Search found 143 matches

by MattE
Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career question
Replies: 12
Views: 1446

Re: Career question

I strongly disagree with management making use of such internal move veto power even when it's potentially in their short term interest, because it ultimately does nothing but sow dissent and is incredibly unfair to the employee. I would have a very frank discussion with your immediate manager, pre...
by MattE
Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who else is working longer hours from home with frozen/reduced compensation?
Replies: 26
Views: 3173

Re: Who else is working longer hours from home with frozen/reduced compensation?

I suspect the wished-for outcome is not necessarily “pay more” but rather “staff commensurate with the workload” — this could be clearly conveyed by repeated warnings that schedules are not possible, deadlines will slip etc. I think that in many cases extra hours from existing employees is expected...
by MattE
Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career question
Replies: 12
Views: 1446

Re: Career question

I strongly disagree with management making use of such internal move veto power even when it's potentially in their short term interest, because it ultimately does nothing but sow dissent and is incredibly unfair to the employee. I would have a very frank discussion with your immediate manager, pref...
by MattE
Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who else is working longer hours from home with frozen/reduced compensation?
Replies: 26
Views: 3173

Re: Who else is working longer hours from home with frozen/reduced compensation?

I work at a STEM research lab where are the technical and management staff are OT exempt, and compensation stops at 80 hrs per 2 week pay period. While it is not required and almost never explicitly asked, let alone directed, the culture in general somewhat encourages people, especially those that a...
by MattE
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9321
Views: 652415

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

1.1 points, ~$3100 on that size loan. Could have done 2.875 with no points but needed the lower rate to make it worth my while since our existing mortgage was already only 3.25% and we pre-pay it fairly aggressively.
by MattE
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9321
Views: 652415

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Didn't know anything about the Amex offer till you said that -- don't have one and wouldn't have opened one just for the credit anyway. A+B+C total was 100% of that. Total cash to close is a $110 recording fee, 8 months tax escrow, 2 months insurance escrow, 15 days prepaid interest on top of that.
by MattE
Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 9321
Views: 652415

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Just locked with Better for 2.5% on a $285K 15 year fixed with $4800 in total closing costs, $550 of which will get refunded at settlement since we didn't need an appraisal. The online rate quote originally came back with $5800 in closing costs, but the mortgage agent assigned to me got another $1K ...
by MattE
Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why Do So Many Recommend 70% - 100% Stocks?
Replies: 167
Views: 9870

Re: Why Do So Many Recommend 70% - 100% Stocks?

The logical fallacies in action this topic are...significant. OP, your personal risk tolerance is not in alignment with any of the investment profiles being discussed, and that's perfectly fine, because that's a personal, subjective decision based on your own emotional and mental state. But do not t...
by MattE
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way to file child's taxes
Replies: 11
Views: 675

Re: Easiest way to file child's taxes

I've used CreditKarma's online tax software the past two years and it 1) is totally free 2) will let you file for pretty much any situation 3) also does state filing for free and 4) is at least as easy to use as TurboTax.
by MattE
Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 23
Views: 2231

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

NASA Federal Credit Union 15 year fixed @ 2.375% with no points. Waiting to get a quote on final closing costs but looking like the $1-$2K range.
by MattE
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Optimization
Replies: 12
Views: 1531

Re: Tax Optimization

https://www.i-orp.com/ Probably closest you're going to get
by MattE
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When should i invest in my taxable account?
Replies: 6
Views: 1081

Re: When should i inevest in my taxable account?

I do a once-a-month sweep after I know the big bills have been paid where I move all of the excess in our checking accounts to Vanguard, leaving a ~$1K buffer in our checking accounts at all times in case something hits off-cycle or unexpectedly.
by MattE
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next Steps Help
Replies: 5
Views: 545

Re: Next Steps Help

Seems like your tIRA contributions are non-deductible\after-tax and therefore should be looking at backdoor Roth conversions.
by MattE
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How far from retirement should you start adjusting asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1456

Re: How far from retirement should you start adjusting asset allocation?

