Search found 30 matches

by beachairs
Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explaining Dependent Care Spending Account
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Re: Explaining Dependent Care Spending Account

Yes.

I used to reimburse myself monthly or even the whole amount at once...which was sadly usually in March/April each year.
by beachairs
Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor bike trainer options
Replies: 20
Views: 1323

Re: Indoor bike trainer options

Back in April, we upgraded from dumb trainer to Saris H3 smart trainer from REI. Tried to get a Wahoo but lead time was crazy back then. Make sure you have a big fan! Zwift definitely makes it much more bearable but I also play Pandora music during rides because sounds of Zwift aren't interesting. D...
by beachairs
Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preapproval for mortgage
Replies: 14
Views: 1294

Re: Preapproval for mortgage

In my HCOL area, a realtor won't help you until you are pre-qual/pre-approved.
by beachairs
Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowner attempting to resurface neighborhood public road
Replies: 86
Views: 9312

Re: Homeowner attempting to resurface neighborhood public road

Can anyone point me to general DOT regulations regarding a private citizen attempting to contract to have a public road (in a subdivision) resealed? I anticipate getting an e-mail from said neighbor asking everyone to chip in towards the cost. I know you reseal driveways and parking lots but have n...
by beachairs
Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s
Replies: 55
Views: 4249

Re: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s

I grew up in a house where my mother had to ask my father for every dollar that she spent (even household groceries) while he did whatever he wanted. It should be a partnership, not dictatorship. Was your mother resentful? You should not dictate how other people choose to live their lives, no matte...
by beachairs
Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care expenses - we're going to lose a ton because of Covid
Replies: 22
Views: 2575

Re: Dependent care expenses - we're going to lose a ton because of Covid

This may the be the only option we have. Our megacorp didn't send a notice out at all - we went back to the email archives to check. :annoyed IRS is permitting changes to 2020 FSA contributions. They are not allowing refunds yet, but you can change your contributions to 0 so you won't lose more if ...
by beachairs
Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s
Replies: 55
Views: 4249

Re: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s

Reviving this thread for a moment. DW and I recently got legally married. We've postponed the "big" religious wedding due to COVID. I'm 30, she's 28. I have about a $235K NW split between retirement and taxable accounts (64% VTSAX, 16% VFWAX, 6% VBTLX, 14% cash/VMFXX for emergency + "big" wedding e...
by beachairs
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for young people
Replies: 15
Views: 1877

Re: Advice for young people

I entered the job market in 2008-2009 from grad school and it was...not ideal. Use your support system to keep your mental health in a good place. Like others have said, investing in yourself is most important. High performance will(should) lead to increased compensation and opportunities. Good luck!
by beachairs
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7528
Views: 516375

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Does that mean the fee was built into your loan? Say I applied with Better in early September when the fee wasn't in play...I wouldn't get a refund or maybe I would? I have to say, even with all the issues some folks have had with Better, I am most impressed by them. I received the following email ...
by beachairs
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score mystery
Replies: 26
Views: 2050

Re: Credit score mystery

Recently went through a refinance. Over the course of 4-5 weeks, they seemed to check our credit scores at least 3 times (initial application, locking the rate and at closing)--we had to sign off on the documents each time. Numbers were different each time (husband and I), with no correlation to whi...
by beachairs
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons
Replies: 83
Views: 4853

Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

I work for a global company where many employees are not from US (at my site in CA). It leads to much more interesting conversations about sports where they are from and introducing them to US/local teams. No need to pretend one way or the other. It probably helps that managers are also not from US ...
by beachairs
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Megacorp rat race
Replies: 168
Views: 16415

Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Sounds like you made the right decision, but it also sounds like those were the wrong megacorps. Nether the salaries nor the level of activity you describe are anything like my experience. Nobody is making $80k in their 50s except maybe the admins. You might be right and I just needed to keep movin...
by beachairs
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Review / Baby Prep
Replies: 16
Views: 1439

Re: Financial Review / Baby Prep

Get life insurance ASAP. A pregnancy complication could affect underwriting. We made this mistake, signing up for term insurance while I was pregnant. Definitely do it before pregnancy. For 529, we waited until kid started kindergarten since daycare was costing us $2000/month. I have no regrets. It...
by beachairs
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi Question - help deciding
Replies: 21
Views: 936

Re: Refi Question - help deciding

over45 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:30 pm could i ask what rate you received and closing costs? tks
2.875% for 15y in CA. With $2800 credit.

