Search found 209 matches

by camillus
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting with significant other
Replies: 26
Views: 2160

Re: Budgeting with significant other

Which comes first: "me" or "us"? Some people get paid into individual/private accounts and then contribute into mutual accounts. Money starts as "mine." Other people get paid into joint accounts and then designate certain equal amounts as discretionary spending. Money starts as "ours." We live accor...
by camillus
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best practice re: Savings?
Replies: 11
Views: 1574

Re: Best practice re: Savings?

In attempting to provide "rule of thumb" advice, Fidelity came up with retirement benchmarks: ie, how much you should have saved for retirement by age. For some, saving 15% for retirement would be okay. For many others, catching up would include saving a much higher percent of income. https://www.fi...
by camillus
Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PRIMECAP Fund
Replies: 63
Views: 2767

Re: PRIMECAP Fund

PRIMECAP mitigates the worst parts of active management with a 1) low fee, and 2) limiting new money. I assume "new money" is one of the causes of successful funds reverting to the mean. If a manager finds a good strategy, his/her fund will typically grow in size until the strategy doesn't work anym...
by camillus
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Type of Account to Save for Kid's 1st Car?
Replies: 29
Views: 1186

Re: What Type of Account to Save for Kid's 1st Car?

Plot twist: Don't save for your kid's car. Save for college or your retirement instead and cash flow the car when the time comes.
by camillus
Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt
Replies: 7
Views: 532

Re: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt

I really appreciate all the expert opinions here! One thing that I will be doing is trying to influence my wife's workplace to improve the 403b by offering some better funds. To be clear, the 403b is offered through TIAA - not an institution that specializes in divinity schools. I believe the attach...
by camillus
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt
Replies: 7
Views: 532

Roth IRA vs clergy 403(b) bad ERs, 15% tax brkt

Hi all, I recently had more confidence in my decision to choose to invest retirement contributions in my wife's 403(b) over a Roth IRA, but I'd like some second opinions. Some stats : -Married, mid 30s -State tax 4.25%(?) -Wife is clergy. This get technical, which is distracting on these threads. Sh...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing. [15 years old]
Replies: 14
Views: 892

Re: Investing. [15 years old]

Hi David, I thought I'd give some unrequested advice and say that you should look in to your "human capital." How can you invest this $2500 to improve your happiness and wellbeing (and income) over the course of your working career? You are about to embark on one of the most expensive seasons of lif...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?
Replies: 46
Views: 2797

Re: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?

Just dropping into this thread without reading much. Just thought I'd mention that the OP should check out if he or his wife's work offers a dependent care FSA. Some tax savings to be had here.
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heading to ER, surprise bills [update: home again]
Replies: 44
Views: 5533

Re: Urgent! Heading to ER, surprise bills

There are very few things worth more than your sight. If someone I loved went blind in one eye and went to an urgent care center instead of the best ER in town, I would be extremely upset with them. Put a value on your sight. A million? 10 million? Your condition could also indicate a problem with y...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing. [15 years old]
Replies: 14
Views: 892

Re: Investing. [15 years old]

I am ancient at 34 years old. I'm of the opinion that if you would like to start investing and this money is money you could lose and still accomplish other goals, like cars & college , then it would be great to learn about investing. I wouldn't mess with a Roth IRA at this point. A Roth IRA is a re...
by camillus
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?
Replies: 29
Views: 3003

Re: Is HSA Bank + TD Ameritrade still the best HSA choice?

I am surprised to learn that so many HSA custodians use a brokerage window at TD Ameritrade. My employer just switched to HealthEquity, which offers Vanguard funds with an administrative fee and a $2000 cash minimum. If you make frequent trades (monthly or per paycheck) or hold a lot of funds, Healt...
by camillus
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?
Replies: 34
Views: 2362

Re: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?

THANK YOU for your entry/comment. You are welcome. You likely have plaster walls, which people typically shred with screws & nails. The very nice thing about picture rails is you can literally reorganize all the artwork in your home without any major tooling or lasting scars. It makes your house fe...
by camillus
Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?
Replies: 34
Views: 2362

Re: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?