I think the "early retirement" part here might be being overlooked. You're basically in the exact same situation my wife and I project being in ~10 years and I've recently been thinking and reading up quite a bit on adjustments that need to be made from conventional retirement rules of thu...
by MattE
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?
Replies: 183
Views: 10023

Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

My wife and I have separate personal checking accounts that our paychecks go into, but a joint savings account linked to those, joint credit cards, and tied-together accounts for everything else (e.g., our Vanguard accounts are set for either person to be permitted to make transactions on them, even...
by MattE
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with debts and upcoming events, what are my options?
Replies: 51
Views: 4711

Re: Struggling with debts and upcoming events, what are my options?

I always have to roll my eyes at the people in these topics that look at significant problems like this where large sums of money need to be moved or drastic options need to be explored to meaningfully tackle the problem and their response is to worry about $10\mo Netflix subscriptions. Yes there's ...
by MattE
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do this weekend in Tokyo?
Replies: 19
Views: 1693

Re: What to do this weekend in Tokyo?

How old are you and how adventurous are you willing to get? The Metro system is incredibly easy to use for English speakers (everything is co-signed and audibly announced in Japanese and English) with the only catch being that there's 3 different subway companies so not all the lines are interconnec...
by MattE
Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with understanding wash sale
Replies: 4
Views: 322

Re: Help with understanding wash sale

ossipago wrote: Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:03 am
My question is, if I sell all shares associated with the most recent four lots, and make no further purchases of shares in this mutual fund for the next 30 days, do I face any wash sale issues?
No.
by MattE
Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting, Wash Sales, and Target Date Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 727

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting, Wash Sales, and Target Date Funds

That's not really the issue in question, though. This also specifically becomes a problem if you own a Target Date fund in a tax-sheltered account like a traditional or Roth IRA. For example, let's say you own shares in VTSMX originally purchased for $1000 in a taxable account, and later sell them a...
by MattE
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting, Wash Sales, and Target Date Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 727

Tax Loss Harvesting, Wash Sales, and Target Date Funds

There's been a plethora of topics on TLH in general since it's that time of year, but searching the board I couldn't find anything covering this exact question. Vanguard Target Date funds are composed of a scaling percentage of Vanguard's Total Stock, Total International Stock, Total Bond, and Total...
by MattE
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: daughter wants a college transfer?
Replies: 65
Views: 6473

Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

Omsbudsman moment: Cornell doesn't actually have an elevated suicide rate relative to other colleges, it's just the high visibility, makes-the-news nature of suicides at the gorges that makes it seem so.
by MattE
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 22832

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

I see Cardhu, Glenfiddich 12-yr, Glenmorangie 10-yr, Laphroaig 10-year, and Glenlivet 12-yr in that $40-45 range (tax included). Yet I know not enough whether any of these are the MD 20/20 of Scotch... Pretty much everything you listed is firmly in the "this is perfectly acceptable but not par...
by MattE
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 22832

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Once a brand becomes "the latest and the greatest" the quality is sure to suffer. A recent example in my experience is Angel's Envy bourbon, which is aged in port wine barrels. I received a bottle as a gift a few years ago and found it to be a pleasant bourbon to drink neat. According to ...
by MattE
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector
Replies: 50
Views: 7305

Re: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector

I got my B.S. in Aerospace and worked as a satellite operations and systems engineer for a Fortune 100 company as a NASA contractor for 5.5 years out of college before completing my Master's (in Systems Engineering) and moving on to better position in a different field at a non-profit research lab. ...
by MattE
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you replace your office shoes?
Replies: 58
Views: 6900

Re: How often do you replace your office shoes?

