Search found 840 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 104
Views: 6294

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

My previous career was working as a manager in the financial services field. I did that for a few years but didn't find it to be very fulfilling. I’ve been teaching 5th grade for the past 15 years and enjoy it. Teaching isn’t for everyone but I would recommend it for the right type of person. For th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we work?
Replies: 121
Views: 10053

Re: Why do we work?

Work provides money to buy the basics but I also find it fulfilling and a good way to spend my time. My hours are reasonable (less than 40 hours on average per week) and, beyond that, I don’t work much. If it weren’t for the money, I would reduce my hours further. While I love my job, I also greatly...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 91
Views: 13097

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

I'm in the Bay Area. My home's value is $800k. I bought it in 2010 for $500k. Our gross income was about $120k at the time. I put down 3% but didn't have to pay PMI due to the terms of a teacher loan available at the time. We were paying an extra $800 a month on our mortgage as it was at a rate of ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy this home?
Replies: 39
Views: 4090

Re: Buy this home?

I think you can afford to buy it. However, transaction costs on $1M houses are not small. You said that you’ll be in the area for 5+ years. If it’s 5 years, I would choose to rent. The economy could take a downturn in such a short amount of time and you might have to sell it for less than you’d like...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Credit Unions or Banks Questions
Replies: 8
Views: 790

Re: SF Bay Area Credit Unions or Banks Questions

I use Provident Credit Union in the East Bay and have been happy with them. I haven't tried to do very large transfers but have found their customer service and website to be just fine. We keep $25k in a checking account there and have been earning 2.01% for the past couple of years on it. The only ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help Deciding Between Non-Matching 403(b) and a Roth IRA
Replies: 30
Views: 1706

Re: Need Help Deciding Between Non-Matching 403(b) and a Roth IRA

I’m a teacher in California. I would operate as if your pension will be reduced but not completely eliminated. Maybe expect to receive only half of it if the Connecticut system is really underfunded. Since you don’t pay into social security, I can’t imagine your pension would be entirely eliminated ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu May 17, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Urgent: escrow situation in bay area
Replies: 50
Views: 2968

Re: Urgent: escrow situation in bay area

You obviously won’t be able to save quite as much but, on the positive, will begin building equity in your house. You said your spouse will begin making $40k plus benefits upon completion of a program as well. The second income along with future raises for both you and your spouse should help bring ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 15, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12420

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the facts correctly (so please correct me if I'm mistaken) - you can get a 30 year loan at 0% but only one time? This seems strange but, if it's the case, it seems like quite the deal and I would want to take maximum advantage of it. I'd put as little down as I pos...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12420

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the facts correctly (so please correct me if I'm mistaken) - you can get a 30 year loan at 0% but only one time? This seems strange but, if it's the case, it seems like quite the deal and I would want to take maximum advantage of it. I'd put as little down as I poss...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun May 13, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12420

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I don’t have advice for you in terms of whether you should buy or how much you should spend. Some have suggested living elsewhere but, just personally, there is no way I'd move away from aging parents who spend a lot of time with the grandchildren. Our 4-year-old daughter gets to see all grandparent...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat May 12, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucrative careers?
Replies: 318
Views: 24251

Re: Lucrative careers?

You should pursue a career based on what is a good fit for you in terms of your interests and abilities. Factoring in being able to live comfortably on the salary in a certain field makes sense but an arbitrary figure like $100k/year shouldn’t be a primary motivation. You’ll have to spend many hours...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b vs roth403b
Replies: 12
Views: 706

Re: 403b vs roth403b

Traditional accounts offer above line deductions and those can be of great value. Here’s a real-life example (my own). My gross income is $106k as a teacher in the Bay Area. I have access to a traditional 403b and a Roth 403b. I’m expecting a pension of about $90k/year around age 60. You might think...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 10670

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

....and self-driving cars may not be too far away. If, down the road (pun intended), it takes a lot less time to commute to Silicon Valley from our area, it could result in even higher home prices in our neighborhood. Self driving cars could easily make the traffic a lot worse since it would put mo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 10670

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

I used to think that we’d stay in the Bay Area permanently. I’m less sure now. We bought in the East Bay in 2009 and prices have gone up quite a bit since then. Traffic going into Silicon Valley is very congested (to put it mildly) but there are hopeful signs. There is construction underway to allev...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 2261

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

I work in a district near the one your wife is considering (about 1/2 hour away). My union dues are about $1200/year and the mandatory pension contribution rate is 10.25%. For those who enter the CalSTRS system in 2013 or later, the rate is 9.2% (lower rate but less generous benefits). Thanks for t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 2261

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

I work in a district near the one your wife is considering (about 1/2 hour away). My union dues are about $1200/year and the mandatory pension contribution rate is 10.25%. For those who enter the CalSTRS system in 2013 or later, the rate is 9.2% (lower rate but less generous benefits).
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart or Stupid? Paying taxes with credit card to satisfy minimum spending requirements.
Replies: 28
Views: 2770

Re: Smart or Stupid? Paying taxes with credit card to satisfy minimum spending requirements.

