Search found 757 matches

by Gray
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Escrow or not to Escrow-That is the question?
Replies: 24
Views: 1605

Re: To Escrow or not to Escrow-That is the question?

I like *not* having escrow so I can make sure the bills are paid on time.
by Gray
Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Management Strategies - Entrenched Bad Staff
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Management Strategies - Entrenched Bad Staff

Find something they can do and put them in charge of it. Otherwise leave well enough alone. You don’t want to put your career In jeopardy, or face lawsuits. It isn’t worth it.

If you can find a mutual interest that benefits your organization and send her to training, great, but baby steps.
by Gray
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which College degrees are worthwhile?
Replies: 228
Views: 13827

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

English, definitely English. Oh, also Political Science. Just randomly picking my majors. Granted, with a Masters in Technology Management and another in Cybersecurity Engineering, I think my experience demonstrates that your undergraduate degree doesn’t define your life. Still, I work in a field wi...
by Gray
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take Fed direct unsubsidized loans expressly to have them repaid by company?
Replies: 15
Views: 793

Re: Should I take Fed direct unsubsidized loans expressly to have them repaid by company?

I’m in a similar situation. I’m applying for a work-relevant Masters Degree program where it’s likely that they will pay for courses here and there, perhaps one per semester. On the back-end, after I complete the program, I could see the loan repayment program pay for what remains. The interest rate...
by Gray
Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a PMP and is it worth it?
Replies: 38
Views: 3621

Re: Cost of a PMP and is it worth it?

Not of fan of Rita here.

Andy Crowe all the way.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0990907481

Easier read:
https://www.amazon.com/Head-First-PMP-M ... 1492029645

Still, these days, agile project management is more important than traditional waterfall.
by Gray
Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools
Replies: 320
Views: 18241

Re: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools

Considering that’s a VHCOL area, I’d live in the school district of a really good public school that is optimal for my commute. When you don’t need the school any more, move to optimize your commute even more, if necessary. The high school for my daughter was ranked #2 in our state a couple years ag...
by Gray
Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance for a 23 year old
Replies: 35
Views: 1800

Re: Life Insurance for a 23 year old

Hi All, 23 year old here, soon to be married to another 23 year old. No kids, no debt or liabilities, two inexpensive & paid for cars. We are currently saving ~40% of our post tax income, about 10% for the wedding and the remainder to retirement/HSA accounts. The wedding saving will become house do...
by Gray
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax to save Tax files
Replies: 17
Views: 1331

Re: Turbo Tax to save Tax files

I recommend the Microsoft OneDrive Personal Vault if you are using the Microsoft Authenticator. There are other more secure services, but this is a good option.
by Gray
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase reducing credit card limits
Replies: 141
Views: 15261

Re: Chase reducing credit card limits

This is why you freeze your credit. Nobody can hard pull your profile for the purpose of borrowing money without your consent.
by Gray
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any 529 abusers here ?
Replies: 38
Views: 5043

Re: Any 529 abusers here ?

What a question
by Gray
Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non Fiction books for teenagers
Replies: 52
Views: 2542

Re: Non Fiction books for teenagers

Non-Fiction? Don’t teenagers get enough of this in school?

This is a time for fiction. The world is too much with us.
by Gray
Thu May 28, 2020 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?
Replies: 42
Views: 2838

Re: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?

10-year user of LastPass with 500+ accounts. I use complex passwords that are unique. I use multifactor authentication with banking, email, payment (PayPal...), and e-commerce sites (Amazon...). Once you get in the habit of using a secure password manager, you have greater peace of mind. BTW, you sh...
by Gray
Thu May 28, 2020 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I worked with my daughter to find the best school for her intended major given the amount of money we had saved, are saving, and will cover out of pocket (books, etc). In her case it was Virginia Tech for Computer Science and in-state tuition. She did not want to graduate with any significant debt (...
by Gray
Thu May 28, 2020 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online bank recommendations
Replies: 32
Views: 2893

Re: Online bank recommendations

USAA, Ally, and for local branch services, Navy Federal.
by Gray
Tue May 19, 2020 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

If they’re reducing the amount of instruction, they should reduce tuition, fees, and dorm costs by the same percentage. Otherwise, why wouldn’t a student choose a gap year?
by Gray
Mon May 18, 2020 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total market or S&P 500?
Replies: 44
Views: 3658

Re: Total market or S&P 500?