If you by chance live in an older home, you might have a picture rail or a rail built into your crown molding. Google "picture rail." Cool vintage look.
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! - New Believer and overwhelmed
Replies: 20
Views: 2364

Re: HALP! - New Believer and overwhelmed

1) Move everything to one brokerage house, probably fidelity.
2) The most important single item is setting an annual budget.
3) The most important lever in your asset allocation is stocks:bonds. I'd get some sanity around that.
4) Who has durable power of attorney?
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to Improve TIAA 403b R1
Replies: 15
Views: 1122

Re: Best way to Improve TIAA 403b R1

Hi all, Sorry to resurrect this thread. My wife and I are going to be possibly maxing out this 403b this year, and so I am very anxious to see if I can work with HR to improve this plan. I'm trying to imagine what obstacles I could encounter with my HR person. Why wouldn't they want to make these ch...
by camillus
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]
Replies: 50
Views: 4591

Re: TIAA Trouble [NY Times: TIAA pushes clients to high fee products]

My main complaint with TIAA is the tiered fee approach to 403b's. Our 403b has funds with fee averages at 0.70% because we are an R1 institution. :annoyed
by camillus
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?
Replies: 3
Views: 707

Re: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?

People sometime do crazy things in order to remove one row (or one account) from a spreadsheet. Don't fall into that trap, unless you want to for simplicity's sake. From a pure math perspective, the likely solution is to leave things where they are - which is hard to do.
by camillus
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth
Replies: 6
Views: 1353

Re: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth

Who is going to pay for a wedding ceremony? How much of a ring do you want?

I hear Northpointe Bank, in LMCU's neighborhood, gives 5% up to $10k.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3915

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

If all else is equal, it is slightly better to hold bonds in your HSA because this decreases the chance that your HSA will become too large for your medical expenses and will become taxable. Correct me if I am wrong, but I the event that HSA money grows too large, and the person is old enough (65) ...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th
Replies: 6
Views: 535

Re: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th

About a week before the baby is due, start doing everything you can to induce labor. The difference between a birth in 2017 and 2018 is likely a few thousand dollars of net worth. What a rare circumstance on bogleheads where advocating for vigorous sex may have a real, tangible financial effect. Neo...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3915

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

bluerafters wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:03 pm
Interesting approach.
I have this bad habit of editing immediately after I publish. I kept writing a bit after you quoted.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3915

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

Keep in mind that money is fungible across investment accounts. Much of the thinking in the thread above represents illusory "mental accounting." Say your HSA holdings are 100% stock. You incur a health related expense of $1000. Sell $1000 of stock in your HSA to pay for your expense. Immediately tr...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investing--Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 607

Re: First time investing--Roth IRA

I recommend Vanguard's Target Date Funds (edit: or a Lifecycle fund mentioned above). Say, for math's sake, you invest $10,000 this year between you and your wife's Roth IRAs. The expense ratio on such a fund is 16 basis points (0.16%), or $16 for the year. Optimizing funds and fees more than that w...
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]
Replies: 13
Views: 1580

Re: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]

There are other options that are equal or better in terms of simplicity and cost: target date funds and lifecycle funds. It can't get much more simple than owning one fund.

I am jealous of Betterment's interface though. Betterment looks really cool.
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory
Replies: 23
Views: 1762

Re: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory

I am about to take a few weeks off with FMLA when my second son is born. Take some time off! Do it for me and all the other dads without paternity leave (and for your family, I guess)...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 3488

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

We keep $30k at the local credit union earning 3%. Wife likes round numbers.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.
Replies: 15
Views: 1430

Re: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.

I think you need to take the anxiety down a few notches. There's nothing to "cringe" about. This is all stuff you can learn about in a short time and take care of with a few phone calls and time at the computer. We here just need a bit more information to help you out.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?
Replies: 28
Views: 11931

Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Imagine you have a neighbor across the street that all day stands in his yard with binoculars in hand watching what you do and writing it down. This neighbor then puts out an ad and sells his notes on everything that you do. How friendly do you want to be with this neighbor? I froze my credit x 5. T...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification
Replies: 30
Views: 1376

Re: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification

The top of 15% is right around $100K for married MFJ, when you add in standard deductions and 2 exemptions. Let's say the couple has $50K combined SS, at 85% taxability that is $42,500. So you would need $57,500 withdrawals to get to top of 15%. 57,500/.0365 = $1,575,000. That's a lot less than "a ...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best credit cards for our college kids? (credit building)
Replies: 9
Views: 625

Re: Best credit cards for our college kids? (credit building)

Add them as authorized users on your credit cards. Do this without telling them. Make them get their own credit card too - hopefully with a small credit limit and be hands off.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 141
Views: 15975

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

Speaking as a total amateur, I think predicting markets is increasingly difficult as we seem to be (and hopefully are) on the verge of technological breakthroughs in transportation and energy that might disrupt a cascading number of industries and production. The rate of technological advance is mor...
by camillus
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification
Replies: 30
Views: 1376

Re: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification

Another way to play with this is to hold bonds in traditional and equities in Roth (or better, perhaps small cap and international specifically). If equities go on a tear and your portfolio grows significantly, those gains will be on the Roth side and wouldn't mess with RMD. I tend to agree with Kla...
by camillus
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor
Replies: 49
Views: 4122