I’ve paid property taxes to meet minimum spending. My county charges a 2.5% convenience fee for credit card transactions. My property taxes are $10k annually, paid in 2 installments. So I charge $5k and pay a $125 fee. I meet the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus in one transaction this...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 211
Views: 12895

Re: How Far is too Far, Commuting?

All else being equal, commuting should be avoided. However, usually, all is not equal. Living farther away often means less cost due to lower housing expenses, which could lead to retiring earlier. So, the time spent commuting might be earned back later. Also, often the house further away is bigger ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 14562

Re: BH travel tips?

We're pretty good at keeping travel costs down (family of three) so thought I'd chime in too in case it is helpful to anyone (apologies for not being more succinct). For the past five years, my wife and I have each been opening up Chase credit card accounts. A typical year means we each open maybe t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 6293

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

We’re currently running an experiment (monitoring our income and expenses closely) to see if we can have my wife be a stay-at-home-parent as of next year (or work minimally and have pretty much her entire income go toward retirement accounts). So far, it looks very promising that we’ll be able to ma...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?
Replies: 12
Views: 1201

Re: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?

So you think I should stop my 403b contributions completely and only use the 457 right now? Besides expense ratios, are there any other fees that the NYS DCP has that my 403b might not? Iwas thinking this for the three funds: NYSDCB Equity Index (US stock market), ER 0.0084% International Equity Fu...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?
Replies: 12
Views: 1201

Re: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?

Just a very quick google search indicated that you may be able to contribute to both the 403b and the 457 to the maximum, the 457 I think is $18,500 for this year per person. Our (I'm in NYSDC/457 as well) plan provides a Roth 457 option as well, same limits, but unlike a "normal" Roth there are RM...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawing from a Roth Account for ACA Subsidy Reasons
Replies: 7
Views: 836

Withdrawing from a Roth Account for ACA Subsidy Reasons

Edit: Deleted - Question has been sufficiently answered. Thanks to all who responded.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

You're cutting it very close. Are you sure there won't be a bonus or dividends or capital gains or something like that that might disqualify you in the future? The plan would be to get fairly close with a little bit of margin of safety. So I wouldn't try to get qualify for the subsidy by making it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

I could use some guidance between these two choices: Option 1 BRONZE HSA HMO Monthly Premium: $3.00 after $841.93 tax credit Primary Care Visits: You pay 40% Generic Drugs: You pay 40% Yearly Deductible $9600 (May Not Apply) Total Expense Estimate: Lower or Option 2 GOLD HMO Monthly Premium: $387.4...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

You're cutting it very close. Are you sure there won't be a bonus or dividends or capital gains or something like that that might disqualify you in the future? The plan would be to get fairly close with a little bit of margin of safety. So I wouldn't try to get qualify for the subsidy by making it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

Thanks for the wealth of information, jalbert; it gives me a lot to think about. I greatly appreciate the time you took to provide such a detailed response to my question.
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

I went on to the California exchange and entered my income as $80k. It said that my monthly premium for a Bronze 60 HDHP HSA HMO Plan at Kaiser would be $3/month. The subsidy is $841.93. These numbers seem very strange to me. Did I perhaps do something wrong? That is most likely correct, for this y...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

If you are using the HSA for long term investments, the best deal is pretty much with a startup called Lively https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228522 I have my HSA with them. Since you are in CA, you need to know that for state tax purposes, HSA is a taxable account. So you need...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

Thanks for the replies, everyone. For 2019 coverage, it does look like 400% FPL is $83,120, so you would qualify. But you are very close to the edge. I would pick a HSA compatible plan if available so as to be able to reduce the income by about $6850 (the actual amount is not announced yet) for 2019...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1927

Question about ACA Subsidy

We’re considering the possibility of my wife being a stay-at-home parent as of next year (2019). Our family health insurance has been covered through my wife’s work. We’re both 43 and have one child, age 3 year 10 months. I’m a public school teacher in the Bay Area and work for a large school distri...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Retirement Investment for Teacher
Replies: 24
Views: 1836

Re: Help with Retirement Investment for Teacher

I’m a teacher in the Bay Area. My salary is about the same as yours. I’m one year younger and am 18 years away from retirement. My CalSTRS pension should look similar to yours (right around $85k if I retire at age 61.5 and select the 100% option for my wife so that she continues to receive my full p...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance
Replies: 46
Views: 3763

Re: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance

... On the other hand, what teachers have to deal with for their long (supposed) holidays sounds just as bad to me. That’s an interesting perspective to me. . . . I do agree that teachers do have to deal with a lot. I will just say that, at least to me, it's totally worth it. It is time well spent....
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance
Replies: 46
Views: 3763

Re: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance

... On the other hand, what teachers have to deal with for their long (supposed) holidays sounds just as bad to me. That’s an interesting perspective to me. I changed careers 15 years ago from management to teaching. I love my job even though it can be stressful and difficult sometimes. I wouldn’t ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the jobs with the best medical insurance?
Replies: 51
Views: 3797

Re: What are the jobs with the best medical insurance?

