Search found 743 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 57
Views: 2375

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

We spend about $1500 or so a year. This covers things like meals, ground transportation, and small purchases. We're a family of three and are visiting Disneyland, Las Vegas, and Hawaii in the next six months. Flights, hotels, and amusement park tickets were purchased using points. Our income is $150...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..
Replies: 16
Views: 2233

Re: A penny saved is NOT a penny earned ..

For this reason, I tend to be more focused on the spending side than the earning side. We’re at the top of the 15% federal bracket so are not exactly high earners. This is what would happen to each additional dollar we earn: 25% federal tax, 8% state tax, 5% tax increase for falling into the phaseou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA Worth the Hassle?
Replies: 11
Views: 1287

Re: FSA Worth the Hassle?

I wouldn't bother in your situation. There is some risk with FSA accounts in my opinion since there is the chance you could put in more than you end up needing. There is also the hassle factor. If the difference in savings between the FSA account and the child care tax credit were big enough, I'd go...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 151
Views: 12677

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

Age 43 and 43. We contribute enough to stay in the 15% tax bracket. 457b: 18k 403b: 6k Roth IRAs: 11k Pension Contributions: 10.5k Total: 45.5k Other Contributions: SEP IRA: 7k (wife's employer) Pension Contributions: 15k (my employer) Pension Contributions: 9k (state) Total: 31k My pension and wife...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Thanks. I just wanted to avoid the possibility of having a problem getting the funds out. It sounds like that shouldn't be an issue.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Thanks for the response. It's helpful.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 376

Dependent Care FSA Question

My open enrollment period is coming up. I put $5k into a dependent care FSA account this year and was planning to do the same thing next year. If I do that and dependent care FSA accounts are eliminated at some point next year, what would happen to the money that’s being put into the account each mo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: we bought a house - are we housepoor now?
Replies: 195
Views: 8914

Re: we bought a house - are we housepoor now?

I'm in the Bay Area (and own a townhouse here) so the $900k price tag of your home doesn't shock me. You're in excellent shape. Once you have kids, things may become more expensive but you have room in your budget to absorb that. You may also get raises in the years ahead and inflation over time wil...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay down some credit card debt?
Replies: 19
Views: 1227

Re: Should I pay down some credit card debt?

Those rates are high. I would use the emergency fund and completely pay off the credit cards and use the funds the roommate provides to begin to slowly replenish the emergency fund. Another option is to transfer the balances to a 0% or low-interest card. If that isn't possible, paying off this high-...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 3983

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

It's a pretty good work/life balance. <40 hrs per week for me. Wife is SAHM. This is good, in my opinion. I think you should actually try to save a tad more if possible. Spend time with your family rather than money. You have two young kids. They need you, not fancy vacations and meals. It sounds l...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?
Replies: 30
Views: 3983

Re: loosening the purse strings a bit at 37?

How much do you and your spouse work?
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife start a 401k
Replies: 25
Views: 1228

Re: Should my wife start a 401k

Our situation is similar to yours, though our household income is about $25k less. I plan to retire at age 61.5 with a pension that's a little under $100k (2.4% of salary x number of years). We also have one child (age 3) with no plans for another. Our mortgage is also 3.25% fixed. We also have tax-...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14795

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Any recommendations on making it out here in this crazy market? I'm doing various buy vs. rent analyses and can't seem to make sense of buying (am I missing something obvious?) We bought in the Bay Area on a combined income of a little over $100k in 2010. It's a 4 bedroom/4 bathroom home in a great...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]
Replies: 68
Views: 5849

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]
Replies: 68
Views: 5849

Re: What is FI if you love your job?

I greatly enjoy my job and would continue to work even if I didn't need the money. I save because I know that there will come a point where I may either not be able to work or no longer feel like I do currently. Once I have reached FI, I'll assess how I'm feeling about my job. If I continue to love ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advise on what to do with additional savings
Replies: 27
Views: 2722

Re: Advise on what to do with additional savings

$100k in the emergency fund seems like a large amount. Do you need that much? I'd probably use $13k and pay off the car loan right away. You're paying 2.4% interest and the emergency fund is only yielding you about 0.7% after tax. You're relatively young and have a low-interest mortgage for only 15 ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3756

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

Even if you do have legal grounds, once it gets out to the other staff members, how will that reflect on you? The other staff members know I have high standards. They may not agree with my actions. I think it could potentially be quite a bit worse than them not agreeing with your actions. They may ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3756