I replace mine probably once a year because I wear my every-day, beat-'em-up Nikes to my office 'cause I couldn't possibly concur more vigorously with FlyAF. Any day that doesn't involve customer interaction has no need for a dress code.
by MattE
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Did I Just Do? (Possible Scam)
Replies: 13
Views: 3749

Re: What Did I Just Do? (Possible Scam)

It sounds like you got a text from a legitimate fraud prevention system and the most likely explanation is that the phone number on file for the person that card actually belongs to is wrong.
by MattE
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand
Replies: 103
Views: 9607

Re: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand

My manager's boss stopped by and said he is working on something for me, but I'm going to go ahead and accept the other offer unless I have something official in writing today. I've never been in this situation before, what happens if I accept the offer from the other company and afterwards my curr...
by MattE
Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand
Replies: 103
Views: 9607

Re: Asking for a raise/promotion with another offer in hand

They are willing to pay more because of perceived value. The OP has to deliver. Higher pay comes with higher expectations. That’s just the way it is. And higher performance comes with higher expectations in terms of pay, and it's absolutely not true that (most) employers will elevate that amount to...
by MattE
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I ask for a larger raise at yearly review?
Replies: 37
Views: 3665

Re: Should I ask for a larger raise at yearly review?

Personally, I'd push in that situation as well. In software remote work isn't exactly a rare extravagance and most STEM firms offer some level of reimbursement for continuing education including graduate school, so they're not really separating themselves from the pack there. If you're an above-aver...
by MattE
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.
Replies: 83
Views: 11387

Re: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.

The eclipse is only going to last for 2 to 3 minutes. To me, it seems excessive to travel and rent hotel rooms for 2 to 3 minutes. To each her own. It's a celestial event creating irreproducible natural phenomena (360 degree sunsets, visible solar corona and chromosphere, fauna going totally silent...
by MattE
Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheap "starter" home or stretch "forever" home?
Replies: 18
Views: 2365

Re: Cheap "starter" home or stretch "forever" home?

Are you working in the city proper? Is commuting from one of the bedroom communities just not a plausible option? $350K total \ $2400 per month gets you goodish schools, great communities, and 2000+ square feet, 3+ BR, 2+ BA with land up the Red Line or out in Howard County....even up the Silver Lin...
by MattE
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your "at peace" moments.
Replies: 144
Views: 20510

Re: Your "at peace" moments.

Sitting at the top of an uncrowded ski slope, strapped in and ready to drop on my snowboard, but taking a minute or so to just look out over the vista before doing so.
by MattE
Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car troubles?
Replies: 18
Views: 1877

Re: Car troubles?

Strong second\third\however-th to the people that also said to do the spark plugs and brake pads yourself. You can do them yourself in an afternoon with absolutely zero prior car knowledge, YouTube, and a socket wrench set, and save yourself probably close to $500 in the process. I'm not a car guy a...
by MattE
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]
Replies: 138
Views: 17544

Re: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]

The extent to which people on this board are willing to eat **** with a smile is totally baffling to me. A large portion of a manager's job is to facilitate ways to make those under them more effective\productive. If there's something about them that's causing that to be not true, then they're now a...
by MattE
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dream vacation spots?
Replies: 81
Views: 11610

Re: Dream vacation spots?

My wife and I are looking at having our first spawn in the next year-ish, so I made a concerted effort to knock out at least one true bucket list-type trip before that happens. Spent two weeks in Japan this past February: 4 days sightseeing in Tokyo, 1 day sightseeing in Sapporo during Yuki Matsuri,...
by MattE
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 9541

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

I've done a half dozen Carnival and one Norwegian cruise, and on every single trip my wife and I stashed at least one 1.75L bottle of a "utility liquor" like vodka that can be mixed with just about anything in our bags and had them pass through security without any issues. Several friends ...
by MattE
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 6230

Re: Packing cubes for travel

I travel frequently for work, and several times a year provide engineering support for field tests that last up to a month. During that time I might be staying in field quarters where the space provided for personal items is at an absolute minimum (think: a single drawer under a bed) for up to two w...
by MattE
Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: August vacation to Glacier NP
Replies: 21
Views: 3643

Re: August vacation to Glacier NP

Depending on when in August and where in the park you're at, be prepared for cold weather. In late August there's a very real chance Logan Pass and part of the park east of the Divide can be in the highs 30s\low 40s with snow at the higher elevations, even on days where the west side may be in the 6...
by MattE
Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Five Best National Parks to Visit?
Replies: 99
Views: 12270

Re: Five Best National Parks to Visit?