I went through the same scenario. Buffett repeatedly says S&P 500. My own analysis shows me that VOO provides similar returns with less volatility than VTI. I wish I could find a video where Bogle says "Invest in Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund." All I find is Mr. Bogle says we should invest...
by Gray
Mon May 18, 2020 3:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Insurance- What to do at end of Term?
Replies: 37
Views: 2543

Re: Term Life Insurance- What to do at end of Term?

:happy 30 year term is also available. What some people do is create a “ladder” of policies because your family’s need for insurance is dropping as your portfolio grows and your kids are leaving the nest. For instance, you could purchase a 1M, 20 year policy and a 1M, 30 year policy. This gives you ...
by Gray
Wed May 13, 2020 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I told my daughter that if she’s facing a 6-week semester, online classes, etc, she’s going to be deferred. I will not pay gold for lead.

The amount I’m setting aside to “out of pocket” pay for her meal plan will pay for two CC classes per semester.

She might even get an opportunity to get a job!
by Gray
Mon May 11, 2020 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Interest Deduction
Replies: 3
Views: 551

Re: Mortgage Interest Deduction

Hi I have a question about mortgage interest tax deduction. As most to know the limit for mortgage interest deduction was reduced from 1,000,000 to 750,000 for a new mortgage is after December 16, 2017. Does this apply if we refinance the mortgage? We have a jumbo loan we are considering refinancin...
by Gray
Sat May 09, 2020 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yr Jumbo Refi-- rates!
Replies: 6
Views: 1247

Re: 30yr Jumbo Refi-- rates!

I live in a high-cost area where the conforming loan cutoff is higher. I did a recent refinance with an amount below the conforming loan cutoff for my county, but above the "standard" threshold. It seemed that when I was quoted rates online, I was quoted jumbo and not conforming rates. Do lenders g...
by Gray
Fri May 08, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jumbo refi rates
Replies: 6
Views: 759

Re: Jumbo refi rates

I called Navy Federal yesterday and they offered me 3% at total fees of $9K for my jumbo with them. Then they estimated the closing costs in my area for my location/loan value. $19K. Gasp

My mortgage is at 3.5% so it looks like it will stay there.
by Gray
Wed May 06, 2020 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No tax return after >10 weeks?
Replies: 64
Views: 4582

Re: No tax return after >10 weeks?

I don’t know why people would file via paper.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/six-reasons-to-e-file
by Gray
Wed May 06, 2020 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Converting an Agent-Managed Fund to Individual
Replies: 2
Views: 202

Re: Converting an Agent-Managed Fund to Individual

It was a simple request, and done with no forms.

I remember this one financial advisor we visited a few years ago, supposedly fee based, but he wanted us to sign our life away even though we were not giving him any assets to manage. We walked away.
by Gray
Tue May 05, 2020 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Converting an Agent-Managed Fund to Individual
Replies: 2
Views: 202

Converting an Agent-Managed Fund to Individual

Does anyone have experience converting a Fidelity agent-managed account to an individual-managed account? My wife is responsible for a small trust, but the firm is just sucking the portfolio with fees and not performing well. Before we have that conversation, I'm just curious what the process is, if...
by Gray
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I have heard from multiple families that their kids would like to take the fall semester off if classes are not back on campus. This is becoming "a thing." Virginia Tech Admissions says (and these are quotes): We will entertain requests for deferral per normal office policies and procedures. The st...
by Gray
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

My daughter is going into CS because she’s social, a very focused problem solver (for fun during this quarantine, she tears through 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles), and she wants to be involved in technology. She likes coding and has an A in BC calculus. She’ll have taken AP computer science and NOVA’s 3...
by Gray
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Deflation is everywhere. Get used to it.
Replies: 151
Views: 15060

Re: Deflation is everywhere. Get used to it.

I’ll believe deflation once college and health care costs stop rising like they are. Add to that, my house’s rising value...and the property taxes that I can’t fully deduct due to SALT repeal.
by Gray
Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is deflation good or bad for the S&P 500?
Replies: 24
Views: 2495

Re: Is deflation good or bad for the S&P 500?

Deflation with all the money printing dropped from helicopters?
by Gray
Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many paid for kids' college?
Replies: 282
Views: 14138

Re: How many paid for kids' college?

Sometimes those character building experiences (working and acquiring debt) can add years to a kid being able to establish themselves in a good career with sufficient skills for job security.
by Gray
Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1M home purchase - can we afford it?
Replies: 74
Views: 7005

Re: $1M home purchase - can we afford it?

Renting sucks generally in my opinion, especially regarding cost increases that you have no idea what they will be.
by Gray
Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many paid for kids' college?
Replies: 282
Views: 14138

Re: How many paid for kids' college?