Re: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor

Cancel the meeting. What's the point other than a headache for yourself?
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 412301

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Well, my strategy now is not much. I froze mine and my wife's credit, as so many here, at the big 5 credit reporting agencies. I figured maybe it was time to take a break anyway. Of course I've said that before and this will actually be the first time I've done it. I did upgrade my current AMEX Blu...
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2508

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I'll blow the YNAB horn x2 I enjoy using YNAB because of the streamlined interface. Also, everything you do helps you focus on your saving rate. An extra paycheck in a month will allow you to put money away in a rolling fund the next month. Irregular expenses are funded each month and ready to spen...
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using investments to pay student loans.
Replies: 8
Views: 517

Re: Using investments to pay student loans.

1) Refinance your student loans to a low rate (sofi.com, mr money mustache has a $250 cashback voucher I believe)
2) Stop contributing to retirement, except to capture employer match
by camillus
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30,000 in Checking Account
Replies: 136
Views: 21867

Re: 30,000 in Checking Account

I just found out tonight that Manhattan, KS has a KS State Bank with a 1.9% checking account as long as you have 10 swipes and a direct deposit each month. Don't know how I haven't heard about this before now, but wow. Looks like I found a new place for my emergency fund and a new checking account....
by camillus
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?
Replies: 25
Views: 3423

Re: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?

If I were in OP's shoes, I would consider making Northpointe my primary bank & checking account. estatements, easy direct deposit, you may be able to get an exemption from the bank, as I did with another bank, while I was a student and had no income 15 debits, this could take you as little as 60 sec...
by camillus
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade through Apple vs through carrier
Replies: 19
Views: 1930

Re: iPhone upgrade through Apple vs through carrier

Look into virgin mobile. If you buy a new iPhone with them you can get unlimited everything with them for $1/year.

We bought iPhones last month with them and our cell phone bill was $0.16 this month, unlimited data.
by camillus
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF Picking a college major
Replies: 105
Views: 6227

Re: GF Picking a college major

I think working with career service is the first action step. I really cringe at the thought of "trying different things" at BU at $24 a semester. What cheaper schools does she have access to? I am a nurse. One of the neat things about nursing as opposed to MD or even PA is that you can work your wa...
by camillus
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with a new cell phone strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1357

Re: help with a new cell phone strategy

Try Virgin Mobile. They have a $ 1/year plan for 1 year. You need to buy a new phone, but you were thinking of doing that. It is iPhone only so you need to see if the cost makes sense for you. They use Sprint's network. This is what we are ending up doing, since we needed new smartphones and prefer...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000 for taxable 3-5 year outlook
Replies: 11
Views: 1369

Re: $1,000 for taxable 3-5 year outlook

Total stock.

Keep it simple.

If you sell your taxable when the market is high, great. If you sell your taxable when the market is low, no problem, just go to your retirement account and trade the same dollar value of bond for total stock. You are insured against "selling low."
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1969

Re: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs

If you have a well baby, checkups and vaccines will cost you zero dollars. Those visits and vaccines have deductibles / OOP no? 100% free. https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-children/ (Here, I am strongly resisting making political commentary. You can see that with this comment in parenthes...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with a new cell phone strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1357

help with a new cell phone strategy

Thanks in advance for your help. I've been looking at this for a bit and find it complicated and wonder what insights folks might have. My wife and I each have an iPhone 5C on Verizon. We actually split a data plan with her parents. My wife and I cover our charges, about $75 a month (two $20 line fe...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit
Replies: 24
Views: 1623

Re: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit

You can ask your parents to add you as an authorized user for the purpose of establishing your credit, but then ask them to keep the card with your name on it in their sock drawer. It's not a good habit to get into to pay your parents back for things (what are the terms of such a line of credit?). Y...
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1969

Re: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs

If you have a well baby, checkups and vaccines will cost you zero dollars.
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Replies: 135
Views: 10980

Re: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

For my family, we: 1) regularly order books and household items, even specialty items I need for household projects 2) watch Amazon TV pretty regularly, including PBS kids shows 3) listen to Amazon music over an Echo Dot attached to a nice speaker in the kitchen (Amazon Unlimited went on sale for $1...
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use Verizon wireless prepaid for cell phones???
Replies: 41
Views: 4320

Re: Anyone use Verizon wireless prepaid for cell phones???

Just want to add some info that could save Verizon folks some $$$. It looks like if you change to Sprint you could get cell service for almost free for 12 months. No, I do not work for Sprint. https://www.sprint.com/en/shop/offers/free-unlimited.html?phone=byod&cf_offer=100579&cf_id=754059097.754059...