Better gave us list of rates and associated costs/credits--they quoted down to 2.125% but with $$ for points.
by beachairs
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi Question - help deciding
Replies: 21
Views: 936

Re: Refi Question - help deciding

We just closed on our refi with Better. Process was super easy, no appraisal needed.
by beachairs
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care FSA - get money back?
Replies: 3
Views: 312

Dependent care FSA - get money back?

Due to Covid, after school programs and summer camps have all been cancelled since March. I stopped contributions to my dependent care FSA in June when it was more clear that I wouldn't have the opportunity to spend it. I've been able to use $1000 for Jan- Mar but another $1500 remains. In my area (...
by beachairs
Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with "easy" refinance
Replies: 6
Views: 473

Re: Need help with "easy" refinance

We started a refinance with Better about 2 weeks ago. Gave us a list of the different rates depending on amount of costs/credits--we're going with 2.875% with $0 but could have picked down to ~2.3% I think with several thousand due at closing. Rate was automatically locked for 60 days. Customer serv...
by beachairs
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie Needs Advice to Start a Non-Tax Advantaged Account
Replies: 11
Views: 746

Re: Newbie Needs Advice to Start a Non-Tax Advantaged Account

Welcome!

Highly suggest you take a look at the highly respected doctor Finance blog: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com
by beachairs
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?
Replies: 28
Views: 2728

Re: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?

As others alluded, I am not planning on going into the new line of work (college professor) and it wouldn't result in more pay at my current line of work, so I will have to think long and hard about whether I really want a PhD or not... Depends on field of study and your interest in learning more, ...
by beachairs
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?
Replies: 28
Views: 2728

Re: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?

No Ivies, but I have colleagues (we all work in science departments for the same employer) who got their PhD from Michigan, U of Mississippi, and U of Miami (Florida) that did not get fully-funded. Also, a few of my colleagues in my PhD program (Houston) were not fully-funded and one of my best fri...
by beachairs
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?
Replies: 28
Views: 2728

Re: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?

Bit of a moot question. One should never pay to get a PhD, every STEM program I know of pays for you to get the degree as you are being trained and doing novel research work for the university. Maybe one should never pay to get a PhD, but I believe at least 40% of those pursuing a PhD are not funde...
by beachairs
Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

I'm not sure if this point has played into the discussion here, but California doesn't provide a tax shield for 529 contributions. Earnings will still grow tax free, but it's not really a shelter come tax day. College is a difficult topic to wrap your head around, especially here in California. We ...
by beachairs
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

One more suggestion, this time regarding your HSA. If you have the money to pay out of pocket for medical expenses (which I suspect you do), I would strongly urge you to consider your HSA as a retirement investment. HSA have a lot of tax benefits, and you can invest an HSA at your chosen retirement...
by beachairs
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

One more suggestion, this time regarding your HSA. If you have the money to pay out of pocket for medical expenses (which I suspect you do), I would strongly urge you to consider your HSA as a retirement investment. HSA have a lot of tax benefits, and you can invest an HSA at your chosen retirement...
by beachairs
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

Have you checked your withholding on your bonus? Before earmarking all of the after-tax bonus amount to spending/investing/529/etc, I would check to see what % of your bonus is being withheld by your employer, and if that is below your actual marginal tax rate for that income. Yes, thanks for this ...
by beachairs
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

We looked into refinancing the mortgage a few months ago to 15y but then pandemic hit and we didn't want to commit to the higher payment. Why any high income earners do 30 year mortgages is beyond me. You want the low rate at the beginning of a mortgage not the end... once you are at year 15 you wo...
by beachairs
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Re: Yearly Bonus - what to do?

Thanks for suggestions! And here I thought we were doing pretty good with retirement :happy 529 is an area of focus going forward. Still trying to determine how much is a reasonable amount--we don't want to fund entire tuition but definitely provide some help. Sounds like maybe this is more importan...
by beachairs
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Bonus - what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 2830

Yearly Bonus - what to do?

Hi, I’m a newcomer to the Forum! I’ve been poking around and have been learning a lot. I’m interested in advice for yearly bonus money. I’m 38 (DH is 40) with 1 kid (8), live in HCOL (SoCal) Gross Income: 170k (me) + 70k (him) + 100k (my bonus) Current assets: 401k/403b: 580k Vanguard: 120k HSA: 10k...
by beachairs
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord expectations: Rats in the yard
Replies: 80
Views: 5796

Re: Landlord expectations: Rats in the yard

Had same issue in SoCal. Neighbors removed all but bottom ~6ft of the palm trees which has drastically reduced the issue for us. Previously, rats were in our gas grill and under the hood of our cars making a big mess. Outdoor cats can't help because they are eaten by the coyotes--too bad the coyotes...