Search found 16414 matches

by Watty
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 42
Views: 2364

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

As others have said it really depends on the details of your situation. For example I live in Atlanta which is more of a medium cost of living area and we have some friends that have a son who is severely dyslexic and barely graduated high school. At one point he was working in a chain muffler shop ...
by Watty
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gift for a college bound niece
Replies: 12
Views: 451

Re: gift for a college bound niece

I was thinking of gift a laptop for a niece who will start college in next month specializing in visual art. Which version is more suitable: Windows or Mac? With only a month until school starts it is highly likely that she already has a laptop. She might still need computer things like a large mon...
by Watty
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early claim of SS if you quit working before 62
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: Early claim of SS if you quit working before 62

I also have a dim memory of the concept that if you've worked enough years, and you've earned the max amount they tax you on, then you've already reached "maximum contribution" and perhaps stopping work earlier than 62 wouldn't matter? Social Security is calculated on your 35 highest income years a...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Advice for College Grad
Replies: 6
Views: 476

Re: Investment Advice for College Grad

1. I learned from my last post that I was not taking advantage of maxing out my retirement accounts... so I've changed that. In my two retirement accounts, is it worth paying the expense ratio of .14-.15% in a target date fund? Or should I invest using a total equity (VFIAX or VTSAX) index fund wit...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 83 y.o. widow requesting assistance with AA
Replies: 9
Views: 665

Re: 83 y.o. widow requesting assistance with AA

Sorry for your loss, I have told my wife to ask questions here too if something happens to me. A few questions; Which if your funds are in taxable accounts and which are in retirement accounts? How much capital gains taxes would you need to sell the funds in the taxable accounts if you wanted to put...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax
Replies: 14
Views: 1247

Re: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax

You need to see an estate lawyer and have her/him draw up a will and other end-of-life documents, like health care power-of-attorney. S/he can advise you in the inheritance tax issues. +1000 One of the key things whenever doing any DIY home improvement project is knowing when to call in the pros. F...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions
Replies: 20
Views: 1190

Re: ACA subsidy vs Roth conversions

After looking at 2019, I estimate that I could do a conversion of $10k and stay in the 12% bracket and still get a subsidy. I left a little room for error in case spouse makes more than planned or higher dividends roll in. On that $10k I will pay 12% in Federal taxes, 0% in state taxes and lose $1k...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 2.5 million to invest for myself[35] and father[70]
Replies: 29
Views: 2400

Re: 2.5 million to invest for myself[35] and father[70]

Even if your Dad wants to comingle the funds it would be good to keep the accounts separate since there is a very reasonable chance that he could live to be 95 and him living to be 105 is possible. One advantage of that is if you do inherit his money someday you would then get it at a stepped up cos...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How unpleasant is the home buying/selling experience??
Replies: 33
Views: 2316

Re: How unpleasant is the home buying/selling experience??

There is a big gap between a $350K starter house and your second choice $600K+ and something in between might make more sense. You may be setting yourself up with an false choice by thinking that those are your only two options. What would you do if you were in a similar situation? I would just save...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early 30s - First time portfolio review
Replies: 3
Views: 670

Re: Early 30s - First time portfolio review

A few things. Debt: My only debt is mortgage at 4.375%, no PMI What are the details on this? If you could handle the payments on a 15 year mortage you could likely refinance it and get a loan in the low 3% range. Taxable Brokerage Accounts.... If they are not already it would be good to set the mutu...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Been reading/learning for some time. Joined recently. Hesitant to pull the trigger.
Replies: 17
Views: 1261

Re: Been reading/learning for some time. Joined recently. Hesitant to pull the trigger.

You did not include Social Security in your post. You can get that off of the Social Security website but be sure to change the defaults to specify that you would stop working now. Once you have that for you and your spouse you can put your numbers into this web site to get a suggested claiming stra...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage early?
Replies: 14
Views: 1311

Re: Pay off mortgage early?

