Search found 888 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credi card balance transfer offer
Replies: 9
Views: 613

Re: Credi card balance transfer offer

The spread used to be juicier, 0% with no fee, and you could safely earn 5% . Good times. Today the margins are slimmer. I churn credit cards, and quite often the ones that have a good bonus also happen to have a 0% purchase APR period for 6 months to 15 months. So I just send minimum payments unti...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement guidance for 38 yr old in Silicon Valley CA
Replies: 13
Views: 1992

Re: Retirement guidance for 38 yr old in Silicon Valley CA

Current Situation: Emergency fund[/b]/ Cash on hand: $783,471; Right now, this lump sum cash is sitting in a CD 1.7% account to because we don't know what to invest in and I am afraid of an upcoming bear market. Debt: My husband works in Chico, CA which is 3.5 hours away from the Bay Area. He purch...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 Male, how am I doing?
Replies: 28
Views: 2424

Re: 33 Male, how am I doing?

Congrats on the pay increase over last year. I would go line item by line item through my budget and look for places where I could save without really feeling like it's much of a sacrifice. Your savings rate is what's most important so I'd look to increase that gradually. I'm definitely not opposed ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 Male, how am I doing?
Replies: 28
Views: 2424

Re: 33 Male, how am I doing?

Your rent seems totally reasonable yet you have a 7% savings rate on a six-figure income. So, where is your money going?

Your asset allocation seems a little aggressive but could be fine if you can handle volatility. I'd think about increasing bonds a little.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 72
Views: 4691

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

1) I think this varies a lot by person and cost of living. The biggest downside in tying up a laree % of income (however you want to measure it net or gross) is that in general a house is very illiquid and has high transaction costs. If you are spending 30% on a house and 20% eating out, well its m...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 72
Views: 4691

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

As long as someone's total consumption is low enough -- that is, their overall savings rate is high enough -- then I'd say it is up to them to decide how they decide to apportion that consumption. This is exactly right. One could ask what percent of a person’s gross pay should go toward daycare, tr...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2319

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

I think you’re not getting too many direct responses to your question for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not sure that people keep long-term averages of their spending over the years. First, you have to define long-term. If it’s 15 years, what if the person lived part of that time at home with pare...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time taking kids to airport..
Replies: 28
Views: 2230

Re: First time taking kids to airport..

We have a four-year-old and have done over a dozen flights with her. Relatives drop us off at the airport and we do curbside check-in. We drop off our suitcases and car seats at that point. We usually fly out of SFO or Oakland Airport and often there is a long walk to get to the gate. So we keep the...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home
Replies: 36
Views: 3518

Re: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home

Thanks for all the responses. I changed the topic title and also added we have 25k in EF. A couple of things also to add, I am a teacher so I have the summers off, and my wife works from home 3 or 4 days a week, so we would use the place a lot in the summer. I look at it as also saving for retireme...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll a govt 457b into 403b or not?
Replies: 7
Views: 394

Re: Roll a govt 457b into 403b or not?

Assuming low cost funds are available to you in both the 457b and the 403b, I would not roll it over. With a 457b, you can access the funds without penalty if you separate from the employer regardless of your age. That's a great feature. $35/year isn't so terrible when you're talking about a balance...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?
Replies: 74
Views: 6768

Re: When is leaving your job that pays well a good idea?

When I was in my 20s, I was getting business degrees and moving up the corporate ladder. I was having similar thoughts as you where the job was fine but I couldn’t imagine doing it for many years to come. I took a break from working, went traveling for a few months, and reset my life. I’ve have been...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b Roth or Pre-tax Decision and Marginal Rate
Replies: 17
Views: 613

Re: 403b Roth or Pre-tax Decision and Marginal Rate

I think you’ve come up with a good plan.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b Roth or Pre-tax Decision and Marginal Rate
Replies: 17
Views: 613

Re: 403b Roth or Pre-tax Decision and Marginal Rate

Do you or your spouse have any of the following? Pension contributions Medical premiums taken from your paycheck Dental premiums taken from your paycheck HSA or FSA for health Pretax contributions to retirement accounts such as a 401k, 457b, traditional IRA, etc. other than what you've listed Educat...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 4666

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

I can't believe I'm writing this given how frugal I am, but don't cheap out on uninspiring food. Yes, you can get Safeway sandwiches or bake a frozen pizza in your condo just like you do at home, but why? There is so much good food there - things you've never tried or never eaten so fresh. When we ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6368

