Search found 2072 matches

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: 24
Views: 3460

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: 1927

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: 1038

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: 1639

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: 3353

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: 3745

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: 1002

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: 10690

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: 7416

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: 12818

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: 2304

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: 9390

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: 3469

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: 437

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: 2581

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: 1676

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: 2304

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: 1676

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: 2481

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: 1444

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: 1293

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: 6099

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: 2561

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: 2339

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: 504

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: 1007

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: 1459

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: 1712

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: 7060

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: 7060

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: 1790

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: 825

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: 1790

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: 1162

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: 8302

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: 1072

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: 373

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: 1714

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: 6012

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: 11349

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: 3265

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: 4238

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: 921

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: 1965

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: 568

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: 1406

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: 26
Views: 2283

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: 1219

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: 26
Views: 2283

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...