Just for brainstorming here are a few alternatives if you have trouble getting a conventional mortage. 1) I have never done it but people have posted about buying a house with a home equity loan instead of a conventional mortage. That might be easier to qualify for and have lower loan origination co...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: asset allocation anxiety
Replies: 27
Views: 1767

Re: asset allocation anxiety

As of now, I am 40% stock (mutual funds), 40% bond funds and CDs, and 20% cash (I will buy a few CDs). This allocation is making me crazy. I feel like I am missing out on all sorts of returns, even at these inflated prices. For comparison the Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 fund is about 55% stocks...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area
Replies: 40
Views: 3538

Re: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area

- Your area is not HCOL let alone "Very HCOL." IMO it's pretty normal these days unless you're in flyover country. See my post above where I said; The median single family home(not a condo) price is only $254,800 so there are lots of nice areas where you can still buy a nice house for less than $30...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Changing Target Date fund 2050 to 2065
Replies: 8
Views: 910

Re: Changing Target Date fund 2050 to 2065

Don't forget to change your future contributions too. I haven't touched or moved this money at all since I started my 401k 6 years ago, and I guess I'm just a little nervous to be moving a large sum of money. If you are nervous about moving the funds yourself you can call their 800 number and ask th...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k investments and a little more
Replies: 9
Views: 371

Re: Help with 401k investments and a little more

Thanks so much. I was hoping to transfer my IRA to my 401K to get away from my advisor with a 1% AUM fee. I would also like to do a Backdoor Roth. Even if you decide not to roll the money into your 401k you should move it to somewhere that you are not paying that fee. If you call a company like Van...
by Watty
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risks of buying a Bay Area home with 4-year time horizon?
Replies: 26
Views: 1901

Re: Risks of buying a Bay Area home with 4-year time horizon?

In addition to there being a price decline if there are some other risks; 1) It can be very difficult to sell a house in a bad housing market and in a bad market it is not uncommon for houses to be on the market for six month to a year or longer and not sell because the seller is not willing to pric...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take the cash or the free dinner?
Replies: 61
Views: 4538

Re: Take the cash or the free dinner?

One thing to watch out for if you regularly go to these sorts of things is that as you age your defenses might not be so good and eventually you may buy what they are selling. I have made a conscious effort to simplify my investments so that will be easier to manage as I age because even without som...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please Help me Simplify my IRA - Fidelity 3 fund?
Replies: 5
Views: 486

Re: Please Help me Simplify my IRA - Fidelity 3 fund?

You might just put the IRA into one of the Fidelity Freedom Index target funds (not the ordinary Fidelity Freedom funds that are more costly. that would be pretty simple. +1 When I retired in 2015 I just put almost all my funds into the 2015 Vanguard Target Retirement fund that is like that. In the...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to refi this 80/10 mortgage?
Replies: 3
Views: 380

Re: How to refi this 80/10 mortgage?

We still have a house in CA as well, planning on selling it next summer. Could you go on and sell that house now? One advantage is that most housing markets are still strong and it would likely be easy to sell it now. If you wait a year the California housing market could cool off and in addition h...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help invest with current 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 4
Views: 422

Re: Help invest with current 3 fund portfolio

Based on what I've understood, I think I should stick the 55k in my brokerage account in a total stock market index fund such as VTSMX and rebalance my 401k to include more bonds so that I still maintain close to a 80/20 stock/bond split. Is this right? That sounds right to me but one thing you mig...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letter from Amex - scam?
Replies: 25
Views: 2255

Re: Letter from Amex - scam?

I would call the number on the back of your credit card and ask them.
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my work Principal 401K
Replies: 7
Views: 383

Re: What to do with my work Principal 401K

Fidelity 500 Index Funds .02 ER Fidelity Mid Cap Index Fund .03 ER Fidelity Small Cap Index Fund .03 ER Should I switch out of the TDF and build an allocation between these three to cut down on the dang fees? What would you recommend for an allocation? I also had a Principal 401k before I retired a...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College cost prediction and savings for 5, 3, and newborn
Replies: 99
Views: 4682

Re: College cost prediction and savings for 5, 3, and newborn

There is a huge uncertainty in all three of these: General Sticker-price cost of university education Assistance you gain from merit or need-based aid Which school your children will attend Also; If all your kids will even go to college. If they will go for a year or two then drop out. People somet...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Options
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: Home Purchase Options

Is there anything we are missing? Thoughts? 1) Right now you can likely qualify for the federal homeowners capital gains exclusion and may not have to pay any federal income taxes on the sale of your house. If you keep it for a rental for more than a few years then you will lose that capital gains ...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being a hands off homeowner
Replies: 48
Views: 2705