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

OP: Just saw your last post. I was typing at the time so didn't see it come through before I posted. Good decision to move on.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3756

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

Take it as a compliment. You do good work others want to use. :happy I like this advice. If you can take it and just move on, it may the best way to proceed. If you don't want to approach the topic one-on-one with her for whatever reason, I would move on rather than get lawyers/administration/union...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let's talk about your FI # and family income [Financial Independence]
Replies: 183
Views: 20011

Re: Let's talk about your FI # and family income

Income: $150k
Expenses: $80k/yr
FI number without pension and and s.s.: $2.5M
FI number with pension and s.s.: $500k
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 19219

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

Time is the bigger constraint for me. It takes time to go out to lunch and our cafeteria at work serves food I'd rather not eat. So I bring something from home the vast majority of time. I am going out to dinner with a coworker today since we have a four hour break. This isn't usually the case, thou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less
Replies: 27
Views: 2304

Re: Thinking about accepting new job that pays a bit less

Bottom line is that you seem totally set. I would cut my hours and work-related travel as much as possible to be able to enjoy life while still being able to pay the bills and put a small amount toward retirement. Also, you can increase your retirement contributions once childcare costs go away. Whe...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?
Replies: 167
Views: 9164

Re: When calculating net worth, how do you value your house?

I use the price similar homes sell for. Over the years, Zillow has provided a decent estimate for our home but has probably underestimated a bit some years and overestimated other years.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?
Replies: 66
Views: 5814

Re: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?

I need my job to pay the bills but would continue to do it even if that weren't the case. If I won a jackpot over the weekend, I'd show up to work on Monday morning. I love what I do, so I guess I'm at #1. I've been at it for 15 years with hopefully many more to go.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?
Replies: 16
Views: 1657

Re: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?

Sounds like it makes sense to apply the bonus toward the loan in your situation.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments
Replies: 62
Views: 6678

Re: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments

I'd keep to my budget and buy a house I could afford. The rate factors into this because it affects the size of the payments. I wouldn't, however, buy as expensive a house as possible just because rates happen to be low at this time. The rate can affect how quickly you decide to pay off the loan onc...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?
Replies: 16
Views: 1657

Re: Paying Down Debt with Bonus?

The rate of the loan would be a factor in the decision for me if I were in your situation. If the rate is low enough, I'd take my time in paying it off. If high enough, I'd make it my top priority to get rid of it. If somewhere in the middle, I'd likely put some toward the loan and the rest toward i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overextended in Bay Area housing?
Replies: 37
Views: 4017

Re: Overextended in Bay Area housing?

OP: a couple of questions for you. 1) Do you expect your expenses to increase or income to decrease if you were to have another child? If so, by how much? 2) How much income are you expecting from pensions in retirement? I'm a teacher in the Bay Area and the size of my expected pension definitely fa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 16849

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

Heck, some classroom teachers are pulling in over $100k. Add in some pre-school monitoring, yearbook advisor and after school basketball, and they can really get up there. Summers off and great health care. This is very geographically dependent. My base salary with six years of experience is $34k. ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 16849

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

I don't think it makes sense to become preoccupied with an arbitrary dollar amount. You have to look at the big picture. This includes things like: How much time off the job offers, the schedule, is the work interesting and rewarding to the individual, benefits, and job security. The salary is impor...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 12761

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Working 60-70 hours per week along with doing things like getting ready in the morning, commuting, and sleeping means the amount of time left to spend with your family is relatively little compared to what many other people get. Personally, there is no way I'd sign up for such a schedule. My wife an...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California - clarification on taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 2764

Re: California - clarification on taxes

Two points. First the decision to live in CA should be viewed as a form of luxury consumption if you make even just a solid income. Second, CA residents should spend more effort finding ways to reduce spending (which must be paid for with after tax dollars) and less on increasing income, over 40% o...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 130
Views: 9306

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

You said you can afford it and that's a good place to start. The question I would ask in a situation like this to myself is: Does this purchase bring me and my wife enough joy above and beyond other less expensive alternatives that I'm willing to pay the difference in price? How much time will this ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down home or increase Retirement Contributions
Replies: 21
Views: 1563