In full, but only for a good state school. I would be an idiot (personal opinion) to pay private school prices at the expense of my retirement). Edited: Actually, she did take out a Federal Loan for $5.5K per year for 4 years. At these interest rates it seemed like a good idea. Also, she’s paying it...
by Gray
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I decided to roll the dice on fall admission, but she is taking four online classes this summer: two in each of two six-week sessions: comp sci I and II, cloud computing/networking, and English composition. If nothing else, because these are not for transfer, it will better train her for online lear...
by Gray
Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1M home purchase - can we afford it?
Replies: 74
Views: 7005

Re: $1M home purchase - can we afford it?

You can afford it. You can afford anything you want, but you can’t afford everything you want. If you buy it, you almost certainly won’t be able to retire in your 40s. Kids are expensive. Retirement is expensive. Life is expensive. You can afford it, and a good life no doubt. But all that comes at ...
by Gray
Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

Current kids (3): HS Freshman, College 1st and 2nd years. Generally negative feedback from the kids on the online learning. In particular, the oldest, at a prestigious university, has been saying that if college is still online in the fall, she wants to take a semester or more off. I've discouraged...
by Gray
Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I think we decided last night to defer. Social distancing and the prospect of online learning will ruin a freshman experience. With a vaccine (70 in development) along with rapid tests, next year will be back to normal. We’ll probably see more integrated eLearning in classes going forward, but I th...
by Gray
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I think we decided last night to defer. Social distancing and the prospect of online learning will ruin a freshman experience. With a vaccine (70 in development) along with rapid tests, next year will be back to normal. We’ll probably see more integrated eLearning in classes going forward, but I thi...
by Gray
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

What is his school’s policy on deferral of enrollment, will he lose his offer of admission? Do you have a deadline?

In my daughter’s case, we won’t know about their plans until early June, but the deferral request is due by April 30.
by Gray
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

LOL. 4 Year University Tuition vs pre-developed community college or Kahn Academy content. For most freshmen, the courses are not ground breaking. I believe the on-campus experience is important for growing up as a person. I don’t think that will occur in someone’s basement. I’m considering using th...
by Gray
Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

Virginia Tech is now offering up to 2 year deferrals. The problem for anyone weighing deferral is that VT’s “plans for the fall academic semester” will be announced in early June, but the deadline for requesting deferral is April 30. With all the high risk group professors teaching (mostly) low risk...
by Gray
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we have any recourse? Mortgage investor backed out of all jumbos
Replies: 40
Views: 4320

Re: Do we have any recourse? Mortgage investor backed out of all jumbos

I have a feeling that things will take a turn for the worse with the market once the realization hits that (a) just because we hit peak death, we still have economic devastation, (b) this is not a v shaped recovery, and (c) we will continue to see the virus spread until a vaccine is widely distribut...
by Gray
Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 3070
Views: 234143

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I’m waiting. The stuff hasn’t fully hit the fan yet. Even then, businesses are not all going to resume exactly as before. Supply chains will be disrupted. Patterns of behavior prior may not resume right away. Folks may be more conservative spenders for a bit, and many may have to recover financially...
by Gray
Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 3070
Views: 234143

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Navy Federal Credit Union is down to 2.75 for Jumbo. I wonder if it will get down to 2.5 https://www.navyfederal.org/loans-cards/mortgage/mortgage-rates/fixed-rate-mortgages.php Worth noting the fine print that those rates are only for Navy Fed refiances. Rates for all other loans are 0.75% higher....
by Gray
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 3070
Views: 234143

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Navy Federal Credit Union is down to 2.75 for Jumbo. I wonder if it will get down to 2.5

https://www.navyfederal.org/loans-cards ... tgages.php
by Gray
Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7991

Re: College choice dilemma

Oh no! Fortunately this is not their unique concern.
by Gray
Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7991

Re: College choice dilemma

It’s not like undergrad is the extent of his learning. All the money saved could be applied to top tier graduate schools.
by Gray
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

In the long term, students will be taught by AI bots that can pass the Turing test and make most universities obsolete, if focusing solely on instruction. Socialization and independence is important as well, but there are cheaper ways to get that. I complained to VT and they changed their policy on ...
by Gray
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College choice dilemma
Replies: 167
Views: 7991

Re: College choice dilemma

I think you know the answer. You just don’t want to break it to your kid.
by Gray
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 541
Views: 45107

Re: College in fall

I don’t think the unemployment will be sustained. There are lots of service workers who interact with the public that businesses can’t keep on the rolls. With the stimulus to help businesses and individuals get by, the unemployment rate should drop once the stay home orders are lifted and the plague...