Re: Being a hands off homeowner

A few things that have not been mentioned; 1) In most areas construction is booming which makes it very hard(at least in my area) to find someone for small projects. I am still kicking myself for now for not having a few things done during the housing bust ten years ago when contractors were looking...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area
Replies: 40
Views: 3538

Re: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area

The risk of buying a home in a VHCOL area vs. a LCOL area is somewhat mitigated by the ability to sell the property in a timely manner and usually at a profit. Over buying is riskier if you need to sell your home fast in a LCOL area due to lack of buyers. I would be cautious about using that sort o...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being a hands off homeowner
Replies: 48
Views: 2705

Re: Being a hands off homeowner

+++1 Youtube is indeed a life/wealth saver. But it takes a certain kind of person to crawl underneath the kitchen sink, wrench in hand, with your tablet on the floor next to you. And then it seems to take a minimum of three trips to the hardware store before you've gotten everything you need. And t...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area
Replies: 40
Views: 3538

Re: Buying a home; Very HCOL Area

- Is there ever a break-even point where home ownership in these kinds of areas are actually "worth it" financially? Areas like that are financially "worth it" when you get paid so much more for your job to live there than you could earn somewhere else that your income more than pays for the high c...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:37 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Italian investor: how to invest long term after recent windfall
Replies: 11
Views: 844

Re: Italian investor: how to invest long term after recent windfall

two months ago i have received a sum on top of this (equivalent to 3 years of my current salary) which i plan to fully save and put towards a low cost well diversified portfolio which i plan on keeping for the very long term . .....any other tax related tip? What is your housing situation and are y...
by Watty
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Not Another Pay off the House or Invest...
Replies: 29
Views: 2345

Re: Not Another Pay off the House or Invest...

Based on the mortgage rate and tax rate, I need to earn 3.875%/(1-0.24) = 5.1% on investments to get out ahead. If your normal asset allocation is 25% bonds then you will be using 25% of those funds to buy bonds that might be earning 2.5% which makes getting that 5.1% for your total investment hard...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affordable health insurance plan for seniors
Replies: 4
Views: 624

Re: Affordable health insurance plan for seniors

Obviously, since they have no work history in the US, they will not qualify for medicare. This gets complicated and I don't pretend to understand it but as I recall the way it works is that they do not qualify for premium free medicare part A but they may have the option to buy into Medicare part A...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Re-Organizing Investments, Advice?
Replies: 4
Views: 516

Re: Re-Organizing Investments, Advice?

I'm trying to gauge if its worth it to consolidate my accounts to a single login screen? One thing to realize is that when you have multiple accounts with the same company is that they likely have a "right of offset"(Google this) that is buried in the fine print. This means that if there is a probl...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care criteria for retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 1079

Re: Health Care criteria for retirement

Be sure to know if there are specialists that are available near where you retire. Here is something that I have posted about this before; I know someone that retired on the Oregon coast near a small city that had a small hospital and adequate primary care doctors. What they found was that for somet...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convert IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 494

Re: Convert IRA

So I think I made a mistake not taking the tax hit and converting a traditional IRA to a Roth so I could backdoor from here on. I think I probably so just cut my losses and convert, but I would like to know how much tax I am liable for. I have 50k in a traditional IRA and have exchanged several tim...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k investments and a little more
Replies: 9
Views: 371

Re: Help with 401k investments and a little more

The company I am with now has a 401k with Fidelity. I only have about 50k invested here. I just switched the investments from the actively managed 2040 target date fund to 70% Fidelity 500 index 10% Fidelity Extended market Index 20% Fidelity Investment Grade Bond fund My questions are. 1. Is this ...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review
Replies: 8
Views: 688

Re: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review

#3 The growth portion of the portfolio is an interesting topic. I tend to agree with you but others, McClung in particular, suggest reinvesting until equity are 20% above retirement date value. He uses the bond portion of portfolio to fund ongoing spending and replenishes by selling equities when t...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secure Android program for photos?
Replies: 8
Views: 684

Re: Secure Android program for photos?