Re: "Dollar Store" favorites

I have no objection to buying throw-away stuff at dollar stores, but I would be wary of buying sunglasses there. I think your eyes deserve a better level of protection. I would tend to agree. A friend of mine found out I bought my sunglasses at the dollar store and gave me a nice pair as a gift. I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6368

Re: "Dollar Store" favorites

I have no objection to buying throw-away stuff at dollar stores, but I would be wary of buying sunglasses there. I think your eyes deserve a better level of protection. I would tend to agree. A friend of mine found out I bought my sunglasses at the dollar store and gave me a nice pair as a gift. I ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator
Replies: 24
Views: 2089

Re: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator

I have a Samsung counter-depth side by side that I bought 8 1/2 years ago. It’s had no issues. I recently broke a bin that goes on the inside of the door (gallon of milk proved too heavy for the bin). It was easy to find a replacement bin for an affordable price on Amazon. When we replace the fridge...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6368

Re: "Dollar Store" favorites

sunglasses
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 4666

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

This won't save you any money, but I recommend you snorkel early in the morning because the water may be calmest and clearest then. The reef sharks will be close in still feeding, too, for some extra excitement. You could get lucky later in the day too. We took the Hula Girl on a snorkel/scuba crui...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 4666

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

We went to Maui last month and were able to eat fairly inexpensively. We picked up food at the grocery store and ABC Store. This took care of most of the breakfasts and some lunches and we were set for drinks as well. We barbecued a few times for dinner. When going out, we only ordered the main cour...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Start CC Churning
Replies: 33
Views: 3742

Re: How to Start CC Churning

I have also opened a few bank accounts with bonuses. These are not so good any more as they generally require direct deposit, which is something I will not do. My wife and I have opened a lot of checking and savings accounts in the last couple of years and earned about $5k in bonuses in that time f...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car price ratio to NW
Replies: 68
Views: 2698

Re: Car price ratio to NW

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:07 pm
magicrat wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:52 pm
My car is 0.7% of my net worth.
magicrat,

I am overspending on my car. It is 2% of my net worth.

KlangFool
You are extremists. My car is 1.4% of my net worth.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of higher property taxes on home price
Replies: 45
Views: 2292

Re: Impact of higher property taxes on home price

It absolutely should have an impact to house prices. In an efficient market, that impact would happen somewhat immediately, but real estate is generally slower moving. It's my belief that the tax law changes (remember the change to mortgage interest as well) hasn't propagated through the market - a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New job commute
Replies: 64
Views: 3490

Re: New job commute

You need to look at the difference in your net pay between the two jobs (one that pays $100k and one that pays $70k). After accounting for taxes and commuting costs, you’re probably only looking at a difference of around $15k. Is that worth it for a 3-hour daily commute? For me, it wouldn’t be. I’d ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Start CC Churning
Replies: 33
Views: 3742

Re: How to Start CC Churning

My wife and I each open a couple of new cards per year. We're light churners and have focused on Chase credit cards. Chase Sapphire (Reserve or Preferred) is good to start with in my opinion. If you have a business of some kind (or are thinking of starting a business), you can also open up a Chase B...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual language vs Traditional Public School
Replies: 23
Views: 1195

Re: Dual language vs Traditional Public School

Credible things I read indicate that becoming proficient in multiple languages as a child has positive changes in the brains of such folks. I did a fair amount of research on dual immersion programs for my master's degree in education. A lot of what I read very much stressed your point. I've been a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is maxing Out an IRA, 403B, and 457B Along with a Pension Too Much Saving for the Future?
Replies: 19
Views: 2181

Re: Is maxing Out an IRA, 403B, and 457B Along with a Pension Too Much Saving for the Future?

Moving some of the $85k into low-fee 403b and 457b accounts is a good idea if you don’t want to hold so much cash. Reducing your cash to $15k seems like a bit much, though. It might be fine if your expenses are low enough; otherwise, I’d consider having a little more cushion. If you’re in the 12% br...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real salary growth negative?
Replies: 45
Views: 4570

Re: Real salary growth negative?

I'm curious if I'm doing the math right here, but it seems pretty straightforward. My wife is a public school teacher and has reached the top level in pay increases, which means basic COLA raises going forward. She has 25 years until retirement. The last several years, pay increases have been betwe...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Buy Bond Funds When Patelco/Provident CU Accounts Return 2-3%?
Replies: 10
Views: 1551

Re: Why Buy Bond Funds When Patelco/Provident CU Accounts Return 2-3%?