Here in PA, public school teachers have excellent coverage, the kind private industry used to have decades ago. This will vary by region/district. I'm a public school teacher in the Bay Area and get no health benefits from my employer. To cover our family of three, we have the option to purchase in...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 246
Views: 31907

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

Is it because you want to retire early, or You are not sure what the future holds, e.g. low job security, or You want to leave money to others, e.g. kids, grand kids, charity, or You have no interest in increasing your consumption now, including giving more money to charity etc. Any insights? We're...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?
Replies: 39
Views: 2862

Re: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?

News just came out this week that San Francisco lost the largest number of residents than any other city in the fourth quarter of last year, 24% more than the second city, NYC. https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/san-francisco-losing-more-residents-than-any-other-us-city/vp-BBJUjqo Man...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Kid Expenses
Replies: 31
Views: 2396

Re: New Kid Expenses

Congratulations! You can spend a lot on a kid or not nearly as much. Our daughter will turn four this summer and things were rather inexpensive for her until just this past year (like the previous poster, we’re in the East Bay in the S.F. Bay Area as well). Gifts and used items can take care of a lo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 17675

Re: Defining "House Poor"

If you have to live somewhere and pay rent or a mortgage (housing is a consumption), what makes housing any different than any other consumption? Why is no one vacation poor? Eating out poor? Car poor? Private school poor? I very much agree with this. I don’t think there is anything as “house poor....
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.
Replies: 76
Views: 12471

Re: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.

It's totally possible. A friend of mine who is married and has three children is in a position to pay no federal income tax with an income above $200k. His California state tax would be much higher at around $1500. Deductions and the child tax credit make this possible. Wow, that is crazy tax optim...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 17675

Re: Defining "House Poor"

If you have to live somewhere and pay rent or a mortgage (housing is a consumption), what makes housing any different than any other consumption? Why is no one vacation poor? Eating out poor? Car poor? Private school poor? I very much agree with this. I don’t think there is anything as “house poor....
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 288
Views: 21848

Re: free dinner investing seminar

How does one get invited to such events? I've never received any invitations of this sort. Perhaps I'm not part of the targeted demographic? (Age: 36) I was wondering the same thing. While getting a good free meal sounds enticing, it's probably a good thing that I'm not getting such invitations. I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 288
Views: 21848

Re: free dinner investing seminar

My wife and I attended one at a Ruth Chris Steakhouse a few years back. I had no intention of buying what they were selling and didn’t do so. The dinner was delicious and the sales guy wasn’t aggressive at all. If he had been, that would’ve been fine with me since I have no problem saying no. I’ve a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 3531

Re: Am I saving enough?

There is no 28% or 25% tax bracket as of the new year. You're in the new 22% tax bracket . There’s a good chance you’re actually in the 12% tax bracket. Subtract the following from your gross income of $110k to figure out your bracket: standard deduction of $24k (or possibly more if you itemize), p...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I saving enough?
Replies: 34
Views: 3531

Re: Am I saving enough?

No. If you are in the 28% bracket your taxable income is $150k +, so gross is more like $175k+. I mistakenly posted the wrong tax bracket. We make a combined $110k a year, with a small amount coming from my wife who works very part time. There is no 28% or 25% tax bracket as of the new year. You're...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford this house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4916

Re: Can I afford this house?

I would not move (edit: out of the Bay Area). You have a lot of assets, a high income, and family in the Bay Area. Family, at least to my wife and me, is priceless. We own a townhouse like the one you're considering purchasing. It's in an area with excellent public schools and within a few minutes o...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.
Replies: 76
Views: 12471

Re: Make $90k, pay no Federal Income Tax in 2018? Check / critique this scenario.

Married filing Jointly 2 children under 12 Single income household $90,000. Salary $24,000. Standard deduction $18,500. Traditional §401(k) contribution $11,000. Traditional IRA contributions (self & spousal) $ 6,900. HSA contributions via cafeteria plan —————————————— $29,600 taxable income $19,05...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The housing nowadays
Replies: 64
Views: 6587

Re: The housing nowadays

Prices can change in either direction to any degree at any time. So if you find a place you like and can comfortably afford, I would buy it if I were going to stay there for a good while. Transaction costs in Bay Area real estate are not insignificant so I would try to buy a place I would be in for ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 9307

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

Also, only kids always seem to feel they are on "stage" all the time unless they have a TON of nearby cousins to grow up with so they don't feel like they are always being noticed. Cousins definitely are amazing. I live next door to my sister (we share a wall between our townhouses). My wife and I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 9307

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

I'm in the Bay Area. We have a three year old daughter. Our annual expenses so far: Food: $3000 Transportation: -$2000 (after kid was born, I was ready to replace my 15 year old car so I got a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle and started car pooling to work. The kid fits inside my Toyota Corolla...