Re: Pay down home or increase Retirement Contributions

I suggest you calculate your effective rate to make an informed decision. Subtract any mortgage interest deduction benefit that you're getting that exceeds the standard deduction and also subtract your local/regional rate of inflation. Your actual rate seems to be great and you may even possibly be ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple
Replies: 29
Views: 2575

Re: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple

Do you have a similar portfolio to mine in terms of where you are investing and the things you are investing in? The underlying investments are essentially the same, though we don’t do target date funds. Our overall portfolio is roughly 50/30/20 (Total US Stock Market/Total International Stock Mark...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple
Replies: 29
Views: 2575

Re: First Portfolio Review! 31 and 30 y.o. NYC married couple

You remind me a bit of my younger self. I’m also a business major who worked for a financial company and then became a teacher (about to start my 15th year). I’m a decade older and on the other coast but my salary and expected pension mirror yours closely (currently salary is about $105k, expecting ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback
Replies: 35
Views: 6684

Re: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback

Appreciate all of the comments everyone. Something I was hoping to get a little more directive on is - still in my 20s and with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a 3.8, 4+ of years of management and sales experience, what would I be eligible/able to go back to get an advanced degree in? And...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhome or condo?
Replies: 29
Views: 2468

Re: Townhome or condo?

I own a townhouse in the Bay Area and based on the two options you provided, I think it would be better to go for the townhouse because you get a lot more space for a little more money (in terms of percentage difference in square feet and price between the two choices). An extra room, an attached ga...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?
Replies: 57
Views: 4259

Re: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?

Ours is maybe not the most conventional set-up but I thought I’d share it since there can be a wide range of experiences in this area. Basically, we’ve managed to spend very little on our kid in a VHCOL area (Bay Area). She is three years old. Our work schedule has stayed the same so there has been ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?
Replies: 62
Views: 10248

Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Take a 6 month long vacation in another country with a lower cost of living. Try Costa Rica, or Thailand or for a more intense experience go to India. You will meet lots of interesting people who will give you a new perspective on life. You will meet lots of people like yourself who worked hard, sa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 25857

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

Sorry, I posted a few minutes ago without seeing that you had recently updated your original post. I'm expecting a pension that should be close to six figures in 2017 dollars. If I were to assume I'd get $0 from that instead, I'd probably want around $2.5M in my accounts. However, while pensions cou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 25857

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

I'm 42 with plans to retire around 60. Need $0. Want $1.5 M. Pension and social security should cover our necessary expenses.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?
Replies: 22
Views: 3069

Re: Do I Have Enough In My Emergency Fund?

I think you're likely fine with a six-month emergency fund.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 410731

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If you fly to Hawaii from the west coast, you should consider getting the British Airways card. It's a chase card but isn't under 5/24. British Airways bases the required number of miles on distance. You can travel one way to HI from the west coast for 12.5k miles (25k round trip), on either Alaska...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 410731

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

For my Hawaiian vacation, I was flexible with my travel dates and found an itinerary that only cost 45k United miles round-trip. That would have been $875 if booked as cash, but I got it for 45k points/miles, which was about 1.9 cents per point. I've got another data point for a similar itinerary. ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 4287

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

Just curious but how are you categorizing the principal portion of mortgage payments and any extra payments toward a mortgage? Any difference in treatment if it is not for a primary residence? The principal portion and extra payments are lumped into expenses. For a primary residence, I need a place...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2304
Views: 410731

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I value Chase points around 1.6. When I book hotels though Chase Sapphire Reserve, the rate is 1.5. I've gotten around 1.7 when booking flights by transferring the points to Southwest or United.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out
Replies: 50
Views: 4287

Re: Savings Rate Formula - Explicitly Spelled Out

Looking for savings rate formula around here, I seem to find too many textual descriptions of the savings rate and found it hard to decipher. I have a mathematical training as do most of us here, so here is my attempt to explicitly show the savings rate formula: Gross Income = Taxes + Spending + Sa...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your monthly expenses?
Replies: 69
Views: 7558

Re: What are your monthly expenses?

Married with one kid (three year old) in the SF Bay Area: Mortgage: $1810 Property Taxes: $800 HOA: $290 House Cleaning: $270 Home Improvements/Repairs: $50 TV/Internet/Phone: $200 Electricity: $140 Cell Phones: $70 Water: $30 Garbage: $20 Health Insurance: $200 Auto/Home/Umbrella Insurance: $200 Li...