Depending on what you really want to do just buying a scanner might make more sense and give you more readable documents. The more expensive ones are more for scanning photos but for just basic document scanning some of the basic ones that run about $100 would be just fine.
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Old pension plan- take the lump sum or wait for the monthly payout?
Replies: 23
Views: 1880

Re: Old pension plan- take the lump sum or wait for the monthly payout?

I very much reserve the right to change my mind and take the lump sum at any point. One thing to watch out for is that the lump sum option can be taken away. I had an old pension like that where they discontinued the lump sum option for about five years when the pension funding percentage fell belo...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review
Replies: 8
Views: 688

Re: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review

I guess I am asking if my plan is sounds and if there are any glaring errors that I am missing? A couple of things to include in your plans; 1) Social Security. You can check this web site to get a suggested claiming strategy. It was created by a poster here who has written a book on Social Securit...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant turned off all utilities advice please!!
Replies: 83
Views: 6801

Re: Tenant turned off all utilities advice please!!

The woman behaved horribly. However, I have always contacted the utilities and ended service every time I have moved from a rental. Sometimes, the landlord had an agreement on record with the utility company to assume responsibility for the billing and the service would remain on. Other times, the ...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Contributing to Roth IRA for my teen prior to receiving earned income
Replies: 17
Views: 1395

Re: Contributing to Roth IRA for my teen prior to receiving earned income

My teen boy is starting a part time job. Can he start contributing to Roth IRA ahead with an amount equal to his projected yearly income and keeping the amount under the max allowable? Thx much in advance. By far the best thing you can do for your kids is make sure that your own financial situation...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: from Seattle (WA) to Inverness (Scotland) and back
Replies: 23
Views: 1283

Re: from Seattle (WA) to Inverness (Scotland) and back

I'm hoping for some input on one's experience on getting to Inverness, Scotland. Hoping for a memorable experience enroute as this will probably be my only trip abroad. See the Rick Steeves Great Britain guide book for lots of suggestions. https://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-Great-Britain/dp/1631218...
by Watty
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Old pension plan- take the lump sum or wait for the monthly payout?
Replies: 23
Views: 1880

Re: Old pension plan- take the lump sum or wait for the monthly payout?

Be sure to turn the question around and ask, "I have $38K in an IRA. Should I use it to buy a deferred annuity that will pay me $302 a month starting in 13 years." You can actually buy deferred annuities like that but people rarely do since there is so much inflation risk. You can crunch the numbers...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account
Replies: 21
Views: 984

Re: High ER 401k vs Taxable Account

The 401k wiki has a section that gives a formula to help decide if a mediocre 401K is worth contributing to. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/401(k)#Expensive_or_mediocre_choices Given that you would only have the higher expenses for 18 years until you are 50 and then the money could be invested for ...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My rough plan to invest $200k windfall...any suggestions?
Replies: 19
Views: 1499

Re: My rough plan to invest $200k windfall...any suggestions?

2) 1st child! And I'll be a father by end of November. Congratulations! It might be best to just put most of the money into a high interest savings account until after the baby is born since your plans could change if there are even minor complications. 3) We don't qualify for traditional IRA based...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check
Replies: 13
Views: 593

Re: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check

FWIW, answering this question is part of why the escrow company gets paid. I'm sure they'll be happy to accept personal check or wire. I do not have any checks. That is the issue. Also, it seems to send a wire I would need to go to a bank branch. Is there someone in your old city that could overnig...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check
Replies: 13
Views: 593

Re: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check

Once when I was doing a corporate relocation I needed to buy a car for cash in the new city but the dealer would not take an out of state personal check. An instate personal check would have been fine. I had already opened a checking account in the new city with a few thousand dollars but if I depos...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care Options Until Age 65?
Replies: 25
Views: 2582

Re: Health Care Options Until Age 65?

"That seems odd, did they say why? Here is what it says on the CMS website about the conditions that you need to meet....." My employer and the COBRA insurance company stated that my voluntary retirement (rather than an employer termination or reduction of hours) was not a qualifying event. I belie...
by Watty
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]
Replies: 86
Views: 7514

Re: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]

I don't have any good suggestions but you might get an inexpensive thermometer to put in the office to quantify just how hot it is getting and take pictures of it with your cell phone.

That could be important if someone has any health problems related to the heat.