I spent a week backpacking in Glacier late last August and thought it was the most breathtaking place I've ever been even with the haze from the historic fire season the northwest had last year, which is saying something because I've backpacked and snowboarded some pretty awesome places.
by MattE
Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financially, how have you done/doing vs. your parents?
Replies: 134
Views: 17045

Re: Financially, how have you done/doing vs. your parents?

My parents were\are uneducated blue collar workers and were\are fiscally irresponsible dolts on top of that. At 27 I make more than both of them combined at any point in their lives and I'm pretty sure I passed their peak net worth within a year or two of graduating college. I'm the oldest of four, ...
by MattE
Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing mildew from vinyl siding
Replies: 25
Views: 5668

Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

The grime is really stuck on my driveway, so it's really tough to pressure wash evenly (much tougher than my vinyl siding). I was thinking a solution could help loosen up the really tough stuff. Or I may need a gas power pressure washer or pro to do the whole driveway evenly without it taking forev...
by MattE
Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing mildew from vinyl siding
Replies: 25
Views: 5668

Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

I've always had great success with just regular dish soap, hot water, and a scrub brush on the end of a pole (I got a 10 foot telescoping one from Home Depot that works great and lets me reach all the way to my roof from the top of a 10 foot ladder). Doesn't even take that much force\pressure, comes...
by MattE
Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honeymoon Ideas
Replies: 31
Views: 4840

Re: Honeymoon Ideas

When my wife and I got married in 2011, we did a 7-day Carnival cruise of the southern Caribbean that left out of\returned to San Juan, PR and stopped in St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Cruise + airfare (round trip from PHL) + ground transportation ended up something lik...
by MattE
Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 107
Views: 36249

Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

+1 to all the comments about it not being a big deal and how peers\colleagues keeping that information secret does nothing but shortchange them at their employers' benefit. I'm a government contractor and work with two other guys that were hired within a month of me right after we all got out of col...
by MattE
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 255
Views: 39929

Re: What do you drive, and why?

I drive a 2001 Saturn SL that was the first car I ever purchased on my own ($4300 in 2008 after my sophomore year of college). It had 109K on it when I bought it and is about to roll 170K now. I drive it because it still gets 32 MPG combined and runs like a champ with minimal maintenance, though it ...
by MattE
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 3567

Re: When is cash still king?

When making larger purchases, vendors will sometimes give you a discount for paying with cash\debit as opposed to credit if you ask since they no longer have to pay the 2-3% processing fee on the credit card charge. This was the case when my wife and I got a new living room set from a local furnitur...
by MattE
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deleted
Replies: 17
Views: 1818

Re: downhill ski boots question

If you're going to own a single piece of equipment and rent the rest, boots are definitely what you want to have. Properly fitting boots with the right amount of flex completely dominate your control of your skis and can make okay skis seem pretty good, and vice versa bad boots can make great skis s...
by MattE
Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to find the cheapest mortgage?
Replies: 30
Views: 8142

Re: Where to find the cheapest mortgage?

When we were mortgage hunting last year, we found that AimLoan and National Mortgage Alliance offered the best rates, and it wasn't even close between them and anyone else (including PenFed and NASA's FCU). AimLoan had the lower rates initially, but we were able to bid them against each other and NM...
by MattE
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who Paid for the wedding?
Replies: 94
Views: 11647

Re: Who Paid for the wedding?

My wife and I were married in October 2011; she was 24, I was 22. Her parents wanted to pay for the entire thing, but I was extremely opposed to the idea of them paying for much of it at all and wanted to fund it ourselves (I'm estranged from my side of the family, so nothing was coming from there)....
by MattE
Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Random life events
Replies: 34
Views: 3857

Re: Random life events

I paid my own way through college with grants, scholarships, and state\federal loans, but late in my sophomore year it was looking very, very doubtful that I was going to be able to continue to afford going to the school I was (Penn State). Right as that was coming to a crisis point with my first ju...