You need to be aware of the limitations of these accounts. Patelco offers competitive rates on only up to $5k. Also, the fine print says “The maximum number of checks that may clear is three (3) in any calendar month period. Certain withdrawal limits apply to Money Market Accounts.” For Provident, y...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary vs. Lifestyle
Replies: 142
Views: 17025

Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family). I thankful...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1238

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

So, is it best to simply give up on gift cards entirely? Or, is the fraud risk manageable enough and, if so, which is better: physical or electronic gift cards? I have found that the fraud risk has been manageable enough. However, it's an assessment of reward vs. risk. I've primarily bought physica...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 46
Views: 3959

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

As infrequently as possible. We bought our home 8 years ago. It’s the first one we’ve purchased and we have no plans to move in the near future (we’ll likely stay in our house another 15-20 years). We live in a town where the median home price is over $1M so the dollar amount involved for transactio...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement
Replies: 81
Views: 5508

Re: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement

Some yes and some no. It’s easier in hindsight to judge which experiences were worth it. It’s harder to know what an experience might offer beforehand. In any case, some of my best experiences cost little to nothing while other experiences cost way more than they should have. If I could, I’d give th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with extra $2500 a month?????
Replies: 36
Views: 3206

Re: What to do with extra $2500 a month?????

I would look into whether or not you and your wife have a 457b available. If so, and it has good investments available, I would begin to fund 457b accounts. These accounts have a provision which makes them more favorable than 403b accounts for those who retire early. Basically, there is no 10% penal...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week
Replies: 58
Views: 5461

Re: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week

At that income level, yes, I would. Time with young children is important too. Seems like you have plenty of money (and still would even with the pay cut) but could use more time.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Girls and investing
Replies: 115
Views: 5781

Re: Girls and investing

I’m a parent and elementary school teacher (for the past 15 years). We’re keeping it simple right now for our four-year-old daughter with basic stuff like the importance of saving money and how you should spend your money wisely since it takes time and hard work to earn it. With my 5th graders, I ge...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do normal people afford the Bay Area?
Replies: 48
Views: 5204

Re: How do normal people afford the Bay Area?

Here is one (longish) story from a self-proclaimed “normal “ person living in the Bay Area. In my 20s, I lived with roommates and rented. When I got married, my wife and I continued to rent for a few years. I’m a teacher and she worked for a small business. We made a combined salary of around $120k ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What time do you get up in the morning?
Replies: 138
Views: 9392

Re: What time do you get up in the morning?

On weekdays (except summertime), I get up at 6:20 and leave by 7:00. My morning routine is to read the news and check email on my phone for about 15 minutes. Then it’s a mad dash to put in my contact lenses, brush teeth, shave, scoop cat litter, shower, get dressed, and run downstairs. Once on the b...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1862

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

Thanks for the information, everyone. Much appreciated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1862

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

That's a high cable bill for internet service that slow (24 mbps). I would call and ask for higher speed for free (at least 100mbps). DSL can reach 15 mbps, not far below what you are getting. My one-year agreement with U-Verse is up next month so I'll call and see what they can offer. The current ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1862

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

Thanks for this info. I will check out the links as well.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1862

Question about Cutting Cable

I’m considering possibly cutting cable. We currently have AT&T Uverse for TV and Internet. We have the U200 package (lots of channels) on 3 TVs, HD service, and HBO. We pay $153 a month (includes taxes and fees). $123 of this goes toward TV and $30 is for Internet (speed is 24 mbps). I’m looking int...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 13531

Re: What are your property taxes?

Connecticut: $7,800 Property Tax - Value approx $350k. ... leaving CT ... - was it something we taxed? Lets remember that states with high per capita income (NJ, MA, CT, etc), pay out high salaries to public employees and provide very lucrative pensions and benefits. Average teachers salary in CT i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 13531

Re: What are your property taxes?

Connecticut: $7,800 Property Tax - Value approx $350k. ... leaving CT ... - was it something we taxed? Lets remember that states with high per capita income (NJ, MA, CT, etc), pay out high salaries to public employees and provide very lucrative pensions and benefits. Average teachers salary in CT i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16823

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

A disappointing article, IMO. The author adds in a bunch of what-if's in his not-so-hidden criticism. To me, the obvious question is, how many folks actually use the 'teacher's school supplies' credit? Or, school loans? Sure, that may be a few million, but there are millions more that have no need ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1 million house--- sanity check
Replies: 101
Views: 11643

Re: $1 million house--- sanity check

If we wait until we have a few kids, this house will be $1.5 million...I'm not sure we could afford to live in this size house ever again unless we act now. Is this crazy? What am I not considering? Any other numbers that I haven't listed that I should be putting here? Thank you for any advice and ...
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: 345
Views: 33753

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: 10709

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...