-any-other-us-city/vp-BBJUjqo Many...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would YOU retire
Replies: 67
Views: 8783

Re: Would YOU retire

First: I'd add her to your pension but not add you to hers (sorry but statistically you are much more likely to die first just from being male, even though you're a bit younger. The diabetes just improves the odds of her outliving you). $94,000 from investments (4% withdrawal rate) $12,000 rental in...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it ever make sense to withdraw Roth IRA contributions to reduce credit card debt?
Replies: 18
Views: 963

Re: Does it ever make sense to withdraw Roth IRA contributions to reduce credit card debt?

I'm trying to understand and reconcile (or prioritize) two conflicting pieces of advice, and I'm wondering if someone better at math can help me think it through. - Principle #1: Pay off high-interest debt before saving or investing at a lower interest rate. - Principle #2: Avoid withdrawing from r...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why (or why not) use an advisor
Replies: 42
Views: 2056

Re: Why (or why not) use an advisor

Many people DO need and benefit from having a financial advisor. Here are some reasons: 1. No interest in managing their money (too busy with managing a company or career or family, would rather outsource the activities, etc.) 2. No aptitude for managing their money (don't know what you don't know, ...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house before selling a house
Replies: 29
Views: 2123

Re: Buying a house before selling a house

Hi there, I'm a banker who does a lot of mortgages. Per federal mortgage regulations, your debt to income ratio cannot exceed 43% to get a mortgage. That means that if you earn $85,000, only $36,550 can go toward "debt" each year. HOWEVER, the debt service calculation must include property taxes, ho...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stuck - what to do with lump sum severance
Replies: 11
Views: 1081

Re: Stuck - what to do with lump sum severance

One easy option is to pay down your mortgage by $100k. This is especially true if you'll be taking the standard deduction from now on and therefore getting no tax benefit for the mortgage, which I suspect may be the case. That's a guaranteed 4.875% return which is much more than you're getting paid ...
by Meg77
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: eat love pray and jump in today?
Replies: 21
Views: 2690

Re: eat love pray and jump in today?

Hello Karma Skimmer, Congratulations on your high savings rate! You will get to financial independence. Keep in mind, the Vanguard Target funds have bonds as well as stocks, and gradually move to a more conservative asset allocation as time goes on. These are not high risk, speculative investments....
by Meg77
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!
Replies: 23
Views: 4406

Re: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!

You haven't considered gift taxes in either scenario. If you give your uncle more than $15,000 per calendar year, you will have to file a gift tax return and pay gift taxes on that amount (or use up part of your lifetime exclusion limit). Same goes for your father if he gives you more than $15,000 p...
by Meg77
Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to draw down taxable retirement acct...?
Replies: 20
Views: 1552

Re: how to draw down taxable retirement acct...?

@meg77: I could definitely live off of 3% dividends! (1.5 gazillion X .03?) (Theoretically) I'm not sure I understand where that figure comes from (my fault, not yours!)... We can't say 3% from my total investment, if not every stock in the fund(s) pays dividends...? Well, the total stock market in...
by Meg77
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Multiple accounts allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 650

Re: Multiple accounts allocation?

You're doing great! The S&P500 is a fine index, and it almost exactly correlates to the return on the Total Stock market Index anyway. The only difference is that the Total Stock Market index has ALL US stocks, including small and mid caps. The S&P 500 is just 500 large cap stocks (so yes, the total...
by Meg77
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to draw down taxable retirement acct...?
Replies: 20
Views: 1552

Re: how to draw down taxable retirement acct...?

First you can move dividends and gains in stock funds and interest on bond funds to be distributed rather than be reinvested. So you live first off those distributions which could easily be 2-3% of your portfolio. That may be ALL you need if you have any current income from part time work, social se...
by Meg77
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolled Mom's Portfolio to VG - income strategy? funds?
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Re: Rolled Mom's Portfolio to VG - income strategy? funds?

My main area of concern would be the muni bonds. While the collective interest rates sound good I would be concerned about the bond rating/credit quality of the issuers. If any of the muni bonds were bought on the secondary market I might get suspicous about them, brokers selling "used" bonds to in...
by Meg77
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolled Mom's Portfolio to VG - income strategy? funds?
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Rolled Mom's Portfolio to VG - income strategy? funds?

Hi Bogleheads, My mother received a windfall of muni bonds from her parents early this year, and I've completed the transfer of it plus her Edward Jones portfolio to Vanguard. Now comes the fun part - rebalancing and optimizing! I'm all for the three fund portfolio - or as close as I can get to it g...